It’s week 7 in the 2023 NFL season. After the poor set of games last week, we hoped this week’s game would be better. With 6 teams on the bye, while we had fewer games than normal, they were entertaining.
On an additional note, if you were watching NFL media on Sunday, you would know that it was National Tight Ends Day on Sunday. So put up for Tight End tree and have your Tight End dinner (no idea what that consists of, probably a lot of red meat), and let’s look back at Week 7 in the NFL.
Mac Jones Finally has a good game
The New England Patriots have recently been in dismay. Coming into this week, they were 1-5 for the season and had played some truly awful football in recent weeks. They also have a quarterback problem, with Mac Jones struggling and having to be benched in multiple games so far. This week, AFC East divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills came to Foxborough with a patchy form, only just being able to defeat the New York Giants last week due to some questionable officiating. What would happen this week?
The Patriots had the opening drive of the game and took full advantage of this. Led by quarterback Mac Jones, the Patriots offense had a promising drive, crossing into the Bills’ red zone before the drive would stall at the Buffalo 12-yard line. From there, Patriots kicker Chad Ryland successfully kicked a 30-yard field goal to give New England an early lead.
Things would get better for the Patriots the very moment Bills quarterback Josh Allen got his hands on the ball. We have seen many times before, that while Allen is a very good quarterback who has shown to be able to perform at elite levels, he is prone to making mistakes that lead to Buffalo losing possession. This was one of those moments. On the Bills’ first play of the game, Allen threw a deep pass that was intercepted by the Patriots defense. This would be costly for the Bills, as from the Buffalo 45-yard line, New England made an advance down the field and ended up at the 2-yard line. From there, former Dallas Cowboy Ezekiel Elliot would run the ball in for the touchdown to give the Patriots a 10-point lead.Embed from Getty Images
Buffalo would shake off the mistake from their early drive and have a far more successful second drive. From their 25-yard line, Allen and company would move the ball down to the New England 8-yard line. From there, Allen found Dawson Knox for the touchdown pass. However, there was an offensive pass interference penalty against the Bills on this penalty, removing the touchdown from the board and forcing Buffalo to move back to the 18-yard line. They would not be able to find the endzone from here, so had to settle for a 36-yard field goal from kicker Trevor Bass.
Soon after the Bills had their field goal, the Patriots had another one of their own. Their drive would stall at the Buffalo 6-yard line, setting up a Ryland with a 24-yard field goal attempt for which he would be successful. Straight after this, the Bills would attempt another field goal, this time from 42 yards out. Trevor Bass would miss this attempt. This would mean that at halftime, the Patriots had a surprising 13-3 lead over the Bills.
The Bills would have the first possession of the second half, and would immediately start to reduce the Patriots’ lead. Buffalo would again make it down to the New England 8-yard line, and Allen would find James Cook for the touchdown pass. This time, there were no penalties on the play, so the touchdown stood. The Patriots’ lead was now 3 points.
The lead would soon be slightly extended from the next drive from New England. Mac Jones and company would stall at the Bills 31-yard line, but Ryland would successfully kick the 49-yard field goal.
Buffalo would then make a vital error. At the Patriots 33-yard line, the Bills attempted a 4th down conversion. They needed 2 yards but were unsuccessful in this quest, as Josh Allen’s pass was incomplete. This handed possession back to New England, who nearly lost it soon after. From the Buffalo 33-yard line, Mac Jones was sacked and fumbled the ball. Luckily this was recovered by the Patriots so the drive continued. To put more icing on the cake, there was a penalty against the Bills’ defense on this play, so the Patriots actually gained yards from a sack/fumble. New England would make it down to the 4-yard line, where Jones would find Kendrick Bourne for the touchdown pass to increase their lead. The Patriots would then attempt a two-point conversion. However, this would be unsuccessful.
The Bills would immediately strike back. Allen and his offense would reach the Patriots’ 25-yard line, aided by a penalty against the Patriots defense. From there, Allen found his reliable target in Steffon Diggs for the 25-yard touchdown pass. Things would soon get better for the Bills, as the Patriots would fumble the ball deep in their own territory. This time, they were not able to recover it as the Bills had scooped it up. Buffalo would then advance down to the Patriots’ one-yard line. From there, Allen would find the endzone for the touchdown. As with the Patriots on their previous touchdown, the Bills also decided to go for two. Unlike New England, they were successful. This meant that with under two minutes to play, Buffalo had a 3-point lead. What could the Patriots do?
From their 25-yard line, the Patriots were able to drive down the field albeit aided by a few penalties against the Bills offense. They would reach the Buffalo one-yard line. From there, Jones would find Mike Gesicki for the winning touchdown of the game. Cue an incredibly bad attempt at the Griddy from Mac Jones. But, they had done it. The New England Patriots had upset the Buffalo Bills 29-25.
This game showed us that on any given day, teams that looked like they were imploding can perform well. This is the best performance of Mac Jones’s career and a very needed one in relation to his performances before this game. This victory gave Patriots head coach Bill Belichick his 300th win in the regular season and became only the third coach in the history of the NFL to do this. For Buffalo, it’s another defeat against an opponent that on paper they should have been able to defeat. Next week, the Patriots face another tough test in the Miami Dolphins while the Bills are on a short week, as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
The Eagles Strike Back
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins are two of the best teams in football this season. The Dolphins have the highest scoring offense in the league with some of the fastest players. The Eagles are consistently performing well, but last week lost their unbeaten record to the New York Jets. Both teams have 5 wins coming into this game and are both quarterbacked by former Alabama Crimson Tide QBs. Who would win this entertaining affair on Sunday night?
The Eagles would have the opening possession of the game and would be able to make something from it. Led by quarterback Jalen Hurts, the highly talented Eagles offense made its way into the Dolphins’ red zone, aided by two long passes from Hurts to Dallas Goedert. They would find themselves at the 8-yard line, but could not find these yards. In fact, they went backwards for most of this set. In the end, they would fall 6-yards short of the goal, setting up a 24-yard field goal attempt for Eagles kicker Jake Elliott. He would be successful with this attempt, and the Eagles would have a 3-point lead. In reply to this, the Dolphins struggled on their opening drive, quickly punting the ball back to Philadelphia.
It wouldn’t all be going well for the Eagles soon after. On their 33-yard line, Hurts was sacked for a loss of -11 yards. This would have ruined their drive, but that was not the worst thing about the play. Hurts fumbled the ball on the sack, which was scooped up by the Dolphins’ defense at the Eagles 23-yard line. This gave Miami a decent field position to put their first points on the board.
The Dolphins offense is statistically the best in the league and for good reason. Led by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins found themselves at the Eagles 7-yard line. However, from there, it all started to collapse. They would lose 5 yards on the next play, before being forced a further 10 yards back due to an offensive holding penalty. This ruined their drive and led Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders to kick a 40-yard field goal to level to scores.Embed from Getty Images
While the Dolphins could not find the endzone on their drive, the Eagles were able to on their next. Aided by a large penalty against the Miami defense, Philadelphia made its way into the Dolphins’ red zone. Then, from the 19-yard line, Hurts found Goedert for the touchdown pass to retake the lead.
This lead would be increased on the Eagles’ next drive. From the Dolphins 33-yard line, Hurts found Antonio Brown for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Or did he? Upon further inspection, Brown was ruled down at the one-yard line, striking the touchdown off the board, and forcing Philadelphia down to the one-yard line. If you follow the NFL, you know what happens when the Eagles are on the one-yard line. A “Tush-Push”, the “Brotherly-Shove”, or as sensible people call it, “A QB sneak”. That happened, and Hurts found the endzone to widen the Eagles lead.
On the last drive before halftime, the Dolphins finally showed the strong offense that we have become accustomed to this season. Tagovailoa and company drove down tho the Eagles’ 27-yard line, and from there Tua threw a deep pass to Taysom Hill for the touchdown. This meant that at halftime, the Eagles would have a 17-10 lead.
The second half did not start well for either team. Both teams would punt the ball away quickly from their opening drives. Miami would be the first to attempt to score in the second half. Aiding by a large gain of yardage from running back Raheem Mostert, the Dolphins were on the edge of the red zone, when they decided to attempt a 4th down conversion. Tagovailoa threw an incomplete pass, and possession was handed back to the Eagles.
This possession however did not last long. On the opening play of the drive at the Eagles 21-yard line, Hurts’ pass to Brown was intercepted by Jerome Baker, who would run the ball into the endzone for a Pick-6 touchdown to tie the game.Embed from Getty Images
This tie, like the Eagles’ previous possession, did not last long. Shaking off his interception, Hurts moved his offense down to the Dolphins 14-yard line. From there, Hurts would find Brown again for a touchdown pass. This time the touchdown did stand, and the Eagles regained the lead.
In reply to this, the Dolphins quickly found their way to the edge of the Eagles’ red zone. But then, at the 29-yard line, the Dolphins fumbled the ball. However, this was recovered by Tagovailia, who would pass the ball 5 yards to Jalen Waddle. Miami were less lucky on their next drive. Tua threw a deep pass to Raheem Mostrart, but his pass was intercepted on the one-yard line. This would be very costly for the Dolphins, as the Eagles would drive the ball down to the Miami 3-yard line. From there, Kenneth Gainwell ran the ball in for a 3-yard rushing touchdown to seal victory for the Eagles.
The Dolphins did have one more drive in the game, but it went nowhere. This meant that the Philadelphia Eagles had beaten the Miami Dolphins 31-17.
For the Eagles, this is a return to winning ways and improve to 6-1 for the season. I do think that they will continue to win games, and based on their current form, make at least the NFC Championship Game. I put on my Giants hat for a second, but someone has to stop them, I can’t deal with another Eagles Super Bowl appearance. For Miami, they lost to a better team, and fall to 5-2. However, they are still one of the best offenses in the NFL and should be able to make the playoffs if everyone stays healthy. Next week, Philadelphia faces the Washington Commanders, while, as mentioned above, the Dolphins welcome the Patriots to Florida.
High Scoring in Indy
Last week, the Cleveland Browns shocked the NFL after defeating the undefeated San Francisco 49ers and Brock Purdy. The Indianapolis Colts lost again to the Jacksonville Jaguars. To add to their woes, rookie quarterback Antony Richardson has elected to have season-ending surgery, so the Colts will have to start Gardner Minshew at quarterback. Who would win this game?
The Browns had the opening possession of the game and wasted no time in finding the endzone. Starting from their 23-yard line, the Browns offense moved the ball down to their 31-yard line. From there, Jerome Ford would run for 69 yards and found the endzone for the rushing touchdown to give Cleveland the early lead in the game. In reply to this, the Colts also started strong. Quarterback Garder Minshew moved his offense to their 41-yard line. From there, he would throw a deep pass to Josh Downs, who would find the endzone for a 59-yard touchdown pass. Two drives were played. Two long touchdowns from them. This game could be interesting.
Cleveland would then make a mistake. On their 27-yard line, Browns quarterback Deshawn Watson attempted a deep pass to Marquise Goodwin, however, this was intercepted by the Colts defense. To make things worse for the Browns, there was a penalty against them on the play. The Colts declined this penalty and gained possession. Luckily for Cleveland, Indianapolis could not do anything with this possession, and quickly punted the ball away.
The Colts’ luck would soon improve. Aided by another penalty against the Browns, Minshew, and company would find themselves in the Browns red zone. At the 17-yard line, Minshew would scramble into the endzone to give the Colts the lead. This lead they would soon lose. On their next drive, Minshew would be sacked in the Colts territory and would fumble the ball from the sack. The ball would be scooped up by the Browns, who had a good field position and could score. A few plays later, from the Colts’ 2-yard line, the Browns would run the ball into the endzone to tie the scores up again.
Indianapolis would try straight after the Browns score to regain their lead. They made it down to the Cleveland 26-yard line, before being forced back 10 yards due to an offensive holding penalty. They would continue to move back before Colts kicker Matt Gay would attempt a 60-yard field goal. He would be unsuccessful, as the Browns would block the field goal. In reply to this, the Browns would attempt a field goal on their next drive. Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins would be successful with a 44-yard attempt, handing Cleveland their first lead of the game.
This lead did not last long. The Colts would make it down to the Browns 4-yard line. From there, Minshew would scramble again for another touchdown. However, Minshew would make a massive error on his next possession. From the Colts’ 6-yard line, Minshew would be sacked inside the Colts endzone. This would normally be a safety, but he fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Browns defense for a touchdown. This gave the Browns the lead, which they would add to just before halftime when Hopkins kicked a 54-yard field goal.
This meant that at halftime, the Browns had a 27-21 lead over the Colts.
The Colts did not start well in the second half. Minshew would again be intercepted early on in the half. From this gain in possession, Cleveland converted this into 3 points, as Hopkins successfully kicked his second 54-yard field goal of the game.
However, Indianapolis would soon have some luck. On their next drive, they made it down to the Browns 5-yard line. From there, Jonathan Taylor ran the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown to reduce the lead to 2 points. Luck would continue for the Colts on the Browns’ next drive. It should be noted that at this stage, PJ Walker, last week’s destroyer of the 49ers and Brock Purdys’ streaks (we’ll see if they can recover from this later on) is in at quarterback for the Browns as Deshaun Watson was ruled out of the game injured. Walker struggled, and a 4th down attempt fumbled the ball. This handed possession back to the Colts, who would drive down to the Browns 9-yard line before stalling. Matt Gay would kick the 27-yard field goal to give Indianapolis the lead.Embed from Getty Images
The struggles in the Browns’ offense continued soon after, with Walker being intercepted by the Colts defense. However, Cleveland would get some points later, with Hopkins kicking a 58-yard field goal to retake the lead. This lead lasted only a minute, as Minshew would find Michael Pittman Jr. for a 75-yard touchdown. With time running out, what could the Browns do?
From their 20-yard line, the Browns advanced down to the Colts 1-yard line. There, they had 3 attempts to score. All 3 of those attempts failed, with Walker throwing 3 incomplete passes. Then, on a vital 4th down attempt, Kareem Hunt ran the ball into the endzone to give the Browns a one-point lead. Cleveland then decided to go for the two-point conversion to force the Colts into scoring a field goal with 15 seconds left to tie the game. This failed, and the Colts had one or two attempts to win the game.
On the last play of the game, Minshew would be sacked and again fumble the ball. This meant that the Cleveland Browns had defeated the Indianapolis Colts 39-38.
This was a very close game throughout. For the Browns, it is another win that improves them to 4-2 on the season. However, there are concerns about Watson’s injury. For the Colts, they lost the game on the last play of the game, but if you ignore the Sacks/fumbles from Minshew, it was a solid performance from them. Maybe they should put Sam Ehlinger as quarterback next week? But those Sacks/Fumbles cost them the game, and they fell to 3-4 on the season. Next week, the Browns visit the Seattle Seahawks, while the Colts face the New Orleans Saints.
The San Francisco 49ers’ unbeaten streak ended last week with their defeat to the Cleveland Browns. Luckily for them, they are still in pole position in the NFC West and are one of the better teams in the NFC, alongside Philadelphia, Dallas, and Detroit. They faced the Minnesota Vikings this week, who have had a poor start to the season. What would happen when these two met on Monday Night?
The Vikings would have the opening possession, but would not hold on to it for long. On the third play of the drive from the Vikings’ 44-yard line, quarterback Kirk Cousins attempted to throw a short pass to Jordan Addison. However, this play was intercepted by the 49ers defense. The poor ball control would continue straight after. On the 49ers opening drive, Brock Purdy would lead his offense down to the Vikings 15-yard line. Then, he would hand the ball to reliable target Christian McCaffrey, who returned after last week’s injury. McCaffrey would then fumble the ball, which was recovered by the Minnesota offense.
This turnover would be costly for San Francisco, as the Vikings’ offense would make its way down to the edge of the 49ers’ red zone. From the 20-yard line, Cousins would throw a deep pass to Addison who would find the endzone for a 20-yard touchdown pass to give the Vikings an early lead. In reply to this, the 49ers would also find themselves on the edge of the red zone. However, their drive stalled at the Minnesota 22-yard line. This set up 49ers kicker Jake Moody, who last week missed the game-winning field goal, with a 40-yard field goal. Moody would miss this, and the poor streak of kicks would continue for the former Michigan Wolverine.Embed from Getty Images
While the 49ers could not kick a field goal, the Vikings could. Their next drive would stall at the San Francisco 3-yard line. Cousins and company could not find those 3 yards, which set up Vikings kicker Greg Joseph with a 21-yard field goal attempt. He would make this, and the Vikings’ lead would be 10 points.
But not for long. On the next drive from the 49ers, Brock Purdy and the offense would be able to drive down to the Vikings’ 3-yard line. From there, McCaffrey would run the ball into the endzone, scoring the 3-yard rushing touchdown to put San Francisco back in the game. The touchdown scoring would continue with the next drive. With time running out on the half, the Vikings made their way to their 40-yard line. From there, Cousins and Addison would join up for a 60-yard touchdown pass. This would be the final score of the half, meaning that the Vikings would have a surprise 16-7 lead at halftime.
The Vikings would be able to add to their lead in the early parts of the second half. Minnesota would be able to reach the 49ers’ 18-yard line before a defensive pass interference penalty gifted the Vikings the one-yard line. However, the Vikings were not able to turn the good field position into a touchdown and had to settle for a 20-yard Greg Joseph field goal.
We would then see the 49ers offense back to their usual high-performing selves. Their next drive started at their 25-yard line, but they quickly made it down to the Vikings 35-yard line due to Purdy pairing up with George Kittle for a 28-yard pass. From the 35-yard line, Burdy would this time find McCaffrey for a 35-yard touchdown pass. This put San Francisco 5 points behind Minnesota.
The gap would widen on the next drive. The Vikings’ attempt at scoring would stall at the 49ers’ 36-yard line, setting up Joseph with a 54-yard field goal which he would be successful with. In reply to this, San Francisco attempted a field goal of their own. Jake Moody had to shake off his mistakes and kick a 55-yard field goal to keep his side in the game. He would make it, and the gap remained a 5 points.Embed from Getty Images
Then, Brock Purdy would make a mistake. Before this, he had moved the 49ers offense to the Vikings 49-yard line. From here, he threw a deep pass intended for Jauan Jennings. However, his pass was intercepted by the Vikings defense. In reply to this, Cousins and company made it down to the 49ers 32-yard line before this drive stalled, setting up a 50-yard field goal. Greg Joseph would miss this, handing possession back to the 49ers with under two minutes left to play needing a touchdown. Could they do it, or would the 49ers lose another game?
Brock Purdy was able to move the San Francisco offense across the 50-yard line and up to the Vikings’ 40-yard line. With time running out, they would have one or two attempts maximum to score the winning touchdown. Purdy attempted a deep pass intended for Ray-Ray McCloud. But, the ball fell into the hands of Vikings defender Camryn Bynum. They had done it.
The Minnesota Vikings had defeated the San Francisco 49ers 22-17.
With this win, the Vikings move to 3-4 on the season. Is this the moment when Minnesota can return to their form from last season and make a challenge to the Detroit Lions? For the 49ers, this is their second loss in two weeks. That has not happened since week 6 and week 7 last year. The good news is if history is going to repeat itself, the 49ers will not lose for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, I do not see that happening. Is it over for the 49ers, or am I just overreacting to two defeats? Next week, the Vikings face rivals the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, while the 49ers face off against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. Two big games right there.
What Happened in the Other Games?
The Jacksonville Jaguars continued their good season with a victory against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence was playing with a knee injury, but it looked like that wouldn’t stop him. New Orleans would launch a 4th quarter comeback, but Christian Kirk would score the winning 44-yard touchdown to give the Jaguars a 31-34 victory.
We had the battle of the backup quarterbacks in the game between the Chicago Bears and the Las Vegas Raiders. Representing Vegas was Brian Hoyer, a backup quarterback who spent most of his time at the Patriots. For the Bears, we had Tyson Bagnet, an undrafted quarterback who went to Shepard College, a Division II school. It would be youth over experience as the Bears would defeat the Raiders 30-12, with Bagnet throwing one touchdown pass.
The New York Giants faced the Washington Commanders, in a game in which the Giants wore their retro uniforms, which in my opinion look far nicer than the usual ones. The Giants still had Tyrod Taylor in at quarterback, and he performed well. New York were up 14-0 at halftime, the first time since they have shut out an opponent in the first half for two straight weeks since 2005. The Giants also got 6 sacks of Commanders quarterback Sam Howell. It’s nice to be on the other side for once. The second half was poor for both teams, with the Commanders scoring the only touchdown of the half. In the end, the Giants would win 14-7, giving them their second win of the season. After the game, some are talking about a quarterback battle between Taylor and Daniel Jones. I don’t see this happening. While Taylor is a great backup, do you really think that performance was that of a starting quarterback?Embed from Getty Images
It was a game of field goals when the Atlanta Falcons met the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With 45 seconds to go, Tampa Bay kicker Chase McLaughlin kicked what he thought would be the winning field goal. But, as time ran out, Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo kicked the winning field goal from 51 yards out to give the Falcons a 16-13 victory.
The Detroit Lions are a high-scoring offense. They seemed to forget this when they faced off against the Baltimore Ravens. Lions quarterback Jared Goff struggled in this game while Ravens quarterback Lamarr Jackson performed well, scoring 3 touchdowns and throwing for more than 350 yards in the Ravens’ surprise 38-6 rout of the Lions
The Los Angeles Rams have been in good form recently and looked like this would continue in their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was looking like this would be the case, but then the fourth quarter started. Two late touchdowns from the Steelers gave them a 24-17 victory over the Rams.
Over to the other side of Los Angeles, the Chargers, who have been playing far better football than their 2 wins tell us, faced the Kansas City Chiefs. For those who wanted to know, Taylor Swift was unfortunately at the game, so the cameras focused on her every minute. On the field, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had an amazing day, scoring 4 touchdowns and throwing for over 400 yards in the Chiefs 31-17 victory. That means the Chargers are now 2-4, but they are far better than their record.Embed from Getty Images
The Seattle Seahawks faced fellow NFC West team the Arizona Cardinals this weekend. Unsurprisingly, the Seahawks would defeat the Cardinals 20-10.
Without longtime quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers have been inconsistent. This week, they traveled to Mile High to face the Denver Broncos, who are coming off a second-half collapse last week against the New York Jets. The Broncos would not collapse this time and would hold on for a 19-17 victory over the Packers.
So that was week 7 in the NFL. Compared this last week, this week was far more exciting. Next week, New England will hope to continue their good form against the Dolphins, we have the New York derby, which by the way both teams have been playing will be either incredibly interesting or the worst game ever. We also have no teams on a bye, so everyone plays.