Five observations on the seventh weekend of the 2017 NFL season:
1. The number 10,363 will be remembered in pro football history like 73-0 – a number we will never see again.
Joe Thomas played 10,363 consecutive snaps until the streak was snapped Sunday with a triceps injury and ended his season. The shame is he did it for the today’s version of the Cleveland Browns, who are 0-7 and 1-22 the last two years. He should have had a chance to play for the Paul Brown Cleveland Browns.
Now the question is whether Thomas will retire next year or come back from his triceps injury. Whenever he retires, he’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
2. In just his second season, quarterback Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles is reaching elite status.
Wentz has the Eagles at 6-1 – the best record in the league – after throwing four touchdown passes in the 34-24 victory over the Washington Redskins. With Atlanta imploding and the Green Bay Packers playing without Aaron Rodgers, the Eagles have a good shot at the Super Bowl.
Injuries are their one problem. They lost left tackle Jason Peters and linebacker Jordan Hicks on Monday night, increasing the number of players they’ve lost for the year to five. But if Wentz keeps playing the way he is now, though, the Eagles may overcome the injuries.
3. When the Falcons started out 3-0, it looked as if they were overcoming their Super Bowl hangover. But after a 23-7 loss to the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl rematch, the Falcons are 3-3 after three consecutive losses.
The Patriots had given up 300 yards passing to every quarterback they had played this year, yet the Falcon scored only a touchdown and never got their offense rolling.
The last time a team lost the Super Bowl and won it the next year was the Miami Dolphins in 1972. It is starting to look as if the Falcons are not going to end that streak. Meanwhile if the Patriots have fixed their defense, they could be on the way to another Super Bowl.
4. The Packers got their first look at how difficult life is going to be without Aaron Rodgers.
Brett Hundley, a fifth-round pick in 2015, struggled in a 26-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He completed only 12 of 25 passes for 87 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
Unless Hundley suddenly matures, it doesn’t look like he will take the Packers to the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl.
5. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts are going in different directions.
The Jaguars have won one playoff game since 1999, while the Colts have dominated the AFC South division for years. But the Jaguars’ 27-0 rout of the Colts showed the Colts are no longer a contender even if Andrew Luck returns.
Chuck Pagano figures to be fired at the end of the year, if not before. The Colts have to rebuild. And the Jaguars, who had 10 sacks for the second time this year, are now in a three-team race with the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans for the division title.