NFL Week 7 in review

As the season nears the halfway mark, there is one unbeaten team (Pittsburgh) and one winless team (the Jets).

The Steelers remained unbeaten by handing Tennessee its first loss while the Jets fell to the Bills, who ended a two-game losing streak.

The odds are better that the Jets will go winless than the Steelers will go unbeaten.

–Seattle fell from the unbeaten ranks when Kyler Murray beat them in a comeback in the same stadium where the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots. The loss means there is a three-team race in the NFC West with the Seahawks at 5-1 and the Cardinals and Rams a game back at 5-2. It was a costly loss three-team for the Seahawks, who would have had a two-game edge over the Rams and a three game margin over the Cardinals in the loss column with a win.

–Speaking of the Patriots, they’re 2-4 without Tom Brady after being routed by the 49ers. Meanwhile, Brady is 5-2 with the Bucs after the easy win over the Raiders.

–The Lions may have a shot at saving Matt Patricia’s job after evening their record to 3-3 with the victory over the Falcons, who probably would have won if Todd Gurley hadn’t gone into the end zone while trying to stop at the one to take time off the clock. That gave Matthew Stafford time to put together a game-winning drive.

–How Nick Foles beat Brady in a Super Bowl remains one of the most inexplicable results in NFL history. He’s back struggling with the Bears and threw two picks against the Rams. Mitch Trubisky had better stats and he was benched Foles.

–Who needs third down? The Chiefs went 0-for-8 on third down and still crushed the Broncos to boost their record to 6-1. The Broncos are 2-4. That Elway guy was a better QB than he is a GM.

–It’s a two-team race in the AFC South. The Titans are 5-1 and the Colts are 4-2 while the Jaguars and Texans are 1-6.

–The Steelers are the only unbeaten team at 6-0 but the Ravens are nipping at their heels at 5-1. The Browns are 5-2 after the victory over the Bengals but don’t have the look of a contender because they were crushed by the Steelers a week ago, 38-7.

–Jerry Jones is good at making money. Running a football team? Not so much. The Cowboys fell to 2-5 after being routed by the Washington football club. Yes, the Cowboys have been hit hard by injuries but they look like a team that was overrated coming into the season. Hard to believe the Cowboys are still in the division race, tied with Washington and a half game back of the 2-4-1 Eagles.

Previewing NFL Week 7

The highlight game this week features a pair of 5-0 teams – Titans vs. Steelers. The only surprising thing about this game is that it is not only not in prime time, it’s now even a doubleheader game. It has a 1 p.m. start. But since CBS has only two other 1 p.m. games it will be like a national game with most of the country seeing it.

—The 5-0 Seahawks will aim to join the Steeler-Titan winner at 6-0. The face a test against the 4-2 Cardinals, who need a victory to avoid falling three games behind the Seahawks in the loss column so they have more at stake.

—The 5-1 Chiefs figure to go to 6-1 against the 2-3 Broncos, who need a victory to avoid falling three games behind the Chiefs in the loss column.

—The New England Patriots are learning that life without Tom Brady can be challenging. They’re 2-3 and need a victory over the 2-3 49ers with both teams trying to avoid a 2-4 start.

—Meanwhile, Brady has the Bucs at 3-2 and faces a 3-2 Raider team coached by the same Jon Gruden, who was coaching the Raiders when they lost the Brady Tuck Rule game in the snow that started the Patriot dynasty. The Raiders have been hit by a Covid outbreak so it is uncertain how prepared they will be for the game.

—After losing two in a row, Buffalo has a get-well game against the winless Jets, who have the inside track in the Trevor Lawrence Derby.–The Panthers and Saints face a critical in the NFC South with both teams at 3-2.–Nick Foles has come off the bench to lead the Bears to a 5-1 start and now he faces a challenging game against the 4-2 Rams.

NFL Week 6 in review

Ten teams have one win and only one of them figures to make the playoffs because three of them are in the NFC East.

And the Jets are winless, so that means it is likely 21 teams are fighting for 13 playoff spots.

The 14th goes to the NFC East champion. Dallas currently leads at 2-4. The Eagles are 1-4-1. It might not seem fair that one of them is likely to host a playoff game against a team with a better record.

But the divisions are the bedrock of the NFL and to deny a division champion a home game cheapens a division title.

—Even though the Cowboys are leading their division, they are a dumpster fire after the loss to Arizona. They have lost quarterback Dak Prescott, and anonymous players are already second-guessing new coach Mike McCarthy. It is going to test McCarthy’s mettle as he tried to unite the team and come back from this.

—Just a week after the Bucs lost to the Bears when Tom Brady lost track of downs, they rebounded to crush the Packers while handcuffing Aaron Rodgers.

—Tennessee didn’t get much respect last year for making the AFC title game. But they are for real with Ryan Tannehill finding new life at quarterback and Derrick Henry fueling the running game. They’re one of three unbeaten teams along with Seattle and Pittsburgh after their comeback win over the Texans.

—There was a lot of hype for the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game but it turned out to be just another typical Pittsburgh-Cleveland game dominated by the Steelers. The Browns are pretenders and the Steelers are contenders.

—Two coaches went for two at the end of games last week and both lost. But Romeo Crennel, the interim Houston coach made the right move in trying to get a nine-point lead over Tennessee. He knew his defense couldn’t stop the Titans in crunch time and they didn’t. Washington’s Ron Rivera made a bonehead move in doing it against the Giants trailing by a point. He had a better chance of winning the game in overtime rather than betting t on a two-point try, which is successful about half the time.

—Bill Belichick is finding out what life is like without Tom Brady. The Patriots are 2-3 and under .500 at the five-game mark for the first time since 2003. The Patriots may still win their division once they get back to practicing after their facility was closed because of positive COVID-19 tests, but they not likely to win the Super Bowl. But then Brady isn’t likely either.

Previewing NFL Week 6

The feature matchup this week pits Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady when Green Bay goes to Tampa Bay for the Fox doubleheader game.

Green Bay is unbeaten at 4-0, while the Bucs are 3-2 and coming off a game where Brady not only lost but lost track of downs in the final drive.

The Bucs are desperate for a victory.

—The Bills and Chiefs are both coming off their first losses since starting out 4-0, so the loser drops to 4-2. The defending champion Chiefs figure to get back on track.

—The Rams and 49ers lost the last two Super Bowls, but the Rams at 4-1 are playing like a team that was in the Super Bowl two years ago while the 49ers are 2-3 and playing like a team having a Super Bow loss hangover after losing it last year.

A loss would drop the 49ers four games in the loss column behind the 4-0 Seahawks, who have a bye, in the NFC West.

—The two New York teams are likely to fall to 0-6 as the Jets play Miami and the Giants play Washington. The interesting thing about the Jets is that they’ve not only lost five games, but they haven’t covered the spread in any of them. Betting against the Jets has been a good investment this year. They’re about a 10-point dog against Miami, but don’t figure to cover.

—Dallas starts the Andy Dalton era (who knows when Dak Prescott will be back) against Arizona. A loss would drop them to 2-4 but they’d still be in contention in the NFC East. The 1-3-1 Eagles figure to go to 1-4-1 with a loss to the Ravens, so the Cowboys could wind up tied for first with Washington, which is 1-4 and plays the Giants. This division is a dumpster fire.

—Carolina has been under the radar while winning the last three after losing the first two to climb into a first place tie in the NFC South with the Bucs and Saints. The Panthers play the Bears, who are 4-1. The big question for the Bears is how Nick Foles plays. He struggled against the Colts in his first start but outdueled Tom Brady last week.

—The Steelers and Browns are an old rivalry that dates back to 1950 although there was a three-year hiatus when the Browns move to Baltimore. Both are off to good starts. The Steelers are 4-0 for the first time since 1979 and the Browns are 4-1 for the first time in 25 years when they had a coach named Bill Belichick. But the Steelers have dominated the rivalry for decades and Baker Mayfield suffered a rib injury last week and may not be 100 percent, so the edge will likely go to the Steelers.

NFL Week 5 in review

Tennessee posted the most surprising victory of the weekend, routing the Bills 42-16 in a rare Tuesday night game after dealing with a virus outbreak.

The victory kept the Titans unbeaten at 4-0, dropped the Bills to 4-1 and raised questions about whether Bills are as good as their record.

—The virus continued to cause havoc with the schedule as the Denver-New England game was first moved to Monday night and then postponed to an undetermined future date.The question remains whether the league will be able to play the entire season.

—Kansas City’s bid for a perfect season as defending champions ended with the loss to the Raiders and now, they find themselves only a game ahead of the Raiders in the AFC West.

—Dan Quinn was fired as the Atlanta coach after the Falcons fell to 0-5. They never really overcame 28-3. GM Thomas Dimitroff was also fired by owner Arthur Blank, so the Falcons will start over.

—Seattle did come back from a devastating Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. And Russell Wilson, who threw the devastating interception from the 1 in that Super bowl loss, remains an MVP candidate as he led the Seahawks to a 27-26 win over the Vikings by putting together a 94-yard drive in the final two minutes.

—Alex Smith completed an amazing comeback story after suffering a life-threatening leg injury two years ago and having to undergoing 17 surgeries. He threw his first pass in 683 days after Dwayne Haskins was benched and Kyle Allen was hurt. The Washington team still lost to the Rams, but it doesn’t take away from his amazing comeback.

—The 49ers’ 43-17 rout at the hands of the Dolphins dropped them to 2-3 and raised questions whether they are still a contender just a year after losing the Super Bowl to Chiefs. Were they a one-year wonder?

—The Browns at 4-1 are off to their best start in 25 years when they were coached by a guy named Bill Belichick.

—Dallas season is now in the hands of Andy Dalton after Dak Prescott suffered a season ending injury that raised doubts about his future and his bid for a new contract. His injury showed why players want long term deals and hate the franchise tag.

—A New York team has a good shot at getting the first pick. The Giants and Jets are 0-5.