Later today, the 2017 NFL regular season will enter its eighth week when the Baltimore Ravens host the Miami Dolphins for a prime time matchup. Before we start focusing on what is ahead, though, it is time to take one final look back at week number seven – and it has again been an eventful one around the NFL.
1. The Jets still can't hold onto a lead: Last week, New York was able to jump to a 14-0 lead against the Patriots. This week, New York was able to jump to a 28-14 lead against the Dolphins. Both times, the Jets could not hang on and ultimately lost to fall to 3-2 to 3-4 within two weeks. Gang Green is playing surprisingly competitively this season but holding onto leads is a major issue for the team.
2. The starter-backup-disparity is not as big in Miami as it is in Green Bay: Speaking of Miami, the team had to replace quarterback Jay Cutler in the third quarter. His replacement, Matt Moore, fared rather well showing that he is not as big of a downgrade as other backups in the NFL are – like the Packers' Brett Hundley, for instance. In his first NFL start, the UCLA product completed just 12 of 25 pass attempts for a measly 87 yards while also throwing an interception.
3. Joe Thomas is not invincible: One of the best players of his generation, Thomas has not missed a snap since getting drafted in 2007. However, his streak of 10,363 consecutive offensive snaps snapped on Sunday against the Titans, when he suffered a season-ending triceps injury. Tough break for a player that has been the only stable thing to happen to the Browns this century.
4. Offensive struggles were on the menu: Six teams failed to score a touchdown on Sunday; three teams failed to put points on the score boards at all. In short: It was a terrible week for offensive production – and no teams were immune: The mighty Falcons scored only seven points (in garbage time), the Titans and Browns combined for seven field goals but no touchdowns, the Panthers offense was outscored by the Bears defense. And also, this:
5. The Colts and Broncos were historically bad on Sunday: Peyton Manning's two former teams did something they never did when he was around: get shut out. Indianapolis and Denver both failed to score on Sunday, bringing two impressive streaks to an end on the same day. The Colts suffered their first shutout loss in 24 seasons, the Broncos their first in 25.
6. A rookie defender is the Bears' most prolific scorer: Chicago, which has improved its record to 3-4, defeated the visiting Panthers 17-3. Of the Bears' 17 points, 12 were scored by the same player: Eddie Jackson, a rookie safety. Jackson outscored both his and the Panthers offense by running a fumble back 75 yards and an interception 76.
7. Thursday night again produced one of the most entertaining games of the week: Thursday night football has long been known for only one thing: bad football. However, two of the 2017 season's most entertaining contests happened on Thursday – the latest of which came one week ago, when the Raiders celebrated a literal last-second victory over the visiting Chiefs.
8. Carson Wentz belongs in the MVP discussion: While Wentz is not the most valuable player in the NFL just yet, he is quickly entering this sphere. After all, there is no denying that he plays as big a huge role as any player in leading the Eagles to an NFL-best 6-1 record. On Monday against Washington, this was on display once again: The second-year pro put up impressive numbers as a passer while also being Philadelphia's leading rusher.
9. The Jaguars and Rams lead the NFL in point differential through seven weeks: Seven weeks ago, projecting the Jaguars and Rams to be among the NFL's better teams this season would have been classified as a “hot take”. But here we find ourselves, seven weeks into the season and the two teams are either tied for the division lead (Jaguars) or lead straight up (Rams). Furthermore, the two have the best point differentials in their respective conferences: Los Angeles has a league-best +74, Jacksonville +73.
10. Atlanta plays only the AFC East nowadays – and can't beat it: The NFL's 2017 schedule makers have given the Falcons a pretty weird slate of games. Atlanta is currently in the middle of a four-game stretch during which the team exclusively plays the AFC East. Of course, with Sunday's loss to the Patriots, the team is currently 0-3 against the NFL's most competitive division. Against the Jets this week, a AFC East shutout is on the line.
Bonus: Speaking of weird things, week seven produced this play:
Quite the play in the Bills-Buccaneers game. pic.twitter.com/4opL0nfEy5— Bernd Buchmasser (@BerndBuchmasser) October 24, 2017