This past weekend’s NFL action marked a week of high scores, big upsets, controversial calls and battered quarterbacks. We saw young passers like Colt McCoy, Matt Moore and Josh Freeman lead their teams to poised victories, while veterans like Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Jay Cutler had weeks they’d like to forget. Read below to catch up on some of the NFL’s biggest Week 7 stories.
If you started at quarterback in Week 7 and escaped without injury, consider yourself lucky. Some high profile QBs are limping into Week 8 or will miss it completely. The most notable injury was suffered by Cowboys hurler Tony Romo, who may have seen his season come to an end after exiting Monday’s game with a broken clavicle. The injury is said to take 6-8 weeks to heal. With a 1-5 record, it’s not likely that the Cowboys will be in a position to risk Romo returning to the field this season.
Also banged up was Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, who reports suggest has two fractures in his left ankle. Though experts have questioned Favre’s ability to start the team’s Week 8 contest against the Patriots, Brett says he’s willing to give it a try. If Favre were to sit out, it would end a NFL-record 291 consecutive games, 315 including the playoffs.
Mile High Massacre
There are losses, and then there are losses. No matter how good or bad the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos are when they meet, it’s usually a well contested game between two teams that absolutely hate each other’s guts. That wasn’t the case on Sunday, as the Raiders marched into Denver and demoralized the Broncos, winning the game 59-14. The 59 points marked the most points scored in the 50-year history of the Raiders. Leading the charge was our Week 7 Player of the Week Darren McFadden, who posted a combined 196 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The last two Bronco coaches who lost by three or more touchdowns to the Raiders at home didn’t return the following season. Perhaps knowing that his job is on the line, Broncos Coach Josh McDaniels apologized to Broncos fans and team owner Pat Bowlen for the embarrassing performance. He’ll certainly need to find a way to move the team forward as they travel to London to play the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
Where there’s controversy, the Pittsburgh Steelers probably aren’t far away. After linebacker James Harrison was at the center of last week’s “devastating hit” scandal, the Steelers were once again in the news, this time for a controversial call made by officials. On a 3rd and 2 play with less than 3 minutes left to play and the Steelers trailing 20-19, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ran the ball on a designed play and attempted to dive across the goal line. Roethlisberger fumbled the ball as he crossed the line, but the play was still called a touchdown on the field.
After a review that clearly showed Roethlisberger fumbling the ball prior to crossing the goal line, the officials overturned the touchdown, but still awarded the Steelers the football because they didn’t have clear evidence that it was the Dolphins who indeed recovered the loose ball. In other words, they didn’t know happened. Roethlisberger insists he had a piece of the ball in the pile, but Dolphins players believe linebacker Ikaika Alama-Francis had possession. “I just don’t understand the ruling,” he said. “I had possession,” said Francis.
This call may rank up there with the infamous “Tuck Rule” call from the 2002 AFC Division Playoff meeting between the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots. The video of Alama-Francis celebrating with the football isn’t actually visual proof that it was he who recovered the ball. I’m thinking this will be addressed in a future meeting.
Week 7 Scores:
Cincinnati Bengals – 32, Atlanta Falcons – 39
Pittsburgh Steelers – 23, Miami Dolphins – 22
Buffalo Bills – 34, Baltimore Ravens – 37
Jacksonville Jaguars – 20, Kansas City Chiefs – 42
Cleveland Browns – 30, New Orleans Saints – 17
San Francisco 49ers – 20, Carolina Panthers – 23
St. Louis Rams – 17, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 18
Philadelphia Eagles – 19, Tennessee Titans – 37
Arizona Cardinals – 10, Seattle Seahawks – 22
New England Patriots – 23, San Diego Chargers – 20
Oakland Raiders – 59, Denver Broncos – 14
Minnesota Vikings – 24, Green Bay Packers – 28
New York Giants – 41, Dallas Cowboys – 35
NFL Power Rankings Top 10
1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Every Super Bowl winner has a lucky game or two during the season.
2. New York Jets – The Jets maintain their standing during the Bye Week.
3. New England Patriots – Turn the ball over against New England, you’re probably not going to win.
4. Baltimore Ravens – Was anybody surprised Buffalo blew that lead?
5. New York Giants – They’re really making life on opposing quarterbacks hard. Plus, that group of receivers is really good.
6. Houston Texans – A week off and next up is the Colts rematch. Moment of truth this week.
7. Indianapolis Colts – Colts are going to need some plug-n-play magic with those injuries to Clark and Collie.
8. New Orleans Saints – Madden Curse? Defending Champion Curse? Not much you can really say about this team getting handled by the Browns at home. Brees looked awful.
9. Tennesee Titans – Starting to look a lot like that team from two years ago.
10. Atlanta Falcons – They really had no business letting the Bengals creep back into that game, but they’ve played well this season.
images via Yahoo