The NFL never fails to create surprises, and this year is no different. As the season enters its seventh week, it becomes clear which teams are starting to gain momentum and who is treading water desperately trying to stay within range of a playoff berth.
What is happening in the NFC?
The Arizona Cardinals undoubtedly deserve the first mention as they sit 6-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the NFL. They looked extremely well balanced on offense as the acquisition of powerful defensive end JJ Watt, combined with star linebacker Chandler Jones and safety Budda Baker, made them one of the best defensive teams in the NFL. This weekend, they will face a dismal Houston Texans side who shouldn’t pose a threat to a dominant Kyler Murray and co.
The Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys all hold 5-1 records, with the latter not playing this week. New Rams QB Matthew Stafford has looked very confident so far and found a favorite target in wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who has 46 catches (tied for 1st in the NFL), seven touchdowns (1st) for a total of 653 yards (2nd). Against the Detroit Lions, who have yet to win a match, everything points to a comfortable victory for Sean McVay’s men.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are on a five-game winning streak and welcome the Washington football team, which has not had the best of times this season and ranks 2-4 in its division. After announcing that “I still own you” to fans in Chicago last week, Rodgers will be looking to extend this winning streak. The only cause for concern would be the exhausted offensive roster against one of the league’s scariest players at Chase Young.
Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, continues to age like a fine wine in sunny Tampa, and with his team dominating on both sides of the ball, it’s hard to bet against anything other than a victory in Tampa this weekend. Facing the Chicago Bears and their much-loved rookie QB Justin Fields, Brady will be looking to put on an exhibition for one of the league’s brightest prospects. That could be a big lesson for Fields and he should probably bring a notepad to Raymond James Stadium.
Teams looking worse for wear include the aforementioned New York Lions and Giants, while the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles are set for a win soon or things could start to turn sour.
What’s going on at AFC?
The Baltimore Ravens are the only 5-1 team in the AFC, are on a five-game winning streak and still haven’t looked near their best. Double-threat QB Lamar Jackson seems more precise every week and still hasn’t had a full lineup of linemen to protect him. Joe Burrow’s Bengals will try to end this streak. With Cincinnati sitting just below the Ravens in AFC North, this game could see a change of leader in the division, and while it’s hard to look past the Ravens, the Bengals pose a threat and shouldn’t. be taken lightly.
The Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans are all proud owners of a 4-2 record after the Titans beat Buffalo on Monday night. The two are looking for serious playoff contenders and wouldn’t look out of place to fight for a divisional championship. The Raiders didn’t seem fazed by the sacking of head coach Jon Gruden in their victory last week, with their next opposition, the Eagles, not stealing as their name suggests. Inexperienced QB Jalen Hurts learns on the job, but in a sport where mistakes are frequently punished, Philly is hoping for a fortune pickup sooner rather than later.
The AFC is proving a much more difficult test for many teams, including former Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs, who share a 3-3 record with the Browns, Steelers and Broncos. The Browns host the Broncos in this week’s Thursday Night Football, with both teams looking to bounce back from the week six losses. The Patriots suffered a landslide overtime loss to the Cowboys, but will look to bounce back against a poor New York Jets, whose 1-4 is only slightly better than the Jaguars, Dolphins and Texans, who hold record-setting records. 1-5. It’s fair to say these teams couldn’t be further from the challenge for the playoffs this season unless things improve dramatically.
Week 7 matches (courtesy of Betfred)
21/20 Denver Broncos @ Cleveland Browns 4/5
3/1 Washington Football Team @ Green Bay Packers 1/4
2/5 Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans 2/1
10/23 Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens 1/3
8/13 Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants 10/13
7/10 Atlanta Falcons @ Miami Dolphins 6/5
13/5 New York Jets @ New England Patriots 3/10
10/13 Philadelphia Eagles @ Las Vegas Raiders 8/13
13/2 Detroit Lions @ Los Angeles Rams 1/10
5/1 Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1/7
17/2 Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals 1/14
7/4 Indianapolis Colts @ San Francisco 49ers 4/9
4/9 New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks 9/5