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NFL Week 7 Summary, Week 8 Preview


by Blake Krantz
Week 7 of the NFL season saw pivotal victories from many teams, with the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, and Miami Dolphins potentially turning their seasons around with impressive performances.
Thursday night, the Seahawks defeated the 49ers 20-3, in a game which, at least in the minds of the “12th man” in Seattle, began to reassert the Seahawks as a legitimate threat to make a deep playoff run this season.
In reality, much remains to be seen from an uncharacteristically vulnerable Seahawks defense. The way San Francisco has played for much of this year, Boston College’s defense would have a shot at holding them to three points.
The Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints also won in dramatic fashion on the road in Week 7, with the Raiders rolling over San Diego 37-29 and the Saints handing the Colts a 27-21 loss in a game which stood at 20-0 New Orleans at halftime.
Oakland now looks to be the favorite to finish second behind Denver in the AFC West, and New Orleans was able to maintain the slightest hope of catching Carolina and Atlanta in the NFC South.
The game between the Dolphins and Texans looked like a college game at halftime. And I do not mean a low-scoring tough game like the Alabama-LSU matchup coming up in two weeks. I mean a Baylor game, with the Dolphins leading the Texans 41-0 at halftime.
I guess J.J. Watt needed some help on defense in this one for Houston, as Miami led Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, and Jarvis Landry, ran up the score on the Texans, who almost appeared as if they were trying to solidify their place as the worst team in the NFL.
The Dolphins, now sitting at 3-3 under new coach Dan Campbell, will try to climb back into the AFC East picture with a huge game against the undefeated Patriots Thursday Night. Unfortunately, the Pats hardly ever lose in Foxboro, and Miami should be put back into its place in Week 8, as a lower-end wildcard contender.
The rest of Week 8 appears to contain multiple marquee matchups, such as the Cincinnati Bengals versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seattle Seahawks versus the Dallas Cowboys, and the Green Bay Packers versus the Denver Broncos.
In the former, the Steelers will finally see the return of their star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, whose presence is likely to ignite an offense which has remained relatively average in his absence, but has still performed far from its potential.
The Bengals, on the other hand, are undefeated at 6-0 going into this game, and will pose a serious threat on the road in Pittsburgh. Led by quarterback Andy Dalton, the Bengals have looked impeccable at certain points during this season, although I see them coming down to Earth in this game.
Pittsburgh, powered by a formidable trio of Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’veon Bell on offense, will hand Cincinnati its first loss of the season on a late game-winning touchdown drive, pleasing the home crowd of “terrible-towel waving” Steelers fans.
Seattle will travel to Dallas Sunday afternoon, and although this matchup looks “NFC Championship-esque” on paper, neither team has performed particularly well in the first seven weeks of this season.
The Cowboys have been decimated by injuries this season to superstars Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, leading to Dallas’ disappointing 2-4 start. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have been an enigma all season, as Seattle has jumped out to four first half leads this season, only to see its usually stellar defense squander them in the second half.
Nonetheless, as much as I would love to pick backup quarterback Matt Cassel and Dallas in this one, the Seahawks will prove too much for the handicapped Cowboys, and Dallas should sit at 2-5 by the end of Week 8.
Finally, the Packers will travel to Denver on Sunday Night Football in a meeting of two undefeated teams this week. Both teams are coming off of a Week 7 bye, giving their respective stars plenty of time to prepare for this primetime matchup.
Although Denver quarterback Peyton Manning should have a bounceback game by default (he couldn’t do much worse), Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ lethal offense will prove stronger than the Broncos’ almost equally lethal defense.
Denver has been scoring lots of points this season off of interceptions returned for touchdowns so far this season, and when Rodgers is on the other sideline, this advantage is likely to be curtailed. Ultimately, the Packers will cruise to a 31-24 victory Sunday night, with the Packers’ defense proving to be the surprise in this one with a pivotal touchdown.

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