Taking a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.
ATL 30, MIA 28
The Dolphins lost their sixth-straight game even though they battled back from being down 20-7 to lead with two minutes left to play, but the Falcons kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired to win. Tua Tagovailoa passed for 291 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 29 yards. Mike Gesicki (7-85, TD) and Jaylen Waddle (7-83) led the receivers, while Tagovailoa used ten different receivers. Myles Gaskin ran for 67 yards on 15 carries and added a touchdown on his four receptions for ten yards. As usual, the Fins’ offense couldn’t quite keep up with what their own defense was giving away. The 1-6 Dolphins head to Buffalo for Week 8.
Matt Ryan threw for 336 yards and two scores between Russell Gage (4-67, TD) and Calvin Ridley (4-26, TD), while Kyle Pitts (7-163) is really starting to figure out this “chosen one” thing. Cordarrelle Patterson gained 60 yards and a score on 14 carries while Mike Davis (4-10) continues to retreat from the box score. Three Younghoe Koo field goals made the difference. The 3-3 Falcons pull up to .500 and host the reeling Panthers this week.
NYJ 13, NE 54
This result was expected. The Jets were never in it and went through two quarterbacks when Zach Wilson left the game with a knee injury and let Mike White finish. The best receivers were running backs Michael Carter (8-67) and Ty Johnson (6-65) though Corey Davis (4-47, TD) caught the lone touchdown. Carter ran for 37 yards on 11 rushes while Elijah Moore ran in a 19-yard touchdown. The Jets drop to 1-5 and host the Bengals this weekend.
It all worked for the Patriots. Mac Jones passed for his first 300-yard game with two touchdowns. The top receivers were Brandin Bolden (6-79, TD) and Kendrick Bourne (4-68), who also threw a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor (2-51, TD). Eight different receivers recorded at least two catches in the game. Damien Harris ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns, and JJ Taylor scored twice on his nine rushes for 21 yards as the final two scores in the game. The Patriots’ offense was flawless, but some of that credit belongs to the Jets’ defense. The 3-4 Patriots still have a losing record but looked like the Pats of old when playing the Jets. They head to Los Angeles to play the Chargers.
CAR 3, NYG 25
The Panthers lost their fourth-straight game, and the offense just gets worse and worse. Sam Darnold was eventually benched for P.J. Walker, and the only Panther receiver of any note was DJ Moore (6-73). No other wide receiver gained more than 16 yards. Chuba Hubbard only ran for 28 yards on 12 carries but added four catches for 28 yards. The Panthers scored their field goal in the first quarter and then watched the Giants reel off 25 straight points. The 3-4 Panthers started 3-0 and now can’t even score a touchdown. They play in Atlanta for Week 8.
The Giants finally won a home game though the offense didn’t do much in the process. Daniel Jones threw for 203 yards and one score while the best receivers were Darius Slayton (5-63) and Evan Engram (6-44). Devontae Booker ran for 51 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries but there weren’t any notable fantasy performances from this side either. The 2-5 Giants now head to Kansas City where the Chiefs are deep in though about what is going wrong.
KC 3, TEN 27
The expiration date on the Chiefs appears to have been passed after the AFC Conference Championship. These Chiefs are just nothing like the one that dominated the AFC for two seasons. Patrick Mahomes threw for just 206 yards and one interception in this shocker. His best receiver was Byron Pringle (5-73), while Travis Kelce (7-65) and Tyreek Hill (6-49) turned in lesser production. Darrel Williams handled all the rushing duties, which only meant five runs for 20 yards, though he added three catches for 30 yards. Take nothing from the Titans effort, but the 3-4 Chiefs host the Giants in Week 8 while searching for answers to questions that haven’t been asked in many years.
The Titans beat the Bills and Chiefs in a matter of six days, so their defense gets a lot of credit. Derrick Henry (29-86) finally did not break 100-rushing yards, but threw a touchdown just for giggles. Ryan Tannehill passed for 270 yards and one score to A.J. Brown (8-133, TD), but Julio Jones (2-38) and the rest of the receivers didn’t top 40 yards. There wasn’t any need since the Chiefs usually lost the ball whenever they got close to the endzone. These 4-2 Titans look so good that they belong among the top of the class in the AFC. They head to Indianapolis for Week 8.
WAS 10, GB 24
It was a surprise that the Packers only scored 24 points, but those were plenty to get the win. Aaron Rodgers passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns between Davante Adams (6-76, TD), Robert Tonyan (4-63, TD), and Alan Lazard (5-60, TD). The Packers’ rushing effort was little use and ineffective, with Aaron Jones held to 19 yards on six rushes and AJ Dillon running for only six yards on three carries. It was an off day for the backfield but an easy win. The 6-1 Packers head to Arizona for their biggest matchup of the year.
Washington may have only scored ten points, but Taylor Heinicke threw for 268 yards and one score, plus rushed for 95 yards on ten runs. Terry McLaurin (7-122, TD) and Ricky Seals-Jones (6-51) were the only receivers of any note, and McLaurin, in particular, was impressive since he is so heavily covered on every play. That’s also a statement on how poorly all the other wideouts have performed. The 2-5 Football Team plays in Denver in Week 8.
DET 19, LA 28
This game was the Matt Stafford vs. Jared Goff “Trading Places” matchup that played out better than expected for Goff. The Lions led numerous times throughout the game and were ahead 19-17 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Rams reeled off ten points in the fourth quarter for the win. It was a closer game than expected. Goff passed for 268 yards and one score but also had two interceptions. Kalif Raymond (6-115) was a surprise, and T.J. Hockenson (6-48) had the receptions but not the yards. D’Andre Swift ran for 48 yards on 13 carries and added eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown as one of the most productive fantasy backs this week. The 0-7 Lions host the Eagles this week.
The Rams looked like they stepped into a trap game in their own stadium in Week 7 when the Lions played far better than expected (or the Rams played far worse). By the time the dust all settled, everything was back in place. Matt Stafford posted 334 yards and three scores on his old team. Cooper Kupp (10-156, 2 TD) continues his career year while Robert Woods (6-70) and Van Jefferson (4-43, TD) contributed as well. But Darrell Henderson only gained 45 yards on 15 rushes as a game that seemed primed for a huge rushing effort never got on track. And the Lions were the No. 32 defense against running backs. The 6-1 Rams head to Houston for Week 8, where they get another chance at avoiding a trap game.
PHI 22, LV 33
The results were no surprise, but how the Raiders got there was. Josh Jacobs (6-29, TD) left injured, and Kenyan Drake (14-69, TD) took over and added three receptions for ten yards. Derek Carr passed for 323 yards and two scores, but Darren Waller was out, and Henry Ruggs (4-24) was bottled up. Foster Moreau (6-60, TD) became the lead receiver with help from Hunter Renfrow (7-58) and Bryan Edwards (3-43, TD). Carr completed 31-of-34 passes while the Raiders took over the game from the second quarter onward. Now a little over a week past the Gruden situation, the 5-2 Raiders look no worse for the event and head onto their bye in good shape to compete for the division.
The Eagles lost Miles Sanders at the end of the first quarter and relied on a combo of Boston Scott (7-24, TD) and Kenneth Gainwell (5-20), who also caught four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. Jalen Hurts passed for 236 yards and two scores while also rushing for 61 yards on 13 runs. Dallas Goedert (3-70) and DeVonta Smith (5-61) led the receivers but the Raiders held the passing game mostly in check. The 2-5 Eagles head to Detroit for a chance for a win or a very demoralizing loss.
HOU 5 , ARI 31
This was another heavily favored game that played out as expected but started slowly. The Texans took a 5-0 lead in the second quarter before the Cardinals woke up and took care of business. Davis Mills only threw for 135 yards and no scores, and Brandin Cooks settled for only 21 yards on five catches. David Johnson led the backfield with seven runs for 25 yards and caught five passes for 27 yards. The Texans are getting worse and the entire offense only gained 177 yards. They need to face a very soft defense and, oh look, here come the Rams in Week 8.
The Cardinals reach 7-0 on the season but are about to hit a tougher stretch in the schedule. Chase Edmonds (15-81) and James Conner (10-64, TD) were effective rushing the ball, and Kyler Murray passed for 261 yards and three scores. Those went to Zach Ertz (3-66, TD), DeAndre Hopkins (7-53, TD), and Christian Kirk (4-50, TD) in a game where everyone was good, but no one was great because the game just called for “win this and get out of here.” The unbeaten Cardinals host the 6-1 Packers for their toughest matchup of the season so far.
CHI 3, TB 38
The game wasn’t as close as the score suggested. Justin Fields faced one of the weaker secondaries in the NFL and threw for 184 yards and three interceptions. Allen Robinson (2-16) can only dream of what an average tight end produces, and the receivers are devoid of any fantasy relevancy. The only interesting aspect to this spanking was that Damien Williams returned and only ran three times for five yards while Khalil Herbert remained the primary back with 18 rushes for 100 yards, plus five catches for 33 yards. The 3-4 Bears host the 49ers for Week 8.
The dominating win didn’t have Rob Gronkowski or Antonio Brown and it did not need them. Tom Brady threw for 211 yards and four touchdowns between Chris Godwin (8-111, TD) and Mike Evans (6-76, 3 TD). No other receiver gained more than 16 yards. Leonard Fournette (15-81, TD) has taken over the backfield though Ronald Jones (10-63) got more work at the end of the game mopping up. The 6-1 Buccaneers head to New Orleans for this week.
IND 30, SF 18
The 49ers dropped their last four games and the Sunday night rain did nothing to help. Elijah Mitchell (18-107, TD) was given nearly all the carries for the backfield but never fielded any passes. Jimmy Garoppolo only threw for 181 yards and a score with two interceptions and one fumble lost. The entirety of the 49ers passing scheme continues to be all about finding Deebo Samuel (7-100, TD) since no other receiver gained more than 30 yards or scored. The 49ers defense wasn’t terrible but the four turnovers committed by the offense killed critical drives and opportunities. The 2-4 49ers head to Chicago for Week 8.
The Colts didn’t do anything special in the driving rain other than not throwing any interceptions. Carson Wentz only passed for 122 yards and one score to Mo Alie-Cox (3-25, TD). Michael Pittman (3-77) was the only notable receiver and only because of a 57-yard catch. Jonathan Taylor ran for 107 yards and a score on his 18 rushes and added three catches for three yards. The difference in the game was the turnovers that killed the 49ers chances to stay in the game. The 3-4 Colts host the Titans this week.
CIN 41, BAL 17
That’s how you take over a division. The visiting Bengals only led 13-10 at the half but then scored four straight touchdowns to turn this into a laugher that sent Lamar Jackson to the bench just to keep him from getting hit anymore. Joe Burrow threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns that were split between Ja’Marr Chase (8-201, TD) and C.J. Uzomah (3-91, 2 TD), who is on a plan to blow up every four weeks. The Ravens took away two of the wideouts and still got thumped. Chase included an 82-yard touchdown. Joe Mixon ran for 59 yards and one touchdown and it went so well that Samaje Perine ended up with 11 runs for 52 yards and a score. The win 5-3 Bengals now are tied for the AFC North lead and travel to New York to face the Jets.
The Ravens held about even with the Bengals until it all blew up in the second half. Jamar Jackson ended with 257 passing yards and one score and ran for 88 yards on 12 carries. Marquise Brown (5-80, TD) caught the only touchdown while Rashod Bateman (3-80) made the most of his three catches. Even Mark Andrews was held to just 48 yards on three catches. With Latavius Murray out, the backfield was a three-headed mess that combined for only 29 yards on nine carries. Devonta Freeman (4-14, TD) ran in a touchdown. The Ravens were flat and the Bengals played like a division leader. The 5-2 Ravens head onto their bye wondering how to handle the new version of the pesky Bengals.