15 Biggest Takeaways From Week 7 Of NFL Action

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15 Biggest Takeaways From Week 7 Of NFL Action

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season is in full swing, and Week 7 gave us some of our best games of the year. We saw the beast of the league get beat for the first time, a young quarterback make his case to be considered among the best and another young quarterback make his case to be considered a career backup.

This is about the time when we start to really figure the teams out. We know who are the contenders and who are the pretenders. Early in the season we can be swayed by one or two wins, but now we have enough of a body of work to know who is really good and who isn’t. Some teams stepped it up in Week 7 and made their case to be considered in the playoff picture from here going forward, and some teams stumbled on their way towards irrelevancy.

And it’s not just teams that show their true colors this time of the year. Players give us enough of a body of work to know if they are here to stay or were just a flash in the pan early in the season. For many teams this is the point in the year when they need to make the decision if the players they have are good enough to get them where they want to be, or if they need to start making plans to go in other directions.

These are the 15 biggest takeaways from a really good Week 7 of NFL action.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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15. The Kansas City Chiefs Are Here To Stay

Kansas City Chiefs
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have been the best surprise of the season so far. They have a dominant defense, a reliable quarterback and a proven coach. Maybe it's not such a surprise after all that they find themselves the last remaining chance to finally rid us all of that old Miami Dolphins team once and for all.

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14. Chris Ivory Is Just What The Jets Need At Running Back

Chris Ivory
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets have been looking for a running back to take some of the offensive burden off the shoulders of rookie quarterback Geno Smith all year. They may have found the answer in Chris Ivory, who carried the ball 34 times for 104 yards, including nine times on the game-winning drive in overtime.

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13. The Chicago Bears Are In Trouble

Chicago Bears
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears were one of the better teams in the early part of the season. And, much of that success was because Jay Cutler was flourishing under the watchful eye of new head coach Marc Trestman. Now that Cutler will miss at least four weeks, the Bears are in trouble of falling out of the race for a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive NFC North.

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12. Brandon Weeden Was Holding The Cleveland Browns Back

Brandon Weeden
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

First the Cleveland Browns started Brandon Weeden and they struggled. Then they started Brian Hoyer and they thrived, but when they put Weeden back in they struggled again. A pretty clear message emerged. Apparently the Browns got the message too and are planning to start Jason Campbell this week. Ouch.

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11. The Detroit Lions Are Underrated

Detroit Lions
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Despite losing to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Detroit Lions looked pretty good in Week 7. Matthew Stafford is having a quietly good season, and the Lions could find themselves in the playoffs this year.

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10. The New England Patriots Defense Is In Trouble

New England Patriots Defense
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a confusing year for the New England Patriots. Tom Brady isn't the player he was just a couple of years ago, the receivers have been frustrating and they were winning games on the backs of the defense instead of the offense. Now that they are starting to have some success on the offense, the defense is being decimated by key injuries.

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9. Cam Newton Will Always Be Inconsistently Good

Cam Newton
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton played a good game on Sunday. He was 15-of-17 passing for a touchdown and no interceptions. All that proved is that every time he goes out and disappoints, it's not because he can't get it done.

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8. Geno Smith Might Actually Be Good

Geno Smith
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to believe right now that just a couple of months ago Geno Smith looked like a total bust. He's improved each and every week, including a really good game against the New England Patriots in Week 7.

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7. The Jacksonville Jaguars Might Be The Worst Team Ever

Jacksonville Jaguars
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, we might have known this before Week 7, but yet another loss hammered it home. The Jacksonville Jaguars might be on their way to a winless season.

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6. Le'Veon Bell Makes The Pittsburgh Steelers Competitive

Le'Veon Bell
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers struggled out of the gate this year. They have issues at quarterback, for sure, but they got back to their running roots this week by another impressive game from rookie ball-carrier Le'Veon Bell.

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5. The Miami Dolphins Were Pretenders

Miami Dolphins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when the Miami Dolphins beat the Atlanta Falcons and we thought they were contenders in the AFC? Well, now we know the Falcons aren't as good as we thought they were and the Dolphins aren't either. Their offense line just isn't good enough to give Ryan Tannehill enough time to take advantage of the weapons that they paid so much to bring in this year.

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4. The Denver Broncos Can Be Beat

Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

So I guess we know the secret plan to beat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos this year. All you have to do is get him to over-think the game by bringing him back to the city you know he believes gave up on him too early. Oh yeah, and then you have to get a transcendent game from the quarterback you drafted right after he left. Good luck with that, rest of the league!

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3. The Chip Kelly Offense Might Not Be As Revolutionary As We Thought

Chip Kelly
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

You can count me among those who thought Chip Kelly was primed to unleash the offense of the future on the NFL this year. So far, that hasn't been the case. All his critics have plenty of ammunition after the Philadelphia Eagles mustered only three points in Week 7.

His offense may or may not work in the pros; we won't know until he finds a way to draft Marcus Mariota this spring and really run his scheme.

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2. Josh Freeman Isn't The Answer For Anyone

Josh Freeman
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

If Josh Freeman is the answer, I want to know what the question is. Freeman was predictably terrible on Monday night for the Minnesota Vikings. He just simply isn't good enough to be a reliable starter in the league.

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1. Andrew Luck Is Already One Of The League's Best Quarterbacks

Andrew Luck
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

When Andrew Luck out-dueled Peyton Manning on Sunday night, he sent the message loud and clear that he is already one of the NFL's best quarterbacks. The scary thing for the rest of the league is that he's just getting started.