15 Biggest Surprises From Week 7 Of NFL Action
NFL Week 7: 15 Biggest Surprises
Week 7 of NFL action was by no means a disappointment or lacking in drama. From detrimental injuries to suspension-worthy big hits to surprise breakout performances from unexpected players, football fans had plenty to both rejoice in and cry about.
Roy Helu had one of the biggest bursts in performance among NFL players as he led the Washington Redskins to a huge victory against the Chicago Bears. Helu’s three touchdowns in Week 7 after having only one on the entire season before that were almost as surprising as the Bears losing their starting quarterback Jay Cutler to a groin tear. The Chicago Tribune reports that Cutler’s injury will likely sideline the QB for four weeks or possibly more and no one can be as shocked about the loss as the Bears’ organization. Another pleasant surprise this week was Harry Douglas finally stepping up in the absence of Julio Jones for a big day. Douglas hauled in seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown for the Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Matt Ryan is most certainly relieved to have the little-known wide out step up and fill the spot of his injured receivers.
Although there were several predictable moments from Week 7 – the Dallas Cowboys nearly blanking the Philadelphia Eagles, Calvin Johnson showing up in a big way with 155 yards and two touchdowns for the Detroit Lions and Aaron Rodgers getting the Green Bay Packers back on track with three touchdowns – there were most certainly several surprising games, injuries, and player performances. As such, it is time to start the slideshow of the 15 biggest surprises from the previous week of NFL play. Click the “Next” button above to get the show started.
Chiefs Only Remaining Undefeated Team
If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season that the Kansas City Chiefs would be the final remaining undefeated team in the 2013 NFL season, I would have scoffed. With Andy Reid taking over the reins in his first year with the Chiefs, Alex Smith coming in to quarterback after a letdown season in 2012 and too many question marks, this team is certainly unexpectedly unbeaten. Congratulations are surely in order and it will be interesting to see how much longer the Chiefs can keep this surprising streak alive. I can very well see the Chiefs sitting at 9-0 heading to Denver in Week 11.
Sam Bradford Goes Down
What a huge disappointment for the St. Louis Rams to lose their star quarterback, Sam Bradford to a torn ACL. And now the Rams have reportedly called Brett Favre for help. Oh boy! Talk about desperation. I am sure no one saw this coming and it truly is a shame as Bradford is one of the most talented young QBs in the game today.
Jake Locker Performing Well
Jake Locker’s return to the starting role for the Tennessee Titans after being carted off the field in Week 4 was both quick and efficient. Despite the Titans loss, Locker’s swift rebound from injury was impressive as the QB had 326 passing yards, a 16-yard scramble, and two touchdowns.
Reggie Wayne’s Consecutive Games Streak Snapped
Reggie Wayne had appeared in 189 consecutive games but went down in the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 7 win. Wayne’s streak is as good as snapped, just like the ACL in his right knee. Poor guy and poor Andrew Luck!
Vikings Play Calling Choices With Josh Freeman
The Minnesota Vikings brought in Josh Freeman to start against the equally struggling New York Giants despite the QB having only a few days to practice with the team. In this type of situation, you would expect a team to turn heavily to the run game, especially if they possess a solid running back. Doesn’t head coach Leslie Frazier have a pretty good RB? What’s his name? Oh yeah, Adrian Peterson! Yet, the Vikings ended up letting Freeman throw fifty three times while Peterson only got 13 carries. That makes absolutely no sense to me and I was completely taken aback while watching it unfold.
Rob Gronkowski Great In His Return
I suppose the fact that Rob Gronkowski had a solid week is not that surprising given his performance history. His strong performance is surprising, however, because it is Gronk’s first live game action in over 10 months. I expected Gronk to get back into the groove of things, but not this quickly. Any fantasy football owners who picked him up late are likely ecstatic.
Texans Put Up Good Fight Against Odds
Despite losing star QB Matt Schaub and standout RB Arian Foster to injury, the Houston Texans put up a surprisingly good fight against the Chiefs. Case Keenum managed to lead the Texans to a narrow, one-point loss against the undefeated squad. With a rookie under center and two of the team’s best players out, most people expected this game to be a walkover for the Chiefs but Keenum and the Texans made it interesting.
Jets Finally Beat Patriots
The New York Jets finally managed to beat the New England Patriots, something the Jets have not accomplished since 2011. The Pats had won the five previous match ups and with the Jets struggling this year, a win seemed almost out of the question in Week 7. Geno Smith had other plans as he rallied the Jets past Tom Brady and the Patriots in an overtime stunner.
Packers Just Fine Without Top Receivers
Jermichael Finley went down amidst a big game for the Packers, joining fellow WRs Randall Cobb and James Jones on the sideline. But Aaron Rodgers and the cheese head-faithful were not worried. Even when the Cleveland Browns scored in the fourth quarter to make things interesting, Rodgers just went back to the air but to a new target, Jarrett Boykin, for a clutch, 20-yard touchdown. No normal receivers? No problem.
Colts Best The Broncos
Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning. Colts vs. Broncos. It was the perfect storm. There was so much build up about the Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s comments about Manning and all of vindication Manning would get from a win against his old team, yet few were ready to give the Colts a strong chance at winning. Luck had a homecoming spoiler in mind, however, as he marched the Colts onto the field with plans of a rude welcoming. The Colts are a good team but I, along with many others I am sure, was surprised to see Luck and company, minus Reggie Wayne, manage to beat Peyton and the Denver Broncos.
DeSean Jackson’s Poor Performance
DeSean Jackson has feasted on the Cowboys in his career, so to find out that the wide receiver only managed three catches for 21 yards was quite the surprise. Jackson had averaged over 75 yards per game in his eight prior career match ups against the Cowboys and the veteran WR fell far short of that in Week 7.
Bears Allow Most Points Since 2009
What has happened to the Bears’ defense? Believe it or not, the Bears gave up 45 points in a shootout loss to the Redskins. But even before that, Chicago was averaging 26.8 points allowed per game. Known for having one of the better defenses in the league in past seasons, the Bears’ defensive unit has seemed to slip in 2013. Not what I would have expected from a group that was so vaunted. The Bears have not given up 45 points since they got trounced 45-10 against the Cincinnati Bengals in October of 2009.
Buccaneers Still Winless
After finishing the 2012 NFL season with a 7-9 record, it is safe to say no one expected the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be the cream of the crop in 2013. All the same, I doubt most suspected the Bucs would be getting close to matching their previous season’s loss total before getting their first win in 2013. Now sitting at 0-6 and having played beatable teams like the Jets, Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, the Bucs’ season is most certainly surprising and disappointing.
49ers Win Fourth Consecutive Game
After a rough 1-2 start to open the season, it seemed as if Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers would be unable to make a repeat trip to the Super Bowl. With their fourth consecutive win coming over the Titans and a presumably easy win over the Jacksonville Jaguars coming up next, the 49ers seem to be back on track to at least a postseason berth.
Philip Rivers Having MVP Worthy Season
Sure, we have all known for years that Philip Rivers is a top tier QB, but most of us would not have guessed this would be the season he puts up MVP-like numbers. Through Week 7, Rivers sits in the top five in yards per game, second in total passing yards and touchdowns behind only Manning and first in completion percentage. Any team that has the San Diego Chargers left on their schedule needs to start planning their defense for him now!
That does it for my slideshow. I would love to read any thoughts you might have about any of these slides or to read about any other moments from Week 7 action that caught you off guard. Please leave a comment below and thanks for reading!