NFL Week 7 Wrap Up 10-26-2010: Almost, Halfway Home

NFL Week 7 Wrap Up 10-26-2010: Almost, Halfway Home

Darren McFadden and the Raiders Hang 59 on the Broncos in Denver

Week 7 proved no different than the rest of the year in this wacky NFL season. One of the presumed worst team in the NFL beat the defending champs, the Bucs found a way to get it done again and it might be time to break glass in San Diego and Dallas. Here are some of my key observations:

Key Observations

-Jack Del Rio may want to look for a good moving company if his defense doesn't improve. After giving up 153 yards rushing to Tennessee on Monday night, they surrendered 236 yards rushing to the Chiefs and 426 yards overall in their 42-20 loss Sunday. Three different Chiefs scored on the ground and Dwayne Bowe pulled in two touchdowns as the Jags pass D continues to struggle. In the AFC South, they're in the cellar looking up. Jacksonville will have to get going or else they may be out of it by the halfway point.

-As 'oxymoronic' (yes, I just made that up) as this may sound, Buffalo is a bad football team with plenty of talent. Despite that talent, they are 0-6 for a reason and Sunday was a prime example. The Bills had the vaunted Ravens on the ropes Sunday, but couldn't close it out. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty good day throwing the football and save for one of the best safeties of all-time, Ed Reed, making great plays on both of his picks, he may have thrown 6 TDs against a suspect Baltimore defensive backfield.
C.J. Spiller showed why he was worthy of a top pick in the draft and one day he will be one of the top 10 dangerous weapons in the league. However, a fumble on a kickoff return was recovered by the Ravens' Josh Wilson at the Bills' 27 and set up Joe Flacco's 14-yard TD pass to Todd Heap with 23 seconds left. Right after the Bills received the 2nd half kickoff, Fitzpatrick threw his first pick to Ed Reed. The very next play, the Ravens bought out the trick play with Flacco completing a flea-flicker to Anquan Boldin for a TD to give Baltimore the lead. Then, after forcing overtime and having the Ravens punt, Bills receiver Shawn Nelson fumbled in their own territory setting up Billy Cundiff's game-winner. Bad football teams will find ways to lose games and Bills gave this one to Baltimore on a silver platter.
-It might be time to panic in San Diego and Dallas. The Chargers out-gained the Patriots 363-179, held the ball nearly 10 minutes longer and sacked Tom Brady four times. Still, the Chargers lost, falling to 2-5 all the while turning over the ball four times and committing six penalties for 69 yards. Meanwhile, Dallas will have a go with Jon Kitna at quarterback after Tony Romo suffered a broken clavicle in the 2nd quarter in their loss to the Giants. He will be out six to eight weeks. The Cowboys have some serious issues defensively, yielding 497 yards to the Giants and giving up first down after first down. Can anyone at this point figure out why they won't run the football? At 1-5 and without their star quarterback, the playoffs may not be in consideration for them anymore.

Props and Drops

Offensive Player of the Week-Darren McFadden (16 att. 165 yards, 3 TDS, 2 rec. 31 yards, TD)
This is the McFadden that many people expected since he came into the league two years ago. Though he's been sharing the backfield duties with Michael Bush, McFadden has been carving a niche for himself in this Raiders offense. He exploded through the Broncos defense and proved a valuable commodity in helping Oakland dismantle Denver with the first-half barrage of scoring. If McFadden can continue at this pace, the Raiders may have a real shot at respectability this season.

Defensive Players of the Week-DeAngelo Hall (4 INTs, TD) and David Bowens (2 INTs, 2 TDs)
If you take away their INTs for six points, it's quite possible that neither team wins. Bowen completed an incredible feat by taking both of this picks back to the house, joining Ken Norton in 1995 and the Chiefs' Derrick Johnson last season as the only linebackers to do so in a game. Hall should thank Jay Cutler and his abominable stupidity for his gifts. How good was he? He tied the record for picks in a game and his game jersey is going to the Hall of Fame. Thanks, Jay!
Fantasy Stud of the Week-Kenny Britt (7 rec. 225 yards, 3 TDs)
No Vince Young? No problem. Britt destroyed the Eagles secondary in the absence of the Titans starting QB. He has caught touchdowns in his last 5 games and now is tied for the league lead with eight on the season. I think the Titans have restored confidence in the second-year wide out and he is beginning to assert himself as the go-to guy.
Fantasy Dud of the Week-Jay Cutler (4 INTs, Lost Fumble)
The Redskins had the worst pass defense in the league coming into this game. After a fairly solid first half that included a touchdown pass to Johnny Knox that put the Bears up 14-10, Cutler imploded. He threw four second-half picks; including a head-scratcher snatched by Hall which he took 92 yards to the house provided the losing margin. On the questionable call on the goal line (and depending on who ask, it was a touchdown), Cutler lost the ball in the scrum and Washington recovered at the 1. Having a bad game is one thing; saying that you would make the same decisions again with the same situation and do nothing differently is idiotic. Cutler is one of those guys who are feast or famine. His offensive line and protection are bad, but on these throws, his decisions were greater than suspect.

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