Hey everyone, Tyler Arthur here, welcome to my weekly NFL column.
I am going to be using this space to keep all of you guys up to date with what you may have missed in the NFL, the biggest takeaways and stats, and then preview the upcoming week and what I think you need to be watching next.
Thanks for reading, now let’s get into this week’s column.
As the NFL regular season continues, we had yet another week of drama and excitement. It may have seemed less crazy than normal because we actually didn’t have an overtime game for once. However, there was still some great games. We saw some legitimate blowouts this week, and while some teams were dominant, others are scrambling.
The excitement came in all forms in Week 7, with non-QB-thrown TD’s, QB’s making one-handed catches, walk-off field goals, and NFL history being made.
So, without any delay, let’s take a look at what happened This Week in the NFL.
Arizona Cardinals, 7-0.
Okay so maybe beating the Houston Texans isn’t an incredible feat or a result that will take you by surprise, but the Arizona Cardinals are doing what needs to be done every single week. Yes, it was easier in Week 7, but they’re not slowing down. They won with a very comfortable 31-5 scoreline, and they are now 7-0.
In Week 8, however, it could be a little more difficult to keep it up this week. They’re at home again, but this time they’re hosting Aaron Rodgers and the 6-1 Green Bay Packers, on Thursday Night Football. If they win this one, we’re going to have to all start talking very seriously about how far this thing could go.
Winners and Losers
Cleveland Browns (4-3)
Green Bay Packers (6-1)
Tennessee Titans (5-2)
Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
New England Patriots (3-4)
New York Giants (2-5)
Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)
LA Rams (6-1)
Arizona Cardinals (7-0)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1)
Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
New Orleans Saints (4-2)
Denver Broncos (3-4)
Washington Football Team (2-5)
Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
Miami Dolphins (1-6)
New York Jets (1-5)
Carolina Panthers (3-4)
Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
Philadelphia Eagles (2-5)
Detroit Lions (0-7)
Houston Texans (1-6)
Chicago Bears (3-4)
San Francisco 49ers (2-4)
Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
Bye Week [Fantasy Byepocalypse!]
Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
Minnesota Vikings (3-3)
Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
LA Chargers (4-2)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
Standout Individual Performers
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
8 receptions, 201 yards, TD.
I always start with quarterbacks, but not this week. I’m not spending a single second longer without talking about rookie superstar Ja’Marr Chase. This kid is special. The 21-year old wideout from LSU exploded for his best game in the pros this week in a dominant performance against division-rivals, the Ravens. He saw 10 targets and hauled in 8 of them. What he did with those receptions, though, was ridiculous. Chase had 201 yards and a touchdown, including an 82-yard TD. The Bengals WR was unbelievable. He is averaging 21.5 yards per reception on the season and it’s easy to see why. He’s ridiculous.
His performance this week earned him the all-time record for yards through his first 7 games in the NFL, with 754. He has actually also earned the record for the most yards through 8 games, too, but he can add even more to that in Week 8.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
61% completion rate, 416 yards, 3 TD’s.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming now. It just so happens that the guy who threw the ball to Ja’Marr Chase had a pretty great week, too! Joe Burrow had his best game of the year in this AFC North clash. He completed 23 of his 38 attempts (61%) and put up a new career-high 416 yards and tossed 3 TD’s. He could have broken 500 yards if the Ravens had forced them to stay aggressive on offense, but he only threw 10 yards in the last 13 minutes of the game, as they ran the clock out for their big win. Burrow looked amazing, and this Bengals team looks serious!
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
91% completion rate! 323 yards, 2 TD’s.
If people think I’m biased for shouting out Derek Carr because I’m a Raiders fan, I implore you to go and watch this man play football (you have to wait a week for the bye, but after that). DC4 is playing the best football he’s played since 2016, and doing it all throughout a difficult and uncomfortable time for the Raiders organisation behind the scenes. This week he completed 31 of his 34 passes, an utterly ridiculous 91% completion rate. This is the second-highest rate (on 30+ attempts) in NFL history, only behind Drew Brees. He also turned that accuracy into 323 yards and two scores, as if we weren’t impressed enough. The Raiders head into their bye with a QB in great form and despite the chaos a great record.
Matthew Stafford, LA Rams
68% completion rate, 334 yards, 3 TD’s.
I don’t think this surprised anyone, but it was a blast to watch anyway. In my column last week, I said that a key thing to watch would be Matthew Stafford’s first game against Detroit. Boy, was I right. He threw 334 yards and 3 touchdowns on his way to a win against his long-time team. His connection with a certain receiver who we seem to talk about every week is as strong as ever, and this victory gave Stafford some closure and showed them what they’re missing without him.
Cooper Kupp, LA Rams
10 receptions, 156 yards, 2 TD’s.
Good lord, Cooper Kupp. That aforementioned receiver we seem to talk about every week earned his spot here again… Wow. He hauled in 10 of his 13 targets, and burned the Lions secondary for 156 yards, while scoring twice. Kupp is setting the league on fire this year, and there has to be some serious discussion about how it’s possible we don’t put him in the top 5 wide receiver conversation. His consistency is ridiculous and he leads the league in both receiving yards and touchdowns, now. He is an animal.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6 receptions, 76 yards, 3 TD’s.
If you was going to bet on who would score a hat-trick of receiving touchdowns on any given week, I think you should bet on Mike Evans. This year, he has scored 7 times, and not once has he failed to double up, with a brace in Week 2 and Week 4 and now three TD’s in Week 7. Tom Brady loves his big-bodied receiver in the red zone and it’s understandable why. The Bucs veteran only caught six balls but to score 3 times on top of his 76 yards earns him a spot on this list, no doubt.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans
8 receptions, 133 yards, 1 TD.
The Tennessee Titans had an absolutely phenomenal win this weekend, blowing out the Kansas City Chiefs. KC might be struggling, but you still have to show up and beat them. One of the key components of the win was the return of previously banged-up A.J. Brown. The third-year wideout wasn’t doing much before he got hurt and missed Week 4, was uninspiring in Week 5 and then looked back to health last week. This time out, when the Titans needed a big win, he went big. He caught 8 of 9 targets and put up a season-high 133-yards with a touchdown in their huge win.
D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns
22 rushes, 146 yards, 1 TD.
A very special shoutout for the Cleveland RB3 this week. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were both absent this week and D’Ernest Johnson stepped up to put in a phenomenal performance. They handed him the ball 22 times and he rewarded the trust with 146 yards and a score. This is what happens when your offensive line is the core of your team. Yeah, Chubb and Hunt are awesome, but knowing that D’Ernest Johnson can step up and perform behind your front five is great for the Browns going forward. What an effort.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots
14 rushes, 106 yards, 2 TD’s.
This may have been a predictably big game for Damien Harris, but you still have to give credit where it’s due. They only gave him the ball 14 times but he turned that into 106-yards – his second 100-yard game in a row – and scored twice against the Jets. Harris is asserting himself as a central part of the post-Brady offense in New England and he is a very good player, in just his third year.
Sam Hubbard, Cincinnati Bengals
3 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 pass defended.
I’ve already told you about how the Bengals put on an absolute blinder, but it wasn’t just the offense, you have to also give some love to the defensive effort. They held the Ravens to just 17 points in their big win. Sam Hubbard was instrumental in that, getting 2.5 sacks on Lamar Jackson and even defending a pass.
You might think I missed a couple of people there, with big performances. However, that’s because I saved the best for last! Sunday was #NationalTightEndsDay (every Week 7 Sunday) and we have to give them their own spotlight!
Individual Performers – Special Edition: #NationalTightEndsDay
Kyle Pitts – 7 receptions, 163 yards.
C.J Uzomah – 3 receptions, 91 yards, 2 TD’s.
Mike Gesicki – 7 receptions, 85 yards, 2 TD’s.
Travis Kelce – 7 receptions, 65 yards.
Dallas Goedert – 3 receptions, 70 yards, 2-pt conversion.
Foster Moreau – 6 receptions, 60 yards, TD.
Zach Ertz – 3 receptions, 66 yards, TD.
Robert Tonyan – 4 receptions, 63 yards, TD.
T.J. Hockenson – 6 receptions, 48 yards.
Mo Alie-Cox – 3 receptions, 25 yards, TD.
MyCole Pruitt – 2 receptions, 27 yards, TD.
Games to watch back
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tennessee Titans
Philadelphia Eagles @ Las Vegas Raiders
Atlanta Falcons @ Miami Dolphins
Stat Leaders Through Week 7
Passing Yards – Tom Brady, 2275
Passing TD’s – Tom Brady, 21
Rushing Yards – Derrick Henry, 869
Rushing TD’s – Derrick Henry, 10
Receiving Yards – Cooper Kupp, 809
Receiving TD’s – Cooper Kupp, 9
Total TD’s – Derrick Henry, 10
Tackles (combined) – Denzel Perryman, 81
Sacks – Myles Garrett, 9.5
Interceptions – Trevon Diggs, 7
Week 8 Preview – What to watch
Week 8 Best Games
Packers @ Cardinals, TNF
Steelers @ Browns, 5pm (don’t forget the schedule is 1 hour earlier this week!)
Buccaneers @ Saints, 8:25pm
Cowboys @ Vikings, SNF (12:20am this week)
Week 8 – Storylines and who to watch
Amazing prime time game to start the week off, can the Cardinals stay undefeated in a huge matchup? Packers @ Cardinals, TNF
A lowkey interesting divisional game, Panthers @ Falcons, 5pm
The battle of the disappointments, 49ers @ Bears, 5pm
Huge AFC North statement game, Steelers @ Browns, 5pm
Another important divisional matchup, Bucs @ Saints, 8:25pm
Dallas back off their bye looking to keep momentum, Cowboys @ Vikings, SNF
Can KC bounce back and fix their weird start to the season in a good matchup? Giants @ Chiefs, MNF