Muscle Sport Magazine

NFL Week 7 Recap & Analysis – Ravens, Pats Hang On

RAVENS – 37, Bills – 34

How bad would had it been if arguably the best team in the AFC were upset at home by a winless bunch? The Ravens (5-1) were able to escape with an overtime win over the Bills (0-6) and stay a half game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North. Another good offense output by a team known more for its defense, who did not have their best day but found a way to win.

Patriots – 23, CHARGERS – 20

New England (5-1) kept pace with the idle Jets by squeaking by the disappointing Chargers (2-5), who lost for the first time at home. San Diego made a furious comeback by scoring 17 fourth quarter points but once again could not get the job done. The Pats have been playing very well of late and when this game was first put on the schedule, getting out of SoCal with a W would have been very welcome. Even with the Bolts playing as bad as they have this season, this is still a quality win.

FALCONS – 39, Bengals – 32

Atlanta (5-2) stayed atop the NFC South with a game that ended up being closer than it should. Cincinnati (2-4) has been a letdown club in 2010 while the Flacons have played a little above their heads. A playoff berth would be a mild surprise for Mike Smith while what appears to be a sub-.500 year for the Bengals may be the end for Marvin Lewis.

Steelers – 23, DOLPHINS – 22

A match-up that look great on paper played out even better than expected on the field. Ben Roethlisberger has not completely shook all the rust off yet, but Pittsburgh (5-1) keeps on winning. The Fins (3-3) fell to .500 by losing their third in a row at home. This was a game that Miami needed more than Pittsburgh, especially since the Patriots won their game. They are now back of NE and the Jets and in serious danger of missing the playoffs, while the Steelers figure to only get better as the season goes on.

CHIEFS – 42, Jaguars – 20

In a weak AFC West, Kansas City looks to have a good shot to run away with the division at 4-2. They have played fairly well so far and should take advantage of weak opponents such as Jacksonville (3-4). Kaycee will face more of the same when they play their divisional foes, all who are having sub-par seasons. The Jags have looked anemic the past two weeks and should continue to struggle along the way.


Browns – 30, SAINTS – 17

In the upset of the day – and possibly year – Cleveland earned only their second win against five losses by knocking off the defending Super Bowl champions in New Orleans. Drew Brees threw four interceptions while his counterpart, rookie Colt McCoy, led his team to victory despite throwing for only 74 yards. The Saints (4-3) continue to suffer from their Super Bowl hangover and need to step it up if they have any chance of making the postseason.

Redskins – 17, BEARS – 14

Another bad loss for Chicago (4-3), who somehow have maintained first place in the NFC North, even though Jay Cutler had another miserable performance with four picks, all to DeAngelo Hall. Washington stayed a game behind the Giants and look to grab at least a wild card berth behind Donovan McNabb. If the Bears expect to make the playoffs, they will have to be more consistent and establish a running game not to keep putting the game on the arm of Cutler.

PANTHERS – 23, 49ers – 20

Carolina (1-5) earned its first win against another team having a terrible season when they bested the 1-6 Niners. Anyone outside of these two cities could care less about this game.

BUCCANEERS – 18, Rams – 17

The surprising 4-2 Bucs scored late to knock of St. Louis (3-4) and stay a game out of first place in the NFC South. No one expected Tampa Bay to be in the mix at all but that’s exactly what is happening in this topsy turvy NFL campaign.

TITANS  -37, Eagles – 19

Tennessee (5-2) keeps playing good football and played well in an out of conference affair when they hosted Philadelphia. Vince Young sat out again but Kerry Collins did the job again to keep his team in first place. Philly (4-3) will go back to Michael Vick as soon as he is ready but that probably will not be enough to bring this team to the playoffs when it’s all said and done.

SEAHAWKS – 22, Cardinals – 10

Seattle (4-2) hosted Arizona (3-3) in a battle for first place in the NFC West and came out on top. These two teams will probably settle their differences – and the division – late in the season. The winner will make the playoffs while the loser will stay home. There will not be a wild card team out of this division.

Raiders – 59, BRONCOS – 14

Darren McFadden scored four touchdowns as the Silver and Black came into the Mile High City and blew out the home team. Denver (2-5) is in last place in the AFC West and it shouldn’t be too long before Tim Tebow gets his first NFL start at QB. Oakland (3-4) is still trying to find itself but has played fairly well in a few games this season. No playoffs, though, for either of them.

PACKERS – 28, Vikings – 24

Brett Favre may have played so-so in his last regular season game at Lambeau but almost stole one at the end. The 40-year-old gunslinger had so much going against him, between the crowd who has not forgiven him for leaving Green Bay, the specter of the NFL investigation hanging over his head and his injured ankle, but he almost erased all of that (plus his three INT earlier in the game) by throwing the apparent winning TD pass. A video replay correctly overruled it and the Pack (4-3) survived. Green Bay has a good shot at the playoffs if they win the division, while the 2-4 Vikes will be home for the holidays.

Giants – 41, COWBOYS- 35

Dallas seemed to be the popular preseason pick to win the NFC East and have a decent shot of actually hosting the Super Bowl. Now that they are 2-5 and have lost QB Tony Romo for 6-8 weeks with a broken collarbone, they are ‘officially’ done. New York (5-2) is in first place and on a four-game winning streak. Eli Manning has utilized his wideouts (Mario Manningham, Steve Smith, Hakeen Nix) to make what is still considered a smashmouth running team one that is also formidable in the air.

Photo by Bill Menzel

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