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One thing we learned about each NFL team in Week 7 of 2021 season: Bengals, Titans are for real in AFC

Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season is formally within the books. The Titans smashed the Chiefs. The Colts routed the 49ers. The Giants upset the Panthers. And that was only a fraction of the motion close to the halfway level of the first-ever 17-game season.

What did we study every of the 32 groups after one other week of matchups? We’re so glad you requested. As Week 8 attracts close to, we have a look under at one factor we took away from every group:

They have been already one of many NFL‘s finest, however buying and selling for Zach Ertz was good. He regarded so snug in his Arizona debut, giving Kyler Murray yet one more outlet within the sport’s deepest passing sport.

He began the season on a quieter notice, however Kyle Pitts is the actual deal. Matt Ryan had a ball throwing his method towards the Dolphins, together with in crunch time to arrange a last-second win.

They may nonetheless be within the hunt so long as Lamar Jackson is taking part in, however we most likely underestimated the shakiness of their O-line, which lately misplaced Ronnie Stanley (once more) and could not face up to Cincinnati’s entrance in a key AFC North loss.

They’re the AFC favorites. No disrespect to the Bengals, who at the moment are formally the No. 1 seed (!) within the AFC, however with Baltimore and Kansas Metropolis happening Sunday, Buffalo seems just like the surest wager to make a run within the convention.

Perhaps it is untimely, nevertheless it positive would not really feel prefer it: Sam Darnold is completed as their long-term QB. He is gotten solely worse every week since a stable 3-0 begin, and instantly after his benching Sunday, studies out of Carolina linked the group to Deshaun Watson.

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Justin Fields was unhealthy on a nasty offense towards the Bucs, however that is nothing new for Matt Nagy’s squad. As an alternative, let’s go along with the one optimistic: Khalil Herbert seems like a real playmaker at working again, the place he was explosive each time he received the ball.

They’re playoff contenders, or no less than actually seem like it. That alone needs to be an enormous win for Bengals followers. Between Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase and an underrated protection, they did not stumble onto a 5-2 report accidentally.

Their playoff hopes are in bother. There’s loads of time to alter that, however with Baker Mayfield out indefinitely, numerous others banged up and each the Bengals and Ravens wanting like locks to make a run, the place do they slot in?

This was already fairly obvious, however the NFC East is theirs to lose. Sure, the Giants upset Carolina, however they’re nonetheless 2-5. Each the Eagles and Washington, in the meantime, additionally fell to 2-5 and have points all throughout the board.

Vic Fangio is, in actual fact, on skinny ice. Or no less than you’d assume he’s. That 3-0 begin was actually a mirage, and neither Fangio’s offense nor protection seems very impressed proper now. Issues could worsen earlier than they get higher right here.

We have mentioned this earlier than, however we’ll say it once more: Dan Campbell is aware of methods to coach. An 0-7 report suggests in any other case, however he is popping out peppy and aggressive and artistic each week, at all times getting his guys to battle, regardless that the roster is fairly barren.

Even with all of the accidents they’ve had on protection, their linebackers are stepping up in a giant method, with Rashan Gary and De’Vondre Campbell each logging a number of huge performs to assist shut down Washington in a sixth straight win.

Outdoors of their lowly manufacturing on the sphere, they’re determined to commerce Deshaun Watson. Why else has there been such a sudden improve in studies surrounding the QB’s availability forward of the Nov. 2 deadline? They’re prepared to maneuver on.

We all know this for positive after Sunday evening’s win in unhealthy climate: They know methods to win ugly. Carson Wentz overcame an off-target begin to battle with each his arm and legs, and their protection received bodily to power key takeaways late towards San Francisco.

They have a shot to get out of the AFC South cellar. If solely as a result of the Texans are simply lifeless.

One other day, one other pricey string of Patrick Mahomes errors. Not even Andy Reid appears to know methods to repair this. It is not all on Mahomes, who’s urgent for large performs to make up for a shoddy line and terrible protection, however they want No. 15 to wash it up.

We already know Derek Carr is taking part in nice soccer from the pocket. However how about that entrance 4? Their move rush is underrated, with each Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue doing harm towards the listless Eagles in an announcement win.

Their highway to the playoffs seems clearer. Sure, the Raiders gained on Sunday, however the Chiefs regarded the worst they’ve in a very long time, and the Broncos are useless. Whether or not it is a division title or wild card, they have a pleasant path to competition.

We’re taking Matthew Stafford as a right. Severely, apart from his slip up towards Arizona, he is operated dominantly and with ease for Sean McVay. On Sunday, he had no drawback overcoming an early gap towards his previous buddies in Detroit.

Now 1-6 by means of seven video games, we are able to most likely begin questioning whether or not Brian Flores belongs as head coach. Not as a result of QB stays a query mark, however as a result of his protection regularly fails to impress.

A Wild Card berth is their solely shot on the playoffs. As soon as upon a time, the Packers appeared inside attain, particularly as Minnesota regarded explosive on offense. Now, with Inexperienced Bay at 6-1, the bar have to be adjusted.

Mac Jones had a giant hand within the Pats’ shredding of the Jets, however they need to run the ball extra. Simply look what occurs once you feed the trio of Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor, who rolled throughout New York.

All the main target is on Jameis Winston, who did not get a ton of assist from his receivers in a giant Monday evening win, however their protection is making performs when it must. Credit score Demario Davis and Malcolm Jenkins for clutch stops within the fourth towards Seattle.

Patrick Graham’s protection nonetheless has life. Or possibly Sam Darnold and the Panthers are that unhealthy. Both method, New York’s “D” set the tone for his or her Week 7 upset, taking among the burden off Daniel Jones and an injury-ravaged offense.

With Zach Wilson now banged up and set to overlook as much as a month with a knee damage, they’re sure to worsen earlier than they get higher. Jets followers, no less than you’ll be able to sit up for the offseason, proper?

Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts aren’t the one core items failing to get the job accomplished. Jonathan Gannon’s protection is shedding buy-in from veterans like Fletcher Cox, who’re getting fed up with the passive method that lets opponents dictate video games.

Someway, they don’t seem to be out of the playoff hunt. With the Browns and Chiefs both banged up or struggling, they’ve an actual shot at making noise within the Wild-Card race. However they’re going to doubtless want three straight wins towards Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit to remain alive.

Whether or not it is Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance at QB transferring ahead, Kyle Shanahan deserves all the warmth for his or her struggles. He is now 31-39 working the present for his profession, and his offense has had no regular rhythm for nearly your entire 12 months.

As if it weren’t apparent already, they want Russell Wilson again. Chris Carson would assist, too, however man, Geno Smith was restricted by each play-calling and his personal talents in a detailed however important loss to New Orleans in prime time.

Todd Bowles’ protection is rounding into type. After beating up on the Eagles earlier than rubbish time in Week 6, they demolished Justin Fields and the Bears on Sunday, letting Tom Brady mainly coast by means of the second half.

After smacking the Chiefs in what ought to’ve been a extremely powerful matchup, it is time to take them significantly within the AFC. A.J. Brown was again in full power towards Okay.C., and Ryan Tannehill regarded as snug as he is been all 12 months.

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They want Ryan Fitzpatrick again. Extra realistically, they want the 2022 offseason, to allow them to reset the place. Taylor Heinicke stayed cell and fought laborious, however he made essential errors on key downs, and the group wasted an excellent day from its D-line.

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