Kicks N’ Cleats
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Kicks N’ Cleats

NFL Week Seven Takeaways

Latest surprises from last week’s slate of NFL action

Approaching the halfway point of the season, you might think things are starting to become more clear. On one hand they are, on the other they aren’t. With week seven of the NFL season just passing, I’ll give my latest takeaways from a shocking weekend.

Cincinnati might just be legit

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Entering the season, I don’t think many people had high expectations for the Bengals. I feel like the consensus was they’ll be improved, but not a real threat for the postseason. Well, Cincinnati is 5–2 and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. There was some skepticism surrounding the Bengals entering this week due to a weaker schedule. Any questions however, appear to be gone after a dominating 41–17 win over the Ravens.

Joe Burrow and Cincinnati’s offense has been causing issues for defenses all year. The Bengals are averaging the seventh-most points per game this year. This is largely in part to one new member: Ja’Marr Chase.

Many people thought Chase was a bad pick in this year’s draft. This wasn’t because of his ability, rather that the Bengals had offensive line issues and Penei Sewell would’ve been a better selection. Chase however, has silenced any doubters.

After a drop-filled preseason, the rookie wideout has burst onto the scene with 754 yards (second-most in the NFL) and six touchdowns (fourth-most). Chase has simply been dominant, much to the benefit of his former LSU teammate Joe Burrow. Burrow is currently sixth in the league in passing yardage (1,956), and fourth in passing touchdowns (17).

The LSU connection has transferred over to the NFL, and opposing defenses are figuring out fast that Cincinnati is a real problem. The Bengals are legit. Expect them to contend for a division title.

Repeat on the horizon?

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After winning last year’s Super Bowl and returning all 22 starters, there were real expectations for a Tampa Bay repeat. Well, so far so good.

The Buccaneers haven’t missed a beat this year. Following a 38–3 thrashing over Chicago, Tampa now sits at 6–1 and don’t appear to be going anywhere. Even with a weakened secondary (tenth-most passing yards allowed per game), the Bucs’ defense is still a force. As a unit, they’re allowing the fewest rushing yards per game, and are tenth in scoring defense.

On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady still isn’t slowing down. He currently leads the league in passing yards (2,275) and passing touchdowns (21), while throwing just three interceptions. This in part, has helped lead Tampa’s offense to top-three rankings in total yards per game (second-most) and points per game (third-most).

Equipped with the 26th easiest remaining strength of schedule, Brady and the Bucs will have a real opportunity at the one seed. Pairing a first round bye and home field advantage with Tom Brady’s postseason experience gives Tampa Bay as good a chance as anyone at a title. A Super Bowl repeat is definitely a possibility.

Has the Lions’ season actually been a success?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Okay, obviously no team wants to be entering week eight without a win. That however, is where the Detroit Lions find themselves. But I’m not ready to say this season has been a failure. I actually think there’s been a lot of positives for the Lions.

The main one being head coach Dan Campbell. Some people were doubtful the Campbell experience would work in Detroit after the new coach was talking about “biting knee caps” in his opening press conference. I think the cynics are starting to come around though.

While the wins haven’t been there yet, Detroit is on the verge of breaking through. The Lions have three one possession losses this season, most notably one against Baltimore which saw Justin Tucker make an NFL record field goal as time expired. Along with the three one possession games, Detroit has also had two others games decided by ten or fewer points.

These results, while heartbreaking now, show Campbell was the right hire. This team plays hard for their new coach, and has established his mindsight. Just look at this past week where rookie Penei Sewell wasn’t backing down from Aaron Donald.

Detroit was never supposed to be good this year. They’re young and lack talent on the roster. But Campbell has them ready to fight each and every weekend. A high pick in this upcoming draft, and over $41 million in cap space this offseason, along with another season of Dan Campbell should have Lions fans excited. Give it time, you’re building a good thing Detroit.




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Jacob Burns

Jacob Burns

University at Buffalo ’20 | BA in Communication | Writer for The Sports Scientist & Kicks N’ Cleats

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