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NFL Week 7 takeaways – What we learned, big questions for every game and future team outlooks


Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season noticed the Titans maintain the Chiefs out of the top zone all afternoon, one more regarding efficiency for Kansas Metropolis. The Bengals additionally made a giant AFC assertion, defeating Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Baltimore behind an enormous day from receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

The Packers obtained the job executed in Washington with three Aaron Rodgers landing passes, and the Patriots hung 54 factors on the Jets in a blowout win. The Giants pulled off a giant win in opposition to the Panthers, and the Falcons hit a successful discipline aim within the last seconds to beat the Dolphins. And on Thursday evening, the Browns snuck previous the Broncos with Case Keenum underneath heart.

Our NFL Nation reporters react with the takeaways and lingering questions from this week’s motion. Plus, they every have a look at the larger image with their present staff confidence score — a 0-10 grade of how they really feel concerning the staff’s outlook popping out of the week. Let’s get to it.

Bounce to a matchup:
KC-TEN | CIN-BAL | WSH-GB | CAR-NYG
NYJ-NE | ATL-MIA | DEN-CLE | CHI-TB
HOU-ARI | DET-LAR | PHI-LV
| IND-SF

Colts

What to know: The Colts knew what was on the road earlier than they took the sphere in opposition to the 49ers. The Titans, lower than every week after beating Buffalo, beat Kansas Metropolis Sunday to take care of a snug lead within the AFC South. The Colts needed to knock off the 49ers to maintain their hopes alive to catch the Titans within the division. The Colts (3-4) battled via the rain-soaked circumstances to beat San Francisco, which units the stage for a giant sport between them and Tennessee in Week 8 at Indianapolis. A victory over the Titans will transfer the Colts to inside a sport of first place within the division and would maintain Tennessee from incomes the season sweep. — Mike Wells

Can the Colts get by defensively and not using a move rush? The Colts live dangerously within the pass-rush division. They’re going to have to begin getting some sacks or proceed to drive turnovers to shorten the sphere for the offense. The protection obtained one sack on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to convey its season whole to only 13. However the Colts additionally pressured 4 extra turnovers to present them 16 this season, and so they scored 20 factors off these turnovers. — Wells

Wells’ confidence score (0-10): 5, up from 4.8. All three of the Colts’ victories have been in opposition to groups with a shedding file. They’re going to have an opportunity to get their first victory in opposition to a staff with a successful file after they play the Titans in Week 8.

Subsequent sport: vs. Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


49ers

What to know: The 49ers’ season is slipping away shortly, and so they’re working out of probabilities to get it again on monitor earlier than it is too late. It is one factor to lose one-possession video games to contenders like Inexperienced Bay and Arizona. It is one other to put an egg at dwelling in prime time in opposition to a Colts staff that entered Sunday evening 2-4. Sure, the relentless rain made it tough, however the Colts had the identical drawback and did not make as many errors. San Francisco travels to Chicago subsequent week for a sport that is removed from a gimme earlier than a two-game stretch in opposition to the Cardinals and the Rams. At 2-4, the Niners’ margin for error is getting skinny and the requires rookie quarterback Trey Lance (when he returns from a sprained left knee) are solely going to develop louder with each loss. — Nick Wagoner

Will groups proceed to make the most of the 49ers’ penchant for defensive move interference? They need to. The Niners entered Sunday evening’s sport behind solely Tampa Bay for many accepted defensive move interference penalties with eight. And the Bucs had performed two extra video games. The Colts picked up on that development and adopted a “when doubtful, air it out” method, launching deep balls realizing the Niners can be flagged. Officers flagged San Francisco 5 instances for defensive move interference with three of these accepted for 97 yards. All three got here earlier than Colts touchdowns. At this level, the Niners have a popularity, and even borderline calls are going to go in opposition to them, which suggests future opponents will undoubtedly maintain attempting it as long as the flags maintain coming. — Wagoner

Wagoner’s confidence score (0-10): 4.9, down from 5.8. This staff seems more and more undisciplined and, after six video games, nonetheless does not have an identification, which makes it exhausting to have a lot confidence this season is headed anyplace good.

Subsequent sport: at Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Buccaneers

What to know: Tom Brady threw 4 landing passes — three of them to Mike Evans — turning into the primary QB in NFL historical past to throw for 600 TDs in his profession. Leonard Fournette tacked on a fifth TD on the bottom, whereas the Bucs’ protection sacked rookie quarterback Justin Fields 4 instances and intercepted him 3 times to defeat the Chicago Bears and enhance to 6-1, their greatest begin in franchise historical past. The one gripe right here, if there’s one, is that the Bucs put up 35 factors within the first half and managed to attain solely three within the second, and Bruce Arians has been adamant about not taking their foot off the gasoline. — Jenna Laine

Will anybody beat the Bucs once more this season? The Bucs may not have any cornerbacks left by season’s finish, as Dee Delaney left the sport with an ankle harm and Jamel Dean left the sport twice with an harm — however the Bucs’ schedule could be very favorable from right here on out, with the New Orleans Saints giving them presumably their greatest scare subsequent week on the highway. However after that, they’ve a bye, Washington, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Payments, Saints, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets and Panthers. So in the event that they get previous the Saints, Buffalo (4-2) would possible be their greatest hurdle. The Bucs’ remaining opponents are a mixed 24-34. — Laine

Laine’s confidence score (0-10): 8, no change from 8. They survived one other week regardless of a defensive backfield — with out Richard Sherman, and shedding each Delaney and Dean to accidents — that is develop into the strolling wounded, and held the Bears to 3 factors. That is about pretty much as good as they might do heading into subsequent week.

Subsequent sport: at Saints (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Bears

What to know: The Bears obtained completely outclassed by the Buccaneers, who took no matter they needed every time they needed. Even by Bears requirements, the trouble on Sunday was embarrassing. At the very least the Bears stored the rating considerably shut within the Cleveland debacle a number of weeks in the past. The Bucs sport was over within the first quarter, as Tampa scored three fast touchdowns to guide 21-0. The rating ballooned to 35-3 at halftime. Blowout metropolis. At 3-4, the Bears have some critical soul-searching to do after this nightmarish efficiency. — Jeff Dickerson

Can Justin Fields get well from this newest debacle? The Bucs hammered Fields, who misplaced a number of fumbles on strip-sacks. The rookie additionally threw a horrible interception within the first half (three picks within the sport), and by no means appeared snug within the pocket. Fields bounced again instantly after the Browns sport (9 sacks), however Sunday was his worst NFL expertise up to now. Fields remains to be constructing confidence, however Week 7 was a serious step backward. The Bears — and Fields — can’t afford any extra of those. — Dickerson

Dickerson’s confidence score (0-10): 2.6, down from 4.8. Did you watch the sport?

Subsequent sport: vs. 49ers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Cardinals

What to know: The Cardinals overcame a distinct sort of adversity this week to nonetheless win and win huge: unhealthy soccer. Arizona did not rating within the first quarter for the primary time this season and regarded completely and totally discombobulated. The Cardinals rectified that to attain 17 factors within the second on their approach to one other huge win, even with Kyler Murray getting sacked 4 instances. Nothing Sunday appeared easy and seamless prefer it did final week in opposition to Cleveland, however Arizona nonetheless dominated the Texans to stay undefeated. — Josh Weinfuss

How will a sport like this have an effect on the Cardinals on Thursday evening in opposition to the Packers? It is going to rely on how sore Murray is all week. He was crushed up all sport, getting sacked 4 instances and taking a number of hits to the top as effectively. If he can get well, Arizona needs to be advantageous. There can be a whole lot of eyes on Thursday evening’s sport, which is a important NFC battle. This sport may have home-field-advantage implications come the postseason. It is one factor to attempt to get motivated for a 1-5 staff just like the Texans. It is a completely completely different animal to do this in opposition to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. If the Cardinals can get this sport out of their heads as shortly as attainable and Murray can get well, the Cardinals can be in good condition heading into Thursday evening. — Weinfuss

Weinfuss’ confidence score (0-10): 9.5, up from 9.4. A win is a win, and a win by 26 is a giant win — even when it was ugly. The Cardinals stay the NFL’s solely undefeated staff.

Subsequent sport: vs. Packers (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday)


Texans

What to know: The Texans aren’t simply shedding, they aren’t actually even competing in video games. Houston has been outscored 102-8 in its previous three highway video games and hasn’t scored a landing on the highway since Week 2. It has all gone downhill for Houston because it gained its season opener in opposition to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and at 1-6, the staff now sits in final place within the AFC South. Actually all that continues to be this season is seeing whether or not the younger expertise on this staff will contribute in significant methods transferring ahead. — Sarah Barshop

Will the Texans commerce Deshaun Watson earlier than the Nov. 2 deadline? That is proper, the largest query surrounding the staff has nothing to do with the sport that was performed on Sunday. All season, Watson’s presence on the roster has been hovering over the franchise, after he was accused of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct in 22 energetic civil lawsuits. He additionally requested for a commerce in January. The group appears motivated to maneuver him earlier than the deadline, however whether or not the Texans will discover an NFL staff that desires to commerce for him proper now with the uncertainty round whether or not he’ll be allowed to play stays to be seen. — Barshop

Barshop’s confidence score (0-10): 0.8, down from 1. There’s not a lot decrease to go together with this score, which has been steadily falling since Week 1. It is exhausting to really feel assured about issues altering when the Texans host the 6-1 Rams in Week 8.

Subsequent sport: vs. Rams (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Rams

What to know: The Rams aren’t successful any model factors recently, however the backside line is coach Sean McVay’s Tremendous Bowl-hopeful squad continues to win. The Rams improved to 6-1 Sunday with a 28-19 victory over revenge-seeking former quarterback Jared Goff and the 0-7 Lions. Earlier than kickoff, the Rams closed as a 16.5-point favourite, however the sport was removed from a rout after a number of particular groups snafus and momentary lapses on protection. Nevertheless, just like the Rams did with ugly wins over the Colts and Seahawks, they pulled it along with game-changing performs within the fourth quarter — a 5-yard landing reception by large receiver Cooper Kupp to go forward after which an interception by cornerback Jalen Ramsey with 4:53 left to seal it. — Lindsey Thiry

What’s mistaken with the particular groups? Particular groups is basically a sport inside the sport that is depending on conditions. The Joe DeCamillis-led unit has performed inconsistently all through the coordinator’s first season, however on Sunday the group was outcoached and unprepared for a lot of conditions that have been semi-predictable from a Lions staff searching for a jump-start. The Lions caught the Rams off-guard by recovering an onside kick after scoring a landing on the opening collection. In addition they transformed twice on fourth down with two faux punts that went for a 17-yard completion and a 28-yard run, respectively. The Rams are fortunate that particular groups didn’t price them a sport in opposition to a staff with an inferior offense and protection. — Thiry

Thiry’s confidence score (0-10): 8.2, down from 8.4. A victory and a drop in confidence? Sure, as a result of this win over the struggling Lions wasn’t precisely inspiring. The Rams have been big favorites and boast a a lot stronger roster than the rebuilding Lions, however they allowed the winless staff to not solely dangle round but additionally be the aggressor for a large portion of the sport. Together with the particular groups breakdowns, the protection was inconsistent and allowed a number of lengthy positive aspects.

Subsequent sport: at Texans (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)


Lions

What to know: One other week. One other loss. Though the Lions stay winless, dropping to 0-7, it is not for lack of effort. They’ve dropped two video games this season on last-second, 50-plus-yard discipline targets and have now misplaced after taking part in shut with a tricky Rams staff on the highway after main 19-17 within the third quarter. This newest defeat has Lions followers questioning when will they win a sport. However first-year coach Dan Campbell continues to get essentially the most out of his gamers with aggression, trick performs and a robust efficiency by working again D’Andre Swift. The Lions continued to construct for the longer term in a tricky loss to a Tremendous Bowl contender. — Eric Woodyard

Ought to the Lions implement extra trick performs going ahead? Sure. Coming into SoFi Stadium as heavy underdogs, the Lions pulled out all of the methods with a pair of faux punts, which they have been in a position to convert to increase drives, together with a first-quarter shock onside-kick restoration. Campbell stated he would consider all the things after the Week 6 loss to Cincinnati, and so they made some modifications in opposition to the Rams, though they did fall to 0-7. Clearly, these trick performs will not work on a regular basis, however they need to undoubtedly think about implementing such performs occasionally. Determined instances name for determined measures, as this staff is struggling to get its first win. — Woodyard

Woodyard’s confidence score (0-10): 3, up from 2.5. Clearly, you’ll be able to’t money in ethical victories within the NFL, however for a winless Lions staff to enter SoFi Stadium in opposition to the red-hot Rams and take a 10-0 first-quarter lead, then maintain it aggressive all through, reveals that they have not give up on the season. It’s a must to give them some credit score for persevering with to battle and never giving up on the yr regardless of the heartbreak they’ve confronted.

Subsequent sport: vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Raiders

What to know: It has been lower than two weeks because the Raiders endured the sudden shock of shedding Jon Gruden as coach … and so they’ve performed their greatest soccer since. You’d suppose Las Vegas, which improved to 5-2 and jumped into first place within the AFC West with a 33-22 win over the visiting Eagles on Sunday, would wish to maintain taking part in slightly than benefit from the upcoming bye week. However the bye comes at an ideal time. As a result of if the Raiders have been taking part in on pure emotion and adrenaline the previous two weeks, they want a break. And if it is scheme, the bye permits interim coach Wealthy Bisaccia to get much more in tune with new offensive playcaller Greg Olson and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Particularly with a winnable sport on the Giants after the bye. — Paul Gutierrez

How a lot enjoyable is Greg Olson having because the offensive playcaller? How about rather a lot? This is not Olson’s first rodeo with the Raiders; he was the staff’s coordinator/playcaller in 2013-14 — the latter yr being QB Derek Carr’s rookie season. Olson has way more expertise at his disposal now, and he isn’t afraid to unfold the ball round. And Carr is responding in type, as his career-best completion proportion of 91.2% (31-of-34) for 323 yards with 2 TDs and an INT confirmed. And the Raiders did this with out Professional Bowl tight finish Darren Waller, after he injured his ankle in follow Friday, and after shedding Professional Bowl working again Josh Jacobs with a chest harm. Enjoyable instances for Olson, certainly. — Gutierrez

Gutierrez’s confidence score (0-10): 9, up from 7.5. When the offense is taking part in with a lot enjoyable, the protection is dominating at a charge not seen right here in years, and the staff is in first place within the AFC West, one thing goes proper. And as talked about above, the bye comes on the good time, particularly with so many accidents.

Subsequent sport: at Giants (1 p.m. ET, Nov. 7)


Eagles

What to know: That is the kind of loss that may torpedo a season and get gamers to second-guess their teaching workers. The Eagles had a number of days of additional relaxation after taking part in on Thursday evening in Week 6 and supposedly used that point to self-scout and make enhancements on either side of the ball. But the product on Sunday was the worst it has been. The protection continues to play passively — it was pitch-and-catch beneath all day for Carr — whereas the Eagles’ offense caught to a run-heavy sport plan till late within the sport regardless of trailing by a major margin for a lot of the day. Coach Nick Sirianni & Co. seem overmatched, and the Eagles look damaged. — Tim McManus

Will the Eagles shift into full-out sellers mode earlier than the Nov. 2 commerce deadline? Tight finish Zach Ertz has already been dealt, and at this level, all illusions concerning the Eagles (2-5) making a run on the postseason have vanished. There’s purpose to anticipate the Eagles can be burning up the telephone traces over the subsequent week. — McManus

McManus’ confidence score (0-10): 3.1, down from 3.9. There are winnable video games arising, beginning Sunday in opposition to the Detroit Lions, however the Eagles look awfully shaky in the meanwhile.

Subsequent sport: at Lions (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Packers

What to know: Now the actual enjoyable begins. The Packers obtained via maybe the best a part of their schedule — a stretch that included wins over Chicago and now Washington. It is time to learn the way good the Packers are going to be. And it isn’t an extended wait with the short turnaround to Thursday evening’s sport at Arizona, which entered Sunday’s motion because the NFL’s solely unbeaten staff. The Packers have not confronted a quarterback as dynamic as Murray this season. In reality, they’ve confronted a gentle stream of mediocre quarterbacks (Jameis Winston, Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo), ones with potential however not there but (Joe Burrow, who’s surging, Justin Fields and Taylor Heinicke) and one who could also be washed up (Ben Roethlisberger). Murray is an MVP front-runner. After that, it is Patrick Mahomes in Kansas Metropolis. — Rob Demovsky

Do the Packers have their crimson zone protection fastened? That is debatable. Sure, they obtained 4 stops in a row — their first 4 of the season after permitting 15 touchdowns on 15 possessions contained in the 20. They have been the primary staff in not less than the previous 40 years that hadn’t made a crimson zone cease (even a discipline aim would have counted) via the primary six video games of an NFL season. On Sunday, they allowed three factors — a discipline aim with 2:25 left within the sport — on these 4 drives. However they obtained their first two stops in opposition to Washington by the thinnest of margins, and a kind of wanted a replay overview. It regarded like Heinicke scored on a third-and-goal scramble, however replay confirmed he was down on the 1. The Packers wanted a fourth-down incompletion to give you their second crimson zone cease. The third got here because of an interception in the long run zone by Chandon Sullivan within the fourth quarter. — Demovsky

Demovsky’s confidence score (0-10): 7.5, no change from final week. So long as the Packers (6-1) maintain successful, it is exhausting to say all of their accidents are going to price them. However sooner or later, they’re going to have to begin getting gamers again, particularly on protection. Along with the 2 defensive stars on injured reserve (Za’Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander), the Packers performed with out cornerback Kevin King and out of doors linebacker Preston Smith on Sunday. Smith missed a sport for the primary time in his professional profession, ending a streak of 102 straight, due to an indirect harm, whereas King missed a second straight sport due to a shoulder harm. On offense, they don’t seem to be more likely to get left deal with David Bakhtiari again for not less than one other week, and the identical may very well be true for receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Subsequent sport: at Cardinals (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday)


Washington

What to know: In some ways, Washington performed in addition to it may. It outgained Inexperienced Bay by 126 yards and the protection utilized constant stress with three sacks. Defensive deal with Jonathan Allen was terrific, and at instances, the protection made Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hesitate sufficient to permit the push to be efficient. The protection allowed a season-low 304 yards. However the offense had six journeys contained in the 25 that resulted in three factors — an indication of its lack of firepower. Inexperienced Bay had allowed 15 touchdowns in 15 crimson zone journeys earlier than this sport. For as soon as, the protection can construct off a robust sport, however the offense stays a difficulty. And that can be more durable to get proper. — John Keim

Is there an finish to their distress in sight? Washington performs at Denver, which can be struggling, subsequent week with an opportunity to finish a three-game skid. It ought to get tight finish Logan Thomas again quickly, maybe after the Week 9 bye. However its unique beginning quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, stays on injured reserve with a hip harm, and there is nonetheless no agency date for his return. Which means Washington should stay with Heinicke. He created together with his legs on Sunday, however he could not end drives and threw a decide in the long run zone. However till they get extra assist outdoors — receiver Curtis Samuel’s season-long groin situation continues to harm the offense — it will likely be tough to show this round. — Keim

Keim’s confidence score (0-10): 4.3, up from 3.7. Washington can really feel higher about its protection, however after a mixed 23 factors the previous two video games, it is exhausting to really feel the identical concerning the offense.

Subsequent sport: at Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Falcons

What to know: The Falcons took a two-possession lead and watched it fade away. They trailed on the two-minute warning, and it regarded bleak. However maybe these Falcons have found some resiliency. Matt Ryan, whose fumble finally led to Miami’s go-ahead rating, obtained the ball with 2:27 left and methodically marched down the sphere with a mixture of throws to tight finish Kyle Pitts and runs to arrange a game-winning discipline aim. It is the second time Atlanta has come from behind to win this season, displaying some gumption even when it blew a considerable lead. Sure, it got here in opposition to a nasty Dolphins staff, however Atlanta is thrashing the groups it ought to beat and placing itself in place to not less than be related for some time longer. — Michael Rothstein

Are you able to absolutely belief first-round decide Kyle Pitts now? Pitts had his second straight 100-plus-yard day Sunday in opposition to the Dolphins after a 119-yard sport in opposition to the Jets in Week 5. He is the primary rookie tight finish because the Raiders’ Raymond Chester in 1970 to have back-to-back 100-yard video games. Chester’s back-to-back 100-yard video games, like Pitts’, got here within the fifth and sixth video games of his staff’s season. Pitts’ 163 yards of labor Sunday got here in massive chunks, together with an unbelievable 39-yard reception on a deep route by which Miami security Eric Rowe interfered with Pitts by grabbing his proper arm. Pitts did not care — protruding his left arm to make a one-handed seize. He additionally had a 26-yard catch to open the second half that arrange a deep landing from Ryan to Russell Gage. There is no query about Pitts’ expertise. However Falcons coach Arthur Smith has absolutely unleashed his potential on the NFL, and he has develop into one of many staff’s most beneficial gamers. — Rothstein

Rothstein’s confidence score (0-10): 5.1, up from 5. So long as the Falcons have Younghoe Koo out there to make a kick to win the sport, Atlanta has an opportunity.

Subsequent sport: vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

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0:19

Matt Ryan connects with Calvin Ridley for a 5-yard landing to place the Falcons up over the Dolphins.


Dolphins

What to know: This season is over. The Dolphins are taking part in for delight from right here on out as a result of they actually will not be making the playoffs. Sunday marked their sixth straight loss, and a matchup with the AFC East’s resident bully, the Buffalo Payments, looms. Tua Tagovailoa performed among the finest video games of his profession however threw two backbreaking interceptions. Miami’s protection pressured two turnovers however was carved up by Matt Ryan and Kyle Pitts. The Dolphins thought they’d be a playoff staff this yr after successful 10 video games final season. Now, coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier may be the consensus picks as the primary to lose their jobs this season. Did I point out the Payments are coming off a bye and can be absolutely rested? Appears related. Desperation is about to set in for the Dolphins, which could set off one of the vital polarizing strikes in NFL historical past. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Will Grier and Flores’ desperation drive their hand in a commerce for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson? Not even Watson, who performed like an MVP candidate final season, can save Miami’s season, but when he’s cleared to play in 2022 (suspension or not), Grier and Flores possible will stick round to see the experiment via for not less than one other season. After all, Watson is dealing with 22 civil lawsuits for alleged sexual assault and inappropriate conduct and is underneath a grand jury investigation — so it is unclear what his future holds till an indictment is both levied or off the desk. — Louis-Jacques

Louis-Jacques’ confidence score (0-10): 1, down from 2. I’m assured the Dolphins could make it to the sphere subsequent week. I’m not assured they’re going to do a lot else in opposition to a Payments staff that is outscored them 91-26 of their previous two conferences.

Subsequent sport: at Payments (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Patriots

What to know: The Patriots had performed up and all the way down to the extent of their competitors coming into Week 7, so this was the kind of sport they wanted to indicate what they will do. They obtained on the Jets early and ran away with it. Whereas some may be inclined to say, “Yeah, but it surely’s the Jets,” the Patriots hadn’t proven they have been able to burying any staff this season. Keep in mind Week 5 in opposition to the Texans? The Patriots barely escaped in a 25-22 win by which they did not lead till the ultimate 15 seconds. Whereas the Jets aren’t a great soccer staff, the Patriots hadn’t proved to be a great one up so far. Possibly this provides them some confidence as they look forward to what needs to be a a lot harder check subsequent Sunday in opposition to the Chargers. — Mike Reiss

Who steps up if Devin McCourty and Jonnu Smith miss time? In what may very well be an ominous signal, tight finish Smith (shoulder) and security McCourty (stomach) have been dominated out of Sunday’s sport early within the second half. Within the occasion Smith is not able to go subsequent Sunday on the highway in opposition to the Chargers, it could possible thrust 2019 third-round decide Devin Asiasi into the No. 2 tight finish position for the primary time this season. He has been a wholesome scratch all yr. The staff additionally has veteran Matt LaCosse on the follow squad. In the meantime, McCourty’s void hits at a spot that’s skinny already. Veteran Adrian Phillips can be the subsequent man up — in opposition to his former staff, the Chargers — however the staff would possible want to contemplate a DB addition from the follow squad (Elijah Benton, Sean Davis, D’Angelo Ross) or the open market. — Reiss

Reiss’ confidence score (0-10): 5.2, up from 5. The secondary nonetheless reveals some vulnerability in opposition to the move, which may sting when going in opposition to quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers.

Subsequent sport: at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)


Jets

What to know: Quarterback Zach Wilson’s knee harm, if vital, can be a serious setback for the Jets’ roster rebuild — aka The Wilson Plan. This season is all about Wilson’s growth, and now there’s an opportunity he’ll miss out on much-needed sport expertise. The No. 2 general decide has a ton of expertise, however he is extraordinarily uncooked. He wants sport reps. He did not commit any turnovers on Sunday in opposition to the Patriots (he performed solely three collection), but it surely was one more jittery begin. The Jets have been trailing 17-0 when the harm occurred. A protracted-term harm is the nightmare state of affairs for the Jets, who seem to be a cursed franchise. — Wealthy Cimini

Will the Jets remorse not having a veteran backup QB? Sure, completely. Backup Mike White is not going to regular the ship, that is for certain. White, who changed the injured Wilson within the second quarter, threw a landing on his first NFL move — and it went south from there. He threw two interceptions, trying each bit like a QB neophyte. The Jets stubbornly refused so as to add an skilled backup as their QB2, and now they might pay the worth. It hurts your entire offense as a result of there can be no development underneath White; there can be regression as a result of it is again to sq. one if White has to begin. This may very well be a repeat of the Luke Falk Debacle in 2019. — Cimini

Cimini’s confidence score (0-10): 2, down from 3. What did the Jets do on their bye week, work on their Halloween costumes? It does not seem like they labored on soccer — they regressed in each method conceivable.

Subsequent sport: vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Bengals

What to know: The transformation is full. The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t simply playoff contenders, they’re the front-runners to win the AFC North. The NFL’s worst staff in 2019 went on the highway in Baltimore and soundly beat the Ravens. This was arguably the largest sport up to now of Zac Taylor’s teaching tenure. And in Yr 3, this staff is on the prime of the division. — Ben Child

Can the Bengals maintain this begin? Sure. It isn’t even a begin anymore. At this level within the season, and given any such victory over Baltimore, the Bengals are certifiably a great staff. Cincinnati’s protection flummoxed Baltimore and quarterback Lamar Jackson. Offensively, Cincinnati methodically picked the Ravens aside for the largest yardage day of Taylor’s teaching tenure. — Child

Child’s confidence score (0-10): 8.5, up from 7. There is no shading the Bengals after this one — this seems like the very best Cincinnati staff in six years.

Subsequent sport: at Jets (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

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1:24

Joe Burrow reveals out with three landing passes, main the Bengals to an enormous win over the Ravens.


Ravens

What to know: The Ravens aren’t working away with the AFC North. Baltimore was a landing favourite in opposition to Cincinnati and had the chance to go two video games up within the division. However the Ravens relinquished first place as a result of their secondary and run sport failed to indicate up as soon as once more. There was a rising feeling that Jackson may make up for any deficiencies. However quarterback Joe Burrow and the upstart Bengals confirmed they will go toe-to-toe with Jackson so far as huge performs. These aren’t the identical Bengals that have been 0-5 in opposition to Jackson. — Jamison Hensley

What is going on on with the Ravens secondary? When the Ravens move protection is unhealthy, it is actually, actually unhealthy. Per week after shutting down Justin Herbert, Baltimore had no solutions for Burrow, who threw for over 400 yards. The Ravens at the moment are the third staff all-time to permit three 400-yard passers within the first seven video games of a season, in accordance with Elias Sports activities Bureau. Professional Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey stated this week Bengals large receiver Ja’Marr Chase has made transitioning to the NFL look straightforward. Humphrey and the Baltimore protection made it simpler by not tackling. On Chase’s 82-yard landing reception within the third quarter, 72 yards got here after first contact. That is the tied for the third most yards after catch on a landing reception since ESPN started monitoring it in 2009. — Hensley

Hensley’s confidence score (0-10): 8, down from 9. The Ravens do not seem like the very best staff within the AFC North, a lot much less the AFC. Baltimore limps into the bye but it surely has an opportunity to go on one other run with video games in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears subsequent month.

Subsequent sport: vs. Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Nov. 7)

Giants

What to know: Chalk up final week as one unhealthy sport for Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. He was good Sunday in opposition to the Panthers regardless of taking part in with a decimated supporting forged that was lacking his prime 4 playmakers, all sidelined by harm. Jones accomplished 22 of 33 passes for 203 yards and a landing, ran for 28 extra yards and even made a diving, one-handed catch so as to add to his spotlight reel. He additionally did not commit a turnover. To do all of it with out seven of his Week 1 starters made this all of the extra spectacular, one other indication he may be the franchise quarterback to construct round. — Jordan Raanan

Is the Giants’ protection again? This was by far the protection’s greatest and most full effort this season. The unit allowed 173 yards and three factors and produced six sacks. And for the primary time this season, it regarded just like the unit that completed within the prime half of the league final season. Defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the highest-paid participant on the roster, performed prefer it for the second consecutive week. Williams and fellow defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence dominated on the inside, combining for 1.5 sacks and 6 whole tackles. That’s what the Giants wanted. The following check is available in a Monday evening matchup in opposition to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. — Raanan

Raanan’s confidence score (0-10): 3.1, up from 1.8. At the very least you are feeling a lot better concerning the protection and the quarterback after poor performances final week.

Subsequent sport: at Chiefs (8:15 p.m. ET, Nov. 1)


Panthers

What to know: Coach Matt Rhule should not have been “purchased in” on quarterback Sam Darnold, as he stated this previous week. Darnold was making too many errors previous to Sunday, and that continued on this loss, which led to him being benched in favor of P.J. Walker. Darnold had an intentional grounding from the top zone that resulted in a security and an interception close to the New York aim line throwing off his again foot. He has thrown seven interceptions up to now 4 video games. He is a wreck. It may be time for a everlasting change. — David Newton

Can the Panthers (3-4) salvage this season after their fourth straight loss? They’ve already misplaced three in a row to groups with shedding data and so they have a possible quarterback controversy with Darnold being benched. The schedule nonetheless is considerably favorable the subsequent couple of weeks with video games in opposition to Atlanta and New England. And so they may get working again Christian McCaffrey again in a number of weeks, to not point out Professional Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore subsequent week. However this seems to be a staff in disarray, and the again finish of the schedule may very well be overwhelming. — Newton

Newton’s confidence score (0-10): 4, down from 5. 4 straight losses, continued poor play by Darnold, a struggling offensive line and a protection that could not cease a depleted Giants offense doesn’t encourage confidence.

Subsequent sport: at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Titans

What to know: The Titans’ protection confirmed it’s able to dominating. Their entrance 4 package deal with Denico Autry and Bud Dupree on the skin surrounding Jeffery Simmons and Harold Landry on the inside harassed Mahomes all sport. Mahomes was sacked 4 instances and intercepted as soon as. Titans security Kevin Byard pressured Mahomes to fumble on a scramble to present Tennessee two turnovers. Kansas Metropolis transformed 4 of 11 third-down alternatives. The Titans held the Chiefs to 3 factors in a dominating efficiency — the primary time that is occurred to a Mahomes-led Chiefs offense through the common season. — Turron Davenport

Can the offensive line proceed to resist the harm bug? The Titans’ offensive line continues to endure from accidents. Taylor Lewan was already out of the sport with a concussion. Backup left deal with Kendall Lamm was knocked out of the sport due to an ankle harm and changed by Bobby Hart. Rodger Saffold missed a number of snaps due to a thigh harm. Tennessee has managed to patch a unit collectively every week. However sooner or later that’s going to meet up with them. Might it’s subsequent week going in opposition to the Colts and 2020 first-team All-Professional defensive lineman DeForest Buckner? — Davenport

Davenport’s confidence score (0-10): 8, up from 7.5. The Titans dealt with their enterprise in all aspects in opposition to the Chiefs and seem like they will compete with any staff within the AFC.

Subsequent sport: at Colts (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

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Derrick Henry takes a direct snap, fakes a run and passes to MyCole Pruitt for a landing.


Chiefs

What to know: The Chiefs can now not depend on scoring a lot of factors behind Mahomes every week. That phantasm was shattered in opposition to the Titans, who shut out the Chiefs within the first half and allowed solely a discipline aim within the third quarter. The Chiefs have dedicated not less than two turnovers in 5 of their previous six video games. — Adam Teicher

Can issues get a lot worse on protection? The Chiefs needs to be afraid to search out out. Amongst their subsequent 4 opponents are Rodgers and the Packers, Carr and the Raiders (who scored 71 factors in two video games in opposition to the Chiefs final season) and Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, who entered the week main the league in scoring. — Teicher

Teicher’s confidence score (0-10): 4, down from 6. The Chiefs look cooked. Their defensive issues have been with them nearly all season, whereas their offense in Tennessee was a multitude.

Subsequent sport: vs. Giants (8:15 p.m. ET, Nov. 1)

Browns

What to know: The Browns did not simply signal Case Keenum to be a mentor for beginning quarterback Baker Mayfield. They introduced in Keenum believing he may maintain Cleveland’s season afloat if known as upon. That is precisely what Keenum did Thursday, because the Browns toppled Denver to finish a two-game skid. It is unclear when Mayfield would possibly have the ability to return together with his ailing non-throwing shoulder, however Keenum confirmed the Browns have one other quarterback who can ship. — Jake Trotter

Will when Baker Mayfield return? Regardless of disclosing he additionally has a fracture on prime of the torn labrum to his left shoulder, Mayfield is aiming to return for Cleveland’s subsequent sport on Oct. 31 in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski stated it is too quickly to know if that is bold. However Mayfield’s standing going ahead can be a prevailing dialogue level in Cleveland. — Trotter

Trotter’s confidence score (0-10): 6.7, up from 6. The Browns steadied the ship with a stable effort to remain within the hunt within the AFC North.

Subsequent sport: vs. Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)


Broncos

What to know: 4 video games, 4 losses, 4 instances the Broncos did not constantly win the road of scrimmage on both facet of the ball. Defensively, the Broncos couldn’t stop the Browns from controlling the tempo, and when Denver lastly obtained sufficient offense going to make it a sport, the protection could not get the one cease it wanted to have an opportunity to flee with a win. And offensively, the Broncos have drifted away from what labored for them of their three wins. When quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is underneath heart extra, as in practically 50% of the time, the Broncos have had extra huge performs and moved the ball extra successfully. He was within the shotgun eight snaps greater than underneath heart of their three wins, however beginning with the loss to the Ravens, he is been within the shotgun much more. (He had 45 extra snaps within the shotgun than underneath heart of their Week 5 loss to the Steelers.) There is no purpose a quarterback cannot be underneath heart when down by one rating, particularly when he is proved to be more practical on these performs. — Jeff Legwold

Will getting Jerry Jeudy again assist not less than some? Undoubtedly, as defenses have cheated towards the road of scrimmage to promote out in opposition to the run as a result of they do not concern getting beat by the deep ball. A lot of the Broncos’ velocity on offense has been on injured reserve with Jeudy, large receiver KJ Hamler and tight finish Albert Okwuegbunam all out of the lineup. However Jeudy is trending to be again within the lineup Oct. 31 in opposition to Washington, which is able to drive an adjustment from opposing defenses that might give the Broncos slightly extra room to work of their play-action passing sport. — Legwold

Legwold’s confidence score (0-10): 5, down from 5.5. They now have seven linebackers on injured reserve, their quarterback is battered and they’re constantly shedding the road of scrimmage on either side of the ball.

Subsequent sport: vs. Washington (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)



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