By Anthony McClean, Editor-In-Chief Emeritus
A much anticipated head-to-head matchup between the top two Field Generals in the NFC West was one of the major highlighted contests heading into Week 7.
We also saw another mixed bag of outcomes that have folks scratching their heads in Foxboro, fans in Denver watching in awe, and folks in Houston wondering when will the nightmares go away.
Let’s go to the action.
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina (Loss at New Orleans)
After a promising 3-2 start, the Panthers have now lost 2 straight including Sunday’s division loss in the Bayou. While No. 5 put up some decent numbers (23-of-28, 254 yards, and two TD’s), it was the running game that struggled. The Panthers rushed for just 37 yards on 14 attempts, their lowest rushing output since they totaled 28 yards in a Week 5 loss at Detroit in 2017. Defensively, Carolina was gouged by a Saints’ offense that compiled a whopping 272 total yards and three touchdowns just in the first half.
DeShaun Watson, Houston (Loss vs. Green Bay)
After falling just short in an overtime loss to Tennessee, the Texans hit another low against Green Bay. Once again, Mr. Watson was a lone bright spot in Houston. After throwing for a combined 694 yards and seven touchdowns in his previous two games, Watson was 29 of 39 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. However, the Texans’ D put the team behind the 8-ball (AGAIN) which led to another loss.
Cam Newton, New England (Loss vs. San Francisco)
The sluggishness of No. 1 and the entire team came to a head in the worst home defeat in Bill Belichick’s 21-year tenure. After throwing 3 interceptions, Newton was benched late in the game against the defending NFC champions. Overall, New England has lost three straight and committed 11 turnovers in that stretch. The last time they had three straight games scoring 12 points or fewer was 1995 (final week of the season) and 1996 (first two games of the season). The last time they had three straight games scoring 12 points or fewer in a single season was 1993 (Weeks 8-10).
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (Win at Denver)
In Kansas City’s dismantling of the Broncos, the Chiefs became the first NFL team this season to score a touchdown on offense, defense and special teams. The reigning Super Bowl MVP was a modest 15-of-23 overall for 200 yards and extended his streak of regular-season games with a touchdown pass to 17, the longest current streak in the league. The strong win which showed the best of K.C. on both sides also extended their winning streak to 10 games against the Broncos.
Russell Wilson, Seattle (Loss at Arizona)
After living on the edge defensively all season, the Seahawks’ first loss of the season would prove to be a wake-up call for both sides of the line. No. 3 finished 33-of-50 for 388 yards and three touchdowns. But it was his two picks that proved to be very costly, especially down the stretch and in overtime. However, Seattle’s leaky defense lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and was a key factor in the division loss. Since the start of last season, 17 of the Seahawks’ 22 regular-season games have been decided by one score. The loss to Arizona dropped them to 14-3 in such games.
Kyler Murray, Arizona (Win vs. Seattle)
In the biggest victory in the Kingsbury era, Murray threw for 360 yards and three touchdowns with an interception on 34-for-48 passing. He also had 67 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. The teams combined for 1,091 yards — 572 by Seattle and 519 by Arizona — the most in a regular-season game since 2013. Arizona held Seattle, the highest-scoring team in the NFL, to just a touchdown in the second half.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Kansas City’s victory over Denver was the Chiefs’ 29th divisional win since 2015 – the most for any team against their own division in the NFL during that span.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at email@example.com.