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NFL Week 7 observations

NFL Week 7 observations
Todd Gurley is a beast. Photo by Rams/Facebook

Week 7 of NFL action was like a football buffet. You had some blowouts, some tightly played games, a few duds, and even a couple “whoops” that cost teams games. Here are my observations from week seven:

The Good

-Rams Running back Todd Gurley continues his march towards an MVP season. He tallied three more touchdowns in yet another blowout (39-10 over the 49ers). He has 14 touchdowns on the season and is on pace to break the single season record of 31 held by LaDainian Tomlinson.

-The Panthers were down 17-0 towards the end of the third quarter to the struggling defending champions the Eagles. Cam Newton knew his Panthers team couldn’t fall to 3-3 so he proceeded to march his team down the field for three fourth quarter scores to pull out a 21-17 win. Oh, and the Panthers defense held the Eagles to only 70 yards during that stretch.

-Vikings receiver Adam Thielen had nine catches on 10 targets for 110 yards and a touchdown in their 37-17 win over the Jets. He continues to prove he’s one of the better receivers in the game after being an undrafted free agent in 2013. He was a second team All-Pro last year and is making his case for another All-Pro team this year.

The Bad

-The Broncos bullied the woeful Cardinals 45-10 on Thursday Night Football. The worst part of this game: my dumb ass left the Broncos defense on the bench in fantasy football so I missed out on 33 points. Only reason it’s not in the “Ugly” is I still won my matchup.

-The Bengals were outgained by 312 yards in their 45-10 loss to the steamrolling Chiefs. The Bengals were 4-2 entering the game and needed to prove themselves against the Chiefs but laid an ostrich-sized egg. Instead of taking a controlling lead in the AFC North, they’ve now fallen to second place and failed to take advantage of the Ravens unfortunate loss.

-The Bears had a great shot at beating the Patriots Sunday and failed losing 38-31. Early in the second quarter, they held a 17-7 lead after two Patriot fumbles they recovered and appeared to have control of the game. True to form, the Pats went on a 31-14 run the rest of the way and stopped the Bears Hail Mary attempt to tie the game on the one yard line. That’s a sucky way to lose.

The Ugly

-Titans coach Mike Vrabel decided to go for the two point conversion and the win, instead of kicking the extra point for the tie and almost guaranteed overtime. Yes, 31 seconds is plenty of time for weird things to happen, but so is a 10 minute overtime period. This is the new leader in the clubhouse for “Idiot Decision of the Year” award in coach’s category.

-Dereck Anderson started for the Bills two weeks after signing with them off his sofa at home. He threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, but will start next week despite his four turnover performance in their 37-5 loss to the Colts. Yes, Nathan Peterman is that bad.

-Now 10 of the 32 first round selections of the 2015 draft have been traded or released. Former Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper was the 10th one when the Cowboys desperately gave up next year’s first rounder for a guy who’s steadily declined since his rookie year. Teams don’t often give up on first rounders that easily. Takes a special kind of suck to be traded or cut three years after being so highly thought of.

How was that buffet? Pretty good variety right? The only thing with a buffet is that I tend to over-eat and go home with “the itis.” As I was getting sleepy with “the itis”, the only thing that could help me sleep was the Rockets sorry asses. Hopefully next week will be just as good a buffet as this week was. Somebody get me a heartburn pill please. My reflux is acting up. Ate too much.

 

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Following Houston's 6-4 road trip, the Astros returned home to finish the first "half" of the season before the All Star break hosting Florida and Texas. Houston's road trip was filled with clutch performances in New York, dominance in taking 3 of 4 in Toronto, and a dose of close calls and tough realities with a short-handed team against Minnesota.

Now the Astros hope to take care of business against the lowly Marlins and division rival Rangers. The Texas series, in particular gives Houston the opportunity to reassert their hold on the #2 spot ahead of the Rangers who have won their last 5 games in a row (as of the time this was published). Both teams have won 7 of their last 10 games and hope to catch a free-falling Seattle team to overtake the division lead.

Dana Brown told the media last week he expects both Justin Verlander and Kyle Tucker to be reactivated following the All-Star break but Tucker's updates continue to be more promising than Verlander's and MUCH more promising than Lance McCullers. Astros manager informed the media this week that McCullers has been shut down from throwing after his arm did not respond well to his recent bullpen sessions and the team is formulating the plan for what's next for the embattled pitcher. McCullers hasn't pitched since the 2022 postseason and underwent season-ending flexor tendon surgery last June. McCullers is under contract with Houston until 2026.

An eventual return for Kyle Tucker would spur a juggling act from Joe Espada to find a proper balance of time for all his outfielders, none of which have separated themselves offensively. Chas McCormick had a great month of June recording an .804 OPS but that run looks more like an anomaly as his scuffles have continued over the past 2.5 weeks, recording just 4 hits over his last 32 plate appearances.

While Jake Meyers has wowed fans and teammates with his glove this season, his offense has hit a skid, hitting just .184 with a .565 OPS over the past month. After rookie Joey Loperfido's torrid debut, he too has struggled with the bat, hitting just .216 with .599 OPS over the same time period.

An unexpected bright spot has been the recent play of first baseman Jon Singleton. Over the last 4 weeks, "Big Jon" is batting .302 with an .802 OPS. It's worth mentioning that Singleton's season numbers are better than Florida's Josh Bell, who drew interest from Astros fans over the past several seasons as a potential answer at first base. Bell has 135 more ABs this season so its not quite an apples-to-apples comparison but there's no doubt Singleton's contributions were sorely needed following the release of Jose Abreu.

To watch part 1 of this week's episode of Stone Cold StrosStone Cold Stros, just click the video above or to listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

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