NFL Week Seven

NFL Week Seven: Good, bad & ugly

Tom Brady
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Water will always find its level. The same holds true for contenders and pretenders in the NFL. Here are my observations from Week Seven:

The Good

-When the Ravens faced off against the Seahawks in Seattle, we were treated to two of the most dynamic playmakers at the quarterback position in the league with Lamar Jackson facing off against Russell Wilson. While neither guy completed more than 50% of their passes, it was exciting to see them work. They are amazing to watch scramble around and make plays. Wilson is the better passer, while Jackson is the better runner. The Ravens won 30-16 thanks to their two turnover returns for touchdowns. Would love to see this matchup in a Super Bowl one day.

-The Patriots keep on rolling. They mashed the Jets 33-0 on Monday Night Football. While Tom Brady will get most of the credit, Bill Belichek and that defense deserves their fair share. They held the Jets to 154 total yards and even that is about 107 yards less than their season average. Brady is averaging almost 300 passing yards a game this year at age 42 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

-The San Francisco 49ers are 6-0 for the first time since 1990. They gained their sixth victory by way of an ugly 9-0 win over the Skins in what seemed to be played in the middle of a monsoon. To put that into perspective: the average rent was $465/month, gas was $1.34/gallon, a home was $123,000, and I was in 4th grade. Watch out for this team. They're legit on both sides of the ball.

The Bad

-Seahawks rookie receiver DK Metcalf committed a virtual non-contact fumble in crunch time. Down by 10 with about four minutes left, he caught a bubble screen, tried to make a move, and dropped the ball after minimal to no contact. The Ravens' corner Marlon Humphrey eventually picked it up and scored to put the game out of reach. Metcalf will be going through ball carrying drills this week.

-In a battle of the top two quarterbacks taken in the past draft, the Cardinals' Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones both committed boneheaded mistakes. Jones tried to lead block for Saquon Barkley and was laid out by Haason Reddick. Later on, Murray was scrambling while in field goal range and up 24-21 with just over two minutes left. Instead of sliding to take more time off the clock, he ran out of bounds. It didn't cost them the game, but it was a dumbass play nonetheless.

-Dolphins rookie defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was ejected a couple weeks ago for suplexing Chargers' running back Austin Ekeler and said he "didn't know" he couldn't do that. This week, he was ejected for throwing a punch on the second play of the game

The Ugly

-Falcons running back Devonta Freeman got himself ejected in the 3rd quarter of their loss to the Rams for trying to fight Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald of all people! Donald, at one point, lifted Freeman off the ground as if he were a small child. It's bad enough the Falcons have fallen off a cliff since blowing the biggest lead in Super Bowl history. It was compounded when Freeman's backup Ito Smith left the game with a concussion.

-Dolphins safety Bobby McCain had an ugly encounter with Bills fans after their 31-21 loss. McCain got into a verbal sparring match with a 13 year old and allegedly spit in the face of another fan. While fans have every right to express themselves, they shouldn't overstep any boundaries. At the same time, players need to act accordingly, especially knowing fans affinity for trolling them into something.

-Several key players sustained injuries this past week. Vikings' receiver Adam Thielen went down with a hamstring injury in the 1st quarter. Lions' running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) and corner Darius Slay (hamstring) both went down. The Falcons also lost quarterback Matt Ryan with an ankle injury in the 4th quarter. Keep an eye on the injury report later this week, especially if any of these guys are on your fantasy football teams.

There's only two undefeated teams left now. One isn't a surprise at all (Patriots), the other is a complete surprise (49ers). I doubt either one stays undefeated due to the law of averages. New England will slip at some point to someone, and the 49ers will have a game in which their inexperience will catch up to them. Besides, there are too many good teams out there that can give either one of them a loss. There are nine other teams with either one or two losses that can be considered serious contenders right now. To say there are 11 teams in the league that have zero, one, or two lossess at this point in the season and all of them are a threat feeds into the parity narrative. Here's to the ride the rest of the way and hoping it has as much parity as the first seven weeks have had.

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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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