In these weekly previews, I’ll highlight the results that I found shocking from the previous week, as well as preview the game I am most looking forward to from the weekend ahead. As we get later into the season, I may add some other sections to this, including playoff positioning and a look forward to the upcoming draft.
Surprising Results from Week 6
This week went pretty much as expected, but there were still some results that were unexpected based on my personal preseason expectations. These three scores stood out to me during the sixth week of the season:
New England Patriots 43 – Kansas City Chiefs 40
We highlighted this matchup as our Week 7 Game of the Week last week, and boy did it live up to its billing. You had to know that even after Patrick Mahomes found Tyreke Hill on that 75-yard touchdown reception with three minutes left that they left way too much time on the clock for the Patriots and Tom Brady. Both quarterbacks went over 340 yards, and Patrick Mahomes added four more touchdowns to his season total (18 through 6 games), but Tom Brady tied Drew Brees for game-winning drives among active quarterbacks (43; both are chasing Peyton Manning’s 54). Both defenses looked shaky in the highest scoring NFL game in a long time, but New England proved that they remain the class of the AFC, while the Chiefs cemented their spot in second place ahead of the…
Pittsburgh Steelers 28 – Cincinnati Bengals 21
Third-place team in the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers. They trail both the Ravens and Bengals by half a game thanks to that Week 1 tie with Cleveland, but the Steelers look like they might be rounding into form, even before the return of Le’Veon Bell from his holdout (who is rumored to be be returning to the team after their bye this week, but we’ll see). James Conner had another good game in the All-Pro’s absence, going over 100 yards for the second straight game and scoring two touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards and two touchdowns of his own – one each to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown, who were both over 100 yards receiving in the game – and sealed the game with a two point conversion to put the game away with just over a minute to play.
Los Angeles Rams 23 – Denver Broncos 20
The Rams remain as the only undefeated team in the league, and they needed to rely on their defense to keep the Broncos in check after they scored a late touchdown to get within three. Jared Goff had an average game, so the Rams’ offense relied on the legs of Todd Gurley, who ran for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Gurley currently leads the league in rushing (623 yards) and rushing touchdowns (9), giving some credence to the early season MVP talk around the star running back. Goff is still playing well enough to remain in the conversation at this point, which could hurt Gurley’s chances if they split the vote, but Gurley is on pace for over 1,600 yards rushing (and over 2,300 of total offense) and almost 30 total touchdowns, which would be amazing numbers should he maintain that pace.
Week 7 Game of the Week
One of the teams from last week’s Game of the Week is making an appearance in this spot again this week, and it’s going to be my team: New England Patriots at the Chicago Bears. I am intrigued to see if Tom Brady can be his normal precise self against a Bears defense that has looked average the past couple of weeks after a blistering start to the season. Khalil Mack is playing in early season games that matter again, and the Bears are looking to show that they belong among the elite of the league this season. The Bears offense is still a few years behind it’s defense, but what better defense to face than one that just gave up 40 points and that is coming off a “short” week because of a Sunday night game. The Patriots defense historically has been one that is more about “bend but don’t break” instead of being super dominant anyway, so it will be an interesting matchup on both sides of the ball in this one.
The line is currently Patriots -3, and I expect them to cover; 30-24 Pats.
The other participant in last week’s Sunday night is also playing a game that should be fun to watch, as the Chiefs host the Bengals in a game that gives the Bengals a chance to prove they are a team to reckon with this season. The Rams will probably extend their undefeated season on the road in San Francisco, and the Ravens play host to the Saints in a game that could either have a lot of points or hardly any.
Week 7 Bye Teams
To make sure you get your fantasy lineups adjusted as necessary, the following teams are on byes this week:
Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks
Until next time…
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