2019 NFL: Week 7
There’s nothing more American than the comeback story. Maybe it was the Puritan influence in the early going of this nation that made it so since there’s no bigger example of a successful rebound than Jesus.
Fast forward through the years and the names and tales are endless, no more so than in the sports world. Even Michael Jordan, arguably the most beloved and respected athlete this country has ever produced, is a comeback story. After all, he was once cut from the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year. Imagine the dedication (!!!) and intestinal fortitude (!!!) it took for him to knuckle up, come back stronger as a junior and not only make the varsity squad, but be named school principal! Pretty sure it happened that way …
We can even anticipate them. You heard it here first, one day we will be celebrating Andrew Luck’s NFL comeback. It may not happen next year, but it’s going to happen. Eventually, he will feel the itch and ….
Holy hell. Patrick Mahomes has left this Thursday night game in Denver with a knee injury. That literally just happened. Oh, lord, did the trainers pop his knee back into place on the field? According to medically trained people on Twitter, it sure looks like they did.
There he goes back to the locker room. Matt Moore has taken over at quarterback for the Chiefs. Word has come down that Mahomes has been ruled out for the remainder of this game. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess.
According to Dr. Mark Adickes, a former NFL offensive lineman turned orthopedic surgeon, Mahomes’ injury can be treated without surgery and a brace. That would be great. However, if the MRI shows ligament damage, he’ll need to have season-ending surgery. We just won’t know until the results come in.
And that would be a disaster. For the Chiefs, for the league, for the sport, for the fans. Sigh.
We really can’t have nice things in this country anymore.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
NFL’S TOP 10
1) Patriots — There’s zero reason to move them from this spot. Let’s check in real quick. Defense? Check. Special teams? Check. Offense? Needs improvement, but Tom Brady is still the quarterback, so check. And they’re still unbeaten at 6-0.
2) 49ers — I’m a slave to records. They’re 5-0 and are coming off an absolute undressing of the Rams, as they held Jared Goff to 78 yards passing, which shouldn’t be possible at the professional level. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh should be a sexy head coach candidate name soon.
3) Saints — Speaking of comeback stories, how about that Teddy Bridgewater? Eh? Eh? While he’s handling the quarterbacking duties just fine, New Orleans’ defense has come together. Who would have thought this team would be 4-0 without Drew Brees?
4) Seahawks — They don’t have much of a pass rush, but somehow they get stops when they need them. And I’m not breaking new ground here when I say Russell Wilson is the clear MVP frontrunner. If he’s able to officially put the Legion of Boom era in the past and take home the league’s ultimate individual honor, doesn’t that qualify as a comeback story? I’m sensing a theme this week …
5) Packers — People say the Matt LaFleur-Aaron Rodgers combo is coming together. Fine, if they say so. I still see mistakes being made and streaky success. Yet, their 5-1 so they must be doing something right. And with every game, I become less of a fan of Mike Pettine’s defense.
6) Texans — Maybe I shouldn’t have been so aggressive while discussing Russell Wilson. Fine, I’ll adjust: Wilson is still my No. 1, but Deshaun Watson is my 1a. He outdueled Patrick Mahomes (pour one out) on the road and now has an offensive line that can keep him on his feet. One bone to pick: He’s spreading the ball around too much. That makes it annoying when it comes to fantasy, just saying.
7) Bills — Maybe they should be higher on this list. If we were judging defenses, they would be in the top 3. They have three straight home games when they come back from their bye next week. Their opponents? The winless Dolphins, the aimless Eagles and the moribund Redskins. Things look good for Buffalo.
8) Chiefs — This might be the last time you see them in the top 10. Matt Moore’s performance in relief on Thursday night got the job done in a winning effort, but is he the answer going forward? Maybe Andy Reid should give Colin Kaepernick a call. Talk about a comeback story …
9) Vikings — Wow, what a surprise. You let Kirk Cousins actually throw the ball and suddenly, Minnesota’s offense has come alive. He has back-to-back games with over 300 yards passing and a QB rating in the 130s. Cousins has also thrown 6 TD passes over that time and their wide receivers seem satisfied again.
10) Panthers — Kyle Allen is 4-0 as the starting QB in Cam Newton’s absence and the team is heading into their bye week. Newton is supposed to return to practice next week and all signs are pointing to him getting his job back. I don’t think anyone should really have a problem with that. He’s the face of the franchise and the coaching staff now has the peace of mind of knowing they have a capable backup.
WHAT’S THE CHATTER?
Welcome back: Sam Darnold did some nice things in his return to the Jets after dealing with a bout of mono. Hope he enjoyed himself because he’s got the Patriots on Monday night. Good luck against that secondary.
Big D-isappointment: Just a few weeks ago, the Cowboys and Rams were 3-0. Neither team has won a game since. People say it’s a cop-out to blame losses on injuries, but those people are stupid. I can clearly point to injuries as being the cause for Dallas’ recent slide, especially along the offensive line. So, stow your Dak Prescott takes and your Zeke rants and your Jason Garrett jeers. Actually, keep going with the Garrett digs. He kinda deserves it.
Cry, Eagles, cry: Speaking of disappointments, I can’t keep crowing about how talented this roster is if they keep failing on Sundays.
Truly homeless: You have to feel bad for the Chargers. I live in Los Angeles and I can attest that this franchise isn’t on our radar. People here are way more focused on the Lakers now that the Dodgers have been eliminated. The Clippers with Kawhi Leonard and the Rams are fighting for third, just barely above an irrelevant USC football program. If the Trojans get it together, they’ll move into third. Then it’s the Kings, then the soccer teams, then the Orange County teams (Angels, Ducks), then that UCLA football tragedy under Chip Kelly …. and then the Chargers. Watching that small stadium filled with Steelers fans waving those dumb towels was painful.
The issue with Southern California is that we’re a true American melting pot. We have people from all four corners of the country here in vast numbers. Cheeseheads, Yinzers, Chowderheads, Manhattanites, Texans, Chicagoans, Hoosiers and Bay Area hippies think this is a righteous place. Opposing fans show up in droves for games involving teams we care about. When it comes to teams we ignore? Ouch.
A little help: The Giants haven’t had much help for rookie QB Daniel Jones as injuries have taken away many of his weapons. However, that changes as running back Saquon Barkley will be in the lineup on Sunday. And not a moment too soon. The worst thing you can do is put too much on a rookie’s plate. The position is hard enough.
That being said … : How about that Kyler Murray, right? The kid just had the best game of his young career, throwing for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win over the dumpster fire Falcons. And they’ve won two games! With the way the Rams are going lately, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Cardinals climb out of the NFC West cellar.
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK 7
Rams at Falcons: Just in case you couldn’t tell, I’m completely disgusted with both of these teams. There’s too much talent on both of these rosters for them to underperform this much. I have a sinking feeling the Rams will stumble in Atlanta.
Vikings at Lions: Two teams in opposite directions. The Vikings are coming off an impressive home win while the Lions got screwed by the refs in a tough road loss. Look for Detroit’s defense to come out hot at home.
Raiders at Packers: The league schedule makers really gave the Raiders a crap go of it as they’ve been forced to fly all over the country and across the Atlantic. They come back from their bye week with a tough test in Green Bay. I’m low-key rooting for the Raiders this season, so I’m invested in this game.
Texans at Colts: Nothing like a compelling division matchup. Let’s see how Watson matches up against the talented Indy defense.
Cardinals at Giants: A showdown between the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. Always a good time. Kyler should get some nice yardage, but it will be Big Blue relying on a returning Saquon Barkley to carry the load in what should be a nice win.
49ers at Redskins: I want to see just how bad Kyle Shanahan is going to take it out on his former team.
Saints at Bears: Chicago is an interesting team. They have depth at running back, but don’t particularly use it. And while their defensive front has frightening talent, they have some injuries and are coming off a less-than-impressive effort in a loss to Oakland. However, don’t be surprised to see them pull it together in a big way.
Ravens at Seahawks: Book it.
Eagles at Cowboys: Love it.
Patriots at Jets: Might as well watch it.
Currently a Mobile Editor at Yahoo, Saraf spent 5.5 years (Oct. 2010 - Feb. 2016) working for FOX Sports as an NFL Editor and Writer. Prior to that, Saraf worked for CBS Interactive for 4.5 years (May 2006 - Oct. 2010) as a Staff Editor.