NFL Week 7 Update

Week seven review, Bears talk, and week eight picks, with a special guest, Mr. Ledbetter!

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Week Seven Takeaways

Steelers: The Steelers are playing very well. They may be the best team in the league right now.

 

Bills: I’m concerned about the Bills. I thought that they were going to be able to put their bad performances against the Titans and the Chiefs behind them, but they didn’t. The offense continued to struggle, as they didn’t score a touchdown, against the Jets! They need to figure something out this week before they play one of their biggest games of the year against the Patriots.

 

Patriots: Maybe it wasn’t “the system” after all. The Patriots are now 2-4 and have lost three in a row. It’s not just the fact that they lost this game, it’s that they weren’t even close. Newton got benched after throwing three interceptions, Stidham hardly did any better, and the defense gave up 33 points. The Patriots are in trouble if they can’t turn things around in a hurry.

 

49ers: They surprised me last week. They just dominated the Patriots and now have two quality wins in a row. However, they are going to need another great performance if they want a chance to win in Seattle this week.

 

Saints: The Saints looked fine, but that game was a little too close for a home game against the Panthers. They have played some close games so far, and other than the Buccaneers in week one, they don’t have any notable wins. It will be interesting to see what they do against the Bears this week.

 

Buccaneers: They went on the road and beat the Raiders with ease. Earlier in the season, I wasn’t so sure they were legit, but now they are playing very well. After their Monday night matchup against the Giants, they have a couple of important divisional games.

 

Seahawks: The Seahawks showed some signs of “weakness” this past week against the Cardinals. For the first time this season, Russell Wilson was not able to score when the Seahawks needed it the most. However, I still think they are indisputably the best in NFC as of right now.

 

Cardinals: After losing back to back games against the Lions and Panthers in weeks three and four, things didn’t look too good for the Cardinals. But now they’ve got their ship headed in the right direction, and Murray is quickly turning into a star.

 

Browns: They managed to pull off another game, but it was ugly. To me, it seemed like the Browns and Bengals were pretty evenly matched, which is a problem for the Browns. Baker Mayfield is simply not as good as people predicted, and now OBJ is out for the season. They are 5-2, but I expect them to finish the season no better than 8-8.

 

NFC East:  Oh boy, things are starting to get real competitive in the NFC East! The NFC East sucks, but in all seriousness, it truly is a toss-up as to who will win this division.

 

What’s up wit Da Bears

 

That game against the Rams is what many other Bears fans have feared all season. The Bears can’t really take anything positive out of that game. The offense looked the worst it has all season, and the defense didn’t play particularly well. Overall, this was just a terrible game for the Bears.

The way I see it, the Bears had two major problems in their game against the Rams: the offensive line and the play calling. To anyone who watched that atrocious offensive performance, it was obvious that the offensive line played terribly. Nick Foles was under pressure the whole game and he had no time to pass the ball. It seemed like every time the Rams drew up some sort of stunt or blitz, it worked. That was a problem for Foles because he is not a mobile quarterback, so he had trouble escaping pressure. On top of that, David Montgomery had nowhere to go every time he touched the ball, and, as a result,  he only rushed for 48 yards on 14 attempts. It was clear that the Bears simply could not run the football this week, but some of the blame lies outside of Montgomery and the offensive line. Matt Nagy was part of the problem.

Nagy has long been thought of as an offensive-minded coach, and since coming to Chicago he has been praised for his creativity. But he has to be better. There are simply no excuses for the way his offense performed Monday night. The run game has been bad all season long, but in this game, Nagy seemed to try to fix the run game by running the ball more. That’s not going to work. All game long, the Rams put seven guys in the box and dared the Bears to run the football. When the Bears ran the ball, the Rams were right there, and when the Bears tried to pass the ball, Foles couldn’t get a throw off. So, instead of trying to run the ball, or attempt to pass the ball downfield, the Bears have to embrace what they do best and run short pass plays and let our playmakers do the rest. 

The Bears’ best drive of the game was their second drive of the third quarter when they drove down the field and Nick Foles threw an interception in the endzone. Even though it did not end in points, the Bears drove the ball, something they struggled to do all game. The key to the drive was the way it started, with a quick pass to Demetrius Harris that was good for nine yards. Quick, short passes on first and second down are a great way for the Bears to compensate for a struggling run game. On that drive, which totaled 76 yards, the Bears picked up four first downs, Montgomery had his longest run of the night, and Allen Robinson drew a pass interference call 26 yards downfield. This drive is what the Bears need to model their offensive after.

The Bears will have the chance to redeem themselves against the 4-2 Saints this Sunday. With Allen Robinson questionable for the game, the Bears might have to call on some of their other playmakers for production. If Robinson is inactive for this week’s game, I would like Nagy to find a way to utilize both Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet more effectively.

 

Last Week’s Game Pick Results

 

Calvin: 11-2, 20-7 Overall

Dante: 10-3, 16-11 Overall

Archie: 9-4, 18-9 Overall

Josh: 8-5, 16-11 Overall

 

Week 8 Game Picks

 

Sunday 12 P.M.

 

Steelers at Ravens

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Patriots at Bills

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Titans at Bengals

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Raiders at Browns

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Colts at Lions

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Vikings at Packers

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Jets at Chiefs

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Rams at Dolphins

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Sunday 3:05 P.M.

 

Chargers at Broncos

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Sunday 3:25 P.M.

 

Saints at Bears

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

49ers at Seahawks

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Sunday 7:20 P.M.

 

Cowboys at Eagles

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

Monday 7:15 P.M.

 

Buccaneers at Giants

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Ledbetter

 

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