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Week 7 Reactions and Takeaways

Week 7 has come and gone, and TRO is reflecting on all that went down, breaking down major headlines, and handing out its weekly superlatives. Check out our thoughts following Week 7's action:

via Associated Press

Another week gone, another wild slate of games. TRO is launching its rapid reactions following the conclusion of the games from the Week prior. With Week 7 in the books, it's time to fire off TRO's immediate reactions following all of the action. We're here, again, to elaborate on the biggest headlines that stuck with us and to hand out weekly superlatives. Look for TRO to award the Game of the Week to the most exciting matchup, and the Surprise Performance of the Week to the most deserving team that exceeded our expectations, in addition to individual player superlatives. Players whose team won their game will be eligible to be selected in the following categories: Passer of the Week, Pass Catcher of the Week, Tailback of the Week, Defensive Lineman of the Week, Linebacker of the Week, Defensive Back of the Week, and Special Teamer of the Week.


via Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Time to Panic in Kansas City

The Chiefs are 3-4, tied for last in the AFC West, and are coming off of the biggest blowout loss we've seen them be apart of in the Patrick Mahomes era. Sunday was the first time he lost a game by more than 17 points in his career. Kansas City has proven incapable on the defensive side of the ball, their offensive line (despite offseason acquisitions) is not very good, and as a result, Mahomes is out there trying to do too much. Year-by-year in his young career, Mahomes has thrown: 12 interceptions (first year starter where he also threw 50 touchdowns), 5 interceptions, and 6 interceptions. This year, through 7 weeks, he has accumulated 9 interceptions (League high).

Kansas City has put themselves in a giant hole that will take a miraculous turn around for them to even be in consideration for making the Playoffs in a loaded AFC. Certainly, it's never wise to count out Andy Reid, Mahomes, and company, but as things stand right now, there's a recipe to beating the Chiefs this year, and teams are cashing in with regularity.

The Panthers and Broncos are (NOT) Who We Thought They Were

The Panthers and Broncos both started the season 3-0, and despite favorable early-season matchups, they appeared to be playoff contenders and would pose a problem for anyone in their way. Now, both teams are 3-4 after dropping 4 straight games, and their flaws have been maximized.

The Panthers offensive line play is horrendous, and as a result, we have been treated to more of the Sam Darnold we were accustomed to seeing in New York. With Christian McCaffrey sidelined, this offense has fallen on its face. The defense still looks as good as advertised, despite a couple of key injuries, but they are constantly on the field due to the offense's ineptitude. Carolina fans hope that the return of Shaq Thompson, Juston Burris, and debut of Stephon Gilmore will push this team over the edge as Darnold works to redeem himself until CMC can suit back up. Otherwise, this nosedive is only just beginning of an awful tailspin into a pit of fire.

The Broncos have suffered a few injuries here and there, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and Teddy Bridgewater has looked more like the quarterback we saw in Carolina last year who could not push the defense and stretch the field, losing games late despite having the ball in his hands with time to spare. The Broncos couldn't take care of a Browns team ravaged with injuries on Thursday night, they failed to take advantage of the Raiders' Jon Gruden drama a week ago, and they were unable to stick it to a Steelers team that appeared to be on its last leg. Coming up, they face a couple of weaker NFC East teams in a row, and need to get on track of they want to have any hope of hanging with the Chiefs as both teams try to crawl out of last place in the AFC West.

Cincinnati has Arrived

We expected Cincinnati to be competitive this year, and after the first few weeks, we had them pegged as a legitimate playoff team. After Sunday, they look to be one of the better teams in the AFC. They went to Baltimore and thrashed a red-hot Ravens team. Joe Burrow looks like a 8 year veteran in just his second year, simply bringing that "it" factor each and every week, Ja'Marr Chase continues to remind everyone why he was the right selection over Penei Sewell in this year's Draft, Joe Mixon looks like the fantasy-stud of years' past, and the Defense has surpassed everyone's expectations. This is a fun football team with a bright road ahead of it.

Considering the Colts

The Colts got off to a rough start to the Season, and Carson Wentz did not look any different from last year's quarterback that the Eagles decided to move off of. Since then, the Colts have won 2 straight, and just before that, they took the Ravens to overtime. Wentz has been playing some very efficient football as of late, Darius Leonard has woken up the defense, and the team finally starts to look a bit more like Indianapolis fans expected them to be.

Early Trade Deadline Rumors

The trade deadline is Tuesday, November 2nd, at 4:00p.m. EST and there are a lot of teams with a lot of needs. Here are some of the major players to keep an eye on.

Deshaun Watson: Will the Texans move Watson off of the books before the deadline? The Rumors are heating up that multiple teams are interested, even beyond Miami and Carolina. Houston's asking price is too high, and the unknown surrounding Watson's legal battles make it tough to buy into any rumors. Houston would like to get something for him and move on, but will any teams take the bait? We think Watson might end up in Miami, maybe sending Tua Tagovailoa to Washington, Carolina, or somewhere else with similar needs, as part of a three-team trade.

Xavien Howard: The Dolphins had a hard time getting Howard to want to suit up for the team before the season started, and now that the team is 1-6, all signs are pointing to the star corner being shipped off for draft capital. Look for a playoff contending team to swoop in and make a move: Tennessee, Minnesota, Cincinnati, or even Kansas City could all be viable and intriguing options.

Allen Robinson: The Bears and Allen Robinson have had an interesting relationship the past couple of years, and this year he's quietly endured his worst season. His lack of production has simply been a product of a lack of schematic involvement, offensive execution, and targets. Baltimore, San Francisco, New England, Indianapolis, and New Orleans would all make interesting destinations.

Other players to keep your eye on are Brandin Cooks, Nick Foles, Kyle Fuller, Marlon Mack, Andy Isabella, etc.

2) GAME OF THE WEEK: Atlanta Falcons @ Miami Dolphins

via DolphinsWire / USA Today

While many of the League's top teams were enjoying the first round of Bye Weeks, or playing inferior opponents, many of the Week 7 matchups weren't the biggest of headline-breakers. Despite both teams being on the (far) outside of the playoff picture, this Falcons / Dolphins game made for an entertaining showdown on Sunday. Both teams had around 400 yards of offense, there were a couple of eyebrow raising (for different reasons) interceptions, and the game was decided by 2 points as Younghoe Koo nailed a walk-off game-winner as time expired.


via Bill Kostroun / Associated Press

The Panthers looked to storm into MetLife and get back on track following a disappointing 3 game skid. The Giants entered the game without Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, John Ross, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, a number of key offensive linemen, and have already been missing Blake Martinez on the defensive side of the ball since Week 3. The Panthers defense was expected to feast, allowing Sam Darnold to return to the quarterback we saw for the first three weeks. Instead, the Giants defense frustrated Sam Darnold, and his struggles continued to worsen. The Panthers defense did their part, but Jason Garrett called a number of plays involving Daniel Jones's legs (and hand[s]) to move the ball just enough, as the Panthers defensive fell victim to fatigue from spending most of the game on the field following the Panthers' offensive ineptitude. Props to the Giants for pulling off the upset, dominating Carolina 25-3.


PASSER OF THE WEEK: Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

via Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

The GOAT makes his way back onto this list for the second time this year (Week 2). Against a formidable Bears defense, Brady threw for 211 yards and 4 touchdowns (totaling 602 career passing touchdowns), adding another accolade to his absolutely ridiculous resume.

PASS CATCHER OF THE WEEK: Ja'Marr Chase - Cincinnati Bengals

via Rob Carr / Getty Images

Speaking of historic accolades, Ja'Marr Chase is off to one of the hottest starts any receiver has ever had in the history of the NFL. He torched an excellent Marlon Humphrey for 201 yards on 8 catches, finding the end zone 1 time on a 82 yard play. Chase was all over the field, and was a key reason the Bengals were able to rout the Ravens in Baltimore. Remember when he "couldn't catch?"

TAILBACK OF THE WEEK: D'Ernest Johnson - Cleveland Browns

via Scott Galvin / USA TODAY Sports

D'Ernest Johnson went undrafted in 2018, briefly signing with New Orleans, where he was shortly cut thereafter. He then worked on a fishing boat, and in 2018 he direct messaged every single AAF team on instagram, asking if he could forward them tapes of his highlights. Thursday night he got his chance to start in the NFL since being around the Browns' organization since 2019. With injuries to Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt, Johnson ran wild over the Broncos, totaling 146 yards on 22 carries and scoring once. He also caught 2 balls for 22 yards. He was instrumental in keeping the game flow open for Case Keenum, and proved to be clutch, picking up key first downs to ice the game as the Browns picked up a victory against the Broncos.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN OF THE WEEK: Larry Ogunjobi - Cincinnati Bengals

via Cincinnati Bengals

Larry Ogunjobi was a force up the middle for the Bengals, helping keep Lamar Jackson in check, as the Ravens offense managed to muster only 17 points. Ogunjobi totaled 1.5 sacks, 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 quarterback hits, anchoring this defensive line all game long.

LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Demario Davis - New Orleans Saints

via the Athletic

Demario Davis frustrated Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks offense all night Monday. He was all over the field, racking up 10 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 quarterback hits, and 1 pass defended. He was instrumental in stopping the run, effective as a pass rusher, and was a menace in pass coverage. The Saints notched a narrow 13-10 win, and the fact that Davis put up these kind of numbers in such a low scoring game only highlights the impact he had on his team's victory on the road.

DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK: Jalen Ramsey - Los Angeles Rams

via the Athletic

Back for the second time this year (Week 1), Jalen Ramsey put together another classic performance against Detroit. He tallied 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit, 1 pass deflection, and notched the game-deciding interception with just 5 minutes left to play in the 4th quarter. We can't forget to mention that Sunday was also his birthday. Happy [belated] Birthday Ramsey, and welcome back to TRO's weekly accolades.

SPECIAL TEAMER OF THE WEEK: Michael Badgley - Indianapolis Colts

via Tony Avelar / AP Photo

Sunday night's game in San Francisco dealt with the heaviest rainfall we've seen all season. That kind of environment, on the road, in a primetime matchup, in what was a close game until the end, makes for an extremely stressful evening for a placekicker. We can't forget to mention that Michael Badgley also was brought in as a result of the Colts' number 1 kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship being ruled out due to injury. While Badgley reportedly had a discouraging pregame warmup Sunday Night, Frank Reich maintained his trust in his kicker, and it paid off for the Colts, as Badgley made all 3 of his extra points, and a 42 yard field goal despite facing the elements.


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