NFL 2020 Week 7 Recap: Pittsburgh Stands Alone

Week 7 of the NFL season had so many intriguing storylines. Three undefeated teams, two of them facing off. John Gruden and the Buccaneers facing off. Kyle Shanahan versus Bill Belichick. Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson in primetime. It was a week set to thrill and it did not disappoint. Let’s take a look back at an entertaining Week 7 in our latest recap of the 2020 NFL season.

The Battle of the Undefeateds:

What a game we had in Nashville. Make no mistake about it – BOTH these teams are legit. That said, it was Pittsburgh’s day. They did their level best to let the Titans back into it late on, but Ben Roethlisberger did enough in opening up a 27-7 lead to take the Steelers to 6-0 for the first time since 1978, when they went on to win the Super Bowl. Diontae Johnson was electric, and it seems like whichever Steelers receivers you set out to remove from the game, another hungry head will take his place. Claypool held in check? Johnson goes mad. And JuJu Smith-Schuster is still there too. So many weapons… 

Right now, the Steelers look just as good as any team not named the Chiefs in the AFC. Pittsburgh vs Kansas City could be where we’re headed and it would be amazing. 

Spare a thought for Mike Vrabel and his troops who, if not for a Steven Gostkowski missed FG, could have taken this to OT late on. They showed grit, determination and belief to drag themselves back into a contest from nowhere. A.J. Brown is becoming an elite WR, Derrick Henry was held to “just” 75yds and a TD. The Titans are going to be a very tough out in the AFC Playoffs come January. The Steelers? They might be a very tough out in the AFC Championship game if they keep rolling like this.

NFL Week 7 Recap 2020

The Battle of Ohio:

Another fantastic game, as the Cleveland Browns moved to 5-2 against the plucky Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Burrow threw for over 400 yards but was pipped for the game’s MVP by… yup… a week after an absolutely horrific performance… your friend and mine… the most divisive QB in the NFL… Baker freakin’ Mayfield. 

Mayfield started the game in awful fashion (0/5, INT) but then proceeded to rattle off 22/23 for 297 yards and 5 (yup, FIVE) TDs in his subsequent passes, on a day where he was without Odell Beckham, who went down with a serious knee injury. This was a serious riposte from Mayfield after a difficult week following the Pittsburgh episode. Yes, it’s “only” the Bengals, but the accuracy and zip was there on his passes, connecting with the unheralded guys like Harrison Bryant (2TDs) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (the game-winner). 

The Browns are not Super Bowl front-runners (the defense is too porous, and Mayfield too inconsistent for that to be possible), but the Mayfield slander was way overblown. Mayfield is a good quarterback. Kevin Stefanski is proving himself to be a good coach. The Browns are a good team.

Aaron Rodgers heard your slander:

Everyone has an off day. We’re all human. However, when you’re the Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, and one of the greatest to ever play the game, people over react to your off days. Last week, Aaron Rodgers looked awful, and the Buccaneers defense feasted on the Pack. 

This week, the hunted became the hunter. Rodgers absolutely smoked the Houston Texans. Davante Adams is obviously fed up with not being given the respect he deserves as potentially the best WR in the game. I’m personally a DeAndre Hopkins man, but performances like this make it hard to go against Mr. Adams. 

The Packers are stacked; they accomplished this win without their lead back, Aaron Jones, who was sidelined this week. Jamaal Williams casually stepped up and looked great. The story would be even more one-sided if not for a garbage time surge by Houston to reduce the deficit somewhat. Green Bay are not without their flaws – one could argue and over reliance on Adams could cost them late in the season – but they’re for sure one of the clear favourites for the NFC Championship this season.

Sunday Nightcap - Wild Duel in the Desert:

Maybe the most underrated rivalry in the league? Over the past few years, I struggle to think of a game that has been quite so dramatic as the Seahawks and the Cardinals. I was sure there would be points in this, but 71 was still a pleasant surprise. 

Tyler Lockett was insane. On a day where DK Metcalf was mainly held in check offensively, Lockett shined to the tune of 15 catches for 200 yards and 3 TDs. Mad. However, you could argue it was Metcalf who still had the game’s standout moment, chasing down Budda Baker from MILES AWAY to save a pick six. The closing speed spawned a thousand memes instantly; Twitter was ablaze. 

But not to be deterred by that near miss… The Cardinals kept plugging. Russ had perhaps an “off night” with three interceptions to go along with his three TDs. Kyler was great in his comeback bid. He’s absolutely electrifying with his legs and has built a fantastic connection with DeAndre Hopkins just seven weeks into the season. The NFC West is such a tight division, that these in division matchups are so so key. The Cardinals are now 2-0 in such games. Give Kliff Kingsbury his Kredit. He’s rebuilt the Kardinals into a playoff Kontender.

MNF Prediction (Season Record 8-2):

Rams against Bears is pretty much my least favourite matchup it’s possible to have. I’m bored by and disinterested in both of these teams but, hey, we’re here for a prediction. So I’m taking the Rams. I believe in the Rams offensive weapons more than I do the Bears. The Bears are a highly fraudulent 5-1, and I think they get their second loss of the season tonight against Jared Goff and the Rams. Gimme Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp catching passes tonight.

Quick Hits:

  • Please please please don’t be hurt long term OBJ. The league is a better place with you flourishing in it.
  • Please please please don’t be hurt long term Chris Carson. You’re the most underrated running back in the league and ALL my fantasy teams are dead without you.
  • Joe Burrow, your wins will come as you get more pieces. The defense needs reshaping, Joey B is the realest of deals.
  • Justin Herbert is also the realest of deals.
  • I love it when a team wins a game solely using Field Goals. Shout out to the Bills.
  • Patriots… yikes.
  • Sidenote, with the Bills struggling a little, and the Patriots struggling a lot… are the Dolphins poised to push for second in the AFC East and a playoff spot with Tua!?
  • The Falcons are the saddest story in sport. Only they could cause themselves to lose a game because they scored a Touchdown. Insane.
  • It’s not fair that the Chiefs also have a good defense.
  • The Cowboys are an absolute disgrace for making that Washington team look competent. Get well soon Andy Dalton… BUT SIGN KAEPERNICK NOW AND GIVE YOURSELVES A CHANCE AT THE NFC EAST JERRY JONES.

Week 8:

Looking ahead, my eyes are instantly drawn to Steelers – Ravens… as the sole undefeated team in the league face the reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. It’s an AFC North battle that will certainly be viewed closely in Cleveland as well, as all 3 teams harbour realistic claims of winning the division. 

And FINALLY we’ve got Patriots vs Bills!! If the Bills push the Patriots to 2-5… the Belichick monopoly on the AFC East will be over. Must see TV.

Callum Squires

NFL Analyst