NFL Week 7 Winners & Losers

By Lee Wakefield & Peter Mann


Week seven was weird and wonderful in the NFL! We had a couple of back up quarterbacks getting wins, a personal performance for the ages from Myles Garrett, and another Christian McCaffrey touchdown. But which made it into this week’s winners and losers?

Winners - Peter Mann

Kansas City Chiefs, Travis Kelce and Swifties

Are we allowed to talk about the blossoming ‘relationship’ between Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, and international pop star Taylor Swift, in an NFL winners column? 

Well, the defending champions are 6-1 this season following a 31-17 success over the Los Angeles Chargers, at Arrowhead Stadium at the weekend, and Chiefs HC, Andy Reid, is not only buying into the Kelce-Swift story, but, in his post-game press conference, even acknowledged it. 

“He (Kelce) keeps getting better with time, Taylor (Swift) can stay around all she wants,” was what the Chiefs supremo was quoted as saying, before talking about Kelce’s more longer-term relationship with QB Patrick Mahomes. 

Although the Chiefs’ attacking prowess is not just about their tight end becoming like a fine wine, the stats he’s dropping, and the acknowledgments from Swift et al in the stands, are a delight for the Chiefs Kingdom. 

Sunday’s game against the Chargers saw the 34-year-old make a dozen catches for 179 yards and 1 touchdown, making him the second TE in history, behind Shannon Sharpe, to record 150+ receiving yards in five, successive outings. 

In his last three outings, Kelce has 31 catches for some 370 yards and 2 TDs to his name – the force is certainly strong with this one.  

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Bill Belichick

300 career wins for Bill Belichick! Considering how his New England Patriots have under-performed this season, that’s a statistic that was becoming less and less likely, and certainly not coming against the highly fancied Buffalo Bills.  

It was close, perhaps too close for some, Pats quarterback Mac Jones (they must have read last weeks’ losers column) slung in a one-yard TD pass for Mike Gesicki with 12 seconds left on the clock to snatch a 29-25 victory, and in Foxborough. 

The Pats led by ten at the half, a couple of field goals and a TD saw to that one, and just about kept their noses in front until the closing minutes when consecutive scores from the Bills had them more likely to consign the ailing New England franchise to another defeat. 

Up stepped Jones though, and the Pats, although still rooted to the foot of the AFC East, are now 2-5 and Belichick has win number 300 under his belt – he’s 18 behind George Halas (318, Chicago Bears), and 28 behind the legendary Don Shula (328, Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins), and it’s becoming likely he surpasses those two greats in the dub column. 

News out of New England state that, in the off-season, the 71-year-old HC signed a somewhat lucrative, multi-year deal, quietly done with owner Robert Kraft tying their future together, Ian Rapoport stated on NF

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings setting San Francisco 49ers alight because, no matter how good the Vikings’ offense was, the Niners’ defense was just as shocking. 

The majority of the contest was near perfect from the Vikings as they registered a 22-17 victory, on Monday Night at the U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, over the previously, near flawless, Red & Gold; Cousins, registered more than 370 passing yards, and rookie Jordan Addison – he ousted George Kittle in his stats, was the recipient of two TD passes, including a delightful 60-yarder which moved them to a 16-7 score at the half, as the NFC North franchise moved to 3-4 and look to get back into the playoff mix. 

The fact that the Vikings posted more than 100 total yards on the Niners says a lot about how good their game was, passing along being 378 – 260, and 6.8 yards per play to 6.1 in favour of the Cousins and co, was a sight to see as they tucked in behind the 5-2 Detroit Lions in their division. 

Losers - Lee Wakefield

Bijan Robinson Fantasy Owners

The Falcons might be in a little bit of trouble from the NFL for denying fans the opportunity for an “Ah Bisto” moment – Shout out to Thomas Willoughby for that. And if you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, well, you should read his work and listen to The Touchdown NFL podcast some more.

But on a more serious note, Atlanta did not use their star running back to everyone’s bafflement on Sunday, and then midway through their clash with Tampa Bay, it was revealed that Bijan was not feeling well. Fantasy analysts and players across the world wept.

It’s a fair point though, it is odd that it wasn’t widely reported and on the Falcon’s injury report. I have Bijan in one of my leagues and I started him on Sunday – I won that matchup anyway, humble brag. But people care a lot more about fantasy football than I do and they stake large sums of money on it (please do gamble responsibly), so it is right that they spend a little bit of time on the naughty step for a little while.

Buffalo Bills

Coming into the season, the Bills were billed as one of the more complete rosters in the NFL. I don’t think was an unfair or misplaced statement on behalf of those making it, I was one of them, I thought that Buffalo was primed to make a very deep playoff run once again.

However, the attrition of the NFL season is catching up with them, and injuries to key players are mounting up.

Matt Milano and Tre White in particular are big misses on their defense and have suffered major injuries and quite simply, their replacements aren’t nearly at the level of the starters.

Obviously, this isn’t a revolutionary statement and every team suffers injuries, but why this hits the Bills more than most is because their starters on defense are so connected and so cohesive that it makes a defense of already good players, greater than the sum of its parts.

The Bills aren’t appearing in the column here simply for the injuries but for the weird losses that keep coming their way.

They lost to the hapless Patriots in week seven and they’d already suffered a loss to the Aaron Rodgers-less Jets earlier in the season too. That’s two divisional losses and their roster is getting worse.

So perhaps I’m just getting ahead of the curve and predicting that the Bills will continue to suffer losses that they shouldn’t.

To remain on track they’ll need Josh Allen to enter psycho-mode again and again, like he did against the Dolphins a couple of weeks ago.

Sam Howell's Bones

Sam Howell is taking a beating and he needs to stop. The former UNC quarterback has taken 40 (forty) sacks through week seven this season and that is the sort of record-setting pace that you don’t want to be on.

I couldn’t have articulated it better than Jack did above – You should all follow him, by the way, his content is superb.

Howell was sacked 6 times against the Giants on Sunday but that doesn’t tell the full story/ The Washington offensive line is kind of doing its job, Howell has been pressured on 38.7% of his dropbacks, which is 24th in the NFL. Not great by any stretch but not a disaster zone.

Howell is holding the ball for way too long, which is a criticism that could be levelled at him in college too.

The NFL record for sacks taken in a season is 76, Howell is on track for 96. That is suboptimal, to say the least, and his bones will thank him if he just stops getting obliterated by near-300lbs men, on multiple occasions every week.

Feature Image Credit: CNN

Lee Wakefield

NFL, CFB & NFL Draft

Lee Wakefield IS A defensive line enthusiast, Chargers Sufferer, and LONG-TIME writer and podcaster with a number of publications.  @Wakefield90 on twitter