Week 7 of the NFL season was a bit of a dud as we mostly watched blowouts. 10 of the 13 games on the schedule were decided by nine or more points. We had just one close game, which was the Los Angeles Chargers-Tennessee Titans contest. At any rate, here are the biggest takeaways from this week’s action that will helps us bet the games in future weeks:
Careful Betting the Eagles
There’s the general perception that this is a Super Bowl-caliber team. Yes, we all heard the preseason predictions and how they were the highest-rated team on Madden ’20. As we move into Week 8 of the NFL season, everything is still in reach for this team but it’s fairly clear that they’re broken right now. You’re going to see some very attractive spreads with them over the next few weeks but you have to be careful betting this team.
To start, this team doesn’t do any one thing very well. There’s not one thing they can fall back on when times are tough. They should be better in many areas – pass-blocking, rushing the passer, scoring – but they’re not. On top of that, they’re sloppy, undisciplined and play from behind almost every week. They’ve now been blown out in back-to-back weeks and now have to go on the road to face the 5-1 Buffalo Bills. They beat the Green Bay Packers but their other two wins were versus the Washington Redskins and New York Jets. They’re not very good right now.
Daniel Jones is a Mess
A lot of people jumped the gun on Jones, anointing him the Giants franchise quarterback after he led them back from a huge deficit against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But taking a look back at his six games, he now has 12 turnovers in those contests. He has seven turnovers in the last three games. That’s simply unacceptable.
On Sunday, he added three more to the mix in a game that ended up 27-21. The Cardinals had 17 points off of turnovers for the day, which was clearly the difference.
Let’s say Jones never had that huge comeback against Tampa Bay, he’d be getting roasted to the bone by the New York media. Instead, the most prominent memory in most people’s minds is how well he played in that game, so they’re willing to forgive him. Hopefully, he cleans this up but he’s crippling his team each week.
Don’t Overrate the Cardinals
I hear a lot of people hopping on the Cardinals bandwagon as they’ve won three in a row. Next week, they’re at New Orleans and some early chatter I’ve heard is that they’re a live dog. I don’t think so.
Sure, this team has played better over the last three weeks but look at who they’ve played: the Bengals, the Falcons, and the Giants. Those teams are a combined 3-18. Furthermore, the Cardinals won by three at Cincinnati, beat the Falcons thanks to a missed Matt Bryant extra point, and edged the Giants even though they had 17 points off turnovers. The Cards won on Sunday with just 104 passing yards from Kyler Murray.
These wins are important for their confidence but this team is still flawed. Careful assuming anything with them even though they’re on a three-game winning streak.
The Seahawks Defense is Atrocious
You might not have noticed how bad the Seahawks defense is since the team is 5-2. Even on Sunday, the team gave up 30 points but 14 of those points came off a pick-six and a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. At the same time, the analytics look absolutely terrible for this unit. In terms of expected points allowed, this Seahawks defense has gone seven consecutive games with a negative EPA. The last time a Seahawks defense started this badly was in 1995; not even the awful units in 2008, 2009, and 2010 did this.
This is the same unit that allowed Andy Dalton to post a career-high 417 passing yards in the opener, allowed 425 yards to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game where they lost Ben Roethlisberger, coughed up 429 yards to the Los Angeles Rams three weeks ago and 454 to the Cleveland Browns as well. They’re still winning in spite of this defense but the analytics say that will change. Consider betting overs and against the team as they continue to face stiffer competition.
The Titans are on the Rise
The Titans weren’t very impressive in Ryan Tannehill’s debut on Sunday. Tannehill actually played well, going 23-of-29 for 312 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick. Even so, the Titans nearly lost the game as their stout defense and the supposedly-decent offensive line struggled. However, I’m expecting the Titans to be a team on the rise as long as Tannehill continues to play well.
Look, we’ve seen this defense have better days. Sure, they probably should have lost on Sunday. But the passing game was the biggest weakness on this team and if Tannehill provides that threat through the air, they should be able to push for an eight or nine-win season.
The most surprising flaw in this unit has become the offensive line, which had Tannehill running for his life. Joey Bosa was in his face regularly. Again, though, this is a unit that has talent, has been good in the past, and should figure things out.
This is still a very poorly coached team, so you never know what will happen, but I do like how things set up for them over the next five weeks. They play at home in three of their four games, hosting Tampa Bay, Kansas City (possibly without Patrick Mahomes) and Jacksonville. If the defense stands tall and Tannehill continues to be a threat through the air, this team could win three of their next four and be above .500 after Week 12.