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Three Week 7 Games With Playoff Implications

Article and Graphic by: Pat Pryor, @pryorgraphics

Week 6 Results

Cleveland Browns (4-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0)

Result: Steelers 38, Browns 7

What was classified as a heated showdown last week turned into a slaughter. Pittsburgh never relinquished their first-quarter lead and dominated the Browns, who were on a four-game winning streak. Thanks to a Ravens bye this week, the Browns are stuck at third in the division, and at worst the Steelers will be tied for first.

Green Bay Packers (4-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)

Result: Buccaneers 38, Packers 10

I described this game as “an instant classic” in last week's article. However, the Buccaneers decided to make this game forgettable for Packers fans, as after going down 10-0, they would score 38 straight. The Bears won their matchup with the Panthers as well, putting the Pack at second in the North, and giving the Bucs sole possession of first down South.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-1) at Buffalo Bills(4-0)

Result: Chiefs 26, Bills 17

A bad show by the Bills defense, combined with several key inactives gave the Chiefs a smooth ride to put them at 5-1, with no way to be removed from the top in the AFC West this week, and while the Bills are still on top in the East, the Dolphins and Patriots can both make a move in the coming weeks.

Week 7 Games

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) at Tennessee Titans (5-0), Sunday 1:00 PM

Coming back from a Covid-19 blowout, the Titans blew out the Bills in week 5, and won against division rival Texans in the third overtime game the NFL has seen this year. They’ll be squaring off against the Steelers, who also just won a divisional game, against the Cleveland Browns. Derrick Henry has been unstoppable recently, on pace for 1,800 yards, just from rushing alone. This week, he’ll be going up against the number 2 run defense in the league, headed by TJ Watt. Devin Bush’s injury will hurt the defense, so they’ll be an interesting opponent for the league’s leading rusher. Over in Pittsburgh, Chase Claypool has six touchdowns from scrimmage, while only starting in one game, and having 23 touches. Both he and Henry have dominated recently and will be the main offensive focuses for either team. The Titans stand on top of the division this week with either a win or loss, but the Colts are eyeing a division take over as early as week 9 if the Titans have a stroke of bad luck. In the North, the Ravens will be tied at 5-1, and on top with a strength of victory tiebreaker. They face off against the Steelers next week, so if the Ravens come into that game on top it will have ramifications for months to come.

Dallas Cowboys (2-4) at Washington Football Team (1-5), Sunday 1:00 PM

Never has a game between two of the worst teams in the league meant so much. On Thursday night, the Giants blew the game, leading by 11 with 4 minutes to go, and the Eagles went on top of the division at 2-4-1. If the Cowboys can’t top Washington, they fall to 2-5, and third in the division. However, if Andy Dalton leads Dallas to his first win after replacing Dak, Washington falls down to 4, and the Giants will be ahead. Normally, Kyle Allen and the Redskins would be underdogs by quite a bit, but after an embarrassing performance by both Andy Dalton and Ezekiel Elliot, this is anyone's game to decide who will be challenging the Eagles for the worst division in football.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) at Las Vegas Raiders (3-2), Sunday 4:25 PM

In our first inter-conference game, we take a look at two teams whose records make them look just mediocre. However, both these teams have proven themselves in recent weeks. The Raiders are flying sky-high, coming off a bye week, after they handed Patrick Mahomes his first-ever loss by at least 8 points. The Buccaneers, however, are coming off their aforementioned blowout of MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers and his Packers. Derek Carr is having a great year, with 11 touchdowns and just 1 interception. Josh Jacobs is continuing a nice campaign, helping out struggling receivers in their new stadium. In Tampa Bay, they’ll be looking to take a larger lead on the division, to set up for their new addition in Antonio Brown. If the Raiders can win, and the Denver Broncos manage to overtake the Chiefs, Las Vegas can be first in the West next week. A loss for the Buccaneers also puts them in second to the Saints, unless the Panthers win that division matchup. Most inter-conference games don’t usually have ramifications like this, but this is too big a game to ignore for either team. It’s a team stacked with talent, over a team that’s shown they like to defy the odds.

Tune in next week for a recap of these games along with a lineup of new games for week 8!

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