With eight early-afternoon games on Sunday, it's difficult to find a more chaotic week thus far as we approach the midway point of the NFL season.
Yet as we look back at the most impressive performances from Week 7, it's difficult not to get caught up in the nail-biting drama perhaps. Not only were there several high-scoring affairs, but nearly every single contest could have gone any way. Nobody can say with a straight face that some of the losing teams didn't look on par or better than their adversary in Week 7.
Houston Texans defeat Baltimore Ravens, 43-13
Though we may feel for a Ravens team that just lost Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, it's difficult when they get blown out by 30 points. Terrell Suggs looked good in his first game back, but the Texans put an absolute beatdown on the Ravens out of the gate. It was 29-3 heading into halftime!
Houston was decimated last week by the Green Bay Packers and put to rest any whispers of "fluke" following that stinker. The Ravens were widely regarded as a Super Bowl contender even with the loss of Lewis and Webb, so this can only be seen as a statement game for the Texans as they avenged last year's playoff lost.
Schaub was sacked twice, but never turned the ball over en route to 256 yards passing (62.2 completion percentage) and two TDs. More embarrassing for the Ravens and what really stands out for the Texans was that Arian Foster scored twice on the ground and ran for 98 yards.
The Texans play championship-caliber football with a stout defense and a tough-nosed run-first offense. This is a dangerous team that is built to win in the winter.
New Orleans Saints defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 35-28
If you want a team effort, look no further than Drew Brees' Saints. New Orleans went into their bye week riding high after a nice win against the Chargers and rode that momentum to a big divisional win against the Bucs.
Brees managed to spread the rock around and hit seven different receivers as he passed for a whopping 377 yards (73.0 completion percentage) and four TDs. It wasn't all Brees, though, as he had major help from his receivers making phenomenal plays.
Joe Morgan caught one pass for 48 yards, but his supreme balance and evasion skills were on full display as he made two Bucs defenders look silly before powering his way into the end zone for a score. For a team with their backs against the wall following Bountygate, this is the type of tough victory that will keep the Saints eyeing the playoffs despite a 2-4 record.
New York Giants defeat Washington Redskins, 27-23
The grittiest game of the afternoon was seen in New York as the defending Super Bowl-champion Giants refused to fall to their division rival.
Both Eli Manning and Robert Griffin III looked fantastic for much of the game despite a few hiccups. Manning is clearly an MVP candidate, while RG3 essentially has the Rookie of the Year award locked and looks every bit like a future Super Bowl MVP.
This game felt like an old-fashioned boxing bout as each team took their opponent's toughest punch to the face and kept coming back for more swinging with full force. It went down to the wire as the Giants came from behind thanks to a Manning-to-Victor Cruz 77-yard hook up, but the Redskins have nothing to be ashamed of.
Moral victories may be meaningless in sports, but this was a loss that continued vital momentum for a Washington team that has been riddled with injuries throughout the season.
More Week 7 Scores
Titans defeat Bills, 35-34
Colts defeat Browns, 17-13
Packers defeat Rams, 30-20
Cowboys defeat Panthers, 19-14
Vikings defeat Cardinals, 21-14
Raiders defeat Jaguars, 26-23 (OT)
Patriots defeat Jets, 29-26 (OT)
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