Week 7 of the NFL season was great if you love upsets and injuries. Well, loving injuries isn't exactly ethical but you're certainly not alone if you're a fan of upsets.
Many teams that analysts and fans alike have doubted up to this point proved themselves this week after victories against reputable opponents. The schedule was packed with several exciting games, however not many predicted the outcomes of the most surprising upsets.
With wins in Week 7, the following teams seem to have new life for the rest of the season. It may not be easy for a couple of the teams to make a run at the playoffs given their slow starts, but all it takes is a few victories strung together to get things moving in the right direction.
New York Jets
The New York Jets pulled off arguably the biggest upset of Week 7. It took overtime to decide the outcome of their game against the division-leading New England Patriots, but a Nick Folk field goal gave the Jets the satisfying 30-27 win.
Geno Smith was just okay in the game, going 17 of 33 for just 233 yards. He tossed one touchdown and one interception. Jeremy Kerley, Smith's favorite target in the game, had himself a very productive day. He pulled down eight balls for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Chris Ivory wasn't exactly efficient on the ground, but he did total 104 yards on his 34 carries. His ability to keep the chains moving was instrumental in the Jets' win.
Moving forward, the Jets have a ton of momentum. Head coach Rex Ryan is a legitimate candidate for coach of the year, and the team's 4-3 record puts them in possible contention for a playoff spot.
Smith has been just good enough to lead his team to victory and, after replacing Mark Sanchez, that's probably the best thing for the team outside of him lighting up the scoreboard. If he keeps winning games like this, then the Jets really will have found their quarterback of the future.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were written off for dead after going 0-4 prior to last week's game against the Washington Redskins. Now, with wins in back-to-back weeks against the Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers are working their way back to legitimacy.
Ben Roethlisberger was exceptionally efficient, going 17 of 23 in the air for 160 yards and a touchdown. Pittsburgh's offense was (surprisingly) led by rookie running back Le'Veon Bell. He totaled 93 yards on the ground on 19 carries. The rejuvenated running game gave Pittsburgh a dimension on offense that had been lacking early in the season.
Now at 2-4, the Steelers are still on the outside of the AFC playoff picture. The Ravens are now 3-4, however, and a victory against the defending Super Bowl champs will do wonders for the team's morale.
They'll play the Oakland Raiders in Week 8, and there's a great chance that the team walks out of that game with a 3-4 record. After starting 0-4, that's certainly worth commending.
It's starting to get to the point where every game matters in Pittsburgh, and upsetting the defending champs was a good start to their comeback.
Chicago entered at 4-2, whereas Washington came into the game at 1-4. It was easy to see why so many analysts picked against Griffin and the Skins. After a 45-41 shootout, though, Washington ended up earning their second win of the season.
At 2-4, the Redskins are still within striking distance of the Dallas Cowboys at the top of the NFC East. As shocking as it sounds, the Cowboys are just 4-3 after their win against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4). With multiple divisional matchups remaining this season, the Redskins still have a real chance of winning the division.
To keep pace with the division leader, though, Griffin and Morris will need to continue to perform. This team goes as those two offensive stars go. Any production less than what was posted on Sunday will mean bad news for Washington in future weeks.