Just seven weeks into the 2013 NFL regular season, only one undefeated team remains: the 7-0 Kansas City Chiefs. Preseason favorites continue to fall, while unexpected contenders have emerged already.
The question is: Which Week 7 results will have the most significant impact on the postseason picture?
|Date||Road Team||Score||Home Team|
|Thursday, Oct. 17||Seattle Seahawks||34-22||Arizona Cardinals|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Cincinnati Bengals||27-24||Detroit Lions|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23-31||Atlanta Falcons|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Buffalo Bills||23-21||Miami Dolphins|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||New England Patriots||27-30||New York Jets|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Dallas Cowboys||17-3||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Chicago Bears||41-45||Washington Redskins|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||St. Louis Rams||15-30||Carolina Panthers|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||San Diego Chargers||24-6||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||San Francisco 49ers||31-17||Tennessee Titans|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Cleveland Browns||13-31||Green Bay Packers|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Houston Texans||16-17||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Baltimore Ravens||16-19||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Sunday, Oct. 20||Denver Broncos||33-39||Indianapolis Colts|
|Monday, Oct. 21||Minnesota Vikings||TBA||New York Giants|
Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) over Detroit Lions (4-3)
Score: 27-24, Bengals
Bengals' Week 8: vs. New York Jets
Lions' Week 8: vs. Dallas Cowboys
In a meeting between two teams with postseason aspirations and a hold on their division lead, the Cincinnati Bengals toppled the Detroit Lions 27-24 at Ford Field. Mike Nugent kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired, moving Cincinnati to 5-2 and dropping Detroit to 4-3.
Now, Cincinnati has full control over the AFC North, while Detroit is down half-a-game to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.
The Bengals were led by Andy Dalton, who went 24-of-34 for 372 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. A.J. Green had six catches for 155 yards and a score, and in a high-octane affair, the Bengals' passing attack proved to be strong enough to win the game.
As a result, the Bengals own a two-game advantage in the AFC North.
The Lions nearly completed a comeback behind the efforts of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Stafford was 28-of-51 for 357 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, and "Megatron" had nine catches for 155 yards and two scores.
Detroit now trails the 4-2 Green Bay Packers by half-a-game and a tiebreaker. For that reason, every game from here on out is must-win territory for the Lions as NFC North title contenders.
This game pushed two contenders in different directions. Cincinnati is in control, while Detroit is sliding.
Dallas Cowboys (4-3) over Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
Score: 17-3, Dallas
Cowboys' Week 8: at Detroit Lions
Eagles' Week 8: vs. New York Giants
The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles entered Week 7 with the opportunity to earn the outright lead in the NFC East. The Eagles were the home team, the Cowboys were battling key injuries, and all signs pointed toward a Philadelphia win.
At this point, the NFL community must ask one question that it never expected to utter: Why can't the Eagles win at home?
Philadelphia has lost nine straight home games.
Since the Eagles' last home win: * Roughly 142 million babies born * Roughly 35.6 million commercial flights More: http://t.co/uFeoif7weQ— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) October 18, 2013
Nick Foles was dreadful for the Eagles, going 11-of-29 for 80 yards through the air. To make matters worse, LeSean McCoy managed just 55 rushing yards on 18 carries against a battered but brilliant Cowboys defense. When Foles left the game with an injury, Matt Barkley threw three interceptions in relief work.
All in all, it was a disappointing day for Philadelphia, which fell to a game behind the Cowboys in the NFC East.
Tony Romo was 28-of-47 for 317 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions at Philadelphia, finding Terrance Williams for a nine-yard score in the fourth quarter. Phillip Tanner added a rushing score, and Dez Bryant caught eight passes for 110 yards.
In the end, Dallas proved what recent weeks have displayed: It's the class of the division.
Indianapolis Colts (5-2) over Denver Broncos (6-1)
Score: 39-33, Indianapolis
Colts' Week 8: Bye
Broncos' Week 8: vs. Washington Redskins
In what was the most highly anticipated game of the 2013 regular season, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Denver Broncos 39-33. It was Peyton Manning's first game at Lucas Oil Stadium since the Colts released him in 2012.
Beyond the emotion was a result that reshaped the postseason picture on all fronts.
With the win, the Colts moved to 5-2 with a two-game advantage over the second-place team in the AFC South. This was a critical result for a Colts team that enters its bye week with a handful of key injuries.
That includes the loss of Reggie Wayne, who was Luck's most important receiver.
The silver lining is that Wayne was lost while helping Indianapolis pick up a monumental win.
Check out why Andrew Luck will miss Reggie Wayne the most when he's under pressure: pic.twitter.com/fZghqkkH2m— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 21, 2013
For Denver, its first loss of the season was a big one, as the Kansas City Chiefs are 7-0 and in full control of the AFC West. In turn, the Broncos have been pushed down to the No. 5 seed in the AFC, despite putting forth a record-setting offense.
We knew this game would be big, but the Colts' victory over Denver just restructured the entire postseason picture.