NFL Team Grades for Week 7

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2018

NFL Team Grades for Week 7

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    The NFL has seen an overtime game every week this season, and the Cleveland Browns have been involved in four of them. While that is unusual, it's far from the only surprising development we've had as midseason looms.

    Some of those developments came to the forefront in Week 7. 

    The Jacksonville Jaguars have gone from the AFC title game to the brink of irrelevance. The New England Patriots keep finding ways to win but may have lost their newest offensive star. Andrew Luck has returned to playing like an elite quarterback, and DeVante Parker isn't playing at all.

    Aside from the teams at the very top, the playoff picture isn't becoming any clearer either.

    There were definitely big winners and losers in Week 7 and a little bit of everything in between. How did your favorite team grade out? Let's take a look.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Week 7 Opponent: Denver Broncos

    Result: Lost 45-10

    The Arizona Cardinals are a mess. The world got to see that Thursday night as they were dominated by the Denver Broncos in prime time.

    To say Arizona's performance against Denver was a failure would be an understatement. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen appeared rattled from the opening whistle, the offense was in disarray and the defense could do little to get Arizona back into the game.

    The evening was particularly bad for Rosen, who threw three interceptions—two were returned for scores—and was sacked six times.

    For his part in the putrid offensive performance, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was fired Friday. Denver had allowed 200-yard rushers in consecutive games coming in, but McCoy orchestrated a run game that gained just 69 yards.

    This was expected to be a rebuilding season for the Cardinals, and Thursday's disaster showed that the rebuild has a very long way to go.

    Week 7 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D-

Atlanta Falcons

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    Week 7 Opponent: New York Giants

    Result: Won 23-20

    Give the Atlanta Falcons defense credit. For the first time since the season opener, it looked like a functional unit.

    Yes, the New York Giants have struggled offensively—they came in averaging just 19.5 points per game—but they still have Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard. The Falcons easily could have made them look tremendous. Instead, they made enough key stops for the team to go ahead two scores late in the fourth quarter.

    Also credit quarterback Matt Ryan for an efficient (31-of-39, 379 yards, 1 TD) night. Ryan has rarely been part of the Falcons' issues this season, and he was instrumental in moving the offense on a night when the running game wasn't rolling.

    It was a total team effort for the Falcons, who improve to 3-4 and ensure they're not irrelevant in the NFC South. The Falcons aren't likely to compete for a Super Bowl this season, but they're going to win more games down the stretch and potentially upset the proverbial apple cart along the way.

    Week 7 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: C-

Baltimore Ravens

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Week 7 Opponent: New Orleans Saints

    Result: Lost 24-23

    We talked about there being no shortage of surprises this season. We got another late Sunday afternoon when Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed an extra-point attempt for the first time in his career. It came with the Ravens on the verge of tying the New Orleans Saints with less than a minute remaining.

    "I feel like I cost us the game," Tucker said, per Jamison Hensley of

    Tucker's miss didn't cost the Ravens the game by itself, but this was a very even matchup that came down to the wire. The Baltimore defense certainly did its part early, holding the Saints' vaunted offense to just seven points in three quarters, but it also allowed 17 points in the final period.

    What the Ravens need to work on heading into next week's matchup with the Carolina Panthers is finding ways to finish on offense. Baltimore only scored 21 points in last week's shutout win and nine points the week before that. They sustained drives against the Saints—seven of their eight drives covered at least 30 yards—but they twice made it into Saints territory without scoring.

    One more field goal, and that missed point-after wouldn't have been the difference-maker.

    Week 7 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: B-

Buffalo Bills

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Week 7 Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

    Result: Lost 37-5

    Rookie quarterback Josh Allen is sidelined with an elbow injury, but the Buffalo Bills may want to think long and hard about whether to get him back on the field once he's healthy. This team cannot put him in position to succeed right now.

    Allen has played poorly most of the season, but he isn't the only problem with the Bills. Buffalo started journeyman Derek Anderson against the Indianapolis Colts, and he provided just 175 passing yards with three interceptions.

    What's more troubling is that the Bills defense, which came in ranked third in yardage (311.7 per game allowed), seemed to quit against the Colts.

    Indianapolis had its way in the trenches and on the ground. The Colts averaged 5.9 yards per carry and totaled 220 yards rushing.

    The lone bright spot from Sunday's game is that the rushing attack looked good, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Of course, the Bills also lost running back LeSean McCoy to a head injury, so maybe there's nothing positive to take away from the blowout loss.

    Week 7 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D+

Carolina Panthers

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    Week 7 Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

    Result: Won 21-17

    Do call it a comeback. The Panthers entered the fourth quarter down 17-0 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Then Cam Newton went off. He tossed two touchdown passes, engineered three scoring drives and led the offense to nine first downs in the fourth quarter.

    The Eagles defense had no answer for Newton and the Panthers offense in the final period. Carolina's defense, on the other hand, came up big.

    Philadelphia was unable to extend its lead in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles had a chance to do so on their final possession. Carson Wentz took the snap for a 4th-and-2 play from the Panthers' 14-yard line and got strip-sacked by veteran Julius Peppers. The Panthers recovered and were able to kneel out the clock.

    Does knocking off the defending champs prove that the Panthers are a quality team? Not necessarily. The Eagles have also lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans this season. Carolina also got itself into a large hole against them in the first place. However, the win does push the Panthers to 4-2 and keep them in the race for the NFC South alongside the Saints.

    Week 7 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: B-

Chicago Bears

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    Week 7 Opponent: New England Patriots

    Result: Lost 38-31

    The Chicago Bears weren't able to knock off the New England Patriots, but they gave the defending AFC champs all they could handle. They literally came up a yard short of tying the game on a Hail Mary as time expired.

    Ultimately, mistakes cost the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns, but he also tossed two interceptions. Special teams gave up a 95-yard kick-return touchdown to Cordarrelle Patterson. A blocked punt also resulted in a Patriots touchdown.

    If any of those miscues don't happen, the Bears probably win this game.

    This is the second consecutive tough-to-swallow defeat for the Bears following last week's overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. It hurts, and it drops Chicago to 3-3. However, the Bears are still very much in it in the NFC North, and they have winnable games against the New York Jets and the Bills coming up in the next two weeks.

    Week 7 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: C

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    Week 7 Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

    Result: Lost 45-10

    The Cincinnati Bengals are not ready for prime time. It feels like we've been saying this for years now (we have), and we have to say it again after Sunday night's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. It was an embarrassing display by a team that has, at times, looked like one of the best in the AFC.

    The game was close early in the second quarter, as Cincinnati pulled within seven points on a C.J. Uzomah touchdown reception, but things quickly spiraled. The Bengals entered halftime with a 24-7 deficit and gave up 14 more points within the first five minutes of the second half.

    You could almost forgive the Bengals for being shredded by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense—few have been able to slow them this season. What's hard to swallow is the fact that the offense was an inefficient mess for most of the game.

    Andy Dalton had his worst game of the season, passing for just 148 yards with a touchdown and an interception. A.J. Green was responsible for 117 of those yards. Let's not act like the loss was entirely Dalton's fault, though. This was a complete failure to game-plan and execute on all levels.

    Week 7 Grade: F

    Season Grade: B-

Cleveland Browns

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    Week 7 Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Result: Lost 26-23 (OT)

    You're not going to win many games in the NFL when you rack up 114 penalty yards, give up six first downs by penalties and twice fail on fourth down in scoring range. That's what the Browns did Sunday, and it cost them an overtime game against the Buccaneers.

    This is a game the Browns should have won. Baker Mayfield (23-of-34 for 215 yards, two touchdowns) got off to a slow start but played great in the second half. Nick Chubb sparked the run game with 80 yards and a score on just 18 carries, and Cleveland's defense produced four turnovers and four sacks.

    But the Browns weren't prepared, got off to a slow start—again—and couldn't play a disciplined brand of football.

    This is a reflection of the coaching staff, and owner Jimmy Haslam has to be wondering if keeping Hue Jackson was the right move.

    This isn't the same Browns team that went winless in 2017. It's young, feisty and talented, yet it's still losing winnable games. If this trend is going to change, a bigger change may have to come at the top.

    Week 7 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: C-

Dallas Cowboys

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Week 7 Opponent: Washington Redskins

    Result: Lost 20-17

    A bad call may have cost the Dallas Cowboys a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation. Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur was called for a snap infraction. The penalty turned a 47-yard attempt into a 52-yard attempt that Brett Maher bounced off the upright.

    Whether or not you agree with the call (Tony Dungy does not), the reality is it wasn't the reason Dallas lost.

    The offense reverted to a conservative brand of play-calling, the Cowboys couldn't get Washington to respect the deep-passing game, and the defense allowed the Redskins to control the game on the ground (130 yards rushing).

    Mistakes also hurt, of course, as quarterback Dak Prescott lost two fumbles, one in his own end zone that Washington pounced on for a score.

    Dallas put itself in a 10-point fourth-quarter hole, and that isn't the type of situation this team is built to overcome. The Cowboys now enter the bye week and need to use it to figure out what kind of team they're built to be. At 3-4, they're just kind of there right now.

    Week 7 Grade: D

    Season Grade: C-

Denver Broncos

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    Week 7 Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

    Result: Won 45-10

    "We're going to kick their ass," Broncos linebacker Von Miller said of the Cardinals prior to Thursday night's game.

    Miller may have simply been making a bold statement to fire up his team—but he wasn't wrong. Denver took the Cardinals to the woodshed, and it was never close.

    The Cardinals were forced to take a timeout after their first play from scrimmage. On the following play, Rosen threw a pick that was returned by Todd Davis 20 yards for the touchdown. The Denver defense got another pick-six 12 minutes later, and the Cardinals were forced to burn another timeout as the first quarter wound down. Before the second quarter even began, the game was essentially over.

    This was as dominant a performance as we've seen from any team this season, and it could represent a turning point for the 3-4 Broncos. Denver will now have a long week to prepare for the rival Chiefs. If the Broncos can steal that game, they'll be right back in the playoff mix.

    Week 7 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: C

Detroit Lions

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    Week 7 Opponent: Miami Dolphins

    Result: Won 32-21

    It appears the bye week did the Detroit Lions some good. They carried the momentum of a big win over the rival Green Bay Packers into it, and they came out with a new offensive philosophy that the Miami Dolphins had no answers for.

    The Lions, long a pass-first team with Matthew Stafford at the controls, went run-heavy against the Dolphins. They ran the ball 35 times, averaged 7.1 yards per carry and racked up a total of 248 yards on the ground. That's just 74 yards fewer than Miami gained running and passing.

    The running game allowed the Lions to control the ball for nearly 34 minutes of game time, and it allowed Stafford to be an efficient offensive complement instead of forcing him to carry the load.

    Stafford finished 18-of-22 for 217 yards and two touchdowns.

    Detroit's defense didn't dominate. However, it made enough stops when it mattered to prevent the Dolphins from ever mounting a comeback once the Lions went up by 10.

    This was a big win for the Lions, who are lurking behind the 4-2-1 Minnesota Vikings in the division.

    Week 7 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: C+

Green Bay Packers

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Week 7 Bye

    The Packers managed to snag a little momentum with a thrilling comeback victory versus the 49ers last week, but there are serious questions about this team.

    We've seen an improved Packers defense this season—it has ranked eighth, allowing 328.3 yards per game—and Green Bay is beginning to field a potent committee backfield. However, this is still a team that leans too heavily on quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

    At 3-2-1, Green Bay is still a player in the NFC North, but there is a daunting matchup with the Los Angeles Rams coming up in Week 8.

    Season Grade: C+

Houston Texans

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    Week 7 Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

    Result: Won 20-7

    The Houston Texans were clear about how they wanted to attack the Jacksonville Jaguars. They ran the ball early—even utilizing designed runs for Deshaun Watson—and continued to run throughout the day. While Houston averaged under 4.0 yards per carry, it totaled 141 yards on the ground.

    Grinding out the game proved to be all the Texans needed to do offensively because the Jaguars offense was ineffective early. Jacksonville had just five first downs and 114 yards plus a lost fumble in the first half.

    The Texans jumped out to a 13-0 lead at the break.

    Watson (12-of-24 for 139 yards and a touchdown) made some timely throws, but this game was about playing more physically than the Jaguars and letting the defense do its thing—it came away with three turnovers.

    After losing three games to start the season, Houston has now ripped off four wins in a row and sits atop the AFC South.

    Week 7 Grade: A-

    Season Grade: B-

Indianapolis Colts

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    Week 7 Opponent: Buffalo Bills

    Result: Won 37-5

    Over the past few weeks, we've been talking about how Andrew Luck appears to be back to 100 percent but doesn't have the talent around him to consistently win. Against the Bills, the Colts got big contributions from seemingly everyone around Luck.

    The defense forced five turnovers and held the Bills to five points, Marlon Mack racked up 126 yards on just 19 carries and T.Y. Hilton caught a pair of touchdown passes. Eight different players caught passes on the day.

    Yes, Luck did his part too. He completed 17 of 23 pass attempts and tossed four touchdowns. However, he didn't have to carry the team, which was a departure from what we've seen this season.

    Is Indianapolis a playoff team? Probably not, but the Colts aren't that far behind the 4-3 Texans, who lead the division. Another team effort like this one will likely net the Colts a win next week against the Oakland Raiders and put them back in the divisional race.

    Week 7 Grade: A

    Season Grade: C-

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Week 7 Opponent: Houston Texans

    Result: Lost 20-7

    Perhaps the Jaguars couldn't handle success. Last year, they came a few plays away from knocking off the Patriots and reaching the Super Bowl. Over the last couple of weeks, they've been lucky to string a few successful plays together.

    Jacksonville's defense, once the cream of the NFL, hasn't looked like the dominant unit of 2017. It gave up 70 points in the two games leading up to the Texans matchup. It fared a bit better against Houston, allowing 20 points, but it also allowed the Texans to rack up 141 yards rushing and failed to force a turnover.

    This proved costly, as the Jaguars offense was a mess. It managed just seven points, and those didn't come until after quarterback Blake Bortles got benched in favor of Cody Kessler.

    Bortles was just 6-of-12 for 61 yards with two lost fumbles when he was pulled.

    There are going to be questions about Jacksonville's quarterback plans moving forward, but this is far from the only question mark around the team.

    Week 7 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D+

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Week 7 Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

    Result: Won 45-10

    We've been saying all season the Chiefs defense is a liability. It proved to be last week against the Patriots, but it was the opposite Sunday night against the Bengals. The Chiefs held Cincinnati to a mere 239 yards of total offense and 10 points.

    The way this Chiefs offense is rolling—it had 551 yards of offense—10 points is never going to be enough.

    "When you play the Chiefs, you better bring it," SiriusXM's Geoff Schwartz said. "If you make mistakes, like the Bengals did, you have no chance."

    The Bengals made a few mistakes against the Chiefs, and they got blown out of the water.

    If this complete performance is a sign of things to come, the rest of the AFC should be trembling. Patrick Mahomes and Co. only need an average defense on their side to beat most teams. With an above-average unit on board, Kansas City may be unstoppable.

    Week 7 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: A-

Los Angeles Chargers

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    Week 7 Opponent: Tennessee Titans

    Result: Won 20-19

    London trips can be challenging for NFL teams, and the Los Angeles Chargers certainly didn't have an easy time gutting out a win over the Titans. The Chargers very nearly lost, as Tennessee opted for a do-or-die two-point try after scoring a touchdown with 31 seconds remaining.

    L.A. was able to get a win because of the passing game. Playing without Melvin Gordon, who missed the game with a hamstring injury, the Chargers totaled 47 yards on the ground and 2.9 yards per carry.

    It's not like the Chargers moved the ball at will through the air either. Philip Rivers connected with Ty Williams on a 75-yard scoring strike early but passed for just 231 yards outside of that play.

    The Chargers defense played well at times but also allowed the Titans to sustain drives. This limited Los Angeles' opportunities and allowed the Titans to get back in the game.

    An ugly win is still a win, though, and the Chargers should be happy to get this one. This could have been a trap game, but L.A. escapes to take a four-game winning streak into the bye.

    Week 7 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: B

Los Angeles Rams

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    Week 7 Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

    Result: Won 39-10

    This isn't the first time we've said this, and it likely won't be the last: What's scary about the Los Angles Rams is their ability to win games in a variety of ways. We've seen Jared Goff torch opposing defenses. We've seen Todd Gurley pound teams out of contention. We saw some of both against the San Francisco 49ers, but it was the Rams defense that really dominated.

    L.A. sacked 49ers quarterback CJ Beathard a whopping seven times while forcing four turnovers.

    The Rams might not have had the most lopsided victory of Week 7 (see Chiefs), but it was close. Goff threw for an efficient 202 yards, Gurley had three total touchdowns, Malcolm Brown added 65 more rushing yards on just 13 carries, and Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods each topped the 60-yard mark.

    When you add the standout performance of L.A.'s defense to the equation, it's hard to find a scenario where the 49ers ever had a chance.

    The next challenge will be trying to stop the late-game magic Aaron Rodgers can bring. If the Rams play in all phases as they did in Week 7, late-game heroics will be irrelevant.

    Week 7 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: A

Miami Dolphins

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    Week 7 Opponent: Detroit Lions

    Result: Lost 32-21

    So much for Brocktober being a thing, right? Well actually, Brock Osweiler played pretty well for the Dolphins on Sunday, finishing 22-of-31 for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He did most of his damage on short and intermediate throws, but he also played relatively mistake-free ball.

    The problem for Miami was that it couldn't stop the run. Kerryon Johnson battered the Dolphins for 158 yards on just 19 carries, and the Lions running game limited the Dolphins' offensive opportunities.

    Unfortunately, the Dolphins didn't just lose the game; they may have lost wide receiver Albert Wilson for an extended period to a leg injury. According to his agent Drew Rosenhaus (h/t Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald), Wilson's season "is on hold right now."

    Rosenhaus wasn't the only agent to talk about his Miami client in Week 7, either.

    "I am responding that coach [Adam] Gase is not telling the truth and his decision was an example of poor management and cost the team the best opportunity to win," Jimmy Gould said of his client, 2015 first-rounder DeVante Parker, per Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post.

    Parker was inactive for the Lions game. With a Thursday night game against the Texans looming—and with Wilson likely unavailable—the Dolphins had better figure out how to get Parker on the field and back into the offense in a hurry.

    Week 7 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C

Minnesota Vikings

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    Week 4 Opponent: New York Jets

    Result: Won 37-17

    It's a testament to their overall talent that the Minnesota Vikings played a sloppy game and still managed to top the New York Jets by 20 points on the road.

    The Vikings got off to a fast start, scoring a touchdown on the game's opening drive. Things bogged down for the remainder of the first half, though. Minnesota scored just three more points and gained just 46 more yards in the half following that drive.

    After taking a 10-7 advantage into the half, though, the Vikings came out fast. They scored on their first drive of the third quarter, picked Sam Darnold on the next scrimmage play and then scored again. They ended up rattling off 27 second-half points and picking off Darnold two more times.

    Still, this wasn't a great day for the Vikings offense, which converted just 13 percent of its third-down attempts.

    "When you have special teams giving you good field position and you have a defense giving you the ball back, it probably makes it look better than it really was," quarterback Kirk Cousins said, per Courtney Cronin of

    The Vikings will need to be sharper next week against the New Orleans Saints.

    Week 7 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: B-

New England Patriots

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    Week 7 Opponent: Chicago Bears

    Result: Won 38-31

    No Rob Gronkowski, no problem for the New England Patriots.

    That isn't exactly accurate. The Patriots had a lot of trouble with the Bears on Sunday. It just so happens that an inability to score points wasn't one of them. Tom Brady tossed three touchdowns, James White and Julian Edelman both caught scores and Josh Gordon had his first 100-yard game as a Patriot.

    New England's defense, though, was an issue. It allowed 453 yards of total offense and let Chicago back in the game after the Patriots held a 14-point fourth-quarter lead. If the defense hadn't tackled Kevin White on the 1-yard line on the game's final play, it may have cost the Patriots a win.

    Unfortunately, this victory came at a cost. Rookie running back Sony Michel left the game with a knee injury and never returned. Fortunately, an MRI revealed no structural damage, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    The Patriots have to put in extra work on offense to overcome their lackluster defense. That's already a difficult formula to sustain. It becomes even more difficult if Michel is out for for a significant amount of time.

    Week 7 Grade: C

    Season Grade: B-

New Orleans Saints

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Week 7 Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

    Result: Won 24-23

    What a day for Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Though he certainly didn't carve up Baltimore's defense—he finished 22-of-30 for 212 yards and two touchdowns—he was efficient, he avoided turnovers and he helped the Saints get their fifth consecutive win.

    Oh yeah, and Brees tossed his 500th career touchdown pass and finally beat the one NFL team he'd never defeated.

    This was far from a perfect afternoon for the Saints, though. Brees had to lead a comeback because New Orleans dug a sizable hole over the first three quarters. The Saints scored on their final three meaningful possessions—the last possession was purely a clock-killer—and if they hadn't, they easily could have lost.

    The defense is still the weakness of this team, and it can prove extremely costly when the offense isn't clicking. It nearly cost the Saints a win in Baltimore, and it's going to have to be better next Sunday night against the Vikings.

    Week 7 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: B

New York Giants

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    Week 7 Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

    Result: Lost 23-20

    If we were giving the Giants a grade based solely on coaching, they'd get an F. This isn't because of the decision to go for two points when down eight, though that can be argued over. It's because of the decision to waste time with not one but two quarterback sneaks at the goal line, down 11 and with no timeouts remaining—along with other questionable decisions.

    The Giants did score and get the two-point conversion to pull within three, but they did so with just five seconds remaining on the clock. The Giants then pooch-kicked instead of going for a traditional onside kick—possibly because of the clock situation—and they never had a realistic shot at getting the ball back.

    The Giants also went for it on fourth down deep in the red zone earlier in the game and failed, and the inability to adjust coverages when Ryan began to pick apart the secondary was an issue.

    As far as execution goes, the Giants were respectable. The defense held the high-powered Falcons offense to just 23 points, and the offense racked up 433 total yards.

    There is a ton of talent on this team, but the Giants are a certifiable mess, and it starts at the top.

    Week 7 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: D

New York Jets

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    Week 7 Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

    Result: Lost 37-17

    The Jets' hot streak came to a crashing halt against the Vikings.

    New York dropped 76 combined points in back-to-back wins coming into Week 7. It mustered just 17 against Minnesota, had just 263 offensive yards and turned the ball over four times. While the defense did play well in spurts, particularly in the first half, it couldn't keep the game close down the stretch.

    Really, the final outcome shouldn't come as a surprise. The Jets are a rebuilding team with a rookie quarterback. The Vikings are a team that reached the NFC title game last year and added $84 million man Kirk Cousins in the offseason.

    What's worrisome is rookie Sam Darnold (three interceptions, one lost fumble) continues to be mistake-prone. Yes, the Vikings have a good defense, but this wasn't his first multi-turnover game of the season—and he's only had one game without an interception.

    If the Jets are going to have a chance against the Chicago Bears defense next week, Darnold is going to have to do a better job of taking care of the football. This team has promise, but it isn't talented enough to survive multiple turnovers against playoff-caliber teams.

    Week 7 Grade: D

    Season Grade: C-

Oakland Raiders

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    Tim Ireland/Associated Press

    Week 7 Bye

    The Oakland Raiders desperately needed a break from the season after getting dominated by the Seattle Seahawks in London last week.

    Oakland was lucky to get its lone win of the season in Week 4, and it has lost by at least two touchdowns in each of the last two games.

    The offense cannot get players like Amari Cooper (now trade bait) and Marshawn Lynch (now injured) going, and the defense seems to only be for cosmetic purposes. The Raiders rank 29th in defensive scoring, allowing an average of 29.3 points per game.

    This 1-5 team lacks direction—aside from its direction to Las Vegas.

    Season Grade: D-

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Week 7 Opponent: Carolina Panthers

    Result: Lost 21-17

    Are the Eagles experiencing a Super Bowl hangover? Perhaps. Injuries have played a part in the team's struggles this season—and its 3-4 record—but they haven't been the only problem.

    Yes, the Eagles missed Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery early in the season. They also recently placed running back Jay Ajayi on injured reserve. However, these absences weren't responsible for the defense's late collapse against the Panthers.

    Carolina ripped off 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and ripped away the Eagles' chances of getting above .500.

    "This one hurts because we freakin' had it," tight end Zach Ertz told reporters. "In terms of gut-wrenching [losses], this is freakin' top-two, for sure, top-three. That's the only way to put it."

    Consistency was a big part of Philadelphia's Super Bowl campaign last year, and it hasn't been there in 2018. The Eagles will have a chance to right the ship against the reeling Jaguars next week in London.

    Week 7 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: C-

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Frank Victores/Associated Press

    Week 7 Bye

    The Pittsburgh Steelers got off to a rocky start this season, but they've battled back and managed to take control of first place in the AFC North without even playing in Week 7. The defense started showing some signs of growth leading up to the bye, and there's a chance Pittsburgh will have Le'Veon Bell back by the end of the week.

    Of course, the Steelers still don't know when or if Bell will return, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    The good news is that Pittsburgh may not need Bell to take home the division title, as James Conner has filled in admirably—especially over the last two weeks. Up next is a rematch with the Browns, who played the Steelers to a tie in Week 1.

    Season Grade: B-

San Francisco 49ers

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    Week 7 Opponent: Los Angeles Rams

    Result: Lost 39-10

    The 49ers have managed to stay in a few games this season, primarily because of some quality scheming by head coach Kyle Shanahan. Against the Rams, though, there were no answers.

    The 49es offense turned the ball over four times. It struggled to sustain drives—just 3-of-12 on third and fourth downs—and produce explosive plays. The defense failed to limit big plays, get key stops and keep the 49ers in the game.

    Of L.A.'s 13 drives, seven ended in points, and two ended with the clock at triple zeroes.

    Though the 49ers entered this season with some hype, this was still going to be rebuilding season No. 2—the first full one with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Once Garoppolo went down with a torn ACL, the season became completely about building for the future.

    There are few things to build off in losses like this, though perhaps San Francisco can find some positives in the coming weeks. Matchups with the Cardinals and Raiders are on tap.

    Week 7 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D

Seattle Seahawks

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    Week 7 Bye

    The rebuilding Seahawks may not be a playoff team in 2018, but they cannot be counted out. They've won three of their last four games and narrowly lost to the undefeated Rams in that stretch.

    Seattle hasn't had to completely rebuild, of course, as key players like Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and Bobby Wagner are still on the roster. However, the Seahawks have still had to forge new identities on offense and defense. They now rely more on the defensive front seven and the ground game anchored by Mike Davis and Chris Carson.

    The Seahawks may not be able to catch the Rams in the NFC West, but they're not going to provide a cakewalk for any opponent this season.

    Season Grade: C+

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Week 7 Opponent: Cleveland Browns

    Result: Won 26-23 (OT)

    The Buccaneers are fortunate that kicker Chandler Catanzaro redeemed himself with a 59-yard field goal in overtime. He missed an extra point and a 40-yarder en route to the extra period, but those weren't the only mistakes the Buccaneers made.

    The Tampa defense, which was solid in the first half, didn't adjust in the second half as the Browns did. Cleveland erased a 14-point deficit and came close to scoring range in overtime after picking off Jameis Winston.

    Winston played horribly down the stretch. He was able to move the ball through the air (365 yards passing), but with his weapons, that's to be expected. He also turned the ball over three times, held it too long too often and missed several throws in the second half.

    Tampa stays in the NFC South race with the win, but the Buccaneers are going to have to play better over the next two weeks—against the Bengals and Panthers—if they hope to stay there.

    Week 7 Grade: C

    Season Grade: C

Tennessee Titans

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    Week 7 Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

    Result: Lost 20-19

    Say what you will about Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, but you cannot call him a timid man. After his team pulled within one point on a late touchdown, he decided to go for it all on a two-point try. The attempt failed, but it easily could have gone the other way.

    Even if you want to question Vrabel's refusal to try for overtime, it's hard to question his game plan against the Chargers. He limited L.A.'s offensive opportunities with a grinding ball-control offense, which kept the game close and gave his team a chance in the end.

    The players executed Vrabel's plan to near perfection. Tennessee racked up 23 first downs, converted nine of 15 third downs and controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes of game time.

    As Trent Dilfer might say, you can't lose and still win. However, this loss should still give the Titans some confidence. The Chargers came in as one of the hottest teams in the AFC, and Tennessee was one play away from knocking them off.

    The Titans are just 3-4 but have the look of a team that can hang with anyone. They'll now have the bye before facing off with the Cowboys on Monday night in Week 9.

    Week 7 Grade: C

    Season Grade: C

Washington Redskins

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    Week 7 Opponent: Dallas Cowboys

    Result: Won 20-17

    Since getting picked apart by Drew Brees and the Saints a couple of weeks ago, the Redskins defense has been stout, allowing just 17 points in each of the last two games.

    This has made Washington a very dangerous team because the offense is built to control the tempo, grind out games and complement that solid defense. Alex Smith is a game-manager who will still make the explosive play, and even at 33, Adrian Peterson is the kind of back who can break a team's will once he gets going.

    Both Smith and Peterson played well against Dallas, but it was the defense that set up this win. It was able to corral running back Ezekiel Elliott (2.2 yards per carry) and force the Cowboys to play an offensive game they didn't want to.

    The defense also handed Washington a 10-point fourth-quarter lead with a late sack-fumble-touchdown.

    Washington now sits in first place in the NFC East at 4-2 and has a winnable game against the rival Giants upcoming.

    Week 7 Grade: B

    Season Grade: B