Week 7 in the NFL was eventful to say the least. There was a lot of movement over the weekend when it came to the top spots in a few divisions.
The Houston Texans opened the season 0-3 and are now alone in first place in the AFC South. The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to win their first two games and are all by themselves atop the AFC North. The Minnesota Vikings have rebounded from a 1-2-1 start to win three straight and are now atop the NFC North. And the Los Angeles Rams still haven’t lost a game this season.
Here’s a look at all eight divisions entering the New York Giants’ Monday night clash with the Falcons at Atlanta.
AFC East: With the exception of the first-place New England Patriots, who survived a wild afternoon at Chicago, every team in the division came up short and all lost by 11 or more points. The Miami Dolphins (32-21), New York Jets (37-17) and Buffalo Bills (37-5) were outscored by a combined 106-43 in losses to the Lions, Vikings and Colts, respectively. Now the reigning division champions own the top spot all by themselves.
AFC North: The Pittsburgh Steelers were off this week and thanks to losses by the Bengals, Ravens and Browns, the team that didn’t win a game until Week 3 is suddenly atop the AFC North all by its lonesome. But there’s obviously a long way to go for all of these clubs. Over the next two weeks, Mike Tomlin’s club hosts Cleveland and then heads to Baltimore for a rematch with the club that beat them, 26-14, at Heinz Field in Week 4.
AFC South: Amazing. The Houston Texans have now won four straight games since opening the season 0-3. The club’s 20-7 victory at Jacksonville on Sunday gave Bill O’Brien’s team a 2-1 record within the division, both of those wins on the road. While the Jaguars and Tennessee Titans each lost for the third consecutive week, the Indianapolis Colts snapped a four-game skid via a blowout triumph over the Buffalo Bills.
AFC West: After coming up just short at New England, 43-40, last Sunday night, Andy Reid’s Chiefs returned to the prime time stage and blew out the visiting Cincinnati Bengals, 45-10. Kansas City maintained its one-game lead in the AFC West over the rejuvenated Los Angeles Chargers, who have won four straight games after a 1-2 start. The only team that didn’t win in the division in Week 7 were the idle Raiders. Last Thursday night, the Denver Broncos rolled the Arizona Cardinals, 45-10.
NFC East: On Sunday at FedExField, the Washington Redskins snapped a four-game losing streak to the Dallas Cowboys via a 20-17 win. Combine that with the fact that the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles squandered a 17-0 fourth quarter lead (on the way to a 21-17 loss) and Jay Gruden’s club is the only team in the division above .500. The New York Giants have dropped three straight games as they prepare to visit the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.
NFC North: Over the past two weeks, the Chicago Bears’ defense and special teams proved to be the club’s undoing in losses to the Dolphins (31-28 in OT) and Patriots (38-31). Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings have now won three games in a row and sit atop the NFC North with a 4-2-1 record. While the Lions are now at the .500 mark via a 32-21 victory at Miami, the 3-2-1 Packers were off in Week 7.
NFC South: Make in five consecutive wins for Sean Payton’s New Orleans Saints (5-1), who rallied at Baltimore to beat the Ravens. Both the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers also came up with wins on Sunday, meaning the 2-4 Atlanta Falcons (who face the New York Giants on Monday night) as the only team in the NFC South with a losing record.
NFC West: The Los Angeles Rams are 7-0 for the first time since 1985. The team just completed a three-game road trip with a resounding 39-10 win at San Francisco. While the Seattle Seahawks were off, both the Arizona Cardinals and 49ers dropped to 1-6 this year thanks to lopsided setbacks – the latter to the aforementioned Rams and the Cards at home, 45-10, to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.