Around the NFL

Seven plays that explain Week 7

The way the Detroit Lions' offense was playing Sunday, all Drew Brees had to do on the play below was not throw an interception. He threw an interception. The Saints passing game absolutely collapsed in the fourth quarter Sunday with 10 straight passes without a completion. Brees has been forcing throws of late, and he's paid for it. -- Gregg Rosenthal

Make a mistake -- like the Giants' fourth quarter fumble by tight end Larry Donnell -- and the Cowboys will make you pay. Put an extra defender in the box to stop DeMarco Murray, and Dez Bryant will take advantage of single coverage every time. It's disarming to watch a Cowboys team that plays such smart, disciplined football. -- Gregg Rosenthal

Cameron Wake's strip-sack, fumble recovery typified the game for both the Dolphins and Bears. The Dolphins defensive line harassed Cutler all day and the secondary didn't give up easy reads, allowing the rush to get there. Wake makes a beautiful move on the edge here to get to the quarterback. On the flip side it displays a house on fire for the Bears. Cutler was either holding onto the ball too long or forcing passes Sunday. This play came after a Brandon Marshall offensive pass interference wiped out a long catch. -- Kevin Patra

The Bengals' offensive game plan was exposed early in a blowout loss to the Colts, but nothing defined Indianapolis' preparedness quite like Vontae Davis' second quarter hit on running back Giovani Bernard. With 8:13 left in the half, Andy Dalton tossed a swing pass to his right side, one that Davis read from a mile away in the secondary. It served as a symbol for the rest of the game, which was one of the worst offensive performances by any team in the last three years. -- Conor Orr

Seattle's stunning loss to the Rams was triggered by this masterful dash of tomfoolery on a first-half punt return by St. Louis. Rams coach Jeff Fisher credited film study for revealing that Seattle punter Jon Ryan's rugby-style kicks tended to drift right off his foot (from the vantage point of the return team). When Ryan's punt did exactly that, Tavon Austin and nine other Rams floated to the left, drawing Seattle's men with them toward the phantom runback. Meanwhile, Rams wideout Stedman Bailey stayed home to haul in the ball for this outrageous 90-yard score. Be sure to check out Michael Silver's fine writeup on Sunday's game of the day. -- Marc Sessler

Kyle Orton is far from perfect, but the Bills passer delivered on a 15-play, 80-yard march that saw him connect with four different pass-catchers before finding rookie Sammy Watkins in the end zone with one tick left on the clock. Chris Hogan made the biggest catch on the drive with this outstanding 28-yard grab that set up the Bills at the Minnesota 2. It's a critical win for Buffalo, one that keeps them alive in the AFC East. -- Marc Sessler

Sunday marked Brian Hoyer's ugliest afternoon yet. The Browns passer completed just 16 of 41 throws at 5.2 yards per clip. He struggled to find open targets, saw passes batted down and threw a crushing fourth-quarter interception -- just his second all season. Credit the Jacksonville defense -- the best Cleveland has faced all season, according to coach Mike Pettine -- for their ability to handle the Browns offensive line and get in Hoyer's face, as they did on this pass attempt that went completely awry. -- Marc Sessler

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 7 game, and breaks down Peyton Manning's record-breaking night. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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