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Thirty-nine things we learned from Week 7

*What a long, luxurious day of football. Case Keenum kicked off the seventh Sunday of the season with a four-pack of picks. The Genocoaster broke down mid-game. A.J. Green dismantled Cleveland's secondary to save Cincy's season. And Tom Brady and Co. look as good as ever. Here's what we've learned so far in Week 7. *

  1. Keenum's four interceptions weren't enough to convince coach Jeff Fisher to make a change to Jared Goff, even with the team's bye week and a three-game losing streak.

"We're staying with Case," Fisher told reporters after the game before he was asked the question. Keenum is hardly the only problem in the Rams' attack, but the offense failed to score on its final 10 possessions Sunday. His limitations on deep balls showed up numerous times Sunday. Fisher placed the blame on Keenum's game-sealing interception on receiver Brian Quick not seeing an audible call at the line of scrimmage.

  1. Giants safety Landon Collins was playing like a Pro Bowler even before his two-interception performance in London. His pick-six return was one of the plays of the year, showing a change of direction we didn't know Collins had. Playing as a "box safety," few defenders consistently deliver bigger hits week after week. For the second straight game, he was easily the Giants' best defender in a victory.
  1. Fisher was quick to blame his wide receivers rather than Keenum for the four interceptions. "I'll make changes at receiver before I make a change at QB," Fisher said after the game. Tavon Austin was targeted on three of the picks, one of them being a clear drop. That was the play Collins brought back for a touchdown. Austin also fumbled twice, gaining 57 yards on 15 targets. He's one of the guys Fisher should consider benching.

*-- Gregg Rosenthal *

  1. The Vikings and Eagles entered the day with the fewest turnovers in the league this season. The two teams traded miscues from the opening whistle, featuring five giveaways in the first 10 minutes of a game for the first time since 1986. Minnesota had been turnover-free over 57 offensive possessions to open the 2016 season. These defenses were so disruptive and the offenses so inept, though, that six first-half turnovers generated a grand total of three points.
  1. The soft offensive-line underbelly of the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team was exposed during Sam Bradford's first ugly outing since arriving in a preseason trade. All three of Bradford's first-half turnovers resulted from pressure in his face, including a pair of strip-sacks surrendered by freshly signed left tackle Jake Long. Minus both starting tackles for the rest of the season, the Vikings attempted to revamp the offensive line on the fly, utilizing a feckless three-man tackle rotation of Long, T.J. Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles.
  1. With no ground attack and a shoddy offensive line, it's fair to wonder if Minnesota's offense is too vulnerable to keep pace with other NFC contenders such as Seattle, Atlanta and Dallas. Although the Nov. 1 trade deadline leaves plenty of time to make a play for a top-tier tackle such as Cleveland All-Pro Joe Thomas, general manager Rick Spielman conceded to NFL.com's Judy Battista last week that he's "not going to touch any more draft picks" after parting with a first-rounder in the Bradford deal. Spielman might not have a choice even if he changes his mind. As of last week, he had just $50,000 in cap space with which to work.

-- Chris Wesseling

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick is once again playing quarterback for the Jets, thanks to a knee injury to Geno Smith. He finished his relief appearance 9-of-14 for 120 yards and a touchdown -- a heady dumpoff pass to Matt Forte from 13 yards out. At 2-5, though, the question is obvious: Is it worth continuing to cycle between two quarterbacks (Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith) while raw, desirable talent sits inactive on the bench?
  1. The Ravens were ready for Geno Smith. Yes, his five-yard pass to Quincy Enunwa turned into a 69-yard touchdown, the longest play of the season for the Jets and the team's first touchdown since the second quarter of Week 5. But it was apparent early on that they were going to challenge him to throw the ball deep and with precision. Brandon Marshall was confronted with press man coverage on nearly every snap with Smith under center while the speedier Robby Anderson was given a cushion and some room to work. A few predictable quick outs from bunch formations nearly served as interception fuel for the well-placed Ravens.
  1. Matt Forte is ageless at times. For all the criticism hurled the Jets' way for relying on a 30-year-old back with high mileage to pace their offense, he showed Sunday that there is still something left in the tank. What, specifically, do we mean by that platitude? Older running backs tend to lose that wonderful, bracing knockout punch later in their career but Forte seems to have found a more effective way of throwing it.

-- Conor Orr

  1. The much-maligned Colts offensive line played very well and gave Andrew Luck a clean pocket most of the day. Luck, with a heavily taped left ankle, picked apart the Titans' secondary with a diverse array of quick passes, deep shots, pinpoint passes over the middle and heady scampers when warranted. His 37-yard TD strike to T.Y. Hilton was picture-perfect. Facing a Titans defense that earned six sacks each of the past two games, Luck was taken down just twice and hit five times.
  1. Marcus Mariota continued his disappointing 2016 season. Accuracy was a major problem for the Titans' scattershot quarterback. Mariota couldn't complete simple sideline throws and missed everything deep. Ball security remained a problem, as he fumbled twice (one lost). His fumble under two minutes was returned for a Colts touchdown sealing the loss. Mariota made some solid throws to keep the game close in the fourth quarter, but Titans fans have to be depressed watching their franchise quarterback miss wide open throws with no pressure in his face.
  1. Even in their wins, the Colts make nothing easy. Chuck Pagano's defense kept the Titans in the game with head-scratching penalties, missed tackles and blown coverages. Tennessee's 13-play game-tying touchdown drive epitomized Indy's season. That drive included a ridiculous Colts penalty that negated an interception; two more defensive pass interference flags; conversions of third-and-15 and third-and-19 (including a missed tackle that allowed the yardage); and leaving Delanie Walker wide open in the end zone on third-and-7. For the game, the Colts were flagged 12 times for 131 yards. Against a better football team, this turns into another loss for Pagano's squad.

-- Kevin Patra

  1. Don't count Mike McCoy's squad out of the AFC West race after a calamitous start to the 2016 season. For once, it was the Bolts on the right side of a late-game comeback. Julio Jones was the victim of an obvious missed pass interference for the second straight game, leading to a 58-yard Matt Bryant field-goal attempt that grazed off the upright as the regulation clock expired. Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman stuffed Devonta Freeman on 4th-and-1 near midfield on the first possession of overtime, setting Philip Rivers up with prime field position -- and ultimately making Quinn pay for his risky decision.
  1. Matt Ryan broke an NFL record by throwing for 200 or more yards in 46 consecutive games. Buoyed by Jones and speedy tailback Tevin Coleman, the Falcons exploded for three touchdowns in one quarter for the second consecutive week. Although Atlanta's offensive firepower has been unmatched to date, the ability to take advantage of mismatches took a hit with Coleman's second-half hamstring injury. The league's most lethal big-play threat out of the backfield this season, Coleman would be a major loss if he can't suit up for the next two games versus the Packers and Buccaneers.
  1. This matchup featured four of the top half-dozen candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year in Chargers disruptive duo Joey Bosa and Jatavis Brown to go with Atlanta's playmaking partners Keanu Neal and Deion Jones. As well as Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey has played this season, it's going to be hard to hold off Bosa. Much like Odell Beckham's Offensive Rookie of the Year onslaught two years ago, Bosa is coming like a freight train after missing the first four weeks of the season. Three games into his NFL career, Bosa is already one of the most terrorizing defensive end-outside linebacker hybrids in the league. He picked up two more QB takedowns on Sunday, giving him a pair of multi-sack performances in his first three starts. Along with Perryman, Brown and injured cornerback Jason Verrett, he leads the nucleus of a promising young Bolts defense.

*-- Chris Wesseling *

  1. Business as usual from Tom Brady. The stats won't show it (222 yards, two TDs), but the Patriots quarterback dominated and outsmarted the Steelers' defense, especially in the second half. Encountering little to no pressure from the front four, Brady opted often for sure routes from receivers in the flat until Rob Gronkowski found room to run late in the second half. Through three games, Brady has yet to throw an interception since returning from suspension and has shown no hint of a decline.
  1. Brady didn't lead New England all by his lonesome; LeGarrette Blount happily carried the load. The former Steelers running back returned to the team that once cut him and outperformed his rival back, Le'Veon Bell. Blount continued a career year with his third 100-plus rushing yard game of 2016 and scored two touchdowns at the goal line. Blount now has more touchdowns through seven weeks (8) than he's had in any season in his career.
  1. Little was expected of Landry Jones on Sunday afternoon, but the Steelers backup quarterback did all he could, in place of Ben Roethlisberger, to keep Pittsburgh in this game. Aside from an early interception on a forced pass toward Antonio Brown in the end zone, Jones was accurate and decisive in his reads and connected on one particularly special toss to Darrius Heyward-Bey for a touchdown. But Jones failed to develop chemistry with any other receivers aside from Brown and Bell, which hampered his ability to lead a comeback in the second half. Against lesser opponents, Jones should serve as a suitable replacement for Big Ben.

-- Jeremy Bergman

  1. The Browns had things rolling for once before it promptly fell apart. After Isaiah Crowell capped a drive with a one-yard touchdown run, Andy Dalton and the Bengals' offense responded to Cleveland's score and 10-7 lead by connecting with Brandon LaFell for a 44-yard touchdown. Cincinnati's defense one-upped the offense on the drive prior by forcing Cody Kessler out of the game with a concussion, calling into action fellow rookie and recent practice squad promotion Kevin Hogan. The Bengals' offense then fired the final shot, a Hail Mary that A.J. Green corralled with one hand in the end zone as time expired to give the Bengals a 21-10 lead at half. As soon as Cleveland was in it, the Browns were just as quickly out of it.
  1. Jeremy Hill ripped off a 74-yard touchdown that saw him top out at 20.17 mph, per Next Gen Stats. It was a good run for him on a great afternoon -- 271 yards rushing as a team and 551 total yards of offense great -- but isn't necessarily a sign of more things to come for Cincinnati. It was truly more indicative of a Browns defense that struggles to stop most anyone on the ground, including a 235-pound back who rumbled with ease past all 11 defenders for a score.
  1. Cincinnati can thank the scheduling gods for this gift of a Week 7 opponent. The Bengals were nearing free fall after two straight double-digit losses, but thankfully got the Browns on Sunday. No one will question that the Browns bring maximum effort to the field each week, but their lack of talent shows. It was evident in their inability to get stops after scores, their struggles on third down with Hogan at quarterback, and even after the Bengals gifted them two fresh sets of downs in the third, their almost immediate three-and-outs.

-- Nick Shook

  1. Derek Carr didn't have his best showing but turned it up when the Raiders needed it in the Jack Del Rio revenge game. The game changed when Carr led a two-minute drive to end the half that featured a 42-yard dime to Michael Crabtree on third down from near midfield that put them at the two-yard line with half a minute left. After two incompletions, Carr found Crabtree on a slant for the touchdown, giving them a two-possession lead going into the locker room. Crabtree has continued to be Carr's favorite target on the most important plays, making everyone forget there was a time that a certain Seahawks defender called him a "sorry receiver."
  1. Blake Bortles has continued to show regression in a year that the Jaguars were the hot pick to win the AFC South. Bortles looked his best on a drive where he scrambled twice for first downs before lobbing an interception in the end zone that David Amerson snagged. At halftime, Bortles was 5-of-14 passing for 57 yards and an interception.
  1. Turnovers and penalties doomed the Jaguars all game long. Aside from the backbreaking interception in the end zone, the Jaguars muffed a punt that led to three points. Their defense couldn't get off the field with several penalties moving the sticks for the Raiders on third down. The Raiders got a free 30 yards when Malik Jackson was flagged for unnecessary roughness at the start of the fourth quarter. Jackson was later tossed from the game when he was handed another penalty for the same offense on a Sebastian Janikowski 52-yard field goal. First-round cornerback Jalen Ramsey was also tossed from the game along with Raiders receiver Johnny Holton in the closing minutes for fighting.

-- Mark Ortega

  1. Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen wreaked havoc on a struggling Saints' offense. Sorensen registered a 48-yard pick-six off of Brees late in the first quarter. He followed that up with a sack in the second -- his first of the season.
  1. The Chiefs turned to running back Spencer Ware once again to shoulder the bulk of the team's ground game in the absence of a fully healthy Jamaal Charles. Ware racked up 77 yards in 17 carries. Though Charles was active for the Week 7 tilt, the veteran only registered one carry for zero yards.
  1. Drew Brees is known for his late-game heroics but despite the veteran's efforts Sunday (and in the week prior against the Panthers), the Saints fell on the road. Brees closed the gap, cutting the Chiefs' lead to three points with minutes remaining in the game with a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Coleman -- his first touchdown reception of the season -- but the Chiefs tacked on another field goal and the Saints ran out of time to complete the comeback. Brees finished the day going 37 of 48 with 367 yards passing and three touchdowns, marking his 100th career game of 300 yards passing.

-- Andie Hagemann

  1. While this game started as an absolute snooze-fest, the second half was jam-packed with excitement punctuated by Matthew Stafford's game-winning one-minute drill. Starting from his own 25, Stafford connected deep with Marvin Jones and Andre Roberts while scrambling for 14 yards to put the Lions in the red zone with 22 seconds left on the clock. Injuries in the Washington secondary set Anquan Boldin up against overmatched rookie Kendall Fuller with the game on the line. The veteran spun Fuller around and Stafford delivered a dart for the go-ahead score, putting the Lions up 20-17.
  1. Miscues and injuries will be the story of the day for Washington. Despite racking up 202 yards of offense in the first half, they went into the break with just three points. Matt Jones' fumble into the end zone and a field goal attempt that doinked off the upright took points off the board, while a botched exchange between Kirk Cousins and Jones stopped a drive that had marched deep into Detroit territory.
  1. Prior to his injury, Norman shadowed Marvin Jones for most of the game, which led to Jones not even seeing a target until the third quarter. Jones' first look resulted in a 52-yard diving catch that set up Zach Zenner's one-yard touchdown run (the first of his career). Norman suffered his concussion on the play and did not return. His status will be big next week as the now 4-3 Redskins travel to Cincinnati where A.J. Green awaits. Jones finished with 94 yards on four catches, while the absence of Theo Riddick continues to allow Golden Tate to produce. He amassed 93 yards on six catches (12 targets).

-- Alex Gelhar

  1. There's no longer any doubt ... the Dolphins' backfield belongs to Jay Ajayi. For the second straight week, he topped 200 rushing yards before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury. Arian Foster? It was telling that not only was he limited to just three carries, but it was Damien Williams who took over for Ajayi late in the game as Miami attempted to run out the clock. It's a mystery why Adam Gase seemed so adamant against making Ajayi his bell-cow running back, but it looks like Ajayi has strong-armed his way into the gig.
  1. This game underscored how thin the Bills are at the skill positions. With LeSean McCoy not looking like himself and Robert Woods unavailable, Tyrod Taylor did his best to make chicken salad out of ... well, you know. Until a panicked, late game drive, the Bills' only touchdowns came after being set up in plus territory after a 12-yard Miami punt and a blown coverage by Byron Maxwell. We knew Shady was an integral part of this offense, but on Sunday we started to realize exactly how integral.
  1. The Bills linebacker corps had been one of the team's strengths during their four-game winning streak. So it's probably no coincidence that in their loss, the quartet of Zach Brown, Preston Brown, Lorenzo Alexander and Jerry Hughes weren't a major factor. Miami made a decision to run the ball right into the heart of the defense and came away incredibly successful. If Buffalo's defensive playmakers are residing in the third level of the defense, that's going to be a problem.

-- Marcas Grant

  1. San Francisco jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and it was all downhill from there in the worst way possible. The Niners couldn't sustain much offensively, and when they did, they stalled out thanks to some peculiar play-calling and poor execution. It resulted in just three points, while Tampa Bay racked up 34. Colin Kaepernick made plays with his feet, but was constantly under pressure and rarely looked comfortable. It was evident in his 16-of-34 day.
  1. Jameis Winston continues to perplex those who watch him play quarterback. Statistically, he had a solid game, completing 21 of 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He narrowly avoided a couple more and showed a tendency to sail the ball from time to time. But against opponents the caliber of the Niners, it's important to both win the game and use it to renew connections that can again become a team's bread and butter. Winston to Mike Evans was that, as the two hooked up for eight completions, 96 yards and two touchdowns. Winston also made some progress with Russell Shepard, who had a nice afternoon, catching five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown against tight coverage in the second quarter to put Tampa Bay ahead for good.
  1. San Francisco is the worst in the NFL against the run -- 174.5 yards rushing allowed per game -- and it showed Sunday. Tampa Bay gained 249 net yards rushing against San Francisco. For the second straight game, Jacquizz Rodgers broke 100 yards on the ground, gaining 154 yards on 26 carries. Rookie running back Peyton Barber added another 84 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He wasn't challenged on his score from 44 yards out. You could have thrown almost any running back back there for Tampa Bay and he'd have gained at least a couple of first downs. It's going to continue to be a rough season for the Niners' faithful.

-- Nick Shook

  1. Two Sunday Night Football games, two horrid misses from Chandler Catanzaro. After Catanzaro and Stephen Hauschka traded field goals to begin the overtime period, the Cardinals were set up with a first down at the Seahawks' five-yard line. After David Johnson nearly crossed the goal line at the left pylon, the Cardinals hurried up on second down to run a play to Johnson for no gain. After taking a delay of game penalty ahead of the next snap, Catanzaro, who had had a kick blocked already on the evening, hit the left post on a 24-yard field goal attempt from the left hash with the game on the line. His unforgivable error was only outdone when Hauschka shanked the ensuing game-winning attempt all the way to Scottsdale.
  1. That this game even went to overtime is a miracle only Russell Wilson's nanobubbles can perform. A fourth-quarter punt block by Seahawks wideout Tanner McEvoy flipped momentum and field position and set Seattle up with a golden opportunity to steal a win over the Cardinals, who had dominated from kickoff. However, down just three points at the 22, the Seahawks moved backward and settled for a game-tying field goal.
  1. David Johnson is the Cardinals' offense; the Cardinals' offense is David Johnson. The second-year back was the workhorse for Bruce Arians' offense on Sunday night, tallying 171 total yards on a career-high 41 touches. For the seventh straight week, Johnson eclipsed 100-plus scrimmage yards and remains in the league lead in that category. Johnson didn't display the trademark burst that he has in prime-time games past, instead acting as the Cardinals' sacrificial battering ram.

-- Jeremy Bergman

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