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The Hudsucker Presents NFL Weekly: Week 7 – One Is The Loneliest Number

This year our writers are teaming up to bring you weekly football coverage! Each week, a few of our writers will be sharing their thoughts and highlights from games they’ve watched. Who were the winners this week? Who remains undefeated? Which team will come out victorious at the end of the 2013-2014 season? 

There is only one team that is left undefeated in the NFL and that is the Kansas City Chiefs. But are they the best the league has to offer? Any team can win a game if we judge based on talent, weather, and careful planning. However, the essential key to knowing the difference between teams that get lucky here and there and true contenders is consistency and depth.  This week proved to be an emotional one for the likes of Peyton Manning, who returned to the “house” he once built in Indy and discover that the fans still genuinely appreciate him, proving such adoration by giving him a standing ovation; or Tom Brady crying (again) and irked by his team’s loss to the Jets; Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts breaking down after his season-end injury, and the New York Giants finally winning their first game of the season.

As we head into mid-season, we see how valuable the key of talent and heart as a combo is when playing this game. As the Chiefs head into Week 8 and play against the Cleveland Browns, we might see them reach 8-0 with the inconsistent record the Browns have shown this season but is it predictable? Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Not everyone thought the Colts could rip up the winning streak from the Broncos, but Andrew Luck has proved to be an immaculate QB in this new era for the Colts. How will the other teams fair this week though? We’ll have to wait and see, as tonight football returns with the Carolina Panthers taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Thursday Night Football.

How did Week 7 look though? Our writers, Tania Hussain and Andrew Rogers team up and share some highlights from their favorite games and what they thought of the plays. Do you agree with them?

New England Patriots at New York Jets

Image Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Jets, 30-27

Andrew:

I won’t say it, okay. But maybe I will. Revenge is sweet. As a Saints fan, I loved seeing the Pats get done in by a bad penalty call. Sure, it was a really odd penalty that’s never really been called before, but it’s right there in the rule book. For those who don’t know, the call was that the Pats defensive line “pushed” players into formation during the Jets field goal kick. The Jets kicker missed, but the penalty gave him another shot and he score, winning them the game. Say what you will about the penalty, but the fact is that the Pats couldn’t hold the Jets off for all the points that came before that. Despite the Gronk being back and having a pretty decent game, they’re still not the team they once were. Honestly, unless they dramatically step up their game, I can’t see them in that Super Bowl game come February like I’ve always thought they could be in years past.

Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs

Image Credit: AP Photo/Ed Zurga

Chiefs, 17-16

Andrew:

Wow, even though I said at the beginning of the season to watch out for the combo of Smith, Charles and Reid on the Chiefs, I don’t think even I could have predicted that they’d be sitting as the lone 7-0 team. What a wild ride. The Texans certainly gave them a bit of a run this week with better defence than we’ve seen from them, but there were a couple key injuries with Schaub (who admittedly, isn’t the best QB in the league) and Foster’s hamstring that just held them back and let the Chiefs slip by the again. I will say that the Chiefs haven’t been explosive and dominated like the Broncos but a win is a win. The only problem is, they play in the same division as the Broncs so they still have yet to face them in the two times that they have to this season. I think, when they do, it’ll be an interesting game but just based on their style of game play, the Broncos will win. The Chiefs do have clutch defense though and that could come in handy, but as we saw in the Colts/Broncos game this week, the only way to beat Peyton & Co. is to outscore them.

San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans

Image Credit: AP Photo/Getty Images

49ers, 31-17

Tania:

The 49ers have gained their fourth straight win! A while ago, fans and critics were wondering where the 49ers were heading with this season but now that’s too long ago to remember. This Sunday they played phenomenally! QB Colin Kaepernick threw for 199 yards, running for 68 and a TD, ultimately helping San Fran start a two-game road swing. Unfortunately, the Titans have lost their third straight game starting with QB Jake Locker, who even after missing two games due to an injury, couldn’t help his team out. Though Locker threw for 326 yards with two TD passes in the 4th quarter, that play came up short. The Titans still remain the second-best team in the AFC South, right behind the Colts.

Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers

Image Credit: Packers/Getty Images

Packers, 31-13

Tania:

First off, while some may be calling the Packers Throwback uniforms “ugly“, I really loved them! It shows a deep tie to the franchise and history. I think a move like that is commendable and should be appreciated if you are a genuine Packers fan. And as someone who loves a little Glenn Miller, Fats Waller and Al Jolson, the almost “leatherheads” attire was a fun look! Onto the games now, shall we? Great week for the Packers! QB Aaron Rodgers handled the Cleveland Browns very well, throwing two TD passes and completing 7 of the 11 attempts overall. However, the Browns did bring a little pressure and it was evident on Rodgers at times during the game. The Packers are now first place in in the NFC North with a wicked awesome defense. If they keep it up, we might just see them in the playoffs.

Let’s talk about Browns QB Brandon Weeden now. He’s not very good. No, he’s not. Like Josh Freeman, he too has probably peeved a football gypsy. Total nightmare for the Browns! I’m sure the Browns got the memo though as it was announced today that Jason Campbell will be their starting QB. Will Campbell be an asset to the Browns as they head into Week 8 with the Chiefs? Hmm, who knows!

Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts

Image Credit: AP Photo/Getty Images

Colts, 39-33

Andrew:

What a game! There was so many emotions swirling around in this one that I had a feeling the Colts would win. Luck is smart as heck and he knew that the only way to beat Peyton was to keep up with his fast pace play and score, score, score and that he did and once he got ahead, Peyton just couldn’t catch up. Sure, part of it was luck (no pun intended) that he was having some great drives, but I really think the whole gravity of the game (and some of the smack talk that happened before it) got to Peyton and kind of held him back. So the Broncos now have a loss, but honestly, they’re still the Broncos and he’s still Peyton Manning. Don’t underestimate this squad. But kudos to Luck and the game for getting this key win.

Tania:

Wow! Historic game. Honestly, I have never been that emotional watching a game. It was something I never want to relive again, although I’m sure the Broncos and Colts will meet up once more before Peyton’s retirement. Seriously though? Such an amazing game. Now before I give my take on the game, I have to mention vital information to my adoration for Manning and the Colts. When Andrew and I were watching the game, he texted me and asked who I was rooting for and the answer was not easy to give. For as long as I’ve known football, I’ve known Peyton Manning as the quarterback. My quarterback. And he was always always synonymous with the Indianapolis Colts. He even stated in past interviews how he’d like to retire as a Colt and unfortunately, that never happened. Maybe I’m someone who can’t let go but that’s a whole different discussion about my inner psychology. With that in mind, I answered Andrew and told him how I will always be rooting for Manning because I’m so proud of all he’s achieved and proved, am so impressed with his comeback, but am always rooting for the Colts too because they’re my home team. Sure that’s a diplomatic answer when you love them both but I’m sure Andrew understood that logic though many people I know won’t. It was Sophie’s Choice for me.

Manning thanking fans after receiving cheers and a standing-O in an emotional moment at the Lucas Oil Stadium this past Sunday. Image Credit: Bleacher Report.

I must point out one of my favorite moments of the game wasn’t a play or a touchdown but the standing ovation for Peyton Manning prior to the game starting. That was incredibly moving and heartfelt. I don’t know if that really threw Manning off point this week as he said in a press conference after the game how week seven was emotional and tiring for him. As for the game though, it was explosive and extremely close. The Colts put a ton of pressure on the Broncos this past Sunday! Manning struggled against the blitz for the first time this season, which was a little surprising to see. He got into the game with 75% completion passes against blitzes but on Sunday night failed to make that magic happen and completed only two in eight attempts. Not something you’d imagine seeing from this fierce Bronco in Week 7.

The Colts’ defense impressively stole the show from Manning’s return. They gave up 33 points to the Broncos but made huge plays when they needed to late in the game, After Colts LB Robert Mathis sacked Manning for the fumble and safety, the Broncos QB didn’t look the same. That sack cost the Broncos a nine-point swing too! Colts QB Andrew Luck led the Colts on a TD drive from the ensuing possession, and Indy didn’t trail anymore in the game. Andrew Luck is an amazing player and has proved that there is a new era of football in Indy. I think this past season he’s been slowly emerging from the Manning shadow and perhaps this game had him completely create his own. With regards to Manning and the Broncos, perhaps this game was a fluke. Not sure if all the smack talk and criticisms from Jim Irsay affected his play but frankly at this point, I think Irsay needs to keep his pride to himself and let it go. Sad that Colts WR Reggie Wayne suffered a season-ending ACL tear. That was a shocker and very sad to see that while the Colts are rising in the league, he won’t get to be there and help them.

All-in-all, it was a great game. While Manning threw for 386 yards and three TDs, Andrew Luck had 228 yards passing and 4 total TDs. It was a wonderful night for both teams and for the fans who finally had a chance to say goodbye and thank Manning for being the greatest quarterback they’ve ever known. Now in the words of Manning, “I’m kind of, in some ways, relieved this game is over.”

Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants

Image Credit: NFL/AP Photo

Giants, 23-7

Andrew:

Could it be? Could the Giants finally win? Yes! They did! They’re not back in the running for the playoffs by any means, but there was some improved play on their side. That side, Freeman’s first game in purple really didn’t convince anyone that he belong there and Adrian Peterson had an uncharacteristically low numbers week. Maybe that’s a sign that Freeman just hasn’t figured out how to use the weapons at his disposal. It will be interesting to see what the Vikes will decide to do with him in the weeks to come. Also, we’ll see if the Giants can do what they’ve done in years past and start up a winning streaks that could get them back in the running in the competitive (but only because they’re all so mediocre…) NFC East.

Tania:

WOW! Congratulations to the Giants on getting their FIRST season win! Really, guys?! Better late than never,  I suppose. That game was exactly the way these once Super Bowl champs play. A little “meh” and a little “oh yeah!” Can we discuss though how this is certainly not Josh Freeman’s year? I’d like to know which football gypsy he ticked off because he was absolutely terrible this past Monday. I’m wondering if the trade was even a good idea. That was a very underwhelming debut. Sorry Freeman. In my opinion, the Vikings should not have started him against the Giants. The whole game was sloppy on part from the Vikings. The Giants did a great job of controlling the clock and ball for most of the first quarter, getting a field goal. The Giants defense really delivered. I’m hoping they can keep it up as they play the Eagles after their BYE.

Who are you rooting for? What games did you watch? Let us know what you thought of the seventh week of NFL by sounding off in the comments below.

About the Authors

___________________________________________

Andrew Rogers is Editor and staff writer here at The Hudsucker. He is a 24 year old law student who lives in Halifax during the school year and Toronto the rest of the year. Besides Law, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and food factoids. Andrew is also happily in a relationship with an American boy named Elliott. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

Tania Hussain is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief here at The Hudsucker, and a freelance writer at the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). She has her own column over at NBC News’ Newsvine and has completed a manuscript awaiting to be published. She is a member of  The Canadian Authors Association, a national organization dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of writers across Canada. Tania is an avid Colts, Elvis and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses. Follow her on Twitter as @westlifebunny.

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