NFL 2023 Week 7: Biggest questions, risers and takeaways

Eagles dominate with Slay’s interception and Gainwell’s touchdown

In Week 7 of the NFL season, we witnessed thrilling matchups and standout performances. Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars held off a comeback by the New Orleans Saints, Lamar Jackson led the Baltimore Ravens to a stellar victory against the Detroit Lions, and the New England Patriots earned Bill Belichick his 300th career win against the Buffalo Bills. The Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts engaged in a high-scoring battle, with the Browns coming out on top. The Pittsburgh Steelers secured a road victory over the Los Angeles Rams, and Travis Kelce helped the Kansas City Chiefs maintain their impressive 6-1 record with a win over the Los Angeles Chargers. However, the highlight of the night was the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Miami Dolphins, who possessed the league’s top-ranked offense.

Our NFL Nation reporters have analyzed each game, answering key questions and identifying rising and falling factors for each team. Let’s delve into the details.

Eagles: Evaluating Jalen Hurts’ performance in the first seven games has posed a challenge. On one hand, he has guided his team to a remarkable 6-1 record, emphasizing the importance of winning. However, his high turnover rate, including a pick-six in the third quarter that tied the game, raises concerns. With 10 turnovers this season, second only to Falcons QB Desmond Ridder (11), Hurts must prioritize ball security to avoid potential setbacks.

Stock up after the win: Darius Slay. His interception of Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter changed the course of the game. Displaying impressive awareness, Slay made a crucial play that helped the Eagles’ defense contain the league’s top offense.

Stock down after the win: Olamide Zaccheaus. With zero catches on one target, Zaccheaus may face limited playing time now that Julio Jones has joined the team.

Dolphins: The Dolphins’ success must be examined in the context of their schedule. While they undoubtedly possess a talented offense, and Tua Tagovailoa is performing at an MVP level, their victories have primarily come against weaker opponents. Their inability to defeat top-tier teams continues to invite skepticism.

Stock up after the loss: Miami’s front seven. Despite the loss, the Dolphins managed to pressure Jalen Hurts 16 times, sacking him three times and forcing two turnovers.

Stock down after the loss: The Dolphins’ offensive line. Injuries weakened their offensive line, resulting in a disappointing performance against the Eagles’ formidable front seven.

Broncos: The transformation of the Broncos’ defense from a devastating loss to the Dolphins to allowing just two touchdowns against the Packers is remarkable. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph made strategic lineup changes, which included starting Fabian Moreau alongside Pat Surtain II at cornerback and incorporating rookie linebacker Drew Sanders into the nickel package. The defense has displayed improved run defense, passion, and assignment discipline.

Stock up after the win: Javonte Williams. Demonstrating his recovery from last year’s knee injury, Williams ran decisively and powerfully, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. His emergence provides the Broncos’ offense with a much-needed reliable option.

Stock down after the win: Damarri Mathis. Started in the Thursday night loss to the Chiefs, Mathis was replaced by Fabian Moreau in the contest against the Packers. Given the results, it is expected that Moreau will continue starting moving forward.

Packers: The defeat against the Broncos raises questions about the Packers’ ability to defeat challenging opponents. Despite facing a defense that allowed the most points and yards per game in the NFL, the Packers struggled to generate offense until the third quarter. Following losses to the Raiders and the Broncos, their upcoming matchups against the Vikings and Rams are crucial.

Stock up after the loss: Dontayvion Wicks. The rookie contributed not just as a receiver but also as a passer, showcasing his versatility and skills.

Stock down after the loss: Jordan Love. Sunday marked his fourth consecutive game with an interception, matching a streak not seen by a Packers starting quarterback since Matt Flynn in 2013.

Steelers thwart Rams’ comeback with controversial fourth down conversion

Chiefs: It is undeniable that Travis Kelce is thriving as he matures. The 34-year-old tight end has been exceptional, evidenced by his 12 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown in the latest game. Kelce’s performance over the past three games solidifies his status as one of the best in the league.

Stock up after the win: Pass rush. The Chiefs’ defense recorded five sacks, with Charles Omenihu’s tipped pass leading to an interception in the red zone, a pivotal moment in the game.

Stock down after the win: Running game. The Chiefs’ rushing attack failed to alleviate pressure on quarterback Patrick Mahomes, as they gained only 39 yards with an average of fewer than three yards per attempt.

Chargers: Brandon Staley’s future as the Chargers’ head coach is uncertain. Despite having top-tier players like Justin Herbert and Khalil Mack, the team has underperformed. Their inability to contain Mahomes and Kelce highlights the team’s struggles. With a 2-4 record, their chances of making the postseason are diminishing.

Stock up after the loss: Joshua Kelley. The Chargers’ rushing game, a major concern throughout the season, showed promise when Kelley scored a 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Stock down after the loss: Pass defense. Allowing the Chiefs to score 24 points in the first half, the Chargers struggled to contain Mahomes, who threw for 321 yards, the second-highest in any half of his career.

The NFL Nation reporters have provided in-depth analysis on each game, shedding light on crucial elements and identifying players and teams experiencing positive or negative trends. As the season progresses, these insights will continue to shape our understanding of the NFL landscape.


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