We have finished Week 7 of the 2019 NFL regular season. This weekend we saw a pretty weak slate of games, headlined by matchups between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears, the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks, and the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.
The San Francisco 49ers became the first NFC team this weekend to win six games and on Monday night the New England Patriots became the first team to seven wins when they defeated the New York Jets. New England looks like they have a real shot at trying to go 16-0 once again, while the 49ers, despite an impressive start, face much tougher competition in the second half of the season.
Before we get into breaking down Week 7 here are the finals from this week’s games.
49ers 9 Redskins 0
Saints 36 Bears 25
Ravens 30 Seahawks 16
Eagles 10 Cowboys 37
Coaches on the hot seat
1. Dan Quinn - Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons headed into the 2019 season as a team looking to bounce-back from a tough year in 2018 and compete for the NFC South crown with the New Orleans Saints. With so much talent on their offense and returning a few key players on defense, many believed Atlanta had a shot to rebound in a big way this season. Fast forward to Week 7 and the Falcons are 1-6 while the Saints are 6-1. The season has just been a complete mess for the Falcons, who after getting a big win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 have never looked the same. Their defense is bottom five in almost every category, allowing 31.9 points a game and almost 400 total yards, and on the offensive side of the ball they have yet to get the running game going at all and quarterback Matt Ryan hurt his ankle this weekend against the Rams. Dan Quinn seems like a dead man walking, and he may not make it through the entire year. As a defensive coach, Quinn has completely failed with this awful Falcons defense, and things likely won’t get better facing the Seattle Seahawks next weekend. Quinn will be fired at some point, it is just a matter of will he make it through the year?
2. Anthony Lynn - Los Angeles Chargers
One year ago Anthony Lynn was the AFC Coach of the Year. Oh how things can change in just a matter of a few months. After a 12-4 regular season in 2018, the Chargers had extremely high expectations coming into the 2019 season. Just like for the Falcons, things have gone about as bad as possible for the Chargers in 2019. After losing to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Los Angeles fell to 2-5 on the year and racked up their third straight loss. The only two teams the Chargers have beaten this season are the Colts in Week 1 in overtime and the winless Miami Dolphins. Now obviously all of the problems do not fall on the head coach, but Anthony Lynn likely will be the fall guy. Since returning from his holdout former Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon has run for just 81 yards on 36 carries, a 2.3 average per run. The Chargers are the 27th worst running team in the NFL, which has forced Philip Rivers to throw the ball a ton, causing nine turnovers. The schedule does the Chargers no favors. They face the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Kansas City Chiefs in three of their next four games. Los Angeles easily could be 3-8 heading into December, and if that is the case, it will be hard for Anthony Lynn to keep his job.
3. Freddie Kitchens - Cleveland Browns
Despite not playing this week, Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens is still much on the hot seat. No team came into this 2019 season with as much hype as the Browns did, and so far, it has not translated into much on the field. The Browns are 2-4, and one of their wins was against a Jets team without Sam Darnold. Quarterback Baker Mayfield leads the NFL with 11 interceptions, Odell Beckham has scored just one touchdown, and their defense is allowing 154 rushing yards a game, worst in the NFL. To make matters worse, the Browns have to travel to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots next weekend, so might as well chalk up a 2-5 start for Cleveland already. Usually a coach will be given more than one year with a team, but Freddie Kitchens has done enough to make it seem like he may just not be head coach material. His play-calling has been extremely uneven, and his game management has been no better. When a team comes into a season with such high expectations and fails to meet them, it is hard for the coach to not shoulder some of the blame. If the trend continues in Cleveland, the Browns could be looking for a new head coach once again this offseason.
1. The Baltimore Ravens
I, for one, was not a believer in the Baltimore Raven to start this season. They got off to a hot start beating two bad teams in the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals, then lost two straight to the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns. After two nice bounce-back wins, Baltimore came in at 4-2 traveling to Seattle to take on a 5-1 Seahawks team. On Sunday, Baltimore made a believer out of me, defeating the Seahawks 30-16 in Seattle. Lamar Jackson completed just nine passes for 143 yards but it didn’t matter as he ran for 116 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Seattle could not stop the Baltimore rushing attack as the team ran for 199 yards on the day. On the defensive side of the ball, the Ravens held MVP candidate Russell Wilson to his worst day of the season, completing less than 50% of his passes and registering a QBR of 65.2. If the Ravens can go into Seattle and dominate a game like that, they can play with anyone in this league. Baltimore has a huge game against New England after their bye next Sunday, but even if they lose, they still proved they are one of the most competitive teams in the AFC.
2. The New Orleans Saints
Somehow, someway, the New Orleans Saints just keep winning without Drew Brees. This weekend they laid a beat down on the Chicago Bears in Chicago, winning 36-25. The game was not as close as the score indicates as the Bears tacked on 15 garbage time points in the fourth quarter. Teddy Bridgewater remained undefeated, moving to 5-0 as a starter, and throwing for 281 yards and two scores. Without Alvin Kamara in the fold, Latavius Murray had a huge day on the ground, rushing for 119 yards and two scores. Keep in mind the Saints’ offense did this against a Bears’ defense which is largely considered one of the best in the league. Despite garbage time helping his stats, the Saints’ defense kept Mitchell Trubisky in check all day long, forcing him to a QBR of 33.5, and allowing just 17 total rushing yards on the ground. The Saints are 6-1 and still don’t have Drew Brees back. It is still early, but New Orleans is looking like the clear favorite in the NFC to this point of the season.
3. The Dallas Cowboys
One week ago today, the sky was falling for the Dallas Cowboys. Jason Garrett needed to be fired, the defense was awful, and Ezekiel Elliott was washed up. Funny how things change in a week. Dallas dominated the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, winning the game 37-10 and never trailing. Ezekiel Elliott had a huge day on the ground, running for 111 yards and a touchdown and Dak Prescott added a rushing score of his own to go with 239 yards and a passing touchdown. For the first time this season we saw a truly dominant game from the Dallas defense from start to finish. The Cowboys’ defense forced a season high four turnovers, three courtesy of Carson Wentz. Dallas was back healthy and they dominated the game.
Elsewhere around the NFC East
Outcome: Loss 37-10 AT Dallas Cowboys
Next Game: AT Buffalo Bills (5-1)
The Eagles suffered a brutal 37-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Philly really shot themselves in the foot, committing some big penalties and turning the ball over four times. On defense they just could not stop Dallas on the ground or through the air, and their defense continues to struggle. If the Eagles are going to be a true contender this season, they need to get better play out of their defense.
Outcome: Loss 27-21 VS Arizona Cardinals
Next Game: AT Detroit Lions (2-3-1)
The New York Giants lost a very winnable game at home against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The Giants’ offense line put together a putrid performance, allowing rookie quarterback Daniel Jones to be sacked eight times on the day. Jones was running for his life the whole game, and struggled to a QBR of 46.6. New York did get Saquan Barkley back on offense, but their line was so bad it did not make much of a difference. Next weekend the Giants travel to Detroit to take on a high-powered offensive team in the Lions.
Outcome: Loss 9-0 VS San Francisco 49ers
Next Game: AT Minnesota Vikings (5-2)
The Redskins continued their tank on Sunday as they lost 9-0 to the San Francisco 49ers. Washington put up 154 yards of total offense in this game. Some teams put that up in a quarter. Case Keenum threw the ball 12 times for 77 yards. That should tell you all you need to know about the state of the Washington Redskins.
Matt Ryan QB Atlanta Falcons - ankle
Adam Thielen WR Minnesota Vikings - hamstring
Will Fuller WR Houston Texans - hamstring
Patrick Robinson CB New Orleans Saints - hamstring
Pernell McPhee LB Baltimore Ravens - arm
Leighton Vander Esch LB Dallas Cowboys - neck