Monday Morning QB: Observations from Week 7
Stakes Content Team


Happy Wednesday, Stakes nation! We’re just a day away from kicking off Week 8 (already!?) of the NFL season, but it’s not too late to catch you up on all the action from Week 7! Here’s a question and a comment about all 32 teams this week:

  • Arizona Cardinals: Will Kyler Murray be the guy moving forward? They say they’re committed to their former #1 overall pick, but at 1-6, they’ll likely be in a position to nab one of Caleb Williams or Drake Maye next spring, if they choose.
  • Atlanta Falcons: Should they be the favorites in a weak NFC South? Stealing a 16-13 divisional win without Bijan Robinson is huge, and any step forward from Desmond Ridder (115 YDS, TD) could make this team a threat.
  • Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Field General? Jackson (357 YDS, 4 TOT TD) led NFL QBs in virtually every passing stat this week, and if he’s really this good as a passer, the Ravens should be taken *very* seriously in the AFC.
  • Buffalo Bills: How worried should they be about their defense? They just allowed 29 points to Mac Jones and the Patriots, and they’re down to 15th in yards allowed after being a top-six unit each of the last three years.
  • Carolina Panthers: Maybe a week off and some extra game planning will get them in the win column? They have the 21st-toughest schedule in the league from here on out, so they ought to pick up one or two, but it sure feels like they’re on a crash course for a #1 overall pick they’ll be forced to give up.
  • Chicago Bears: Are there *any* realistic scenarios where Matt Eberflus saves his job? Without Justin Fields, Bears fans are more invested in USC and Caleb Williams’ performance than the Bears, who haven’t shown the growth many expected this season.
  • Cincinnati Bengals: Can they get a rejuvenated Tee Higgins (30 YPG, 1 TD) coming out of the bye? Joe Burrow and the offense is heating up, but they’re incomplete until they get their #2 WR going.
  • Cleveland Browns: What’s good with this team? They’re 4-2 with an excellent defense, but the future doesn’t exactly look bright, with Deshaun Watson perpetually injured, getting farther and farther removed from being elite, bringing generally bad vibes, and owed a LOT of money.
  • Dallas Cowboys: Is it make-or-break time for their offense? They’ve got an interesting matchup with the Rams next week, then play five of six games against NFC East team, a stretch that could determine where they stand come playoff time.
  • Denver Broncos: Are there any trades coming? After a surprise win against the Packers, they’re one win away from teetering on the edge of getting one of the draft’s top QBs, and Sean Payton has enough leeway to endure a mini-tank.
  • Detroit Lions: How do they adjust their gameplan to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s 38-6 bloodbath? This team is going to the playoffs, and you can bet opponents will be watching plenty of tape of this 500-yard beatdown.
  • Green Bay Packers: Which skill position players will step up down the stretch? A brutal 19-17 loss to Denver makes this more or less a development year for Jordan Love, but the Packers need to add weapons, and they’ll also need to know what to prioritize.
  • Houston Texans: Can they get their run game going? Dameon Pierce is down to 2.9 yard per carry, and if the ground game can take a little stress off C.J. Stroud, this could be a playoff offense.
  • Indianapolis Colts: Can Jonathan Taylor (18 CAR, 75 YDS, TD) push them to the playoffs? Gardner Minshew won’t do it himself, but Taylor is gaining steam, and a return to form could be enough to get this offense over the top in a weak AFC South.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Is Trevor Lawrence (20-29, 204 YDS, TD) going to wake up? He’s game managing well enough to get the Jags some wins, but they’re not a true contender until his performance moves up a tier.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Will Patrick Mahomes (424 YDS, 4 TD, INT) make another quiet MVP run? He’s in the top-3 for passing yards and touchdowns, and there’s definitely a world in which the Chiefs go 14-3 and he leads the league in one, or both.
  • Las Vegas Raiders: Yeah, Josh McDaniels is toast, isn’t he? Even with Brian Hoyer and Aidan O’Connell under center – which is a terrible backup plan in and of itself – you can’t lose by 18 to a team that’s lost 14 of 15 games and is starting a Division II QB.
  • Los Angeles Chargers: Will their terrible record in crunch time eventually swing back towards the mean? Or, after a losing to KC by more than their other three losses combined, will this be another sub-.500 disappointment for a team that could be a lot better?
  • Los Angeles Rams: Has Father Time come for Matthew Stafford? He’s been held to under 250 yards passing for three straight games, and has yet to have a 3 TD game this season. Can he be better in the red zone, or is he just running out of juice?
  • Miami Dolphins: Can they rise to the challenge when their schedule gets tough? We’ll see if the Chiefs, Ravens, Cowboys, and Bills will take notes from the Eagles on how to keep Tua Tagovailoa to just 6.75 yards per attempt.
  • Minnesota Vikings: Is Jordan Addison (7 REC, 123 YDS, 2 TD) that guy? Can he make things palatable for the Vikings if they can’t come to a deal with Justin Jefferson after this season?
  • New England Patriots: With Bill Belichick’s extension now public, could a mini-tank be in the cards? Their upset over Buffalo is nice, but if Bill happens to like someone like Drake Maye, moving on from Mac probably won’t be too hard.
  • New Orleans Saints: Will the offense figure it out? They’re 3-4 after losing 31-24 to the Jags, and have broken 25 points just once this season. The vibes are bad with Chris Olave’s reckless driving arrest being made public this week, and Derek Carr doesn’t look like he can put the team on his back.
  • New York Giants: Do we have a QB controversy on our hands? Tyrod Taylor (18-29, 279 YDS, 2 TD) looked a lot more comfortable behind the Giants’ porous line than Daniel Jones has all year.
  • New York Jets: What’s the win total that gets this team to the playoffs? They’ve got a mediocre schedule the rest of the way, and they’re proving they can win games as long as Zach Wilson doesn’t lose them.
  • Philadelphia Eagles: Can Jalen Hurts (279 YDS, 2 TD, INT) curb the turnovers? The tush push might be unstoppable, but he now leads the league with eight interceptions, a dangerous recipe for a Super Bowl favorite.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: Is it possible to trick Kenny Pickett (17-25, 230 YDS) into thinking it’s the fourth quarter the entire game? This might be the most unlikely 4-2 team in the league, and if Pickett keeps improving, they could wind up looking much better than many anticipated.
  • San Francisco 49ers: Will they ever score anything other than 17 points? We kid, but that’s two straight losses in which Brock Purdy (272 YDS, TD, 2 INT) has looked out of his depth in crunch time without Deebo Samuel.
  • Seattle Seahawks: Does a jelling defense elevate them to contender status? They’ve averaged just 10 PPG against the last three weeks after giving up 29 PPG the previous three, and Devon Witherspoon looks like a Rookie of the Year candidate.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Will they ever break 30 points in a game? Todd Bowles has put together a very nice defense, but even a resurgent Baker Mayfield (230 YPG, 8 TD, 4 INT) can’t carry them without any kind of run game.
  • Tennessee Titans: How will their QB experiment turn out? With Ryan Tannehill on the shelf, Mike Vrabel says he’ll let Malik Willis and Will Levis both see playing time next week. Will either of them look like a competent NFL QB?
  • Washington Commanders: Can Brian Robinson Jr. (8 CAR, 23 YDS, TD) salvage his season? After a promising rookie year and start to this season, his touches and yardage have taken a nosedive the last few weeks.
That’s all for this week! Check back tomorrow for more Thursday Night Football content as game time gets nearer, and stay tuned for next week’s recap! What are your boldest predictions for Week 8?



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