The Washington Commanders have now won two games in a row, bringing our record to 3-4 and putting us right back in the mix.
After the ugly 12-7 victory over Chicago on week 6, Carson Wentz ended the game with a finger injury that required surgery, and he will be out for multiple weeks. So Taylor Heinicke will start for a while — Heinicke began this game against Green Bay shaky and unsteady but found his groove as the game progressed. He made some plays that could’ve quickly become disastrous for Washington, but Green Bay’s ineptitude helped in our favor.
Once things got going, the entire team seemed to be in sync. Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson combined for 30 carries and 132 yards; this should be the formula to follow. However, TE play is a concern. There was no Logan Thomas, and John Bates left in the middle of the game with a concussion; I’m sure he’ll be doubtful for Sunday’s game, but we will need him available. We are short on TEs.
Our Defense took advantage of Green Bay’s weak O-line, and we made Aaron Rodgers life miserable, which brought joy to my heart. Our secondary is working together better without William Jackson III, who is now officially on the trading block. I really hope this win is the building block of a winning season for Washington.
WASH 23 — PACKERS 21
For week 8, we are visiting the Colts. This was supposed to be the Carson Wentz revenge game. But ironically, we now have two backups playing each other, but the real backstory here is all about Jim Irsay’s comments.
Jim Irsay, Indy’s owner, publicly said there was “merit” to give Snyder the boot. This was a massive statement. I wonder if he was speaking for the other owners or if he is trying to force the conversation. I won’t get my hopes up, but I hope this leads to more extensive action from the rest of the owners.
The key to this upcoming game is to neutralize Jonathan Taylor, which is highly possible. Also, our Defense needs to contain this new QB Sam Ehlinger; he is mobile and can get out of the pocket and make plays. Our Defense has struggled against this type of mobile QB.
Happily, Chase Young is rejoining the team for practices and getting back into Football shape. Although the Coaching staff needs to be patient with him right now, the Defense is playing well enough to afford to hold him back for the deeper part of the schedule.
Also, I’m hopeful about Dotson, he is now day-to-day, but I would love to see how Heinicke spreads the ball between Dotson, Mclaurin, Samuels, and Sims. Advantage, Washington Commanders.
And for the rest of the league,
NY GIANTS 23 — JAGUARS 17
This highly contested game came down to a final goal-line stand for NY to edge out Jacksonville. The Giants are now 6-1 and looking like a wildcard team. Nevertheless, I don’t buy them as a playoff team. Next, NY visits Seattle. Advantage, Seattle Seahawks.
The Jags are way better than their 2-5 record suggests. Doug Peterson has made this team competitive and trending upwards. I expect them to make a late-season run at a wildcard playoff spot. Next, Jacksonville Hosts Denver. Advantage, Denver Broncos, but Jacksonville might pull off the upset.
COWBOYS 24 — LIONS 6
Cooper Rush had a rude awakening by Philly’s Defense last week, making things easier for a healed Dak Prescott to return against a struggling Detroit team. Dallas keeps racking up wins on their Defense’s back, but I doubt they can sustain this streak through the entire season. Next, Dallas hosts Chicago. Advantage, Chicago Bears.
The Lions looked like a team ready to contend, but they massively underperformed in the last few weeks. Nevertheless, I still believe in Dan Campbell and this young football team; they will finish the season strong. Next, Detroit hosts Miami. Advantage, Miami Dolphins.
PANTHERS 21 — BUCCANEERS 3
The Panthers traded away Christian McCaffrey and Robby Anderson. They are also without Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. As a result, things did not look great for Carolina going into week 7 against Tampa Bay. But the combination of QB PJ Walker, RB D’onta Foreman, and WR DJ Moore proved too much for Tom Brady and company to handle. This was a shocking upset win for Carolina. Next, Carolina visits Atlanta. Advantage, Atlanta Falcons (this should be a close game).
The Buccaneers are in a deep mess right now; They have lost two straight games, and both losses were to teams with losing records. Tom Brady isn’t really the main issue here — Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette, and Kyle Rudolph are not contributing as expected. However, the O-line is the bigger problem, and it needs to be addressed immediately for Tampa to have a shot at winning the NFC South — a very winnable division. Next. Tampa Bay hosts Baltimore. Advantage, Baltimore Ravens.
CHIEFS 44 — 49ERS 23
The Chiefs were on fire coming back from behind; they were down multiple scores but managed to rally around and never looked back against one of the best teams in the NFL. Kansas City is a dangerous team once they get into a rhythm. Next, Kansas City has the week off,
The 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey to boost their run game. Sadly, C-Mac was rushed into this game within days of being traded, and he did not contribute much to their offensive strategy. Jimmy G continues to be a serviceable QB, but his play is uninspiring, pretty shaky, and inconsistent at best. Next, San Francisco visits the LA Rams. Advantage, San Francisco 49ers.
RAIDERS 38 — TEXANS 20
Josh Jacobs was the star of this game, rushing for 143 yards and 3 TDs. This is the formula to follow for Las Vegas to become a contender this season. Next, Las Vegas visits New Orleans. Advantage, Las Vegas Raiders.
The Texans are a work in progress; I don’t expect much from them. Nonetheless, Houston is a young and well-coached team that will put up a solid fight in every game. Next, Houston hosts Tennessee. Advantage, Tennessee Titans.
DOLPHINS 16 — STEELERS 10
Tua returned from concussion protocols and was much more subdued than earlier in the season. Still, Tua had a productive game with minimal errors against a scrappy Pittsburgh Defense. Next, Miami visits Detroit, Advantage, Miami Dolphins.
The Steelers are depleted in all areas and with no clear direction on QB. Kenny Pickett was awful, throwing 3 picks and 1 TD. I sense this is a talent evaluation season for Pittsburgh. Next, Pittsburgh visits Philadelphia. Advantage, Pittsburgh Steelers (I’m hoping for an upset).
NY JETS 16 — BRONCOS 9
Without a doubt, the NY Jets are the surprise team of the 2022 NFL season. They have won 4-straight games and are 1 game behind Buffalo. The Jets are loaded with young talent and just traded for RB James Robinson from Jacksonville. However, Robinson has a lot to prove this season. Next, the NY Jets host New England. Advantage, NY Jets.
Denver is a disaster, they find themselves at 2-5, and the panic button is about to get pressed if they lose on week 8. Russell Wilson has not adapted to this new team and this new offense. Rookie Head coach Nathaniel Hackett has to figure out a way to get Wilson to resemble the dynamic QB he once was in Seattle. Next, Denver visits Jacksonville. Advantage, Jacksonville Jaguars.
TITANS 19 — COLTS 10
Derrick Henry is running hard again, keeping Tennessee alive and on top of the AFC South. Next, Tennessee visits Houston. Advantage, Tennessee Titans,
The Colts are another disaster of a team. Trading for Matt Ryan and dumping Carson Wentz is now looking like a stupid decision. They surprisingly benched Ryan, and backup QB Sam Ehlinger will get a chance to show if he can become the future starting QB for indy. Next, Indianapolis hosts Washington. Advantage, Washington Commanders.
CARDINALS 42 — SAINTS 34
Finally, a high-scoring game on Thursday Night Football. The Cardinals had success moving and spreading the ball offensively — and defensively, they had two scores from two picks to edge out New Orleans. There is also drama brewing between Head Coach Cliff Kingsbury and QB Kyler Murray. We’ll see how this whole thing plays out. Next, Arizona visits Minnesota. Advantages, Minnesota Vikings.
Andy Dalton ended with 361 yards with 4 TDs and 3 picks. The interceptions made a nice difference here. The Saints must establish the run game to minimize Andy Dalton’s mistakes. Next, New Orleans hosts Las Vegas. Advantage, Las Vegas Raiders.
RAVENS 23 — BROWNS 20
The Ravens got Gus Edwards back, and now with him, a running game to compliment Lamar Jackson. If Edwards remains healthy, Baltimore will be a different team down the second half of the season. Next, Baltimore costs Tampa Bay. Advantage, Baltimore Ravens.
The Browns are 2-5 and struggling to put together some back-to-back wins. Despite all the talent assembled, Cleveland hasn’t gotten much out of their offensive weapons. Jacoby Brissett is playing relatively well, but Cleveland has to rely more on Nic Chubb and Karen Hunt; they should both get around 20 carries per game. Next, Cleveland hosts Cincinnati. Advantage, Cleveland Browns.
SEAHAWKS 37 — LA CHARGERS 23
What Pete Carroll is doing with this young and starless team is impressive. Especially with the bold move to go with Geno Smith as their 2022 starting QB. Additionally, Smith is playing way above expectations, and Seattle is making a clear push for their division. Next, Seattle has a bye week.
The Chargers are 4-3, but it is a disappointing 4-3— this team came into 2023 with high expectations. And sadly, LA has been inconsistent. We’ll see if they improve in the second half of the season. Next, LA has a week off.
BENGALS 35 — FALCONS 17
Cincinnati needed a statement win in order to be optimistic about their chances to repeat as AFC Champs. First, the Bengals have to protect Burrow better and start fast; their AFC North division is pretty much wide open right now. Next, Cincinnati visits Cleveland. Advantage, Cleveland Browns.
The Falcons are 3-4 and were close on most of those losing games. Marcus Mariota provides a dynamic that Matt Ryan did not have, especially with the running threat. Next, Atlanta hosts Carolina. Advantage, Atlanta Falcons.
BEARS 33 — PATRIOTS 14
Justin Fields was sensational here, throwing and scrambling for plays and scores. This is what we expected from this young, dynamic QB. Maybe hope is not yet lost for Chicago. Next, Chicago visits the overrated Cowboys. Advantage, Chicago Bears.
The Patriots got spanked by Justin Fields and company; it was an embarrassing performance. New England scored twice in the 2nd quarter and had nothing after that. If the losing and the embarrassment trend continue, there will be the talk of a coaching change in 2023. Next, New England visits the NY Jets. Advantage, NY Jets.