The Revolution Will Be Streamed: NFL Week 7 Recap

NFL Recap Header

wild and crazy Week 7 has come to a close, so Will and Derek are back with their unsolicited opinions on the week’s action, including London football, Todd Gurley, the Seahawks holding a fourth quarter lead, Ryan Mallett, the Gentlemen of the Week, and the Most Hungover Fan Bases.

AP Photo/Tim Ireland

AP Photo/Tim Ireland

Will: Did you watch the Jags-Bills game in London? It sounds like quite a few people — some 33 million, if you believe the NFL — streamed it live on Yahoo. It was even a decent matchup! Any burning thoughts on football’s ongoing flirtation with international expansion?

Derek: I did indeed watch it, though I’d say calling it “decent” is a bit charitable. It was like watching a crappy college basketball game that ended with a 42-40 score. Sure, it was close, but no one enjoys watching a bunch of missed free throws sandwiched between bad passes and shot clock violations.

While I don’t have much of an opinion on international expansion, I’m excited for the future of streaming! The WWE Network (sorry for mixing genres) was a genius idea and is probably the future of television. Those of us living overseas have access to NFL Game Pass (the same as NFL Game Rewind, except watching games live is an option) and I love it. Just like NBA fans love League Pass and MLB fans love I’ve paid for and used all of those services, and I often wish more companies offered similar streaming services. I’d have Sling TV already if it worked in Korea. Why do I only have illegal options for watching college football, The Olympics, or international soccer?! I hope almost everything can be streamed in the next 10 years.

What do you think of the England games? Do you enjoy early morning football?

Will: Streaming is fantastic. I don’t have cable but my dad thankfully does, so I can use his credentials for services like HBO Go, WatchESPN, and Fox Sports Go. I have Sling TV as well, though at this point the only thing I really keep it for is TNT’s NBA games. I’m all in favor of anything that can loosen the cable companies’ stranglehold on the business.

I did not watch Jags-Bills, but I do like having an early morning game. I don’t think I’ve ever watched one intently, but it’s nice to have on in the background while eating breakfast, setting fantasy lineups, and the like. I still find the whole NFL-in-England thing a little weird and am skeptical that a franchise would work over there, but it’s hard to be mad about football occupying another time slot.

Moving on to the afternoon action: The Seahawks are back! …Are the Seahawks back?

Derek: Maybe? I wish I had a more definitive answer, but beating that putrid 49ers team doesn’t look to be a huge accomplishment. Even when the 49ers got a receiver open, Kaepernick sailed the ball out of bounds or something. It was nice to win again, and it does give me a bit of a boost knowing that the 49ers have been better at home. The Seahawks scored more points and had more total yards and first downs than the Packers did on their visit to Santa Clara despite Russell Wilson throwing two of the worst interceptions I’ve ever seen him throw.

The Seahawks do have an interesting stretch of the schedule coming up, and we should know a lot more about them after that. They’ll travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys next week, who haven’t won since Tony Romo went down in Week 2. After that, it’s the bye week followed by three straight home games against the Cardinals, 49ers, and Steelers. Two of those teams are perceived to be among the best in the league, but it must be nice for the Seahawks to not have to travel for an entire month.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

It was a tough outing for the Browns in St. Louis. Any takeaways? Was there any actual football played between penalties?

Will: Nope. No takeaways. No actual football. Nothing good to be drawn from this one as a Browns fan. The Rams turned out to be what we thought they were: A team with a strong pass rush and running game. Josh McCown fought as bravely as he could, but he had to side-step pass rushers and take big hits just to complete basic passes. It was arguably the worst game of the season — so far.

Derek: What did you think of Todd Gurley? This will probably change once it dawns on me that the Seahawks have to play him twice a year, but I love watching him.

Will: He was really fun to watch, his destruction of the Browns aside. He’s just one of those guys who knows how to be a running back. He had some big fun runs where he cut back across the entire field, and other more basic ones where he burrowed through holes that looked much too small. I was wary of comparisons to Adrian Peterson, but early returns are promising.

AP Photo/Billy Hurst

AP Photo/Billy Hurst

Did Pats-Jets tell us anything that we didn’t already know?

Derek: It confirmed that the Jets could hang with the best in the league. Many’s the time a team looked to measure itself against the Patriots and the Patriots scoffed at them and beat them into submission; their Week 2 game in Buffalo comes to mind. The Jets had a legitimate shot to win it until the end and, while I doubt any of them care about moral victories, that should give them confidence against anyone.

Speaking of teams measuring themselves against the Patriots, the red hot Dolphins face them this Thursday night. Should anyone be taking the Dolphins seriously after two straight ass whippin’s under Dan “Vince Lombardi plus Tom Landry plus Bill Walsh” Campbell?

Will: Short answer: No. I just don’t see anyone really challenging the Pats until the playoffs. I’m not expecting them to go undefeated, and yet I am kinda expecting them to go undefeated. It would be exciting if Miami made it a ballgame, but one particular stat I came across on Twitter made me doubt it: Tom Brady is getting rid of the ball in an average of 2.1 seconds this year, reportedly the fastest of any QB since 2011. That takes the teeth out of that Dolphin pass rush a bit.

How would you describe/evaluate Philip Rivers at this point?

Derek: His arm is definitely in shape. He’s already thrown the ball 311 times this year. That’s 44 attempts per game, inflated by his last three games in which he threw 48, 65, and 58 passes, respectively.

I didn’t get to see all of his garbage time heroics, but he looked pretty horrendous early on. He’s been a better fantasy quarterback than real-life quarterback thus far. I do enjoy his fiery competitiveness that borders on insanity. I hope he can make a playoff run at some point.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Ryan Mallett, who just got cut by the Texans after missing the team flight. How do you feel when you see professional athletes piss away their natural talents? And do the Texans even have the right to hold people to this standard when they decided to leave Arian Foster in the game in a massive blowout and he suffered a season-ending injury?

Will: I find it oddly endearing. Sleeping through meetings? Missing flights for no reason other than laziness? Athletes: They’re just like us! Mallett seems like a proper idiot in terms of maximizing his skills and career earnings; I’m not sure what more can be said. One would hope that the promise of millions of dollars would inspire him to, you know, wake up and go to work, but that’s apparently too much of a hassle.

As for Foster: Ugh. The Texans are truly full-on crap this year.

Were there any other games this week that you really cared about? I know I’m a little down on football in general — thanks in no small part to the Browns’ never-ending tailspin — but the vast majority of games in any given week just don’t matter to me. Am I a bad American?

Derek: I’d recommend getting more into gambling and fantasy football. Have you heard of It’s like a new season every week!

I do understand, though. I have trouble focusing on the NBA because the Hornets are such a depressing team to root for. I feel like I’m barely paying attention by the end of November, largely because the Hornets will have sucked the life out of me and it’s tough to find people interested in fantasy basketball. Football does have an advantage in that it’s once a week, though. I’d be much more into the NBA if almost all of the games were once a week.

Anyway, you’re right that there weren’t too many interesting games this week. Some of that is due to injuries and missed potential. The Cowboys-Giants game would have been much better with Romo and Dez. The Eagles-Panthers game would have been much better if Chip Kelly’s offense had lived up to the hype. Plus the Broncos, Packers, and Bengals were all on bye. Next week should be better. Outside of our favorite teams, we’ve got Miami at New England on Thursday night, Cincinnati at Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon, Green Bay at Denver on Sunday night, and Indianapolis at Carolina on Monday night. Perhaps those will rev your engine a bit more.

Let’s hand out this week’s hardware.

Gentlemen of the Week

Derek: Easy call this week.

I sure do, Kirk.

Will: I can’t even begin to choose anyone other than Kirk.

Most Hungover Fan Bases

Derek: Lots of great choices this week. I’m going with the 49ers. Not only did they have a tough loss at home to their rival on national television, but their owner makes their situation even more depressing. He ran Jim Harbaugh out of town, who has had immediate success at Michigan. There’s nothing more depressing than a bad owner. Now their best offensive player, Carlos Hyde, is playing hurt. Kaepernick can’t be benched, because the alternative is Blaine Gabbert. And to top it all off, the Raiders look like the better team with the brighter future. It’s possible the worst is yet to come in Santa Clara.

Will: In light of the Foster injury and Mallett purging, I’ve gotta go with Houston. J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins are two of the best at what they do, and their contributions are wasted on a weekly basis. It reminds me quite a bit of Joe Thomas’ unfortunate odyssey with the Browns. On the bright side, a 2-5 record is good enough for second place in the AFC South. Chin up, Houston. You ain’t out of it yet.

(j/k you totally are. Drink up.)

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