Week 7 produced one of the longest Sundays of football imaginable. Starting with a game in London that kicked off at 6:30 am PDT and wrapping up with a Sunday Night overtime game that went into the early hours of Monday morning on the East Coast.
In a game dominated by defense, the Philadelphia Eagles prevailed 21-10 over the Minnesota Vikings, who were the last undefeated team in the league.
Miami Dolphins running back, Jay Ajayi, rushed for over 200 yards for the second consecutive week. He is the first player to top 200 yards on the ground in back-to-back weeks since Ricky Williams in 2002, and only the fifth such occurrence since the NFL/AFL merger. The next day, Ajayi’s backfield mate, and one of the best running backs in recent history, Arian Foster, announced his retirement.
Sunday night wrapped up with a game between the Seahawks and Cardinals that was highlighted by missed field goals and resulted in the lowest scoring overtime tie in NFL history. No team has ever spent as much time on defense in one game as Seattle did on Sunday.
Week 8 Prime Time Games
Thursday Night Football – Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Sunday Night Football – Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Monday Night Football – Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
What to Watch for in Week 8
Lock of the Week – Indianapolis Colts (+2.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis ranks third in the league in scoring, posting over 27 points per game, which poses a huge problem for Kansas City. Though the Chiefs allow just over 20 points per game, they are vulnerable against explosive offenses, evidenced by their blowout loss to the Steelers just three weeks ago. Kansas City’s offense is predicated on the success of their running game, but if they fall behind early, the Chiefs lack the firepower to overcome any significant deficit. T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Luck are finally hitting their stride, and the duo is especially dynamic on their home turf.
Matchup of the Week – Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Three months ago, if someone told you that you’d be watching an intriguing matchup between rookie quarterbacks, you’d probably think Jared Goff vs Carson Wentz without any playoff implications. Well, Wentz is involved but he’ll be battling Dallas’ Dak Prescott in a game that could ultimately decide the winner of the NFC East. While both rookie quarterbacks have been efficient, it’s rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott that’s the star to watch in this game. The Cowboys have arguably the best offensive line in the league. If Dez Bryant returns this week from a knee injury, as expected, Philadelphia will need Wentz to be almost flawless to keep pace. A Dallas win could also mean that Dak remains the starter even when Tony Romo is healthy.
Player to Watch – Christine Michael @ New Orleans Saints
With Russell Wilson hobbled all season, this isn’t the Seahawks offense that flashed in the second half of 2015. One of the surprises, though, has been Christine Michael. Michael has accounted for over half of Seattle’s offensive touchdowns this year and this week he will face the Saints, one of two defenses to allow double-digit scores to opposing backs this season. The Seahawks will try to win this game with defense and ball control, which could mean a huge day for Michael.
TJ Hernandez is an editor at 4for4.com and the founder of RosterCoach.com. You can follow him on twitter @TJHernandez.
*The blog is for entertainment purposes only and in no way should be used in making wagers of any kind.