No Huddle: Week Eight Predictions

By: Michael Mills, Staff Writer

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The craziness that is the 2017 NFL season continued in week seven. For the first time in 16 years, seven teams failed to score an offensive touchdown Sunday.

The Chicago Bears won despite the unproductive play of quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Chicago recorded five first downs through four quarters, 15 less than their opponent, the Carolina Panthers. Carolina outgained Chicago by 140 yards, but neither team managed to score an offensive touchdown. The Bears won by two scores thanks to rookie safety Eddie Jackson. Jackson scored one touchdown on a 75 yard fumble recovery and added another score on a 76 yard interception return. He is the first player to score on a fumble, and interception return since former San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie in 2007.

The best game of week seven was featured on Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs took on the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. Many critics had wondered whether Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper had lost a step. Through the first six weeks of the season, Cooper only totaled 146 receiving yards and one touchdown. On Thursday night, Cooper left little doubt that he could still compete at a high level. The former Alabama standout caught 11 balls for 210 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to save their season and win 31-30.

Another starting quarterback went down with an injury in week seven. The Miami Dolphins lost quarterback Jay Cutler in the second half of their game against the New York Jets. Cutler cracked his ribs and is expected to miss a few weeks. Despite trailing 28-14, backup quarterback Matt Moore led Miami to a second half comeback. Moore moved the ball down the field with ease against the Jets defense and helped the offense put up 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins won 31-28 and now sit at 4-2.

In a league full of mediocrity, it’s hard to find three exciting games to look forward to. However, two divisional games and a conference rivalry could make for intriguing matchups.

Quarterback Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers are set to do battle with quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Chargers have won three straight games to climb back into the thick of things in the AFC and the Patriots sit atop the AFC East at 5-2. Although they’re in first place, the Patriots have failed to dominate teams as fans have become accustomed to. The Chargers upset the Patriots on a late touchdown pass to wide receiver Keenan Allen. The Patriots pitiful defense finally catches up with them.

Score: Chargers 27 Patriots 20

Fox’s NFL game of the week features the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Washington Redskins. Despite the controversy surrounding running back Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys impressed against the San Francisco 49ers. Elliott rushed for two touchdowns and caught another in the 40-10 win. Behind week six’s momentum and their offensive line, the Cowboys go on the road to beat the Redskins in a close game.

Score: Cowboys 23 Redskins 21

On Monday night, the Kansas City Chiefs host the Denver Broncos. Both teams are coming off of tough losses. The Chiefs lost by one in Oakland, and the Broncos were shutout by the Chargers. The Broncos have boasted the best defense in the league up to this point. However, the Chiefs offensive weapons prove to be too much for the Denver defense. The Broncos offense lets the defense down for consecutive weeks and Kansas City wins by 13.

Score: Chiefs 20 Broncos 7

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