The Check-down Check-up (2020): Week Seven

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

The Packers were angry after last week, and rightfully so. They took that anger out on the Houston Texans, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them tear through a lot of the NFL for the rest of the year. The Packers will host an inept Vikings team who are having a complete fire sale during this lost season. Without Yannick Ngakoue to threaten Aaron Rodgers, the Packers get my full confidence this week.

Verdict: 10/10, Check Up (LOCK)

Chicago Bears

The one week I put my faith in the Bears, they completely blow it. Outside of maybe one impressive defensive play, the Chicago Bears got totally outclassed by the Rams under the lights on Monday Night Football. Chicago’s offense is, on most possessions, exhausting to watch, and their defense is the only reason they are even sniffing around the .500 mark, let alone over it. This is a big blow to my confidence.

Verdict: 5/10, Check Back Next Week

Detroit Lions

The Lions won this game in the most hilarious way possible, and of course it came at the expense of the Falcons. I’m all for funny wins, but I still cannot bring myself to believe that this is anywhere near a good team. Especially now that they host a Colts team coming off of their bye week. I don’t like this one bit for Detroit.

Verdict: 4/10, Check Down

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are awful. Kirk Cousins seems to look worse and worse every week, and even coming out of the bye week, this team managed to get worse. The Vikings paid close to top dollar for Yannick Ngakoue and then traded him to Baltimore after five games of his services. This team needs a total rebuild, even if Mike Zimmer is still the coach who oversees it.

Verdict: 2/10, Check Down

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Andy Dalton nearly got his head taken off during this one by Jon Bostic. Dallas is now on their third quarterback. Despite playing in the worst division in the league, it looks as though the Cowboys can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye after this domination from Washington. This defense needs a total overhaul, and maybe Mike McCarthy needs to go. It’s a conversation worth having.

Verdict: 2.5/10, Check Down

Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz pulled off some heroics in this one that Eagles fans haven’t seen in quite some time. Boston Scott (who?) was the recipient of the game-winning touchdown over the Giants on Thursday night, and the Eagles escaped with a win to put them in first in the NFC East. The Eagles are no pushover, but I still have no confidence that they’re a good team.

Verdict: 4.5/10, Check Back Next Week

Washington Football Team

Where has this type of performance been all year? Washington looked completely dominant throughout this game, even if Jon Bostic pulled a bone-headed move that almost got Andy Dalton killed out there. And now they get to play the Giants? Maybe this team isn’t quite dead yet, and if they play like that, they might actually come out of the NFC East.

Verdict: 4.5/10, Check Back Next Week

New York Giants

Oh, Daniel Jones, you never cease to entertain us. The Giants definitely should have won this game, but it feels like they tripped themselves up around the 20-yard line. Now they have to play a fearsome defense in the form of Washington which, combined with Jones’s fumbling problem, might not make for the easiest day in the nation’s capital.

Verdict: 1.5/10, Check Down

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

I’ve heard quite a few big-time analysts say that this was a “reset game” for the Saints, and I can’t help but agree. Even if Michael Thomas is disgruntled and probably getting traded, the Saints needed a win like this to get their season back on the rails and keep pace with the Buccaneers. They got the all-important win, looked pretty good doing it, and now they get to see an offensively inept Bears team.

Verdict: 8.25/10, Check Up

Atlanta Falcons

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. How does this keep happening to the Falcons?

Verdict: 2.5/10, Check Down

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are seemingly coming back down to earth, but Matt Rhule’s work with a McCaffrey-less roster cannot be overstated. The rookie head coach is, in my humble opinion, an overlooked Coach of the Year candidate through the first half of the season. That being said, the Panthers have the comically unlucky Falcons this week, before a very tough game against the Chiefs. I think Rhule might have one more heroic game in him.

Verdict: 4.5/10, Check Back Next Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

No one wants to play, see, or even think about this team right now, and rightfully so. After shredding the Packers in week six, the Bucs tore through the Las Vegas Raiders. They’ll have a showcase against the Giants on Monday night this week, and just narrowly missed being my lock. This should be a trouncing.

Verdict: 9.75/10, Check Up

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks and Cardinals should play in primetime every single week. This one just barely avoided ending in a tie, and it ended in a heartbreaker for Seahawks fans. That being said, I still have faith that Russell Wilson is the MVP this year, and the Hawks will finish as wire to wire NFC West winners. Seattle can keep that faith alive and well with a huge divisional win against the 49ers this week.

Verdict: 9/10, Check Up

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams ripped through the Bears on Monday Night Football, showing that shutting down an already mediocre offense can completely handicap the Bears. The Rams are keeping pace in the ever-so-tight NFC West, and at this point, I would not be surprised at whichever team wins that division. Los Angeles will be the first to see Tua Tagovailoa as Miami’s starter, which could be a trap game for the Rams.

Verdict: 8/10, Check Up

San Francisco 49ers

Even with all the injuries they have, the 49ers are also keeping pace in the NFC West. Two weeks after an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins, the 49ers completely destroyed Cam Newton’s Patriots, to the tune of three interceptions from Newton, and a final score of 33-6. If they can replicate that performance against Russell Wilson, the NFC West is in for a major shake-up.

Verdict: 6.5/10, Check Back Next Week

Arizona Cardinals

This will likely go down as a signature win for the Cardinals, coming against an MVP candidate and the (at the time) lone unbeaten in the NFC. Kyler Murray and the offense were clicking on all cylinders in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Budda Baker looks like the NFL’s best safety. The Cardinals will be a tough out in the playoffs, where three NFC West teams will likely jockey for position throughout the postseason.

Verdict: 9.25/10, Check Up

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