October 29, 2021 | SPORTS | By Quinn Guevara | Illustration by Sydney Morris

There are 32 teams in the NFL. Four had a bye week. One played on Thursday, and one played on Monday. For the other 26, Sunday was gameday.

The first game came on Oct. 14. A desperate Broncos team looked for a momentous win against a battered Browns team. While it was a tough game to watch, backup quarterback for Cleveland (and Minneapolis Miracle man), Case Keenum, was able to produce just enough offense to put the Browns back in the win column. 

That came after an embarrassing loss to the undefeated Cardinals; Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater had an average game at best. He put up only 187 yards in the air with two touchdowns and an interception. 

Three days later in East Rutherford, N.J., Panther’s starting quarterback Sam Darnold returned to New Jersey where he began his career with the Jets. 

On this fateful Sunday, though, he got benched.. After going 16/25 for only 111 yards and an interception, Matt Rhule had seen enough from his struggling QB against a confident Giants defense. Meanwhile, Daniel Jones put up impressive numbers and a sports-center-caliber one handed snag. The New York Giants beat the Panthers, 25-3. 

In the cheese state, the Washington Football team took on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Football Team struggled inside the red zone, scoring only three points in four trips down there. 

On the other side of the field, defensive end Chase Young was well contained to the effect of Aaron Rodgers finding three different receivers as the pack attack defeat Washington 24-10. 

Down in the country music capital of the world, what appeared to be one of the best matchups of the day ended up being a complete blowout for the home team. @last_king_2, Derrick Henry, went from the most dominant running back in the world to throwing in the redzone. With one completion, he passed for more touchdowns than Kansas City superstar Patrick Mahomes. 

Mahomes finished the day with 206 yards and an interception. Ultimately, he was helped off the field in the fourth quarter with worries of a concussion. The Tennessee Titans beat the Chiefs 27-3. 

Down in sunny Miami, the Dolphins and Falcons both looked for desperate wins. The two teams have losing records. Nobody expected this would end up being the closest game of the week, but it came down to the very last play. 

Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagoviloa scored four total touchdowns on the day, but still came up short. Seasoned veteran and former NFL MVP Matt Ryan pulled off some late game magic, driving the Falcons down into field goal range for kicker Younghoe Koo. 

With another amazing game for the rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, on National Tight End Day, Atlanta was able to get another win against Miami 30-28.

In Foxborough, the Patriots dealt with the New York Jets’ tricky offense and sturdy defense. This game got out of hand. Bill Belichick has a perfect record against rookie QBs in Boston. Rookie QB Zach Wilson left the game early with an apparent knee injury, as the Patriots bashed the Jets 54-13.

In a battle for dominance in the AFC North, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals went to Baltimore, Md. to take on early MVP candidate Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Nobody saw this score coming. The Bengals defense was able to contain one of the most mobile QBs in NFL history, rookie wide receiver sensation ‘I want some Ja’more’ Ja’Marr Chase tore apart the renown Ravens defense. The Bengals dominated the Ravens 41-17 to take the number one spot in the AFC. 

To begin our afternoon games, we headed to the desert. The leaderless and embarrassed Vegas Raiders took on the Philadelphia Eagles. Derek Carr continued to produce for the Raiders even without his superstar tight end Darren Waller. Struggling Eagles quarterback, Jalen ‘this really’ Hurts, didn’t produce enough. The Las Vegas Raiders beat the Eagles 33-22. 

In L.A., the Detroit Lions took on the L.A. Rams. They used every trick in the book, but fake punts and onside kicks weren’t enough for the struggling Detroit team to beat the Rams. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp continued to terrorize defenses around the league as the two linked up for 156 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams beat the Lions 28-19. The Detroit Lions are the only winless team left. 

Back in another part of the desert — the Southwest — the undefeated Arizona Cardinals took on a struggling Texans team. Defensive leader and former Texan superstar J.J. Watt said it best on the hot mic the week before: “maybe we’re just better.” 

MVP candidate Kyler Murray was able to link up with three different receivers for touchdowns, including newly acquired tight end Zach Ertz from the Eagles. The Cardinals remain a perfect 7-0 defeating the Texans 31-5. 

Meanwhile, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on rookie QB Justin Fields and the Bears. Todd Bowels and the Bucs defense made Fields look like the rookie QB he is. Brady threw for his 600th career touchdown as the Bucs routed the Bears 38-3. 

With more even star power taking the field this Sunday Oct. 31, week eight should be even better.  

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