NFL Week 7 Takeaways

49ers stadium
"San Francisco 49ers Panorama" by Aaron Sholl is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Week 7’s package of games were filled with the usual brilliant performances, surprise results and intriguing developments that NFL fans are used to. There ended up being a lot of one-sided victories across the league, as seven contests finished with a margin greater than one score.

Let’s take a closer look at what we can take away from this weekend’s tilts.

San Francisco Is A Dangerous NFC Contender

After their 44-23 defeat at home to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the 49ers’ record now stands at 3-4. They are third in the NFC West behind the surprising Seattle Seahawks and defending champion Los Angeles Rams. These factos would seem to lend itself towards a depressing outlook rather than inspire confidence.

However, there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic in San Francisco, and the main one is the team’s recent acquisition of running back Christian McCaffery. Many thought McCaffery had little to no chance of playing in Sunday’s game considering that the trade was finalized late in the evening on Thursday night.

Without knowledge of the full playbook or the benefit of a practice with his new team, McCaffery suited up on Sunday and played quite well. He carried the ball eight times for 38 yards, and caught two passes for 24 yards. His versatile skill set figures to be unleashed under head coach Kyle Shanahan, and wins would appear to be in San Francisco’s future in the weeks to come.

Tampa Bay Continues To Struggle

Many thought that the Buccaneers would have a clear path to supremacy in the NFC South this season, as the other teams in the division were deemed to be in rebuilding mode. For all of their troubles, Tampa Bay still is on top of their division with a record of 3-4, but their inability to consistently put points on the board has been concerning.

When their offense struggled in the beginning of the year, the inefficiency was explained away by injuries and suspensions to skill position players. At this point though, wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been available and healthy for a couple of weeks, and the team can’t seem to find its stride.

The Buccaneers lost in embarrassing fashion to the Carolina Panthers, and they’ll need to figure things out quickly as their schedule gets more difficult.

Green Bay Needs A Spark

Speaking of NFC teams with older quarterbacks, the Packers are another team who is having difficulty sustaining production. Green Bay got off to a good start on the road against the Washington Commanders, but could not find a way to close the game. The Packers lost 23-21 in a game that many thought they should have won by a solid margin.

Security blanket Randall Cobb will be unavailable to Aaron Rodgers for several weeks due to injury, which puts even more of the focus on the rest of the receiving corps. If the front office doesn’t believe that Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson or Sammy Watkins can get the job done, look for them to be active ahead of the trade deadline in a couple of weeks.