NFL Wrap-Up: Week 7 East Divisions

The Dallas Cowboys win and Tony Romo looks to rack up two statement weeks in a row.

Brian Vornbergby Brian Vornberg

Washington Redskins (3-3) – 20 Carolina Panthers (2-5) – 33
– In Week 7, the Carolina Panthers finally got to look behind them to see their opponent.  It was the first time all year that the (now 2-5) Panthers got ahead in a game and kept it that way without having to stage yet another late-game rally.  
– Washington quarterback John Beck started his first game in nearly four years for the Washington Redskins, who are now 3-3 on the young season.  Beck held his own and played fairly well.  He was responsible for both Redskins touchdowns — one running and one passing — and threw for 279 yards.  
– The score at halftime was just 9-6, with Carolina leading and both kickers legs seeing the majority of the action.  Carolina pulled away late in the 3rd quarter for good on a 2-yard TD run by Jonathan Stewart.  A large reason for Carolina's success was once again the exceptional combination of Cam Newton to Steve Smith.  Newton played what was possibly his most efficient game all season with 315 total yards, 2 TDs (one rushing) and no interceptions.  Wide receiver Steve Smith continued his stellar season with 143 yards on seven catches.  Carolina is now 2-0 when Cam Newton does not throw an interception and 0-5 when he throws at least one interception.
– The Washington defense, which had been playing pretty well all season to this point was gutted for 407 yards by Carolina, including 175 yards rushing.  The Redskins also committed three turnovers to Carolina's one.
– Carolina also won, despite committing 13 penalties for 105 yards.

Denver Broncos (2-4) – 18 Miami Dolphins (0-6) – 15
– The Miami Dolphins are still winless on the season following a fourth quarter meltdown against the Denver Broncos which saw Tim Tebow and Co. score two touchdowns within the final 2:44 to tie the game and then go on to win it in overtime.  Overall, the Broncos reeled off 18 straight points to push the Dolphins to yet another confidence-crushing loss — their sixth straight and ninth straight overall dating back to last season.
– Tebow was just 4-14 and had just 40 yards passing until his final two drives in the fourth quarter (121 yards and two touchdowns after), rallying the Broncos to their second win of the season and continuing the "Legend of Tim Tebow".  The Broncos also had 183 yards rushing (65 from Tebow himself) which certainly helped as well.  
– Overall the Dolphins were outgained 308-267 on offense, despite sacking Tim Tebow 7 times!!  The Broncos held the Dolphins to just 94 yards rushing, amounting in just a three yards per carry average.
– The Dolphins seem to really be missing the leadership and abilities of starting quarterback Chad Henne and cannot seem to find an identity on the offensive side of the ball. 
– On the other hand, seemingly done in by the rush-heavy, all-out defensive attack of Cameron Wake and the Dolphins defense, Tim Tebow thrust a down-trodden Broncos team onto his back and somehow pulled out a victory, continuing to earn his fellow players respect in the process — It certainly wasn't pretty, but it was a win.

San Diego Chargers (4-2) – 21 New York Jets (4-3) – 27
– Tell me if you've heard this before….Mark Sanchez has a very average day passing the football, but the Jets defense comes up with the goods, resulting in a hard-fought victory.  
– Mark Sanchez got off to a slow start and the Chargers defense got off to a very fast one.  Chargers linebacker Donald Butler led off the scoring with a 37-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and the Chargers raced out to a 21-10 halftime lead.  However, the Chargers usually accurate quarterback Philip Rivers threw two second-half interceptions and the Jets defense took over, leading them to a come-from-behind victory in a key game in the AFC race which pushed the Jets over .500 and handed the Chargers just their second loss of the season (both coming on the road).
– Darelle Revis led the defense with a key second-half interception and broke up three passes in the game — just another day at the office for the Jets best defensive player.  
– Plaxico Burress had just 25 yards receiving, but had three big touchdown catches, all in the second half (now giving him five touchdowns on the season), helping the Jets overcome their early offensive struggles.  
– Shonn Greene also pounded his way to 112 yards on the ground helping to balance out the passing attack and keeping the Chargers defense at bay.  
– It was a key victory for the Jets, who have had their fair share of struggles on offense this season.

St. Louis Rams (0-6) – 7 Dallas Cowboys (3-3) – 34
– The Dallas Cowboys ended a two-game losing streak in emphatic fashion with a 34-7 throttling of the St. Louis Rams.  
– The Cowboys were led by two young studs in wide receiver Dez Bryant and rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who just happen to be old college rivals out of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, respectively.  Bryant caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown while Murray absolutely exploded in his first extended playing time of the year, rushing for 253 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown.  Murray was starting because of an injury to starting running back Felix Jones and he took full advantage to say the least.  Murray's 253-yard effort set a franchise-record for a team who's history includes Hall of Fame backs Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.  The yardage total was also the ninth-highest in NFL history and the highest in the NFL this season.  
– Murray started his explosive effort with a 91-yard touchdown early in the first quarter, making an insane open-field juke move that completely baffled a Ram defender.  Murray also appeared to be on his way to a 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter before going down on his own with an apparent injury.
– Rams starting quarterback A.J. Feeley was making his first start since 2007 and threw one interception and no touchdowns.  Feeley was starting due to an injury to starting second-year quarterback Sam Bradford.  
– The Rams defense came into the game ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing defense and that statistic is sure to get even worse as they allowed 294 rushing yards to the Cowboys.  
– Running back Steven Jackson was the only bright spot for the Rams — rushing for 70 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown.  
– The Rams also saw starting right tackle Jason Smith and backup defensive tackle Darell Scott exit the game with apparent head injuries.

NFC East Standings 
New York Giants 4-2 (1-1 in division)
Dallas Cowboys 3-3 (1-0 in division)
Washington Redskins 3-3 (1-2 in division)
Philadelphia Eagles 2-4 (1-1 in division)

AFC East Standings 
New England Patriots 5-1 (2-1 in division)
Buffalo Bills 4-2 (1-0 in division)
New York Jets 4-3 (1-1 in division)
Miami Dolphins 0-6 (0-2 in division)

Offensive Player of the Week 
DeMarco Murray (RB, Dallas Cowboys) – 25 car, 253 yds, 1 TD

Defensive Player of the Week 
Yeremiah Bell (S, Miami Dolphins) – 7 tackles, Sack, TFL, Fumble Rec

Game of the Week 
St. Louis Rams – 7 vs. Dallas Cowboys – 34 

The Cowboys were coming into Week 7 in a must-win situation after losing two straight games and got some much-needed production from two of their young players in running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Dez Bryant.  They took full advantage of a porous Rams defensive from the outset and rolled over their Sam Bradford-less opponents, putting up 445 yards of offense.  The Cowboys are now sitting at .500 with a 3-3 record and look to use this game as a stepping stone of sorts over the coming weeks.