NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 7: One up, one down for all 32 teams

Arlington, Texas, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) in action during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

• P.J. Walker's breakout: The Panthers signal-caller became just the second QB this season to make six big-time throws.

• Rookie pass-rushers: Lions rookie edge defender Aidan Hutchinson recorded two sacks, and Cowboys edge defender Sam Williams earned a higher pass-rush grade than Micah Parsons.

• Butterfingers: Dolphins running back Chase Edmonds was dinged for two dropped passes, while Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace dropped two interceptions in Pittsburgh's loss to Miami on Sunday night.

Estimated Reading Time: 12 mins

JUMP TO A TEAM:

ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH


ARIZONA CARDINALS

One up: RB Eno Benjamin

The Cardinals’ backup running back might have earned more reps even when starter James Conner returns from a rib injury with his performance to kick off Week 7. Benjamin earned an 87.4 rushing grade while picking up 78 yards after contact at 6.5 yards per clip. He also forced four missed tackles on his way to a 12-carry, 92-yard performance with a rushing touchdown and two-point conversion.

One down: CB Byron Murphy

The third-year pro let up six catches on eight targets for 78 yards and two touchdowns while also missing a tackle. He did break up a key pass to force a field goal in the win over the Saints, but in all, he was marked with a 54.2 overall grade.


ATLANTA FALCONS

One up: RG Chris Lindstrom

Lindstrom was a “down” last week. Against the Bengals in Week 7, however, he didn't surrender a single pressure and he wasn't beaten by a defender on his way to an 84.7 pass-blocking grade.

One down: S Richie Grant

Grant got taken down by the turf monster on a 60-yard touchdown catch by Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd in Atlanta’s Week 7 loss. Overall, he earned a 38.8 coverage grade.


BALTIMORE RAVENS

One up: EDGE Odafe Oweh

The 2021 first-round pick earned his highest pass-rush grade of the season with a 90.2 mark. He recorded two quarterback hits, three hurries and a fumble recovery in the win over the Browns.

One down: RB Kenyan Drake

Coming off of a 100-yard performance, Drake ran 11 times for just five yards and picked up a 44.7 rushing grade. Expect to see more of Gus Edwards while J.K. Dobbins is on injured reserve.


BUFFALO BILLS: BYE

 


CAROLINA PANTHERS

One up: QB P.J. Walker

There was a quarterback competition in Carolina this summer between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold (both of whom currently are recovering from ankle injuries). The answer on Sunday appeared to be Walker, who earned a 94.0 passing grade while making six big-time throws and no turnover-worthy plays in a win over the Buccaneers. Walker is just the second QB to hit six big-time throws in one game this season. Bills QB Josh Allen also accomplished the feat but also made a turnover-worthy play.

One down: CB Donte Jackson

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was going after Jackson in Sunday’s Panthers win, targeting him 11 times for 10 catches and 88 yards. Five of those 10 receptions went for first downs. He earned a 45.7 coverage grade.


CHICAGO BEARS

One up: QB Justin Fields

Fields threw an interception midway through the second quarter, and the Patriots immediately took the lead on their ensuing drive. The second-year pro could have folded at that point, but only turned on the gas to lead his team to victory at Gillette Stadium. He earned a 71.1 overall grade and 75.1 rushing grade as his ability to navigate defenses and pick up yards on the ground only continues to improve. He went 13-of-21 for 179 yards with a touchdown and interception through the air with one big-time throw and four turnover-worthy plays. It was his second-highest-graded performance of the season and the sixth-highest-graded game of his career.

One down: DT Mike Pennel

Pennel earned a game-low 41.5 PFF grade and was ejected for a blindside block that caused Patriots center David Andrews to suffer a head injury.


CINCINNATI BENGALS

One up: WR Tyler Boyd

Boyd, quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase all deserve mention here in Cincinnati’s win over the Falcons. Boyd broke out with eight catches on nine targets for 155 yards with a touchdown for an 88.7 receiving grade.

One down: CB Eli Apple

Apple appeared to get benched after letting up a 75-yard touchdown to Falcons wide receiver Damiere Byrd. He registered a 29.0 coverage grade.


CLEVELAND BROWNS

One up: LG Joel Bitonio

Bitonio allowed just one hurry and was beaten by a defender once more as a pass protector for an 90.0 offensive grade.

One down: LB Deion Jones

Jones played his first 33 snaps in a Browns uniform, and it was a bit of a grind. He earned a 39.6 run-defense grade with two missed tackles. He also let up a 16-yard catch in the loss to the Ravens.


DALLAS COWBOYS

One up: EDGE Sam Williams

The rookie earned an even better pass-rush grade than Micah Parsons (93.4 vs. 91.2) with two sacks on just eight pass-rush snaps in the win over the Lions.

One down: S Jayron Kearse

The Cowboys didn’t let up a touchdown to Detroit, but Kearse allowed six catches on six targets for 73 yards with four first downs and a 49.3 coverage grade.


DENVER BRONCOS

One up: EDGE Jonathon Cooper

Cooper, a 2021 seventh-round pick, only played 24 snaps but recorded two hurries and made two defensive stops to earn a 72.7 defensive grade.

One down: EDGE Baron Browning

Browning has been a standout pass-rusher for Denver this season but generated two hurries on 14 pass-rush snaps for a 49.2 pass-rush grade in Sunday’s loss to the Jets.


DETROIT LIONS

One up: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson

The 2022 first-round pick generated four pressures in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys, including two sacks and a quarterback hit. He earned an 81.7 overall pass-rush grade.

One down: QB Jared Goff

Only five of Goff's passes fell incomplete in Week 7, but two of them were interceptions, and he had three total turnover-worthy plays for a 54.8 overall grade.


GREEN BAY PACKERS

One up: LB De’Vondre Campbell

Campbell was all over the field with two quarterback hits and a hurry as a pass-rusher, four defensive stops against the run and an interception in coverage. His 94.3 overall PFF grade illustrates that.

One down: WR Romeo Doubs

The rookie wideout was targeted four times but didn’t come up with a catch. He was given a 44.5 receiving grade with a drop in the loss to the Commanders.


HOUSTON TEXANS

One up: RB Dameon Pierce

The rookie out of Florida carried the ball 20 times for 92 yards and forced seven missed tackles to pick up an 85.2 rushing grade.

One down: LB Christian Harris

Harris (39.3) and fellow linebackers Garret Wallow (23.9) and Christian Kirksey (46.4) all registered sub-50.0 run-defense grades in the loss to the Raiders. Harris missed four tackles and finished with a 27.2 overall PFF grade.


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

One up: WR Parris Campbell

Campbell was a safety valve for quarterback Matt Ryan, catching 10 passes on 11 targets for 70 yards with a touchdown and five first downs. He led Colts offensive players with a 75.5 PFF grade.

One down: LT Dennis Kelly

The Colts have had a tough time figuring out how to replace Eric Fisher, who’s still a free agent, at left tackle. Kelly surrendered seven pressures, including three quarterback hits, and was beaten by his defender another three times for a 45.3 pass-blocking grade in the loss to the Titans.


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

One up: CB Darious Williams

The 2022 free-agent pickup had struggled since joining Jacksonville but allowed five catches on nine targets for just 41 yards Sunday. He dropped an interception and made three forced incompletions for an 82.3 coverage grade.

One down: RG Brandon Scherff

Scherff missed some time in the blue medical tent but had an uncharacteristically rough day, letting up a QB hit and three hurries in the Jaguars’ loss to the Giants. He was beaten by his defender another three times for a 29.8 pass-blocking grade.


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

One up: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

This “up” belongs to Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman, as all three Chiefs wide receivers shined in Sunday’s win over the 49ers. Smith-Schuster caught all seven targets for 124 yards with a touchdown to earn a 90.1 receiving grade. Among those receptions were two contested catches and a forced missed tackle. Valdes-Scantling racked up 111 receiving yards. Hardman scored three offensive touchdowns.

One down: S Justin Reid

On 44 coverage snaps, Reid was targeted five times and let up four catches for 60 yards. He also missed four tackles to pick up a 49.7 coverage grade.


LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

One up: RB Josh Jacobs

Jacobs pulled off the hat trick in Las Vegas’ win over Houston with three rushing touchdowns on 20 carries for 143 yards. Just 61 of Jacobs’ rushing yards came after contact, but he forced eight missed tackles, earning a 91.4 PFF grade in the win over the Texans.

One down: CB Anthony Averett

Averett played 42 coverage snaps and let up three catches, all first downs, on four targets for 57 yards and a touchdown en route to a 39.9 coverage grade.


LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

One up: RG Zion Johnson

The 2022 first-round pick struggled last week but asserted himself much better in pass protection this week, allowing four pressures and earning a 74.4 pass-blocking grade.

One down: QB Justin Herbert

It wouldn't be shocking if Herbert's play is still being affected by a rib cartilage fracture suffered last month. He didn't make a big-time throw and had two turnover-worthy plays with a 53.1 passing grade, though his raw stats looked better. Herbert completed 64.7% of his passes for 293 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, but his average depth of target was just 6.8 yards. It was his lowest passing grade in a game since Week 12 of last season.


LOS ANGELES RAMS: BYE

 


MIAMI DOLPHINS

One up: S Jevon Holland

Holland is 22 years old and already one of the NFL's best safeties. He posted a 90.6 defensive grade after letting up one eight-yard catch and picking off Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett in Miami's win.

One down: RB Chase Edmonds

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had more dropped interceptions (four) than passes dropped by his own receivers (three). But Edmonds dropped both of his targets and garnered a 35.1 offensive grade.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS: BYE

 


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

One up: EDGE Matthew Judon

No one on the Patriots played particularly well in their somewhat shocking blowout loss to the Bears, but Judon earned a 71.6 pass-rushing grade as he registered six pressures, including three sacks and a QB hit. He made three total defensive stops in the game but did record a 51.2 run defense grade as New England struggled to stop Fields and Chicago's rushing attack.

One down: DT Davon Godchaux

This really belongs to the Patriots' entire defensive front, which was pushed around and allowed 2.5 yards before contact per rushing attempt to Chicago. New England allowed 113 total yards before contact Monday night. In Week 7, 12 teams allowed fewer than 113 total rushing yards. Godchaux played 58 snaps and registered a 38.5 run defense grade.


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

One up: RB Alvin Kamara

Of Kamara’s 49 rushing yards, 37 came after contact. He also forced four missed tackles on the ground and caught seven passes on eight targets for 56 yards. He appeared open for potential big plays on other snaps, as well, in the loss to the Cardinals. He earned a 76.8 overall grade.

One down: S Justin Evans

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray targeted Evans heavily on Thursday night, completing seven passes for 75 yards with a touchdown. Evans also missed two tackles for a 34.1 overall grade.


NEW YORK GIANTS

One up: LT Andrew Thomas

Thomas, PFF's highest-graded offensive tackle, let up only one hurry on his way to an 83.9 pass-blocking grade.

One down: WR Marcus Johnson

Johnson was just signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad this week. He was targeted three times and didn’t make a catch. He dropped a pass and recorded a 43.3 PFF grade.


NEW YORK JETS

One up: CB Sauce Gardner

The rookie is already a lockdown cornerback in the first seven weeks of his NFL career. He let up four catches on eight targets for 16 yards with three forced incompletions for a 90.2 coverage grade in the win over the Broncos.

One down: QB Zach Wilson

Wilson posted his second consecutive sub-50.0 game grade with a 45.0 offensive mark and a 42.1 passing grade. He went 16-of-21 for 121 yards with an average depth of target of just 5.6 yards. Wilson's average time to throw of 3.33 seconds was the third-slowest among quarterbacks in Week 7.


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: BYE

 


PITTSBURGH STEELERS

One up: S Minkah Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick wasn't targeted on 37 coverage snaps, though he did force an incompletion. He also made a defensive stop in the passing game and earned an 82.7 overall PFF grade.

One down: CB Levi Wallace

Wallace not only allowed five catches on eight targets for 86 yards, he also dropped two interceptions in Sunday night's loss to the Dolphins. Four of the catches he let up went for first downs, and he was hit with a 34.8 coverage grade.


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

One up: TE George Kittle

It was a return to form for Kittle, who looked like his old self with six catches on eight targets for 98 yards and a touchdown on National Tight End Day. His 79.8 offensive grade is a season-high for the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

One down: CB Charvarius Ward

It was a tough day in coverage for the 49ers in their loss to the Chiefs. Ward let up six catches on six targets for 104 yards against his former team, picking up a 40.2 coverage grade.


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

One up: S Ryan Neal

Running back Kenneth Walker III went off on offense, but Neal earned a 92.4 coverage grade while letting up four catches on six targets for just 13 yards with an interception and three forced incompletions in Sunday’s win over the Chargers.

One down: WR D’Wayne Eskridge

Eskridge wasn’t targeted through the air and mishandled a pitch for a lost fumble. He picked up a 47.6 offensive grade.


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

One up: S Antoine Winfield

It was difficult to find a justifiable “up” for the Buccaneers after their 21-3 loss to the Panthers. Winfield earned an 84.6 coverage grade before leaving the game with a concussion after 28 snaps. He gave up just a four-yard catch.

One down: C Robert Hainsey

Hainsey let three pressures, including a quarterback hit. He also had a bad snap and earned a 56.3 run-blocking grade.


TENNESSEE TITANS

One up: S Andrew Adams

Adams did let up a touchdown but otherwise surrendered six catches on eight targets for just 27 yards and one first down with an interception for an 89.2 coverage grade in the Titans' win over the Colts.

One down: LT Dennis Daley

The Titans, like the Colts, have had a tough time at left tackle this season with starter Taylor Lewan out for the season. Daley allowed a sack, a QB hit and two hurries with a 46.7 pass-blocking grade.


WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

One up: WR Terry McLaurin

McLaurin found success with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, catching five passes on eight targets for 73 yards with a touchdown and two contested grabs. He earned a 78.4 receiving grade in the win over Green Bay.

One down: RG Saahdiq Charles

This probably should go to quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who made two big-time throws and four turnover-worthy plays, but he came up clutch at the end in Washington’s win over the Packers. Charles let up six pressures and registered a 37.9 pass-blocking grade.

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