NFL Week 7 Preview: Can Cam Newton Keep Carolina Unbeaten?
Week 7 of the 2015 NFL season offers several interesting match-ups (and some free streaming). Here’s what you need to know:
Sunday, October 25
The First NFL Game Streamed Online for Free Will Happen in … London. Of Course.
Buffalo at Jacksonville | Wembley Stadium, London; 9:30 a.m. (ET) on Yahoo!
Have you ever wanted to see an NFL game in Europe without dealing with all that pesky passport and plane-fare nonsense? You’re in luck (and, perhaps, insane): the NFL will stream Sunday morning’s Bills-Jags game from London on Yahoo! (<= that exclamation point is their branding, not our enthusiasm).
It’s the first time an NFL game has globally streamed live online. That means you don’t even have to turn on a TV to see a couple of mediocre-to-bad teams slug it out at Wembley in front of a bunch of people who’d much rather be watching soccer. Buffalo (3–3) has been much better than Jacksonville (1–5) thus far this season, which isn’t saying much for the Bills. Rex Ryan’s team has suffered more than its share of injuries in 2015: starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor and No. 1 wide receiver Sammy Watkins have been ruled out of this week’s game with a sprained knee and an ankle injury, respectively. With that in mind, Buffalo is likely to offer fans a constant stream of carries for running back LeSean McCoy. The silver lining in the London fog for the Bills: the Jags give up an average of 29.3 points per game, the third most in the NFL.
The Landry Jones Era in Pittsburgh May Not Last Long
Pittsburgh at Kansas City | Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Most Steelers fans can’t wait for the return of their two-time Super Bowl–winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from the knee sprain he suffered in Week 3. Head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t worried. He intends to play third-string QB Landry Jones, who subbed in for Michael Vick and led Pittsburgh (4–2) to victory last Sunday.
Jones is certainly not the Steelers quarterback of the future, but he should do well enough to hand the ball to Le’Veon Bell and work Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown into the offense. Kansas City (1–5) hasn’t been bad all the time, but the Chiefs haven’t been able to win often. If they still want November and December’s games to matter, now is the time for them to prove it. With a week to game plan for Jones, they might be able to pull the upset.
New England Goes Back to Revis Island
New York at New England | Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
The Patriots-Jets rivalry doesn’t have Rex Ryan anymore, but All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis has switched back to the New York side after winning the Super Bowl with New England last year. Pats quarterback Tom Brady knows what Revis is capable of, thanks to lots of practice against him last season. Revis understands he can’t stop Brady alone, but he can certainly take away one of his receivers on each play.
For New England (5–0) to stay unbeaten, it will need its second-ranked offense to be better than the top-ranked defense of New York (4–1). The keys to the game will likely be turnovers, and whether the Jets offense can get a lead and force Brady to test Revis and expose himself to the New York pass rush.
Matt Cassel Tries to Slow Down the Cowboys’ Collapse
Dallas at N.Y. Giants | MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones does not suffer fools (other than himself, natch). After backup quarterback Brandon Weeden oversaw three consecutive defeats for Dallas (2–3) in relief of injured Tony Romo, Jones traded for Matt Cassel — the quarterback who couldn’t beat out Tyrod Taylor and E.J. Manuel in Buffalo. (Yikes.)
Cassel will be in charge of stopping the three-game losing streak when his team plays the Giants this Sunday. New York (3–3) just had its three-game winning streak snapped in Philly last Monday night. Eli Manning did enough to beat the Cowboys in Week 1, but Tony Romo’s last-minute drive gave Dallas the win. If Dez Bryant can somehow return to avenge his broken foot, it could give Dallas a lift, but this sure looks like the fourth loss in a row for America’s Team.
Cam Newton Gets the National Spotlight
Philadelphia at Carolina | Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Cam Newton: NFL MVP candidate? While it’s hard to believe that a quarterback whose QB rating is lower than Brandon Weeden, Blake Bortles and Kirk Cousins would be in line for anything other than a benching, Newton needs to start getting the credit he deserves for making plays to keep the Panthers unbeaten this season. He’ll get no bigger opportunity to show off than this Sunday night showcase against the middling Eagles.
Cam and Carolina (5–0) can avenge an embarrassing 2014 primetime loss to Philadelphia (3–3) and show the world that the NFC South leaders are bonafide NFC title contenders. The Panthers must not let down after last week’s huge road win over Seattle.
Thursday, October 22
Seattle at San Francisco | Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.; 8:25 p.m. (ET) on CBS/NFL Network
Sunday, October 25
New Orleans at Indianapolis | Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Tampa Bay at Washington | FedEx Field, Landover, Md.; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Atlanta at Tennessee | Nissan Stadium, Nashville; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Minnesota at Detroit | Ford Field, Detroit; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Cleveland at St. Louis | Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Houston at Miami | Sun Life Stadium, Miami; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Oakland at San Diego | Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego; 4:05 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Monday, October 26
Baltimore at Arizona | University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Bye Week: Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay