We are back to look at three topics that are gaining some traction in the NFL news cycle. Here is What’s Trending for NFL Week Seven.
NFC East on the Upswing
It was the division of disappointment a few weeks ago. But with three teams picking up strong wins, 75 percent of the NFC East appears poised for a hard-fought race to the top this season. The only team to fall last weekend was the Giants, who were blown out on the road by Philadelphia. But even they remain must-watch at times, due solely to the excitement of each Saquon Barkley touch.
Philadelphia stomped their biggest historic rival, Dallas’ “anemic” offense scored 40 on Jacksonville and Washington held serve at home against a strong Panthers team. As such, all three teams have three wins heading into a stretch of intra-division contests. Washington especially faces an important run, with three straight division games starting this week with Dallas. So much has yet to be decided in the division and no one has emerged as lead dog. But for the first time all year, the top three teams actually resemble playoff candidates.
The Great Watt Bros. Sack Race
What could be more fun than two brothers running neck-and-neck in a major statistical battle? Neither J.J. nor T.J. Watt were necessarily projected to be among the NFL’s top pass rushers this year for various reasons: J.J. because of two-straight seasons mostly missed due to injury, T.J. because he was only in his second year in the league. However, both came out of the gates strong. T.J. opened the season with a three-sack performance against Cleveland, then added three more in week five. Both times he was honored as Defensive Player of the Week. J.J. matched the feet with three in week three, and subsequently recorded at least one in each of the next three games.
J.J is currently tied for the league lead in sacks with T.J. not far behind. As it stands, T.J.’s six sacks fall just a tick back of the elder Watt and Danielle Hunter, who have seven. The two are clearly enjoying the brotherly competition as well, comparing numbers and celebrating success on social media. Now it will just come down to whose strategy wins out: J.J.’s weekly sacks or T.J.’s occasional bulk buying.
It has been almost a year and a half, but somehow only now are people starting to recognize the type of player Adam Thielen is. Even on his own team, Thielen sometimes is overlooked. After all, Stefon Diggs just got the fat contract. Diggs is in the national commercials. Diggs is the Minneapolis Miracle guy. Yet, it is Thielen who is putting up historically significant numbers. Thielen currently has 10 more receptions and nine more targets than anyone in the NFL. He leads the league in yards and first downs. And most impressively, he has recorded at least 100 yards in each of the first six games of the season. That has never been done in the history of the Super Bowl Era.
This is not to say that Thielen has not been good before this season. Besides leading the Vikings in receiving two-straight years, he went over 1,200 yards in 2017 and earned Second-team All-Pro. No, Thielen is not trending this week because of anything he has changed. Rather, he has for the first time had the national spotlight firmly shifted onto him. He is finally being regarded by most as one of the five best receivers in the game.