NFL Roundtable: Week 7 recap | Football | CBC Sports

NFLNFL Roundtable: Week 7 recap

Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | 08:40 AM

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Tim Tebow, right, rallied Denver to an overtime win at Miami in his first start this year. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Associated Press) Tim Tebow, right, rallied Denver to an overtime win at Miami in his first start this year. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Associated Press)

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In's weekly NFL chatter, the guys dissect the problems faced by the Chargers and Lions, discuss the arrival of a new Cowboys running back, and debate Tim Tebow's resurrection of the Broncos.
In's weekly NFL chatter, the guys dissect the problems faced by the Chargers and Lions, discuss the arrival of a new Cowboys running back, and debate Tim Tebow's resurrection of the Broncos.

The San Diego Chargers have faced two real challenges - New England and the New York Jets - and lost them both. Despite a 4-2 start, is this team still a legitimate threat in the AFC?

Tony Care: They can remain one if Philip Rivers can correct whatever the heck is wrong with him. Honestly, I've never seen him this inaccurate before. There was a play in the fourth quarter where receiver Vincent Jackson had a step on Jets CB Darrelle Revis deep, and Rivers badly underthrew him. Another point: I bet GM A.J. Smith is regretting letting running back Darren Sproles leave. You could sure use him now, couldn't you, A.J.?

Jesse Campigotto: Just to put Rivers's struggles in context, he's now thrown nine interceptions (and just seven touchdowns) through six games. Last year, he tossed a total of 13 interceptions. In 2009, he had nine INTs all year. His career high for a full season is 15. And it's not like you can chalk up this year's poor numbers to a bad game or too. In fact, the most surprising thing about Rivers is that he's been consistently mistake prone, throwing a pair of interceptions in four separate games.

Jason Davidson: The way they let a lead get away against the Jets on Sunday, I'm now seeing the Chargers as much less of a threat. Although I'm going to keep in mind that these two losses were away from the home confines of Qualcomm Stadium, where they are a perfect 3-0 this season. I'd say they should be fine on Halloween night next Monday when they face the Chiefs in Kansas City, but after seeing what Todd Haley's boys did to the Raiders in Oakland, I'm not so sure. If KC wins next week, things in the AFC West will be very interesting.
After beginning the season by winning five straight, the Detroit Lions have dropped their last two games. Has the bubble burst?

Jesse Campigotto: Well, it looks like the inevitable Matthew Stafford injury has finally arrived. The notoriously injury-prone QB is "day to day" this week with a sore ankle. But don't write off Detroit just yet. If Stafford misses any time, Shaun Hill is a reasonably competent backup, and the next two weeks bring a visit to Denver and the bye. I still like the Lions' chances for making the playoffs.

Jason Davidson: Yes. The Lions are a vulnerable bunch now. Two home losses in a row has to raise some eyebrows. They can pretty much forget about an NFC North division title unless they manage to win both their games against the Green Bay Packers, and let's face it folks, that ain't happening. Coach Jim Schwartz can only hope Stafford is good to go next week when Detroit tries to maintain its perfect record away from Ford Field against the Denver Broncos in the Mile High City.

Tony Care: It's too early to say, but the Lions have problems. There's a reason why this is a copycat league. Last week the 49ers doubled Calvin Johnson, shut down the run and dared Stafford to beat them with other receivers. While Johnson beat the Falcons on a big play in Week 7, Atlanta allowed very little on the ground and Stafford only completed 11 passes to receivers other than Johnson. But don't expect the Lions' ground game to improve anytime soon as Jahvid Best could be lost for the season with a concussion.

In his first start of the season, Tim Tebow was able to rally the Denver Broncos from a 15-point deficit for a come-from-behind victory. Does this win tell us anything about Tebow and his future as Denver's quarterback?

Tony Care: We're not close to knowing who will be the Broncos QB next season. Remember, Tebow didn't play well for the first three quarters, yet suddenly put it together against a bad Miami team late in the fourth. The Broncos are in a good position in that they can evaluate Tebow over the final 10 games. If he can consistently show he's the man in that time, great. But should he struggle, chances are the Broncos will be drafting in the top 10, and the 2012 draft features three top-rated quarterbacks.

Jason Davidson: What it tells us is that Tebow is the No. 1 guy under centre in Denver for the time being. Kyle Orton has been ordinary at best, and I'm not a fan of his touchdown to interception ratio of 8-to-7 over five games. Tebow's enthusiasm was on full display during the Bronco's comeback against Miami. Yes, I know the Fins are bad and Tebow's passing numbers weren't great (13-for-27) but the way he performed in the fourth quarter should be enough to earn him a start against the Lions.

Jesse: I'm glad both of you touched on the fact that Tebow worked his "magic" against Miami, a team that had quit on its coach and its season even before its starting quarterback (Chad Henne) went down for the season with an injury a few weeks ago. The weak Matt Moore was at QB again this week, and any possibility of a homefield advantage was eliminated by the combination of Miami's apathetic fanbase and the stadium's proximity to Tebow's college stomping grounds. So many factors in Tebow's favour and, as Jay alluded to, it looks like the guy still can't really pass. Let's see how he does this week against the Lions' solid defence.
Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray broke Emmitt Smith's franchise record by rushing for 253 yards against the St. Louis Rams. Murray has actually looked good for the last two weeks. Should he remain the starter even when Felix Jones returns from injury?

Tony Care: Absolutely. Murray has already displayed the ability to break tackles, something the injury-prone Jones simply has not done on a regular basis. Murray isn't as fast as Jones, but who cares? He's a dual threat both in the backfield and as a receiver, plus the kid can block. The key for Murray is to avoid the injury bug. That was his one knock at Oklahoma and during training camp with the Cowboys.

Jason Davison:
Of course he should remain the starter. Breaking a franchise record set by Smith should earn you that right at the very least. Just don't expect him to match those numbers next Sunday when Dallas visits the Eagles for a crucial NFC East tilt. It was, after all, the Rams that the Cowboys were facing on Sunday. The same Rams who are dead last in the entire NFL for rushing yards allowed. Looks like Tashard Choice is moving down the depth chart.

Jesse Campigotto: What is it with the Cowboys and fragile running backs? Jones is about as durable as a $10 pair of running shoes, and you're saying Murray has injury issues too? Is it something about the way the team handles its backs? Poor Marion Barber went from a workhorse to an afterthought pretty quickly before Dallas got rid of him. Hmm, can I just blame Jerry Jones for this? That's always fun.

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