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NFL Week 7 preview: League’s best teams go head-to-head in big test

NFL Week 7 preview: League’s best teams go head-to-head in big test

It’s Week 7 in the NFL and things are tighter than ever.

The San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles both lost last week, snapping some incredible streaks and leaving the 2023 season without any unbeaten teams. The Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions are also among the teams that are 5-1.

There are tons of important matchups heading into the seventh week of the season and a lot to keep an eye out for. So, before things kickoff on Sunday, read below for some of the important things fans should keep in the back of their minds as the 1 p.m. ET games begin.

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Battle of the best I

Jared Goff drinks

Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions drinks from a Gatorade bottle during an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 15, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

The Lions and the Baltimore Ravens will duke it out on Sunday. Both teams come into the game at the top of their respective divisions and wins for both teams would give them momentum going forward.

Detroit has been playing some of the best football their fans have seen in a very long time. Jared Goff had 353 passing yards and two touchdown passes in the team’s 20-6 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Only the 49ers (14-1) and Chiefs (14-2) have a better regular-season record than the Lions (13-3) since Week 9 of the 2022 season.

Baltimore’s defense is something Detroit will have to deal with. The Ravens are tied for first in sacks this season with 24. And, if Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers find a connection, the offense is going to make things even more interesting.

Battle of the best II

Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert

Tyreek Hill #10 and Raheem Mostert #31 of the Miami Dolphins celebrate after a touchdown during the second quarter in the game against the Carolina Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium on October 15, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Rich Storry/Getty Images)

Sunday will end with a matchup between the Dolphins and the Eagles, two teams that are also in first place in their respective divisions and could be a preview of Super Bowl LVIII early next year.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is leading the league in passing yards (1,876) and passer rating (114.1) and is tied for the league lead with 14 touchdown passes. It will be up to James Bradberry and Darius Slay to try to contain the speedy offense.

The Eagles’ defense is in the top five in sacks with 20. Getting to Tagovailoa quickly will be a challenge as the quarterback is known to sling the pill out fast to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. It will be interesting to see how they defend the Dolphins’ offense.

Gaining separation

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs is on a tear this season. He’s recorded 49 catches on 66 targets for 620 yards and five touchdowns. He’s already produced five 100-yard receiving games in his first six starts, including four straight.

He already owns the franchise record for most consecutive games with 100 yards receiving. The streak could continue on Sunday when the team plays the New England Patriots.

McAwesome

Christian McCaffrey runs

Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers runs for a touchdown after a catch during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns on October 15, 2023, in Cleveland. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Even though the 49ers shockingly fell to the Cleveland Browns last week, Christian McCaffrey extended his streak of scrimmage touchdowns to 15 consecutive games. One more and he will break the record as he’s tied with Lenny Moore, John Riggins and O.J. Simpson for the longest streaks.

The 49ers take on the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

Another close one brewing?

The Vikings have a big challenge ahead of them against the 49ers. Minnesota is 2-4 without Justin Jefferson and have trade rumors swirling around Kirk Cousins.

Each of the Vikings’ six games have been decided by eight points or less. The bounce of the ball is the difference between Minnesota being on top of the NFC North and the bottom of the division.

Cousins and the Vikings need to really dig deep to stun the 49ers for the second straight week.

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Bye, bye, bye

Some teams are getting a break in Week 7. After two teams were on a bye last week, six teams will have a weekend filled with rest and relaxation before picking it up again.

The Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans will be off this week.

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Ryan Gaydos

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