Final NFL Week 7 Observations ... With Miami Dolphins Angles

The Miami Dolphins didn't play in Week 7, but what happened around the NFL could end up having an effect on them at some point
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Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season started with a matchup between two teams from the worst division in the league and ended with a victory for a team in the best division.

It truly is amazing to think that the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in first place in the NFC East after their Thursday night victory against the New York Giants gave them a 2-4-1 record, but this is where we are.

It's also why the notion of the Dallas Cowboys maybe thinking about calling the Miami Dolphins about a trade involving Ryan Fitzpatrick is even worth mentioning despite their 2-5 record.

In a normal year, that kind of start would have a team thinking about the future, but the Cowboys are only a half-game out of first place heading into their "showdown" at Philadelphia next Sunday night.

As for the Monday night game, it certainly was noteworthy for the Dolphins because the Los Angeles Rams will be coming to Hard Rock Stadium this weekend to serve as the opponents for — in case you haven't heard — Tua Tagovailoa's NFL starting debut.

The Rams defense pretty much down the Chicago Bears in their 24-10 victory thanks to a defense that produced four sacks — though only 0.5 by Aaron Donald — and two interceptions. It also should be noted the Rams got big help from punter Johnny Hekker, whose work had the Bears start four drive from inside their 8-yard line.

-- The victory gave the Rams a 5-2 record, but that has them only in a second-place tie in the NFC West, which has four playoff-worthy teams right. That includes the San Francisco 49ers, who don't look anymore like the team the Dolphins waxed at Levi's Stadium three Sundays ago.

-- The Seattle Seahawks missed a great chance to create some space atop the division in that wild Sunday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, but the Cardinals becoming contenders in the second year of the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray era isn't shocking. It's worth mentioning again just how ridiculous a trade it was for Arizona to be able to get DeAndre Hopkins from Houston.

-- One disappointing note for the Cardinals on that night were a handful of injuries, including the ankle injury sustained by former Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake. Chase Edmonds filled in admirably — to put it mildly — in Drake's absence against Seattle, but this means that Drake won't get to face his former team when the Dolphins play at Arizona a week from Sunday.

-- Another player who was injured for Arizona was former Dolphins defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who'll have the bye to recover from a groin injury to face his former team.

-- A week after having a pick-six against Cleveland, former Dolphins first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick had a bit of a rough outing against Tennessee. First, he hesitated and took a bad angle on Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown, who turned a short completion over the middle into a 73-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Fitzpatrick later was flagged for defensive holding after a fourth-down incompletion right before Tennessee scored to make it 27-24 in the fourth quarter — though, in Fitzpatrick's defense — he was picked at the goal line.

-- The win at Tennessee established Pittsburgh as an early favorite to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and they can cement that status with a victory at Baltimore this Sunday. The Steelers, though, have to be concerned about how they had to hang on in the second half after thoroughly dominating the first 29-plus minutes of the game.

-- Another AFC contender ended a two-game losing streak, but there's still reason for concern for the Buffalo Bills. And, again, for those Dolphins fans critical that Miami didn't do enough in the second half of its 24-0 victory against the New York Jets, what does it say for the Bills that they won only 18-10 and couldn't get in the end zone? The magic is gone for QB Josh Allen, who has failed to reach 100 in passer rating in the past three games after topping that mark each of the first four weeks. Allen has five TD passes and three picks in the past three games; he has 12 touchdowns and one pick in the first four.

-- The Bills have the chance to make a big statement and deal a crushing blow to the New England Patriots this weekend when the teams meet in Buffalo. Yes, after the Patriots' 27-point home loss against the 49ers dropped them to 2-4, they look like a long shot to to make the playoffs, but we're going to keep giving them the benefit of the doubt until there's no more room to do so. And for Buffalo, this is an important step on the way to a potential AFC East title. The Bills did make the playoffs last year, but they got swept by the Patriots. The Pats just don't look very good right now and it's primarily because their passing game is a mess.

-- Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert continued to put up big numbers with 406 and 347 yards for the Bengals and Chargers, respectively, and a passer rating each exceeding 110. While Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has said that what they do is irrelevant when it comes to Tagovailoa, it's going to be tough not to do some comparisons among the three 2020 first-round picks.

-- Finally, we'd be remiss not to include the weirdest photo we'll see all year in the NFL — Detroit Lions defensive players signaling an Atlanta touchdown while Falcons running back Todd Gurley is on the goal line dejected. With the Falcons needing just a field goal to win the game and in a position to run out the clock from the Lions 10-yard line, Gurley instead scored when he burst through the line at full speed and then couldn't stop himself before he fell right at the goal line. The premature touchdown with 1:04 remaining and Detroit out of timeouts gave the Lions the opportunity to come back and score a touchdown on the final play of the game for a 23-22 victory. While the whole deal was comical, it could come back to cost the Dolphins in the 2021 draft because the Falcons currently have the fourth overall draft position, right ahead of the Houston Texans, whose first-round pick of course belongs to Miami.