NFL Week Seven Recap: NFC South

With the completion of week seven of the 2015 National Football League season it appears that the division that may be the home of the next NFC Champion could be the NFC South.
Panthers v Falcons


The Carolina Panthers remain undefeated and the Atlanta Falcons have only one loss.
The Panthers had to rely on running back Jonathan Stewart and their defense to pull out a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles.
QB Cam Newton had a mediocre day, although he did throw for one touchdown and scored another on a run. This game was the fourth time this season in which he has thrown and run for scores and the 28th time in his NFL career. The feat puts him in third place in the list of quarterbacks who have achieved that mark and only three games behind Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young for the league record.
Despite that his final numbers were nothing to write home about. He completed 14 passes on 24 attempts for 197 yards and was intercepted three times. But the Eagles could convert the takeaways to only six points.
The difference for the Panthers was running back Jonathan Stewart’s 119 yards rushing and fullback Mike Tolbert’s two touchdowns. Going back to last season, this game marked the 10th consecutive regular season win.
In the opening drive of the game, Stewart ripped off two runs totaling 45 yards and a Newton pass to Philly Brown picked up 25 yards before Tolbert scored on a two-yard plunge.
Newton scored the Panthers’ second touchdown on a 2-yard run and Tolbert scored the third when he bulled over four Eagles’ defenders to score on a 2-yard touchdown reception.
Eagles running back Ryan Matthews ran for a total of 97 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown.
The Eagles had a chance to tie the game and force it into overtime on their last series. However, Panthers’ D-lineman Jared Allen sacked Eagles’ QB Sam Bradford twice and tipped a pass. Allen now has 136 career sacks, more than any active player in the league.  PANTHERS 27 EAGLES 16
The Falcons kept pace with the Panthers with a win over the Tennessee Titans. QB Matt Ryan threw for 251 yards and a touchdown, but did give up two interceptions. Running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 116 yards.
The Titans had to rely on Zach Mettenberger, who had to replace injured rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. Falcons’ rookie safety Robenson Therezie intercepted a Mettenberger pass with 1:31 remaining to seal the victory. Prior to the Titans’ final drive Falcons’ kicker Matt Bryant missed a 47-yard field goal.
The Falcons took the lead in the third quarter when Ryan engineered an 88-yard drive capped off with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones. The Falcons outgained the Titans 134-35 in the quarter.
Ryan became the fifth-fastest quarterback to throw for 30,000 yards in his career. It took him 117 games. Only Dan Marino (114 games), Kurt Warner (114 games), Peyton Manning (115 games) and Aaron Rodgers (116 games) did it faster.
Freeman is the first Falcons’ running back to rush for 100 yards or more in three straight games since 2009. The Falcons have run for 100 yards or more in five consecutive games for the first time since 2011.  FALCONS 10 TITANS 7
The New Orleans Saints are showing life as they won on the road for the first time this season and won back-to-back games for the first time since last October as they beat the Indianapolis Colts.
The Saints had a 27-point lead in the third quarter when Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck brought his team back with three scores. The Saints stopped the Colts momentum by recovering an onside kick and were able to run out the clock.
The Saints’ first score was set up by a fake field goal when Luke McCown threw a 25-yard pass to Ben Watson. Khiry Robinson capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Saints’ linebacker Stephone Anthony intercepted a pass on the first play of the Colts’ next series and Robinson scored on a 6-yard run.
Colts’ wide receiver and kickoff returner Griff Whalen fumbled the kickoff, which the Saints recovered. Saints QB Drew Brees finished a three-play drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Michael Hoomanawanui.
Luck’s first score in the comeback attempt was an 87-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton late in the third quarter. He hit Hilton again for a 46-yard touchdown with one second left in the third quarter. Luck then engineered an 80-yard drive in 54-seconds that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief with a little more than three minutes remaining. Luck finished with 23 completions on 44 attempts for 333 yards and three touchdowns. Hilton caught four passes for 150 yards.
Saints’ running back Mark Ingram gained 143 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, Robinson ran for two scores and Brees finished with 28 completions on 44 attempts for 255 yards and one touchdown. He has thrown a touchdown pass in 96 of his last 97 games. SAINTS 27 COLTS 21
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are mired in last place in the division after losing to the Washington Redskins. The Bucs took a quick 24-0 lead in the first half, but the Redskins won on a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed with 24 seconds remaining to cap their biggest comeback in franchise history.
Cousins threw three touchdown passes in the second half –- two to Jordan Reed and one to Ryan Grant – and ran for another score.
The Redskins defense couldn’t stop Bucs’ running back Doug Martin, who rushed for 136 yards on 19 carries. The play that gave the Redskins the opportunity to win occurred with 4 minutes remaining. Martin broke a 49-yard run and appeared as though he would score, but Redskins’ cornerback Bashaud Breeland chased him down and tackled him on the 5-yard line. The Redskins’ defense held the Bucs’ offense to a field goal, making the score 30-24.
The Redskins’ maligned special teams also contributed. After a touchdown pass to Grant, they executed a perfect onside kick that the Redskins recovered and which led to a Cousins to Reed touchdown pass. REDSKINS 31 BUCCANEERS 30
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