5 NFL Stats to Know Through Week 7
We have one unbeaten team left in 2020 as well as only having only one winless team. The NFL landscape shifted dramatically in Week 7, with a high dosage of drama, disappointment and delight -- depending on your own particular rooting interests.
Here are five stats to know -- both traditional and our advanced statistics -- from Week 7 of the NFL season.
Tyler Lockett Racked Up 53.0 PPR Points
Before Week 7, the highest PPR points scorer in a single game in 2020 was Aaron Jones. Jones notched 45.6 points back in Week 2 for the Green Bay Packers against the Detroit Lions. Well, after Sunday night, we have our first half-century outburst of the campaign.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett caught 15 of his 20 targets against the Arizona Cardinals for 200 yards and three touchdowns, deeds which brought him a whopping 53.0 PPR points. Lockett is the 10th wide receiver to score at least 50 PPR points since the 2000 season and the first to achieve the feat since 2019. Will Fuller scored 53.7 in Week 5 last season for the Houston Texans against the Atlanta Falcons.
Sunday was the second time this season that Lockett had found the end zone three times in the same game after he claimed a hat-trick against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3. Lockett is the first player to have multiple games with three receiving scores in a season since 2015, when Doug Baldwin, his teammate, had two games with a trio of trips to the paint.
Lockett is just the third player in NFL history to have a game with at least 15 receptions, 200 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. Another former Seahawk, Hall of Famer Steve Largent, posted 15 grabs, 261 yards and three scores against the Detroit Lions back in Week 6 of the 1987 season. Jimmy Smith of the Jacksonville Jaguars had 15 receptions for 291 yards and three touchdowns in Week 2 of the 2000 season.
A.J. Brown Totaled 153 Receiving Yards
In an ideal world, Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown would be getting peppered with targets every week. We do not live in an ideal world, but the second-year player has shown that he can be efficient with his touches. He demonstrated this again on Sunday as he finished the Titans loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers with 153 receiving yards and a touchdown on just six receptions.
Sunday tied a career-high for Brown, who also had 153 yards against the Oakland Raiders in Week 14 of the 2019 season. Brown gained 27.3 PPR points in Week 7, the second-most of his career after he managed 33.6 against the then-Oakland Raiders last season. It was the third game in a row with at least 20 PPR points for Brown, making him the first Titans wide receiver to achieve this feat since Drew Bennett back in 2004. Brown found the end zone for the fourth time in his last three games, scoring at least once in each game. The last Titans player with a touchdown in three straight games was Rishard Matthews back in 2016.
Brown will be hoping to continue his fine form next week against a burnable Cincinnati Bengals secondary. And speaking of the Bengals...
Joe Burrow Passed for 406 Yards
The Cincinnati Bengals fell to the Cleveland Browns in the latest Battle of Ohio, but it wasn't for a lack of trying, least not for their rookie quarterback. Joe Burrow finished on the losing side despite throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns, adding another score on six rushing attempts. Burrow hadn't thrown a single touchdown pass in his previous two games.
Sunday marked the 12th time since the 1970 merger of a first-year quarterback passing for 400 yards in a single game and the first instance since 2018, when Nick Mullens of the San Francisco 49ers managed it. Burrow has passed for more than 300 yards in five games already this season, putting him in a three-way tie with Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones for the second most such games by a rookie in NFL history. With plenty of the season still left to play, Burrow has an excellent chance to set a new record, beating the six times that Andrew Luck passed for 300 or more yards in 2012.
Burrow's deeds against the Browns saw him finish the week with 33.64 fantasy points, a new career-high for him. This tally is the most ever scored by a Bengals quarterback in his first season playing, beating the 26.0 Carson Palmer managed in Week 13 of the 2004 season. Palmer didn't play at all during his rookie season.
The Cowboys' Offense Averaged -0.23 NEP per Play
The loss of Dak Prescott was going to affect the Dallas Cowboys' offense. I think we all knew this. Andy Dalton has shown in the past to be a capable quarterback. But at this stage of his career, he is a clear downgrade. Dalton and the Cowboys demonstrated how much they miss Prescott on Sunday as they fell to pieces during a 25-3 loss to Washington.
The Cowboys managed 197 total yards with a mere 114 through the air. They also absorbed six sacks while they were unable to get their ground game going. Ezekiel Elliott has still yet to hit 100 yards rushing in a game this season, and he managed just 45 yards on his 12 rushing attempts against Washington.
The counting stats are brutal enough, but when you look at the Cowboys' per-play efficiency, it is truly abysmal. According to numberFire's metrics, the Cowboys averaged -0.23 Net Expected Points (NEP) per-play on Sunday. It was the worst mark in the NFL for Week 7. To give some perspective of how bad it was, coming into Week 7 the New York Jets' offense was last in the NFL with -0.07 NEP per play on the year.
Dalton was forced from the game after taking a sickening hit from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic, and his involvement this week is already questionable. The Cowboys may be forced to go into their NFC East clash with the Philadelphia Eagles with Ben DiNucci as their third starting quarterback of the season. It's tough to think things would get a lot better for Dallas if this was the case.
The Bills D/ST Scored 16.0 Fantasy Points
If the Buffalo Bills' offense has been one of the biggest surprises of the season (for the most part), the play of their defense has also raised a few eyebrows. Buffalo's D has not been a shutdown unit, and as a result, having them on your fantasy team hasn't done much for you. Before Sunday's game, they had a combined 9.0 fantasy points on the year. But then came a game against the Jets, and all was good.
The Bills held the Jets to just 10 points and sacked Sam Darnold six times, also intercepting him twice. This gave them 16.0 fantasy points in Week 7, the third most among all D/STs behind the Kansas City Chiefs (21) and Washington (17).
Sunday marked the 19th time since the 2000 season that the Bills have had at least six sacks in a game. The last occasion was in Week 11 of the 2019 season in a game against another AFC East opponent, this time the Miami Dolphins.
The Bills D/ST could be another high scorer in Week 8 as they take on the misfiring New England Patriots. The Patriots scored just six points against the 49ers this past week and allowed two sacks, also throwing four interceptions.