NFL Keys, Quotes From Week 7

We review Sunday's action around the NFL, with an extended look at Green Bay's victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Packers 33, Vikings 27

The number: 55 – The number of yards gained on the ground by James Starks on six carries during the Packers' clinching drive. Before that, he had seven carries for 20 yards.

The player: Aaron Rodgers is setting the bar higher and higher. He completed 24-of-30 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Of his six incompletions, two were throwaways, two were dropped and one was a clock-killing spike. That means he threw one errant pass, to Greg Jennings on the next-to-last possession. The Packers would have thrown it, regardless, but they demolished a secondary without the injured Antoine Winfield and the arrested Chris Cook. "We didn't change our game plan at all. What you saw was what you were going to see. It's really not about our opponent. It's about us. When we put it together for four quarters, it's going to be hard to beat us," Jennings said.

The moment: The Packers trailed 17-13 at halftime but took control quickly. On the second snap of the third quarter, Rodgers pump-faked, which drew safety Husain Abdullah toward Donald Driver. Cornerback Asher Allen let Jennings go deep, which he's supposed to do in Cover-2. The blunder allowed Jennings to get open by at least 20 yards, and Jennings jogged the final 45 yards for a 79-yard touchdown.

The NFC North: The Packers (7-0) are two games in front of Detroit (5-2) and three up on Chicago (4-3).

Vikings said: "Moral victories are like taking your sister to prom. We can take positive plays, but we are in the business of winning. Winning and losing, that's all it is." - defensive end Jared Allen

Packers said: "On the winning side, not much. We've maxed out our wins so far and our opportunities. But I think we can play a little better." - quarterback Aaron Rodgers

Chiefs 28, Raiders 0

Key: The Chiefs picked off six passes and returned two of them for touchdowns. Those turnovers allowed them to cruise to a 28-0 win even though the Raiders outgained them 322-300 and QB Matt Cassel had a passer rating of 38.3.

Raiders said: "It's the first time I've thrown in pads since last year, so that part was rusty. It felt good to get hit actually, believe it or not. It's been a while since I've been hit. It kind of felt good to get knocked around a bit and pick yourself back off the ground. This all happened so fast, so unexpectedly, it just hasn't sunk in to know exactly how I feel." -- quarterback Carson Palmer after his first game as a Raider.

Chiefs said: "It was big time. It was something to get our team going, and I was able to do that. I was able to make a play on the ball. Give big ups to our 'D' line for getting pressure. I was able to break on it, make a play and take it home." -- S Kendrick Lewis on intercepting Kyle Boller's first pass and returning it 59 yards for a touchdown.

Cowboys 34, Rams 7

Key: The Cowboys controlled the tempo on the ground, riding the back of rookie DeMarco Murray's record 253-yard performance. Dallas grinded out 294 yards rushing and held the ball for nearly 34 minutes. Unlike previous the two previous losses, the Cowboys were able to protect the lead by staying with the run.

Cowboys said: "We needed to win this game. We needed to be 3-3. We've got a team that can get out of contention with our record, but if we can be in contention we've got a team that can be better." -- Owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

Lions said: "We definitely took a step back, I think, in all areas of the game. Speaking for the offense, we lacked execution all day." -- running back Steven Jackson.

Steelers 32, Cardinals 20

Key: After watching the Cardinals pull to within 17-14 in the second quarter, the Steelers scored four straight times to put the game out of reach. It included an 80-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Emmanuel, a safety by the defense, and two field goals by Shaun Suisham.

Cardinals said: "Our guy are disappointed. They feel like they are better than what they are showing, what they are putting on the field. I don't think it's going to be an issue about working or understanding what we are trying to do. Our guys will continue to fight." -- coach Ken Whisenhunt on the mindset of his team following its fifth straight loss.

Steelers said: "I still don't think we're there. I think we're getting closer. I still think that there's some things we can do to get better, but that's good. It's early enough in the year still where we can make those improvements. We don't want to be just clicking at 100 percent right now. We want to be winning games and moving forward." -- quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Browns 6, Seahawks 3

Key: The Browns were 12-for-24 on third down and controlled the ball for 42:56, allowing them to grind out a victory.

Browns said: "As a defense, we really thought they couldn't pass on us." - Cornerback Joe Haden

Seahawks said: "It's disappointing for sure. We had a chance to win the game and didn't do it." - Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.

Jets 27, Chargers 21

Key: Darrelle Revis intercepted a tipped ball and returned it 64 yards to set up the Jets' go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter as the Jets came back from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat the Chargers 27-21.

Jets said: "As everybody says, they're ahead of us, no question. We'll see what happens when we play at Buffalo. Tough road trip. Then we play that other team." - Coach Rex Ryan, referring to the Jets' next two games, against the Bills and the Patriots.

Chargers said: "You can ask any question you want to ask. The San Diego Chargers beat the San Diego Chargers." - Chargers tight end Randy McMichael.

Bears 24, Buccaneers 18

Key: The Bears defense forced Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman into throwing four interceptions -- including one by linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Buccaneers said: "They were just making plays on the ball. The first one, the safety made a play on it. The second one, I tried to force one to Kellen and I've got to stop doing that. It's an issue where I've got to set my feet and see the throw before you make it. The third one, Urlacher just made a great play. Really, I can't think of any other linebacker in the league that makes that play. You know, that's who he is, that makes him a special player. The last one, end of the game, trying to make something happen and generate a big play down the field and it resulted in an interception." - quarterback Josh Freeman

Bears said: "I don't know what happened. I just looked up and caught it. That's what I saw. Nothing special about it. I just saw him throwing it." - linebacker Brian Urlacher

Falcons 23, Lions 16

Key: With Detroit's best running back, Jahvid Best, sitting out because of a concussion, Atlanta was able to concentrate its defense on the Lions' formidable passing attack. Detroit was a combined 2-for-14 on third- and fourth-down conversions as the Falcons harassed Matthew Stafford and bracketed Detroit's top receivers, Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew. The Lions gained just 263 net yards.

Falcons said: "We talk all the time about stringing those wins together. We were able to do that for the first time this season; 4-3 is not a bad place to be coming into the bye week." - quarterback Matt Ryan

Lions said: "We just weren't clicking on all cylinders, like we have been. There's a lot of work we've got to do. We've got to figure some things out. Our playmakers need to get the ball, so we can get that ball moving down the field." - wide receiver Calvin Johnson

Panthers 33, Redskins 20

Key: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was 8 for 8 for 152 yards on the first three drives of the second half -- all of which ended in touchdowns. After gaining 88 yards on 17 carries, Washington running back Tim Hightower left the game with a left-knee injury in the third quarter

Panthers said: "After I did what I had to do, I heard in my headset, 'Give it to a little kid!' That's the fun part, right? Getting to celebrate." Quarterback Cam Newton on giving the ball to a young fan after his rushing touchdown.

Redskins said: "I want to be the guy. I gave it my best. I think I did enough." quarterback John Beck.

Texans 41, Titans 7

Key: Leading 10-0 in the second quarter, the Texans executed a beautiful play to extend their lead. Standing tall in the face of a blitz, QB Matt Schaub threw to the defense's back side and RB Arian Foster ran under it near midfield. He juked a defender and scooted the remaining 50 yards to complete a 78-yard scoring play with 3:53 left in the half.

Texans said: "I wasn't that concerned. We played two good games the last two weeks and just came up short. The difference was today we were consistent as a team for four quarters." - coach Gary Kubiak

Titans said: "We were shocked today." - quarterback Matt Hasselbeck

Broncos 18, Dolphins 15

Key: The Dolphins have lacked killer instinct for some time and displayed that failing again Sunday against the Broncos. Instead of going for the jugular up 15 points midway through the fourth quarter, they called three running plays and punted back to the Broncos, beginning Denver's improbable comeback.

Dolphins said: "It's definitely not his fault. He's not the one coaching us to give up big plays." -- linebacker Jason Taylor

Broncos said: "It's a good stadium and I enjoy playing here. I didn't think it was going to be like that today, but sometimes you have to find a way and keep believing and keep fighting." - quarterback Tim Tebow on Sun Life Stadium



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