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NFL Week 7: Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts set for showdown in potential ‘Super Bowl preview’

By Aimee Lewis, CNN

(CNN) — Week 7 of the NFL season kicked off on Thursday with the Jaguars’ nail-biting road victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The action continues through the weekend with a slate of great matchups across the league with the in-form Miami Dolphins facing the Philadelphia Eagles in the pick of the day.

Here’s what to look for in Week 7 of the 2023 season.

Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET

After nearly a month on the road, including a trip overseas, the Ravens return home on Sunday to host the Lions.

While teams usually take a bye week after an international appearance, the Ravens are getting right back to business. Having not played a home game in four weeks, both the team and their fans are happy to be back in familiar territory.

“I know our guys are going to be excited to be at home – that’s for sure,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “Our fans are going to be loud, and they’re going to be into it, and they’re going to be enthusiastic.”

The Lions enter the matchup with a league-best 5-1 record. Ever since their shocking Week 1 victory over the Chiefs, Detroit has become a team to beat this season. They’re back amongst the league’s top competitors after multiple years of missing the postseason entirely.

Harbaugh acknowledged their recent success ahead of Sunday’s game.

“Obviously, they’re very good. They have one loss. They’re leading (the NFC North) division. They’ve won their recent games by large margins. They haven’t even been in a close game, I don’t think, since early in the season. They’re tough. They’re physical. They’re legit. We’re looking forward to the game. (We) can’t wait to get out there and play,” Harbaugh said, per the Baltimore Ravens.

The main contributor to Detroits’ rise up the rankings is quarterback Jared Goff. The 29-year-old is in the midst of his best season to date, posting career highs in completion rate and passer rating. Through six weeks of play, he’s thrown for 1,618 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.

“It’s a lot of hard work, obviously,” Goff told reporters. “But typically, when the team’s playing well, it makes my job a hell of a lot easier and defense is giving us short fields, O-line’s protecting really well and I’ve got receivers downfield making plays. So, all that comes together, and I do my part and it makes it a lot easier for me.”

When asked if Goff has exceeded his expectations, Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell told reporters that he always had high expectations for the QB.

“I’m not surprised. I knew he was tough, knew he was resilient and he’s just – he’s grown,” Campbell said. “There’s been consistency in his play and there’s been growth. And he’s in a good place right now. His confidence is sky high, and we’ve got to keep it there.”

Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. ET

In the late afternoon slot, the Los Angeles Chargers make a visit to Arrowhead Stadium to face the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs.

The outcome of this game means a lot more to the visitors than the hosts. At 5-1, the Chiefs will hold first place in the AFC West whether they win or lose. Meanwhile, the Bolts are at risk of dropping to 2-4 on the season and slipping further to the bottom of the rankings.

The Chiefs are the clear favorites on Sunday, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes says the Chargers are not to be underestimated.

“Their record doesn’t reflect it this year but we understand how good this football team is,” Mahomes told reporters. “They’re a playoff team, a team we’ve played to one score, it seems like every single game.”

Mahomes is correct to point out that the two teams have a history of close matchups. Every game between Mahomes and Chargers quarterback Justin Hebert has finished within one touchdown. But while the contests have been close, they most often fall in favor of the Chiefs.

Ever since Andy Reid took over as head coach 10 years ago, Kansas City has dominated the divisional rivalry. They’ve won 15 of their last 18 games against Los Angeles, including the last three. Against the AFC as a whole, the Chiefs have won 45 of their last 51 divisional games.

If the Chiefs win the division again this year, it will be their eighth straight AFC West title, putting them second in the all-time list for most consecutive divisional titles.

When preparing to take on a team as dominant as the Chiefs, head coach Brandon Stanley said he prefers to keep the focus on his own players.

“We’ve got the ultimate respect for this team, but you’ve gotta make it about your team. You can’t make it about Kansas City. It’s gotta be about the Chargers and how we play,” Stanley told reporters. “That’s how you go nose-to-nose with the best people in the league. You’re not really worried about them. You have full respect for them, but you gotta make it about you.”

Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET

Sunday’s primetime battle features the Miami Dolphins and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Both teams enter the marquee matchup with league-best 5-1 records, looking to assert their dominance as the halfway point of the season draws closer.

Last week, the Dolphins achieved their third double-digit victory of the season with an emphatic 21-point win over the Carolina Panthers. Entering Week 7, they average an impressive 37 points per game and 499 yards per game. Continuing this offensive output against the defending NFC champion Eagles would confirm that the Fins are among the league’s top talent.

“I know it’ll be a good game and I don’t think of it as a Super Bowl preview or anything like that,” Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said. “I just think that this is another team that we’re preparing for and in order for us to get to where we want to go to, we’ve got to play this game.”

While the Dolphins are looking to build on last week’s momentum, the Eagles are looking to bounce back after suffering their first loss of the season. Philly’s unbeaten streak was snapped by the New York Jets, in a game in which the Eagles scored a season-low 14 points and quarterback Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions.

“When you deal with sports, there’s going to be disappointment, and we try to prevent that as much as possible,” Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson remarked following the loss. “Obviously, we didn’t do a good enough job this past Sunday, and that was very, very evident and very clear, but the only goal now is to fix it and move on.”

Coming back from a disappointing loss is never easy, but Hurts is no stranger to adversity. As college football fans will remember, Hurts lost his quarterback role at Alabama to Tagovailoa back in 2018. Sunday’s game will be the first time the two meet on the professional stage.

According to Tagovailoa, there’s no bad blood between the pair, just mutual respect.

“We’ll probably see each other before the game to wish each other luck, but at the end of the day, we’re both trying to help our teams win,” Tagovailoa said. “I got a lot of respect for Jalen. He’s been a great competitor since I got there to Alabama. He’s been a special player since I’ve been there, and he’s been a special player throughout his entire college career.”

When asked about Hurts’ mindset heading into the game, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni described his ability to focus and thrive under pressure.

“The mindset that Jalen has is to be locked in right where he is in the moment and handling the things that he can control,“ Sirianni told reporters. “I think that’s why you see a steadiness in him of who he is as a person and who he is as a player.”



Detroit Lions @ Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET

Las Vegas Raiders @ Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET

Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots, 1:00 p.m. ET

Washington Commanders @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. ET

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET

Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers @ Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. ET

Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET


San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings

How to watch

Here’s how to catch these teams in action, from wherever you are.

Australia: NFL+, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL+, ESPN

Canada: NFL+, CTV, TSN, RDS

Germany: NFL+, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL+, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports

UK: NFL+, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL+, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, Amazon Prime

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

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