Undefeated LA Rams are legit!

Hines Ward's takeaways from week 7 in the NFL

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 11:59 AM
Updated: Oct 24, 2018 12:18 PM

Two-time Super Bowl champion and CNN sports contributor Hines Ward spoke to CNN's Jill Martin this week to share some of his takeaways through Week 7 in the NFL.

The 7-0 Rams as a Super Bowl contender:

The Rams, with moving back to LA, are one of those teams that slowly kind of come along.

You see Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall pick (of the 2016 NFL draft), really kind of coming into his own as a quarterback.

Signing Aaron Donald (to a six-year $134 million contract extension) and signing Ndamukong Suh in free agency I think really solidified that defense. They're probably one of the most balanced teams in the NFL in all three phases: special teams, offensively, defensively.

But the engine that makes that car go is Todd Gurley. He's taken his game to another level. I mean, 14 touchdowns in seven games, that's just crazy. The guy is a touchdown machine. He can beat you in the passing game, the running game. He just takes a lot of pressure off Jared Goff to let him get into a comfort zone with passing the ball.

I just think overall, it's very hard to beat the Los Angeles Rams. They're strong contenders in making it to a Super Bowl, if they can get that home field advantage. I think they already had a little taste of it last year, and now I think they've elevated their game to try to make a run for a Super Bowl.

With all of the talk of the passing game and with records poised to keep falling, is Gurley under the radar?

Yes. And that's why. Because everyone is all about passing. Look at (Chiefs quarterback) Patrick Mahomes. Look at what he's doing. But I'm like, hello: Gurley at running back is still crushing it.

I just think (the Rams) are set up for playoff football. In the playoffs, you have to be able to run the ball and play good defense. In the passing game, you take your shots when it presents itself.

Playoff football to me is the teams that run the ball well and play good defense and they normally make it to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl.

The state of the Raiders:

You get Jon Gruden coming back, where he has made a name for himself. The excitement is there.

And then heading into the season, you get rid of your best player in Khalil Mack -- but you get compensation for it. And recently getting rid of Amari Cooper (who was traded to the Cowboys for a 2019 first-round draft pick). I mean, it's just basically doing a fire sale. The team is moving to Las Vegas.

I think Gruden signing a 10-year deal means he is going to be there for the long haul. You get rid of some of the roster people that you didn't have, and you didn't go out and handpick these guys. I think that's where Gruden is looking to: Heading into Vegas with three first-round picks, a bunch of money for free agency.

I can see a lot of Raiders fans saying, "Man there is something to be excited for, so let's tank this season so we can try and get the No. 1 pick overall and see where it goes."

Kickers:

Back in the day, kickers had one job: Kick the ball through the uprights. Get the extra point. Win the game.

Now, with the ball moved back for extra points, you're starting to see some very good kickers miss chip shots for extra points. And you're also getting guys who aren't that famous or aren't that well known bombing kicks from 59, 60 yards out.

This year has been interesting as far as the kicking game aspect. The guys who are normally automatic, that's not the case this year, because they're missing chip shots and easy field goals or extra points to either win the game or tie it up.

On Justin Tucker missing his first extra point in 223 tries, leading to a 24-23 Ravens loss against the Saints:

Clearly, Tucker was shocked. Any great player can eventually have one of those bad games. It came at the worst moment because it cost them the game or cost them from going to overtime. I'm just shocked about a guy who normally has the routine form not come through for his team.

I take Tucker and Adam Vinatieri as the guys that I trust the most to make field goals. It was a shocker to see him miss that.

On Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro redeeming himself to beat the Browns:

He misses a (40-yard) field goal that would have won the game, and then in overtime kicks it (59 yards) from midfield. I mean, how do you explain that?

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 125531

Reported Deaths: 2299
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin32544966
Ramsey13430347
Dakota9321134
Anoka8154148
Stearns544336
Washington530567
Scott320934
Olmsted308929
St. Louis268963
Wright229614
Nobles216416
Clay207343
Blue Earth19717
Carver17077
Rice15819
Kandiyohi15704
Sherburne156621
Mower149113
Winona119918
Lyon9286
Crow Wing91521
Waseca9119
Chisago8792
Benton8575
Beltrami7977
Otter Tail7726
Todd7323
Steele7242
Itasca68417
Nicollet68217
Freeborn6384
Morrison6296
Douglas6123
Martin58916
Le Sueur5855
McLeod5693
Watonwan5684
Goodhue51511
Pine5110
Becker5033
Polk5024
Isanti4953
Chippewa3973
Carlton3861
Dodge3660
Mille Lacs36010
Hubbard3352
Pipestone32816
Wabasha3270
Cass3205
Meeker3113
Rock3011
Brown3003
Yellow Medicine2675
Cottonwood2640
Murray2533
Redwood25011
Fillmore2380
Sibley2383
Renville23011
Faribault2130
Roseau1990
Jackson1981
Wadena1980
Unassigned19553
Swift1921
Kanabec18910
Houston1811
Stevens1681
Lincoln1670
Pennington1651
Koochiching1624
Aitkin1562
Pope1480
Big Stone1280
Wilkin1254
Lac qui Parle1242
Lake1050
Mahnomen971
Norman970
Grant904
Marshall881
Clearwater840
Red Lake592
Traverse530
Lake of the Woods421
Kittson270
Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108620

Reported Deaths: 1562
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18087283
Woodbury685392
Johnson566030
Black Hawk526596
Linn5114127
Dubuque476354
Scott410537
Story387418
Dallas331043
Pottawattamie299844
Sioux230414
Buena Vista220412
Marshall193736
Webster172814
Plymouth154426
Wapello147562
Clinton136926
Muscatine136158
Crawford132112
Cerro Gordo126323
Des Moines12409
Warren11596
Carroll10388
Jasper103034
Henry9865
Marion93510
Tama90737
Lee8819
Wright6951
Delaware6898
Dickinson6877
Boone6819
Mahaska63723
Bremer6239
Washington61111
Harrison5868
Jackson5393
Benton5211
Lyon5177
Louisa49415
Clay4884
Hamilton4513
Winneshiek4479
Winnebago44517
Hardin4315
Poweshiek43011
Kossuth4280
Floyd41811
Jones4133
Buchanan4033
Emmet40214
Cedar3935
Iowa3848
Franklin37518
Guthrie37215
Sac3694
Cherokee3682
Page3620
Clayton3533
Shelby3511
Butler3472
Fayette3462
Madison3442
Cass3402
Mills3391
Allamakee3358
Chickasaw3271
Clarke3163
Humboldt2993
Palo Alto2912
Hancock2864
Grundy2834
Calhoun2724
Howard2519
Osceola2480
Monroe24511
Mitchell2360
Monona2311
Taylor2252
Union2164
Pocahontas2112
Appanoose2063
Jefferson2031
Lucas1896
Fremont1821
Ida1792
Greene1740
Van Buren1622
Davis1584
Montgomery1585
Adair1431
Keokuk1421
Audubon1341
Worth1300
Decatur1290
Wayne1123
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Adams700
Unassigned50
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