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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: 26980

Reported Deaths: 1159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin9099657
Ramsey3351149
Stearns205614
Nobles15775
Anoka152779
Dakota144664
Washington70035
Olmsted68911
Rice5243
Kandiyohi5141
Scott4712
Clay44930
Mower4462
Wright3492
Todd3441
Sherburne2492
Carver2402
Benton1853
Steele1700
Freeborn1590
Blue Earth1490
Martin1355
St. Louis11914
Lyon1012
Unassigned9611
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Cottonwood820
Winona8115
Crow Wing815
Watonwan790
Carlton750
Goodhue736
Otter Tail731
Chisago691
Polk632
Itasca5610
Dodge540
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur471
Douglas460
Meeker460
Becker440
Jackson420
Murray410
McLeod410
Isanti360
Pennington300
Waseca290
Mille Lacs241
Rock230
Faribault220
Wabasha200
Swift191
Beltrami180
Sibley170
Brown172
Fillmore171
Norman150
Pipestone130
Kanabec121
Aitkin120
Marshall120
Cass112
Big Stone110
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Redwood70
Yellow Medicine70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Red Lake40
Traverse40
Grant40
Clearwater30
Houston30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21114

Reported Deaths: 593
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4614140
Woodbury286137
Black Hawk178849
Buena Vista10672
Linn97879
Dallas95226
Marshall91418
Wapello63615
Johnson6198
Muscatine56741
Crawford5512
Tama41129
Scott38510
Dubuque35921
Louisa35011
Pottawattamie31910
Sioux3060
Jasper26917
Wright2210
Washington1968
Warren1671
Plymouth1522
Story1311
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9913
Poweshiek928
Hamilton760
Webster741
Henry732
Boone720
Bremer716
Clarke690
Des Moines681
Taylor660
Clinton651
Guthrie553
Cedar501
Benton431
Cherokee410
Monroe415
Jones370
Shelby370
Osceola360
Jefferson360
Marion350
Dickinson350
Buchanan341
Iowa340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Madison292
Lee290
Sac280
Davis280
Emmet270
Fayette270
Clay270
Monona260
Harrison260
Hardin240
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Lucas222
Mills200
Grundy200
Franklin200
Humboldt201
Pocahontas200
Delaware191
Floyd191
Hancock180
Appanoose173
Butler161
Kossuth160
Carroll151
Ida150
Greene150
Keokuk140
Jackson140
Page140
Audubon131
Cass130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Winnebago110
Calhoun100
Union100
Van Buren90
Adair90
Montgomery92
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Unassigned20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
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