Week 1: Takeaways From Each Team
It is finally here! Man. It feels so good having the NFL back in our lives. I had forgotten that Sundays and Mondays could feel so good. So let's take a moment to thank the football gods for this new season... Ok, ready? Cool, let's jump into what the opening week left us.
Kansas pulled off a major upset last Thursday when they not only survived the Patriots' early onslaught, but completely outlasted Brady's team in the second half (especially in the 4th quarter) to get an extremely valuable victory on the road against the biggest championship favorite in the NFL. Alex Smith looked fantastic (probably the best QB performance of week 1) and, after a bit of a slow start, the defense found its footing and limited New England to 10 points in the second half. Nice work Kansas.
“We are on to New Orleans”… Right?
They suffered a big shock, at some points Brady looked all of 40 years old, and loosing Hightower really exposed the Patriot defense. Having said all that, I wouldn't want to be the Saints next Sunday. I believe New England will be fine, no need to panic yet, and there is also that little stat that says that the last 3 seasons New England has lost the opening game, they've won a Super Bowl, so… That's that.
… So… Sam Darnold from USC seems to be pretty good, right?
I hate being negative, but, I just don't see how the Jets escape from landing on last place at the end of the season. McCown is not going to carry this team to a winning record, although the defense didn't look that bad, at the end of the day; with limited offensive weapons and an average (at best) quarter back, it looks like it is going to be a long season for the J-E-T-S.
I like the Bills, they seem to be a well balanced team. I have my reservations about Taylor at QB, but with an offensive weapon like McCoy and a solid receiver in Jordan Matthews, maybe their offense could be trouble for other teams. Have to wait to see the defense against a better opponent. But overall, I could see them being an uncomfortable team to play against, no playoffs though.
I LOVE Carson Wentz, I think he is a total franchise QB and he has a lot of weapons now. Philly pretty much dominated Washington, specially in the second half. If this team can find a way to include Blunt more in the running game (Who had less than 50 yards on 14 touches Sunday), it will make things really interesting for the Eagles on the offensive side of the ball. Their defense looked good, but I have to pull back a little with the praise, considering that the Redskins’ offense is worse than last season. Improve the running game and this team is a real threat.
Oakland defeated the Titans in what I believe was the best played game of the week. No turnovers, just 10 penalties overall (5 each, 49 yards each, crazy), and each team had almost the same amount of first downs. (22 OAK 21 TEN)
Derek Carr is an absolute stud, and with the addition of Beast Mode, the Raider offense has a real swag about them. When you can put up points each of the 4 quarters, you are doing something right, and against a good team like Tennessee, major props. Their defense was no joke either, controlling the young and exciting Marcus Mariota practically all game, giving up just one touchdown. Look out for the Raiders, the hype seems to be real.
I firmly believe that the Titans are winning the AFC South. They may have lost to the Raiders, but they didn't look outclassed by one of the best 3 teams in the AFC. The kept it competitive and close, and there is a lot of merit to that. Marcus Mariota struggled a little, but didn't make any costly mistakes. The defense held their ground for 3 quarters against an explosive offense. Tennessee will be fine, this is a loss that won't hurt them that much. On to Jacksonville.
Jacksonville won by 22 points and only had 2 offensive touchdowns. So, their defense looked good. I can't really comment much on this, it was a weird (Awful by the Texans) game. I don't believe in Blake Bortles, I believe the Jaguars caught a lucky break in this game. I could be wrong, but expect Jacksonville to get the L next week against the Titans.
START DESHAUN WATSON.
It took him less than one game to do what Savage hasn't done in six. Score a touchdown.
What happened? Everything was going so well. Talk about falling apart.
Before the debacle of the fourth quarter Arizona looked good, not great, but good. The offense was working well enough, and the defense kept the Lions at a 5 point per quarter average. Sounds great, you tell me we are practically keeping the Matthew Stafford led offense out of the end zone each quarter, where do I sign? But, games have 4 quarters. You CANT receive 20 points in one quarter. I don't know what to make out of the Cardinals, I would like to believe it was an accident, we’ll have to wait. The offense needs work, loosing David Johnson is terrible, but you can't fall apart as a team just for one player.
Matthew Stafford man, he showed up for one quarter, and it was good enough.
Im going to hold back on my opinion of Detroit, they have the Giants next Monday, I'll watch that and come back with a proper takeaway.
I never thought I would say something like this: Pittsburgh didn't defeat the Browns, they survived them. They escaped Cleveland with a lucky victory.
If you take away the blocked punt recovered for a touchdown early in the game, the point total doesn’t favor the Steelers, and I know, if my aunt had testicles she would be my uncle but she doesn't… You get the point, but what I'm saying is that when you compare rosters, it shouldn't even be close, and it was. The high powered offense of the Steelers didn't look that powerful, Bell only ran for 32 yards, I except him to get WAY better as the season advances but for now he looked out of “football shape”. Antonio Brown looked great as he always does, and Big Ben was more like Regular Ben. Lucky win by the Steelers, but, it's said that good teams find ways to win, and they should get better.
Cleveland played a good game against the more powerful Steelers. They had more first downs, way less penalties, and even won the battle of time of possession. Only 1 turnover. I really liked what I saw out of Kizer, completing 66% of his passes for over 200 yards. Limiting Pittsburgh to less than 300 total yards. Really good stuff. But they lost. And I feel like this was their one shot to defeat the Steelers. Having said all that, maybe the Browns have finally started to turn the corner.
That was more of a struggle than I had anticipated. This game was similar to the one above; a clearly more powerful team struggling to defeat a “victim”. Of course the important part is winning, but you would have expected the high powered Falcon offense to run circles around the suspect Chicago defense, and that their dynamic defense would have stopped the Bear’s offense again and again. It is week one, so we’ll let it slide. Matt Ryan had a nice game with a running game that never really got going. No turnovers generated was weird. Expect the Falcons to improve.
Glennon played solid football, passing for over 200 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. Cohen and Howard combined for more than 100 yards on the ground. The defense held the Falcons to less than 25 points. And the Bears lost on the last drive of the game. I will venture to say that it went better than expected. Hopefully the Bears can build on that performance, because the NFC North is going to be tough.
They won, of course they won, they played against a self-exploding team. When you get 5 turnovers and only score two touchdowns there isn't much to celebrate on the offensive side, although I did like the West/Allen running tandem, getting 151 yards in 40 touches, that was good against a supposedly good defense. Flacco is coming out of an injury, so I'll cut him some slack. The defense obviously looked great generating 5 turnovers, but I believe that was more a meltdown by the Bengals than anything else. If Flacco finds his rhythm, paired with what seems like a good running game, the Ravens should be contenders.
Let's hope this was just an accident. Move on to next week. They are a good team on paper. And the head coach seat is contributing to the rise of temperatures worldwide. Yeez.
This was just sad, I don't have much to say. Honestly I would go with Brissett. Not that I believe it's going to make that much of a difference, but at least he can try to help the Colts be somewhat competitive.
You expected this kind of scoreboard from the Steelers/Browns game didn't you?
The Rams looked really good, by outclassing a team that could be outclassed. Jared Goff connected 21 out of 29 for 306 and 1 touchdown, that's an efficient game. The defense destroyed the Colts offense. Overall the Rams took advantage of a bad team and showcased a great version of themselves, and that's not as easy as it sounds.
A bit of a slow game by the Panthers, not much excitement on their offense, aside from the 40 yard touchdown pass to Shepard and that rookie from Stanford. Not necessarily a bad thing, Carolina can work like this, handle the ball to Jonathan Stewart, rotate him with McCaffrey and you could have a really interesting ground game. That way, Newton can improve his completion percentage by having better passing scenarios. As long as the defense goes, I'll wait until they play against a real offense.
I have the feeling this games are always kind of ugly. Still enjoyed it.
Seattle has a great defense and a great quarter back. But, there is a reason the offensive line is the most under appreciated position in football. If your O-line isn't playing, well, you could have the love child of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers at QB and it wouldn't matter, and if your offense is constantly getting 3 and outs or short series, it doesn't matter how good your defense is, it's going to get tired. So yeah, not much of an analysis here, just pointing out the obvious. Seattle needs a better job out of their offensive line, or else all the talent they have is gonna go to waste.
Aaron Rodgers is too good for you to give him any extra chances. The Green Bay offense struggled a lot in the beginning of the game, but as the series started piling on the Seattle defense, it was clear that Rodgers was finding his groove. Utilizing a lot of short routes in the third quarter gave the Packers just what they needed to put the Seahawks away. On the defensive side, well, Russell Wilson could file a restraining order against them.
ODB did not play, we all know that, but… Are the Giants a 3 point offense without him?
There was no spark whatsoever in their offense, they almost looked lost, like the offensive game plan is designed specifically to stop working if Odell is out. You have other receivers Eli, this receiving corp was supposed to be among the best in the league starting the season, so what happened? Was it over rated? Is it an accident? We’ll see. And we all know NY can't run.
As far as the defense, they were ok. Kind of a “bend don't break” game, receiving only 19 points but almost 400 yards of total offense from the Cowboys. They have the Lions coming up, that game will give us a good sense of what's the deal with the Giants.
This team could be scary good. By that I mean it could be the best balanced team in the NFL. Their offense was good running and passing while playing against one of the supposed best defensive units in the league, and their defense looked great, granted they played against a one dimensional offense that lost its best weapon.
Zeke didn't look at a hundred percent, still ran for more than 100 yards. Dak seemed a little anxious in the first half, still he threw over 250 a TD and no picks. They controlled the ball for almost 10 minutes more than New York. The defense only allowed a field goal. Dallas seems to be in good shape.
Drew Brees looks like a man on an island. After that game I don't have much hope for New Orleans, although they played a very good team. But the fact is that their offense isn't as explosive as it used to be, and their defense is a work in progress. We could be seeing the last days of Brees and/or Sean Peyton.
Watch out here come the Vikings! When did Sam Bradford get this good? Really liked what I saw from Minnesota, specially the offense. With Bradford playing at that level with his main weapons in Adam Thielen and specially Stefon Diggs, coupled with the Florida State soon to be rookie sensation of the NFL Dalvin Cook… Dang, this offense looks nice. The defense looked really good as well, but I'll reserve the praise for next week if they can handle the Steelers when they go to Pittsburgh.
The (Now) LA Chargers seem to be incapable of playing in a boring game, unfortunately for them, they also seem incapable of winning them. I have to praise the fire this team showed in the 4th quarter, they never stopped fighting. Their offense struggled pretty much the whole game, aside from the late rally. I was really impressed by the duo of Bosa and Ingram, I think they could be one of the best defensive tandems of the season. The third quarter was the key, I believe Denver made better half time adjustments and that's what ultimately gave them the win. But I have to say, I'm looking forward to their game next week, it should be fun.
Great crowd in Denver, great crowd. Major props to the fans in the stadium. They were as much a factor in that game as anything else, that place is going to be trouble for any team. Denver has a great defense, we know that, that won them a super bowl not too long ago. What really impressed me was Trevor Siemian, he was taking shots for most of the game, and never lost his composure. You can tell he is motivated, playing for a contract. And this team, with that defense, and a motivated young QB, it's an uncomfortable matchup for anyone.