What We Learned: The NFL Week 1

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Week one has provided fans many interesting story threads to follow this year. What have we learned this week in the NFL? 

ARI Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona offense revolves around David Johnson. If he gets hurt the Cardinals season is tanked. Their receiving core’s only weapon is the fossil known as Larry Fitzgerald. Sam Bradford is a good quarterback but is not enough to drag the passing game to relevance. Although the defense has talent in Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson, there are holes to be exploited. The Redskins have proved that.

ATL Atlanta Falcons

Steve Sarkisian needs to be fired immediately. The Falcons offense is talented at every level. His play calling is simply unacceptable. Dan Quinn’s defense did it’s part by limiting the Eagles to 18 total points. This is not Matt Ryan’s fault. If his first read is always covered with no receivers coming open then there’s only one person to blame. Before it’s too late the Falcons need to get rid of their OC before another season is wasted. The Falcons are like if you give a player in Madden the highest overall team and they still lose.

BAL Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco seems motivated and back to his 2012 form. Lamar Jackson appears to have lit a fire underneath the veteran. The once lethargic offense sprang to life putting up 47 points. With the defense seeming stout as well the Ravens could rise to challenge the Steelers for division dominance.

BUF Buffalo Bills

Do the Bills have a quarterback in Nathan Peterman? No. Is Josh Allen ready to take over the starting job? Definitely not. Can the Bills’ defense stop anyone? Appears not. Can we pronounce the Bill’s season dead? Not yet, but we’re close.

CAR Carolina Panthers

It’s too early to say for sure if the Panther’s will contend once again in one of the strongest divisions in football. However, the pass game seems lacking. Again the previous NFL MVP appears to have a sub par receiving core. But, Christian McCaffrey had a strong showing with 16 total touches for almost 100 yards. If the second year player takes another step this year he may contend for Running Back of the Year or even MVP. The defense is the same as it always was in the past. A strong run stuffing squad that gives up very few points. If Cam and crew step up the Panthers could return to Super Bowl form.

CHI Chicago Bears

I have no idea what to think about the Bears. Khalil Mack and the defense looked devastating versus the Packers’ offense for three quarters until Aaron Rodgers performed his dark sorcery to haul his team to a win. Against any other team the Bears defense might’ve single handedly won the game. Now the offense of the Bears is a different story. Trubisky does not appear to have improved. Sure he was efficient but it was more of the same checkdowns and failed shots down field. Jordan Howard flashed multiple times but a running game alone is not enough. If the Bears offense had done anything in the second half the Bears would’ve won the game. There is no excuse for their failings. I’m not impressed by the Bears and if their quarterback does not take the next step then their future is essentially the same as past years.

CIN Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton is capable of leading a team. Joe Mixon looks like a veteran running back capable of being the focal point of the offense. John Ross and A.J. Green could become a feared tandem. The offensive line is solid. On defense they have playmakers on every level. Like every year the Bengals have so much potential. It’s a shame they’ll lose in the first round of the playoffs again…

CLE Cleveland Browns

They break their losing streak with a tie…what a Browns thing to do…

DAL Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott was drafted in the fourth round for a reason. He is an average quarterback. Given his severe lack of receivers over the past two seasons we’ve seen his weaknesses revealed. Even with Elliot at his side the Cowboy’s offense was still pathetic. For the first time in many years the defense has depth at every level but like a lot of teams the talent of one side of the ball is being wasted by the other. An offense devoid of playmakers could spell doom for the Cowboys this year.

DEN Denver Broncos

Von Miller and company looked dominate. They devoured Russell Wilson. The addition of Bradley Chubb seems to have made an immediate impact. Case Keenum struggled with turnovers during the game but that’s still an improvement over the Trevor Siemian lead attack of last year. With decent quarterback play the Broncos look to have a decent season.

DET Detroit Lions
What was that? Stafford looked like trash. The defense was under prepared. We understand that Matt Patricia is a new coach but this was disappointing. In the best division in football this showing spells trouble.

GB Green Bay Packers

The Packers season was almost destroyed with one play. Without Aaron Rodgers the offense is useless. The defense is,however, better than last year. Whenever Aaron Rodgers defense has given up less than 23 points in a playoff game the Green Bay quarterback have won. If the defense replicates their week one performance this might be the year the Packers make it back to the Superbowl and reclaim the trophy that holds their  former coach’s name.

HOU Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson was worse than disappointing in his week one debut. He looked like a completely different player. The Texan defense under performed as well. Watt, Clowney, and Merciless provided next to no pressure on Brady. Was the hype for this team just too much?

IND Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck’s return was a mixed bag. The quarterback flashed at some points that made us remember his MVP-caliber season. Other times he looked mediocre at best. Unfortunately, for the Colts their defense didn’t deliver. They left receivers wide open and running lanes a plenty. Only with a vintage Luck season can the Colts compete against the Jags for division dominance.

JAX Jacksonville Jaguars

Blake Bortles is a mediocre quarterback. But, with a defense as historically great as the Jags if he can limit himself to one turnover a game then it’s likely the team will find themselves in the playoffs again this season. This is predicated on the health of Leonard Fournette however. The running back dealt with injuries last season which lead to a few game slide for the squad. His health is critical for the Jacksonville team.

KC Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes wowed us. The offense looked explosive and dangerous. A higher powered air attack is new to the Chiefs but if their second year quarterback plays half as well as he did versus a daunting Chargers defense then it will become their new norm. It’s sad that their defense appears to not be able to stop a nosebleed. The Chiefs will need more devastating performances from Pat Mahomes and Tyreek Hill to continue producing.

LAC Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers always start off slow. It’s likely they’ll bounce bag after their week 1 defeat. Rivers played great and if not for a few blown plays the defense was solid. They should still be the favorite to win their division.

LAR Los Angeles Rams

Dream team? Do they have a weakness? After the thrashing they gave to the Raiders and Pro Bowler Derek Carr, the Rams might be the team to fear in the NFC.

MIA Miami Dolphins

Even though the Dolphins won, it’s not saying much. Ryan Tannehill turned the ball over twice and at times looked uncertain. He’ll probably return to his mediocre form. The defense, despite forcing multiple turnovers, still had holes. If not for the inefficiency of the Titan’s Offense the Dolphins still might have lost the game. They are probably in a rebuilding year.

MIN Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins looked like exactly what the Vikings needed. He kept the offense moving and did not turn the ball over. Dalvin Cook flashed and looked promising. But, the group that stole the show was the defense. Picking off Garoppolo three times is no easy feet. They single handedly won the game for the Vikings in a truly impressive debut. This group could challenge the Packers even with a healthy Rodgers. That is scary.

NE New England Patriots

Tom Brady takes below average players and makes them weapons. Judging by the Patriot’s week 1 performance they’ll probably be fine. However, the real time to judge them will be week 2 versus the Jaguars. The Pats also displayed a much improved pass rush that looked dominate at times. Combine Tom Brady with a defense and the Patriots have always made it to the Superbowl.

NO New Orleans Saints

Will this be another wasted year for Brees? He continued to produce for his team but like in years past the defense looked dreadful. We should remember the defense started off poor last season. But, at least we know the offense is still in good hands.

NYG New York Giants

Saquon Barkley looked explosive even against the stout Jaguar defense. Odell Beckham appeared to have returned to old form. The defense seem average. But, like last year, the Offensive Line and Eli Manning under performed. If Manning doesn’t step up his play even more potential will be wasted on this Giants squad.

NYJ New York Jets

Sam Darnold is good. Even with his first pass being a pick six. Minus his first pass the rookie had a passer rating of over 140. It’s too early to tell about the defense but they also looked dangerous. I’m looking forward to the Patriots and Jets rivalry picking up once again this year.

OAK Oakland Raiders

That all looked bad. Maybe paying Jon Gruden 100 million dollars and getting rid of Khalil Mack was a bad idea…however we can’t really judge them till next year. What can judge them on however is the travesty of a performance they put on week 1. This might be a long year for the Raider faithful.

PHI Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz better get back soon. Nick Foles is the one weakness on this squad other than the porous secondary. Other than that, the defending Super Bowl champs look solid. The running game has picked up where it left off last season and the front seven on defense are just as awe inspiring.

PIT Pittsburgh Steelers

What was that? Five turnovers? Giving up 14 points in the last ten minutes? The Steelers are a talented team but they continuously play down to their competition. Big Ben looks old. The once vaunted Steelers defense is lacking. This could be the year the wheels fall off the machine. Especially with the surging Bengals.

SEA Seattle Seahawks

Two words. Russell. Wilson. That’s the Seattle Seahawks.

SF San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo looked off. The offense faltered for most of the game. This is probably due to the Viking defense but it’s still a story to watch. One of the understated stand outs of the game was the defensive line of the 49ers. DeForest Buckner and company put pressure on Cousins and the running game all day. They might contend for a playoff spot.

TB Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There’s now a quarterback controversy in Tampa Bay. It won’t translate to much because the defense is about as effective as a sunken pirate ship.

TEN Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota again looked entirely lost on a football field. For a team that seemed to be trying to rebuild the Patriots on their roster over the off season they may have missed the biggest aspect of that system. Mariota might be heading to Bustburg.

WAS Washington Redskins

The Redskins offensive line is incredible. Even with aging skill position players the Alex Smith lead offense ran over their competition. Last year the Redskins had the worst ranked rushing defense. This appears to have changed since they stifled the Cardinals’ potent ground game. Their division is stacked but Redskins are definitely an upward trending team.

 

For most of these take them with a grain of salt. Every team or player can have a bad game. Who knows, maybe even the Bills can turn their season around.

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