10 Takeaways From NFL Week One
The NFL is finally here in full swing with week 1 in the books, there were some surprises and some things that we all expected.
Here are my 10 biggest takeaways from this first week.
1. Matt Nagy is a bad play caller
If you watched the AFC Wild Card game last year between the Chiefs and Titans, then you saw a Chiefs team that dominated the first half and then curled up and died in the second half. They stopped doing what worked so well for them. The Bears did the same thing on Sunday night. And Matt Nagy was the play caller for both games. Nagy’s offense has scored 3 total points in the second half of his last two games. His teams blew a 17 and 20 point lead. I just need someone to explain why he was throwing the ball on 3rd and 1 at the 15 after torching the Packers’ run defense that entire drive. Run it twice, run some clock, and worst case scenario, you leave Aaron Rodgers under two minutes to drive 85 yards to beat you.
2. Speaking of Aaron Rodgers…
On paper, the Vikings are the best team in the North. They have an incredible defense, explosive offensive weapons, and a reliable quarterback. But they don’t have Aaron Rodgers. Watching that second half was magical (And as a Bears’ fan, painful). The Vikings have more talent, but the Packers have the X-factor. It’s clear that with Rodgers, this team is as dangerous as anyone in football.
3. The Browns have improved, but Hue hasn’t
That Steelers/Browns game was bad to watch. I’ll give them a pass and chalk it up to horrible weather. But either way, the Browns actually look like a football team. They forced turnovers, made tackles, and moved the ball on offense when they needed to. However, the coaching looks as bad as ever. You know there’s dysfunction when the man who Hue insisted wasn’t going to start was on the field for the first play of the game. Then there was the awful jump ball to Josh Gordon at the end of regulation when the Browns were in field goal range. And then there’s the offense simply LOSING yards after a Joe Schobert interception put them in field goal range in OT. I know Haley calls the plays, but Jackson needs to step up and make some decisions to put him team in a position to win (Like starting Baker Mayfield next week).
4. The Chargers are running out of limbs to shoot themselves in
Every time I watch the Chargers, I wonder how they will blow the game. I watched multiple dropped passes (including some potential touchdowns), an awful interception, a punt return when the returner was essentially cornered, and an odd decision to go for two early in the game. And if all that wasn’t enough, they missed a field goal! It’s amazing that this team can’t find a good kicker. This team has talent. But they can’t afford to get off to ANOTHER slow start. Especially with how dynamic the Chiefs offense looked in week 1.
5. The Bills are the worst team in football
I predicted the Bills to go 2-14, figuring they could snag a couple wins from the Dolphins and Jets. After watching Sunday’s game, 2 wins might’ve been generous. Sean McDermott decided to trot Nathan Peterman out again. Apparently his 5 interception performance from last year wasn’t a good enough reason to start Allen. After an abysmal half (5/18 24 yards, 2 ints), the Bills turned to first round pick Josh Allen. He was arguably worse. While his numbers were better (6/15 74 yards, 26 yards rushing), he was facing the Ravens backup. The second half of that game was essentially a fifth preseason game. The Bills have put themselves in a terrible position. They will likely have the number 1 pick this year. They will have to decide whether to ride with Josh Allen or draft another QB. I think they will ride with Allen. And when they do, they will dig themselves a hole that will take a very long time to get out of.
6. And while we’re talking about the AFC East
The Patriots are still the kings of the east. There’s no denying that. But, the Jets and Dolphins actually looked like competent football teams. They won’t challenge the Patriots for first, but they could each take a game of the Pats. Tannehill looked relatively solid, completing nearly 75% of his passes for 230 yards, 2 TDs and 2 ints. Darnold looked impressive as well in his debut. Throwing a pick six on your first NFL pass isn’t ideal but he settled in and had a solid game. The entire Jets’ team looked good. The Lions were projected by many to be a solid team this year but the Jets made them look really bad. Matt Stafford, one of the most expensive QBs in football, threw 4 interceptions and the defense gave up 48 points. Not the way Matt Patricia wanted to start his head coaching career.
7. Fitzmagic is alive and well
I love Ryan Fitzpatrick. Every time you think he’s dead, he reminds you why he’s earned the nickname “Fitzmagic”. I’m sure he’ll play solid the next couple weeks, some team will need a QB, and the Buccs will trade him for a mid round pick. He’ll then go into the tank like he did for the Bills a few years ago. But for now, we all need to embrace and cherish the magic, because we don’t know how much longer we’ll have it.
8. It may be time to move on from the QB class of 2015
The first two picks of the 2015 QB class were Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Neither have really panned out thus far. Winston is suspended the first 3 games of the season and has never put up great numbers. He has a career record of 18-27 with 69 TDs to 44 Ints. He’s always been a head case and has never shown the maturity needed to lead a team. Mariota however, is not a head case. He’s shown maturity and leadership ability. His win-loss record is closer to .500 and he lead his team to the playoffs last year. However, after a solid second season (26 TDs against 9 ints), he just hasn’t hit that next level. Some thought that this year could be it with a new offensive coordinator. However, his first game this season didn’t look promising. Maybe it’s the growing pains of a new system, but if Winston and Mariota don’t step it up, the Titans and Buccaneers may be in the market for a QB sooner rather than later.
9. Poor Russell Wilson
Not many people predicted great things for the Seahawks. They lack offensive weapons, the Legion of Boom is no more, and the offensive line is terrible. But maybe, just maybe, Russell Wilson could lead this team to the playoffs. Maybe the defense will be pretty good with the infusion of youth. But, if you watched the game, you saw that the offensive line woes trumped any hope. Wilson was sacked 6 times, including 3 by Von Miller. If Russell Wilson, one of the most elusive QBs in football, is sacked six times, you know your offensive line is bad. And things don’t get easier next week. The Seahawks face Khalil Mack and the Bears on Monday night. If they don’t figure out a way to fix the offensive line, we may not see Russell Wilson play 16 games.
10. Washington might be legit
The Redskins looked like a good football team. Alex Smith was typical Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson looked 10 years younger. Chris Thompson also looked very solid, amassing 128 yards on 11 touches. And then there’s the defense, who held the very dangerous David Johnson in check and held a relatively talented offense to just 6 points. The Eagles may still be the best team in the NFC East, but the Redskins are right on their heels.
-Stephen Brown III
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