Every week during this NFL season, we’ll be featuring some varied takeaways from the week that was. Some tongue in cheek, others tongue out of cheek, if that’s how that works. Intermingled in some of the realities and reactions from around the league and the various things that made the week what it was…and what it will be. Let's get started with a look back at NFL Week 1.
Takeaways from Thursday Night
Well, THAT was interesting, no?
An unpredictable NFL season got off to a (predictably?) unpredictable start. To continue with this theme, what was fairly predictable was that the Chiefs were really good and moved the ball at will. And of course they added yet another weapon with some crazy upside in rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Because as if Pat Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Andy Reid's fog covered face guard weren't enough to pay attention to as is?
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!
I mean football was already back. But maybe it was the NFL RedZone network hypeman Scott Hanson’s face when he announced the kick off of “seven hours of football” that REALLY got me revved up. The games wouldn’t have even had to be good; just having them was enough. However, the product didn’t let down on any part of the Sunday slate.
The Colts looked a lot more like they could be picking up Trevor Lawrence than the Jaguars did.
In a game that was advertised as the first of 16 scheduled pinata-style beatings for Jacksonville, the Jaguars flipped the script. A team that has spent every available moment over the last year in an NBA-style tanking experience, stepped up and hit the Colts in the mouth. Gardner Minshew completed NINTY-FIVE percent of his passes and made the Colts look a lot more like the team that should be making way for a third franchise QB in the last 30 years than the Jags.
But with that said, there’s a long way to go. Even if both of these squads land in the top five together anyway.
The Ravens are better & it’s a lot more than just Lamar.
Some of it was definitely the Browns, but most of it was just the Ravens picking up where they dropped off a year ago. Lamar Jackson did whatever he wanted, although he used his feet less than he ever has in his career. Meanwhile, J.K. Dobbins blew up on the spot with a pair of TDs in his NFL debut, Hollywood Brown stayed as exciting as ever and the Ravens D held Odell Beckham Jr. to just 22 yards.
The outcome was a clear win and a notice that there’s not going to be any letup from the AFC’s top team through the first 16 games a year ago.
Josh Allen needs those glasses Redd Foxx had in Harlem Nights.
There’s a clear divide in what Josh Allen, Fantasy Football superstar, does on paper and the way it plays out in real life. Although he completed 71% of his passes for 312 yards and a pair of touchdowns, it played out in a slightly more cringe-worthy manner in real-life. Allen also had a pair of fumbles and twice overthrew a wide-open (and I mean the wide-open Wyoming plains that he spent his college days at level open) John Brown for could have been two more scores. Allen is uniquely positioned to inherit the 'Jameis Winston Ugly Good Fantasy QB’ trophy for the year.
Josh Jacobs could lead the league in rushing, this year.
In an era where the vast majority of marquee matchups are based around QB vs. QB showdowns, the most entertaining battle of the week was between Christian McCaffrey and Josh Jacobs in the debut of the Las Vegas Raiders and the Carolina Panthers. While McCaffrey was predictably great, it was Jacobs who continued to put the league on notice with his performance. He scored three times in an offense that is cleared based around getting him as many opportunities as possible.
While the Panthers’ defense looked fairly toothless at times, much props to the talent of Jacobs and the dogs on the Raiders O-Line. Don’t be surprised if Jacobs competes for—and ultimately wins—a sneaky rushing title in his sophomore season.
Cam Newton’s entrance music should be “Y’all Must Have Forgot." (Maybe Aaron Rodgers too.)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
A couple of former MVPs made it clear they still are who they think they are….even if some of us are starting to waver.
Super Cam made his return and was much more Henry Cavill than Brandon Routh with it. In just four quarters he produced as radical of a departure from the norm of the past two decades as possible in taking over the reigns at QB in New England. He scored twice on the ground and rocked a 20,000 kilowatt fit along with it that even Dick Tracy would give dap to. Welcome back Cam.
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers stepped straight out of the Delorean in how he carved up the Vikings and gave the Pack their fourth straight win over their divisional rivals. No matter what happens from here, he’s definitely earned a hell of a Christmas gift from Davante Adams (and his fantasy owners). The Vikings secondary? Not so much.
Oh, and if you have indeed forgot about where said theme song originated, allow me and the great Roy Jones Jr remind you.
I can’t believe the Bears have Ted Ginn Jr, Cordarrelle Patterson AND Jimmy Graham on the same team. And still getting reps.
That it. That’s the analysis.
I’m convinced Adrian Peterson could play another 10 years, minimum.
There is a chance that Ra’s Al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits are in fact a real thing and that Adrian Peterson owns several of them. He’s always been different and at 35 (and just grew as many gray hairs considering that) it doesn’t matter the jersey, he’s got a few turn ups left in him.
“Did we just become best friends?”
DeAndre Hopkins is proof of why you should NEVER look at your ex’s Instagram feed. But with a Sunday off after opening on Thursday night, Deshawn Watson couldn’t have missed his former top target snapping against the league’s top defense from a year ago. Nuk blew up for 14 catches and 151 yards in one of the upset specials of the weekend. The Cardinals new dynamic duo put the NFC Champs—as well as the rest of the NFC, in general—on notice, while Watson left making the best of what’s left in Houston.
Kyler Murray still runs like Super Mario before he gets a mushroom. But he’s a dark horse MVP contender if his defense stays strong like it was today and let's him & D-Hop’s work stand up.
Fancy new duds for the other L.A. team and a new franchise QB in Cincy
First of all, my retinas may never recover from the Chargers’ pants.
Bobby Ellis/Getty Images
But otherwise, the highlight of the Chargers/Bengals tilt was the debut of top pick Joe Burrow. Although he had no preseason to prep with, he looked remarkably prepared for his first professional action. While there were a few bumps along the way, he was mostly poised. This was clearly evident when he led what could have been a game winning drive, if not for Murphy’s Law also making its season debut via a go-ahead A.J. Green (remember him?) touchdown called off, followed by shanked kick that ended things.
The bright spot of this situation however was that it gave a fantastic hot mic moment that this season of empty stadiums should provide plenty of. Shortly after kicker Randy Bullock missed the kick, he immediately clinched his leg, citing a hamstring injury. Lets say it felt short of Oscar-worthy status, as the Bengals sideline could be heard telling him he had ‘one job’ in a very colorful manner.
The Geriatric Bowl 2K20
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
I’m sure by this point everyone has had more than enough fluff around the matchup of Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints and the debut of Tom Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And if you haven’t….well, you’ve come to the wrong place because that horse has been beaten beyond value for even the glue factory AND the weave shop. However, there are a few things that jumped off the page to me about this game.
- Drew Brees & Tom Brady’s combined age is older than anybody in my family.
- I don’t know who Scotty Miller is or when he got to Tampa but I think smallish, white receivers come with Tom Brady like a Happy Meal toy.
- NFL defenders are too fast for non-mobile, aging quarterbacks than don’t have downfield arm strength to respect. There is a chance that best fit QB for the Bucs was in the building on Sunday…but that he was wearing a Saints jersey and holding a clipboard next to Sean Payton. *Shrug*
Sunday & Monday Night
Three quick hits on the primetime action to round things up:
- The Cowboys have that feeling like they COULD be getting ready to be one of the great letdowns in recent memory. So, it is only fitting that they started the season against a Rams team that ran away with that title last year. To round things off, the two clubs faced off inside the palatial, yet massively cavernous palace that Stan Kroenke and Jerry Jones conspired to build….and had it all to themselves on Sunday Night.
However, that Aaron Donald? I don’t know anyone has heard, but he’s really good. And strong.
- On Monday, Ben Roethlisberger looked like he hasn’t missed a beat, while Saquon Barkley didn’t have time to miss a defender. The way the Steelers’ defensive line lived in Giants’ backfield, I wouldn’t be surprised if Saquon woke up with a few of them in his bed too. New NY HC Joe Judge better figure out how to put his top weapon to work quick, or that’s a fast track to making this short-lived opportunity for him.
- Finally, if Stephen Gostkowski was a cat, he wasted a whole lot of his lives on Monday Night. Gots to be more careful going ahead.
That’s all for now. We’ll get into some more hijinks next Tuesday.
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