An Overreaction To The NFL’s First Week

Welcome back, NFL!  This year, I’m switching up the format for the NFL weekend wrap-up.  It’ll be something new every week.  This week, we’re overreacting to Week 1.  Here’s five overreactions first, then we’ll hit on all the other games.

The Cowboys are screwed

This really isn’t an overreaction.  Even with the exciting win Sunday night against New York, the Cowboys came out of that game as losers.  Why?  Because honestly, no one should have won that game.  It sucked.  It was terrible for 59 minutes, and awesome for one minute.

Dez Bryant somehow got dehydrated in the first quarter, then proceeded to leave the game.  The reason?  Broken foot, out 4-6 weeks (Honestly, I don’t know how long.  No one apparently does).  This comes after him signing a contract extension making him the 4th highest paid wide receiver in the NFL, on an annual average basis.

This is a killer blow for a Dallas team that I already had missing the playoffs.  Dez is Tony Romo’s top target, and with no true running game, the Cowboys have a lack of weapons. A serious lack of weapons, because Dez was really all they had on offense.  Jason Witten is great, but isn’t a every down player.  Tight ends aren’t used like that.

I have doubts that Dallas will be able to rely on their defense.  There’s so much uncertainty there.

It’s a total hot take, and isn’t an overreaction to the weekend.  Dallas has some big time doubts from my end.

Peyton Manning is old and sucks now

I tried to make this case in my AFC Preview, that Peyton Manning’s days are limited, as the end of last season showed us.  Sunday was what Broncos’ fans feared.  That Manning was gonna come out as a stinker on Sunday.  And he sure did.

With a 26.4 QBR, Manning completed only 24 of his 40 passes for 175 yards and an interception.  His arm strength, which was the most concerning thing in the offseason, seemed there, but it was the spin of the ball that was the biggest problem for Manning Sunday.  The deep throws were a little off, but there was no “perfect Manning ball”.

It’s only Week 1, so we can’t start calling for Brock Osweiler, or bench Manning in fantasy yet.  It’s an overreaction.  That’s what all these are, right?

Marcus Mariota is a future Hall-Of-Famer

In the battle of the top two picks, is was the Oregon product who prevailed once again.

Marcus Mariota only threw the ball 16 times, but he completed 13 of those passes, and four of them were touchdown passes.  He had no turnovers, which gave him an insane debut QBR of 95.7.  He didn’t run much, but was very mobile throughout the pocket.  Most of all, he was electric, which was the only thing the Titans and their fans could have wanted.

Mariota was fun to watch.  He had my eyes on him the whole time.  It wasn’t easy to look at the rest of the field.

Tyrod Taylor is the Bills quarterback for the future

As I said in my preview, I was pumped for Tyrod Taylor’s debut.  I thought there was possibility he’d be good.  Sunday was a good start.  Taylor was 14/19 with 195 yards and a touchdown, good for a 88.2 QBR in his first NFL start.  Oh!  And he had a 31 yard run.  Talk about impressive.

Like Marcus Mariota, Tyrod Taylor was fun to watch.  He was the only thing my eyes were on.  Taylor showed off his arm, legs, and vision Sunday.  He had it all on Sunday.  But can he keep it going?

Buffalo beat Indianapolis 27-14 Sunday.  The Colts are gonna be one of the best teams in the league this year.  Who saw this coming?  No one did.  Not even the people who liked Tyrod Taylor did.  The Bills didn’t use LeSean McCoy much on Sunday, which was supposed to be another big debut.  Really, they didn’t have to.  Tyrod made things happen against the Colts.  He was throwing balls in between Colts defenders, finding his receiving in the middle.  Those throws were impressive.  You’d think this guy had played at least a season.

It’s Week 1.  We’re all overreacting.  I can’t trust Tyrod Taylor 100% yet, but next Sunday could seal the deal for me.

The Rams are actually good

Watching this game was me and my Dad, talking continuously about the Nick Foles-Sam Bradford trade.  Even though Nick Foles’ QBR was a 57.3 Sunday, the Rams offense looked great.  There were many big plays being produced.  Nick Foles lost two fumbles, but the offensive line is a work in progress for the Rams.  Let’s blame it on that for now.

Most impressive about the Rams 34-31 OT win over Seattle was the defense, who sacked Russell Wilson six times Sunday.  Aaron Donald was a beast, which wasn’t very surprising to me.

The NFC West looks pretty good after Week 1.  But again, it’s only Week 1.

You could make the case the Rams got lucky in this game.  To start overtime, the Seahawks tried an onside kick, which failed.  That was only one of the many bad coaching decisions from this week.  The Rams kicked what was the game winning field goal with that drive.

There’s aggressiveness and there’s bad decisions.  Pete Caroll’s call here wasn’t great.  I know, I know, we’d be praising it had they gotten the ball.  But you know your getting the ball back if the Rams kick a field goal, why take the chance here?  Trust your defense, which oh by the way, is one of the best in football.

Quick hits on all the other games: 

  • Pittsburgh’s rally in the 2nd half of the season’s opener wasn’t enough, but made gamblers loose it as they barely covered.  The Steelers secondary had my concerns coming into the season, and Thursday’s game wasn’t a shock.  This should remind other teams to not use a linebacker on Rob Gronkowski.  Final score: Patriots-28 Steelers-21
  • The Bears really didn’t look half bad on Sunday.  Jay Cutler threw an interception, but should we really be surprised? His QBR was a somber 29.6, mostly due to a poor completion percentage.  Matt Forte lit it up, running for 141 yards.  I was shocked that I actually cared about this game in it’s later part.  This was a game for Bears fans to get a gauge on this season.  It may not be as bad they expect it to be!  Final score: Packers-31 Bears-23
  • Remember when we thought the Texans could improve with Brian Hoyer?  Wait, that never happened!  Because we all knew what Brian Hoyer is, and the Texans found out what he was after he threw 34 passes and an interception.  Hoyer was eventually benched for Ryan Mallet, who’s QBR was a 85.9 in the time he played Sunday.  Now, the Texans won’t name a starting quarterback for Week 2.  They’re gonna pull an Urban Meyer and just trot someone out before kickoff next weekend, I guess.  Final score: Kansas City-27 Houston-20
  • Josh McCown threw eight passes before getting suffering a concussion on Sunday.  We all knew what that meant.  Johnny Manziel finished with a QBR of 52.2, which, I guess.  See, here’s the thing with Johnny:  He’s either great and super entertaining, or not great and boring.  Sunday was not great and boring.  Sorry, but the Manziel hype/media train has derailed, for now.  Final score: NYJ-31 Cleveland-10
  • Haha this game was terrible.  Dolphins-Redskins was probably the worst game of the weekend.  I mean, neither quarterback had a QBR above 50.  It took three quarters for the Dolphins offense to get going.  Yeah… nothing more to see here.  Final score: Miami-17  Washington-10
  • Another really sucky game.  Blake Bortles wasn’t great, with a QBR of 25.4 and two interceptions.  Since last year was so bad, he could be on a shorter leash than we think.  It’s hard to imagine the 2014 No.3 overall pick being benched early in his 2nd season, but we know what head coach Gus Bradley’s leash is.  Bortles could be on a similar one.
  • I can’t wait to see Chris Johnson start for three games! Um, yeah right.  Johnson had 10 carries for 37 yards yesterday, and will be starting at least two games after Andre Ellington’s PCL sprain.  I thought Arizona used the passing game nicely on Sunday.  Also, HONEY BADGER.  He was an animal against the Saints.  Final score: Arizona-31  New Orleans-19
  • Lions-Chargers was great.  Remember that column I wrote about the Wisconsin-Nebraska game from last college football season, where I furiously defended Ameer Abdullah over Melvin Gordon? Yeah, they met again Sunday.  Both had similar stats, though Abdullah ripped off a beautiful 24 yard touchdown run.  Final score: San Diego-33 Detroit-28
  • Bengals-Raiders was an ugly game, and it only got worse for Oakland when Derek Carr hurt his hand and left the game.  Matt McGloin was okay in the backup position, but isn’t the guy you’d want starting in multiple games.  No one can give an accurate timeline on Carr, so there’s not much else to say.  You just gotta hope, Raiders’ fans.  Final score: Cincinnati-33 Oakland-13
  • I was pumped for the Monday Night Doubleheader.  Eagles-Falcons had all the storylines in the world, and the Vikings were getting Adrian Peterson back.  Little did we know, none of the storylines really took shape, besides the fact that the Eagles barely have any wide receivers and that the Vikings’ offensive line concerns could derail their season.
  • Jameis Winston’s debut wasn’t at all like Marcus Mariota’s .  He completed 16/33 passes, with two interceptions in the loss. Winston had some trouble holding onto the ball, which wasn’t a surprise giving how he was in college.  Based off Week 1, it looks like Winston is the project, and Mariota’s the instant stud.
  • Marcus Mariota had the highest QBR out of anyone this weekend.