Questions and Observations (And Overreactions!) From Week 1

With every Week 1 comes way too many hot takes, overreactions, and crazy fantasy moves.  So here are mine:

Denver just has Carolina’s edge, thats all

I thought Trevor Siemian played pretty well Thursday night, but he wasn’t the reason Denver got the win.

First, Graham Gano missed a game-winner with nine seconds left.  Talk about barely pulling through.

Secondly, Denver’s defense (expectedly) was amazing, and shut down Carolina’s offense just like they did in February.

Thats the point here.  Carolina isn’t a bad team because they lost to a team who’s QB was making his career debut.  They just simply can never get going against Denver’s scheme.

In every sport, there’s always someone that a certain team struggles with.  Carolina always struggles with Denver, as we’ve seen twice now in the past seven months.  Thats all.  Something about the Denver defense doesn’t allow Carolina to move the ball effectively, and that was the difference in February and Thursday night.  So stop flipping out about the Panthers.

The Browns might actually be dreadful

Remember when I had hopes for the Browns this year?  Yeah, well, those hopes are already nonexistent.

The Browns offense looked so discombobulated and poorly executed Sunday.  And it wasn’t like the Eagles were doing anything fancy defensively.  It really looked like a lack of knowledge by the Browns.

And it was on both sides too.  The Browns let Carson Wentz, a rookie, throw two touchdowns and 278 yards on them.  And its not like Wentz is a star QB or anything.  If anything, you’d expect Wentz to struggle.  The Browns did nothing to faze him.

This isn’t a case of being “unprepared” or having a bad game.  We knew this defense was gonna be bad.  Now, we’re just witnessing it, and its a lot worse than I thought it’d be.

The Browns are about to get a lot worse too.  With Robert Griffin lll’s injury, good ole Josh McCown is now the starting quarterback for Cleveland.

I mean good God!  How much brutality can these fans take?  At least RG3 gave them some hope!

I’ll be floored if McCown can command (Command is very strong word to use there) the offense like RG3 did.  We know the story with McCown by now.

If I’m Cleveland, I’m starting Cody Kessler.  Let the rookie show what he can do.  Its a way to get fans and the media talking.  At this point, what do the Browns have to lose?

How exactly did the Chiefs and Raiders beat their opponent(s)?

There were many good early games, and these two with their dramatic finishes decided to correspond with each other.

The Chiefs were an absolute mess in the first half.  It looked like a typical Alex Smith offense.

The Chiefs biggest problem in the first half was protection.  The offensive line play was absolutely horrendous.  There was one drive where on every play, multiple lineman were missing assignments, leading to Chargers in the backfield constantly.  I was literally watching in disbelief.  I mean, some of the Chiefs’ lineman weren’t executing basic offensive line concepts.  This is stuff I learned in 3rd grade football that Kansas City failed to do up front.

But then Keenan Allen got hurt, and it drained the Chargers effort supply (and perhaps for the season too).  You could tell San Diego was totally thrown off guard and disturbed by it, and it killed them the rest of the game.

In addition, Kansas City’s defense showed up in the 2nd half.  There’s defenses showing up, and then there’s Kansas City’s defense showing up.  Its two different things, and the Chargers found that out in the 4th quarter.

Allen’s a huge loss for the Chargers.  The whole thing totally sucks, as this is the 3rd year in a row Allen has had a season-ending injury.  Philip Rivers is gonna have to make due without his top weapon once again, which is an all-too familiar task for the aging QB.

I think the biggest takeaway from the Raiders-Saints game is, holy crap, these teams can score.

It didn’t matter how big the lead was, Oakland was resilient.  But so was New Orleans, and thats what made this game so fun.

It was hard to analyze.  It was truly a game where you could sit back and watch and enjoy.

I was a little bit skeptical of Drew Brees this year.  It wasn’t so much his age I was worried about, but more the weapons he has and the overall crappiness of his team.  It just felt like this year could’ve been the breaking point.

But here’s the thing about Brees:  He’s one of those quarterbacks that makes everyone around him so much better.  Like Tom Brady.  Like Dirk in basketball.  Like Steve Nash.

Thats why the Saints might escape true crappiness this year.  Brees won’t let them.  The defense might, but Brees won’t.

Did we all get the AFC South backwards?

Before you call me crazy…  Yes, I’m aware Houston won.  

This is definitely an overreaction, but I thought the Texans looked awful against Chicago on Sunday.  Brock Osweiler’s stat line turned out surprisingly well, but if you tuned in to this game at any moment, you’d think the opposite.

Many times Osweiler under threw balls, or miscommunicated with a receiver.  It was constant and extremely hard to watch, especially when you have such confidence in a guy like I did with Osweiler.

I get he’s a young quarterback with limited experience in a new offense and playing for a new team, but for these poorly thrown balls and miscommunications to be happening so often was unacceptable.

Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins were awesome, which isn’t surprising.  Its worth noting that Hopkins’ touchdown catch was an amazing one, as it was (Here we are again!) a poorly throw ball from Osweiler.

It was a lucky win from the Texans.  They’re fortunate the Bears out-sucked them.

Flipping to the Jaguars…  I mean, wow!  What opposite turnouts!

Jacksonville barely lost to the Packers.  This is the frisky Jags team I was talking about in the preview.  Blake Bortles was awesome (So was Aaron Rodgers, of course), making Rodgers-esque throws throughout the game.  Jacksonville’s defense did a good job containing the Packers in the 2nd half, limiting them to two field goals.

The difference was Jacksonville’s inexperience.  Multiple mistakes on the final drive, including a killer holding penalty and a couple of almost-turnovers, killed the Jags hope at the upset.

Still though, it was much more impressive than Houston’s win.  If this becomes a common trend, the Jaguars are the ones to beat in the AFC South.

Other notes from the week:

  • The AFC West is awesome.  The Chiefs and Broncos have their issues, but they’re still gonna make for fun teams.  And Oakland (I know its been a week) is for real.
  • Leave it to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets to blow games at the end.  After the Bengals took the lead, the Jets had 54 seconds to go 75 yards.  Sure, thats a tough task, but they at least could have made more progress.  Instead, Fitzpatrick threw an interception on the 3rd play of the drive.  What else is new?
  • It was easy to see that Minnesota took some time to get used to each other.  It was a dreadful first half for the Vikings, as they failed to get anything going.  In the 2nd half though, things changed.  Minnesota’s defense stepped up and scored two touchdowns, making fantasy owners very happy.
  • Tennessee played fine, but the Vikings’ stingy D was just too much.
  • Sunday’s game is why I have Tampa Bay making the playoffs.  Jamies Winston lit it up, though the Falcons defense isn’t exactly the best in the league.
  • What an absolute crapfest Bills-Ravens was.  It never seemed like Buffalo could get any offense going, but its not like Baltimore did anything special offensively either.
  • Aaron Rodgers was absolutely incredible on Sunday.  Some of the throws he made were outstanding.  Its nice to have him on my TV screen again.
  • What a great slew of late afternoon games; all were close and went down to the wire
  • Miami’s defense might be good!
  • Its probably a combination of good defense and the fact that Seattle never plays well in Week 1.  In fact, Seattle is becoming that team that sucks the first four or five games of the year, then pulls it together.  They’ll be fine.  Again, the biggest takeaway from that game was Miami’s defense playing very well.
  • And if Russell Wilson misses time, its no big deal.  They might have the same record with him through the first four or five games.  If we get the chance, I’m excited for Trevone Boykin.  He’s practically Russell 2.0.
  • Oh man, Kenny Stills, you have to catch that ball.  The Dolphins might have won had he caught that.
  • The Colts defense is so bad that even Andrew Luck couldn’t save them.
  • Dak Prescott joined the large number of young quarterbacks who played extremely well in career and/or team debuts.  He wasn’t great, but I was genuinely impressed.  If only Terrence Williams was aware of the clock…
  • I could write a whole column on the Patriots-Cardinals game.  The simple explanation is that we missed a field goal.  Its partly true, but there was a lot of things Arizona could have done to not put themselves in that situation.
  • Add Jimmy Garappolo to the list of young quarterbacks who impressed greatly in their first starts.   He had total control of the Patriots offense which proceeded to shred Arizona’s defense.
  • Antonio Brown is really good.
  • I have no comment on the Rams-49ers game.