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Thoughts On The NFL: Week 1

What stood out around the NFL after Week 1

Kansas City Chiefs v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Kansas City vs. New England

What an opener to the 2018 NFL season! The standouts from this matchup were Alex Smith who turned into a gunslinger all of the sudden and played his best game in recent memory. He launched a few bombs that embarrassed the Patriot defense. Kareem Hunt who despite fumbling on his first NFL carry after not doing so after 800+ snaps went on to be dominant in the run and as a receiver. He looked like a star for the Chiefs. The Chief defense surprisingly was able to stop and fluster Tom Brady and the Patriot offense. The Brady to Cooks/Gronk combination was impressive at times but the New England team just looked strangely inconsistent nearly all game. I’m sure Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia are going to have some choice words for the team and the defense in particular after this outing. I picked the Chiefs to get into the playoffs via wildcard but if they play that they did Thursday night they will take the division.

Oakland vs. Tennessee

Beastmode is back and he looks good! Marshawn Lynch displayed the power and balance on his runs we have become so accustomed to and pinballed his body off several tackle attempts. The Raider offensive line was also solid for most of the game as they provided room to run and protected Carr. Carr targeted Amari Cooper several times in the red zone and the two finally linked up for a touchdown on a play that displayed Cooper's great effort after the catch as he kept his balance after almost being tackled with his teammate right behind him to push him into the end zone. Carr to Crabtree/Cook looked great as well. The Raider defense looked out of sorts at times especially giving up chunk plays in the air. Mariota looks great and showed off his dynamic skillset with a rushing TD. One thing I will be interested to see if how Tennessee will distribute its targets. They have Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis, Tawan Taylor, Eric Decker, and Delanie Walker for starters that's a lot of weapons but only one ball.

Philadelphia vs. Washington

I had to sit down and catch up with this game as I wasn't perched in front of my tv for it. After watching I don't think the predictions of 5-11 are correct. Sure the team did not operate at their best, Moses was awful, the running backs were awful, Cousins was not good but the defense was obviously improved. Carson Wentz is a slick player and alluded a couple sacks but the amount of pressure generated this game is something they can hang their hat on. Also, the secondary was mostly good save for losing receivers once the play is extended. But despite the positives they lost and we as fans know what they have to improve: Pass protection and run blocking, the receivers must be consistent and that goes two fold for the QB. I love the pressure off the edge but I would like to see more created up the middle as well. The story after a Redskins loss is usually the same, they beat themselves but if they can correct it they might have a shot at a wild card after all. They have to turn it around next week and go on a run the importance of the first half schedule can't be overstated.

Arizona vs. Detroit

I was most excited to see what Matt Stafford would do after becoming the NFL’s highest paid QB. For the most part, he didn't disappoint, he threw a pick 6 in the beginning of the game but got back on track the rest of the game and threw some impressive passes. Sometimes Stafford looks like Eli Manning in the pocket under pressure the way he just flops down and other times he looks like Aaron Rodgers with the way he is able to escape. A player to keep an eye on though is Kenny Golladay who had two impressive touchdowns. It’s obvious the Lions loved him during draft time but this kid is a true deep and red zone threat and he will be built around in Detroit. The Cardinal offense looks bad. Carson Palmer was terrible and David Johnson injured himself. While the secondary looked good at times it's clear the Cardinals need to regroup for next week.

New York (Jets) vs. Buffalo

The Jets are terrible. Josh McCown is terrible. It’s a shame because the Jets have a few potential great players at the receiver position in ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. The Jets defense had little answer for new Bills receiver Jordan Matthews. Frankly, if the Bills defense was better this would have been a massacre.

Jacksonville vs. Houston

Great news for Jacksonville, Blake Bortles doesn't look like complete trash, Leonard Fournette looks great, and their defense is solid. The front seven for Jacksonville is impressive actually. In this game, particularly impressive were edge rushers Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler. Bad news for the Texans they need to decide who starts at QB and stick with it. DeShaun Watson played with an obvious spark but I understand the Texans not wanting to throw him into the fire immediately. They may not have a choice though they won't go anywhere with Tom Savage.

Carolina vs. San Francisco

Man, Pierre Garcon looks so weird in a 49ers jersey. I don’t like it. He was the best thing going for the 49ers all game though. The Carolina defensive line proved to be too much for San Fran as they pressured Brian Hoyer all game long and forced him to make bad decisions and the 49 secondary wasn’t good enough to stop Cam Newton. Christian McCaffery looked good for the most part, I’m surprised they didn't use him more throughout the game despite an inopportune fumble late in the game.

Los Angeles (Chargers) vs. Denver

This was the best game of week 1. Denver looks like they were going to run away with it when the score was 21-3 in the 3rd quarter. Trevor Siemien is not bad. He made several impressive throws and was helped out by his running back C.J. Anderson and of course his receivers. The Chargers looked decent as well. Their secondary is lacking but their front seven is decent. Melvin Ingram looks great he was making plays all night and help with the comeback started by Phillip Rivers and co. I was shocked that Hunter Henry was so quiet this game but the coverage on him by the Denver safeties was pretty good. It came down to the last play of the game where L.A. tried to tie it with a field goal but it was blocked. A tough loss by the Chargers but they should be encouraged by their play.

Dallas vs. New York (Giants)

I am so disappointed in the Giants. I pegged them as the team winning the NFC East but with that terrible performance Sunday night I’m not so sure. On paper, the Giants offense looks good. But on Sunday night it was awful, in particular, the run game. They are going to have to figure that out fast but Paul Perkins and the other backs had nothing going for them. Eli was terrible and looked to have no chemistry with his receivers. On defense, their front 7 should be the best in the division but they only managed to make a few plays. Dak Prescott looks solid and Jason Witten is cheating father time. Prescott is an extremely composed QB, if the Skins are going to beat Dallas at all this year they will have to really rattle him.

Los Angeles (Rams) vs. Indianapolis

Scott Tolzien was playing, I am not impressed. I do hope Gruden has thoroughly game planned for facing our former offensive coordinator. He knows the offense inside and out so hopefully Gruden has a few offensive concepts he’s kept close to the vest. A few months ago I said something akin to Cooper Kupp is the prototypical receiver for Jay Gruden's offense. Well, it seems he is the prototypical fit in Sean McVay's offense. Kupp was great this game and should continue to see consistent targeting. Additionally, I hope Morgan Moses’ ankle is ready and the rest of the offensive line is embarrassed and ready to atone they will need it against the Rams front 7.

Baltimore vs. Cincinnati

The Cincinnati offense initially wasn't that bad. The ball was moving down the field and then Dalton started throwing picks. Bad decision after bad decision plagued Dalton and the offense never regained a rhythm. It didn't help that the Ravens defense was relentless. Joe Flacco didn't play particularly well either and was bailed out by West and Woodhead a lot of the time I wonder if he is actually 100% healthy.

New Orleans vs. Minnesota

Stefon Diggs is an absolute monster. Sam Bradford had one of his best career games, Dalvin Cook looks like a feature back through one game, and the Viking defense was able to keep one of the best Qbs in the league largely in check until the tail end of the game. Things are looking up for the Vikings.

Drew Brees still has it. It's so fun to watch him throw the ball down the field. He still has some of the best accuracy in the game and can deliver a dime at will. AP may have signed with the wrong team if he thinks he's going to be the feature back and will have a shot at over 1,000 yards this season. I’m sure he will be worked in more but there are a lot of mouths to feed in the Saint backfield and as we've seen over the years a lot of production comes through the air.

Atlanta vs. Chicago

Austin Hooper was a stiff arming, tackling breaking, YAC machine on Sunday. Aside from single handedly helping me win one of many fantasy matchups Hooper was the best thing going for the Falcons offense through the air. The Falcons looked like a shell of the team we saw last year defensively. I expected a near run away with them playing the Bears but Mike Glennon and Co. performed admirably. When the Bears develop a bit more chemistry they should rely heavily on the run game no matter who’s QB. They don't have a lot of weapons at receiver but Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen look like they could be a dangerous one two punch.

Seattle vs. Green Bay

Both offenses started off anemic but it was the Packers who finally got into a rhythm. It may be Seattle's offense but it feels like Russell Wilson is missing a piece at receiver. Doug Baldwin is fine and Richardson is a good deep threat but they need another playmaker there. I have no idea why Jimmy Graham is in Seattle, he is a shell of his former self. Give Aaron Rodgers enough time and he will pick apart a defense and that's what happened.

Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland

I’m shocked the score was this close. I can’t tell if Pittsburgh’s defense was that bad or if the Browns are that much improved. It will be a rough few weeks but I think Deshone Kizer has ROY potential. I’m still convinced he is and will prove himself to be the best QB in the draft class and he has a chance to lift spirits in Cleveland. I’m a little surprised Pittsburgh’s offense wasn't more prolific. Brown and James did well but with Martavis Bryant back I expected a few more plays between him and Roethlisberger. Oh, and T.J. Watt looks great.