Week 1, of the 2016 NFL Season is in the books. But no prelude necessary. Just know that football is back, coaches routinely outsmart themselves and play not to lose rather than playing to win and Dallas sucks… here’s what the film says…
Panthers at Broncos
- Super Bowl 50 rematch advantage… Sieman?
- Cam Newton took a beating: 18 of 33, for 194 yards 1 TD 1 INT and a rushing TD; several helmet-to-helmet hits no flags; that’s what you get for being a created, test tube specimen. In all seriousness the officials/league have to tighten up.
- C.J. Anderson came to play with 137 total yards and 2 TDs.
- Good to see Kelvin Benjamin back 6/91/1.
- Luke Kuechly is everywhere… 10 tackles.
- The Broncos still playing D, woke up after half time holding Cam & Co. to 3 points in the second half.
Packers at Jaguars
- “A-aron” Key & Peele skit… 20 of 34, for 199 yards 2 TDs, 1 TD rush. Looked a lot like 2015… Packers receivers struggling to separate.
- Good to see Jordy Nelson back 6/32/1. Whether or not he will recapture his pre-ACL injury form remains to be seen.
- Eddie Lacy is a BIG man… but he is obviously in better shape and was productive in limited touches 14/61.
- Allen Robinson is studly, there will be better days ahead 6/72 on 15 targets. However, Allen Hurns went 4/75 on five targets and Julius Thomas had a 5/64/1 line on five targets. It’s ok to target the rest of your weapons Bortles… damn… 24 of 39, 320 yards 1 TD, 1 INT.
- The Jags spent big on defense during free agency and invested heavily on that side of the ball during the 2016 draft. They are an improved group but the team as a whole has to learn how to win, a difficult proposition in the NFL.
Bills at Ravens
- Tyrod Taylor 15 of 22, 111 yards 0 TDs… is worth $90 million? Hurt.
- Speaking of hurt Sammy Watkins (4/43) can’t catch a break (no pun intended).
- I’m done with Rex Ryan… been done for a while. His teams always suck offensively. I understand he’s a defensive guy but his stubbornness and inability to hire an effective offensive play caller is beyond frustrating.
- Joe Flacco was surprisingly efficient 23 of 34, 258 yards, 1 TD… not really.
- There was a Mike Wallace sighting 3/91/1.
- Jerry Hughes is one of the most underappreciated pass rushers in the league (6 tackles, 2 sacks).
- Good to see T Sizzle back (1 sack).
Bears at Texans
- Brock Osweiler is a pretty luck guy. Right place, right time in Denver and parlayed seven starts into a lucrative long term deal on a pretty talented team in Houston. He played ‘ok’ 22 of 35, 231 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT and I will acknowledge Nuk (5/54/1) dropped a TD but I’m still not ready to buy-in. The Bears secondary has a long way to go.
- This has got to be Jay Cutler’s last year in Chicago 16 of 29, 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, sacked 5 times, and fumbled twice. Cutler’s futility wasn’t just a byproduct of good defense. He has and always will… suck.
- Lamar Miller ran for 28/106. Can you say… workhorse? Maybe, maybe not, but he was criminally under-utilized in Miami and the Phins let a good one get away.
- Better days ahead for my boi Jeremy Langford (17/57/1) IF the defense can keep games close and Cutler doesn’t go 100% Cutler.
- Eddie Royal (4/57/1 on 6 targets) had as many targets as Alshon Jeffery (4/105) and less than Kevin White (3/34 on 7 targets); Am I the only person who sees a problem with that? Time to get the hell out of dodge Alshon. That franchise tag may be a blessing.
- I see you Will Fuller 5/107/1.
- Clowney (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFLs, and 3 QB hits) and Mercilus (4 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, and 2 QB hits) this could be a problem. FYI. Mercilus had 12 sacks in 2015.
- Love the Bears inside linebacker duo of Jerrell Freeman (17 tackles) and Danny Trevathan (11 tackles, 1 sack). Three down players that excel against the run and pass. They were and will be busy.
Browns at Eagles
- I held out hope but it’s time to stick a fork in RGIII. The only thing he does well is throw a nice deep ball. No pocket awareness, struggles on every throw other than a vertical route, can’t protect himself, and he’s hurt… again.
- I’m sure the Eagles organization and fan base are encouraged by Carson Wentz’ performance 22 of 37, 278 yards, 2 TDs. But it was the Browns and it was only good for a 66.1 QBR. Let’s not crown him yet.
- Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson combined for one score and 84 rushing yards on a mere 15 carries… that’s good for 5.6 yards per carry. Umm… what the hell Hue?!?
- I want to believe in Jordan Matthews (7/114/1) and Nelson Agholor (4/57/1) but it was the Browns…
Buccaneers at Falcons
- Thru 17 career games Jameis Winston is 3 – 0 against the Falcons. But that’s “State” so it helps CPGM Headley sleep at night. He threw the customary overthrow INT and then proceeded to torch the Falcons for 22 of 33, 281 yards, 4 TDs.
- Matty Ice had a nice fantasy line, 27 of 39, 334 yards, and 2 TDs but per usual couldn’t get er’ done in the redzone or during crunch time.
- Devonta Freeman (11/20) and Tevin Coleman (8/22) meet Kwon Alexander 17 tackles (15 solo), 1 sack, and 2 tackles for loss.
- Despite their struggles on the ground I like the way Falcons’ offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan played Freeman and Coleman together and utilized them in the passing game; Coleman was the Falcons leading receiver 5/95 in this contest.
- With Winston at the controls a Mike Evans line of 5/99/1 could be customary.
- The Bucs are improved but Tampa Bay fans… they not ready. Defense has some excellent individual players but they aren’t an effective unit… not yet.
- The Falcons failed to sack the QB… what a surprise…
Vikings at Titans
- The Titans took a 10 to nothing lead into the half but only ran the football 22 times (Derrick Henry only had 5 touts); meanwhile Marcus Mariota put it in the air 41 times. Needless to say the Vikings won despite starting Shaun Hill and Adrian Peterson (19/31) and the Vikings offensive line struggling.
- Stefon Diggs off to a good start in Year 2, 7/103.
- The Vikings have the makings of a special defense. Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter both 2nd year players scored defensive TDs. Remember those names.
Bengals at Jets
- I hope A.J. Green is on your fantasy teams 12/180/1. Green was classy when the media asked him about Darrelle Revis falling off. But the truth is Revis can’t open up and run anymore. His technique is fairly solid but he has no closing or make-up speed.
- So much for Matt Forte being a part of a committee. The Jets rushed 30 times, Forte ran for 96 yards on 22 carries and added another five grabs for 59 yards leading all Jets receivers.
- The Jets sacked Andy Dalton seven times including (2.5) courtesy of Leonard Williams. They still lost.
- I know why Head Coach Todd Bowles elected to kick a field goal to go up by two points late in the fourth. Defense playing pretty well, you’re at home playing a quality opponent. But considering a field goal by Cincy would win it rather than tie it… with a 4th and short inside the 5-yard line and you can get a first down… I go for it with the belief that if I don’t get it my defense will get the ball back to my offense.
Raiders at Saints
- Had a feeling this one would be a track meet and Drew Brees 28 of 42, 423 yards, 4 TDs and Derek Carr 24 of 38, 319 yards, 1 TD didn’t disappoint. Brees is scary good when healthy.
- Mark Ingram (12/58) is basically Lamar Miller (Dolphins) in terms of how effective his is in relation to how little he is used.
- Brandin Cooks (6/143/2) and Willie Snead (9/172/1) got off. But Amari Cooper (6/137) and Michael Crabtree (7/87) didn’t disappoint especially Crabtree’s two point conversion catch with the DB draped all over him.
- Rookie wideout Michael Thomas didn’t set the world on fire but I like the fact that he caught all six of his targets for 58 yards.
- I told you Coby Fleener (1/9) is a role player. The Saints would have been better served spending that 36 million on a couple defenders.
- Speaking of defenses… better days ahead for CB Sean Smith and Oakland but the Saints may break their own defensive records in futility in 2016.
- Big Guts from “Black Jack Del Rio.” On the road, non-conference game, defense struggling, put the pressure on New Orleans and change the culture in Oakland for good. I loved the call to go for two… and it worked!
Chargers at Chiefs
- Phillip Rivers 25 of 36, 243 yards, 1 TD and Alex Smith 34 of 48, 363 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT… those stat lines seem backwards.
- 199 total yards and a touchdown for Spencer Ware. This is what running backs do to the Chargers no matter who it is.
- The Chargers blew a three score lead to lose in over time. Talk about choke job. But what’s most disturbing is that even with Keenan Allen going down to a season-ending injury again they completely went away from Melvin Gordon (14/57/2) in the 2nd half. Coaching…
- Danny Woodhead is a baller 16/89 and 1 receiving TD but Gordon would have shortened the game. COACHING…
- That’s one INT Jason Verrett. Where Joey Bosa at?!?
Dolphins at Seahawks
- This one was ugly offensively.
- Gotta respect Doug Baldwin 9/92/1.
- No respect for the Kenny Stills drop.
- We know who Michel Bennett is 6 tackles 1 sack and 3 QB Hits… but keep your eye on Frank Clark 3 tackles, 1 sack.
- Uh…. solid defense from both teams, unimpressive offensive line play from both teams… pretty much what I expected.
Lions at Colts
- You knew this one would light the scoreboard up; Andrew Luck was 31 of 47, 385 yards, 4 TDs (only sacked twice) meanwhile Matthew Stafford was 31 of 39, 340 yards with 3 TDs (only sacked once). Good quarterbacks, poor defenses.
- Really love how the Lions’ offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter utilized both Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. They combined for 228 yards and 3 TDs!!!
- It didn’t stop with the running backs though; everyone was involved including: Eric Ebron, Golden Tate, and free agent acquisitions Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin. No player seeing fewer than three targets. Detroit’s offense won’t be this good but if they have improved offensive line play (can’t tell by playing the Colts and their anemic pass rush) then they will score points this season even without Calvin Johnson.
- The deficit made it untenable for Frank Gore to really make a difference 14/59. But the Colts refuse to run the football anyway.
- Keep your eye on Phillip Dorsett (9/94) this year. I feel he can be a better John Brown if you will with T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief flanking him.
- Dwyane Allen (4/53/1) > Coby Fleener. In fact Jack Doyle (who is Jack Doyle?) and his three grabs for 35 yards and two touchdowns is greater than Coby Fleener and his $36 million deal.
- I’m with CPGM Drew. I have no faith in the Colts organization. The Polian/Dungy brain trust has long since been gone. The Peyton Manning panacea has long since been gone. Despite having what I believe to be an incredibly talented, franchise quarterback at your disposal Indy can’t seem to put the nuts and bolts of a decent roster together. They look pretty good at the skill positions on offense but there are depth issues, the offensive line continues to be an issue, their inability to stop the run or rush the passer is pervasive. Bringing back both Grigson and Pagano was utter insanity. Everyone is culpable but I’m putting this on the owner Jim Irsay.
Giants at Cowboys
- Frankly I’m shocked Eli Manning 19 of 28, 2o7 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT didn’t have a bigger game.
- Dak Prescott 25 of 45, 227 yards, 0 TDs, 0 turnovers didn’t get any help from Dez Bryant (1/8 on 5 targets) managed the game somewhat ‘OK’ as Dallas controlled the time of possession, but too often failed to punch in for six. Too much dink and dunk.
- Speaking of Dez, if it isn’t a jump ball situation or back shoulder throw, Bryant typically isn’t targeted. I hope it’s more of a play-calling, utilization issue rather than Dez not being able to separate on a consistent basis but I’m really starting to believe it’s the latter.
- The Giants didn’t set the world on fire with their rushing attack as a team 24/113. But they found success running the same inside handoff from the gun with a pulling guard over and over again. Dallas is sweet up the middle.
- I thought Ezekiel Elliott (20/51/1) played poorly. Keep in mind the Giants only had two tackles for loss. It wasn’t as if they were getting penetration. An improved Giants defense did a good job against him but he seemed tentative and indecisive. His TD run “looked” decisive but it was a designed cutback. He got caught up in the wash on a screen play and he really struggled in pass pro which apparently is why everyone was already putting him in the HOF. I believe he will play better as the season progresses but it’s going to be hard for him to convince me that he was the right selection at 4th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.
- Jason Witten (14 targets) and Cole Beasley (12 targets) had more combined targets than the other seven Cowboys that caught a pass in this game. Again credit the Giants defense.
- Good to see Victor Cruz back 4/34/1. Welcome to the NFL Sterling Shepard 3/43/1.
- The Giants didn’t register a sack against the league’s best offensive line but the additions of Olivier Vernon and Damon “Snacks” Harrison and a more comfortable Jason Pierre-Paul certainly made a difference late in this game. The Giants defense will continue to improve.
- Let us not forget Terrence Williams’ gaffe. There’s no excuse for not understanding that situation. It’s really is as simple as that. That being said if he comes out with a vengeance for the remainder of this season all will be forgiven.
Cardinals at Patriots
- I was surprised that New England was able to hold off Arizona without Brady and Gronk. But it tells me a few things. Carson Palmer is average at best during prime time (rooting for Carson and the Cards) and Bill Belichick adapts better than anyone bar none. But we knew that already.
- David Johnson (16/89/1) is special folks. Even on the two and three yard runs you can see it. The subtle moves, the demonstrative moves. Power, speed, burst, vision, agility especially for a back his size and he is a quality receiver out of the backfield. SPECIAL.
- Fitz 8/81/2. Go ahead and get that man his Gold Jacket right now.
- The Cards have to get the cornerback situation opposite Patrick Peterson figured out. Brandon Williams had a rough intro to the NFL. Toast.
Steelers at Redskins
- Big Ben 27 of 37, 300 yards, 3 TDs 1 INT looks to be in mid-season form.
- Kirk Cousins 30 of 43, 329 yards, 2 INTs looked like he has always looked save for the 2nd half of the 2015 season. Inaccurate and poor decisions time and again and this was a favorable matchup. His receivers bailed him out quite a few teams to salvage the completion percentage. The state line is not indicative of how poorly he played. He was bad.
- For an organization that rarely dabbles in free agency the signing of DeAngelo Williams on a 2-year $4 million dollar deal in the 2015 offseason is one of the most astute signings in recent memory. Williams now 33-years-old has been spectacular in Le’Veon Bell’s absence. His 26/143/2 performance on Monday was historical for a running back his age. Pittsburgh may have to extend Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams.
- Speaking of Antonio Brown… last season I likened him to the world’s best steak, A5 Wagyu Beef. Renowned for it’s marbling and delicate flavor. The Steelers are still reaping the benefits of Brown’s bargain price contract despite the $4 million raise they didn’t necessarily have to give him but that 8/126/2 performance was right on queue and as polished as ever. Mr. Doo Doo Brown (TD celebration) took a good young corner in Bashaud Breeland behind the woodshed. There was nothing delicate about it. Still scratching my head as to why Josh Norman wasn’t matched up against him all game. Coaching perhaps…?
- If Ryan Shazier stays healthy he’s probably going to the Pro Bowl. That coverage in the back of the endzone on Jordan Reed was spectacular. He’s a defensive back masquerading in a linebacker’s body. The prototypical linebacker in today’s NFL
Rams at 49ers
- If you didn’t stay up for this one here’s how it went. So the Rams had…. oh I don’t know 6-7 months to prepare for this game against a divisional foe but not a quality football team. The Rams proceeded to pick up where they left off last season (league’s worst passing attack) by setting the forward pass back by about 85 years. 10 punts, 2 INTs (Case Keenum) and at least one turnover on downs. The Niners didn’t do anything special and shut out the L.A. Rams 28 to 0. This was on national television…
- Jared Goff will be starting whether he’s ready or not at some point in October maybe sooner.