When we discuss the NFL, most big NFL fans are no strangers to surprises. The NFL can change on a week-to-week basis, which leads to many trying to make sense of what occurred during a single week. This, along with the age of social media, has allowed us to throw out opinions on every single part of life, including, of course, the NFL. The first week of the season is a special case of this, where people try to determine how a team’s season will go after one game. One game. Even though it’s a league that still has plenty of parity, we love to overreact to what we see on the first Sunday of the season. So, let’s go through and debunk some overreactions about Sunday’s games.
Wentz Will Be Elite
It’s not that this one will be completely debunked after one game, but calling him the real deal after one is absurd. Every QB who has been around for a couple seasons has had games like that. Nick Foles had a ridiculous stretch to end his season a couple years ago. He didn’t pan out. RGIII had a very good rookie season, and he most likely won’t get a third shot after his shoulder injury. So, let’s not go nuts about one start. Plus, I will say, he did play the Browns, a team in rebuilding mode. I want to see Wentz against teams like the Giants, Green Bay, and Minnesota. Tougher defenses could humble him a bit, and could slow the hype train down. Wentz can be a franchise guy, but don’t crown him yet.
Arizona Can’t Beat That Pats Team? They Won’t Make The Playoffs!!
I’ve heard this one a lot, and I can’t stand it. Yes, a lot of people believed that after the news that Gronk didn’t travel, that it would get ugly. But, of course, Bill Belichick once again schemed to perfection. The offense moved the ball well against a very good Arizona defense, and Garoppolo looks like the real deal, at least in that system. The defense found a way to contain the explosive offense the Cardinals have. Fitzgerald was the only guy who could beat them, with a lot of names left in the dark. Even though they got out schemed, they still had a chance to win on a field goal with time running out. So, to say Arizona is done after this performance is wrong. They still boast the best roster in the NFC, and shouldn’t have an issue getting to the postseason.
Minnesota Needs Bridgewater To Succeed
This one is a tough one to figure out. Minnesota struggled in the first half on Sunday, as the Titans built a 10-0 lead heading into the break. Peterson was completely shut down by the Titans front. In the second half, the defense brought them back, forcing two key turnovers that were taken for touchdowns. As soon as people saw that game, they also thought Minnesota might not be a playoff team. I disagree. The defense is too young and too talented to miss a chance at a Super Bowl run. Adrian Peterson had a bad week, but he will right the ship going forward. Plus, the Vikings did trade for Sam Bradford. Shaun Hill won’t start every game this season. Bradford was traded for in the event that he would become the starter. He doesn’t have the pressure he had in Philly, so he can lean on Peterson and the defense and just play his game and make the throws. Minnesota, like Arizona, has too talented of a roster to miss the playoffs.
Will The Rams Even Score A Point This Year?
This is more funny than serious, but it allows me to share what I think about the Rams. The Niners played well on Monday, containing Gurley and putting major pressure on Case Keenum. For some reason, the Niners always play well on opening Monday night (see last year’s 20-3 over the Vikings). So, by that logic, the Niners will come back to earth the rest of the way. As for the Rams, I expect holes to open up for Gurley as the year goes on (not every team has San Fran’s front seven, unfortunately this week’s opponent, Seattle, does). It’ll be hard for Keenum to repeat his performance, and I expect more from Tavon Austin. It was an off night, and the Rams will score points.
Trevor Siemian Makes This Broncos Offense Scary
No, just no. I’ll admit that Siemian had a solid debut against the Panthers, making throws that shocked the majority of us. But, there were some mistakes made. The Denver offense moved the ball pretty well against a Panthers defense that ranked first in turnovers forced last season. The biggest thing for that offense was the effectiveness of running back CJ Anderson. He looked like the CJ Anderson we saw in the second half of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. If he can keep that up, he can be an elite three down back. The Broncos schemed well, but also got some help from the inexperience Carolina had at the cornerback position. It won’t get any easier for Denver this season, as everyone will be gunning for the reigning champs, but with a serviceable QB in Siemian and an outstanding defense, they might be able to weather the Super Bowl hangover.
Oakland Is Still Oakland On Defense
I think a lot of people look at the Oakland-New Orleans game and assume that all the Raiders’ offseason adds on defense are for nothing, after Brees torched them for 424 yards and four touchdowns. But, the reality of that was superior offensive coaching by Sean Payton. We know him and Drew have been terrorizing defenses for years. So, it makes sense that they could outsmart the Raiders’ defense. Not every team in this league has a Sean Payton on it, which bodes well for Oakland to bounce back defensively. Don’t forget, this team has a very capable defensive line and one of the best pass rushers in the league in Khalil Mack. The secondary is improved as well. With the explosive offense already in rhythm, give the Raiders a couple games, and that defense will gel.
Remember, it is only one week. A lot of things can happen in one week, but we can’t judge how the season will go after one week of football. Did Minnesota look good last year after getting dominated by the Niners? Did Denver look like a Super Bowl champion after one week? Did Green Bay’s offense look like a shell of itself after the first week? Should Mariota have been considered elite after his performance against Tampa Bay in week one? The answer to these questions is no. So, let’s go into week two with an open mind, and not overreact to what we see. Enjoy week two everybody, and don’t go crazy.