NFL Week 1 Recap
Now that the games have finally started NFL fans can rejoice and enjoy the next 4 months of live football. Week 1 saw several big names get hurt, several young quarterbacks emerge on the scene, and several teams serve notice that 2016 is going to be different than 2015. Here are my things worth noting from week 1.
Rise of the young quarterbacks
Jimmy Garoppolo, Trevor Seiman, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott each made their first NFL start and went 3-1. Dak Prescott, the sole loser of the quartet, was hardly responsible for the outcome in the Cowboys game. Other than the Cowboys defensive backs, Prescott was the main bright spot for Dallas. Seiman was up and down but found a way to lead his team to victory. The Eagles scored a touchdown on Wentz’s first drive against an overmatched Browns team and Garoppolo looked like the heir apparent to Tom Brady, but probably not this year.
Injuries are always a possibility
It was heartbreaking to see Keenan Allen lost for the season again. This time in week 1. The Chargers are obviously high on Allen, as they should be, but their signing of Travis Benjamin and a much better rushing attack give them some hope that this year will be different than the last few. Still, San Diego was in control when Allen was in the game and looked lost without him. Cleveland lost RG3 until week 10 with a broken shoulder. This will hurt the Browns but they weren’t likely to be a major player this year even with a veteran quarterback. Demaryius Thomas could be a big loss for the Broncos if he either misses much time or has to play with a lingering injury all season. And the Seahawks had better hope that Russell Wilson can play effectively without causing his ankle to linger. Wilson is at his best when he is moving and his ankle injury will limit his ability to do that. With no Marshawn Lynch to rely on Seattle could be in trouble if Wilson isn’t able to quickly get back up to speed.
Adrian Peterson is starting to look human
Very human. Like average running back human. I thought, in fantasy leagues, this was probably the last “great” year that Adrian Peterson might have. I figured he would be effective as a 1000-1200 yard back for a few more seasons but that this was probably his last chance to be a 1500 yard 10-12 touchdown player. It looks like I was wrong. Peterson looked slow and less decisive than he has in the past. His game never relied on speed so he can still function as an above average back but unless week 1 was the exception rather than the norm fantasy players that own Peterson, Vikings fans, and the Vikings have likely seen the last of Peterson’s great days.
Melvin Gordon appears to have turned a corner
Gordon looked extremely crisp in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, a difficult team to run the ball against. It was strange that the team limited his carries in favor of Danny Woodhead with a large lead and one would guess that the coaching staff will analyze that situation this week, if they already haven’t. Perhaps they want to ease Gordon in or make him earn his keep. Either way he finally looked like the prospect they drafted in 2015 and if he continues to do so he’s the Chargers best weapon for preserving a lead.
San Francisco looked very good but Los Angeles is probably just that bad
Any shut out in the NFL is noteworthy. Especially a shutout with fewer than 200 total rushing yards. The 49ers have a very talented young group of defenders led by veterans Eric Reid, Navorro Bowman, and Ahmad Brooks, and this year figures to be up and down for them but the minutes will prepare them for the future and they should have flashes of brilliance like they did this week. Not every quarterback will be Case Keenum though and eventually the team will face a veteran, or two, that can pick them apart.
Revis Island is closed
Like Adrian Peterson Darrelle Revis figured to get another season or two of dominating play before the inevitable decline began. And like Adrian Peterson that decline in skills didn’t want to wait. Revis will still be a very good cornerback but he’s no longer the best in the game and can no longer be counted on to cover the opposing team’s best player at all times.