What We Learned In NFL Week 1

Via Behind The Steel Curtain

NFL football officially came back last Thursday. How sweet it is!! 

People and the media tends to overreact from week to week because of the urgency of every NFL game. I’m here to inform you who’s for real, if you you should panic, or you should just reeeelax (In my Aaron Rodgers voice).

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Tom Brady struggles in debut

No team was talked about more than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this off-season because of the arrival of the 43 year old GOAT Tom Brady. The excitement level hasn’t been this high in a long time in Tampa Bay. But in their opening game in New Orleans against division rival Saints, they lost by double digits with Brady not in sync with his WRs and throwing 2 INTs. One of those was a pick 6 due to him throwing to an out route much to late.

“He looked like Tom Brady in practice all the time, so it’s kind of unusual to see that in a ballgame because they didn’t do things that we didn’t get ready for. Everything they did, we thought we were ready for.” Bruce Ariana stated.

But even Tom Brady isn’t going to turn the Bucs into a winner immediately. You can see he was rusty Sunday. Also, a new team, a new system, and new teammates was going to be a struggle for Brady even with a preseason. Add to it that he’s going against one of the best teams in the NFL and has been one of the best for years.

If the Bucs come out the first month 2-2, I think they’ll be satisfied and take it as Brady adjust to his many weapons and his team. The Bucs will be fine.

Photo by Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers is on a mission

Even though the Packers went to the NFC championship last year, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t his old self most of last year. He was 20th in QBR out of 32 QBs with a passer rating of 95.4. 

But I’m starting to think the Packers drafted QB Jordan Love in the 1st round just to make Aaron Rodgers really angry.

Against the division rival Vikings on Sunday, he was that badddd man we all are familiar with. He was 2nd in QBR, completing 32 of 44 passes for 364 yards with 4 TDs and a 127.5 passer rating.

I know it’s just Week 1, but he’s on a mission this year. When he’s on fire, arguably no one is better than him.

The Steelers Have Something To Say In The AFC

We’ve been stating all offseason it’s the Chiefs, then the Ravens, then everyone else in the AFC. That’s obvious I believe. But I think there’s a 3rd team we have to add in that mix.

That team is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Remember they went 8-8 last year basically without a QB. Now with future Hall of Famer Big Ben back in at QB fully healthy, they are contenders in the AFC. Their defense is top 5, maybe top 3. Against the Giants on Monday night, Daniel Jones was pressured on 61% of his drop backs, with TJ Watt & Bud Dupree combining for 15 QB pressures. According to PFF, only one other QB in Week 1 was pressures more than 42%. 

But the best part about this defense is that they create turnovers. They led the league with 38 turnovers last year and caused 2 turnovers in their Monday night contest against the Giants. The defense is filled with playmakers

The Steelers have no glaring weaknesses, they are one of the best organizations in football, and they will contend in the AFC.

New Head Coach, Same Dallas Cowboys Offense

The Cowboys conservative offense on the road and running the ball on 1st Downs approach was an issue last season.

It’s just one game, but even with a new head coach in Mike McCarthy, we seen the same conservative approach on SNF at the LA Rams. The common thing is OC Kellen Moore, who called the offense in 2019, is calling the offense in 2020. Per Warren Sharp on Twitter, here’s the Cowboys offense numbers on 1st down.

The runs weren’t bad, but look at the pass numbers. Running the ball on 1st down hurts chances for the big plays that would make this offense explosive. Here was Dak’s passing chart from NFL Next Gen Stats.

Dak only threw the ball over 20 yards twice and both were incomplete, not including the Gallup big play that turned into a bad offensive pass interference call. Running the ball too many times on 1st down and conservative play calling is hurting the vertical passing ability and the explosiveness this offense can produce. We’ll see if Kellen Moore can get this offense to produce to its full potential.

If not, don’t be surprised if Mike McCarthy inserts himself into the offensive play calling. History shows he will if he needs to.

Side note: TE Blake Jarwin, who was going to be a big part in this offense and I believed he would breakout big time in 2020, is out for the year with a torn ACL. His injury is a significant blow to this offense.

What do you think?

Written by Byron Nelson

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