Week 1 is in the books and the story lines for the year are being set. Many are feeling optimistic while others are worried this season could be a disaster.Were are still figuring out who’s good and who sucks, a couple more week and we should be able to tell. There was a lot to take away from week one, but here’s what stands out.
The Broncos are better than I thought. We all knew their defense was going to be solid, but I expected at least a little bit of drop off after winning the Super Bowl last year. It’s so hard to play great defense consistently if you’re not motivated and it looks like the Broncos found their motivation. Last years offense was awful, but their defense was so good it didn’t matter. After one week this their running game is looking strong. CJ Anderson looks like his 2014 self. Trevor Siemian looks okay.. not great, but not awful. I expect the Broncos to only use Siemian on easy throws and to keep the defense honest to open up the run game. Trevor Siemian has what every young Quarterback dreams about a great running game and an amazing defense, there is very little pressure on him to be great. The majority of their offense will come from Anderson. I don’t feel confident about my 9-7 pick. I think the Broncos will win much more games than that.
Slow down on Carson Wentz. Wentz had his first ever start on Sunday and he looked pretty good. He went 22/37 for 278 and 2 TD. Most importantly he threw zero interceptions. As a rookie your role as Quarterback is to make the throws you’re supposed to make and avoid making huge mistakes. He had a couple throws that were beautiful and shows signs that he could be really good one day, however this was against the Browns. What a great opportunity to have your first start ever be against one of the leagues worst teams. Talk about a way to ease a young Quarter back in to the league. So often we see a Rookie get beat up in their first start. I do not anticipate Wentz having this same success against some of the league premier defenses. I also have questions on whether he can stay healthy over the course of an NFL season. He has already shown that he may be injury prone, being injured for most of his senior year in college and already this year in the preseason. I worry about whether he can survive an NFL season. I see a bit of RGIII in Carson Wentz, He’s got great talent and athleticism, but might just not be built for the NFL. Time will tell.
Dak Prescott is no where near being ready to take over full time from Tony Romo. Don’t get me wrong I think Dak has a bright future in the NFL, but he still looks like a backup. He looks like a backup that’s been in the league for years, but still a backup. He avoids making the big mistake, by choosing smart safe throws and is able to move well in and outside of the pocket. However he seems unwilling to go for deep or more aggressive throws. When you have Dez Bryant on your team you have to feed him the ball. Dez was targeted only a hand full of times and only had 8 receiving yards. I expect the Cowboys to start trying to get Dak to be more aggressive as the season goes on. 19 points is not going to win the Cowboys very many games especially with a defense that is expected to be bad.
The League doesn’t give a Shit about Cam Newton. How many helmet to helmet hits does he have to receive in order to get a penalty called. It was clear that the Broncos were targeted Cam and there were several hits that would have been automatic ejections in College. Often times we see certain players get calls that other players wouldn’t get, but Cam wasn’t getting calls that everyone should get. This is a far cry from what we see from players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady who get a call every time some one touches them. Cam is getting the Rookie treatment. As the Reining MVP that usually comes with perks like getting a few calls to go your way, but Cam is getting nothing. Cam is a Star not an unproven Rookie, The NFL should protect all of it’s players but especially it’s star Quarter backs because no one wants to tune in to watch Derek Anderson play. The past few seasons have been filled with controversy over concussions and the long term effects they can have. The NFL has pledged to make the game safer, but it’s a lot easier to say than actually do it.
Jameis Winston is legit. I know it’s only week one, but his game against the Atlanta Falcons showed me a lot. He torched the Falcons defense by throwing 4 TDs. So often we see Quarter back show promise in their rookie year only to regress the following season. Jameis is showing that he’s been working hard and improving in the off season. He’s coming in to 2016 leaner and in the best shape I’ve ever seen him. I expect big things from the former heisman winner.
The Patriots are on another level. Going into this game the Cardinals were around a 9 to 9.5 point favorite. Without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski you’d expect them to have a steep drop off in play quality. However with time to prepare Bill Belichick and his staff find away to make his team look like a contender. They proved once again that they are the best run franchise in the NFL. There is a lot of talk about Jimmy Garoppoloand his play, many praised him for playing well. Let’s calm down about Garoppolo, he’s okay. On many teams he’s a quality starter, however he’s not even close to being Tom Brady. What makes the Patriots so good is their ability to play to their players strengths. They can make average players look like Pro Bowlers. Garoppolo is a great back up option and could be a good starter some day, but the Patriots are not winning a Superbowl without Brady. Tom Brady takes a Quality team that might make it to the playoffs and makes them a Superbowl team contender. If Garoppolo can maintain quality play the Patriots will be in a great position when Brady comes back.