NFL Week 1 thoughts
September 12, 2019
It was a crazy Week 1 for the NFL and I have a few thoughts on all the happenings around the league.
AB TO THE PATS
From an “If I’m playing Madden” viewpoint, AB on the Pats is going be a lot of fun. From an everything else viewpoint, I’m not sure how I feel about AB on the Pats.
I’m not totally buying the “AB planned this all along” which by the way makes AB look like more of a jerk. Rather than just demand a trade, he has to pretend to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown and that he doesn’t want to play football anymore. For me, it’s just a weak way to go about it.
I think Brown was legitimately falling apart up until Friday when his agent Drew Rosenhaus told him he could get him out of Oakland. If you remember Rosenhaus was Terrell Owens’ agent when he wanted out of San Francisco and Philly, so he’s got a familiarity with the game plan. Then once the plan was revealed and Rosenhaus came back from several darkened parking garages with multiple offers, AB started to calm down.
(As crazy as AB’s time in Oakland was, I still believe TO’s departures from Philly and San Fran were crazier. It’s a good thing social media didn’t exist during that time because I’m certain TO would have threatened physical harm to so many people over Twitter that the FBI would have had no choice but to get involved.)
The biggest loser in all of this isn’t the Raiders, it’s the Chiefs and Texans. As AFC contenders, they should have done everything in their power to deny AB to the Pats. Instead, they let him walk right over to New England and possibly further the Pats reign over the conference.
I never in a million years thought I’d be defending Mike Mayock but here I am going to bat for the Raiders GM while also offering sage advice. That advice being, GET OUT OF OAKLAND. Leave as soon as you can. Grab your family, pets and what you can carry and run. The Jon Gruden storm will only leave devastation in its wake.
Mayock has taken far too much heat for the AB mess. Everything Mayock did was with Gruden’s blessing or by his direction. Gruden has a 10-year contract and Mayock is just a dude in the building. This is Gruden’s franchise, how else do you explain the Raiders keeping four quarterbacks on the roster?
Mayock was a patsy the entire time, taking all the hits from the media and AB for Gruden’s decisions.
Things will only worsen for Mayock if he stays.
BAD DEFENSE GONE GOOD…
The Packers defense was impressive last Thursday. Granted, they were playing against a hapless Mitch Trubisky, nonetheless, they still looked good. We won’t know just how good they are until Week 4 when they play Philly on TNF, but hey, they brought a genuine smile to Aaron Rodgers face. That has to account for something.
GOOD DEFENSE GONE BAD…
The Jags defense has me a little nervous. It was crazy hot and it was against the best offense in the league but there were a few red flags. Mostly, it had to do with Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins going off. His two biggest plays came on bad tackling and blown coverage.
It’s only Week 1 and the Jags D can bounce back, rookie QB Gardner Minshew didn’t look half bad but I’m already a little nervous about this season. If the Jags aren’t competitive against the Texans, the team should throw their hat in the “Tank for Tua” race.
AND BAD DEFENSES GETTING WORSE
There’s nothing better in daily fantasy football than picking players on teams with good offenses and terrible defenses. No lead is safe with those teams and they have to keep scoring just to be safe. It’s awesome.
The Chiefs and Steelers once again will have top 5 offenses paired with bottom five defenses. The Chiefs let a sixth-round rookie QB carve up their defense and the Steelers defense really looked as if it was their first time playing on the same field together as the Pats worked them.
Patrick Mahomes might just set the record for passing TDs this season. He’ll probably throw 60 touchdowns and the Chiefs will only have a point differential of plus-18.
For the Steelers, their defense, once again, is going to keep them out of the playoffs.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
That’s the only thing Dak Prescott should be saying to Jerry Jones until he gets an extension. The only thing.
Jerry wants to talk about the Washington game plan. Show me the money.
Jerry invites him to dinner. Show me the money.
Jerry wants to know what jacket he should wear on Sunday, the light blue or dark blue? Show me the money.
Every week that Jerry waits on extending Dak, the price only goes up.
JETS GOING TO JET
The Jets forced four turnovers and had a 16-0 lead late into the third quarter, and they lost 17-16 to the Bills. Of all the tortured franchises in the NFL, the Jets have turned agonizing defeats into an art.
UPDATE ON FIRST COACH FIRED
Before the season started Washington head coach Jay Gruden was my favorite to be the first head coach fired in 2019. But after Washington put up a valiant fight against a good Eagles team, Gruden could make it to the end of the season.
So who’s the favorite now to be the first coach fired? Hello, Detroit Lions Matt Patricia and Cleveland Browns Freddie Kitchens. Patricia might actually be safe until the end of the season, based off how the Ford’s do business. But giving up the lead to a still-trying-to-figure-things-out Cardinals team when you’re a “defensive genius” isn’t good for the brand.
Kitchens might actually get fired first. He has an impulsive owner and if the Browns play like they did against an underwhelming Titans team, he’s not long for the head coaching world. The Browns literally made the Titans look like AFC contenders, even though Marcus Mariota was actually worse than Baker in that game.
THE QBS OF THE 2015 DRAFT CLASS
Speaking of Mariota, remember when there was an intense debate over who was going to be the better pro. Will Mariota or Jameis Winston be the better pro in four years?
If you took “Neither, both will be average backups when all is said and done” you’re a winner!
In Week 1, Mariota and Winston looked like they always have, underwhelming. They’ll make a throw every now and then, and you’ll be like “Oh, that was actually impressive.” But then they’ll make way, way, too many throws where you mumble “Shouldn’t an NFL QB be able to make that throw?”
BAD UNIS AND TERRIBLE LOGOS
Back to the Jets, I do not like their uniforms and I also don’t like the NFL’s 100th-year celebration logo. Both look like they came from the same people who brought you the XFL 2.0 team logos and uniform designs.
It did not start out pretty for No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. He and rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury both looked lost during the first half. Then in the third quarter, they started to get a feel for things and by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, they were feeling it, so to speak. It also helps to have an ageless Larry Fitzgerald.
The throws Murray had in the fourth made you sit up and want to see the replay immediately. So precise. There’s bound to be a few more rough outings but the Cards are going to be just fine with Murray and Kingsbury.
CHANGE IS COMING
NFL contracts have been notorious for being non-guaranteed. Meaning teams can void contracts by cutting guys. This is why players have been pushing for guaranteed contracts, which is dependent on agents negotiating that with a team. (Much like everyone else over the past year, I’ve learned CBA’s do not guarantee contracts. The more you know.)
Kirk Cousins got the first fully-guaranteed contract last season and we’ve since seen guaranteed money climb, inching closer to the overall contract’s worth. That contract was a big deal because it put getting a fully guaranteed deal on the table, and it was kind of crazy that an above-average QB like Cousins could get such a deal.
I figured Cousins’ deal would mostly benefit QBs and elite pass rushers but last week WR Julio Jones signed his extension, which turned out to be a game changer too. Jones’ extension was worth $66 million and $64 million of that is guaranteed. Now that opens the door for other skill position players to demand similar deals.
Look, the average NFL player is still a ways off from getting a fully-guaranteed contract but Jones’ contract helps push things in that direction.