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Sorting the NFL Week 1 Pile: Urban Meyer experiment ugly, Kyler leaps into MVP convo, overreactions

Week 1 of the NFL season introduced a ton of untamed motion and shocking outcomes. The NFL not often fails to ship, so it should not be a shock. It additionally should not be a shock if a number of the issues we noticed in Week 1 find yourself being a mirage and do not play out over the course of the yr.

With that in thoughts, let’s discover some potential overreactions to the primary week of the season and determine whether or not or not they’re legit. 

Kyler Murray is prepared for an MVP season 

Following on the heels of 2018 (Patrick Mahomes) and 2019 (Lamar Jackson), everybody wished to crown a younger, hyper-athletic quarterback to make a large leap ahead in 2020 and take residence the {hardware}. The best choice was Kyler Murray, however the Cardinals did not even make the playoffs. A shoulder harm derailed the Cardinals’ playoff hopes and Kyler’s general efficiency and dammed up the 2021 hype for the Arizona QB. Sunday’s throttling of the Titans opened these floodgates — Kyler was magical towards Tennessee en path to a five-touchdown sport (4 passing and one dashing). He was flying all around the area, like he had limitless turbo enhance and making some absurd throws, together with certainly one of two scores to Christian Kirk

This was on third and brief and ended up being the kill-shot for Arizona. Kyler did not even step into the throw — he took his drop-back and launched off his again foot.  


through @AZCardinals

It wasn’t the precise mechanics you need out of your quarterback, however clearly Kirk had his man beat and Kyler knew he simply wanted to get the ball into the top zone. That is exceptional arm power and accuracy from that physique place. It is Mahomes-esque, truthfully. Add in that skillset with a quick-twitch burst he possesses in his legs, and it is easy to see why individuals begin foaming on the mouth for an enormous leap from Kyler. 

You understand how gamers increase the ball within the air after they know they’re getting throughout the aim line as a runner? Kyler did it on a bootleg earlier within the sport … from the 10-yard line. 

OK, nice, it was the 8.5-yard line however you get the purpose. 


through @AZCardinals

The Titans protection would possibly very nicely be horrendous. However that feels much more like an overreaction than the thought of Kyler launching into a distinct tier as a quarterback this season. 

Jameis Winston is an improve over Drew Brees

Skepticism all the time surrounds Jameis Winston, one of many extra polarizing quarterbacks in recent times. And even with preseason proof of his potential success within the Saints offense, there have been nonetheless loads of questions being requested. Winston answered these in Week 1 with a powerful common season efficiency towards a key NFL rival, because the Saints whipped the Packers 38-3 (excellent news, Inexperienced Bay, you beat Tampa Bay by virtually the identical rating — 38-10 — final yr and so they gained the title, so perhaps it is a signal). 

Winston’s yardage complete wasn’t gaudy, however I might posit that is a very good factor. He was environment friendly, he was sensible and he was largely mistake-free. Folks scoffed once I recommended Winston might be an improve over Drew Brees, however Winston’s PFF passing grade from Week 1 would have certified as Brees’ second-highest mark of the complete 2020 season. 

The previous No. 1 general choose solely tried a single move past 20 yards — his late, let’s get him over 100 passing yards and actually bury these guys landing throw to Deonte Harris — however he was deadly on intermediate throws, going 5 of 6 on throws between 10 and 20 yards, with three of these passes going for touchdowns, per Next Gen Stats

Early within the sport, when Winston did not see one thing he favored, as an alternative of forcing throws or making an attempt to scramble round and purchase time, he simply took off working. It was a distinct element of his sport. He seemed hellbent on not making errors, virtually as if Sean Payton’s mantra about his quarterbacks not making errors had been laser-etched into Winston’s mind. Or perhaps Payton simply brainwashed him. That might clarify his postgame quote.

It is all sunshine, roses and scrumptious finger-crossed W’s when there is no errors and the Saints are rolling. Confronted with more durable defenses, will Winston proceed to take what he is being given and never revert into the Jameis of previous? I am optimistic for his 2021 season as a result of Payton is a QB Whisperer and it seems Winston purchased into altering the way in which he performs. If that is the case, the Saints are going to appear to be probably the most undervalued workforce of the complete offseason. 

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Aaron Rodgers is orchestrating a conspiracy

That is my favourite overreaction/insane take of the yr by far. Not simply in sports activities, however in life. I wish to name it ArodAnon: primarily Rodgers returned to the Packers regardless of wanting a commerce with a view to take down the group from the within. He is again to stink the joint up and get everybody fired. It is solely becoming he appears precisely like Rust Cohle. 


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I *suppose* I’m joking about this concept, however there are lots of people on the market mentioning and, it could seem, some taking it critically.

Once more, this is not actual. Aaron Rodgers needs to win a Super Bowl. He needs to mild up the NFL like he did final yr en path to profitable MVP. He isn’t tanking this yr to get everybody fired. Even when he did … everybody is not getting fired. Who’s firing them? Maude from Cedarburg? 

Extra probably this can be a case of the Saints coming in sizzling, enjoying nice protection, pressuring Rodgers and the Packers not having any rapport early within the season on account of what was a tumultuous offseason and a scarcity of labor collectively within the preseason. 

Anticipate a fast bounce-back towards the Lions subsequent week on Monday night time. If it in some way would not occur, although, cue up the P-Arod discuss. 

The NFC East is vast open

Heading into the yr, the widespread perception amongst soccer observers was this division was a two-horse race between Washington and Dallas, with the Giants probably enjoying the position of sleeper and the Eagles rebuilding after buying and selling Carson Wentz. Not so quick, my buddy.

Issues bought a reasonably large shakeup over Week 1, with Ryan Fitzpatrick struggling a hip harm which is able to sideline him for a number of weeks minimal (WFT put him on IR Monday). Washington is declining to amass Cam Newton right now, so it is Taylor Heinicke time. Heinicke was truly actually good within the playoffs and acquitted himself fairly nicely towards the Chargers on Sunday. It is attainable this is not a large downgrade, however it actually ought to remind us of the fragility of NFL teams — so many people cherished Washington due to Fitzmagic’s addition and now, poof, it is gone. 

In the meantime, the Eagles offense seemed superior underneath Jalen Hurts and with Nick Sirianni pulling the set off. The subsequent few weeks will inform us whether or not that was the Eagles being good or the Falcons being horrible (these issues aren’t essentially mutually unique both) however I am inclined to present Philly the advantage of the doubt. 

Hurts was given some actually good RPO performs to make the most of his legs and get him the most effective appears attainable, Miles Sanders seemed explosive and the receiving trio of DeVonta Smith/Jalen Reagor/Dallas Goedert appears like a legitimately top-end trio. Smith, particularly, took over the sport for a stretch within the center because the Eagles prolonged their lead. Hurts and Co. might have hung 50 factors if the Falcons bothered to indicate up on offense in any respect. Regulate that officiating crew shifting ahead — they known as a TON of penalties on this sport towards each offenses: 26 for 188 complete yards between the 2 groups. Even when the penalties have been dedicated, that is a TON and makes me suppose it might have been particular crew associated. 

At any fee, I digress. The Eagles are going to be an issue on this division. So are the Cowboys, so long as they will move defend and maintain Dak Prescott on the sector. Washington you possibly can’t write off realizing what we noticed final yr. 

So what in regards to the Giants? I would not blame Giants followers for panicking after a disastrous residence debut however I believe we have to give the Broncos protection some credit score. At varied factors we noticed flashes from the protection, flashes from the receivers (Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton all popped at factors) and Daniel Jones was, nicely, himself. If the Giants cannot defend him, he most likely will not keep away from turnovers, however he had some probabilities on this one and the Denver protection was simply an excessive amount of. I am lowest on the Giants of all these groups now, however let’s examine how they appear Thursday night time earlier than we simply utterly quit on them. 

There is a lengthy method to go on this division. 

The City Meyer experiment is a catastrophe

Perhaps the largest stage for an overreaction within the NFL throughout Week 1. A few of us have been all around the Texans (you’d have been too when you listened to the Pick Six Podcast) as a result of it would not make sense for the Jaguars to be favored on the street coming off a one-win season with a rookie quarterback and rookie coach. The Texans are a workforce stuffed with NFL gamers and there are a variety of veterans there and so they put it on Jacksonville in a foul means. 

Trevor Lawrence threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns however he additionally had three picks and put up a ton of rubbish time stats. Jacksonville primarily gave up 37 factors to Tyrod Taylor, Mark Ingram and Brandin Cooks. If that protection is that this dangerous towards Houston, it’ll get obliterated by extra harmful offenses. Which implies we’ll see Lawrence throw roughly 700 occasions this yr. 

It actually would not seem there’s gonna be steadiness on this offense — Carlos Hyde led the workforce with 9 carries for 44 yards. Is that the plan? Let Carlos Hyde eat? As a result of that does not really feel like a good way to dominate on the bottom. 

Earlier than the video games on Sunday, CBS Sports activities NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported people are already sick of Urban’s college-style coaching approach in Jacksonville. Dropping a bunch of video games goes to go over poorly with Meyer and Lawrence. They’ve by no means handled it earlier than. 

Might every part unravel in Jacksonville because the losses pile up? Is that this Steve Spurrier 2.0? It is means too early to name the experiment a failure. There are all the time odd Week 1 outcomes that find yourself being outliers in spite of everything. However Jags followers ought to have their radar up for a way the workforce responds to future struggles.



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