The 2015 NFL season started with a bang reminding us why we love football so much! It was full of drama from missed kicks, head scratching calls and breakout performances it had it all! Here are my top five takeaways from week one on the gridiron.
1. Marcus Mariota Dazzles in Debut
One of the most intriguing matchup to kick-off the year was the Tennessee Titans vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup between the top two picks of this year’s draft Jamis Winston and Marcus Mariota! Mariota definitely got the better of this matchup proving he can throw the ball from under center something he never did in college at the University of Oregon! In fact, his first pass was from under center a play action pass bullet to Kendall Wright for his first career touchdown! It got better from there as he finished the game 13/16 for 209 yards and four touchdowns and perfect passer rating. those who were worried his game wouldn’t translate to the NFL I think he’s got it under control!
I know it’s only one game and they were playing the Bucs, who have lost 10 straight home games, but he definitely proved that he can hang with the big boys in the NFL! The Titans look like they have found a star in the making is going to be fun to see how he progresses throughout the season and how he looks versus stiffer competition.
2. Big injuries to star players
The NFL is a hard-hitting sport and injuries are bound to happen, but after one week of football teams should consider using bubble wrap to protect their players with so many key guys getting hurt. Topping that list is Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who broke his foot Sunday night versus the Giants and will be out at least 8 to 12 weeks, but the way people are talking it might be a full year. A big blow to the Cowboys it’s impossible to replace that production, but they proved Sunday night that they don’t need Bryant to win games although it would be a big help! No doubt the Cowboys will suffer without Bryant, but I don’t think it was the biggest loss to injury on Sunday. The reason I say that is as much as I hate to say it, they do have a pretty good quarterback Tony Romo that can cover some of that up!
Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles for the second time in his career on Sunday; I think this is the most devastating loss for any team because the identity of the ravens is their defense and they just lost their best player and vocal leader on the defense. It’s going to be tough for the ravens to withstand this loss for an entire season because the only pass rusher they currently have is Elvis Dumervil and in the NFL you need a Robin to go with your Batman! The Ravens identity is their defense, especially now without weapons on the outside other than Steve Smith it could be a long year for the ravens, but it is only week one and they could surprise by its stifling going to be more difficult.
I do have to say something about those people who think this injury is karma for the low hit on Sam Bradford in the preseason you guys are crazy, yes it might have been a little low, but this in the NFL and you’re going to hit and even Sam Bradford himself said it’s football and that’s what happens. I would never wish injury on anyone and for those who think he deserved it check you because that’s just wrong. Unfortunately, the Ravens fear it might be a career ending for Suggs because he has already torn it before. All I can say is get better soon and good luck to the Ravens trying to replace him.
Those were the two injuries that will impact their team for the entire season, but there were a couple of other stars that will cause short-term impact to their teams. Redskins wide receiver Desean Jackson suffered a hamstring injury that could sideline him for 3 to 4 weeks. T.Y Hilton Colts star receiver took a blow to the knee and is expected to miss one to two weeks. The last was Carolina Panther linebacker Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion is week to week because he must pass the protocol to get back on the field. As you can see, it was an active week for trainers,but the last few guys have the opportunity to be able to get back on the field and help the team win sooner rather than later making their loss little more bearable! Hopefully this is the last big injury filled week of the season.
3. Sleepless in Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks have gone from 1 yard from being back to back Super Bowl champions to the talk of the NFL for the wrong reasons. On Sunday against the St. Louis Rams they once again had us scratching our heads first off going for an onside kick to start overtime secondly having your running back line up 5 yards deep on a fourth and one play to extend the game! Although they have said the kicker was supposed to kick it downfield and it was a miscommunication, I don’t know how in the world you can make that up; then they made the correct call running Marshawun Lynch, but he was lined up too far back against a pretty solid front seven that had sacked Russell Wilson six times during the game which allowed them to get great penetration and makes the play to win the game.
Seattle is trying to be too smart for their own good right now trying to make up for what they didn’t do in February; they’re putting extra pressure on themselves to make the perfect call on every play and sports is all about confidence and right now they have that seed of doubt about the play calling it could affect them throughout the entire season! Seattle has a bigger problem than shutdown corner Kam Chancellor is continuing his holdout for a new contract from the club; boy did they miss him on Sunday as they gave up 34 points and Chancellors’ backup got burned for the game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. my message to Chancellor is come back here team they need you and you’re being a little bit selfish because your contract still has three years on it it’s not like you are a free agent after this year or anything. get back to what your best at playing football and let the contract situation run its course, trust me you will get your money!
4. The Rams and Bills must be taken seriously
On the positive side there were a couple of teams that were that had very impressive victories on Sunday. The St. Louis Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 in overtime it was a team effort as the defense sacked Russell Wilson six times caused a couple of turnovers giving Seattle a taste of their own medicine. Tavon Austin was the spark plug for the team scoring wise as he returned a punt for a touchdown proving he is a threat all over the field. Nick Foles also had a solid debut leading this offense he was 18 for 27 for 297 yards and a touchdown pass he did have two fumbles, but one of them was caused by the pressure from Seattle’s defense.
Lastly the Rams have a great stable of running backs to pair with Foles, Tre Mason, and Todd Gurley the 10th overall pick of this year’s draft has a chance to make his debut Sunday he has been recovering from a torn ACL they could have a deadly combination when they are healthy the sky’s the limit for this offense. the defense is one of the best in the league and very underrated So all I have to say for future opponent is beware and bring your A game!
The Buffalo Bills are also a scary team for opponents to face with a stout defense and versatile and athletic quarterback in Tyrod Taylor! They were able to silence Andrew Luck and that high-powered offense in their 27-14 victory over the Colts on Sunday very impressive and they have a renewed excitement with the Rex Ryan leading their squad. their defense is just going to get better with Ryan as their head coach and it was already pretty good without him I’m sorry for the quarterbacks that have to face that constant pressure, all I can say is you are going to need a lot of ice after the face this team.
The offensive side of the ball was more impressive as Tyrod Taylor did exactly what was asked of him extending plays getting first download the legs and completing simple passes and for good measure a deep ball to Percy Harvin for a touchdown. he finished the game 14 for 19 for 195 yards and one touchdown nothing fancy exactly what the Bills wanted out of him, especially with all the other toys he has to play with on the outside in Sammy Watkins Percy Harvin and Lesean Mccoy! This team will be led by their defense, but if Taylor can consistently provide these types of performances with no turnovers they will be a pretty formidable offense as well! I think they will be a pain in the side to all of their opponents and will put them to the edge every game look out for the Bills as well!
5. The Colts might be in big trouble
The Colts have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and Andrew luck and he will be able to carry them victories the season, but my fear is when they face the tougher opponents with powerful offenses they will not be able to stop them from scoring and there’s only so much Andrew luck can cover up! honestly I think they are forgotten there is another side of the ball their defense is soft and has a tendency to give up big chunk plays! I also don’t like the stability of the front office and that coaching staff because it has been reported that coach Chuck Pagano and owner Jim Irsay have been at odds over his contract and the way he is running the club! The stability of the organization is a question and I could affect the play calling and overall performance on the field could suffer because of that. That definitely happened on Sunday when they took a pretty good beating from the Buffalo Bills.
I don’t think Coach Pagano will last the season as they have said he is a dead man walking so unless they are holding up the Lombardi trophy changes are coming to Indy in the near future. I do think they will win the division because of the lesser teams they will face I just don’t know how their defense will stack up against stiffer opponents. They will go as far as Andrew Luck and his arm take them I am just worried for their long-term stability and if that will affect the player’s willingness to stay in the organization.
The NFL is always exciting, but this was one of the more action-packed week’s we’ve had in quite some time; it sure is going to keep us talking throughout the whole season. These are just a few storylines to follow throughout the season to see if my predictions and thoughts are correct or way off! The way week two kick off I think we’re in for one of the wildest NFL seasons ever!