Week one has come and gone, and though we had some great games and some surprising results, we also had some …eh …what do we even call the Rams?
No matter, there was still plenty of excitement from the teams that actually scored, the ones that missed a win by a field-goal, a player not running out of bounds or a dropped pass. So here we recap the most noteworthy of the NFL in week one – be it the good of the bad.
Alex Smith: He’s always been known as more of a game manager than a guy who can propel his team to win games, but Alex Smith (with a little help from a defense that found its footing late) showed that he can inspire his team AND make the necessary plays to win games.
Jack del Rio: Going for two took a lot of guts – and yet Jack Del Rio didn’t even seem to waver. The Raiders scored, of course, and he rightfully deserves praise for that. But what if they’d lost? Would he be in the loser’s column?
Matthew Stafford: Stafford has hardly ever gotten the chance to prove he’s an elite QB. Most people thing he’s good, but not great. And yet, he outplayed Andrew Luck – and hey, Luck had a really good game. Most importantly, he did what his team needed to get the win. Does that mean the Lions are going places? We shall see.
Jimmy Garoppolo: Conventional thinking said the Patriots could compete with anyone at QB, not because Brady is not a gifted athlete, but because the coaching staff and the rest of the team are such a well-oiled-machine. But Garoppolo still had to prove it. And boy, did he.
Trevor Siemian: Everyone and their mother had the Panthers beating the Broncos in the so called “revenge game.” No one counted on Siemian being, well, not great, but perfectly okay. Sorta like Peyton Manning was at the end of last season. The Broncos don’t need the QB to win, and it seems they can do as well with Peyton, Osweiler or …well, Trevor Siemian.
Victor Cruz: Two years had passed since Victor Cruz had last played a down of football. Two years. That’s like an eternity in NFL time. We weren’t sure he still he had. He wasn’t sure. But there was Cruz, catching passes from Eli Manning like no time had passed. And the fans were cheering. They really were.
The NFL: A lot of close games and intriguing story-lines make for one of – if not the best – opening week the NFL has seen in years. And that’s a good thing. No, that’s a great thing.
Kenny Stills: If he catches that ball the Dolphins score a TD and, quite possibly, go on to win the game. That’s the story for the Dolphins, though. They’re the quintessential almost-there-team and Stillts perfectly encapsulated why.
The Colts defense: They have one of the best QBs in the game, and yet this team is never going to go places unless the team stops relying on Luck to put up 40 points a game. Yes, you need a good QB to win. You also need some other pieces in place. At least a few.
Terrance Williams: I was yelling for him to go out of bounds. The stadium was yelling for him to go out of bounds. It seemed like everyone knew that was the play – except Terrance Williams. And his oversight cost the Cowboys the game.
RGIII: Another year, another injury for RGIII. At this point it’s hard not to feel bad for the guy. Problem is he plays hard, and sometimes not smart, and in the NFL, that’s enough to get you injured.
Blair Walsh: He missed that FG that would have won the Vikings their playoff game last January and he doesn’t seem like he’s over it. He missed two FGs and an extra-point and worst of all, he looked like he didn’t believe he could make them.
The Bears O-Line: If this unit doesn’t improve, and soon, Jay Cutler is going to get hurt. Badly. He gets a bad rap, does Cutler, but anyone paying attention can see that the unit protecting him isn’t really doing any protecting.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
A.J Green didn’t just beat Darrelle Revis, he built himself a home on Revis Island, finishing with 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown.
DUD OF THE WEEK
The LA Rams. We don’t even have to explain why. They were shut out. That’s enough.
Agree? Disagree? Who were your winners and losers for Week 1? Share with us in the comments below.