One week down, 16 to go.
You know the line, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. All cheesy metaphors aside, I am pretty excited to see how this 2019-20 NFL “marathon” will finish.
Some teams like New England set the tone early with impressive wins and others, like the Chicago Bears, did not impress.
Some observations from week one:
There have been rumors of the Miami Dolphins “Tanking for Tua” or any of the other eligible 2020 NFL Draft QB prospects. While it may seem that the team is denying that, Sunday’s 59-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens helped elevate the theory of those “tanking” truthers.
Then came the news during “Football Night in America” on NBC. Mike Florio reported that there were players getting their agents on the phones after the game requesting trades or any way out of Miami to avoid being part of a “tanking” team.
First-year head coach Brian Flores came out on Monday and said that he “can’t speak to the accuracy”of that, but it is just the latest adventure of “Miami Mayhem” that has the once-proud Dolphins franchise on the brink of collapse.
After the Flores-Jay Z influenced beef with wide receiver Kenny Stills and making Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting QB over Josh Rosen, Miami needs a miracle soon or it could be a candidate to go 0-16.
Gardner Minshew, it’s your time
A year ago, not many people knew who Gardner Minshew was or what he could do. A year later, the Washington State cult hero has a chance to play an important part for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season. During Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, newly signed quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken left clavicle and Minshew (with the ‘stache) entered the ballgame and did pretty well for himself.
The Jags lost 40-26 but the former Cougar went 22 of 25 for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He’s going to be the guy for a while as Foles is done for an indefinite amount of time.
Game of the Week: Texans at Saints
It is very rare to have what will probably be one of the five best games of the season in the first week of the season, on the first Monday night game of the season. Spectacular catches and clutch plays highlighted the Saints’ 30-28 come-from-behind victory that saw Saints QB Drew Brees drive down the field in 37 seconds to set up a game-winning field goal.
NFL MVP for week one: Lamar Jackson
“Not bad for a running back” -Lamar Jackson.
Those were the words Lamar Jackson had to say after week one’s dominating victory over the Miami Dolphins. Jackson threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns in what clearly was been the best game in his very young career. While it might be easy to scoff at how bad the Dolphins are, it is still impressive knowing just what Jackson has faced and will continue to face.
NFL experts wanted teams to move him to running back or wide receiver.
He doesn’t look like a traditional quarterback and analysts questioned his arm strength. In Sunday’s game he averaged 19 yards per pass attempted including an 83-yard TD pass, so clearly that has been answered.
It is still early in the career of Lamar Jackson but for him to answer some major questions in his first season and first game as “the” guy for the Ravens is very encouraging.