Week one was a week to forget for some teams. There were only three games decided by 7 points or less and most of the games were a blowout. While it is only one game, a lot can be analyzed and learned from only week 1. Like who the best tools are and who can continue to thrive in the coming games. Here are some of those bright spots from the week 1 losers:
Patriots (lost 42-27 to the Chiefs):
If you are a Pats fan and are concerned about your team, don’t be because the entirety of the Patriots is a bright spot. There is not enough that can be said about how great both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are. While the Pats currently are not at their best, as Hightower and Amendola both got injured during the game and Edelman out for season, the Patriots have proven in the past that injures do not slow them down (we all remember Matt Cassel). With Bill and Tom leading the way, the Patriots are going to be just fine in the coming weeks.
Jets (lost 21-12 to the Bills):
The Jets are quite possibly the worst team in the NFL this year. They lack depth and efficiency both on offense and defense. There are not many bright spots to point out on the Jets, except their special teams. After week one, the Jets lead the league in special teams efficiency, as they posted up a league-best rating of 92.8. While it isn’t much, the Jets are probably willing to take any positive they can procure, no matter how minuscule. Furthermore, Todd Bowles has raved about Jets rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Both rookies finished with 4 tackles a piece, but according to Bowles, he liked what he saw from them.
Texans (lost 29-7 to the Jaguars):
After the tragedies of Hurricane Harvey, the city of Houston needed help recovering, and the Texans’ own J.J. Watt provided that for the city through his foundation. Emotions ran wild as Watt made his way out of the tunnel. J.J. Watt, no matter the circumstance, will always be a bright spot for not only the Texans, but Houston as well. When it comes to the game itself, the bright spot is rookie Deshaun Watson. He threw for 102 yards, went 12/23 (52%), 1 touchdown, and 1 INT. While the stats itself don’t jump out, he held his own and looked promising enough to be the starter against the Bengals in week 2. Watson has the ability to have a promising year if he puts in the work and the offensive line can actually block somebody (allowed 10 sacks). Either way, he is an upgrade over Tom Savage.
Browns (lost 21-18 to the Steelers):
The Cleveland Browns have turned into a meme in recent years, but they are on a slow come up. They were surprisingly able to keep the game close against a high-powered Steelers offense. Most importantly, they were able to contain Le’Veon Bell to just 32 yards. Not only that, Myles Garrett didn’t even play, so the defense is only bound to get better. The only player that was able to burn the defense was Antonio Brown, which isn’t unusual or surprising at all. While they still lost, their defense fought hard, making it their bright spot.
Cardinals (lost 35-23 to the Lions):
Losing David Johnson for an extended period is tough. Many believe that playoffs for the Cardinals is only fantasy. Offensively they take a huge hit, but defensively the Cardinals are still above average. In the first half, the Cardinals’ D was phenomenal, but their offense started to breakdown and afterwards so did the defense. Lead by 3 time first-team all-pro CB Patrick Peterson and one time pro bowl FS Tyrann Mathieu, the Cardinals still have a solid defense. While they did give up 35 points this game, it won’t be the norm for them. Furthermore, part of the blame goes to the offense as well as they were not able to convert during their drives, making the defense stay on the field longer.
Bears (lost 23-17 to the Falcons):
The Bears showed some improvements from last year, mainly on the defensive end. They managed to stay in the game against one of the best teams in the NFL, plus they limited a great offense to 23 points. Akiem Hicks specifically looked very dominant as he recorded 2 sacks and 3 tackles. Lastly, Jordan Howard was one of the best running backs last year as a rookie, he will more than likely continue to dominate in coming weeks even though he didn’t week 1.
Titans (lost 26-16 to the Raiders):
The Titans have a lot of work to do in order to compete for a playoff spot. Marcus Mariota had an underwhelming game, as he had no touchdowns and went 25/41, but his receivers are the bright spot for the Titans. Delanie Walker came away with 7 catches and 76 yards, Rishard Matthews caught 5 passes and got 71 yards, and lastly the rookie Corey Davis hauled in 6 passes for 69 years. Not bad for all three, but a touchdown for at least one player would’ve made them even better.
Bengals (lost 20-0 to the Bengals):
Andy Dalton and the Bengals had the worst week offensively, as they were the only team to be held scoreless week 1. Defensively they couldn’t do much either as Joe Flacco was able to complete 9 of 17 passes and Terrance West was able to rush for 80 yards. Dalton was essentially playing for the Ravens because he threw 4 picks. The only bright spot at the moment the Bengals have is the fact that A.J. Green is healthy and doing his thing. When Dalton decided he actually wanted to pass to his receivers, Green caught 5 of those and got 74 yards out of them.
Redskins (lost 30-17 to the Eagles):
In the off-season, the world was unsure whether or not Kirk Cousins would still be a Redskin, but here we are in week 1 and Kirk accounted for 3 of the 4 Redskins turnovers. Kirk had a rough game, the Redskins in general had a rough game. However, while the score doesn’t show it, the Redskins did decent defensively. They clearly have improved their defense from last year, specifically Ryan Kerrigan, as he had a pick 6 and half a sack.
Colts (lost 46-9 to the Rams):
All I have to say here is that the Colts need Andrew Luck back. Their offense is clueless without him, and their defense is already suspect enough. Luck is the face of the Colts, and without him, they will not win. He is the heart of their offense and he is the reason the Colts’ suspect defense at least stays fresh instead of being tired by having to deal with the offense’s 3 and outs. Gore, Hilton, Moncrief, etc. all useless without Luck because Scott Tolzien is simply a bad quarterback. Once Luck is back, the Colts will at least be respectable.
Seahawks (lost 17-9 to the Packers):
The offensive line woes continue for the Seahawks, at least for the first week. The Packers defense applied constant pressure on Russell Wilson and allowed little to no yards rushing, making it very difficult for their offense to going; however, the Seahawks defense still seemed like one of the best in the NFL. In the first half the score was 3-0 Seahawks. The Seahawks defense looked impeccable, but with zero support from there offense, their defense was bound to get weaker because of fatigue. DE Micheal Thomas had 1.5 sacks and Cliff Avril and Terrance Garvin had a sack each. Furthermore, Nazair Jones earned an interception as well. If this trend continues, the Seahawks defense will have to win football games all by themselves.
49ers (lost 23-3 to the Panthers):
The 49ers couldn’t get any aspect that is related to football to work in week 1. Offense and defense got severely outplayed by the Panthers, and that trend will more than likely continue in the coming weeks. To make things worse, their first round, 31st overall pick, Reuben Foster, went down with an ankle injury and can be out for an extended amount of time. Some bright spots are the fact that Navarro Bowman is healthy again and playing football. His leadership skills will be needed for the 49ers. Another thing is the fact that their D-Line is filled with studs (rookie Solomon Thomas, 2nd year DeForest Buckner, and 3rd year Arik Armstead). With young, highly-praised, first round picks filling the core of the D Line, something special can occur there in the near future.
Giants (lost 19-3 to the Cowboys):
Apparently, the Giants forget how to play football offensively without Odell Beckham Jr, but once Odell is back in the lineup, the Giants will be just fine. Odell is a huge threat to the defense, thus he asks for a lot of attention from the defense, which in turn creates opportunities the other receivers to be open. Odell is a key component to the Giants offense and they need him back on the field. Furthermore, the Giants defense was able to hold their own for the most part as well. They only allowed one touchdown and made red zone stands that resulted in just field goals. Moving forward the Giants defense will continue to perform at this high rate.
Saints (lost 29-19 to the Vikings):
Any team that has Drew Brees should be a force offensively, but that wasn’t the case in week 1. The offense was very inconsistent and Brees found himself throwing away passes or making risky throws to make something happen. To make things worse, Sam Bradford was throwing dots like Joe Montana (27/32 346 yards) and Dalvin Cook ran better than Adrian Peterson in his debut game (127 yards). Saints however still have Brees and he can make magic happen anytime he wants to. Lastly, the Saints still have a good running back core in Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram, HC Sean Payton and OC Pete Carmichael Jr. just need to decide to use them in coming weeks as they both only combined for only 12 rush attempts.
Chargers (lost 24-21 to the Broncos):
The Chargers were on the verge on tying the game if Young Hoe Koo would have nailed a 44-yard field goal. Unfortunately for the Chargers, the field goal ended up getting blocked. Some positive takeaway from the game is the fact that both defensive end Joey Bosa and outside linebacker Melvin Ingram combined for three sacks and applied constant pressure on Trevor Siemian. They look especially dangerous in week one and Chargers fans sure should pray for their dominance to continue in the coming weeks. Furthermore, Phillip Rivers looked impressive especially in the fourth quarter as well. Rivers threw for 185 yards and got 3 touchdowns, he just needed a little help from the running backs. Melvin Gordon had a disappointing game as he only rushed for 54 yards. Usually he gets a couple of touchdowns but he had none on the ground in this game. Gordon is still a bright spot for them as he is still one of the best running backs in the league.
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featured image courtesy of Sports Illustrated