Week 1 Woes - Straight to the Extra Point Blog Week 2
By: Matt Sanderson
The first week of the 2023/24 NFL season is in the books and man was it ever a wild one. From multiple leg injuries, to the shellacking the Giants received in the Meadowlands by the Cowboys it was definitely a weekend to forget for most.
Let's start with not putting too much onus on the games because it was week 1. But the road teams took the cake as 10 of 16 games had the road team winning and in five of those instances they won by 10 or more points.
Some big names that dropped to 0-1 are, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, Justin Jefferson and Minnesota, TJ Watt and the Steelers, and Joe Burrow and Cincinnati.
Sadly with some wins came losses as well, that's right Baltimore and New York I am talking to you. However, not your fault it is still something big to note with JK Dobbins and Aaron Rodgers hitting the IR early.
Here are my 5 Biggest Takeaways from Week 1
Source: NBC Article by David K. Li - Michael Owens/Getty Images
Aaron Rodger's Achilles Tear is bad for all of Football
Many football fans talked about the New York State match between Buffalo and the Jets, it was set on one of the biggest stages it could be set on. Monday Night Football, opening week of the NFL season, MetLife Stadium, September 11th (The 22nd anniversary of 9/11), all the offseason drama with these teams and two high calibre Quarterbacks.
That scene of Aaron Rodgers running out of the tunnel holding the American Flag...it was almost like a scene out of a Superhero movie. The crowd was roaring and celebrities were there not to watch the Jets...but to watch Aaron Rodgers. Now, one thing you readers will learn very quickly is I am a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, and even though I was a bit sad the day it was official, I was also relieved for a new beginning in Green Bay. Regardless I was excited to see a high scoring game, and for most Jets fans (similar to Toronto Maple Leaf fans and Buffalo Sabre fans) this was a sign of great things to come. But no-one could've fathomed the scenario at hand...4 plays into his New York Jets tenure, Aaron Rodgers ruptures his achilles tendon...just like that, their season is over.
Give credit to the Jets to pull out the win, to have enough talent in place on both sides of the ball (more on the defence however) and to have your former #2 pick have to come in and take everything he learned over the last 5 months from Rodgers and help will your team to a victory, that's a storybook ending...or is it. Bottom line is this, do the Jets have a high calibre Defense? Yes. Do the Jets have a young up and coming star at Wide Receiver to help win games? Yes. Do the Jets have a good backfield? Yes. Well then, Matt why do you think we can't still make the playoffs, that our season is over? Because of one simple name, Jets fans brace yourselves "Zach Wilson". This is where the story ends, Zach Wilson does not have what it takes to take this team to the playoffs, I am sorry but he doesn't, if it wasn't for the Jets other QB Josh Allen (Bills Quarterback) throwing the defence the ball all night they would have lost that game.
It is a sad but harsh reality and one which makes all of football reel in a bit of sadness. Think of the ratings, the storylines, the fantasy points, the peaks and valleys and the possibility for the Jets to do something that have not accomplished in many many years, contend for a championship. It sucked to see, but I hope he will be back because man won't that make one hell of a storyline next season.
The Green Bay Packers might have their Guy?
From the former Packers QB to the newest one, despite what most people thought was a pressure game for the Chicago Bears and Justin Fields Sunday's Longest Rivalry was just as much of a pressure cooker for Jordan Love.
Sunday earmarked the beginning of a new era in Green Bay Packers franchise, the Love era. Jordan Love came out of that tunnel at Soldier Field with a purpose...that was to go hunting for Bears and he did just that.
I felt like it was so important for Jordan Love to come out and make a statement game, not only to his teammates and his organization but to the entire football world, there is a new sheriff in town. Let's slow the roll and remember this was the Chicago Bears and like the Bears do, they let Love and the Packers walk in, kick their feet up and start rummaging through their fridge and their belongings like they owned the place, with a rough 38-20 trampling from the Pack.
The Packers we good in all three phases of the game (Offence, Defence, Special Teams) and Love looked poised and calm behind his line, only taking one sack and only pressured a handful of times. Now please note, Love didn't play like a 4 time MVP and Super Bowl Hall of Famer and there is much to speculate on whether he'll ever become that. However, his stat line was good (15-27 for 245 and 3 TDs 132 Passer Rating) and he made the throws he needed to mainly on 3rd and 4th Down.
So I'd like to say...all you need is Love.
The Buffalo Bills will be just fine.
I am sure Josh Allen is well aware he made Jordan Whitehead the second leading reception getter on the Jets team last week. Frankly, something is up with him and we can assume it could be Ken Dorsey and this offence is not the same as it was two years ago with Brian Daboll but some of this blame has to fall on Allen.
Despite the rough outing for the Bills on Monday night, they will flip the script and I think will come out and play well against the Raiders. Allen is an all world talent, he's big, mobile, has a cannon for an arm and we saw it time and time again last year and the year before, he can make the big plays.
This organization has turned a corner, Allen is a great QB and will be for ages and he will get his shot at a Super Bowl sooner rather than later. So don't sleep on the Buffalo Bills because this team will be playing with a purpose from this moment onward. I think last week's game will turn out to be the motivation Allen needs to put the team on his back and bring them to another deep playoff run.
The Miami Dolphins are way better than most thought.
Who would've thunk that Tua Tagovailoa would make very little mistakes and be slinging the ball all over Los Angeles?...Well anyone with a decent Football IQ would have known that. The part I loved from Tua last week was he was so unfazed, it was like he was in a different world of his own, not only going through his progressions but being very accurate with the ball in pressure situations. It does help when you have a cheetah you're throwing too.
Every bit of the Dolphins play was good, it was a high scoring affair but the Defence still played well when it mattered most. Justin Herbert was sacked 3 times and Miami did a good job of making him look uncomfortable too.
Expect a bounce back week from some of the League's best.
Don't expect, Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts & Lamar Jackson to be off this week. Okay I get it, anything can happen in football, but if you go back and look at the facts and stats these 4 who I just mentioned have stepped up when it mattered most. Even though it was just Week 2, you don't want to start the season 0-2. On average, if you start 0-2 you only have an 11% chance of making the playoffs. These guys thrive in important games and I am sure each one will do just that.
Joe Burrow and Lamar will be playing one another this week, a big AFC North rivalry. Look for this to be a BIG game but for Burrow to come out slinging the ball all over the field, he will be playing with a purpose. On the other side of the coin Lamar, will be looking for a better game stat wise despite their week 1 win, they looked out of sorts. Also, with Dobbins going down it will be more on Lamar to create some rushing opportunities.
Jalen Hurts will have a short week as the Eagles will host Justin Jefferson and the Minnesota Vikings. Watch it be a high flying game where the pigskins is being thrown all over the yard. It was a quite start for Devonta Smith and AJ Brown but I am confident this week, one or both of those guys will start to gain traction this week with Hurts. For Hurts it is so important to stay collected and play his style of game which is keeping the Defence on their toes.
Finally Patrick Mahomes he'll be just fine. I think he really makes a statement this week, with potentially having Kelce back and for sure Chris Jones back. These two guys are electrifying but even if Kelce is not back this week you can be sure Mahomes will NOT let the drops happen like they did last week. I think we need a bit more balance though from the Chiefs in the run game as well. If they can find that proper balance, look out because the Chiefs are coming!
Finally, I will give three picks for this upcoming week - First, Bills will rock against the Raiders with a convincing 30-17 win, King Henry will have over 100 yards rushing against the LA Chargers Defence, and while the 49ers will still win their game against the Rams, it was will much closer than most think...I am going with a 28-24 victory for San Francisco.
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