Insiders

NFL AM: Week 1 Observations

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In Week 1 Observations, we take a quick look at each game and point out some notes about each team.

Green Bay 27, Jacksonville 23

The Packers will always be competitive with the best quarterback in the NFL.  Having Jordy Nelson back makes this offense extremely dangerous and their offensive line was certainly good enough without Josh Sitton…..The Jaguars are feeling like one got away, but they’re a lot better than last year.  Jalen Ramsey was magnificent and so was Blake Bortles.

Baltimore 13, Buffalo 7

The Ravens defense was better than expected, but if they can’t run the ball the offense won’t score enough points to be competitive….The Bills were a complete mess on offense and they’re likely to be without Sammy Watkins for an extended period of time.

Houston 23, Bears 14

The Texans finally have a complement to DeAndre Hopkins in Will Fuller, which makes that offense look like it can compete with anyone in the AFC.  Or maybe it was just the Bears who were awful last year…..Chicago doesn’t have a lot going for them.  

Philadelphia 29, Cleveland 10

Carson Wentz probably won’t look as good as he did on opening day, but going to him was clearly the right move.  The Eagles will probably still struggle this season…..RG3 gets hurt and the Browns look really bad right now for not taking Wentz.  It seems like no matter what they do, it’s “same old Browns.”

Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 24

Jameis Winston was fantastic in the season opener against what appears to be a pitiful Falcons defense.  If he can replicate that level of play during the regular season, the Bucs will be making a trip to the postseason…..The Falcons defense is broken and Matt Ryan is no longer good enough to bail them out on a weekly basis.

Minnesota 25, Tennessee 16

Shaun Hill isn’t terrible, but as good as the Minnesota defense is, they’re not going to get two touchdowns per game to bail him out.  It’s time to start Sam Bradford…..The Titans young offense had a rough time against one of the best defenses in football, which was expected.  There will be brighter days ahead.

Cincinnati 23, New York Jets 22

The Bengals offensive line has to play much better, but they’ll certainly sign up for a road win against a team that won double-digit games last year.  Andy Dalton picked up where he left off last season when he had the best year of his career…..Ryan Fitzpatrick has to be better to beat good, playoff teams.  If he doesn’t get better, the Jets are staring a .500 season in the face.  Huge game this Thursday at Buffalo.  

Oakland 35, New Orleans 34

Jack Del Rio set a tone for his young team and gave them all the confidence in the world when he went for two to win the game instead of kicking the extra point to send it into a potential overtime. Part of what played into the decision had to be the likelihood of his defense stopping Drew Brees, but it certainly worked out…..New year, same story for the Saints.  Brees is amazing and the defense can’t get the stop they need to win.

Kansas City 33, San Diego 27

Superb comeback for Kansas City, but that doesn’t mean everything is right in BBQ-land.  Why were they down 18 points at home to a 4-12 team from last year?  Brutal loss for the Chargers and we’re not just talking about the game.  Keenan Allen, Rivers’ best playmaker goes down for the season and the team is left with Travis Benjamin as the No. 1 guy.

Seattle 12, Miami 10

If Russell Wilson’s ankle doesn’t heal quickly the Seahawks are going to have trouble beating anybody.  If he’s forced to be a pure pocket passer he’s going to be exposed….The Dolphins get one of those sought after moral victories, and that should give them confidence heading into the rest of their season.

Detroit 39, Indianapolis 35

The Lions offense looked great and Matt Stafford took his game to an entirely new level.  If that continues, Detroit will have a chance to win a lot of shootouts….The Colts are kicking themselves after dropping a home game that they never should have dropped.  An ill-advised timeout by Chuck Pagano left time on the clock for Stafford to win the game.  It’s bad when Jim Caldwell outcoaches you.

New York Giants 20, Dallas 19

The Giants defense is considerably better than it has been in the last few years.  With that said, it was probably a little too close against a team starting a rookie….The Cowboys will be more than okay with Dak Prescott under center.  They need to scheme up more ways for Dez Bryant to get open, but that will come with more balance from the running game.

New England 23, Arizona 21

Jimmy Garoppolo was tremendous playing without Gronk and behind a bad offensive line.  If the Pats didn’t lose this game against an NFC finalist on the road, when are they actually going to lose?….The Cardinals were completely outplayed, but should have still won if Cantazaro doesn’t miss a 47-yard field goal.  This is one that could hurt at the end of the season.

Pittsburgh 38, Washington 16

The Steelers are virtually unstoppable on offense despite missing key starters.  Antonio Brown is on another planet and DeAngelo Williams is the best No. 2 running back in football.  With that said, this isn’t a formula for a Super Bowl as the secondary can’t cover and there’s no pass rush….The Redskins were possibly the most disappointing “good team” as Kirk Cousins showed that the team was right not to give him a long-term deal.  Really bad showing at home.  

San Francisco 28, Los Angeles 0

The 49ers are still not a particularly good team, but the Rams were downright atrocious.  Chip Kelly is still playing the wrong quarterback and the Niners will lose their fair share of games….Words can’t do the performance the Rams put on Monday night justice.  They were absolutely brutal and there’s no way Jared Goff could be worse than Case Keenum.  Jeff Fisher will probably be rewarded with another contract extension this week.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.