The primary week of the NFL common season has come and gone, and now we get to do one of the best a part of the season after Week 1: it’s overreaction time, of us! Each group who misplaced is formally unhealthy and needs to be tanking for the highest choose within the draft, and each group who received is Tremendous Bowl-bound and should purchase their aircraft tickets to Las Vegas now whereas costs are low-cost.
Clearly there are some issues which you can wash away as a result of, properly, it’s Week 1, however there are some elements of the sport the place you’ll be able to say “hmm, that is perhaps an issue” regardless of it solely being Week 1.
That’s the place we are available in. We’re going to dive into some overreactions to the week 1 slate and inform whether or not it’s reality or fiction, and if you have to be apprehensive or not.
Truth: The Jets are doomed with out Aaron Rodgers
On Monday evening, Aaron Rodgers went down 4 performs into his New York Jets debut, struggling a ruptured Achilles, taking him out for your entire season. It’s one sport, and coming after a win over the Buffalo Payments, nevertheless it’s robust to see the Jets being aggressive with out Rodgers in at QB. We all know what backup Zach Wilson is, and with an especially troublesome schedule developing, they’re going to want a QB who can truly assist them win the sport.
The one possible way the Jets could possibly be aggressive with out Rodgers is that if they get 4 takeaways like they did towards Buffalo on Monday evening. Turnover variance is actual, and regardless of how good the Jets’ protection was final 12 months, they solely completed thirtieth in takeaways. Perhaps if they will get some extra turnovers they are often combating for a playoff spot, however with out quantity 8 within the backfield, it’s wanting grim.
Fiction: The Bengals and Chiefs are doomed
The ultimate two groups standing within the AFC final 12 months received off to a tough begin, each shedding their season openers in grim style. Nonetheless, I feel each of those groups will greater than possible be simply superb. Lots was made in regards to the Chiefs vast receiver group (and a few of it’s true), however getting again TE Travis Kelce will assist unlock the remainder of the move catchers within the group. The receiving core is rather more constructed complement a celebrity weapon in Kelce than clear up a sport on their very own, and getting the veteran TE again will assist ease among the points they’d offensively. As well as, Chris Jones may also be again, filling a big hole in the course of that protection. They won’t be completely good, however they’ll be superb as soon as these two guys get again on top of things.
Cincinnati I really feel rather less longing for, however additionally they needs to be simply superb. After shedding to the Browns 24-3 in a sport the place Joe Burrow threw for 82 yards, it could possibly be superb to chalk this as much as a foul rain sport, however the motive that I’m a bit bit extra apprehensive in regards to the Bengals than the Chiefs is due to all of the stress QB Joe Burrow confronted. Per Professional Soccer Community’s Jay Morrison:
Joe Burrow was pressured on 38.3 % of his dropbacks yesterday.
That is his fifth highest whole for the reason that begin of 2021.
47.5 vs SF in 2021
41.4 at Broncos in 2021
405 vs Browns in Dec. 2022
40.4 vs Chargers in 2021
— Jay Morrison (@ByJayMorrison) September 11, 2023
Whether or not that be resulting from lingering results of Burrow’s damage or the offensive line needing extra time to gel collectively, that downside could possibly be a problem to observe. Nonetheless, the identical factor was stated about this group final 12 months they usually had been a number of performs away from making one other Tremendous Bowl. So I’m prepared to present them the advantage of the doubt.
Truth: Chargers head coach Brandon Staley is on the new seat
Stroll with me on this one. Final 12 months, with out Joey Bosa, JC Jackson, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Jackson, the Chargers dismantled the Miami Dolphins in a defensive masterpiece. Quick ahead and also you now have all of these guys, you run for 234 yards and rating 34 factors … after which lose as a result of the protection performed one of many worst video games of the Brandon Staley period.
Six Dolphins receivers averaged greater than ten yards per catch, and there have been guys operating vast open your entire sport. Not solely was the offense adequate, the run sport was one of the crucial environment friendly we’ve seen in a decade.
For a group that has made as many excessive priced investments on protection because the Chargers do to present Brandon Staley every thing he wanted, these issues nonetheless are developing. This protection is just too gifted to have full meltdowns like this, and for all the inventory individuals constantly purchase within the Chargers, somebody goes to need to pay the invoice finally. That is perhaps Staley, who’s defenses simply haven’t performed the identical since not having Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey turned his new actuality.
Fiction: The Rams would possibly truly be good this 12 months
Belief me, I need to imagine, however we must always pump the brakes on this one. The Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-13 in a sport the place QB Matthew Stafford turned again the clock and dazzled in his first sport again since a season-ending damage, and DT Aaron Donald is … properly … Aaron Donald. The rationale I’m not going to purchase an excessive amount of into the Rams proper now could be as a result of I nonetheless have questions in regards to the defensive depth on their roster. The youth and general expertise stage within the secondary nonetheless scares me, particularly as they play harder opponents.
Nonetheless, I’ll say that the offensive efficiency is encouraging, particularly when you think about that WR Cooper Kupp didn’t play. Regardless of that, I’ll maintain off on something with the Rams till we get a clearer image.
Truth: The Bears’ rise was significantly exaggerated
I truthfully simply really feel kinda unhealthy for Bears followers. All of the hype within the offseason after buying and selling for WR D.J. Moore and addressing the offensive line, to then be promptly pantsed on nationwide tv at dwelling by your greatest rival. I feel the lesson right here is easy: the Bears are nonetheless a group that lacks supreme expertise and depth on the extent of the Packers. QB Justin Fields was underneath duress for many of the sport, and when he wasn’t the inaccuracies had been additionally an issue. Moore solely seeing two targets is an enormous situation that can hopefully be mounted because the season goes on, and defensively the Bears fell aside late within the sport.
This can be a rebuilding group that also has main questions. Nonetheless, the proof of idea remains to be lacking, and that is perhaps an issue. OC Luke Getsy has come underneath hearth for the poor offensive efficiency, however actually it’s an throughout downside. Give it one other 12 months till they’ll be able to contend for the playoffs.
Fiction: The Cleveland Browns are one of the best group within the AFC North
Once more, let’s pump the brakes right here. After the Browns dismantled the Bengals, mixed with the Steelers laying an egg towards the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens wanting shaky towards the Houston Texans, the thought could be that the Browns run the division. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless some main points with that Browns group, particularly offensively. QB Deshaun Watson had an up and down efficiency, main the Browns on a few landing drives, but in addition passing the ball erratically within the driving rain. You may chalk it as much as the rain, which is truthful, however Watson missed on many throws regardless of the offense being referred to as pretty properly by head coach Kevin Stefanski, which nonetheless makes me query the ceiling of the offense.
Nonetheless, they play the Steelers on Monday with the possibility to go up two in a loaded division, so possibly it’d result in them successful the division. Nonetheless, I’ll nonetheless maintain out till I see extra manufacturing out of the passing sport.