Like every Monday, we go with the conclusions after the first week of action in a new NFL season.
A) Russell Wilson seemed to feel comfortable in the offense of new coordinator Shane Waldron. Healthy Chris Carson certainly helps. Seattle’s defensive line was dominant throughout the game; Rasheen Green flashed.
B) Carson Wentz looked healthy in Indianapolis, although he keeps holding the ball too long. Although in fairness, tackle Braden Smith had a bad game. The defense was a deep sieve without Xavier Rhodes.
C) Jimmy Garoppolo looked in control of the offense, and he showed why he has to be a starting QB. Trey Lance threw his first TD, and it will continue to be used in the red zone. They took their foot off the gas and almost paid for it. Verrett and Mostert’s injuries hurt.
D) Detroit looked like a team that will fight for the first overall pick in the draft in the first half. At least they didn’t give up. I liked the running duo of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Nice debut for Penei Sewell. It will be a long year.
E) Triumph of the Steelers in Buffalo, hand in hand with a dominant defense and good special teams. TJ Watt is worth every penny. The offensive line is still a problem, the running game still doesn’t fuel, and Big Ben is no longer the same.
F) Josh Allen looked uncomfortable all afternoon. Vague to depth and careless with the ovoid; the offensive line didn’t help. Bills’ defense looked dominant in the first half, but deflated as the game progressed.
G) The Texans put together a dominant performance and David Culley earned his first win as a coach. Great game for Tyrod Taylor and the defense, which equaled the same number of interceptions (3) they had in the entire previous season.
H) Simply put, the Jaguars didn’t look well prepared, and that’s not a good look for Urban Meyer. Trevor Lawrence showed some things, but threw three interceptions. Many dropped passes and a defense that was embarrassing.
I) Chandler Jones had an epic game with 5 sacks, and if the Arizona defense plays like that, you have to be careful. Because Kyler Murray is perhaps the most dynamic quarterback in the league and we already know that Hopkins is a Star.
J) Derrick Henry had eight rushing yards in the first half. The offensive line was dominated; David Quesenberry is underperforming at right tackle. It is difficult for the Titans defense to generate pressure, and therefore has problems deep down.
K) This is the typical game that the Chargers lost in the past, with costly mistakes and penalties. But Justin Herbert exudes an enviable confidence and execution. First win for coach Brandon Staley.
L) Washington lost Ryan Fitzpatrick to a hip injury, although I think Taylor Heinecke can keep the boat afloat. Antonio Gibson’s fumble was costly, and the defense couldn’t get off the field on third downs.
M) Jalen Hurts proved again that he is a double threat, and led a balanced attack. Good running duo in Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell. DeVonta Smith caught his first TD and the defense dominated and allowed only 260 total yards.
N) After the first two series, Atlanta looked like a soulless and undisciplined team. Too many penalties, an offensive line that offered no guarantees. The defense never had answers. Much to think about for Arthur Smith.
O) Playing him on the fourth down in overtime took guts, and it feels like the Bengals are always going to be in the game as long as they have Joe Burrow. Joe Mixon is one of the most underrated running backs in the league and the defense was more aggressive.
Q) The offensive line is going to be a problem for the Vikings all season. In addition to not being his weak strength, that little protection means that Kirk Cousins averages 7 yards per pass and cannot be more vertical. Predictable offensive.
Q) Sam Darnold took the win against his former team, but while he showed some interesting things, it felt like the Panthers should have defined the game earlier. Christian McCaffrey inspired and the defense was constantly in the Jets’ backfield.
A) The Jets may have the worst offensive line in the NFL, and to top it all, Mekhi Becton was injured. Zach Wilson looked bad and they beat him too much, but I liked his spirit in the snap. The problem is that it will not last if you continue to suffer that punishment.
S) Tom Brady, with time, cooks you over low heat and Antonio Brown paints to have a great season. But the Bucs made too many penalties, and the passing defense lacks depth and they lost Sean Murphy-Bunting.
T) Missed opportunity for the Cowboys, whose defense still can’t generate pressure. Greg Zuerlein did not help the cause. At least you can say that with Dak Prescott healthy, they have an elite offense.
U) Before the season, I already thought the Saints would be the big surprise this year, and I think about it more now. They dominated the Packers on both sides of the ball in the trenches, Jameis Winston knew how to edit himself and also threw 5 touchdowns.
V) Two rookies started on the offensive line, and the unit was dominated all afternoon. Aaron Rodgers never looked comfortable and made some out-of-character mistakes; he was unsuccessful in any third attempt in the entire match.
W) It was Denver’s best debut in years, with an efficient Teddy Bridgewater capable of stretching plays when necessary. Von Miller came back with two sacks, and Melvin Gordon looked terrific on the ground. Fingers crossed that Jeudy’s injury is not serious.
X) It looks like neither Saquon Barkley nor Kenny Golladay are 100 percent yet. Daniel Jones made another costly loss, the Giants’ offensive line is bad and the defense struggled to generate pressure.
Y) The Dolphins took an invaluable win at Foxborough, thanks in large part to two crucial losses that strained their defense at key moments. Tua Tagovailoa with time proved to be very efficient, although under pressure, he must improve.
Z) Mac Jones had a more than acceptable debut for New England. He showed temper under pressure and pulled the ball out in time; it was the losses of their runners that killed them. Trent Brown’s injury worries, but reasons for optimism for Pats.
AA) The Chiefs must be the most frustrating team in the NFL. The defense was a strainer in the first half, in which they allowed 10 yards a play, and generated zero pressure. Mahomes, Kelce and Hill caught fire and won a game in which they were being dominated.
BB) Even in defeat, and despite the punting blooper that the game cost them, the Browns made it clear that they are going to be a legitimate contender this season. The only question is whether with Baker Mayfield, they can think of a Super Bowl.
CC) Matthew Stafford adds another verticality that the Rams lacked last year. Cooper Kupp could finish among the leaders in passing yards. I was surprised that the ground defense allows so many freedoms.
DD) The Bears defense had a disappointing debut with multiple miscommunication in the background. They had already lost Teven Jenkins, and now Jason Peters and Larry Borom. Left tackle is wanted. The countdown to Justin Fields continues