NFL Week 1 Notes

Rookie/new head coaches showed out in week 1: Todd Bowles (not a rookie but starting off his second head coaching stint) got a win. Matt Eberflus with the Bears won. Kevin O’Connell with the Vikings won. Mike McDaniel with the Dolphins won. Dennis Allen (also not a rookie head coach but starting his tenure off with the Saints) got a win. Brian Daboll of the Giants got win. Lovie Smith, not a rookie head coach at all but in his first game as head coach of the Houston Texans, didn’t win, he got a tie. So he and Josh McDaniels of the Raiders (not a rookie head coach, however) were the only ones not to get a win.

Nathaniel Hackett and his Broncos go tonight, and if they beat the Seahawks, then I think that means all the new head coaches for 2022 except for McDaniels and Lovie won. That’s pretty cool.

The Browns won their first week 1 game since… take a guess… final answers in… Jeopardy music… 2004. If they ever fire Kevin Stefanski, they’re morons. He is the first Browns coach since Belichick that actually has that franchise in a winning culture.

The Packers got smoked in Week 1. Last year in week 1, they lost 38-3 to the Saints. So the Packers are not hopeless, just look at last year. But it’s interesting: the Packers usually don’t lose in week 1 with Aaron Rodgers. Besides 2021, the last time they lost an opening weekend game was 2014, when they got beat 36-16 by the Seahawks. That year the Packers and Seahawks would meet in the NFC Championship Game, with the Packers blowing a 19-8 late lead. So while the Packers don’t usually lose in week 1, the few times they have with Aaron Rodgers, they’ve been able to bounce back and go far.

The Cowboys look horrible. I have never believed that CeeDee Lamb has the juice to be a #1 wide receiver; I think he’s much better as a #2 option. But with Dak out likely a month or more, the Cowboys are toast. Not that I think Dak is particularly good or anything, I just think they go from having slim odds of contending to none with Dak out.

The most interesting thing about the Cowboys now is how long it takes Jerry to fire Mike McCarthy, and when he does fire him, does he try to hire Sean Payton mid-season? Is that even allowed? I don’t see why it wouldn’t be allowed. I know it’s college, but I remember last year when Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma to go to USC before the bowl game, Oklahoma brought in Bob Stoops to coach the team. He wasn’t employed by Oklahoma at all, but that was allowed. And if anything college would be more strict on that than the pros, you’d think, right? It’s Jerry’s team. If he wants to fire his coach and hire a new permanent replacement mid-season, why shouldn’t he be allowed to do that? I don’t think it’s a requirement that you have an interim

I understand why it’s never been done before–because it’s almost an impossible task take over someone else’s team in the middle of a season and immediately start winning–but come on: we all know Jerry wants Sean Payton, why wouldn’t Jerry try to get him mid-season? If it’s early enough in the season and Jerry thinks it’s still salvageable with Payton at the helm, there’s no reason he wouldn’t try to get him and plug him in mid-season. It would probably be a disaster–coaches need months to install their offensive and defensive schemes, hire their own trusted assistants, establish a hierarchy and leadership framework for the team, build rapport with their players, etc. So I don’t think we’ll see Sean Payton coaching the Cowboys in 2022. But with Jerry, you never know.

The Bears celebrating in the rain after they won was my favorite moment of Sunday:

I just love the vibes coming from the Bears right now. I don’t know if they’ll be good this year, but they really impressed me winning that game in the rain against a team that was in the NFC Championship last season. Last season for the Bears was just such a disaster, and the vibes were so bad, it’s great to see them having fun. It seems like they were just miserable under Nagy last year. This year they seem like a brotherhood, they seem like they’re all pulling in the same direction, and it just seems like the culture has improved by leaps and bounds under the new Poles/Eberflus regime:

I’m bought in on the Bears once again. I’m excited to be a Bears fan for the first time in a long time.

Again, I don’t know if they’re a playoff team this season, but this looks like a team that can compete and that is headed in the right direction.

Trey Lance: 417 total pass attempts in the NFL and college combined. Or put differently, Trey Lance has attempted 417 passes since his senior year of high school. Do we know if this guy is even a quarterback? I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just genuinely wondering how he ever got drafted 3rd overall. The dude played basically one college season at North Dakota State and that’s it. To this day I’m still shocked he was drafted that high. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong, but I think he has about 2 more games to figure it out or else he’s getting benched. They kept Garoppolo for a reason. They play the Rams in week 4. If Shanahan doesn’t like what he sees out of Lance over these next two weeks, I think he gets yanked for the Rams game.

Actually, it gets even crazier. So I looked up his NFL stats and then his college stats and found the 417 combined pass attempts since high school. It turns out he barely even threw the ball in high school. His senior year high school stats:

67 completions on 133 attempts. And according to his Wikipedia page he wanted to attended University of Minnesota but they wouldn’t offer him a scholarship as a QB. They wanted him to play wideout. No FBS school offered him a scholarship as a QB Only North Dakota State was willing to do that.

I’m not trying to be a dick when I say, are we even sure he’s a quarterback? It’s a genuine concern. I think with him it’s been more like, “He’s such an incredible athlete and a physical specimen, can you imagine if he could figure it out and play quarterback?”

It’s probably unfair to judge Lance based on one game in monsoon conditions, but I wasn’t sold on Trey Lance as an NFL quarterback before the game.

I’m going to reserve judgement here out of fairness to him, but I think there’s a growing sense that if Lance hasn’t proven himself by week 4, he’s out and Jimmy G is back in.

Micah Parsons was HEATED about PFF highlighting this Leonard Fournette chip block on him:

Fournette just levels Parsons, but Parsons says it was a pussy move by Fournette.

Fournette responded:

The NFL is BACK, baby!

Okay, so the Bengals lost in OT to the Steelers. But the Bengals absolutely should’ve won that game, or at least gone ahead in regulation when they were down on the goal line.

For some reason, this was not called a TD, and the Bengals then failed to challenge the spot of the ball:

The Bengals then rushed to the line to get a quick play off, maybe assuming Pittsburgh would challenge whether Chase was in bounds or not. But Chase was in bounds, and the ball was over the line–that’s a touchdown right there.

Cincinnati got no points out of this drive and lost the game. You’ve got to be sick if you’re a Bengals fan. They should’ve won that game–even despite Burrow having 5 turnovers.

As for the Steelers, they lost TJ Watt probably for the season due to a torn pectoral muscle. Social media is buzzing about this late cheap hit Watt got on Burrow which preceded Watt’s injury:

Karma is real, and Pittsburgh is in trouble.

The Dolphins won 20-7 against the Patriots and the Patriots look like hot garbage. I barely watched the game, but I started the Dolphins defense in fantasy knowing the Patriots’ offense would be hot garbage with Mac Jones, no weapons, and Matt Patricia/Joe Judge calling plays. It was a no-brainer.

But Jaylen Waddle definitely has the best celly in the league:

The Waddle waddle. Absolutely hilarious.

You know what? I think I might actually be in on this Miami team. Yeah, sure, Tua had that HORRIFIC throw early in the game, but they won the game:

But he still finished the game with a pretty decent statline:

I think I might be ready to buy into the hype on the Dolphins with Tua and Tyreek and Waddle and their coach that looks like he’s 15 years old. I was skeptical all throughout the offseason, but damnit, there’s some good vibes coming out of Miami!

Brian Daboll might be the answer Giants fans have been looking for. Guy coaches to win and it looks like his players love him:

For the first time in a loooong time, the Giants look like they actually have some juice.

I might be in on the Giants. Didn’t think I’d be saying that at this point in the season, but I think I like this team’s identity and where they’re headed.

Jameis Winston continues to be a national treasure. Every time this dude opens his mouth it’s pure gold. Look at Michael Thomas trying to hold it together:

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