When we at Fantasy JAM were first approached to write a recap of all the goings on in Week 1 of the NFL season, we were thrilled. Then, after thinking about it and tossing around several ideas, we realized that we could really do something good here.
So we figured that going into each game and recapping it, or telling who shined and sucked was not anything new. So instead we decided that we would do this as we do anything important like this, break down and give you the important and relevant information as we see it.
Let’s start off with this category:
Rookies who came to play
Remember this was the VERY FIRST NFL game for these guys, so nerves must have played a huge role. So which young guys made a mark in their first effort?
We will start in Detroit with a guy we have shouted about since day 1, RB Ameer Abdullah. He led the team in rushing yards with 50, tied for the team lead with 4 receptions for 44 yards and scored a touchdown. He had all the explosiveness and speed you would expect to see, and it will not be long before he is the feature back in the Lions offense.
The only other rookie skill player that shined was Titans QB Marcus Mariota. He went head-to-head with #1 pick Jameis Winston and looked like he was out to prove a point. He went 13-16 for 209 yards, 4 TD’s and 0 picks.
Overall, a great performance for the second overall pick, but I wouldn’t get too excited just yet as this was against the Bucs defense. Let’s see how he does against a tougher team before we make a pronouncement, but for one game, he looked like the better QB.
Stars who disappeared
While some of the rookies were shining, some guys who we expected to do big things either totally disappeared or came damn close. Now, in this category there were a lot of names that we could have gone with, but we narrowed it down to the 5 biggest disappearing acts.
We start in Buffalo with the biggest mystery since why nobody bothered to tackle Kevin Dyson in the last playoff game the Bills played in. What happened to Sammy Watkins? He was supposed to be their shining star, the uncoverable one.
Well, in a game in which, granted they won, Watkins has a big goose-egg when came to catches and an almost equally unfathomable 3 targets. As I said, the Bills did win, because of their defense, but if Watkins puts up another game like this, it is going to be tough for Buffalo to keep winning.
Next up is a guy who has won a Super Bowl, earned a huge contract and might has well have not even played in Week 1. Joe Flacco had a game against the Broncos I am sure he would like to forget. He completed just 18 of 32 passes for just 117 yards and 2 picks. With an offense that is struggling to find an identity, Flacco picked the wrong time to appear on the back of a milk carton.
The biggest free agent signing this off-season, may have also been one of the biggest week 1 disappointments. I guess that Demarco Murray found the end zone twice was his saving grace, but for the NFL’s leading rusher from a year ago to get 9 yards rushing on 8 carries is a travesty. The Eagles o-line may not be as good as the Cowboys was last season, but come on, even I could get 9 yards on 8 carries.
Speaking of leading rushers, has anyone seen Adrian Peterson. I know he was off for almost an entire season, but he was supposed to be back for this game. Instead All Day was more like All nothing as he had just 31 yards rushing on 10 carries. If they want to take the pressure off of Teddy Bridgewater, they will need AP to be more like Adrian Peterson and less like Adrian Barbeau.
Finally is a guy that both of us were really high on this season, especially with a running coach in Gary Kubiak. But Broncos runner CJ Anderson ran more like CJ Craig (Nice Baywatch reference). His 12 carries for 29 yards will not get it done, especially with Peyton Manning looking really old suddenly. If the Broncos want to grab the AL West again, Anderson will HAVE to do a better job of toting the rock.
Injuries that are going to be costly
There were three guys who went down in Week 1 that will really prove to be an issue for their teams only one of the three was from a team that wasn’t expected to do much anyway, so we will start with him.
The Redskins were already short of offensive weapons to help out Kurt Cousins, but when the lost DeSean Jackson for 3-4 weeks with a strained hamstring, it meant a team already short on offense was getting Herve Villachez short (Tattoo on Fantasy Island). Were the Redskins going to make the playoffs anyway, probably not, but at least with Jackson they could have been competitive.
The Baltimore Ravens on the other hand were looking like a team that had the playoffs on their mind from the start. With the Steelers going through a down year and the Browns, well the Browns, the AFC North was really between the Ravens and Bengals, but losing a defensive weapon like Terrell Suggs for the season with a torn Achilles is a crushing blow. The defense was going to be one the old Ravens could have been proud of, but with Suggs out, guys like Elvis Dummerville can now be double-teamed and less effective, which is just a killer for this team.
Finally a team that won that had a killer injury was the Cowboys. They lost their best offensive weapon in Dez Bryant for 4-6 weeks with a broken foot. Now the onus of this offense lies with Terrance Williams and Jason Whitten. The running game was already suspect here, and now with Dez out for the foreseeable future, the Boys may find themselves in a bit of trouble.
Performance(s) of the Week
The performance of the week this week goes to two players, Carlos Hyde of the 49ers and Julio Jones of the Falcons.
Hyde who is now the man by the Bay with Frank Gore gone proved that maybe the San Francisco brass knew what they were doing. Hyde finished the night with 168 yards on the ground and 2 scores. It is that kind of performance that will take pressure off of Colin Kaepernick and allow him to be a very effective weapon again. I realize it was just one game, but it was one hell of a game.
Jones on the other hand has had a handful of these types of games, proving to Matt Ryan’s go to guy. Jones finished the Monday night win against the Eagles with 9 catches for 141 yards and 2 scores. This is the kind of production the Falcons missed last season when Jones was injured, and to be honest with you may mean the difference between a playoff team and an also-ran.
Reasons to Panic
After each week we will also let you know which team(s) and/or player(s) may have reason to panic. It is very tough to do after week one, but believe it or not, there are a couple than even after one week could prove to be inviting issues.
The Seattle Seahawks have been to back-to-back Super Bowls and have one of the scariest defenses the NFL has seen since the 2000 Ravens. But with Kam Chancellor holding out, the vaunted D is missing their QB. This was more than apparent not only in the week one loss to the Rams, but the amount of points (34) that they gave up. This is a Rams team who until Todd Gurley and Tre Mason get back had no running game at all, and yet the Seahawks couldn’t stop them when they had to. If they want to make another deep run into the playoffs, Chancellor’s phone better ring, soon.
The other person who needs to hit the panic button is Justin Forsett. We have already told you he was due for a bad season, and with the way Joe Flacco struggled and a defense that may not be able to stop a lot of folks, Forsett’s opportunity to impress will be short lived. The loss of Gary Kubiak was just the first blow apparently and his 14 carry 43 yard effort should be about the norm for a guy who some felt was being drafted too low.
Well, that’s a wrap on week 1 in the NFL. We will be back next week to breakdown all the action again. Meanwhile be sure to tune in to Fantasy JAM every single week to make sure you are always in the know.