An NFL Review On All 32 Teams After Week One

by Wayne Root

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1): Urban Meyer is 0-1 in the NFL. He almost certainly will lose more games this season than he did in his career at Ohio State (nine). Going back to play at home, he needs to stop in New Orleans and ask Sean Peyton how to win in Jacksonville stadium. Forget those college days...THIS IS THE NFL
31. Detroit Lions (0-1): The Lions were down 38-10 but kept fighting back. They actually could have won the game with under 20 seconds of play.  It was not a moral victory for Dan Campbell as he fell a half point short of covering the spread for any faithful betting on the Lions. They will be a double digit dog so if you winning, you might be forced to bet on this loser.
30. New York Jets (0-1): Sam Darnold probably is  reliving nightmares watching Zach Wilson run for his life behind the Jets’ atrocious offensive line Sunday. He had six sacks and 14 pressures. Sam's best advice to Zach, get out of New York. Wilson ended up going 20 of 37 for 258 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception.
29. Houston Texans (1-0): Well this is one team that can't go winless. Give David Culley and the Texans a ton of credit. Everyone expects them to be horrible...and they won't disappoint. Who would have thought at any time this season, they would lead the AFC South? Lovie Smith's defense did their job. moving forward, their defense will cover huge point spreads.
28. New York Giants (0-1): Jason Garrett should have been the only one running laps after his play calling as offensive coordinator. They put up an underachieving 13 points. But on the other side of the coin there is no pass rush which leads to those nasty demoralizing third down completions for their opponents. 
27. Atlanta Falcons (0-1): Arthur Smith’s offense lost a lot of its hope Sunday. Their penalties (99) were almost as much as their rushing yardage (124). And you would have figured for a ton of passing yards (136) but NOT! In the final three quarters, they rushed for 38 yards. I would say it can't get any worse but I checked their schedule for Sunday...Hello Tampa Bay. 
26. Carolina Panthers (1-0): The Panthers scored only one touchdown inside of the Jets 10 yard line on four different occasions. To remind him of last year with the Jets, Sam Darnold was hit eight times. Where was Christian McCafferty inside the 10 yard line? This may be the most average team in the NFL. They can beat 9 teams that are on the bottom and lose to 8 teams that are better. Very pedestrian.  
25. Chicago Bears (0-1): I don't think that Sunday's result came unexpectedly. However, their defense was not to have broken coverages resulting in tons of passing yardage.Their only chance at a quick fix is their defense; not Justin Fields. Offensively, their second-round pick, Teven Jenkins is out after back surgery, and his replacement left the game with a quad injury and his replacement left with an ankle injury during the Rams game. So they have their right tackle playing on the all important left side. 
24. Minnesota Vikings (0-1): Viking coaches and fans are not brimming with confidence after a season-opening loss to the Bengals. The offensive line was responsible for 70 yards of the teams total 116 in penalties. Cousins seems to look around at which teammate will be flagged for holding or jumping offsides instead of focusing on audibles and passing. How jumpy will the Vikings offensive line be this week in Arizona against a five sacks last week Chandler Jones?
23. Tennessee Titans (0-1): The Titans didn’t do anything right in their 38-13 drubbing. It was expected after having only one week of full practice. They will certainly NOT be judged by what the Cardinals did to them. Additionally, this shows all the strength of the Cardinals defensive front four. Derrick Henry was hit at or behind the line eight times resulting in a net loss of 3 yards over the first three quarters. They were behind 24-6 at halftime after Henry rushed for 8 yards in the half. 
22. Indianapolis Colts (0-1): Carson Wentz was the least of the Colts’ problems in their loss to the Seahawks. Frank Reich has some issues to solve on his offensive line. Wentz was sacked, hit or scrambling to the tune of 3 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. The Colts defense was a joke in the first half but finally got things together in the second half. They forced four punts, a turnover and sacked Wilson 4 times. Oh well, Wentz can look forward to next week. Oh wait, it's the Rams and Aaron Darnold. 
21. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0): The Tiger King is back. When the Bengals needed him most, Joe Burrow stepped up and made a franchise QB-esque throw on fourth-and-1 from midfield, hitting C.J. Uzomah for 32 yards to set up the game-winning field goal in OT. Moving forward, when Burrow is on the field, they have a chance of winning. 
20. Washington Football Team (0-1): Buy all the Taylor Heinicke stock you can. The Football Team rallied after losing Ryan Fitzpatrick to an injury. Washington has two things going for them. A great offensive line and one of the best defenses in the NFL  Yes, they had some defensive miscues but Chargers QB Justin Herbert can make any defense look helpless. 
19. Denver Broncos (1-0): The Broncos’ defense is for real. Teddy Bridgewater was 26 of 34 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns.He took care of the ball (no turnovers) and made plays on third down. That’s all Vic Fangio believes he needs to win games. Except for their defense that completely stifled the Giants. NOTE: The offense completed many third and long for 1st downs but don't expect them to do that against better defenses. 
18. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0): The Eagles put on an offensive show. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was 27 of 35 for 264 yards with three touchdowns. Their rookies each had a score and Miles Sanders had 113 total yards. They better enjoy this as the next five games are tattooed on their brains as losses. Niners, Cowboys, Chiefs, Panthers, and Bucs. They might go 1-4. At least it was a nice road win.
17. New England Patriots (0-1): Mac Jones is pro-ready. He threw in rhythm, out of empty formations, with good accuracy and decision making. Bill Belichick kept the game plan conservative but fumbles by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson were the difference in a loss to the Dolphins. Jones passed for 133 yards in the first half. Jones and the offense will get better as Josh McDaniels opens up the playbook as the season goes on. But the mainstay is that Belichick's defense will win more games than the offense. It's a great combination moving on. 
16. Miami Dolphins (1-0): One can't buy into the Dolphins offense to carry the team. The Dolphins’ defense looked elite in holding the Patriots to 16 points, and rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle impressed in his debut. Tua Tagovailoa, the former Alabama signal-caller, went 16-for-27 for 202 yards one touchdown and one interception while adding a rushing score. He has to continue to improve for Miami to be considered a legitimate AFC contender. Like many teams, their games will be won or lost depending on offensive line protection. 
15. Baltimore Ravens (0-1): With an 80-0 record after leading by 14 points during a game, the Ravens were unable to get out of their own way Monday night in Las Vegas. Baltimore has a lot of issues to clean up if it wants to be considered a Super Bowl contender. But first, Jackson needs two key starters to return. This is not a "one man" league that can carry a team. Losing Marcus Peters Monday was a huge blow. Carr passed for over 400 yards including 308 in the second half. Baltimore better find Peters replacement fast; Mahomes is coming to Baltimore next. 
14. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0): The Raiders did everything they could to lose their first true Las Vegas home game. But Lamar Jackson gave them a gift with an overtime fumble, and Derek Carr hit Zay Jones to set off a week-long party in Sin City. Chucky! Shots! What can we expect in their next game? A short week after the MNF game, partying Monday night and celebrating Tuesday. Traveling 3000 miles to play a very good Pittsburgh Steelers team with the line under 6 points. And the all too familiar letdown and regression.
13. Green Bay Packers (0-1): What the hell was that? After all the offseason drama, Aaron Rodgers posted one of his worst games in a long time, going 15-for-28 for 133 yards and two interceptions. The passer rating when a QB hikes the ball and throws it into the dirt on every play is 39.6. Aaron Rodgers passer rating for Week One was 32.8. Perhaps he spent too much time auditioning for “Jeopardy” in the offseason. They might not win Sunday but you can bet the ball from both sides will be airborne. 
12. Buffalo Bills (0-1): This was an early reality check as the Steelers and Big Ben’s corpse went into Orchard Park and stunned the preseason AFC darlings. Josh Allen isn’t going to catch anyone by surprise this season. But what about the Bills' "stop" defense? They allowed the Steelers to have three drives of nine-plus plays in the second half. Josh Allen for some unknown reason could not connect with Stefon Diggs or Cole Beasley. They were all out of sorts as the O-line was called for six holding penalties. Being outscored 23-3 in the second half at home is simply an anomaly...at this time.
11. Cleveland Browns (0-1): The Browns are still the Browns. For three quarters, the Browns controlled the game against the Chiefs. Then, everything flipped as the Chiefs scored two touchdowns in three minutes.One moment, you’re feeling good. Your game plan’s working. The next, the best player in football is pressured right and chucks a bomb to Tyreek Hill across his body for a touchdown. And Hill gives you the peace sign. A loss is a loss, but the Browns showed they have what it takes to hang with the AFC favorites. But the gap between contender and champion is the hardest to traverse. 
10. Dallas Cowboys (0-1): How bout dem Cowboys? Does anyone still think Dak Prescott isn’t elite? Anyone? Buehler? Chalk up 403 yards for him. The biggest problem in the first game was not Greg Zuerlein but Ezekiel Elliott with his total of 33 yards on 11 carries. Zuerlein did not kick over the summer due to his back surgery and only once in preseason but there's no excuse for Zeke. Scoring 29 points was a good showing against the Super Bowl Champs. NOTE to all coaches: Do NOT think you can stop Tom Brady in the final 1:30 minutes. 
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0): The Steelers defense is legit. TJ Watt is a beast. However, it’s YUK on offense. Pittsburgh had only 252 yards of total offense, were four of 12 on third down, gained only 13 first downs outside of penalties and won by a touchdown. Their offensive line will haunt the 39 year old man still trying to be relevant. They opened no holes for rookie first round pick Najee Harris who ended up with 1.1 yards per carry. Big Ben will get sacked and throw INT's if something doesn't change.
8. Arizona Cardinals (1-0): When Kyler Murray is healthy, he is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in football as he shredded the Titans for five total touchdowns. Their defense was led by Chandler Jones' five sacks and held Derrick Henry to only 33 yards rushing. Having JJ Watt on defense certainly has to give D coordinators nightmares. Having Kyler, JJ and Chandler along with DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk offer plenty of expectations from both sides of the ball. The NFC West is going to be a bloodbath with Murray, Stafford, Wilson and Jimmy G all at QB.
7. New Orleans Saints (1-0): As a fan of Jameis Winston who threw five touchdown passes in the win, for week one, many are happy for him after not playing for the entire last season and learning how to become a quarterback. The game ball should go to Sean Payton who dealt with Brees retirement, 10 new starters because of injuries, a suspension and salary cap issues, a relocation to Dallas to practice and a home game relocation to Jacksonville due to hurricane Ida. And a new starting quarterback. Their biggest immediate problem due to injuries is their depth. 
6. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0): On Sunday, new head coach Brandon Staley let Justin Herbert do what he does: 31 of 47 for 337 yards passing. They did have two red zone turnovers however but still manage a win over an elite Washington defense on the road. With Joey Bosa and the defense playing focused, and allowing a more aggressive offense late in the game, the Chargers are well represented in the 4-0 NFC West. 
5. San Francisco 49ers (1-0): Is a win a win when you nearly give up a 28 point lead to the Lions. With under a minute, the Lions had a chance to win outright. That's scary close. Coach Kyle Shanahan has plenty of plans for rookie Trey Lance in the weeks ahead. It's difficult for opposing defensive coordinators to game plan for two QB’s. The 49ers suffered two key injuries so pay close attention to upcoming reports. 
4. Seattle Seahawks (1-0): Russell Wilson seemed to like what new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron put in the season opener game plan against the Lions. Wilson went 18-for-23 for 254 yards and four touchdowns in a win over the Colts scoring on three of the first four possessions. Their defense had a great game in the Colts backfield with three sacks and 10 QB hits. At least, Wilson won't have to win with his legs and arm with a defense like that. 
3. Los Angeles Rams (1-0): Three plays into his Rams career, Stafford showed why McVay wanted him. He faked a handoff and bootlegged out to the left before stopping and hitting Van Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown that was aided by some putrid Bears tackling. Still, it’s a throw Jared Goff can’t make. A big key was the opening second half 56 yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp extinguishing any hope for the Bears. The Rams needed a running back as they managed only18 yards through three quarters of play. All yardage stats came burning up the clock in the 4th quarter. Who will replace running back Cam Akers is the only question? If they locate his replacement, there will be fireworks in Inglewood this year at the Super Bowl. 
2. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0): What's there to say? Coach Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are inevitable and unstoppable. The only negative after giving up the world to pay Mahomes is that Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill must remain injury free. Forget about having an average defense, they don't seem too concerned as they figure to score 40 points a game. 
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0): You’re going to give Tom Brady 80 seconds to get a field goal? That’s a mistake. Brady’s arm looked as crisp as ever in the season opener. The Bucs defense didn't come as advertised. Dak had over 400 yards of passing. They were very fortunate to win, having four turnovers. If one were to grade them from their 2020 game one to this year's game one, they are miles ahead this year. Is there another ring waiting? 

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