Paul Gallant recaps EVERYTHING you need to know from the NFL's first Sunday of 2019
NFL Sunday Week 1: In a nutshell
Sup peeps. I host NFL Rush Sundays from 3-6 CT on SB Nation Radio. And since I'm keeping tabs on all of Sunday's games on the 9 TVs we have in studio, I'll be giving you an NFL cheat sheet every Monday...
Titans 43 - Browns 13
Titans tight end Delanie Walker flamed the Browns after beating them by 30 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/GoCmHIjA1q— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 8, 2019
The Titans are a decidedly average football team. Still, they deserve credit. After all, scoring 40+ points with Marcus Mariota at quarterback is like scoring a single touchdown with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. Having Delanie Walker back (5 catches, 55 yards, 2 TDs) certainly helped, as did Derrick Henry (159 all purpose yards including a 75 yard screen and scramble, 2 TDs) picking up where he left off at the end of last season.
The Browns SHOULD be different than the Titans. They've got star-power and a potential star at quarterback. Unfortunately, one of these names is not like the others:
- Baker Mayfield
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- Jarvis Landry
- Nick Chubb
- Freddie Kitchens
- Myles Garrett
Chiefs 40 - Jaguars 26
Jaguars fans have gotta be throwing Myles Jack-esque temper tantrums after Nick Foles broke his clavicle. Now they'll be starting Gardner Minshew for the forseeable future. In Minshew's defense, he didn't play poorly. But it's hard to take any quarterback that looks like Uncle Rico seriously.
The Chiefs offense - as expected - looked unstoppable in this one. And even though they've got a gimpy Patrick Mahomes (ankle) and no Tyreek Hill (shoulder, out for a few weeks) after this win, they've got to be feeling great about the offense:
- Newly acquired running back Lesean McCoy had 10 carries for 81 yards
- Travis Kelce had 3 catches for 88 yards, and could have had a 4th for a TD if Patrick Mahomes had been looking where he was throwing
- And Sammy Watkins stole the show, with 9 catches for 198 yards and 3 TDs
Rams 30 - Panthers 27
Cam Newton outfit ratings— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 8, 2019
Week 1: barbed wire wrapped hat, handkerchief, and t-shirt jacket: 10/10 pic.twitter.com/0DcXqTizXz
Never change Cam Newton.
The Rams did get the road victory. But they can't be feeling great coming out of this game.
First off, they were unsure of Todd Gurley's knee (per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, they were "going in blind" into Sunday's game) and used him sparingly (just 14 carries, though he was effective late).
Second, newly acquired safety Eric Weddle got kneed in the head and was bleeding PROFUSELY.
Third, Jared Goff - who L.A. just gave $110 M guaranteed - did not look worth anywhere close to that. He was just 23-39 for 186 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.
Vikings 28 - Falcons 12
This was a very Gary Kubiak (the Vikings offensive advisor) feeling asskicking. Kirk Cousins only threw the ball 10 times, and Minnesota's zone blocking scheme helped Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison combine for 160 yards on the ground against a supposedly decent Falcons defense. At the very least, Atlanta was healthy on that side of the ball. Combine that with:
- Their defense
- The Packers offense looking inept
- The Bears featuring Mitchell Trubisky as QB
On the Falcons front:
- Sell all your Matt Ryan stock. He isn't a top level QB anymore.
- Dan Quinn (+1200) is an EXCELLENT bet for first coach fired
Eagles 32 - Redskins 27
The Eagles got off to a VERY slow start. But Carson Wentz is an MVP candidate (and my MVP choice), especially with burner Desean Jackson back in green. Jackson had 8 catches for 154 yards and 2 TDs (51 and 53 yarders).
PS - Shoutout to Case Keenum for helping Washington look respectable out there. "The Wanderer" was 30-44 for 380 yards and 3 TDs despite throwing to 100 years old Vernon Davis and someone named Terry McLaurin.
Ravens 59 - Dolphins 10
Lamar Jackson really went there 😅 pic.twitter.com/NTAyjYQwLW— ESPN (@espn) September 8, 2019
The Dolphins are the worst team in the NFL, could EASILY go 0-16, and actually may be about to follow through on that whole mutiny thing they suggested. But...
I'm SO PUMPED for Lamar Jackson. He's one of my favorite college football players ever. And for those who watched him at Louisville, YOU KNEW he can throw the football. So it was great to see him show off that arm with a 17-20 day for 324 yards and 5 TDs. Even more promising? Jackson only ran the ball 3 times on the game.
Also important: the contributions that the Ravens got from their 3 biggest offseason acquisitions:
- Earl Thomas had an interception
- Mark Ingram had 14 carries for 107 yards and 2 TDs
- And first round pick Marquise "Hollywood" Brown had 4 catches for 147 yards and 2 TDs (47 and 83 yards respectively)
PS - shout out to Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing an interception for an 8th NFL team, a record!
Bills 17 - Jets 16
Did not expect Jets-Bills to be on the big TV at 1pm PT - but definitely expected a Jets fan to be reacting like this. pic.twitter.com/bW2dsEVXfl— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) September 8, 2019
NOBODY circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, who rallied from a 16-0 second half deficit FTW.
And NOBODY disappoints the Tri-State area like the New York Jets. The Bills have a great defense. But you can't feel good about the Jets regressing offensively in Sam Darnold's second season.
Seahawks 21 - Bengals 20
The Bengals might have stumbled into something by hiring Zac Taylor. Who knew that Andy Dalton had a 400 yard passing game left in the tank? Or that John Ross (7 catches for 158 yards and 2 TDs) actually might not be a first round bust?
The Seahawks are SOOO lucky to have walked away with a win. Their offensive line struggled to protect Russell Wilson (4 sacks allowed) AND pave the way for Chris Carson (15 carries for just 46 yards). Worse? It's GLARINGLY obvious how badly they miss safety Earl Thomas. ANDY DALTON JUST THREW FOR 400 YARDS.
Cowboys 35 - Giants 17
I don't want to overreact to a win over the Giants. But it's hard not to after Dak Prescott had perhaps his best game ever. With a full compliment of weapons (Amari Cooper, offseason signing Randall Cobb, Michael Gallup, and Ezekiel Elliott) Prescott ALSO had a perfect passer rating. He threw for 405 yards, with 4 TDs and just 7 incompletions on the game. He was so effective that the Boys only needed to give 'Zeke 13 carries.
Prescott had a strong finish to the season once Dallas traded for Amari Cooper. And now with Randall Cobb in the fold, he's got one of the strongest offensive supporting casts in the league. If he's still looking for $40 M a season, he might be able to statistically justify it.
The Giants? Until they take Eli Manning out back Old Yeller style, they're a waste of your time.
Chargers 30 - Colts 24 (OT)
Well, the Juice is right. The Chargers didn't miss a holding out Melvin Gordon at all. In fact, his backup Austin Ekeler IS a better running back. Ekeler had an Alvin Kamara esque day at the office (12 carries for 58 yards and a TD, 6 catches for 96 yards and 2 TDs) and gave the Chargers the W with the final score of the game.
As for the Colts, don't sleep on them. Jacoby Brissett is likely nothing more than a plus game manager. But Indy's O-Line is no joke, helping Marlon Mack run 25 times for 174 yards and a 63 yard touchdown.
49ers 31 - Buccaneers 17
Jameis Winston copies Jimmy Garoppolo and throws a pick-six. This one is by Richard Sherman.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 8, 2019
Sherman had 0 INTs last season. pic.twitter.com/12xTLH5Juj
If you've got stock in "Jameis Winston / Jimmy Garoppolo are going to be good quarterbacks...some day [gulps at latter]" takes, it's time to sell it. ALL OF IT. PANIC. PANIC. PANIC.
You can't fully appreciate Jameis if he's not making dumb throws, so you've got to thank Bruce Arians for keeping unintentional comedy in our lives. But Jimmy G picked up right where he left off in the preseason - Schaubing - and the 49ers have got to be regretting giving him $74.1 M. He might need another "learning experience" with an older adult film star to get him back on track.
Lions 27 - Cardinals 27 (OT)
WHY WOULD YOU WATCH THIS GAME? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Kyler Murray and Arizona's offense looked completely lost in the early going of this game. Sure, Murray eventually rallied the Cards back from a 24-6 deficit. But don't be too impressed. After all, how many Lions can you name after Matt Stafford?
Here's one: rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson. You'd have to be in a VERY DUMB fantasy football league for Hockenson to be available to you. Take a look anyway, and put in that waiver claim if he's available. He had 6 catches for 131 yards and a TD...the best debut by a rookie tight end since 1950.
Patriots 33, Steelers 3
"Michael Bennett: WAKANDA FOREVER!!!"pic.twitter.com/JDD0x6iSe7— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 9, 2019
Things I'm not surprised by:
- The Steelers laying ANOTHER egg against the Patriots
- Ben Roethlisberger saying "whatever." when asked for his reaction to the Patriots signing Antonio Brown
- New England's defense looking like one of the NFL's best
- The Patriots won THIS EASILY in a game where Tom Brady played a C game. Yeah, he didn't turn the ball over. But he had some bizarre throws over the course of the game. Best case scenario? He was rusty. If you're a Pats hater, I'd stay tuned to this.
Paul Gallant hosts the "Gallant Says" podcast (Tuesdays & Fridays), "Just Sayin'", Friday nights at 10:30 on Kube 57. He also hosts "NFL Rush", Sundays 3-6 on SB Nation Radio. Have any questions? Get after him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.