Every-Thing Sports

NFL Week One: Good, bad & ugly

Photo via Kansas City Chiefs/Facebook

Football is officially back! The games now mean something and all the players fans were waiting to see are now in uniform (unless they're hurt or suspended). The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here's how I saw week one of the 100th NFL regular season:

The Good

-Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes and their offense picked up where they left off last sason. They beat the Jags 40-28, and it wasn't even as close as the 12 point difference would suggest. Losing Tyreek Hill early in the game didn't make a difference as Sammy Watkins filled that big play role with nine catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Chiefs are still scary.

-The Ravens beat the Dolphins 59-10 behind Lamar Jackson's huge day. He went 17/20 for 324 yards and five touchdowns with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. "Not bad for a running back" was his comment in reference to some suggesting he should play wide receiver in the NFL coming into the draft last year.

-The Vikings offense looked like a well-oiled machine with a healthy Dalvin Cook. 23 touches for 120 yards and two touchdowns helped the Vikings beat the Falcons 28-12. Kirk Cousins only passed the ball 10 times in the victory. Getting a plus three mark in the turnover margin will help you win big when you're outgained by 76 total yards.

The Bad

-The Lions went up 24-6 13 seconds into the fourth quarter. How they let the Cardinals back into the game and allowed it to end in a 27-27 tie is beyond me. The Cardinals are an awful team. Kyler Murray is a rookie quarterback playing behind a bad offensive line. Could be the makings of a long season for the Lions.

-The Steelers put up a shade over 300 total yards against the Patriots in a 33-3 loss Sunday night. I'll be looking closely at the team who lost arguably the best running back and wide receiver this past offseason. This offense looked flat to say the least. They keep this up and fans will long for the days when they had divas as playmakers.

-The Redskins were up 20-7 over the Eagles at halftime. The Eagles won the game 32-27. If there ever were a game to steal in your division, it was this one and the Redskins blew it. Biggest contributing factor: the Redskins only had 28 yards rushing, but had 96 yards in penalties. Mind you, there were no turnovers committed by either team.

The Ugly

-The Dolphins lost by seven touchdowns and reportedly some players have asked for trades. They will be historically bad because some of those players didn't step up and play better. How can you ask for a trade when you're apart of the reason why the team played so poorly? Sure they're tanking, but those guys are all pro football players. Play better.

-The Jags lost quarterback Nick Foles to a broken clavicle. He was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return and isn't eligible for a return until week 11 at the earliest. Losing your season opener is one thing, but to lose the guy at the position you thought was going to carry you beyond purgatory in that opener is totally different.

-13 teams on opening weekend scored as much or less than the Astros scored on Sunday in their 21-1 romp over the Mariners. As much as the league has changed the rules to promote more scoring, it still amazes me that some are unable to generate points. The Bears and Packers combined to score only 13 in the Thursday night game. I wonder how many prop bets were won on weird stats like this?

Week one is in the books. We don't have another week without NFL football for another five months. If this week is any indication as to how the rest of the season will go, we should all be encouraged. We should also drink plenty of water, diet and exercise because it'll test our health with as exciting as it was.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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