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.

Deshaun Watson had an up and down day. Tim Warner/Getty Images

So what does Bill O'Brien have in store for a Sunday encore in the clock management follies department? All's well that ends well for the Texans if another Billy Botch episode comes with another win. Get it and home games vs. the Panthers and Falcons make 4-1 a very legit possibility.

The Texans have a good shot to get the win in Los Angeles Sunday. They may have half the crowd rooting for them. The Chargers have the lamest homefield advantage in the NFL. L.A. has largely yawned at them since their move up the coast from San Diego. In their home opener the Chargers couldn't sell out the 27,000 seat soccer stadium serving as their temporary facility. Next season they move into the monument of wow and greed they'll share with the Rams. That place will hold about 70,000.

On the field it's a big game for the also 1-1 Chargers if they hope to hang with Kansas City in the AFC West race. The Chargers' three following games are at the joke Dolphins, then home vs. the not good Broncos and the Roethlisberger-less Steelers.

For the Texans, one major subplot is a constant. How porous will the offensive line be? Deshaun Watson has been sacked 10 times over the first two games. The Chargers have one of the NFL's better pass rushing duos in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. If the Texans can protect, opportunity knocks for big plays downfield with the Chargers down both of their starting safeties. Rookie All-Pro Derwin James is on injured reserve recovering from a broken foot, Adrian Phillips broke an arm last Sunday at Detroit.

Warm California sun

So if you were 300 strikeout man Gerrit Cole, what would you be thinking about re: 2020 and beyond? I mean after next month ideally helping the Astros win the World Series. And if you are the Astros what are you thinking?

In his two Astro seasons Cole has been tremendous. The ballclub is tremendous, and if Cole re-signs it that much more figures to stay tremendous for at least another couple of seasons. But Gerrit Cole is to become the most highly coveted free agent on the market. The low end of what he should be able to command is probably in the six years 150 million range. Heck, he could get seven years 250 million.

Next year the Astros payroll is set to soar into competitive balance tax territory. Meaning, in addition to the payroll itself, the Astros are looking at paying millions in penalties if they pay up to keep Cole. To counter that the Astros certainly could pivot and trade Zack Greinke. They basically will be open to giving away Josh Reddick and the 13 million he'll make in the final year of his contract.

Maybe Jim Crane and his partners say this is such a special era, we'll forego huge chunks of profits to keep this core together. That would be fantastic, but drawing a line on how far they'll go to keep Cole would not be miserly. Long term megadollar pitching contracts carry large risks. Cole turns 30 next season.

Cole grew up in Southern California. His wife too. It's where they live in the offseason. He went to high school under five miles from Angels Stadium and grew up an Angels fan. The Angels have a desperate need for starting pitching. Even with Cole though, the Angels can't essentially promise perennial contender status. But the Dodgers can, every bit as much as the Astros, and the Dodgers have much deeper pockets. If the Coles want to spend the rest of Gerrit's prime pitching years living year-round back home in SoCal, no one should take offense. Still, if the Astros’ bid is competitive when factoring in income tax rates, proven comfort level with the team, air conditioned comfort for home games…

Big weekend for Aggies

Better college football schedule this week after the garbage card of a week ago. The biggest game nationally is seventh ranked Notre Dame at number three Georgia. Big game for Texas A&M vs. Auburn at Kyle Field Saturday. The 17th ranked Aggies are three and a half point favorites over the eighth ranked team in the nation. A hard fought loss wouldn't be shameful, but would mean that with games yet to come vs. Alabama, at Georgia, and at LSU, the Ags would have to pull off at least one upset to finish better than 7-5. 75 million dollars to lure Jimbo Fisher were not spent to yield any 7-5 seasons.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Major Applewhite would have coached the Cougars to a 1-3 start much more economically for UH than Dana Holgorsen has. 2. The Tulane Green Wave wearing powder blue uniforms is just as dopey as the St. John's Red Storm and Duke Blue Devils wearing black. 3. Names that Houstonians should rule out for daughters: Bronze-Imelda Silver-Allison Gold-Alicia

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