NFL Week 1 is 87.5% over, guys. All we have left is Monday Night Football, the probably-exciting Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins matchup, and the hopefully-exciting Houston Texans vs. San Diego Chargers matchup.
So, let’s recap Sunday. We haven’t had football for a while, so we’re all overreacting. It’s human nature. It happens every year. For perspective, look at these things that really happened one year ago, in 2012’s Week 1.
The Jets won, and scored 48 points. Mark Sanchez looked really good and threw for 266 yards and 3 TDs.
Kevin Ogletree had 114 yards receiving yards and 2 TDs. (Yesterday, you were squinting at “Ogletree?” when you saw this mysterious receiver miss both of his two targets from Josh Freeman.)
Blaine Gabbert threw for 260 yards with 2 TDs and 0 INTs against the Vikings. The Jags almost won. Adrian Peterson ran for “just” 84 yards.
Week 1, by itself, means nothing. There are things that happened that matter, but the NFL is a volatile league filled with good and bad luck, and you should never, ever overreact to one play, week, or even season. Stuff happens. Only some of it matters.
That said, let’s see what people are freaking out about today, and evaluate if it matters.
The 49ers are going to destroy everyone, says ESPN!
Here’s your daily ESPN melodramatic, overconfident headline!
The 49ers beat a good team in a close game, at home. They looked good. They were supposed to look good.
Anquan Boldin went off for 200+ receiving yards. It was surprising and nice. But the Packers were missing two of their best defenders in the secondary. Before the game, people were concerned that the Niners were thin at receiver. Boldin dominating against backups didn’t change those concerns, justified or not.
San Francisco is very good, that hasn’t changed. But we didn’t learn anything on Sunday. There’s no need to freak out. They’re an excellent team with some question marks and a need for good fortune like every other good team in the history of the NFL.
And now they have to go to Seattle as underdogs next week. If the beatings continue (start?) there, then we might want to start freaking out a bit.
The Patriots are in trouble!
The Patriots were surprisingly shaky against the Bills. Again, by itself, this means nothing. I don’t need to explain this to intelligent people. You guys get it.
I refuse to watch SportsCenter today, but I would be surprised if “Are the Pats in trouble?” isn’t on the agenda. If they had lost (which they were very close to doing), it assuredly would be an even bigger deal.
The Pats’ offense has a ton of new pieces. They might struggle, relatively speaking. But to win the AFC East they have to beat out the Bills (which they just did!), the Dolphins (who looked meh), and the Jets (who are the Jets). Anything can happen, but don’t freak out. A new offense struggling in Week 1 is not at all surprising. You’re still highly-likely-division-winners, Patriots fans.
Speaking of the Jets, they are still the Jets.
If Lavonte David’s mind hadn’t momentarily switched places with John Rocker’s, the Jets would have lost a heartbreaker in Jets-like fashion, and everyone would be calling them the worst team in the NFL and making bad jokes.
Late-game ridiculousness is great for viewing, useless for analyzing. The Jets had one brain-fart to let the Bucs back in the game, and then the Bucs returned the favor. Take those things out, and you get real analysis.
And you’ll find that nothing has changed. The facts are:
– The Bucs are decent with the potential to be very good, but if Josh Freeman doesn’t play better, they won’t be good.
– The Jets are not the worst team in the league, mainly because their defense is underrated and good-to-very-good.
– Geno Smith is talented, but a huge question mark. The Jets struggle on offense for a variety of reasons (O-line, playcalling, etc.), but they do have some talent.
– The Jets would have to be quite lucky to make the playoffs, but they won’t go 1-15. They will play close games that you expected to be blowouts.
– The Jets will still make you laugh.
David Wilson is scary, but he hasn’t changed.
David Wilson, as we know, is a very talented, explosive running back. But he has a fumbling problem. He had a fumbling problem coming out of Virginia Tech. It was his NFL draft “red flag.” It was a legit concern.
Then in last year’s Week 1, he fumbled and people freaked out. Justifiably. Then he didn’t fumble the rest of the year.
Now he fumbled twice on just seven carries in last night’s crazy, bad-moment-filled game against the Cowboys. People are freaking out, justifiably, just as they were a year ago.
But would they have freaked out if Eli didn’t throw three picks and the Giants pulled off the win? Would they have freaked out if the Giants got lucky, recovered both of his fumbles and the team won? Would they have freaked out if he was benched after the first fumble, so he only had one?
David Wilson had two very bad plays last night that highlighted a significant flaw we knew existed. That’s not good. But nothing has changed.
If Wilson starts eating sandwiches with his left hand while fending off Justin Tuck strip attempts at a football tucked in his right, and solves this solvable problem, a la Tiki Barber, he’ll be fine. He has a problem that he needs to fix, and two plays didn’t make it any worse.
I understand the temptation to freak out based on one week. But you know you shouldn’t.
Overreacting to football games is tempting and understandable. But so is ordering a bacon, egg and cheese on a glazed donut at Dunkin’. Just don’t do it, man. Your plumber will thank you.