We are ready for some football. We have been ready.
After a wild weekend of NFL Week One action, I am going to break down the top five story lines in my mind. There are others of course, but with only so much space and so much time available, you guys only care about the ‘big’ stuff anyways, right? Right.
Tom Brady’s Bucs Lose Week One – What does it mean? Not much. I hate to kill all the hot takes right off the bat, but TOMpa Bay was playing the New Orleans Saints. technically a road game to boot. Whether he is an all-time legend or not, it was going to be a rough game. On the Bucs or still on his familiar New England Patriots, the outcome would have been the same. The Saints have been the perennial favorites in the NFC for the past few years and will be again this upcoming season. They will be playing come January like usual. Make no mistake, Brady made a few throwing mistakes, and it will take a bit to settle into a new team. The dude just came from a situation he basically lived and breathed for the last two decades. So they lose Week One to an absolute juggernaut? Relax haters. The Bucs are still one of my picks to make the playoffs and will still be battling for the NFC South division title come December. No shame in losing to the Saints week one on the road; that is ridiculous. If I do have any concern, it is watching Gronk move out there. Ouch!
Show Some Love For Aaron Rodgers – Go Pack Go! Truth be told, I live in Wisconsin and have my entire life. My family has season tickets for the Green Bay Packers, and we go to games every single season. Tenth row behind the tunnel end zone. Great seats and always a memorable experience heading to Lambeau Field. We saw the glory days of Brett Favre and the rise of Aaron Rodgers. I say this because I have heard all the noise for the whole off season. All about the NFL Draft. All about the age of Rodgers. All about his relationship status. All about his potential future playing elsewhere. Lots of blah, blah, blah if you ask me. Like A-Rodg said, yes, he will probably end up out of town in a few years. That’s the nature of the business. Look no further than the last paragraph with Tom Brady. However, all of that is down the road. We are talking about the 2020 NFL season, week one versus the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers took care of business and then some. Trust me, that final score was not the entire story. Green Bay may not have played perfect football, but they controlled this thing from beginning to end. Watch out NFC North. Aaron Rodgers is not done quite yet. His early obituary writing during the off season is going to look really silly in a few months.
Don’t Sleep On Washington – It has been the usual wacky off season for the Washington Football Team. We have come to expect that, especially with a crazed team owner. That being said, a lot of folks have been underestimating the Ron Rivera hiring as new head coach. He was brought on in January 2020 and immediately questions were raised about how he would fit in with his new squad. After an up and down career coaching the Carolina Panthers, it was only natural. Even with the controversy surrounding the Washington Football Team name and all that crap, you still had a tenured coach ready to prove his doubters wrong. He backed up his legacy with a week one victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Shocking in a nutshell but not when you consider there were a couple of blown leads on Sunday. Philly did it here, and Ron Rivera is too experienced to let an opportunity like that slip away. I am not going to proclaim Washington as the huge NFC dynasty or anything. That is over reacting. However, they have something here. With a rough week one for the NFC East, let’s just hold on with all the “HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS!” junk…
So Far, So Good – We all know that the world is going through a global pandemic. Duh. Sports have started up, concerts have started up, movies are slowly but surely heading back to theaters, etc. Right or wrong, entertainment entities are at least TRYING to get back to some sort of normal life. There were some terrible beginnings for MLB. The NBA is doing a great job containing things. WWE had an interesting way of going about events but have never actually stopped their shows. NFL had a non existent pre-season and had some limited training camps all around the country. There was a lot of debate on if the NFL should even start in September or not. Heck, a full college football schedule is still up in the air as we speak. Through week one, it has been a success. There were ZERO positive covid tests across the league, and that is a great set of results. Now we need to keep it going. Everybody loves football on Sunday afternoons. We love it, we want it, we need it.
The Browns Are Who We Thought They Were – Full disclosure: I was tricked into buying a Baker Mayfield jersey last year. I jumped on the bandwagon with both feet…and was taken for a ride. After years of laughing at the Cleveland Browns and enjoying their weekly losses, you could feel the tide turning. They actually were making some decent moves and had a couple of wins under their belt. I started to believe. Not in a Super Bowl or deep playoff run. I don’t think even the biggest Browns fans ever bought THAT! Still, why not a wild card spot? Why not a division championship? It was somewhat plausible. Well, that was last year. This year, the hype train came back around during the off season, and my jersey stayed in the closet. Hidden. Not a chance I was falling for that twice in a row. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Sorry, not happening. After a week one thumping by the Baltimore Ravens, I am already calling it a year. Always next year Cleveland. The Dawg Pound still loves you.
QUICK TAKES: Still too early to decide on the Patriots. Look good though with Cam Newton, even if it was against a weak opponent. Rams will be good this season. Mark that prediction down. Bears and Lions, ugh. Neither team deserved to win. You want a surprise team with Super Bowl aspirations? The Seattle Seahawks! Not super duper BOLD but there you go.
That does it for week one. Like most NFL fans, it is fun to jump to early conclusions. I mean, it is ONE game out of sixteen. We have a long season ahead. Rodgers could sucks the next 15 games and be traded in the off season. You never know. Brady could destroy his knee again and retire in a month. Washington could stumble and end up 3-13 again. You just never know. These are just five things that stuck out to me.
What do YOU think? Any early takeaways from the NFL season? Let me know.
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