Kalemkerian: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Week 1
John Kalemkerian | Wednesday, September 16, 2020
This weekend was a football fan’s dream. After a solid Fighting Irish victory on Saturday, it seemed a near miracle that all 32 NFL teams were cleared to play in Week 1. The Chiefs-Texans Thursday night game (Andy Reid’s foggy face shield and all) was a good prelude to the full slate of games on Sunday, which made for one of the best sports days in recent memory. Obviously it was just one week, but overreacting to the good, the bad and the ugly is one of the best parts of being a football fan.
Trending on Twitter early last week, many Seahawks fans used this hashtag to express their support for Russell Wilson and their frustrations with coach Pete Carroll’s lack of willingness to, well, let Russ cook. Four touchdowns and 322 yards later, it’s evident that Seattle is willing to allow Wilson to take over games with his arm rather than stick to a methodical run-first approach on offense. In a tough NFC West, MVP-level quarterback play may be just what Seattle needs to win their first division title since 2016.
The Washington Football Team:
After triple-checking the standings I can confirm that the Washington Football Team is indeed in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. After much off-the-field press, none of it good, over the offseason, Washington recorded a stunning victory over the heavily favored Eagles. What really stood out was their defense, which took advantage of a weak Philadelphia offensive line to rack up eight sacks and two interceptions. The design team in Washington also deserves a mention; the new uniforms, especially the helmets, are among the sharpest in the league despite having no name or mascot.
Drue Tranquill’s Injury:
Barely five minutes had elapsed in the Chargers opening game before 2018 Notre Dame graduate and two-year Fighting Irish captain had to leave the field on a medical cart. He was later diagnosed with a broken fibula, an awful blow to a tremendous player who had exploded onto the NFL scene last year as a rookie, collecting the second most tackles of any player on Los Angeles’s defense in 15 games, including three starts. Head coach Anthony Lynn later reported that Tranquill wasn’t yet ruled out for the season, and all Fighting Irish faithful are hoping that he has a speedy recovery.
Brady’s Bucs Debut:
The greatest quarterback ever will need to wait at least another week to get his first win in a Buccaneers uniform. Looking uncharacteristically sloppy at times, Brady stumbled through a disheartening loss to the Saints while throwing two interceptions, one of them a pick-six. Every year it seems that Brady is able to prove the doubters wrong, but Father Time will finally catch up to him this season. Expect more ugly performances from Brady and the Bucs offense.
Mediocrity in the Meadowlands:
It pains me to say this as a Giants fan but the Meadowlands haven’t hosted consistently winning football for the better part of a decade now. The Jets opened the season with a bad loss at their division rivals in Buffalo while the Giants lost on Monday night against the Steelers. To the dismay of Jets fans, quarterback Sam Darnold (who threw for 215 yards and one touchdown) had another bad interception after throwing the ball across his body into heavy traffic. Those types of plays have plagued him throughout his short career so far and the Jets desperately need him to show signs of progress this season. Meanwhile, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger actually out rushed star Giants running back Saquon Barkley (nine yards to six). Though the Giants’ passing offense had flashes of good play, they only put up 16 points and second-year quarterback Daniel Jones had a couple of interceptions. All in all, it seems that both Meadowlands teams are destined for another year drafting in the top ten rather than playing deep into January.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.