Relax NFL Fans! It’s Only Been One Game!
The NFL football season is now officially started as Week One is in the books. Some teams had some surprising results. And for other teams, there were some downright disappointing play. Along with the wins and losses were some fans that were jubilant in victory. And of course, there were some that were dejected with the performances of their teams. But in all of that, there are always fans that take it above and beyond the normal reactions. And in this social media world, these fans show up everywhere and tend to go overboard. But there is some news they all may want to hear: it is only Week One. Teams have played either one bad or good game, but there is still room for change. After all, there is 15 more games to play.
One example of a team that played well in Week One is the Tennessee Titans. They won 42-14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and were the toast of Nashville, Tennessee with their performance. Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota shined in his debut, going 13/16 for 209 yards with four touchdown passes. He dissected the Tampa Bay defense with his mobility and touch through the air. And likewise, the Titans defense was up to par, putting pressure on Tampa Bay quarterback and number one overall pick Jameis Winston and forcing him into two interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown. The team looked solid and did not make many mistakes and their performance caught the eye of many across the country. But let’s not get too caught up in the performance of the team and remember who they were playing. Despite the Bucs having some different parts and a new rookie at quarterback, they are still aren’t a good team. Outside of linebacker LeVante David and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, there is not much team speed the Bucs offer at all. And this defense is largely the same one that gave up 56 points to the Atlanta Falcons on national television last season. Defensively, the Titans were going against an offense that has some talent, but has not shown up in a long time. And part of the reason that team has not shown up is because of the offensive line. Tampa Bay has thrown money time and time again at their offensive line only to be disappointed in the result. And this past Sunday, they really could not protect Jameis Winston at all. Of course he made mistakes that had nothing to do with them, but that Tampa Bay offensive line just is not very stable at all. The Bucs can get better over the year and may end up being better than last year. But the reality is the line is bad, the team was 2-14 last season and the Titans beat a pretty bad team. The Titans were a bad team themselves last season, but no way one game signals they are ready to make the playoffs, so their needs to be a tempering of some enthusiasm here about the Titans and also the performance of Mariota against the Bucs.
The Tennessee Titans weren’t the only team to experience the overreaction of fans. The Seattle Seahawks were the team many picked to again represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this season. They had defense, a running game and also solid special teams. And with Russell Wilson at quarterback, many expected them to handle business in Week One on their way to getting back on track from the Super Bowl loss. But the St. Louis Rams decided they had other ideas. They fought the Seahawks hard all game long and ended up winning in overtime 34-31 after a big fourth-down stop of running back Marshawn Lynch. The immediate reaction from some was to wonder if the Seahawks have fallen already. The teams did have some miscues and is missing their defensive leader in Kam Chancellor (holding out), but they were largely in the game and could have easily won. Many look at the Seahawks and what they are missing, but they also need to realize that the Rams are not as bad as some think. The Rams totaled six sacks on the game against the Seahawks. Many deemed that an indictment of the Seahawks’ offensive line. Their line may not be that great, but the Rams defensive line is near the top in the NFL in sacks. They have a collection of five first-round draft picks on their defensive line and they are also a team that can bring pressure from all different vantage points as well when they want to. So even though the Seahawks offensive line may be in limbo, it may also not be as bad as portrayed in the first game of the season either. Defensively, Dion Bailey stepped into the shoes of Chancellor at safety and he did not exactly play the best. He was out of position and was beaten time and time again by the St. Louis Rams tight ends, including on the game-tying touchdown by Lance Kendricks that sent the game into overtime. But all in all, the Rams do have two athletic and tough matchups at tight end. Kendrick can line up at any spot and wreak havoc on teams. And as far as the other tight end of the Rams, Jared Cook, he is pretty much a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. Those two will cause trouble for any defense let alone a young safety trying to feel Chancellor’s shoes. Bailey has a challenge next game going against Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but he could definitely play better than he did in this one. And the whole Seattle defense has been known to rise up when doubt starts to arise in them. After one game, this defense has earned the right to get it going in the next game versus Green Bay. Surely Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and the whole Seahawks defense are licking their chops to get back out there this weekend.
The NFL season has ebbs and flows. There will be some bigtime hurts and some bigtime triumphs. But in no way does one week make the season. In fact, it take a couple weeks for most teams to find out who they truly are and make adjustments to who they want to be. So those who are already speaking doom and gloom and those who are thinking Super Bowl already may want to pump the brakes. Give it some time. Not one Super Bowl was won or lost in Week One.