Week 1 of the NFL season has come and gone. The theme for this article is… The more things change the more things stay the same. The Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals both had impressive victories but they didn’t make my top 5 because I am yet to believe in their quarterback’s long term. I am not saying Carson Palmer and Tyrod Taylor can’t be very good, I just want to see how they perform during the second half of the season:
Here is my Top 5 Takeaways from Week 1 in the NFL
5) JOHNNY MANZIEL is exactly what I have expected all along… Average- When the Browns drafted MANZIEL with the 22nd pick of the first round, I wrote, it was a colossal mistake. The Browns who haven’t won a championship since 1964 took a risk on picking MANZIEL that high. Most experts had him going in the late 3rd round. Are we supposed to think that a team that has lost 11 straight opening day games knew more than the rest of the NFL by taking MANZIEL that early? Absolutely not! The Former Heisman trophy winner’s stat line on Sunday:
MANZIEL- 13-24, 184 yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 2 fumbles and was sacked 3 times. The Browns lost 31-10. He will never be an elite quarterback and his lack of size, arm strength and slightly above average speed will not allow him to lead a team long term. If Washington’s RGIII who is faster and has a better arm than MANZIEL struggles, how is Johnny supposed to succeed in a cold weather division? He won’t!
#4) AARON RODGERS owns the Chicago Bears- The Packers defeated the Bears in Chicago 31-23. There was no surprise here… RODGERS is 13-3 vs the Bears in his career and has won 6 straight against Chicago. The Packers came into this game without their pro bowl wide receiver JORDY NELSON. During the pre-season, NELSON suffered a season ending injury. After a sluggish start, RODGERS hit his stride, he was 18-23 for 189 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back EDDIE LACY rushed for 85 yards and had a touchdown as well. The Packers appear to be the class of this division. Rodgers has a record of 31-9 against the NFC North. Sunday was the 31st time in his career where he has thrown for at least 3 touchdowns and had 0 interceptions. Rodgers is the all-time NFL leader in touchdowns to interception ratio (4.02 TDs to Int’s.. no one is even close.. next best career percentage 2.8 TDs to Int’s) I expect the Minnesota Vikings to win 9-10 games but Green Bay should win this division as long as Rodgers stays healthy.
3) The Patriots are still the Patriots – New England defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday Night at home by the score of 28-21. TOM BRADY, amongst all the deflate gate talk, didn’t miss a beat. BRADY was 25-32, threw for 288 yards and had 4 touchdowns. JULIAN EDELMAN had 11 receptions for 97 yards but ROB GRONKOWSKI was the story. GRONK had 3 receiving touchdowns and appeared to be a man amongst boys. After the game the Steelers complained about their headsets not working during the game. Instead of complaining about the technical difficulties they should have been focusing on someone covering the best TE in the game. How you leave GRONK open over and over again is mind boggling. The Steelers coaches got thoroughly outcoached. Pittsburgh was playing without their starting running back (suspension) and their starting Center (injury). I expect them to get better and contend for the AFC Championship.
2) Cowboys are now 8-0 in home openers against the Giants- The Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants Sunday Night, in Texas, by the score of 27-26. This was a horrible loss for the Giants. They led most of the game and had a ten point late in the fourth quarter. New York threw the ball on 3rd and goal with 1:45 remaining leading by 3. ELI MANNING instead of taking a sack through the ball away and stopped the clock. The cowboys had no timeouts left. The Giants kicked the field goal and Romo drove the Cowboys down the field and scored the game winning touchdown. On that last drive Romo didn’t have to spike the ball once. For all those who don’t think the Dallas Cowboys quarterback is elite, you are sadly mistaken. Romo now has 24 come from behind victories in the 4th quarter. That is the most of any NFL quarterback since 2006. The Victory was costly for the Cowboys, Dez Bryant has a broken bone in his foot and will be out a minimum of 4-6 weeks. Giants fans things will get better. They should be very explosive on offense and their defense will get better once the team gets acclimated to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system.
1) Will MARCUS MARIOTA WIN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?
Last year before the start of the college football season, I wrote an article declaring MARCUS MARIOTA the best player in college football. I predicted MARIOTA to win the Heisman trophy and he did. In my mind, he was clearly better than Florida State quarterback, JAMEIS WINSTON. I wrote numerous articles as to why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should pick MARIOTA with the number 1 overall pick. The Bucs didn’t listen to me and they picked WINSTON and MARIOTA went second to the Tennessee Titans. What I saw on Sunday was exactly what I saw watching tons of film on both players. WINSTON was 2nd in the country last season on interceptions with balls thrown over 15 yards. He locked on to his receivers and never looked off the safety. MARIOTA is leaps and bounds ahead of WINSTON at this stage of his career, and MARIOTA’S ceiling is much higher as well. The Titans won 42-14, MARIOTA was 13-16, had four touchdowns passes, (He joined Fran Tarkenton as the only player in the history of the NFL to have 4 touchdown passes in his first start). And he was the only player in the History of the NFL to have a perfect quarterback rating (158.3) in his first game. Below is an article I wrote on February 23rd … Why I would take Mariota over Winston…