5 things we learned from Week 1 of the NFL season
1. Russell Wilson is coming for the MVP
In the early years of Wilson's career, Seattle was a run heavy offense. The last few seasons, they have transformed into one of the league's best passing attacks, led by Wilson of course. In 2020, it looks like the Seahawks are finally letting Wilson go completely. Wilson was 31/35 for 322 yards and 4 passing touchdowns on the day. They are going to need the run game at some point this season and cannot rely on just 84 yards on 4.2 YPC, but Wilson is more than capable of overcoming that through the air. This may be his best cast of receivers to date with Lockett, Metcalf, Carson out of the backfield, and a veteran tight end in Olsen. After just one week, there is no doubt that Russell Wilson is going to be a top 3 MVP candidate in 2020.
2. Chase Young has arrived
NFC East Quarterbacks BEWARE! Chase Young is as advertised and more. The Washington Football Team (strangely catchy) has hit the lottery with this selection. Yes, it's been one game and I know in the grand scheme of things a lot could change, but seeing this defensive line dominate on Sunday was awesome. The Eagles were missing star tackle Lane Johnson, but registering 8 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 15 QB hits was insane. Young himself added 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble on Wentz. He was PFF's highest rated rookie on the defensive side of the ball in Week 1 (86.5). All the stats aside, he passed the eye test and was a significant force all game.
(Image via Daniel Kucin Jr./AP)
3. Time to sound the alarm on Baker Mayfield?
As a Browns fan, this absolutely pains me to no end to write this. Is it time to panic if you are the Cleveland Browns? I'm not ready to give up on him yet, but things need to change and they need to change quickly. Baker is now going on his 4th different staff in just his third season. There's a lot of things to point to that he needs more time to grow. However, we are still seeing the same issues as last year in Week 1 of 2020. Mayfield completed just 53.1% of his passes and the offensive line ranked 12th in pass protection. The line played drastically better than last year and he still looked uncomfortable in the pocket. A turnover on the first possession of the game didn't help him settle in. Add on the lack of chemistry with star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and things aren't off to a great start in 2020.
(Image via John Kuntz, Cleveland.com)
4. Bad week to be a kicker
Has the kicking game ever been this bad? We saw 5 missed extra points in week 1, combined with 19 missed field goals had head coaches losing it. I'm sure a few bad words were said. Stephen Gostkowski had the worst night of all, missing 3 field goals and an extra point. However, he did salvage that night (luckily) by making a game winning 25 yard field goal to beat the Broncos on Monday Night Football. Austin Seibert has lost his job in Cleveland, but was signed with the Bengals. Could Gostkowski be next? NFL coaches have to be considering going for two more often as the percentages may deem that to be more efficient. I tweeted it earlier this week, but what would the price be for Justin Tucker if the Ravens had to move him? I'd say he would be worth at least 1 1st round pick. Bottom line - don't leave your fate up to a kicker, because it is likely that it won't end well for your team if these trends continue.
(Image via Titans Wire)
5. Update: DeAndre Hopkins - Still Good
Can't believe I'm saying this, but Bill O'Brien somehow looks worse after week 1. Trading Hopkins for a second round pick and David Johnson had a lot of us thinking Hopkins may be on a downward trend in his career. He proved us dead wrong, at least in week 1, after going off for 14 catches, on 16 targets, for 151 yards on Sunday against the defending NFC Champion 49ers. After watching the Texans receivers struggle to get separation against the Chiefs on opening night, I'm betting Watson misses him as well. Murray and Hopkins are going to be a lethal combination in 2020 and it should allow the Cardinals to contend for a wild card berth in a very tough division. Winning a division game on the road in week 1 has to give them a ton of confidence moving forward. I have no doubt that Hopkins still has IT and is ready to make O'Brien eat crow.
(Image via Josie Lepe, AP)