It happens every year. We all have our expectations for the upcoming NFL season, and when things that occur in the first week of the season don’t fall in line with those expectations, it’s a natural tendency to overreact. And if you claim to never have done it, then you’re lying. We all have fallen victim to Week 1 overreactions. But we need to make sure we remind ourselves that it’s only Week 1, and that there’s still a long football season ahead.
The following are some storylines and narratives after Week 1 that we need to pump the brakes on a bit…
“I can’t believe [Player X] barely did anything in this game! And I drafted him so high in my fantasy football league!”
This was an easy and generic one to start off with. For those of you who have played fantasy football for a long time, you know as well as I do that a great time to look for a trade steal is at the very beginning of the year, especially following Week 1. Why? Because often times there will be an amateur that will get really frustrated that one of their starters whom they drafted high (snake draft) or for a lot of money (auction draft) didn’t perform well in their first game and they’ll start to panic. My advice is to not be one of those guys. Yeah of course it’s possible that a star player who doesn’t start well will just end up not having a good season, but most of the time that’s not the case. Be patient. You don’t want to end up selling low, because the return value you’re getting back is not going to help improve your team. Week 2 is way too early to give up on someone you invested in.
Here is a list of some high value players who didn’t do well this past week that I still believe will have great seasons: Kareem Hunt, Zach Ertz, Marquise Goodwin, Robert Woods, Jimmy Garoppolo, Evan Engram, Travis Kelce, Matthew Stafford, Devonta Freeman, Amari Cooper.
“I guess the Jimmy Garoppolo and 49ers hype from last year was premature and he’s not as good as we all thought. He played a horrible game against the Vikings.”
Was it a great game by Jimmy GQ and the rest of the team? No, it definitely wasn’t. Garoppolo still has some accuracy issues due to inconsistent mechanics. He tries to release the ball so quickly that his footwork suffers because of it. The receivers dropped too many catchable passes. The Alfred Morris fumble at the goal line was a killer. And the pick-6 that Garoppolo threw because the receiver ran the wrong route was an even bigger killer. There were just too many self-inflicted wounds committed by the Niners. But it wasn’t as bad of a game by them as some make it out to be. They played the Vikings very tough, and after watching the All-22 film of the game I came away more encouraged than discouraged.
Kyle Shanahan is still a mastermind offensively. He kept finding ways to get his receivers open. Despite dropping a wide open pass down the left sideline, George Kittle played a good game and is one of the main weapons in the offense. Dante Pettis, who played in place of the injured Marquise Goodwin, caught his first touchdown and showed why the team was so high on him and drafted him in the 2nd round. DeForest Buckner had 2.5 sacks and showed improvement from last year. Fred Warner was all over the place and will give the defense a great LB duo once Rueben Foster returns. And Jaquiski Tartt (best name in football) is a budding star at the S position.
The future is still very bright for the 49ers.
SS JaQuiski Tartt played a great game. Coverage was tight on the TD & not much more he could have done. Near INT, stops…. I can’t wait to see how Saleh uses Tartt, Reed, Warner, K’Waun… etc on the blitzes. Good to have you back fam. @Quaski29 #49ers #JaQuiskiTartt #Samford pic.twitter.com/veC4QtlHnl
— 49er_Edits (@49er_edits) September 13, 2018
“The Saints just got blown out by the Tampa Buccaneers in New Orleans! They’ve been exposed and will probably miss the playoffs this year while Ryan Fitzpatrick will lead the Bucs to the playoffs!”
OK, so the Saints got embarrassed. Their offense was fine, as usual, but their defense was bad… very bad. Their 2 stars on defense, Marshon Lattimore and Cameron Jordan, had bad games. And when your best players struggle, usually the rest of the unit will struggle too.
But let’s not forget that they started out 0-2 last season as well and looked pretty bad in those games too. I’m not saying they shouldn’t care about getting off to a bad start, which is something they’ve been doing for the past few years, but it’s certainly way too early to count them out of anything. There’s still no other team in the NFC that scares me matchup-wise more than the Saints. They have a top 3 offensive line, a soon-to-be elite RB in Alvin Kamara, a young stud WR in Michael Thomas, and a future HOF QB who’s still playing at a high level in Drew Brees. Oh, not to mention that they’ll be getting Mark Ingram back after Week 4.
As far as Fitzpatrick and the Bucs go, it’s not crazy to think that they could be a competitive team. They’ve got some really good weapons on offense, including my pick for breakout player of the year Chris Godwin, and head coach Dirk Koetter is a pretty good play-caller. The big question mark for them is what they’re going to do at QB. Can anyone definitively tell me that if Fitzpatrick keeps playing very well, which we’ve seen happen before, that Jameis Winston will without a doubt get his starting job back? And both QBs have a history of bad decision making. It will definitely be interesting to see how it plays out for them.
The Saints played a division opponent and simply weren’t prepared, while the Buccaneers played loose and fearless. It was a surprising outcome, but nothing that drastically changes my mind about either team.
Take the outside track away from Mike Evans? No problem, Chris Godwin can manage that back-shoulder fade in tight space. pic.twitter.com/un1GIq1EHU
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 10, 2018
“Patrick Mahomes is the real deal! Elite!”
I do believe Mahomes has the potential to be really good. REALLY GOOD. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I still expect Mahomes to have his fair share of lows and bumps in the road, and when they happen I want to see how he rebounds from them. The kid has unreal arm talent, but that will mean nothing if he isn’t able to make proper adjustments once defenses get to study him.
One thing is for sure though: Mahomes and that Chiefs offense is going to be so entertaining to watch this season.
“Steve Sarkisian still sucks at play-calling in the red zone! He’ll be the reason the Falcons don’t make it far in the playoffs yet again!”
Actually, this isn’t an overreaction. I do honestly believe this.