Around The League: Week #1 Recap
Week One of the 2021 NFL season showed all of us, yet again, that you cannot play this game off of paper alone. We had to relearn that just because your team looks stacked in the preseason, doesn’t mean that it will translate into wins over the course of the season. In a for-fun pick ‘em league I’m participating in, I went 7-9 and lost some, what I thought, were obvious picks to win. I consider myself to be fairly on point when it comes to NFL analysis, and really, who would pick New Orleans to beat Green Bay? Aaron Rodgers was uncharastically bad this Sunday netting me 2 points in fantasy (Thanks a lot A-Rod), to tell you how bad Rodgers was, I should have started Zach Wilson and I would have ended up with 22 MORE points than I got with Rodgers.
The Cowboys came out of nowhere and nearly upset the Bucs, but they decided to give Tom Brady the ball back with a minute and a half to go. That effort was doomed to failure at that moment. Though, despite the lack of performance from most of the Cowboys, Dak Prescott impressed throwing for more than 400 yards and 3 TDs to 1 INT. If he can stay healthy, he will be making some waves this year because it looks like Zeke is all but done gaining only 33 yards on 11 touches on the ground. Dallas will need to step up the run game or they will eventually begin to struggle to maintain a one dimensional offense.
The Bills lost to Big Ben and the Steelers, though I wouldn’t call this a shocker except for how good the Bills are. I mention this game because of what I said earlier. No matter how stacked your team looks, any given Sunday you can shine, or you can fade away. The Bills fought, but faded away in this game. Josh ALlen went 30-51 for 270 yards and a TD, but fumbled twice, lost one on 9 rushing attempts for 44 yards.The Steelers started slowly, and just gained momentum. Nothing really spectacular, but the Steelers just played the better game of football.
Joe Burrow led the Bengals to an overtime victory against the Vikings with a 20-27, 261 yards and 2TD performance aided by Joe Mixon (Thanks for the big fantasy boost Joe!) rushing for 127 yards on 29 touches and a TD. Burrow is back, Cincy fans! Here’s hoping that your O line holds up this year.
The last big upset has to be the Las Vegas Raiders coming out on top of the Baltimore Ravens. Lamar Jackson just couldn’t get it done going 19 for 30 and 235 yards through the air and a TD, 12 rushes for 86 yards, but 3 fumbles and 2 fumbles lost. Hard to win turning the ball over multiple times. Regardless, the Raiders capitalized and hung in there for the wild ride of Week 1. Derek Carr was working overtime throwing the ball 56 times for 435 yards, a pair of TD’s and a pick. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t seem sustainable in Las Vegas to me. What are those odds? Regardless, it worked in Week 1.
As the teams get ready for week 2, a couple honorable mentions are the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. The Browns faced a tough challenge in Pat Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs but they will bounce back in Week 2 against the Houston Texans who shined, but really, are a mirage of a team. The Jets came up short in week 1 against the Panthers, but fought hard till the end and looked pretty good in key areas. Looking forward to seeing my Jets beat the Patriots in MetLife next Sunday.
Overall, this has proven to be an exciting week of football and I am hoping it continues. It is good to have our game back!
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