Study up NFL nerds, here’s Week 1’s lesson

Pencils at the ready, you just might learn something…


Bar a couple of games tonight, NFL week one is in the books.

We did warn you about the Patriots on several occasions, so you shouldn’t be surprised.

However, here are four things we did learn, following the most optimism-filled Sunday of the year.

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The ‘Red Rifle’ Needs Target Practice

It’s bad enough losing a divisional game. It’s worse losing a divisional game on opening weekend.

It’s shoddier again that you’re shut out and it’s the absolute nastiest when the opposition’s star offensive weapon goes down injured, and you still get battered.

Andy Dalton, early in his career, looked promising. Coming out of TCU, it appeared that the Bengals had their franchise quarterback. His misfires tended to be in the playoffs – forgivable at that age.

Now, it looks like the so-called ‘Red Rifle’ is trying to shoot himself in the foot. Luckily for him, he’ll probably miss.

The worst part? Cincinnati gave Dalton $115 million three years ago. AJ McCarron – the only respectable quarterback bar Joe Namath to ever come out of the Alabama Crimson Tide programme is waiting in the wings. It’s coming…

The AFC West is King

A couple of AFC West teams took two road trips to a pair of the best teams in football. Both were worthy winners.

Kansas City notched forty-two points in Foxboro on Thursday and did this, largely through a rookie running back. They did lose Eric Berry to a season-ending achilles injury, but they’re consistently tough on defence.

Nobody puts up that many points in Belichick’s house. Except Kansas City, it seems.

And what about those Raiders? Ironic that a franchise who face a soul-destroying move to Las Vegas have a head coach nicknamed ‘Blackjack’ Del Rio, isn’t it? Foreshadowing anyone?

Anyway, they held an explosive Tennessee offence to just sixteen points.

One of the best defences – Denver – play one of the best offences – the Chargers (we’re still not comfortable saying the Los Angeles part) – tonight. Only three teams can make the playoffs from this division, but all four have a chance of getting there.

The Colts are the Worst Team in Football

There were more people in your living room than there were at the LA Coliseum. Tickets were six quid.

You can’t get into a League Two game for six quid. Even still, the place wasn’t half full.

Nobody likes the Rams. We’re not even sure the Rams like the Rams – yet they still put up FORTY-SIX points on this Colts defence.

If Andrew Luck was there, would it have been closer?

Absolutely, but all things considered, Scotty Tolzien wasn’t the worst we’ve ever seen.

The offensive line couldn’t protect him, and an Aaron Donald-less Rams team ate them up. Even key playmakers on offence were giving up plays – TY Hilton fumbled after bizarrely moving backwards, behind the first down marker and diving forwards.

Losing a habit you can break. Losing like this? More difficult. Now there’s whispers QB1 won’t be back until mid-October. Sh*t out of Luck, indeed.

Football is Brutal

These are some of the best athletes in the world. The majority of serious injuries are non-contact, too – because of their quick bursts and resultant pressure on ligaments.

It’s hard to watch – it really is. As mentioned above, Eric Berry is out for the season. Kasey Redfearn was carted off – he’s a punter.

Orlando Scandrick suffered a broken hand – considered minor. DJ Humphries may miss extended playing time.

One of the most promising talents in football, Reuben Foster, was placed on the injury list. Kevin White broke his collarbone, Stephon Tuitt tore his bicep, Allen Robinson tore his ACL, Danny Woodhead may miss a few months with what looked a horrible injury and it’s reported that David Johnson could miss half the season or more.

It’s a brilliant, brilliant game – but it’s brutal.

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