Clemens: Key takeaways from Week 1 of the NFL season
Daric Clemens is a senior journalism news major and is a columnist for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Daric at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kickoff is underway, and from the entertainment side, fans should be excited about the start the 2019-20 NFL season got off to. Electric offenses were under display as the Ravens put up a franchise-record 59 points, and Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs reminded the league how good their offense can be.
We were rewarded with “free” football with two games going into overtime. Also, one of the oddest situations unfolded as star receiver Antonio Brown is taking his talents to New England.
Here’s a look at some key takeaways of the Week 1 performances, the good and the bad.
Good: Patriots are unstoppable again.
Another year and another Week 1 win for the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. This was Tom Brady’s 14th win on opening day, and the Patriots looked almost perfect in the blowout over the Steelers, 33-3.
At 42 years old, Brady showed he is still the best in the game and was spreading the wealth, getting everyone involved on the offense. He completed at least three passes to five different receivers, and with a receiving core that looked to already be pretty solid just got even better with Antonio Brown being officially called to the team on Monday.
Even though the offense was on fire most of the night, the defense for the Patriots had stellar play and completely shut Pittsburgh down. With the loss of Antonio Brown, the Steelers were hoping JuJu Smith-Schuster would be able to fill his role, but the Patriots didn’t allow it, and the Steelers' offense was non-existent. Good luck to teams trying to stop the Patriots this year.
Good: Lamar Jackson is “not bad for a running back.”
Lamar Jackson came out and completely dominated, sending a message to his doubters that questioned his ability to play the quarterback position. The Ravens were able to score with ease on the Dolphins throughout the game, and Jackson finished with five touchdowns and 324 passing yards on 17 of 20 throwing.
His performance was one for the history books, making him the first Ravens quarterback to complete a game with a perfect passer rating at 158.3, according to ESPN. Jackson has put the league on notice, and teams are going to have a hard time finding a way to defend him in the run game and also in the air going forward.
Bad: Do the Browns look better on paper?
The Browns had seemed to gain their relevancy back with their roster changes in the off-season after continuous losing seasons. However, what was probably one of the most anticipated games of the week turned into disappointment again for Browns nation.
The Titans were able dominate and make people rethink their expectations for this Cleveland team. Baker Mayfield couldn’t catch a break as his offensive linemen hardly protected their franchise quarterback, which led to multiple mistakes as he threw three interceptions. The Tennessee offense was able to get whatever it wanted against the Browns defense, and that could be concerning for them going forward.
Is Cleveland going to as bad as they have been in the past this season? Unlikely. However, they might not be so successful as experts thought going into the season.
Bad: Dolphins are in full tank mode
The Miami Dolphins are terrible, and there’s just no other way to describe it.
The Ravens were able to have a field day against them Sunday, and that’s most likely how the remainder of their season will go, which is probably what the team, outside of the coaches and players, want. There are even rumors circling around that players on the team have contacted their agents hoping to get moved out of Miami because they don’t want to be a part of a tanking team, according to Mike Florio.
The Dolphins, having recently traded for more draft picks, are setting themselves up for a heavy draft load come April.