Week 1 in the NFL has passed, which means overreaction season is now officially in session. Every team has big aspirations heading into the season and one thing that’s for certain is that many prognosticators and fans will over react after just 1 week. Let's dive into a few and see how valid they are.
The Arizona Cardinals will make the playoffs this year!
This is absolutely a critical year in the Kliff Kingsbury/Steve Keim era judging by the aggressive approach to signing established veterans like A.J. Green and J.J. Watt while also trading for a top-three center in the NFL in Rodney Hudson. While owner Michael Bidwell has stopped short of saying there’s a “playoff or bust” mandate for Keim and Kingsbury, they need to show significant progress this season.
Arizona started the season with a bang, blowing out Tennessee at home. Kyler Murray was spectacular, throwing for four touchdowns. Isaiah Simmonds made plays in the run and passing game and Byron Murphy proved that not only can he play outside, but he is an invaluable piece to that secondary. After rumors of a requested trade due to the Cardinals’ lack of urgency to sign him to a new deal, a motivated Chandler Jones came out and had five sacks in the game, including three in the first quarter.
It seems as if the pressure everyone is feeling could actually work in the Cardinals’ favor. However, the NFC West is extremely competitive with all four teams winning their opener. Every game will be must-see TV.
Urban Meyer is not fit to coach in the NFL.
Meyer’s tenure as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars has gotten off to a rocky start, to say the least. He had the controversial hire of Chris Doyle, who was fired by the University of Iowa after several players complained of mistreatment and racist behavior. He was then forced to fire him shortly thereafter for the distraction his hire caused the team. He then signed his good friend and former player Tim Tebow. Tebow hadn’t played football in several years and was given the chance to come to camp and try a new position. This didn’t go over well in the locker room.
During the preseason, many analysts expressed their disdain for the vanilla, archaic offense. Then, shortly before Sunday’s game, a report dropped expressing that many players and coaches were already tired of Meyer’s college-like ways and his inability to adapt to the pro game. The report talked about numerous arguments with fellow coaches (mostly veteran NFL coaches) on his staff and some of the demeaning things he had said to players.
On Sunday, they were scheduled to face a Houston Texans team who, by some accounts, were trying to tank this season in hopes of rebuilding their team for the future. Houston thoroughly outplayed Jacksonville, inviting the question: “Is Urban in way over his head?”
To me, the short answer is no. He has been extremely successful wherever he’s been. He has a rookie quarterback and inherited a team that wasn’t very good to begin with. While he has struggled to gain credibility in that locker room, I believe he figures it out before season’s end.
This is the year that NFL teams figure out Lamar Jackson.
There have been rumblings around the NFL that this is the season teams figure out Jackson. Let me remind you that he has likely been the best player on every team he’s played on. He was the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He was the youngest player to ever win the NFL MVP. Quarterbacks should be judged by wins and losses and he was the fastest to record 30 regular-season victories in the history of the NFL. He also needed the fewest number of games to record 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing in NFL history.
Injuries have hit this team hard, as Baltimore entered Week 1 having lost three running backs in a span of 12 days. They lost their first-round wide receiver, Rashod Bateman, too. Jackson didn’t make excuses. All he did in Week 1 was put the team on his back.
Jackson was 19-of-30 for 235 yards and 1 TD. He also ran 12 times for 86 yards. However, he had two costly fumbles that contributed to the game’s wild outcome in overtime.
While he’d certainly like to have those back, the truth is that the league has plenty of film on Jackson. Defensive coordinators may have narrowed in on offensive tendencies due to his skill set. However, knowing where the ball is going and stopping the ball carrier are two different conversations. If he’s already playing this well when his offense is depleted with injuries, just imagine what it’ll be like when the Ravens are fully healthy again.