Football is Finally Back

Football is finally BACK! We counted down months, weeks and days just for this very moment. Our favorite quarterbacks don’t play and we don’t even know who the third-string corner is, but we watch because we missed it so much. The preseason is always laden with flags and incompletions, but it’s football and we’re not complaining. Here are some things we learned from Week 1.

Tom Brady can’t miss four games:

He really can’t miss any, as the Patriots’ offense depends so much on him, but four could hurt. With the exception of a Jonas Gray 55-yard touchdown run, the offense didn’t produce a play over 20 yards. Jimmy Garoppolo did his best, but he needs some more work and help. He got hot towards the end, going 20/30 for 159 yards, but his accuracy and athleticism were in question for most of the night. The Packers’ defense did help him out by dropping two easy interceptions, as some of Garoppolo’s early throws were to no one in particular, but that was it. They made sure he didn’t find the end zone, intercepted him once and sacked him seven times. Rob Gronkowski and other stars didn’t play, so maybe with some extra weapons he will be better. He’ll continue to get first-team reps, however the Patriots’ and fans are surely hoping Brady gets an injunction and will be on the field Week 1.

Johnny Manziel has matured:

Was his performance awe-inspiring? No, not at all. 7/11 for 42 yards isn’t great, but he showed some focus and resolve that was absent last season. Manziel went through his progressions and didn’t look to run every time his first read wasn’t open. When communication between the field and sideline broke down, he didn’t panic. Manziel called a play confidently and executed it for the first down. Johnny Football’s highlight of the night was a 12-yard scramble into the end zone, reminiscent of his Texas A&M days, of course excluding the money sign. He isn’t ready for the starting job, but he showed some improvement, and that is really all that fans can ask for.

Detroit has a lot of firepower:

Not surprising because of who they have and who they played, but the Detroit offense had a great showing against the Jets. Matt Stafford went 2/2 for 57 yards and a touchdown to Golden Tate in his only series on the day. Rookie RB Ameer Abdullah impressed with 67 yards on seven carries, including a 45-yard rip of the Jets’ defense. But this game was more note-worthy because of those that didn’t play or participate much. Calvin Johnson was out and Eric Ebron, who was said to be one of Stafford’s top targets during training camp, had only one catch. If the running game is consistent and the passing game is clicking, the Lions’ offense could be difficult to stop. But don’t read into this too much, it’s just the preseason.

Rookie QBs are going to struggle:

Andrew Luck set the bar high for every first-round quarterback, but really everyone knew he was more pro-ready than most recent draftees. For every other QB at the top of the draft, it usually takes them some time to settle into their roles.  In his first preseason game, Jameis Winston was a little shaky, struggling to grasp the snap and overthrowing receivers. NFL defenders get to the QB a lot faster than in the ACC, and Winston found that out after a couple of sacks. He had one interception, but passed for 131 yards and flashed some athleticism with an eight-yard touchdown run.

Marcus Mariota had some troubles in his first game as well. He hadn’t thrown an interception during training camp, but against a new, fast-paced defense, he was picked on his first possession. Things got worse as Mariota followed that up with a fumble that was returned for a TD. He didn’t quit though, and went 7/8 for 94 yards. Rookies will get better with time, so don’t give up on them yet.


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2 Responses

  1. Jim Puz says:

    did you just use mature and Manziel in the same sentence?

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