Don’t get ahead of yourself. You just saw a stunning upset, or a blowout win when you were expecting a tight contest, or a great performance from a player you’d written off.
But remember, it’s Week 1.
So some of what you saw was just the rust of a new season, or a team that needs more time to adjust to a new system, a new coach, new personnel, and more. And maybe you just saw that occasional unexpected result that periodically happens all year long in the NFL. But some of what you saw was absolutely real, and you’re going to see more of it.
So what Week 1 results can you take without a grain of salt?
First off, believe what you saw in the Buffalo Bills. I predicted Buffalo to make the playoffs this year, but even I wasn’t expecting them to come out and shut down one of the most high powered offenses in the NFL. Don’t adjust your sets. There’s nothing wrong with the Colts, who will score tons of points and gain tons of yards this year, but Buffalo is going to be a very tough customer on defense this season, and it looks like they’re going to make at least a few people’s lives miserable on offense as well. This is a team built to play very well with a lead. Note to their remaining schedule: Don’t let them get up on you. You won’t be able to catch up.
Second, believe that the St. Louis Rams are a different football team with Nick Foles at quarterback. There’s nothing wrong with the Seattle Seahawks folks. Hell, St. Louis beat them by two points last season, remember?
The difference this year, however, is that the Rams have a chance to put together a consistent string of games now that “DNP-Injury” is no longer their starting quarterback.
Foles has a legitimate set of quarterback skills, and while he may not be in the elite class of an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, he’s still very, very good. If you’re looking for a comparison, think of Ben Roethlisberger or Joe Flacco. Or, dare I say, Russell Wilson?
Finally, don’t believe in the defense of the Houston Texans, or more specifically, you can go ahead and understand why their defense is most definitely overrated.
First off, the presence of J.J. Watt is hard to ignore. The guy is legitimately a fabulous player, the best defensive player in the NFL, and the spectacular plays he made all season long last year made you think of the Texans as a team with a great defense.
In reality, they were a team with a good defense and a great player.
Statistically, although the Texans were top 10 in scoring defense, they were 16th in yards allowed, which is right smack in the middle. Not great by any means. In addition, the Texans are one of those teams where their offense is so bad it makes their defense look a lot better by comparison.
But look at how Kansas City came out and just stomped that unit on Sunday. Giving up 27 points in the first half? Letting Alex Smith post a passer rating of 117? The Chiefs are a decent team, but they’re not one of the top offenses in the NFL. The Texans won’t look this bad every week, but they’ll do it enough to keep them out of the playoff hunt this year, no matter how good J.J. Watt is.
Week 1 in the NFL. It’s always a heck of a thing.