Calm down everyone: It’s only the season’s first week
September 13, 2016
The San Francisco 49ers won, 28-0, in Week 1, and are clearly going to the Super Bowl.
This, boys and girls, is what we call an overreaction, a common thing after all the hype leading up to the opening week. (By the way, my fantasy team, The Giant Hens, is destined to run the table, baby, after a glorious win this weekend. Now if Dez Bryant would be kind enough to score more than 0.80 points, I'd really appreciate it.)
There we go again.
The Niners are not good. The Rams, whom they beat, probably aren't that anemic. Seriously, it would be just like the Rams to comeback and beat Seattle this week after such a putrid performance.
So what do we make of Week 1? I am here to serve.
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They probably should have lost. Graham Gano's 50-yarder at altitude in non-wintery weather was a chip shot. Just keeping it real.
Win or lose, what we learned is that the Broncos have a lot of talent around Trevor Siemian, and the kid was pretty good for his first NFL start. He had two picks, which were on him. That's going to happen, even with a good scheme — and it was — cooked up by the coaching staff. The test for any young quarterback is to make constant adjustments required at this level. The jury is still out and will stay out for most of the year.
What you like as a Broncos fan is the revamped offensive line. The unit gave Siemian time, and, more importantly, opened the holes for 148 yards of rushing. That's 5.1 yards per carry and kept time of possession relatively even (32:19 to 27:41 in favor of the Panthers.).
Denver's defense is still excellent, but you don't want any defense on the field for 40 minutes. Good start for the Broncos, but don't buy tickets for the Super Bowl in Houston yet.
Probably the biggest win of Week 1. Yes, they also lucked out with a missed field goal in the end. But this was the first of four without Tom Brady, and Rob Gronkowski was also out with a bad hamstring.
New England just needs to tread water sans Brady, and no one had the Pats winning in Arizona when everyone was running through the schedule during the preseason, predicting wins and losses.
This pretty much ensures that they'll go 2-2 without Tom Terrific — Miami, at Cincinnati, Buffalo are the next three on tap. They're going to win one of those divisional home games, if not both.
The AFC West
It's a better division than in the past. Oakland is not the speed bump of years past. Winning in New Orleans is tough because Drew Brees will fling the ball all over the place, and he always gets the calls, said the 49ers fan who is still bitter about a roughing-the-passer call that cost us a game against the Saints a few years ago.
Yes, Kansas City had to come back against the Chargers, but division wins are crucial. And I don't see K.C. losing five in a row after Week 1, as it did last year.
Pittsburgh looked very good on Monday Night Football. Yes, the Redskins didn't, but the Steelers are another contender in the AFC. It's worth noting that the AFC North went 3-1. Are the Ravens back? Too early to call. Just thinking aloud, though.
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers find a way to win. They just do.
Brock Osweiler had a good debut with the Texans — nothing overly spectacular, yet he really doesn't need to be so in Houston. Early days, but the Brock Bowl is on Oct. 24 in Denver.
The Seahawks didn't look great in their 12-10 win over Miami. Russell Wilson's ankle was a scary moment for fantasy owners, the author included. Seattle's fine.
As previously noted, Arizona and Carolina lost. Remember 15 teams lose on Week 1. Carolina hosts the 49ers — oh, dear — this week and the Cards have the Bucs in the desert. They'll be back in the win column.
And, yes, Eagle quarterback Carson Wentz looked good in his pro debut. He was playing the Browns. He is not yet the second coming.
Oh, the Browns. You'd really like to see something good happen to this franchise after all the agony, but yikes.
And the loser of the Jets and Bills on Thursday is falling to 0-2.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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