2019 NFL “WEEK 1” REPORT BY GARY GREENE

NFL WEEK 1 RECAP AND REPORT BY GARY GREENE

Well it did not take long for the wagon wheels of the Cleveland Browns to fall right off in the very first game of this new season. Coming into the game it seems like the entire world was backing the Browns not just to win this game vs. the Titans, but to go the Super Bowl. It’s usually College kids they read their great Press clippings that fall into the “big head syndrome” and believing they are better than they really are. But this past week it was clearly the entire Browns team that may have as they were not ready in any phase of the game. They had an insane 18 penalties….as I watched I wanted to throw the white towel in for them to just stop the game. QB Mayfield was simply way too wired up and the Offense nor the Defense ever got into any real sync or rhythm. But as bad as the Browns looked, give credit to the Titans, a team I feel is a sleeper this year if Mariota stays healthy. As good as the Titans win was, the OL was shaky at times and allowed 4 sacks. As for the Browns OL, they allowed 5 sacks. If this trend continues neither team will keep it’s elite starting QB on the field.

My biggest takeaway over the first week was it was gigantic big plays they led the way for most of the scoring. The other once again screech of the black board was the Kickers missing FG’s and extra points too. Both the Jets and Colts lost due to terrible days for their Kickers. Each year there is one or two teams that never seem to escape the Kicker struggles and trust me, those misses kill team morale.

GARY’S BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS:

I really wanted to see Todd Gurley (Rams) play and get a feel how would he look after ending last year looking so fragile and beat up. I must say I loved the way he looked. He has that super BURST back…and 14R/97 yardsR was a solid return and I think he starts to really unload his amazing skills again this year. I believe he’s fully back.

Another RB that has been hurt, hurt and hurt is Vikings Dalvin Cook. Well 21 carries and 111 rushing yards behind a new zone blocking scheme of new OC Adviser Gary Kubiak looks like the perfect recipe for Cook, if he can stay healthy, to totally change this Vikings Offense. Last year they passed it 38x a game. Kirk Cousins is simply not a good enough QB to carry that type of load on his “never won anything” back. The problem is can Cook stay healthy. If so, more days by Cousins (only 8-10-98 yards Passing) will actually lead to more wins.

Seattle won, barely, and I saw nothing to think this team will go over .500. I love QB Wilson but I see nothing in this WR’s corps and once again this OL just flat out sucks (Wilson sacked 4x and only 4x thanks to some amazing scrambles by Wilson or it would’ve been 6 or 7).  The Bengals played better, controlled the entire game (65 plays to a mere 45 plays by Seattle), but lost due to bad mistakes by QB Dalton (2 costly fumbles changed outcome). Unlike the Vikings who ran the ball consistently, the Bengals only ran 14 times for 34 yards. This folks will always be a recipe for disaster.

Niners QB Garappolo in off season lost last year to injury, showed lots of rust, just like we saw in Preseason. I have real concerns for this Niners Offense if the OL doesn’t improve greatly. They got no push off the ball, and the running game will suffer until it does. I’m giving Jimmy G a pass for 3 games no matter what he does as he missed an entire season and he’s got some new guys around him. But if his OL doesn’t improve, likely neither will he. I won’t be looking to bet the Niners in these next 2 games. I’ll take a wait and see first how Garoppolo looks.

My Redskins looked surprisingly OK vs. the Eagles with new QB Keenum and the OL played 100x better then I thought without stud LT Williams suiting up. For the first time in years the Redskins have elite speed at the WR spot, and newcomer McLaurin already has the makings of a new superstar as he was blowing by Eagles defenders all game long. He had 5 catches for 125 yards and a TD, but had Keenum not overshot him badly on another pass he was 10 yards past the Eagles CB, he would’ve had 2 TD’s and nearly 200 yards in his first ever game. The Redskins were great in the first half, but simply made no big plays and the D could never make a 3rd down stop to get this game closer. The Skins did score late as a 10 point dog to get the cover. A nice win for the good guys (well me).

The Patriots looked like a machine, but wow was part of that due to Pitt’s Defense simply being terrible? Only damper I saw on Pats Offense was RB Michel never got going and 15 rushes and 14 yards…wowowowow. Pitt RB Conner (10 rushes/21 yards)…another wowowowow.

The big question was could the Colts still put forth a solid winning team without Luck? I felt they’d be OK, and really they lost the game to the Bolts in a way I’d never, ever, ever had expected. Longtime stud Kicker Viniteiri missed a FG and Extra Point. They win before OT if he makes either. Brisset to me is a very good QB and he has one of the most reliable weapons ever in TY Hilton. Now he’s got a nice RB in Mack….who was a shining star in Week 1 (25 rushes for 174 yards) and I credit the OL, as they looked strong and gave a solid push. This Colts team, even without Luck, will be a very good team and a team I will look to bet “ON” this season.

Arizona brought in the miniature QB sensation in Kyler Murray. In the first half, I am sure there were millions watching who said “this kid is a bust”. I don’t grade off one half, nor one game. This is a giant jump of now playing studs and no weak links. The OL is average at best and it’s Murray’s legs that will save many a sack this season. I was surprised they waited til the second half to go “up tempo”, but once they did, this Cards Offense clicked. The Cards have enough pieces on Offense to score points, but this Zona Defense is bad. I mean BAD. And now with stuf CB Alford out, and CB Peterson suspended, do NOT think for one second this Defense will improve at all. They likely will give up 500 yards per week. I will give kudos to old man T. Suggs, as he still looks good. He had 2 solid sacks and 3 tackles for loss. So he alone may have been just enough to keep the cracks from exploding to help keep the Cards in that game. Lions HC Matt Patricia is now in my bottom 5 of all Head Coaches. He is way in over his head when not the DC.  I will add this, Lions Kicker Prater is the one kicker I want in any tough FG spot. Guy is a beast and will win 3 games this year with big FG kicks.

I had to write this, but Dak Prescott (Dallas QB) had the best game I’ve ever watched him play. Rather than play tentative, he played loose and just finally looked very comfortable. For the Giants, forego the Eli Manning good stat numbers. He’s done…cooked….and this Offense will soon be all RB Barkley. You have to wonder why Giants HC/OC only allowed him to rush it 11x (120 yards)?  Morons yet they weren’t winning that game if Lombardi was calling the plays. I will say this: Cowboys WR Gallup, is now ELITE in this league. Superstar talent, goes over middle, grabs balls in tight battles, and simply runs great routes. He will catch 80 passes for 1000 yards this season. I hate to say it, but Dallas OL is just too good for this Offense to not explode weekly.

We know the Chiefs will score points. But geez how does a LeSean McCoy fall in their laps. This guy is a stud. With this team he will be back to a game breaker back. He should come in with a focused head now playing for his ole ball coach Reid and this team being a huge contender will get the best out of him. I still though see little improvement from Chiefs Defense. Out of place on so many plays. I know it’s week 1, but same ole broken record. I mean a rookie QB Minshew just ate them up (22-25-275) and 2 TD’s. Wow it’s going to be a ton of shootouts again for this Chiefs team.

GARY’S FINAL PASS:

Ok folks, please remember it’s only 1 week (1 game) so far. Don’t go crazy loving those teams who looked great and hating those who had tough starts. This is the NFL baby and the tide turns fast. I will add though teams playing on road for 2 straight weeks to open a season have not fared well in week 2. Of course the one big matchup this week is the Saints traveling West to play the Rams. Revenge spot for that agonizing loss to Rams that cost them trip to the Super Bowl. Whole world will be on Saints. Not me. Terrible spot now off crazy and wild finish Monday night. Short week and two time zone long trip….I’ll stay far away and just watch and enjoy….always remember: “If it looks too good to be true, most times it is”.

Have a great new week ahead and may all your wagers be winning ones.

God Bless,

Gary Greene