The NFL’s opening week is in the books and after 16 exciting games, the football fans can relax and put all the news into perspective. Many NFL stories hit the headlines this past weekend and just a few really stood out from the crowd. So what are the biggest takeaways from Week One putting aside the panic and overreactions? Let’s take a quick look:
Peyton Manning Is Not Himself But What About Those Rookies?
The media went nuts after the Denver Broncos – Baltimore Ravens game on Sunday and yes, Peyton Manning was the reason behind it. Is the five-time league MVP done? Can he throw the ball anymore? some wondered looking at the stats sheet and his atypical performance on the field: only 175 passing yards, ZERO touchdowns and four sacks. Moreover, Manning was reluctant to throw the football long and many questioned his power in his arm.
Yes, the 39-year-old had an awful first game. Yes, he even had a bad preseason but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It is still just a game. He may not be the 2009 version of himself but he’s still one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. So don’t be surprised to see Peyton playing with a little bit more fire in his bellyon Thursday, against the Kansas Chiefs. And since we are talking about quarterbacks and playing with fire in the belly, let’s also talk about rookie standout from the Tennessee Titans, Marcus Mariota. Mariota finished the blowout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and number one pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, Jameis Winston with 13 of 16 completed passes, 209 passing yards and four touchdowns. He became the first rookie in league history to throw for four touchdowns in the first half of the opener. He’s also the youngest to score four touchdowns. Talk about large:
On the other side of the field, Winston disappointed throwing his first ever professional pass for an interception and a defensive touchdown. Do not despair though! He’s in pretty good company if we recall Brett Favre’s first pass in the NFL ending with the same outcome.
Broncos Defense Was Scary
Manning didn’t have the best of games but surprisingly, the Denver Broncos didn’t lose. In fact, they won against the Ravens thanks to a tremendous defensive effort. They allowed a total of only 173 yards (100 passing, 73 rushing) and made play after play stopping Baltimore from capitalizing on Manning’s bad game. Just watch Darian Stewart’s end-zone interception:
— NFL (@NFL) 13 septembrie 2015
Now imagine this defense and Manning playing his usual A-game. Scary right?
Carlos Hyde Is The New Adrian Peterson
Carlos Hyde was the rushing highlight of Week 1 in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers running back carried the ball 26 times for an average of 6.5 yards per carry and a total of 168 yards. Hyde also scored two touchdowns. Bears Matt Forte was somewhere in the same area code as the 49er with almost 6 yards per carry. And you know who wasn’t in that category? 2012 regular season MVP Adrian Peterson! The Minnesota Vikings running back was hesitant in shotgun and didn’t look like himself carrying the football 10 times for just 31 yards in the Monday Night showdown against the 49ers. All in all, he didn’t get too many opportunities (Why Mike Zimmer? Whyyyyy?) but he still showed some glimpses of the old 2012 Peterson:
Can he prove himself once more after the awful child abuse 2014 season? Or will Carlos Hyde take his place in the spotlight?
By: Florian Gheorghe