What a start to the 2015 NFL season! We hype the NFL up to be this Holy Grail of sports all offseason, then it actually delivers when the season begins. Sunday and Monday nights’s action was worth the long deflating offseason.
Week one did have some major injuries that will fill up some of the loser slots. That is the shame about football, too many injuries. The Ravens lost Terrell Suggs for the year and the Jets may be without Antonio Cromartie long term depending on his MRI on Monday. DeSean Jackson, Derek Carr, and Luke Kuechly also went out with injuries in their contests.
In the winners slots we have a clock turner backer that helped the Pack, a rookie who may be the greatest QB in history if you listen to ESPN today, and another flashy rookie from Seattle that should help them get points on the board all season long in one form or another.
Let’s get to week one’s winners and losers. We still have two games set for MNF so I’ll add any deserving players on my Atlanta Falcons breakdown on Tuesday along with a recap of San Francisco v. Minnesota.
NFL Grown Man of the Week: Hard choice between two grown men at the tight end position. Gronkowski had a monster game, but I have to give it to Travis Kelce. Gronk had one more TD than Kelce, but the Chiefs’ tight end was up against the Texans defense. Kelce is going to get considerable amounts of press this year as he will put up similar numbers weekly
NFL Child of the Week: Could have went with Goodell for not going to the opening game in Foxboro, but why dwell on the commish any longer than necessary. Could have went with Jim Harbaugh for his sideline meltdown, but he was fired from the NFL so can’t use him. I’ll go with Jameis Winston who looked like a high school QB on Sunday versus Tennessee. His debut was made worse by Mariota looking like a vet on day one (don’t get used to that on a weekly basis though Titans fan).
Winner: James Freaking Jones was unwanted by the rest of the NFL, but looked like an All Pro with Aaron Rodgers slinging it to him. If you didn’t pick up Jones for your fantasy team after his second score then you’re an imbecile. Join the club!
Loser: Johnny Manziel was pressed into service when McCown went down versus the Jets. Manziel started out fine, but somehow ended up with three turnovers. One fumble happened after an impressive run. Great to make plays with your legs J. Football, but holding onto the ball is vital.
Winner: Marcus Mariota went off in the first half, tossing four touchdowns. ESPN will now proclaim it the greatest debut in the history of sports, including horseshoes.
Loser: Pete Carroll. He needs a yard and makes the right call this time….to give the ball to Lynch. It matters not as his Seahawks fail to convert on a fourth down in overtime giving the Rams the win in the best game all Sunday.
Winner: Tyler Lockett. Seattle’s flashy rookie started out the regular season just like the preseason. He scored on a long punt return and is sure to get more attention next week from special teams coaches. This kid is special and is a nice replacement for Percy Harvin from a couple years ago. Hopefully Lockett doesn’t turn out to be insane too.
Loser: Jameis Winston’s first NFL pass was a pick six. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Winner: Keenan Allen and anyone that had him in the fantasy world. The third year man for San Diego had 15 catches in their game versus Detroit.
Loser: Tom Coughlin. His play calling at the end of the Dallas game gave the Cowboys life. The coach owned it after the game to his credit. Eli also copped to his mistake, saying he should have just taken a sack instead of throwing an incompletion that stopped the clock.
Winner: Alex Smith with three TDs in a big win over the Texans. Who would have thought Smith and KC would roll right over Houston’s vaunted defense? That’s what happened most of the game as they opened up a 27-9 lead.
Loser: Brian Hoyer. He barely got the starting gig in Houston over Ryan Mallett then wet the bed in his opener. Hoyer was replaced by Mallett late, who played better and could get the nod next week. Hoyer was pretty hard on himself, “”I feel terrible,” Hoyer said. “I feel like I let this entire organization down. I mean, it just went from bad to worse.”
I’ll have a couple more winners & losers after the Monday night games to add to my Falcons recap.
Winner Tweet: My man, probably not even the game of the day. Let’s settle down and not go ESPN hype mode in week one.
— TKane© (@TiiiCaiiine) September 14, 2015
Loser Tweet: Maybe we should set up a relief fund for Vegas books?
"I don't remember a worse opening Sunday." Vegas sports books get beat up on the first NFL Sunday of season: http://t.co/8BaBLyemv6
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) September 14, 2015