1) Giants are done and for good reasons
First and foremost, this is a big stepping-stone win for the Eagles.
The Giants did not deserve to win this game because of the same two people that got them to 0-2: Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo. Let’s just face it, I have said it before I will say it again: Manning is one of the issues. Is he under pressure a decent amount? Yes, but you do release last week he was under pressure the sixth fewest time in the league according to Pro Football Focus? However, he has the highest sack rate in the league which tells you exactly what you need to know: Manning is too old and slow to avoid the rush any more. Yet still, Giants fans will defend him like this one:
Really? If you want to tell me that Eli isn’t part of the main problem, I disagree but fine, to say he’s “outstanding” is just blasphemy.
And to Ben McAdoo: What were you thinking when went for the TD instead of the FG at the end of the half with a run? I’ll remind you that you that you haven’t had a running game yet this year. In case you didn’t notice, those points were the difference in the game. If only he had a clue. So much for the “offensive genus” tag that he was arbitrarily given.
2) “The NFL is in trouble”
That is the narrative I have been hearing for the past year. Really? It never was the case. The ratings were down one percent last years after a very polarizing election concluded. This year, sure they were down, but down to what? 13 million? The NFL is still America’s number one TV show and it isn’t even close. If you weren’t entertained by today in general, but especially the 1 o’clock window, you just aren’t a football fan.
3) Falcons prove there is no Super Bowl hangover
First and foremost, the “controversial” ending in this game isn’t controversial at all as the former VP of officiating explained:
I thought there would be some Super Bowl hangover, but I still thought Atlanta would win the division. Well, I was clearly wrong. There has been no sign of a Super Bowl hangover and they look just as impressive, if not more, as they did last year.
If Matt Ryan can throw three interceptions and the Falcons’ defense forces no turnovers in response and they still win, they are going to be the real deal this season. By that, I mean the potential for another long postseason run.
4) I hate to say I told you so, but I told you about the Steelers
I have been saying since the offseason ended that this would be the end of an era in Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger looks old, the defense could do nothing to stop Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, and they looked undisciplined as they usually do under Mike Tomlin.
Now I want to be clear, the Steelers are probably going to make the playoffs still, but they aren’t going to be that team that consistently reaches the AFC Championship game to be the punching bag for New England.
5) About Tom Brady being in decline…
So I have essentially become known for this comment:
What I said was that he is in decline and I still believe we will see that this year. However, I can admit that he has been overall impressive over the past two weeks. That come back drive that ended with that throw to Brandin Cooks was classic Brady.
Let’s just remember that he faced a nonexistent Saints’ defense in week two to get back on track. Again, very impressive the past two week, can’t deny that, but long-term this season it will still be the same final conclusion. Just realize how close he was to losing to a rookie QB in Foxborough.
6) Long-term concerns at quarterback for many teams
Stop me if you have heard this before: Jay Cutler sucked today. I know, I know shocking, right? Please. This is exactly why I said the Dolphins will be worse with him at the helm than Ryan Tannehill.
Another old, aging quarterback — Joe Flacco — looked no better. If you want to blame it on the trip to London, go ahead, but there are no excuses for that performance. If I didn’t know better I would have thought Flacco was Blake Bortles.
Over-the-top quarterbacks are great when they perform well and annoying when they aren’t:
Between Cam Newton and Jameis Winston you have exhibit A and B. If I am a Panthers fan I am hoping he isn’t a 100 percent, because if he is, it looks like a continuation of last year.
Winston failed to take that next step last season and if Tampa Bay is going to be what some thought they could be this year, he has to be better.
7) This might be the year for Seattle
Every year the Seahawks get off to a slow start; a direct result of their emotional-driven coach, Pete Carroll. I know pretty much all of us have said this in the past, but this might finally be the year Seattle doesn’t rebound. Their offensive line looks like a reck that will plague them against pretty much any team that doesn’t have the Titans’ defensive line. Oh and the ‘Legion of Boom’, clearly exists no longer as Tennessee moved the ball consistently at will
To be clear, Seattle will likely still make the playoffs because of their weak division which should help them get back on track with games against the Colts and Rams the next two weeks.
Big picture, the Seahawks won’t get back to the Super Bowl contending team this year, they just aren’t that.
8) Oakland Raiders leave a giant question mark atop the AFC
I was ready. I ready to crown Oakland the king of not only the AFC, but the NFL if they beat the Redskins tonight. Unfortunately for Raider fans that did not happen at all. Derek Carr (yes, the guy I have been pumping up for a year and a half) had a bad night while Oakland’s secondary got chewed apart. Plus, what happened to the Raiders offensive line? They went from looking like one of, if not the, best lines in the NFL to average at best.
I think the sliver and black will rebound pretty quickly, but this certainly raised some long-term question marks.
9) Over confidence
After last week, the over confidence in Baltimore and Denver was palpable which was a trap many people fell into. If you really believe that you can chalk the Ravens ineptness to the time zone change, I would love to know what game you were watching. I too was high on Baltimore’s defense and they turned Blake Bortles into prime Joe Flacco this week; that’s a problem moving forward.
Denver’s stellar defense looked anything but as we continue to learn the difference in performance of this team in Denver vs everywhere else. Not to mention the fact that Trevor Siemian went back to being himself against a below average Bills’ defense. Who does Denver have to try and rebound against? Oakland…good luck with that after how they performed today.
10) I have mixed feelings about the morning game
I get it, there is some segment of the population that loves to wake up at 9:30 ET and see football being played in another country. I am one of these people. However, a lot of people don’t. This is just part of people feeling overwhelmed with games on Thursdays, Mondays, and oh yea let’s add on Sunday morning. It’s just too much. Not to forget the people on the west coast who would have to wake up at 6:30 local time on Sunday to watch well *cough, cough* played football.
The part I do love is the online streaming they did. This game was available only on yahoo.com which is no longer the future, it’s the now. If you don’t believe cable TV will be dead within the next ten years after that flawless consumer experience this morning, I don’t know what to tell you. Soon, we will all be viewing games on Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, etc. Get ready.
Tomorrow: The SWN Show and podcast with more reaction
-Article by Nick Friend