Exhausted. Satisfied. Utterly terrified at the prospect of attending class the next day. There were a hundred ways to describe how I felt after having watched four hours of NFL Red Zone with my friends. But I felt no regret, because the NFL was back, with all its glory and controversy.
Week 1 brought excitement, disappointment, and even a little humor. It can give most fantasy owners a misplaced sense of of finality, whether positive or negative. But the first week in no way defines a player or team’s season. Jamaal Charles is still an elite running back, and Allen Hurns will come back to Earth. Here are my reactions to a week 1 that captivated the nation as America prepares for yet another year of football.
The Jets running back corp is for real.
I find it hard to believe even as I write this, but the trio of Chris Johnson, Chris Ivory, and Bilal Powell averaged over 7 yards a carry and finished the night with two touchdowns. Sure, it came against the Raiders, but anytime your backup running back takes ten carries for over ten yards a carry, you know you’ve got yourself some depth in the backfield. Even better news? The Jets have shown a commitment to their running game, as they don’t have much of an alternative. Geno Smith recorded 220 yards, but he also turned the ball over twice, showing the world once again that he isn’t a reliable NFL quarterback. In total, the Jets ran the ball 34 times, at least 10 each to their top two running backs. These guys won’t blow you out of the water at first glance, but give them a chance, because they just might surprise you.
Don’t lose faith in Jamaal Charles.
Pathetic. Abysmal. Downright sad. Such are the first words that come to mind when I think about Jamaal Charles’s fall from grace. The league’s most valuable running back last year managed to put up only 3.4 points as Kansas City got routed by Tennessee. I will not try to defend his horrible week 1 outing (less than three yards a carry is indefensible), a week where one of the NFL’s premier running backs only gets 7 touches won’t be a common occurrence. Have a little patience and don’t lose faith in your top-tier back just yet.
This is going to be the year of Matt Stafford, and he’ll bring his receivers with him.
If you saw the Monday night game, this shouldn’t exactly come as news. Stafford looked every bit as good as the elite quarterbacks of the league, and his receiving corp played like the best in the league. Last year, Stafford suffered with receivers that dropped more passes than any other group in the league. Now, he has Golden Tate, who dropped just two passes last year. Stafford’s thirty fantasy point performance on Monday was no fluke: he’s here to stay.
Justin Forsett is a waiver wire commodity.
As a lifelong Texans fan, I can personally testify that having Gary Kubiak as your running back’s offensive coordinator is a game-changer. This is the man that was responsible for keeping Arian Foster a fantasy stud for three years, and with Bernard Pierce’s awful week one outing, Forsett becomes a must-own as the starting option in what is sure to be a run-heavy offense.
People need to calm down about Allen Hurns.
I get it, he had a game, a great game actually. But in truth, he only had four targets and most of his points came from two catches in blown coverage. On top of that, he plays for a Jacksonville team that will probably never score so many points so quickly for the rest of the season, and soon he’ll see his workload severely diminished with the return of Cecil Shorts.
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