Rejoice, ye mighties, for football has returned, and life has meaning once more.
The 100th NFL season kicked off in high gear yesterday at 1pm, and for the next 12 hours I was a witness to most of the mayhem the game is known for. Along the way, I developed my first impressions of how the last season of this captivating decade will play out. There was intrigue all throughout. I wasn’t bored in a single moment, and surprises and disappointments were evenly distributed.
Overall the uncertainty remains high and the injuries for each team will continue to pile as the season starts to unwind, but a trend for high-powered offenses capable of scoring up to 30 points per game is becoming more of a staple in the league as a whole. The trend began last year, with the NFL recording its highest scoring season league wide. This is the inevitable direction the game is heading towards to. The days of suffocating defenses are over. A good defensive team is still possible, but they will be more subjected to bad performances if confronted with the right matchup.
My early first impressions start and end with the New England Patriots, the team of the decade. They defeated their matchup, the Pittsburgh Steelers, by a score of 33–3. Tom Brady threw for 3 touchdowns in his 20th season debut. He looked the same as always, not a sign of deterioration within sight. I was worried that he would struggle in decision-making, but there were no indications to support this worry. The addition of Antonio Brown will make the Patriots’ offense much more effective, a very scary thought for many of their upcoming opponents, especially after this opening performance. There are many, including myself, who doubt whether Brown can remain a Patriot without any trouble. I suppose it’s one of those things where we will have to wait and see.
The Patriots’ defense also stood out. They created pressure and made a wonderful job at taking away the Steelers’ offensive options. All praise directed at the Patriots is a total indictment to the Steelers. Their offense looked abysmal, and the defense continued to play the same way it has vs. Tom Brady: pedestrian.
I wasn’t expecting this type of performance for the Patriots. It is rare to see them perform at such a high level this early in the season, especially on defense. They look very much in position for another stellar campaign, and according to the oddsmaker down in that shitstain town Las Vegas, they are in very good odds at disappointing an entire nation for the 10th time this century.
The Patriots were not the only team with a very impressive performance. The Ravens, Chiefs, Titans and Cowboys all dominated their opponents in every facet of the game. The Cowboys looked the most impressive. Their offense had never looked as a good as it did last Sunday. Dak Prescott had the best performance of his career, and the play-calling was outstanding. The Ravens scored the most point this week; they routed the Dolphins to the point where players asked to be traded during and after the game. I see this as a case of the other team simply being a walking disaster. The same interpretation applies to the Titans; the Browns looked putrid on offense when the going was getting tough. For all the buzz made about the Cleveland Browns, it seems that they have a long way to go for improvement, but I do see it happening as the season goes on. The Chiefs continued on their high-offensive pace. They have scored at least 27 points in 19 consecutive games, including playoffs. I have a lot of reservations for their defense, and Tyreek Hill’s injury could be a set-back in the coming weeks, despite their success without him.
The rest of the bunch either showed promise in one aspect but disappointed in another or were just completely inefficient on all aspects. The Eagles looked great on offense but disappointing on defense. The Vikings didn’t show much despite scoring 28 points; the Falcons were simply awful. Both the Colts and Chargers made many mistakes throughout their matchup and failed to capitulate on many opportunities at an almost proportionate rate; I liked how Brissett looked in the pocket and the type of throws he made, and Frank Reich showed once more how great of an offensive coach he is; I look forward to seeing more of the Colts than the Chargers. The 49ers looked great at the expense of a horrible performance by the Buccaneers and their quarterback Jameis Winston. The Rams looked as expected but have a lot to prove after a lackluster Super Bowl performance by the offense, and I don’t expect much from the Panthers going forward. The Bills impressed me with their comeback despite coming off the backbone of an inept team. The Seahawks didn’t impress me at all and the Lions and Cardinals both proved there are many ways to be incompetent, from the Cardinals sacking their own QB to the Lions giving up two touchdowns late in the game.
Two games are yet to be played. Texans vs. Saints and Raiders vs. Broncos. I don’t expect much from none of them. The Saints will not be the same team from a year before. I don’t know what to expect out of Drew Brees despite his reputation. The Texans can probably reach the playoffs, but I don’t see them beating any of the most formidable teams in the AFC. I’ll probably skip the Raiders-Broncos game if my mood desires something more engaging in the waning hours of the night.
All in all it was a great start. I’ll look forward to more football in the coming weeks.