Justin Herbert looks awesome, the Packers they did not find the rhythm to dance, Texans, Eagles and Bengals they start winning, among many other things that happened in week 1 of the 2021 NFL Season. From the Shotgun Formation.
Quick impressions from Week 1
The first Sunday of the NFL had many interesting things, and among everything that happened on this day, these are some of the things that most caught my attention:
1. Goodbye, logic. Every year we tell ourselves that what we did last season doesn’t matter, that statistics don’t say everything and that anything can happen in the NFL. Even so, year after year, we go with the tendency to think that the new season is an extension of the previous one and we go with the forecasts following that logic. The best example was watching the Bengals, Eagles, Texans and Steelers win their respective games.
2. Something positive. Sam Darnold’s career in New York was anything but positive. After many problems under the tutelage of Adam Gase, the Jets decided it was best to trade Darnold and sent him to Carolina, who decided to give this QB a new chance who, not long ago, was a very promising prospect. Now, Darnold’s career at Carolina began with a win… against the Jets. A very meaningful way to take the first step in your new franchise.
3. No rhythm. If this year is “The Last Dance” for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, it started without much rhythm. The offense couldn’t do anything, the defense allowed five touchdown passes from Jameis Winston, and the trip to Florida to face the Saints ended in disaster. This game could have many repercussions, especially inside the dressing room.
The things that I think I know
After what happened in the first week of the 2021 NFL Season, here are some things I think I know:
1. It looks like the real deal. Justin Herbert’s season two opener was a showcase of this player’s talent. The Chargers QB was very efficient in his deliveries, throwing the ball quickly and always to places where his receiver was the only one who could make the play. I think Herbert is very close to making the leap to the quarterback elite.
2. It won’t last long. Right now the Texans are the first place in the AFC South, this because in addition to the fact that they beat the Jaguars, there were combined losses from the Titans and Colts. It is also a fact that the Texans will not face such “peculiar” coaches as Urban Meyer in the coming weeks.
3. First on the list. We’re only into week 1, but I think Mike Zimmer is officially on the “little board” (or the hot seat, How do you say in english). The Vikings lost to the Bengals, and the difference between these two teams is clear: Minnesota hopes to have a postseason, Cincinnati is simply looking to improve.
4. This I do know. I love seeing Matthew Stafford on the Rams. He’s a player who’s been through all kinds of trouble in Detroit, from having no running backs to having a defense that allowed 24 points on average throughout his career with the Lions. Surely in Los Angeles he will be able to show that for a QB to work it takes more than one receiver, so the “but I had Megatron” argument can be forgotten.
the song of the week
This week the regular season craze started and it reminded me of the song “Psycho Circus” by KISS.
What’s the song say: “Welcome to the show“.
Talking about college football
This week there were a lot of cool things going on in the NCAA, and they all come down to one word: upset. Let’s talk about the surprises of this day in college football:
1. The first for Ryan Day. The Ohio State Buckeyes hosted Oregon on Saturday and took a rare loss for them in the Ryan Day era. How unusual? It’s the first time the Buckeyes have lost a regular-season game under Day. This loss puts Day’s mark at 23-1. So this Saturday we saw a bit of history.
2. Jacksonville State was the surprise of the year. If you ask about Jacksonville State, you probably won’t get many answers, especially if the people you ask are not familiar with the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Well, the Gamecocks faced the Florida State Seminoles (a much better known team) and they played a very good game. In fact they were losing 17-14 with six seconds left, and there came the magic:
Jacksonville State 59-yard game-winner as time expires to beat Florida State! pic.twitter.com/uxUPumAOFt
This left the Seminoles on the canvas and in the process led to an extremely embarrassing loss in their season.
3. They ran over them. Arkansas faced Texas and they gave a big surprise by beating the Longhorns 40-21 in a game where they literally went over the top. The Razorbacks had 340 rushing yards in the game, and they did so using all their weapons: Trelon Smith had 75 yards, AJ Green added 67, Raheim Sanders added 50, Dominique Johnson another 44 and QB KJ Jefferson contributed 73 to the cause in which ended up being a 7.1-yard-per-carry performance as a team. This, by the way, will stick as a message to Texas, which will join the SEC in 2025 (even earlier): the teams at that conference are very competitive.
4. An observation. I fully understand the rule of targeting (which consists of expelling a player who lowers his helmet with the intention of hitting an opponent with his head), really yes. What I do not understand is the interest in applying the rule to the letter. The best example of this was the ejection of the USC kicker on the first play of the game between the Trojans and Stanford:
USC’s kicker was called for targeting and then disqualified on the first play of the game.
If any action where the player lowers his head is going to end in expulsion, then there will be games where we will see up to 10 expulsions.
The data of the week
We all know Patrick Mahomes is good, but it turns out that September is the best Patrick Mahomes of all.
Patrick Mahomes improved to 11-0 in his career in September with 35 Pass TD & 0 interceptions.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 13, 2021
In Marvel parlance, “September Patrick Mahomes” is the best variant.
The reception of the week
One of the most exciting parts of the NFL is watching the acrobatic catches that many players do. This week there were several, but the one Terry McLaurin did against the Chargers deserves a special mention:
About time we saw Terry McLaurin get the ball. What a damn catch pic.twitter.com/WNHnPMoSU8
– Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) September 12, 2021
Fumble Video of the Week
We all know the classic play where a player loses the ball about to enter the end zone. Well, this must be the most closed of all.
Tough to imagine a fumble any closer to the goal line than this… pic.twitter.com/RTs2TEzWs2
Here we end this installment of this column. You already know that you can leave me here below this article in the comments or on my Twitter account your suggestions for topics to be covered from the Shotgun Formation. You can also share videos that you think should appear in one of the weekly sections.
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