Each week, the Rampant Discourse staff will offer their quick takes and rampant reactions to the NFL 2017 season.
Week 1 of the 2017 NFL Season surprised us all, which isn’t surprising in the least. Not even a week into our predictions, we are doubling down on our poor choices and lucky wins.
My prediction of the Pats going 18-1 took a big hit with their shocking loss Thursday night to an impressive looking Chiefs team. What a coming out party for Kareem Hunt. Very glad to have him on all of my fantasy football squads but one. Technically I could still be right as long as the Pats win out.
My Rams pick to win the division is looking much better comparatively. Yes, I know they were facing off against the un-Lucky Colts, but they’re the only team in their division who took care of business this weekend. Small sample size, but the Rams scored more points than the rest of the division combined. The 49ers looked as bad as expected, and the Seahawks and Cardinals offenses looked awful. Rams at 100-1 odds to win the Super Bowl are starting to look a little tasty…
Feeling good about my other picks as well, as the Raiders, Eagles, Steelers and Packers also won. Biggest disappointment was Houston, presumably with emotions running high after Harvey, laying a dud at home against what everybody expected to be a mediocre Jaguars team. That loss ended a lot of my survivor pools.
Last interesting thing to note is my prediction of coaching changes affecting their new teams and old teams. The Redskins and Falcons offenses struggled mightily this week, a year after losing Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay respectively. Again, small sample size so far, but it’ll be interesting to watch as the season goes forward.
Are the Rams actually that good, or are the Colts that bad? I have to admit that my confidence is shaken a bit by that loss. Not that I didn’t think the Rams were better than they were, or were expected to be. Not by the general Colts awfulness without Luck. But the combination was definitely one of the biggest shocks of the first week.
Another one that is looking bad for me? How ’bout them Bungles? Getting shutout is bad. Getting shutout by a division rival is among the worst feelings in all of football.
Where I think I hit the nail on the head is in Jacksonville. If it weren’t for the ACL tear of their #1 receiver, this would have been an all around break-out party for this team. Sure, I still picked the Colts to win the division over this team, but given how little credit anyone was giving them before this week, I’m happy to say that I at least was pegging them for second.
Meanwhile, my prediction in the NFC East looks solid. The Giants look terrible. The Redskins look worse than I imagined. The Eagles might be feeling good based on the final score, but they barely beat the Redskins even while benefiting from four egregious turnovers; they gave away one of their own, which definitely kept it close, but that game was a pair of sub-par teams looking for bottom.
Yet again, I learn I know nothing about football.
Yet again, I remember that’s the best part of football.
With the NFL season only being 16 games, every game feels that much more monumental. So we’ll all overreact to week 1, then week 2 we’ll all change course again, and so on. If the Patriots mythic 18-1 season taught us anything, it’s to never expect the expected in the NFL.
My reactions during the first half of this season are all going to be secondhand, since I have other obligations during the early Sunday afternoon games. That speaks volumes to my current football mindset, since I knew when signing up for that activity it would conflict with NFL. So in the office on Mondays, I’ll have to smile and nod while I listen to my coworkers react to the previous day’s Redskins and Ravens games.
So, my biggest reactions come from my fantasy team.
Which leads me to the Detroit Lions. Did anyone expect the Lions to march into Arizona and soundly beat the Cardinals? Granted, the Cards lost a key player when David Johnson left in the third quarter. But, after a shaky start, Stafford shredded a pretty good defense. Of course, Stafford is my fantasy QB, which made me happy to have waited so long to draft him. And happy I didn’t switch to Cam Newton at the last second; the Panthers easily beat the hapless 49ers but not with a stellar performance from Cam.
Despite Staffords heroics, I still lost my fantasy matchup. Why? Partially because Le’Veon Bell laid an egg against Cleveland but mostly because the other guy started the Jacksonsville D/ST. While the Jaguars were near the top last season in yards allowed per game, they were near the bottom in points allowed. That likely speaks to an inept offense giving the other team great starting field position. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette looks to help that offense a lot and provide a potential indirect boost to the Jags defense. But we’ll have to wait and see if the Jaguars defense is that good or the Houston Texans offense is that terrible.
Welcome to the 2017 season.