Week 1 recap: Beyond the Box Score
- It wasn't perfect, but Seattle got the job done on the road in a tough environment against a solid Carolina team that continues to struggle in close games under head coach Ron Rivera. Russell Wilson threw for 320 yards and completed the game-winning touchdown, a 34-yard strike to second-year wideout Jermaine Kearse in the fourth quarter. Carolina boasts an impressive front seven on defense, so there is little reason to panic that stud running back Marshawn Lynch managed just 43 yards on 17 carries.
- Cam Newton threw for only 125 yards and a touchdown to Steve Smith, which can be attributed to Seattle's outstanding pass defense. There is a reason why his Week 1 ranking dropped well outside the top-5. Look for Newton to rebound next weekend.
New York Jets 18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
- Just a quick side note: Has anyone ever been tackled from behind in the open field more than Vincent Jackson? Seriously it's like he's in slow motion out there. If he were able to score on that play, the Buccaneers probably would have won this game. I think that I speak for the entire Tampa Bay fan base when I say that I am completely terrified every time Josh Freeman drops back to throw. You really just have no idea what is going to happen, which is terrifying to watch.
- Solid win for the New York Jets, but really there is still nobody you want on your fantasy team from that offense, especially not in Week 2 on the road at New England. Geno Smith posted solid numbers through the air (256 yards, one TDP, one interception) while tacking on a team-high 47 yards on the ground. Don't expect similar results against New England.
-It's hard to imagine a worse scenario for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. The running game was nonexistent with Le'Veon Bell out with an injury and Isaac Redman was benched after a pair of early fumbles. The Steelers suffered catastrophic injuries. Backup running back LaRod Stephens Howling tore his ACL. Their best offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey was chop blocked by his own teammate and tore his ACL. Middle linebacker Larry Foote ruptured a bicep and will miss the rest of the season as well. It may be in all fantasy owners' best interest to avoid the Steelers for the time being.
- Despite the win, not much to brag about on the Titans side. Chris Johnson (25 carries for 70 yards) had a Chris Johnson game minus the long TD run. Jackie Battle vultured a 1-yard touchdown after the expected goal-line vulture, Shonn Greene, went down with a knee injury. Greene said he does not expect to miss much action.
Kansas City 28
- Alex Smith is a legitimate, above-average, solid starting NFL quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is the exact opposite and he needed 15 stitches to close a cut on his throwing hand. Two teams heading in opposite directions. As for you Maurice Jones-Drew owners, don't freak out. Lots of running backs struggled in the opener.
New York Giants 31
- David Wilson...talk about not living up to the hype. Obviously lots of pundits touted the speedster (especially with Ahmad Bradshaw elsewhere). It was only one game, but Wilson could not have had a worse performance on Sunday Night. The lightning quick second-year back managed only 19 yards on seven carries and fumbled twice. Wilson's second fumble was a back-breaker for the Giants because it was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Dallas defensive back Barry Church. Wilson is going to get another chance because New York doesn't have anyone else to turn to, but it was an absolutely brutal start for a player that was highly sought after in all fantasy drafts this fall.
- Eli Manning compensated for the Giants' lack of a running game by throwing for 450 yards and four touchdowns (three of which went to Victor Cruz), but also tossed three interceptions. Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle (who looked great in this game and is worth a pickup if he is still available in your league) each eclipsed 100 yards receiving in the loss.
- The knock on Jason Witten has always been the lack of touchdowns. Despite leading all tight ends in receptions last season, he had just three scores. Witten found the end zone twice in Week 1 against New York, pulling in eight passes for 70 yards. Durable and consistent, Witten is everything you look for in a tight end.
- DeMarco Murray posted a solid all-around game, piling up 86 yards on 20 carries while also factoring into the passing equation with a career-high eight catches for 39 yards. As long as Murray can stay healthy (crosses fingers), he will deliver solid production week after week.