By: Alfredo Flores (Twitter: @ChxckenAlfredo)
Week 1 Recap: The Late Games
Indianapolis Colts vs LA Rams
9 – 46
Starting off the Indianapolis Colts season, we got to see 3 plays and a TD by Scott Tolzien to Trumaine Johnson of the LA Rams. Talk about a hot start, one pass, and one interception returned for a touchdown. While the Colts were only down 10 at the time, they were able to move the ball to the Rams one yard line. Tolzien dumped of a pass to Marlon Mack, who on replays made it into the end zone, but was called down at the 1 and Pagano did not challenge it, but instead ran three plays that failed to get into the end zone, settling for a field goal. Tolzien wasn’t even an average QB, he was benched in the fourth quarter for recently acquired Jacoby Brissett from New England. Tolzien finished the night with a 50% completion percentage and 2 interceptions, that both went for TDs. Brissett came in and on his first pass, he put it out there nicely for Moncrief to make a 49 yard grab. Brissett was able to lead the Colts to their first TD drive, where Mack punched it in from 3 yards out. There were zero Colts WR that would have been good plays for fantasy this week. The running backs mustered together a measly 3.1 yards per carry on 24 rushes. Hopefully Brissett can bring some life to this offense and put up double digits against the Arizona Cardinals next week.
On the other hand, in his 8th career start, Jared Goff looked brilliant. Goff was able to complete 21/29 passes for 306 yards and 1 TD to rookie Cooper Kupp, who was 1 of 4 WRs to reach 50+ yards. Goff spread the ball around hitting 7 different receivers, while giving Kupp a tie for the most targets. Leading wire to wire, Gurley did not put up great numbers rushing the ball. The TD for Gurley looks nice, but on 19 carries, only 40 yards (2.1 YPC) were produced. Let’s see if the rookie head coach and the young QB can put together another solid performance against the Redskins next week.
Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers
9 – 17
In a game that saw 9 out of the first 11 series end with punts, the Seahawks could have gotten on the board early. Aaron Rodgers was picked by Naz Jones on the Seattle 36 yard line and ran it back for a touchdown, but during the play Cliff Avril committed an illegal block and CB Jeremy Lane got penalized for throwing a punch, and disqualified from the game, then the series ended with a punt for the Seahawks. The Seahawks were only able to make it into the red zone one time on Sunday, and couldn’t find the end zone from the 3 yard line, settling for a field goal. Not a lot seemed to work for Russell Wilson and the gang as he only completed 14 of 27 passes for 158 yards. Russell did have a costly fumble in the second half inside the 10 yard line that resulted in a one play TD for the Packers. The running backs saw 15 carries for 53 yards (3.5 YPC). They will need to be much better than that if they plan to win any games and for the passing game to open up. Paul Richardson led the team in targets, tied for receptions, but trailed Doug Baldwin in yards. The Seahawks will look to get their first win next week at home against the 49ers.
The Packers were able to move the ball fairly well in the second half and Aaron Rodgers did what Aaron Rodgers does, and that’s getting free plays from the defense. The Packers were able to put their first touchdown on the board after the Wilson fumble with a 6 yard rush from Ty Montgomery. Their next series, Rodgers was able to draw an offsides penalty, where Jordy beat the defense for a 32 yard TD. Rodgers finished the game 28 of 42 for 311 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Ty Montgomery was the leading rusher for the Pack, as he saw 19 totes for 54 yards (2.8 YPC) and a TD. After taking some time to get fully healed, Cobb showed us all why he was signed to the deal he received back in 2015. Cobb led the team receptions, yards, and targets posting a 9-85-0 line. The Packers will have a revenge game next week in Atlanta, looking to start the season 2-0.
Carolina Panthers vs San Francisco 49ers
23 – 3
The Panthers came into San Francisco and overwhelmed the 49ers. Cam Newton threw 25 times for 14 completions for 171 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The longest pass for Cam went to Russell Shepard, who turned it into a 40 yard TD. Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey split reps at running back and were able to put up 112 yards on 31 carries between the two of them and close out the game. The rookie McCaffrey was the leading pass catcher, making 5 grabs that netted 38 yards on 7 targets. The defense was just too much for the new 49ers offense, and they’ll look to continue that against the Buffalo Bills at home next week.
The 49ers under new head coach Kyle Shanahan, weren’t able to get their first win as Brian Hoyer committed two turnovers and the team was unable to find the end zone. Hoyer was 24 of 35 with 193 yards and an interception. The 49ers scored their first points with 8 seconds left in the third quarter with a field goal, and the Panthers were already up 23-0 at that time. Being down 13-0 at half, the 49ers couldn’t utilize the run game much, but Hyde was able to get 45 yards on 9 carries (5 YPC). The typical Brian Hoyer showed up as he fed Pierre Garcon a team leading 10 targets. Garcon and Hyde both led the team with 6 receptions, but Garcon had 81 yards to go with it. The defense did all they could as 14 of Carolina’s 23 points came off of turnovers. Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers will look to get their first win and division win against the Seahawks.
New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
3 – 19
The Giants offense looked lost without star wide out OBJ. The offensive line was absolutely horrible. Eli Manning got sacked 3 times and lost 22 yards. The running back committee was only able to put together 10 carries for 30 yards. The Giants came out in the second half looking like they had found something, but were only able to put up one field goal as their only points for the night. Eli was 29 of 38 for 220 yards and an interception, which led to 3 more late points for the Cowboys. Shane Vereen was the most targeted receiver seeing 10 targets, making 9 catches for 51 yards. Roger Lewis led the team in yards with 54, but if the team can’t sustain drives and move the ball without OBJ (if he’s out for another week or longer), they are going to be in big trouble next week against the Lions at home.
The Cowboys came out and scored on half of their possessions in the first half, scoring 3 field goals and a TD to the now Cowboys all-time receiving yards leader, Jason Witten. One of the early field goals, the Cowboys were on the 3 yard line and elected to pass all three downs before kicking the field goal. It’s not like their leading rusher from a year ago was suspended or injured for this game, they just decided to target Dez Bryant three straight plays, failing every time. Dak Prescott finished the game 24 of 39 for 268 yards and 1 TD. Zeke was still the workhorse back from last year as he toted the rock 24 times for 104 yards (4.3 YPC), while catching 5 passes for 36 yards. After exiting the game early, Terrance Williams returned from an ankle injury, and led the team in receiving yards with 68. Jason Witten led the team in receptions, and tied with Dez for the most targets. Either the defensive line looked really good or the Giants O-line is really bad, either way for this, we’ll say they looked good as they pressured Eli all night and made it tough for him to wait for his receivers to get down field. Jaylon Smith made his debut after spending 20 months recovering ACL, MCL, and nerve damage to his knee, and was right behind Sean Lee (8) in tackles, with 7. The Cowboys will look to get another win next week in Denver against the Broncos.