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HomeCanadian NewsKRYK'S NFL WEEK 1 TAKEAWAYS: Possibly enjoying within the pre-season does matter

KRYK’S NFL WEEK 1 TAKEAWAYS: Possibly enjoying within the pre-season does matter


NFL’s curtain-raising Sunday produced extra humorous hiccups than a category of pre-schoolers all guzzling ice-cold pop at recess

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Nonetheless assume it doesn’t matter if star NFL gamers play little, or in no way, within the pre-season? Don’t be stunned if Sunday was the start of the tip of that pattern.

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Arguably the most popular NFL participant on the finish of the 2021 season, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, started 2022 making screw-up after screw-up after screw-up. He was a turnover machine. And, justified or not as he recovered from a July 26 appendectomy, he didn’t take a single snap in a preseason sport.

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It was that sort of day on the NFL’s curtain-raising Sunday — which produced extra humorous hiccups than a category of pre-schoolers all guzzling ice-cold pop at recess.

For those who had been frequently switching between video games all afternoon and early night, or simply watching the Purple Zone channel, you noticed Week 1 of the league’s common season kick off in earnest with a number of the sloppiest offensive stumbles, and most embarrassing kick-team bumbles, we’ve seen in a while.

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To start out with, Sunday’s video games had been rife with quarterbacks (a) as inexperienced as Could grass, or (b) enjoying on a brand new staff, or (c) studying a brand new offence. Most of them, and moreover practically all veteran stars besides, had been taking both their first in-game snaps of the 12 months, or greater than only a handful of token pre-season snaps since final season.

And, boy, did it present. Particularly early on. We’ll get to Burrow’s unmatched opening-day blunders in a second. There have been additionally these:

  • Philadelphia’s first drive of 2022 ended on downs in Detroit territory, after QB Jalen Hurts (who took eight preseason snaps, all on Aug. 12) frantically ran 3 times for 35 yards, and handed 5 occasions with no single completion. Hurts shortly acquired his act collectively, in a 38-35 Philly win.
  • Chicago’s first drive vs. San Francisco led to a fast sack of second-year QB Justin Fields. The Bears’ second drive ended with a fast Fields interception.
  • At halftime, Fields was simply 3-of-9 passing for 19 yards, no TDs and a choose. Equally, Detroit’s Jared Goff (who took 10 pre-season snaps, all on Aug. 12) was an unpleasant 7-of-15 for 53 yards, no TDs and a pick-six. We’d have surmised that was Aaron Rodgers you simply heard laughing at his struggling NFC North QB counterparts, however three hours later, at Minnesota, the Inexperienced Bay passer — the NFL’s two-time defending MVP — had no much less putrid a begin, finishing 8-of-15 for 76 yards, no TDs and a choose by halftime. He was little higher thereafter.
  • After New Orleans’ first two possessions at Atlanta, beginning QB Saints Jameis Winston (who took 11 pre-season snaps, all on Aug. 26) had accounted for simply 10 complete yards (six dashing, 4 passing). In the meantime gadget-guy Taysom Hill, on a number of direct snaps, had accounted for 58 extra, plus a TD, all on the bottom, in an eventual 27-26 New Orleans win.
  • Carolina and Cleveland mixed for 72 entire yards of offence in a scoreless first quarter in Charlotte — which included solely seven go yards from Baker Mayfield (who took 37 pre-season snaps simply weeks after being traded) in his Panthers debut, and 25 go yards from Jacoby Brissett (who sat out two of three preseason video games) in his debut with the Browns.
  • QB Matt Ryan, in his Colts debut after 14 seasons in Atlanta, accomplished a number of passes (14-of-19) for plenty of yards (141) in a horrible first half for Indianapolis at Houston, however for no touchdowns and one interception, as his staff trailed at halftime, 10-3, and later 20-3 after three quarter. This, earlier than Ryan (who took 33 snaps within the preseason) rallied his new staff to a 20-20 tie, following a scoreless time beyond regulation.

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The sub-standard play out of the gates wasn’t restricted to the passers:

  • San Fran’s WR/RB marvel, Deebo Samuel, fumbled away his first carry of 2022 contained in the Chicago 10-yard line. That got here again to hang-out the 49ers, who blew a 10-0 halftime lead in a soggy, offensively unpromising 19-10 loss.
  • At halftime, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (who didn’t play within the pre-season, after lacking most of final season) had 5 first-half touches (three runs, two catches) for simply 11 yards.
  • The primary doink on a field-goal try got here from New Orleans’ Wil Lutz, who hit the left upright on a 44-yarder.
  • The second doink got here from Jacksonville’s Riley Patterson, who hit the precise upright on a 37-yarder. And the doinks didn’t decist then.
  • The New York Giants’ botched an additional level when the ball fired proper via the holder’s arms.
  • The Tennessee Titans would have defeated the Giants on the sport’s final play, however Randy Bullock hooked his 47-yard area purpose extensive left.

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As properly, there have been a slew of dropped straightforward passes in sport after sport (particularly by Goff’s Lions receivers), embarrassing missed tackles, blown massive leads, and unusual play-calling by coaches.

Sure, lots of the above gamers — passers included — acquired their shoot collectively finally. However the sluggish begins had been pricey.

All of which appeared to be summarized, and concentrated, within the wild Bengals-Steelers sport.

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SAY IT AIN’T SO, SUPER JOE

Late final season, the Cincinnati Bengals someway saved successful proper as much as Tremendous Bowl LVI, regardless of Joe Burrow getting sacked on a regular basis. Like, on a regular basis.

On Sunday, to kick off their AFC championship defence, the Bengals overcame an early 17-3 deficit and really ought to have overwhelmed the Pittsburgh Steelers, regardless of Burrow turning the ball over on a regular basis. 5 occasions to be exact, on 4 interceptions and a misplaced fumble.

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Because it was, the Steelers improbably blocked what would have been a game-winning Cincinnati extra-point kick with two seconds left in regulation, then survived missed field-goal makes an attempt by each groups in time beyond regulation — the Bengals’ as a result of their backup snapper’s slow-speed hikes tousled kicker Evan McPherson’s timing, the Steelers’ as a result of Chris Boswell doinked a 58-yarder off the left upright — earlier than Pittsburgh received 23-20 at sport’s finish, due to a profitable 53-yard area purpose from Boswell.

Burrow’s first go of 2022 was a pick-six by Steelers security Minkah Fitzpatrick. Earlier than the primary quarter was over Burrow was intercepted once more (which was nullified by a Pittsburgh penalty) however virtually instantly thereafter Burrow misplaced a fumble within the pocket.

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Early within the second quarter Burrow was intercepted once more. A pair minutes later, he was intercepted but once more.

Halfway via the fourth quarter, Burrow was intercepted a fourth time.

As soon as Burrow acquired his act collectively, the Bengals offence principally took over the sport — at the very least till beginning lengthy snapper Clark Harris left within the fourth with a biceps damage. Harris on Friday had been listed as questionable to play.

Tight finish Mitchell Wilcox is Cincinnati’s emergency long-snapper (no staff attire two lengthy snappers) and he was dreadful.

When the Bengals tied the sport at 20-20 with 0:02 left in regulation, McPherson seemingly was set to win the sport for Cincinnati with an additional level, which NFL kickers make practically 90% of the time.

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However Clark’s snap was somewhat excessive, and somewhat sluggish. That allowed Pittsburgh security Fitzpatrick to burst across the finish, leap and block it.

Extra time.

With 3:37 left within the 10-minute further session, McPherson had a chip-shot area purpose try — a greater than 90% probability he’d make the 29-yarder. However once more Clark’s snap was somewhat excessive, and somewhat sluggish. It mucked up McPherson’s timing a lot, he badly hooked his kick left of the uprights.

Then Mitchell Trubisky, in his first sport as Steelers QB, ably drove Pittsburgh 45 yards to arrange Boswell for his game-winning 53-yarder. Trubisky had accomplished 7-of-9 for 77 yards and a TD in serving to stake the Steelers out to that 14-point lead.

For the document, Trubisky performed in all three of Pittsburgh’s preseason video games — taking 61 snaps in all. He didn’t look rusty early on on Sunday.

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Simply sayin’.

ROOKIE KICKER THE HERO FOR BROWNS

Again in April, when the Cleveland Browns used a fourth-round draft choose, 124th general, on a placekicker — Cade York from LSU — there have been chuckles. What was this vexed franchise doing, burning a middle-round choose on a KICKER?

However the Browns, and the 21-year-old York, acquired the final snort on Sunday. On the finish of his first NFL sport he calmly drilled a 58-yard area purpose to carry Browns to victory at Carolina, 26-24. York possesses a bazooka of a leg, because the kick most likely would have been good from at the very least 65 yards, if not longer.

It’s Cleveland’s first Week 1 win since 2004, and first on the street in 28 years.

Sheesh!

TITANS ATTACK STILL SPUTTERS IN GIANT LOSS

Tennessee’s offence remains to be damaged. That was clear in a 21-20 last-minute loss to the New York Giants.

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The Titans simply can’t level to the absence of their greatest extensive receiver of the previous couple years, A.J. Brown, whom they traded to an ecstatic Philadelphia Eagles group in April after attain a contract-extension deadlock. (Brown had a game-high 10 catches for a game-high 155 yards for Philly on Sunday at Detroit.)

Whether or not it’s play-calling, the general scheme, the inconsistency of QB Ryan Tannehill, or refusal to present the rock extra to monster operating again Derrick Henry, the Titans preserve developing small, offensively, in massive video games … Most video games.

Credit score to the Giants, although. New head coach Brian Daboll — solely the second NFL head coach in historical past born in Canada (Welland, Ont.) — went for a two-pointer and potential win with 1:06 left, and acquired it, on a Daniel Jones to Saquon Barklely go. That was the distinction.

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EXTRA POINTS

One offence that undoubtedly didn’t battle was Kansas Metropolis’s, in a 44-21 annihilation of Arizona. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes accomplished 30-of-39 for 360 yards and 5 TDs with no choose. Sheesh possibly he actually received’t miss Tyreek Hill … Talking of whom, Tua Tagovailoa hit on 23-of-33 for 270 yards and a TD in Miami’s 20-7 win over a New England staff that was as meek offensively because it had proven all through August. Tagovailoa related along with his new speedy WR, Hill, eight occasions for 94 yards … Lamar Jackson threw three TDs and ran for less than 17 yards in Baltimore’s 24-9 win on the New York Jets … Carson Wentz, in his debut as Washington Commanders QB, was sizzling early and late in victory over Jacksonville, and that was sufficient regardless of being very Carson Wentzy for lengthy stretches in between. He accomplished 11-of-15 for 123 yards and two TDs on Washington’s first two possessions, then threw two extra TDs within the final 10 minutes … Brothers Amon-Ra St. Brown and Equanimeous St. Brown scored on landing catches inside two minutes of each other, on the real-world clock — Amon-Ra for the Lions towards Philly, Equanimeous for the Bears towards San Fran.

John Kryk writes a weekly publication on NFL issues. That’s the place you may first see his straight-up picks every week. You possibly can have the publication routinely dropped into your e mail inbox on Wednesdays just by signing up — at no cost — at https://torontosun.com/newsletters/

[email protected]

@JohnKryk

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