Football Outsiders
Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Week 1 Open Discussion Thread

Davante Adams
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Yay! Football! It starts tonight with Green Bay at Chicago. Other prime-time games this week include Pittsburgh at New England on Sunday night, then Houston at New Orleans AND Denver at Oakland in a Monday night double-header. Use this thread to discuss them all, and the rest of Sunday's action!

Comments

163 comments, Last at 12 Sep 2019, 8:51pm

5 @

Oh my god. This nation-wide obsession with the double-doink is so dumb. It conveniently removes the blame from Nagy and the offense, though.

6 Could not agree more.  I’ve…

In reply to by Mountain Time …

Could not agree more.  I’ve never seen a professional coaching staff being so neurotic about something.  

Verhei put it best when he said that the Bears overreacted to the double doink and underreacted to the offense’s performance.

8 The Packers are lucky the…

The Packers are lucky the Bears don’t have a better quarterback, or they’d be down three scores by now.

11 Just once in my life, can…

Just once in my life, can the Bears have an offense that doesn’t suck? I’m not asking for a good offense...just one that doesn’t squander the defense.

13 1995 and 2013 were pretty…

1995 and 2013 were pretty good right?  Well the 2013 defense was terrible....don’t remember how good the ‘95 defense was, but IIRC none of Wannestedt’s teams had a great defense.

15 Bears LT Leno is getting…

Bears LT Leno is getting really good jumps on the snap. I can't believe he's not ahead of the ball, but he's going to be hard to beat if he keeps it up

16 LaFleur to Michell Tafoya: …

LaFleur to Michell Tafoya: “We have to run the ball more.” Pretty much the last thing an analytics-inclined fan wants to hear their coach say..

20 Hopefully that's just coach…

Hopefully that's just coach speak for "I'm not going to tell you what we're going to do".

Whatever the plan is, looks like the only thing that's going to work with this OL versus the Bears' DL is Rodgers pulling rabbits out of his ***.

17 100 Year Anniversary Offence?

So when the Bears heard they were hosting the season opener in honour of the 100th year anniversary, did they think that meant they were supposed to pull out the playbook from 100 years ago?

I know, that's unfair. The actual playbook from 100 years ago calls for a wing sweep on 3rd and 10, rather than throw the ball 2 yards downfield to a man in blanket coverage.

19 1985

Does FO not have all the play-by-play they need to calculate DVOA for 1985? I guess we're going to have to wait another year at least?

23 Trick play, huh?

Yeah, that was cover your eyes bad. 

Not the main idea, that the eligible receiver a yard back of the line who looks like a blocker will sneak out and you throw it to him.  The problem was when the Packer DB picked him up there was no, like literally no, second option.

The whole success of the play was dependent on the defense not noticing the sneakily placed eligible receiver.  It's basically the equivalent of saying the odds the opposition are stupid are greater than the odds we can move their line back a foot.

 

24 Passing up a 51-yard FG try,…

Passing up a 51-yard FG try, on a night when wind is not a factor, to go for it on 4th and 10. Nagy is approaching Trestman levels of inexplicable decisions here.

42 Is it that Crazy?

I don’t think the go for it on 4th and 10 is that crazy.  This is right on the border of FG and go for the NYT bot, so any difference is just how bad you think the Bears offense is versus average in this situation (while this is real, I don’t think it’s THAT huge).  The crazier mistake was the punt on 4th and 3 from the 40ish yard line early on.

26 LL

Potential Loser League team name: "LOL J.K. Scott"

27 I'm loving the wide angle…

I'm loving the wide angle shots on this drive, when they're keeping the QB and a lot of the secondary in the frame.

I don't like how they're switching back and forth between angles though. One play the camera is behind the offense, the next play it's behind the defense, then behind the offense but from a higher vantage point…

28 League Troubles

Following their soporific Super Bowl, the league was looking for something better than this narcotic effort to start the new season.

29 The Bears are down 7, on the…

The Bears are down 7, on the GB 22, there's almost 3 minutes to go, they have all 3 timeouts … and they're in hurry up. Are they worried they won't leave Rodgers enough time to beat them in regulation if they don't play hurry up? Or is this some sort of advanced tactics where they're planning on winning with 2 FGs??

30 So which of these statements…

So which of these statements is true?

1. The Packers defense is really good.
2. The Bears offence is really bad.
3. The predictive power of week 1 results is close to zero.

35 I think mostly 2 as well, a…

I think mostly 2 as well, a second year under Pettine,a really underrated and excellent coordinator, and a massive influx of talent explains this result the most. Idk about the Bears offense as a whole being terrible, but Mitch Bortles was already terrible and was getting by with volatile and unsustainable performances in 2018, so a regression towards to mean seemed likely (and he even got lucky with multiple dropped interceptions in this game, too!)

I know week 1, don't jump to conclusions, blah blah, but I think we can take a lot from this game seeing as how FOA already pointed out the Packers likely defensive improvement and the likely Bears regression. Pettine's D looks legit and Blake Trubisky looks like he hasn't improved one iota in Nagy's gimmicky offense. The only mystery to me is the chemistry between Rodgers and LaFluer and how the Packers offense will coalesce. Since Rodgers can win a Super Bowl with a pretty uninspiring coach like McCarthy, I like their chances and I don't see why the Packers shouldn't be considered Super Bowl contenders.

Also, with Bears and Vikings D already being top 5, plus with the Packers resurgence on D and likely improvement from the Lions, I'm loving this throwback black n blue NFC North dogfight for the 100 year anniversary of the NFL. That was an extremely entertaining 10-3 game, in my admittedly football-starved opinion.

 

 

33 Only if

you're not Trying for Tua.  Of course none of the main competitors for that title have a divisional home game this week.  Except for the Raiders.

36 I think it's #2 for sure…

I think it's #2 for sure. The difference between last night's game and last year's opener are like night and day to me. Last year, the Bears offense did some good things and then Nagy turtled and tried to run out the clock against Aaron Rodgers, which was unquestionably a bad decision but as one mistake in his first game as a head coach, maybe excusable. Last night, the Bears offense save for Allen Robinson looked pretty atrocious throughout the entire game (although I will give Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery a pass, because it's not their fault that Nagy is a moron who underutilized them)...it wasn't one or two fatal mistakes, or the decision to let off the gas with a big lead, because this team wasn't going to score more than a handful of points no matter what they did.

We rightfully look back on the Trestman era as a disaster, but as I recall, at the start of his second season people still thought of him as a smart offensive mind, just like they still do with Nagy...

37 I appear to be in the…

I appear to be in the minority, but I'm going with mostly #1. The Pack made some great additions on defense. I don't know much about Zadarious Smith, but I'm a fan of Preston Smith and Adrian Amos.

Tramon Williams, FWIW, <a href="https://mobile.twitter.com/mattschneidman/status/1169833117286195202">is going with #2.</a>

(okay I know I formatted that right, what the hell is going on????)

And we all know that #3 is true

38 Wow this text editor…

here is Tramon Williams blaming Trubisky for sucking. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/mattschneidman/status/1169833117286195202

We wanted to make Mitch play quarterback. We knew they had a lot of weapons, we knew they were dangerous, we knew all of those things. But we knew if we could make Mitch play quarterback, that we’d have a chance.

 

39 I meant to say 1 actually…

I meant to say 1 actually. But yeah, Trubisky sucking definitely helped last night. Good defenses are supposed to expose bad quarterbacks, however, and per that quote, that's exactly what the Packers did

34 Conclusions

An away win against a division favorite is pretty big. If it is followed up with a home win against the other division favorite, Pack will be pretty damn happy.

judging Lafleur-Rodgers after no pre-season snaps against one of the best defensive teams in league on the road is folly.. they didn't turn ball over.

Packers played well on defense-- but Nagy playcalling and Trubitsky execution were both substandard. Many tougher tests coming for Pettine and Co.

I am superglad McCarthy's not the coach anymore-- wish it happened a year or two earlier

40 That was awful.

Bears hold the Packers to 10 points and yet lose at home because they wasted opportunities to move the ball.
Trubisky missed throws the same he did the past two seasons. No improvement there. Pathetic.

43 FO Discord/Slack?

I have a new phone and am wondering if there's still a slack group or has it become a discord group?

44 I think virtually everyone…

I think virtually everyone expects Mahomes to take a step back this year, but it won't be happening in the first two minutes of the season. Sammy Watkins turns a first down on third and three into a long TD.

45 I'm pretty happy with the…

I'm pretty happy with the early games in my area: KC@JAX and ATL@MIN. I'll try to enjoy them, because the afternoon NY/DAL is going to be a snoozer. I enjoy watching Aikman call Cowboys games about as much as I enjoy getting a concussion.

46 On KC's second drive Mahomes…

On KC's second drive Mahomes tries a no look pass on third down in the red zone for no real reason. The ball sails way high over an open Kelce's head. Definitely an unforced error.

143 Yes, that was bad. Was…

Yes, that was bad. Was watching with my dad and commented he didn't need to do the no look on that one, and he told me that no one should tell him how to play after the year he had last year. I get that he was MVP and everything, but that was an unnecessary error. Kelce was so wide open he could have lobbed it to him. 

49 Looking forward to see if…

Looking forward to see if the Browns are for real.
How will the Steelers manage and will Tomlun have learned anything?
AB in Boston.
Really looking forward to the Chargers schemes on defense.

55 He's been knocked out of the…

He's been knocked out of the game. On the other side of the ball the only time the Jags have prevented a TD was because Mahomes missed a wide open man on a no-look pass. It's hard to imagine Jacksonville getting back in this game.

56 Yards after contact

McCaffery reminds me of RBs in Madden the last time I played, doesn't get one inch after being touched.

Obviously still a great player but leaves a lot of yards on the table.

59 Inconsistent refereeing…

Inconsistent refereeing. Matt Ryan claps his hands for the snap, but there's no call. Instead the Vikings get called for offsides! Ridiculous.

64 Yikes. Browns LT Greg…

Yikes. Browns LT Greg Robinson is ejected for a completely unnecessary kick to the head of a Titans player. I mean, all kicks to the head are unnecessary, but this one was in retaliation for getting knocked over in a routine scrum.

65 Bills @ Jets is a good…

Bills @ Jets is a good contest for those missing the Loser League. 4 turnovers for the Jets, leading to only 6 points (missed PAT after a pick-6).

67 A whole lot going on at…

A whole lot going on at halftime in KC-Jacksonville. Foles is out and someone with the bizarre name of Gardner Minshew II has completed the first nine passes of his career in replacement. Tyreek Hill is also out and Mahomes has an ankle injury that has him limping. Mahomes has 313 passing yards and the Chiefs repeatedly being held to FGs means the game is close enough that he has a strong chance to go over 500. Plus Myles Jack has been ejected.

83 On the subject of…

On the subject of incongruous names, Joey Slye’s career as a mob enforcer apparently didn’t work out, so he’s the Panthers’ kicker instead.

68 Actually a pretty crappy set…

Actually a pretty crappy set of first halves today. Chiefs-Jags probably the most entertaining game so far based on what I’ve seen on Red Zone.

73 Yes that could be a good…

Yes that could be a good finish if the Eagles wake up. If they don’t, I’m sure this will be one of the big Week 1 overreaction games (for both teams)

74 On the other hand, Bills…

On the other hand, Bills-Jets has been cover your eyes bad.  A pick six and a safety represents the only scoring so far.  Josh Allen is single handedly trying to hand this game to the Jets, but the Jets are reluctant to accept it.

78 not exactly.  the pick six…

not exactly.  the pick six was tipped into the air by the bills wr on a low but catchable ball, and the other pick he threw was a tip drill int.  allen is throwing a lot more accurate compared to last year, but the OL still sucks and theres been some fluky bad snaps that led to fumble TOs that werent josh allens fault.  the safety and subsequent jets td drive had nothing to do with allen either.

69 10 penalties for 107 yards…

10 penalties for 107 yards for Cleveland at the half. Some appalling indiscipline in there, but also a couple of nonsense PI calls going against them at crucial moments.

142 The OBJ shove OPI was close…

The OBJ shove OPI was close but, as much as I hate to say it, the correct call.

Among the backbreakers in the 2nd half that kept things unraveling, and pushed them into making more stupid decisions, one of the worst was the ticky-tack sack that Baker spun out of that set up 3rd-and-a-gazillion rather than an incomplete pass - my understanding is that the "in the grasp" rule meant that this was definitely not a sack...

They deserved this beating with their arrogance, and I'm not feeling good about the Jets game on MNF.

72 Based on their play calling,…

Based on their play calling, the Jags coaching staff clearly don’t trust their rookie quarterback yet. But based on the way he’s playing, maybe they should. Especially if they want any prayer of winning this game, as they haven’t proven capable of stopping the Chiefs yet (other than the Red Zone).

77 the bills got a jets td…

the bills got a jets td wiped off the board by challenging and receiving an offensive pass interference against the jets, only to give up the td 2 plays later anyway

80 The Browns are playing like…

The Browns are playing like the Jerry Granville era Oilers and Falcons....continuously shooting themselves in the foot with penalties....because they seem to be trying to prove how tough they are.

85 Why don’t I trust the FO advice?

Based in part on the book and KUBIAK I stole Watkins and Hollywood Brown in our fantasy league action...and left them on the bench in lieu of Westbrook

160 Had the same exact misfire...

...leaving those two on the bench. In my (our) defense, I read that Brown only ran something like 8 pass routes. At least I started Watkins in one league (and still lost). Have Hopkins, Woods, Golladay, and the two mentioned, so not an easy call.

87 CBS switches to Jets-Bills…

CBS switches to Jets-Bills. James Brown tells us the Jets are leading 16-10, literally as the Bills score a long go ahead TD. I haven't been watching this game, but I know the Jets D had four turnovers in the first half so Buffalo leading this game is shocking.

95 Josh Allen looked okay today…

Josh Allen looked okay today. He still made two bad throws that should have been picked and had an atrocious fumble. The other picks he did throw weren't his fault and the fumbled snap I think was on Morse. 

But in terms of accuracy, he did look promising today. His decision-making is still a little YOLO at times, but I'm optimistic he won't be the epic bust I thought he'd be. He has enough upside to maybe be a poor man's Newton/Roethlisberger, or maybe replicate Matthew Stafford's career. He's not exactly screaming CHAMPIONSHIP!! but he's no Gabbert or Locker IMO.

Darnold looks Varys-level neutered by Adam Gase's offense

105 Recentcy Bias

I watched about half this game - I saw a few decent plays from Allen but nothing worth getting excited about. Singletary was dominant as was the offensive line in the 4th quarter - that's something I didn't expect. If they play like that the Bills have a chance to win 10 games.

106 The defense is legit,…

In reply to by sbond101

The defense is legit, offense is competent and so is the coaching, easy schedule...they should be in the mix for wildcard

99 "Josh Allen looks several…

"Josh Allen looks several orders of magnitude better this year, and devin singletary was amazing"

Singletary did look good, but only after Mosley left and those were some huge holes that were opened for him. I'm a big Bills fan too, and Josh did look better, but I'm still cautious with placing faith in Trash Allen and I think you would be wise to as well.

90 Bills lose the turnover…

Bills lose the turnover battle 4-0 but win the game. It's actually crazier than that since they gave up a safety, which essentially functions as a 5th turnover.

97 Also, gotta love the FO…

Also, gotta love the FO skepticism on the Browns, who got blown out by TENNESSEE at HOME in one of the most undisciplined, sloppy performances ever. I don't know how they quantified overconfidence as the Browns' Achilles heel, but that absolutely was a big problem contributing to this loss. This was not the right head coach for this team, and with all these volatile personalities, it get could ugly quick.

100 gameday chat

It's opening day of FO gameday chat! Join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters as we say smart, analytic and totally backed by data things about the football games...in real time!

We use discord, so just hit the link: https://discord.gg/9KvjDd

Please note that it'll probably take a few minutes for one of our admins to matriculate you into the chat

102 Early thoughts...

1. Gurley looks pretty healthy.

2. Sammy Watkins has picked things up in KC.

2a. Couldn't help laughing at Fox trying to hype DAL-NYG.

3. Kerryon Johnson looks healthy.

4. Liking TJ Hockenson so far.

103 The Giants are every bit as…

The Giants are every bit as pathetic as anticipated. Barkley broke an early run, but otherwise it's the usual steady diet of Eli dumpoffs and failed completions. And Dak Prescott is doing as he pleases against a defense built to stop the run. Fun times.

107 I'm really liking the…

I'm really liking the ability to challenge PI so far...hasn't been overdone by the coaches, one bad call did get overturned. We will see for this Seahawks challenge

108 I don't wish to alarm anyone…

I don't wish to alarm anyone, but Devin Funchess just did something good.

(specifically, caught a well-covered pass for a 1st on 4th down, then dragged the CB about 5 yards upfield and out of bounds)

UPDATE: And now he's hurt.

109 TJ Hockenson is the star of…

TJ Hockenson is the star of the game for the Lions today.

On the other hand, the O-line has looked pretty ragged.

111 The Colts hadn't looked…

The Colts hadn't looked terribly impressive, but were at least able to keep the Chargers from blowing the game open on the several occasions that they threatened to do so. And just now they staged a pretty impressive drive (aided by Funchess' aforementioned good-doing), capped with a 2-pt. conversion right up the gut by Mack. The Chargers will have a chance to drive for a GW FG, but it's been a very solid performance by a team essentially starting its backup QB against a tough opponent on the road.

 

UPDATE: Overtime! Colts lined up in a sort of awesomely goofy formation, essentially making a big rectangle with 3 guys on each sideline to force Rivers to throw over the middle. Instead, he out-galaxy-brained everyone by trying to scramble up the massively open field himself, but was a half-second late getting out of bounds and the clock expired without a real attempt to score.

 

UPDATE 2: That was pretty quick. Chargers got the ball to start overtime, marched it right up the field, and ran it in for the game-winning score. Incidentally, their rushing attack has been just fine without Gordon. I'm all for guys trying to get as much money as they can while they can, but man oh man do I ever not want my team to spend non-negligible cap space on an RB.

114 Wow, this Cards-Lions game…

Wow, this Cards-Lions game is wild. Arizona trying to do what the Bills did earlier in the day and follow up being awful on offense all day by scoring on each drive late.

115 Wow, Kyler Murray looks…

Wow, Kyler Murray looks small on the field! Nice drive to tie it, this game seems like it was a thousand times more interesting than the Aikman special.

116 National Overreaction Week

I think the question we all will have for the Audible is does anyone on the FO staff think any game result against Miami is going to be usable this year? ;p

117 With 11 seconds left in OT,…

With 11 seconds left in OT, deep in their own territory, the Lions opt to pass. The Cardinals defender has it in his hands for a pick but just doesn't catch it. What I don't understand is why Detroit decided to do anything there. It's more likely something terrible happens and you lose there.

127 I'm pretty sure it was the …

I'm pretty sure it was the "we don't play to tie" mentality (often uttered by coaches who would never go for two to take the lead rather than kicking for a tie in regulation). I was even more concerned by going for it on 4th down with four seconds left, if that play doesn't last four seconds (which is certainly possible), they've just handed the ball over to other team for a game winning chip-in FG.

120 Ballad of El Gordon

Pats looking sharp on O, D and special teams early. Great TD run by Gordon and other receivers look good - embarrassment of riches at at a position that was a weakness a month ago. Rothburger with a lot of dump offs and running game stiffed. Brady looking pretty quick and accurate. I think the test for him will be 8 or 10 games down the schedule when the aches and pains are mounting.

122 And...

Collinsworth good point about Steelers switching to zone to stymie Pats last drive. Have to be proactive against Belichick schemes.

121 This fucking game. I keep…

This fucking game. I keep rooting against one team, then remembering I don't like the other team either.

124 Play Action

On the second TD drive, Pats bamboozled them with play action. Dorsett ran Gronk route down seam for TD.

126 The Steelers could not be more poorly coached

Never learn from mistakes. Never try to exploit own strengths vs opponent weakness. No situational awareness.

2 Minute Warning. 4th and 1. Try to draw Belichick team offside. Fail. Timeout, and a 5Wide pass on 4th and 1

You can't make this up.

131 2nd Dorsett TD

How does anyone get that open in the NFL? He Dorsett had so much time to think, I was sure he'd freeze and drop it. That Tomlin FG looking even better about now.

133 "False start...

... all the linemen except the center." Was an actual call by the ref. He's not wrong.

134 First Half of Season

Pats don't play any teams that made the playoffs last year. Or look like they will make the playoffs this year.

139 Whole thing is just the…

Whole thing is just the hottest of hot takes. 

 

After the Ravens they play the Eagles, Chiefs,  Texans and Cowboys. 

 

Frankly, with a 42 year old QB, I'd have rather played the chiefs tonight than in week 14

141 Pats don't play any teams…

Pats don't play any teams that made the playoffs last year...

... is not a possible thing, since the NFL schedule requires that they play all of last year's AFC division winners, and all of the teams - including the winner - from one of the NFC divisions.  Every first-place team, by the NFL's scheduling algorithm, must play a minimum of four of the prior year's playoff teams.  It could be more (I haven't actually looked at their schedule), but it's at least four.

145 ... in the first half of the…

... in the first half of the season. See the title of the post.

Agreed, though. It’s a lame complaint. The Patriots have a backloaded schedule this year, facing five of last year’s playoff teams in eight games. That’s pretty nasty of the league. Or maybe it’s just coincidence.

There’s no rest for the wicked good.

144 So the Saints get screwed…

So the Saints get screwed out of 10 seconds at the end of the half, because the refs decided to review a play? That is absolutely insane! How can there be any justification for this rule?

159 The refs botched the…

The refs botched the application of the rule as well. The runoff is supposed to be from the end of the play not from the start of the review. so it really cost them about 30 seconds