Week 1 Open Discussion

Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald
Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season begins Thursday night with the Lavonte David and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. The other prime-time games this week will see fans in the NFL's newest stadia for the first time. The Sunday night game sees the L.A. Rams hosting the Chicago Bears, while Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens visit the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night. Use this thread to discuss all the action of the NFL's opening weekend. 


204 comments, Last at 19 Sep 2021, 1:07pm

144 Welp

Fields is playing

146 Apparently the new thing is…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Apparently the new thing is to put these guys in for exactly one play here and there.

145 Dalton

 Looks like a Bears QB

149 The Stafford Era is off to a…

The Stafford Era is off to a rather nice start in LA - hits a big bomb to a guy who falls down but isn't quite tagged, who then gets up and walks in for the score. The Bears had 1st and goal about 4 plays ago, and now they're down 7-0.

154 Sean McVay

For all his pluses as a play caller, he’s got a very frustrating conservative streak when it  comes to decision making

157 Great Call on McCay

In reply to by KaosTheory

Your statement came way before taking a knee at the 25 with a timeout and 33 seconds.  Can not imagine trading for a guy and doing that in his first game, McVay should play with his new toy

155 Go for two 4th and 4’s and then

Punt on 4th and 2.  You need to make that, you are down 13.  You have to make a play to turn this around.  4th and 2 is a good place to try to start

160 Dalton

Short of the sticks there.

What a waste of money.  Made them sacrifice guys like Fuller and start of couple of no names while the higher ceiling QB sits.

161 10 mins to play, CHI down 13…

10 mins to play, CHI down 13, 4th-and-15 from LAR's 30, Nagy goes for it.  Pass incomplete (possibly short of the sticks, too, but would need to see replay to confirm).

162 Tony Dungy wrapping up…

Tony Dungy wrapping up Football Night in America before the Sunday night game: "I hope coaches learned from week 1 this year not to rest their starters so much in preseason.  Your starting offence needs to play together in preseason games." [paraphrased, but it was pretty close to this]

LAR in the Sunday night game:  7 possessions not counting kneel downs, 6 scoring drives.  Starting offence's snaps together in preseason games: 0 

163 The 2 deep safety

The Rams two deep safety defense allowed the Bears to dink and dunk endlessly, they actually scored TD’s on 2 straight possessions going back to 1st half, but this game is a snoozer, 3:22 left in game and Bears only have 2 possessions in the second half and Rams have 3 TD’s on 3 second half possessions.  I expect Bears D will be horrifying by DVOA when numbers from this game are calculated.


165 Interesting contrast tonight…

In reply to by jheidelberg

Interesting contrast tonight between LAR's bend and just keep bending D versus CHI's break before we bend.

Obviously only the first of those were intentional, but it's somewhat fascinating that LAR's game plan seemed to be "don't let Dalton beat us".  Right from the get go they seemed willing to give up 5+ yard chunks to Montgomery every touch and just keep giving them.  With LAR's O scoring constantly and CHI melting down early in the red zone, they never had to stop letting CHI run.

166   Obviously only the first…


Obviously only the first of those were intentional, but it's somewhat fascinating that LAR's game plan seemed to be "don't let Dalton beat us".

I don't know if it was exactly that - I think it was more "just keep everyone in front of you." Chicago has no real threats at WR. Robinson absolutely can't carry an offense, and, well, if you keep everyone deep and close on Montgomery and tackle, that's all contained as well. (I'm really not that high on Montgomery regardless). 

Literally all the short passes for Chicago were stopped like, immediately after they caught them. The Rams just didn't need to be aggressive and push things at all. Definitely don't think a different QB would've mattered - really just exposing the total lack of receiver talent on the Bears. 


164 Bears D

Mack, Hicks, etc are nice but without  a secondary they're so booty.

168 So what result from week 1…

So what result from week 1 do people think will look weirdest by the end of the season?  For example, last year JAX beat IND in week one, then finished the year 1-15 to IND's 11-5 record.  What week 1 game this year do people think will look least likely based on end of season records?

CIN over MIN seems like a candidate to me, though maybe I'm underestimating Burrows and overestimating Zimmer.

170 That's the most likely…

That's the most likely candidate, although if this does turn out to be Burrow's breakout year I suppose it won't be. The other one that stands out to me is of course NO blowing out GB - not that NO is a slouch, but I'd bet GB finishes with the better record in the end.

I think I'm alone here, but I think Atlanta might finish with a non-terrible record (like 8-9 or something) - their schedule outside of the Division looks pretty manageable - and I do think Philly will be one of the worst teams in the League, so that blowout might look really weird come December. Although maybe I'm underestimating Hurts and/or Sirianni...

171 The Raiders' only…

The Raiders' only particularly good offensive play so far was a scramble by Mariota. This is definitely the most I remember teams putting in another QB for one play here or there - the Taysom Hill effect? We'll see if this is just a Week 1 thing or if they keep doing it; if they do, isn't it just the Wildcat by a different (lack of) name?

The announcer mentioned a tweak to replay where the official can correct a call on the field without a formal review (just used to overturn an interception where the ball clearly hit the ground first). I hadn't heard anything about this until now. Sounds promising, though.

172 4th-and-1, Ravens' only…

4th-and-1, Ravens' only healthy RB straight through the line to the end zone as LV's safety 35 takes a terrible angle towards the runner and whiffs miserably.

173 Its early

Ty’son who on earth is this guy Wiliams is having an awesome first quarter.  RB’s hardly matter

174 Baltimore rushing

They always figure it out. 10.5 YPC. Take out the long and still 5.6

175 Yooooo

2019 #4 overall Clelin Ferrell is a healthy scratch.

What a bad pick over the good Josh Allen (this is becoming a good joke again, I crack myself up). 

176 A bad pick for sure, but he…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

A bad pick for sure, but he was widely considered a 1st round talent; if he's so bad he can't play 3 years in, I'm inclined to put that on bad player development more than anything.

179 He was

But same draft class, same position and same team and Maxx Crosby is starting. No one would've guessed it but can't be that entirely. 

Drafted almost purely for scheme with Clelin. A trend of going against the grain doesn't pay off. Too bad they can't move on from him like they could if he was selected in the 5th like Crosby (since some people think that makes up for it, if you just switch them around)

184 I’m not so sure. I remember…

I’m not so sure. I remember PFF laughing at the pick at the time. 4th overall for a guy they thought was a reach with the raiders second round pick. And even then, the only reason they thought he could be a second rounder was being charitable about “falling in love with a player,” and “scheme fit,” and all that. 

So basically the pick was always a joke.

187 TBF

PFF was the only major publication that had him outside the top 23 and they did indeed had him at 35 on their big board. 

But man there were a good amount of edge rushers that were better and still on the board. Notably Josh Allen like I said (and I liked him more than Bosa due to ceiling!) and the consensus also had Sweat and Burns ahead of him. Putting him as ED(ge)5 in his class and he went P(layer)4! Bad. Process. We're not dummies!

189 I checked a few mocks before…

I checked a few mocks before posting that just to be sure, and someone had him as high as 12; a few had him around 16; and someone had him at 30. No one didn't have him in round 1; anyone who did would have been an outlier. He was a reach, but not an insane one by pick number. The issue, as ImNew notes, was picking him over about a hundred better prospects at the same position.

177 I feel like Derek Carr's…

I feel like Derek Carr's been missing high a lot today. Maybe it's a mechanical issue? He's had at least 2 nearly picked, and a bunch of makeable throws fall incomplete.

181 Ravens o line

Awful effort, no blitzing constant pressure not much help in run game either.  Lamar not an elite passer to overcome.

182 Raiders should probably…

Raiders should probably start calling timeouts so they have time to answer the score.

Yep, just called the first one.

183 Do the Ravens really need to use a TO there?

It seems like teams always do that. Seems like icing your own kicker. And in the disaster case the Raiders score again quick, you're down a timeout. 

Ah! Hate kneeling there too. Just do an easy run if you're that scared of a turnover and since there was 2 seconds left it'd have to be a turnover and score which is extremely unlikely in general but even more so in that situation I suppose if you drill it into their heads.

188 I hated that kneel too. I…

I hated that kneel too. I don't think I've ever heard of a defensive score on the hook-and-lateral, and you can tell your guys to just be conservative when deciding to pitch or just go down. There's exactly zero downside there, other than some minimal injury risk I guess, but it's football that's always true.

192 And it almost bites em!

Give me that 1% chance he gets a TD over...something like that! In all reality it'll be a nothing play and the game will head to OT anyway. 

But it's always been something that bugs me. See it too often and it irks me. Baltimore may be bailed out!

185 Heck of a kick by Carlson…

Heck of a kick by Carlson there. That whole sequence was weird; I guess I get the decision to rush 3 and take away the TD but it seemed like basically conceding the tie.

196 Holy crap Raiders

Awful. Should keep running it to get it closer but if you're going for it before 4th be prepared.

And they get bailed out anyway lol 

199 I'm curious what the numbers…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I'm curious what the numbers are on that, say 3 runs right up the middle. Fumble risk is low, but I'm not sure gaining like 5 total yards really improves FG% that much at that part of the field either, so it's not clear to me which would improve GW% more.

200 Twofold

1. Get every yard to make it easier on the K

2. Runs the clock down for the opponent so they have less time to drive and force them to use remaining timeouts

Maybe I'm missing anything but going on it before you have to (4th) seems like you're likely leaving something on the board...or ground (with that much time on the clock that is, and in this instance they had no timeouts to theoretically slow down the Ravens if they somehow missed and wanted the ball back)

The only thing I can think of it what play has the highest chance to not be negative. Like 3 QB sneaks? Feel like those never get negative yards but maybe the fumble rate is increased?  

201 I was thinking in OT clock…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I was thinking in OT clock doesn't really matter, but now that you mention it it's probably still worth it to make tie more likely vs. loss.

203 Yeah it's more ancillary imo

Maybe there's a time where you don't waste those 2 OT TOs and the opposition has wasted theirs, and you could maybe have some control over getting it back if you do somehow miss a FG (I would still run 3 quick QB sneaks or whatever, and then kick it to win it).

But in this situation the Raiders had none and the Ravens had one. If they miss that FG the Ravens get the ball back at like the 40, with 3:33 left, and the best kicker. Easy to envision an L in this offensive league in that specific situation.

Very niche but fun to think and theorize about.  

202 Raiders gave away the game and the Ravens gave it back

But that is just the ending.  The story here was poor offensive line play by the Ravens, especially Villanueva, the constant blitzing on defense with Carr still having a solid pocket, Lamar is not an elite QB, the fumbling was back to his rookie year, that can not happen.

I appreciate that when the Ravens play not at their best they still win, I know that there are a lot of you out there that see much worse football, but still on nights like this, a complete disappointment.

The Chiefs are next week, lets see if they blitz Mahomes as they always do, which is a sure lost game.  Mahomes is the best, but even more the best against the blitz.