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Week One of the NFL – And Some Blindside Hits

A new season of football generally begins with nacho dip on my jersey, endless hours of television, and of course, September Bronco bashing.

Afterall, the Denver Broncos haven’t had a winning season since 2016, haven’t had a decent quarterback since Peyton Manning, and Vic Fangio is 0-7 in September games since joining the organization two years ago.

Well, make that 1-7.

Prepared for the worst, the Broncos looked to have provided plenty of bash-worthy material.  Gambling Vic Fangio and his Fourth Down decision-making.  The naming of Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, who was so lightly sought after that it only took a sixth-round pick and the promise to cover just 30% of his salary to get him.  And then there was the obvious touchdown drop by wide receiver KJ Hamler.

  • KJ Hamler – Best hands since Clifford Franklin.
  • More ball drops than Times Square.
  • More ball drops than a fairway with water.
  • More ball drops than a group of old men in a YMCA locker room.

The story would write itself.

But instead, Denver surprised everyone by playing solid football in a dominant 27-13 win over the New York Giants.  Teddy Bridgewater looked sharp throughout.  Von Miller had two sacks.  And KJ Hamler rebounded with some important catches later in the game.  So, no bashing and no jokes.

Well, maybe a few.

  • The Denver Broncos seemed to have finally figured out the winning formula. No, not starting Teddy Bridgewater over Drew Lock. But rather, starting your season against the hapless New York Giants.
  • Speaking of Bridgewater, I’m not sure whether the Carolina Panthers are any better with Sam Darnold at quarterback instead of Bridgewater. But after 98 yards rushing and nine catches for 89 yards, I am sure that the Panthers are better with Christian McCaffrey back in the lineup.
  • If you followed my Fantasy Football advice last week and chose McCaffrey as your RB1, you are welcome. But if you continued to follow my advice by choosing Gus Edwards as a RB2 (trending up due to an injury to starter JK Robbins), I apologize.  Edwards tore his ACL just days before the opener.
  • One Fantasy Football addition could be quarterback Jameis Winston of the New Orleans Saints. I guess when Winston throws five touchdowns WITHOUT adding five interceptions in the same game, the guy is pretty good.
  • The Saints ended up embarrassing the Green Bay Packers, 38-3. It looks as if Aaron Rodgers and the Packers season could be in JEOPARDY!.
  • From one legend to another, Tom Brady threw two more touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski, engineered another last-minute drive, and of course won again. Brady is aging about as fast as Benjamin Button.
  • Bill Belichick isn’t quite having the same fortune. After a 17-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Belichick is now 53-60, seven games UNDER .500 without Brady as his quarterback.
  • I’m not sure I am used to the New England Patriots struggling, losing close games, and not pulling it out in the end. But as a Bronco fan, I could sure get used to it.
  • Rookie Mac Jones played well as the New England starting quarterback, but the same could not be said for Jacksonville’s first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence. Although, in Lawrence’s defense, his college team had much more NFL ready talent.
  • Lawrence was upstaged in that game by Houston’s veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor. But if the 32-year-old quarterback is sore after throwing for 291 yards and running for 40 more, be careful about any massage therapist recommendations.
  • Talk about soreness. How good was Dak Prescott on opening night?  Is it possible that a fourth-round quarterback coming off a brutal ankle injury that just signed a 4-year/$160 million contract is underpaid?
  • Finally, Arizona’s Chandler Jones registered an incredible FIVE sacks while forcing two fumbles in a 38-13 routing of the Tennessee Titans.

That’s more sacks than a group of old men still hanging out (pun intended) in that YMCA locker room.

Images via milehighreport.com, twitter.com, giantswire.usatoday.com, si.com, jacketscreator.com, dailymail.com


Alan Tapley The Athletic Supporter

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship

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