It’s never too early to think about what direction players and teams are going. So, let’s eyeball those trendsetters worth following heading into the second week of the season. Past performances are based on not only the opener but patterns that were indicative of last year and possibly deeper history.
Gardner Minshew II
Little was expected from the Jacksonville Jaguars as they head into their game against Indianapolis. Nothing like being a home underdog to stir emotions. Minshew went 19-for-20 and led the Jags to the last 10 points of the game and victory.
Jaguars’ QB Gardner Minshew is the first player to ever throw at least three TD passes and complete at least 95.0 percent of his passes on Kickoff Weekend. In his last two games against the Colts, Minshew has completed 46 of 59 passes for 468 yards, six TDs and one INT.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2020
It was only the Jets but it was the manner in which Buffalo disposed of Gang Green. Josh Allen was a beast on offense and the defense was everything everyone expected it to be, stifling Sam Darnold until late. This is a team that made great strides in 2019 and there is no reason to think the Bills will stop growing.
3 total touchdowns
104.6 QB rating
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) September 13, 2020
The Cardinals gave the 49ers fits twice in 2019 but came up short in tough losses. So, the prize is to open at SF and what happened? Arizona went in and stunned the team that represented the NFC in the Super Bowl. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins had instant chemistry to the tune of 14 receptions for 151 yards. This is a team that bears watching … closely. Here is a look at the latest Super Bowl Odds
— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2020
He’s as good as it gets at quarterback. Wilson dissected the Falcons. He went 30-for-36, 322 yards, four TDs. He was so good that no one noticed Matt Ryan throwing for 450 in a losing cause. Of course, much of that came because Atlanta had no choice but to pass.
This is a DIME from Russell Wilson 🎯
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 13, 2020
The Bad and the Ugly
The Eagles were up 17-0 and Survivor pool players had to peek at Week 2. Not so fast as Washington was inspired and scored 27 straight and there has to be a major concern in Philly. There are issues with tight end Zach Ertz and his contract. That could explain his three catches while fellow TE Dallas Goedert had eight. The Eagles don’t want to mess up the chemistry between Carson Wentz and Ertz. Or is it too late?
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 13, 2020
If it isn’t bad enough the Colts lost at Jacksonville, the team also will be without top RB Marlon Mack, who suffered an Achilles injury. Philip Rivers was good, bad, and ugly. He went 36-for-46 for 363 yards. There was only one passing TD and two killer interceptions. This was a pattern last year with the Chargers and the hope was a new team would refresh the vet.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 13, 2020
It would be implausible to explain to anyone who has seen Mitchell Trubisky pass the ball through his career and three-quarters of the opener between the Bears and Lions, how Detroit allowed the former No. 2 overall pick to throw three TD passes in less than a quarter as Chicago rallied. This can be seen as an indictment of Matt Patricia and his regime. There is no reason people should think of anything else.
The day D’Andre Swift became a Lion. https://t.co/ENymd7ditD
— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) September 13, 2020
New York Jets
The Adam Gase era continues to be miserable. Last year, the Jets played themselves into oblivion before a nice finish in meaningless games. They opened 2020 at Buffalo and had a chance to prove the finish was somewhat legit. Guess what, they were devoured by the Bills. Crushed and stymied and the final score is simply garbage-time scores.
If you thought Sam Darnold was going to play well today with one of the worst offense support groups in league, a bad coach playing one of the best defenses in the NFL—-that’s on you
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) September 13, 2020
There are still two more chances to jump in on Week 1 of the NFL season with a pair of Monday-nighters. Get involved at BetUS.