Week 1 of the 2020 NFL Season is in the books! Didn’t think we’d make it this far, did you? It was an exciting doubleheader featuring two tried and true veteran QBs facing off versus two young sophomore signal callers to finish the week.
Pittsburgh Steelers Takeaways
Ben Roethlisberger looked healthy, by all means, returning from his 2019 elbow injury. He looked to be throwing the ball more accurately as the game went on and connected well with JuJu Smith-Schuster and sophomore wideout Diontae Johnson. Once timing had been established, the team built a rhythm that allowed them to move the ball well.
Right tackle Zach Banner was carted to the locker room after suffering a knee injury in the fourth quarter. He was visibly shaken as his teammates consoled him on the bench after the play. This was Banner’s first career start after winning the job over Chukwuma Okorafor in camp.
James Conner exited the game early with a sprained ankle after struggling to remain healthy for most of 2019. Prior to the injury, he had six rush attempts for just nine yards. His absence didn’t stifle the run game, however; it sparked it. RB Benny Snell exploded on 19 carries for 113 yards. Snell was just the second running back to manage 100+ rushing yards in Week 1.
The Steelers Defense remain a bend-but-don’t-break unit. This defense made two interceptions look easy and a delivered pressure on Daniel Jones all night.
The most significant thing to note for the Giants is the leap their second-year quarterback has taken in the 2020 offseason. Daniel Jones appears to have taken the next step as a passer, looking calm and collected while being harassed by Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt for most of the night. He made some tight throws and nice reads.
Saquon Barkley was suffocated in this matchup, totaling just six rushing yards on the game. Luckily, for fantasy managers, he did reel in six of nine targets for 60 receiving yards to save his day. Darius Slayton dominated the game with six receptions for 102 yards and a pair of TDs. The team was without WR Golden Tate, who is dealing with a hamstring issue, so it is possible we see Slayton return to earth should Tate return soon.
Fantasy Notes: 2020’s Pittsburgh Steelers may not be a spitting image of the 2018 powerhouse (yet), but it’s worth noting that the team made strides as the game went on. If the offense continues to ramp up, the Steelers are looking like a true playoff contender with a defense determined to create pressure and turnovers. With Conner’s ankle sprain, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him miss a week or two, though reports say he is hopeful to return soon. Benny Snell is a priority waiver wire acquisition, though Week 2 brings a more difficult matchup in the Denver Broncos. Slayton appears to be the favorite for team targets and can be considered a WR3 with weekly WR1/2 upside.
Editor’s Note: Unlock the brand new League Sync! Keep track of all your Yahoo! teams in one place and use our Trade Analyzer, Free Agent Finder, Lineup Adviser and custom projections to make all the right roster decisions! Get all of our Season Tools, League Sync AND DFS Tools for as low as $7.99/month!
The Titans Offense didn’t look to have the same burst they had in 2019, but they managed a win in the end by controlling the game clock and establishing the run with their newly-paid workhorse RB. Even in the absence of Von Miller, the Broncos Defense was sturdy, holding Derrick Henry to just 3.7 yards per carry and keeping WR A.J. Brown in check with just 5 receptions for 39 yards. Of all people, this was a Corey Davis game, who finished the matchup catching 7 of his 8 targets for 101 yards.
Somehow, Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski took over the headlines of the game, missing three field goals from 47, 44, and 42 yards and an extra point. These missed kicks led them down to the wire to close out the game, as they were down just one point on the game’s final drive, but Gostkowski redeemed himself with a 25-yard field goal to take the lead. The Titans are in a tough spot with the veteran kicker, who has been historically productive but clearly had some confidence issues to open up the season.
Denver Broncos Takeaways
The Broncos were without their star wide receiver Courtland Sutton and stud outside linebacker Von Miller, but they certainly were not shaken. Much like the New York Giants, the team saw lots of progress in their sophomore quarterback Drew Lock. Lock appeared confident and made some risky throws look easy, though his stat line doesn’t look all that exciting.
After the team opened the game with a running back carousel, Phillip Lindsay sustained a foot injury after totaling eight touches for 35 yards. Newly a Denver Bronco, Melvin Gordon looked good in his first outing, making some nice cuts and catching all three of his targets, even if it was only for eight yards. He finished the game at 5.2 yards per carry – an efficient game, considering his career average of 4.0 yards per attempt.
Rookie WR Jerry Jeudy had his ups and downs as the lead wideout in his first NFL game, totaling four receptions for 56 yards. He stumbled with two drops on the night but showed promise in his known ability as a route runner to create separation.
Fantasy Notes: With Phillip Lindsay out of the active lineup, Melvin Gordon will have weekly RB1 upside. Lock won’t consistently have the passing volume to be a sustainable fantasy quarterback, but it does appear that Fant could be an early favorite to lead the team in targets. The team should likely see WR Courtland Sutton return in their Week 2 matchup against the Steelers, but it will be difficult to start him with confidence in that matchup and returning from injury.
Kyle Shanahan confirms that TE George Kittle suffered a knee sprain in the team’s home opener. Though he did return after halftime, he didn’t catch a single ball afterward. If he plays in Week 2, he’s got an incredible matchup versus the New York Jets who appear to have given up. … Lamar Miller had a visit with the Indianapolis Colts Monday following the news of Marlon Mack’s season-ending Achilles injury. Rookie RB Jonathan Taylor was announced as the team’s starter, though Nyheim Hines should continue to have value in PPR leagues considering that Philip Rivers is under center. … NFL Network reports that Michael Thomas suffered a high-ankle sprain to open up the season. Though he appears determined to play, it’s worth noting that veteran Emmanuel Sanders presence on the field seemed more significant than his 3/15/1 line would suggest. Some friendly matchups coming up in Vegas, Green Bay and Detroit may make him a nice play in DFS formats. … Texans RB Duke Johnson did not practice Tuesday after suffering an ankle injury on TNF. His counterpart, David Johnson, showed burst that we haven’t seen in some time and should be considered an RB2 against the Ravens. … Dallas tight end Blake Jarwin suffered a torn ACL win Week 1. It’s an unfortunately blow, as many expected to be a breakout season. Dalton Schultz is the next man up but won’t be fantasy-relevant. Rookie CeeDee Lamb may absorb some of that intended target share.
This Patriots player is the best rookie in the NFL through Week 3
New England Patriots rookie guard Michael Onwenu hasn’t made much news during 2020, but while most of the team’s rookie class watches on Sundays, he was the first Patriots rookie to get a start this season.
With Joe Thuney shifting to center to replace David Andrews, Onwenu took over Thuney’s spot at left tackle. And Onwenu, a sixth-round pick out of Michigan, was sensational at that spot. He had previously been splitting time at right tackle with Jermaine Eluemunor in Weeks 1 and 2, but Onwenu’s new gig suited him. He finished Week 3 as the top-performing rookie, according to the digital scouting service, Pro Football Focus.
Here’s some of what PFF wrote about Onwenu:
“He allowed just one hurry across 32 pass-blocking snaps and was a people-mover for the Patriots’ rushing attack, generating an 83.6 run-blocking grade across his 37 snaps as a run-blocker. Despite logging snaps at three different positions in three games, Onwenu has now produced an 87.6 PFF grade for the season, fifth among all offensive linemen regardless of position. It’s starting to look like Bill Belichick and the Patriots got themselves a steal.”
Heading into training camp, New England was expected to get Yodny Cajuste, a 2019 third-round pick, involved in the offense as the third tackle. But while Cajuste continually dealt with injuries, Onwenu captured that role, and even earned himself a timeshare with Eluemunor, which isn’t something you typically see at tackle. It seems like Bill Belichick thinks of the young offensive lineman as atypical.
“Mike’s shown a lot of versatility,” Belichick said this week. “He played right guard at Michigan, and that’s pretty much the only spot he played. Here he’s worked both guards and worked at right tackle, and right tackle was a new position for him. Left guard, even though guard is guard, footwork is all different over there where he played yesterday for Joe [Thuney]. It’s kind of like playing left handed when you’ve been playing right handed your whole life.
“I think he’s done a really good job. He’s a smart kid, he’s got a lot of physical playing strength, he’s a good athlete, he’s got good football smarts and awareness and he’s done a good job for us, playing right tackle and then yesterday at guard he handled some good situations. He learned a lot and he’s still got a long way to go but did a lot of good things.”
Seahawks down to No. 5 in Touchdown Wire’s NFL power rankings
The Seattle Seahawks are undefeated and lead the NFC West in the standings but they aren’t the only team to start the season 3-0. Those other clubs – Steelers, Bills, Packers and Chiefs – all top Seattle in Touchdown Wire’s latest NFL power rankings.
Despite their impressive start to the year, the Seahawks have dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 heading into Week 4.
“The 2020 Seahawks have the NFL’s ultimate cheat code in Russell Wilson, and perhaps the NFL’s ultimate susceptibility among playoff-worthy teams in a pass defense that couldn’t be farther from the Legion of Boom days if it tried,” writes Doug Farrar. “Through three games in 2020, Seattle has allowed 1,292 passing yards, which is the most any team has allowed in that early span in NFL history.”
“Perhaps this is why the Seahawks are Letting Russ Cook as they are — because without that, and were they to script a series of situation-neutral game plans as Pete Carroll would generally prefer, they’d be 0-3 instead of 3-0,” Farrar explains. “Russell Wilson has been the glue holding this team together and keeping it competitive for the last half-decade, and never more so than in 2020.”
Wilson and crew next head to Miami for an early start Sunday against the Dolphins.
Expect to see more of Seahawks Shaquem Griffin
Chiefs used tendencies of Ravens CB Marcus Peters to take advantage in Week 3
The Kansas City Chiefs are very familiar with Baltimore Ravens CB Marcus Peters.
Peters was draft by the Chiefs in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at pick No. 18 overall. He’d spend just three seasons in Kansas City before he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams ahead of the 2018 NFL season.
Peters was a good player for Kansas City, racking up 19 interceptions and 55 passes defended during his career with the Chiefs. His opportunistic ball skills were put on display often. But his tendency toward freelancing would go on to cost him during his latest meeting with his former team on “Monday Night Football.”
Check out Mecole Hardman’s touchdown catch:
This play almost seems designed to impact and draw the attention of Peters. He leaves his deep thirds assignment to try and jump the route by Tyreek Hill. He also leaves his teammate, DeShon Elliott, who is tasked with covering the underneath route, in a really tough spot. He’s basically left in no man’s land trying to play catchup with Hardman.
It can’t be overstated how impressive it is that Mahomes is able to look Peters off, keep his eyes toward the middle of the field, and have the anticipation to get this ball to Hardman while under pressure. This isn’t the first time that Mahomes has been able to look Peters off like this either.
While Peters didn’t play for the Chiefs when Patrick Mahomes was the starting quarterback, the two grew to respect each other during practice, as Mahomes played the role of the scout team quarterback in 2017. Former Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali also famously told reporters that Mahomes took advantage of Peters’ ball-hawking tendencies during practice.
That familiarity with Peters came into play during the Week 3 game. Both Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes took advantage at times, knowing that Peters’ eyes would be elsewhere rather than focusing on his assignment.
- “No More Messing Around”- Bubba Wallace Reveals Details on Conversation With Michael Jordan
- This Patriots player is the best rookie in the NFL through Week 3
- QAnon followers champion Trump as a savior for trafficked children, but federal prosecutions have dropped by a third over the past 2 years
- Economic Data, Brexit, and the U.S Presidential Debate to Keep the Markets Busy
- Jermell Charlo vs Jermall Charlo – What Are the Odds?
- Seahawks down to No. 5 in Touchdown Wire’s NFL power rankings
- Congressional panel subpoenas top Homeland official in whistleblower probe
- Central Bank Gold-Buying Seen Climbing From Near Decade Low
- Seattle greenlights minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers
- Wimbledon Championships 2021 Set to Get Underway Regardless of Spectator Policy
Sports News6 days ago
US Olympian Chloe Dygert crashes over guardrail in cycling accident
Entertainment1 week ago
Danish TV show ‘Ultra Strips Down’ records kids eyeing naked adults
Sports News4 weeks ago
Fantasy Football Auction Draft strategy: Tips, advice for spending your 2020 player budget wisely
Sports News3 weeks ago
NBA 2K21 Cover Star Damian Lillard Reveals His Issues With the Game
Tech1 week ago
iOS 14 basics: how to add widgets to your iPhone’s home screen
Sports News1 week ago
Fantasy Football Buy-Low, Sell-High Stock Watch: Leonard Fournette, Stefon Diggs among movers heading into Week 3
Sports News3 weeks ago
NBA playoff bracket 2020: Updated standings, seeds & results from each round
Sports News2 weeks ago
College basketball’s 2020-21 season is officially happening, even if the details are murky