Week 1 of the regular season is upon us. People are making plans for the games this weekend. Fantasy leagues are finalizing and at this point, every single team is in a tie for first place. Here are a few of my thoughts this week. I like having discussions also, so hit me on Twitter (@WhoDeyFans) or leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Browns peek at what they passed on
An interesting a matchup on Sunday will be when the Browns face the Eagles. The Browns had the opportunity to select a quarterback of the future with the second overall pick in the draft, but instead, traded with the Eagles and gave them the opportunity to do so. Carson Wentz gained a lot of respect at North Dakota State and many thought he could become a solid quarterback in the NFL. The Eagles were one of the teams that liked the young quarterback.
The Eagles traded the Browns two first-round picks (one this year, one next year), a second-round pick and a third-round pick to move up and grab their now starting quarterback. Wentz will obviously be hyped for his first real NFL game as the Eagles starter, and I know the media will make this into a major story line. How fitting would it be to start your career by having a fantastic game against the team that passed on you even though they have need at the quarterback position.
Trading to a division foe
A gut reaction to the Justin Gilbert trade is “Why would the Browns trade a former first round pick to the Steelers?” I had that thought. I have visions of Gilbert finding his home with the Steelers and playing to the potential he once held. Part of me still thinks this. I mean, wouldn’t this be another knife in the back to a Browns organization that is constantly trampled on by the Steelers?
In reality though, I am confident the Browns didn’t want to trade Gilbert to the Steelers. In fact, they probably would have preferred to trade him to any other team. So what does that say for a cornerback that is so poorly regarded that he was basically handed off to a division rival? Maybe the Browns think the joke is on the Steelers. They unloaded a guy with no value and were able to gain another draft pick that they seem to be stockpiling.
Either way I can add Gilbert to the list of players that I now disdain simply for the colors he wears on Sunday.
Love for the Bengals
The Bengals have found a familiar fan in the media. Pete Prisco released his season prediction article where he chooses the winners (and score) of every game this season. This includes the playoffs and Super Bowl. Once again, it is safe to say, Prisco is a Bengals believer.
Not only does he have the Bengals winning the AFC North with a 12 and 4 record, he has them taking the next step in the playoffs. Cincinnati takes the second overall seed in the postseason and rides that to the AFC Championship game. They eventually fall the the New England Patriots (the top seed). Prisco has been a believer in the product the Bengals have put on the field for the past several seasons and once again thinks this is a very good team in Cincinnati.
I love it. Save the one game at a time stuff for the players and coaches. As a fan, I want to read every season prediction to validate what I already know: the Bengals are a very good football team.
If I am Tony Romo, I don’t know if I want to suit up and play more football. Sure, there is the competitor in me that wants to lead my team to the championship. There is also the angel on my shoulder that reminds me that every time I take a big hit, either my collar bone or back breaks.
I don’t question Romo’s toughness, I question his ability to function later in life. There are some injuries that just sound too scary to rush back from. Jerry Jones decided not to put the quarterback on IR, hoping for a return sooner than Week 9. I can’t understand why you would want to rush back from a constant string of injuries.
Games to watch this weekend
The Super Bowl rematch - I know that Cam Newton wants to erase what happened in last years Super Bowl. What better way than in front of the entire NFL fanbase? This game may not get the ratings of the Super Bowl, but as the first real game of the NFL season, most fans will tune in to see real NFL action. The Broncos will essentially be tossing Trevor Siemian to the wolves as he faces a very good defense in his first attempt as the Broncos’ starting quarterback.
Green Bay at Jacksonville - Seriously? The reason I will be interested in this game is simple, this could be a changing of the guard. The Packers have been good for a long time and I have a feeling we will be seeing a decline this year. On the other side, the Jaguars have been terrible for some time and this season could mark a shift for them as well. If Jacksonville’s newly improved defense can shut down the Packers, they build momentum for a team that would love to have some success. Plus, Blake Bortles sought out advice from none other than Aaron Rodgers in the offseason. Storylines aplenty.
The Bengals and the Jets - Duh.