- LB Khalil Mack Sack, FF, FR, INT, TD @GB in first half
Quite possibly the greatest game ever played by a defensive player putting on a new uniform for the first time. Nice going, Oakland!
2. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 21/28 for 417, 4 TDs, 156.3 passer rating, 12 carries for 36 yards, TD @NO
Fitzmagic might be back. I nearly took the Saints for eliminator before remembering the ghost of Ryan Fitzmagic and boy, did he put on a show. Fitzmagic had six career games with four touchdowns and his first with five came this past Sunday. For those keeping track, Mr. Winston has two games with four or more touchdowns, the same amount of games in which he has thrown four or more interceptions since coming into the league.
3. WR Tyreek Hill 7 receptions for 169, 2 TDs, return TD @LAC
Tyreek Hill has evolved from playmaker to certified WR1.
4. WR Michael Thomas 16 receptions for 180 yards, TD, Fmb vs. TB
Michael Thomas, at this rate, might keep Brees from retiring for another five years. Hard to leave professional football when you have this guy on your team.
5. RB James Conner 31 carries for 135, 2 TDs, Fmb, 5 receptions for 57 yards (192 scrimmage yards) @CLE
Beating cancer is but only one saga of James Conner’s story. Sunday was a heartwarming tale of not just an athlete but a person battling through adversity and excelling at the highest level. Had it not been for a costly fumble that cost his team momentum and served as the turning point in the contest, he would have been higher on this list.
Worst of the Worst
5. TEN@MIA sets record for longest-game in NFL history at seven hours, eight minutes due to delays.
Watching any portion of football that Blaine Gabbert is playing in probably already feels agonizing. Imagine how long this game must have actually felt for anyone that stuck around for the whole thing.
4. Lions give up 31 points in third quarter to Jets and first-time starter Sam Darnold.
Giving up 31 points in one quarter to any team is a rather large L. Giving that total up to an offense led by a rookie quarterback? Well, that’s….something. Matt Patricia has given up 89 points in his last two games.
3. Falcons fail to score from goal line five times against Eagles.
I’m sure Steve Sarkisian knows more about football than I do. With that said, a team with as high-powered an offense as the Falcons going 0-5 (yup, Philly gave them a free play, too) from the goal line is inexcusable if not borderline laughable. Matt Ryan also seems incapable of throwing touchdowns to Julio Jones anymore.
We’re only one week through the NFL season and Steelers @ Browns is already a strong contender for worst game of the 2018 season. No one likes to see a tie in the NFL but this game was rampant with such gross mismanagement and on-field incompetence that it felt like a mercy when the clock finally hit zero. Roethlisberger had three interceptions and two fumbles and Tyrod Taylor was sacked seven times and had more than a few missed throws.
- QB Nathan Peterman 5/18 for 24, 2 INTs, 0.0 passer rating @BAL
You will likely never see a game where a quarterback ended with a ZERO passer rating ever again. The NFL won’t do it but they should enshrine the jersey he wore for this game in the Hall of Fame.
I honestly hate to have to talk about this game at all. As I mentioned above, it’s a contender for worst game of the 2018 season. Big Ben picked up where left off at the beginning of last year: looking like he came out of a retirement home. Three interceptions and two fumbles against the Browns defense is pitiful, plain and simple. Are the Browns improved? Of course. Does that mean he has an excuse? Absolutely not. Only two players impressed me on Sunday: James Conner, who squeaked into the top five, and T.J. Watt, who had 10 tackles, three sacks and blocked what would have been a game-winning field goal for Cleveland.
Week one went about as bad as it could go for Pittsburgh. Home against Kansas City means they have every opportunity to bounce back. Starting 0-2 with their back half of the schedule upcoming might prove too big a hurdle to hop over. Still, I simply can’t bet on this team based off that performance. I’ll take Kansas City and hope I’m wrong.
Game of the Week: Patriots @ Jaguars
A rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game should be a trailblazer. I’m actually leaning Jacksonville in this game but that is fully dependent on Fournette’s status. No Fournette and it’s hard to see Jacksonville winning this game. On the other hand, if New England’s defense plays like last year, maybe not. As of now, taking Jacksonville.