It’s hard to believe that week one of the NFL season has already come and gone. The constant looming of Covid-19, has set everything we consider normal, in a sort of daze. As we move forward with our lives, we can all lean on football, as our crutch for normalcy. Anyway, back to week one. After watching the full slate of games over the past few days, you can’t help but feel the pre-season, or at least a real off-season, has been sorely missed. Some of our Fantasy Football rosters did well, some choked.
Sloppy play, flat offenses and questionable defense, stuck out across the league. While some teams looked the part of a contender, and others, not so much. It was hard to really get a feel of who and what we really saw this first week. We all know the slate of players that will consume the bulk of media attention.
Seattle’s Russell Wilson, for example lit up the Atlanta Falcon’s, defense on his way to a great team win. For good reason we will be hearing his and many alike throughout the season. As they are the ones the media covet in todays games. That is why for this series I have decided to find the “Hidden Gems” if you may. Or the lesser known or talked about, player’s that had just as much, or in some cases more of an impact, then the normal household name. With that said let’s get this started.
1) WR Robert Woods (Los Angeles Rams)
On the first Sunday night football game of the season, the Los Angeles Rams, kicked off their new stadium party, by hosting America’s Team (Dallas Cowboys). In a night filled with stars, like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Jared Goff and Aaron Donald. It was wide-out Robert Woods, that stood out when watching the tape. Pulling in 6 receptions for 105-yards, the receiver averaged 17.5 yards a catch, and was a bully in the run game. Despite not getting in the end zone, the Dallas’ defense had no answer for the former Buffalo Bill. While it was most likely the match-up of Jared Goff VS Dak Prescott, that had viewers tuning in, it was Woods, that stole the show.
2) Buffalo Bills Defense
Sometimes you just have to give the defense love. I am not sure the last time I had anything good to say a Bill’s defense, but I need to give respect when respect is due. Ask Jets QB Sam Darnold, about this defense and I’m sure you will get a ringing endorsement. On Sunday the Jet’s offense was shook by the underrated Buffalo defense. The speed at all three levels was truly on display. Along with the tackle discipline of a team that had been playing half a season already, and you could see the potential of this young team. In Buffalo it’s QB Josh Allen, and then everyone else, respectfully. But on Sunday, it was the defense that lead the way.
3) Seattle Seahawks defense
Russell! Russell! Russell!… in the pacific-northwest, it is all about the Hawk’s captain, Russell Wilson. While he had a great outing in week 1, the defense really showed the potential to be a dominant force. Gone are the days of the “Legion of Boom”, and although they may never be that again, this defense lead by All-Pro’s LB Bobby Wagner and newcomer Jamal Adam’s, has the look of a legit force this season. While Wilson is no doubt the face of this team, it is the defense that is the true back-bone of Seattle football.
4) TE Dallas Goedert (Philadelphia Eagles)
All anyone is talking about in the city of brotherly love, is the Philadelphia Eagles, blowing a 17-point loss. While it was truly hard to watch the team slowly give away a game, that seemed to be well in hand, there were a few true bright spots. Enter TE Dallas Goedert, the third year pro has seemed to take another step forward in his career. Lighting the Washington defense up for 101 yards on 8 catches, and a touchdown, also averaging 13 yards a catch. Goedert, was also a force in the run game, while the team itself didn’t have a ton of yards. It had nothing to do with a blown assignment of his. As his career matures it is easy to see the potential he has. While the Birds carry one the league’s best, Zach Ertz, it is the third year pro, that has really flashed as a force.
5) RB Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders)
Random thought, I still haven’t gotten use to calling the Raiders, Las Vegas. Ok anyway, Arguably the brightest star this weekend, was the second year back out of Alabama. Jacobs, ran over, under and threw, the once vaunted Carolina Panther’s defense. A defense that truly missed recently retired LB Luke Kuechly. In the air and on the ground, Jacobs defaced the panthers defense, to the tune of 95 yards rushing, and 46 yards threw the air, including 3- TD’s. While it may only be week 2, the sophomore runner has the look of a legit problem for opposing defenses, all year.