With the 2019 NFL season well underway, fans received a lot of new information to process from Week 1. But this was only one week of a very long season, and sometimes fans and media can overreact. Outside of the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, few teams are guaranteed success or failure at this point. Here are three of the biggest overreactions from week one in the NFL.
1. The Falcons aren’t in trouble
The Vikings beat the Falcons handily in Week 1, 28-12. Minnesota started strong with a 14-0 first-quarter lead, and they never looked back. It wasn’t a great performance from Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was sacked four times. Atlanta’s special teams never got on track either. Minnesota’s average starting position in the first half was Atlanta’s 35-yard line. With such a lackluster effort, fans feared that the Falcons were headed for a rough season.
It turns out the Falcons aren’t as dead as everyone feared. In Week 2, they celebrated a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. In the bird-versus-bird matchup, the Falcons won, 24-20. This avenges their loss to Philly in the 2018 season opener. Trailing 20-17 with a little over two minutes to play, a long touchdown by Julio Jones saved the Falcons.
They were mostly able to keep Carson Wentz in check. Granted, the Eagles were down a few weapons with Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson out due to injury. But you take wins any way you can, and the Falcons know it won’t count any less in the standings. With a winnable game against Indianapolis next week, the Falcons look like they could build some momentum.
2. Mitchell Trubisky’s struggles
In the Bears’ opener, Mitchell Trubisky struggled to move the ball. Chicago only put up three points against Green Bay while Trubisky threw for only 228 yards and an interception. The QB wasn’t great in Week 2 against Denver, but on the last drive of the matchup, he delivered a clutch pass to Allen Robinson with only a second remaining. This set up the Bears’ game-winning field-goal attempt.
Trubisky is still a work in progress but being able to deliver late in the fourth quarter — on the road, no less — is a good sign. Bears’ fans should remain patient and see if the young quarterback can develop even more this season. The Bears certainly have a solid team around him.
3. The Cleveland Browns can still be a good team
After trading for Odell Beckham, Jr. this offseason and finishing 7-8-1 last year, the Cleveland Browns looked like a dark horse to win the AFC North and possibly contend for the Super Bowl. Those expectations came to a crashing halt with Week 1’s demoralizing loss to the Tennessee Titans.
The Browns surrendered 43 points and looked more like the team that went 1-31 in two seasons than the team that won seven games last year. But one week is just that. It’s not an indicator of how the season will go. It’s easy to forget that Baker Mayfield is only in his second NFL year. The Browns also have a lot of new pieces they integrating into the offense, which takes time.
Plus, the Browns may not have to be that good to contend for the division crown. While Baltimore looks great so far in two victories, both the Steelers and Bengals are 0-2. The Browns can withstand a rocky start and still contend for a playoff spot.