On Wednesday, I gave y’all twelve silver linings from the Seattle Seahawks Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The next day, I authored the Week 2 preview: Seahawks vs. Lions under the big top in Motor City.
Between those two 1,500-word articles, you would think that I would have covered all my thoughts for this week, right?
Thought No. 1
Nothing leads to overreactions like Week 1 in the NFL.
Actually, that’s not true.
The Week 2 overreactions will be much worse - especially when supported by the “evidence” from Week 1.
For example: The New York Giants got embarrassed by the Dallas Cowboys in their season opener at MetLife Stadium: 40-nothing; OUCH! But if they lose to the Arizona Cardinals this week . . . which is something the Giants have done the last four times they played the Cardinals . . . Look out!
New York might as well just forfeit the last 15 games.
At least the Seahawks have an excuse if they lose to the Detroit Lions on Sunday given that both of Seattle’s starting tackles are going to watch the game from home.
Plus, the Seahawks will have a “get right” game next week with the Carolina Panthers visiting them at Lumen Field.
The Giants, not so much . . . they get the 49ers in Santa Clara.
Crazy Week 1 Stat: Per ESPN, Daniel Jones was under pressure on nearly 70% of his dropbacks against the Cowboys. Unsurprisingly, he had the lowest QBR (10.2) and second-lowest passer rating (32.4) of any QB that played last week.
Thought No. 2
Half of the teams that made the playoffs in 2022 started the 2023 season with a loss.
Seven out of fourteen.
Here are who the other 0-1 playoff teams face this week, and something notable about each of the matchups:
- Buffalo Bills: On paper, the Bills should have no trouble in their home opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. Of course, Buffalo should have cruised in Week 1 after Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury on the New York Jets’ fourth offensive play. Four Josh Allen turnovers (3 INTs and a fumble) cost them though.
- Cincinnati Bengals: The Baltimore Ravens were responsible for three of Joe Burrow’s four worst QBR games last season (including their playoff matchup). If you watched any part of Cincy’s Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns, you won’t be surprised if Burrow’s trend of poor play vs. the Ravens continues.
- Kansas City Chiefs: After missing their Week 1 home game, Travis Kelce’s status is questionable for KC’s Week 2 road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chiefs are favored by 3 points, but the Jaguars are 5-0 outright as home underdogs in the Doug Pederson era (including playoffs). If the defending champions are Kelce-less again, they could definitely be looking at an 0-2 start.
- Los Angeles Chargers: See Thought No. 3, below.
- Minnesota Vikings: Skip (already fell to 0-2).
- New York Giants: Skip (touched on them in Thought No. 1).
- Seattle Seahawks: Skip (see any and/or every FTR article from the past few days).
Thought No. 3
I didn’t want one of the bullets in Thought No. 2 to be longer than the rest of the bullets combined, so I’m moving Chargers v. Titans here.
Pro Tip: The Chargers Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins is worth watching if you have access to it (and a few hours to kill) . . .
Tua Tagovailoa threw for 466 yards with 215 of those yards landing in Tyreek Hill’s outstretched hands.
Justin Herbert answered with 229 passing yards (net 200 after sacks), but the wild thing about the game was watching the Chargers run the ball FORTY times (in a 36-34 shootout) while piling up 233 yards one ground.
This week, versus the Tennessee Titans, expect a different script.
For three reasons:
- Tennessee is T-O-U-G-H to run against.
- The Titans pass defense is E-A-S-Y to throw against; it was the worst in the league last season at 274.8 yards per game.
- Two of the starters in Tennessee’s secondary won’t be playing on Sunday.
Note to Self: Consider starting Mike Williams and/or Keenan Allen on whichever fantasy teams have them on the roster.
Thought No. 4
It’s sort of implied by how bad the defense was (the Rams, averaged 47 yards and 3 first downs each time they had the ball, scored on every second half possession, and only punted once all game) and how bad the offense was in the second half (3 yards of total offense before the 9-yard run on the game’s final play), but . . .
One of the aspects of Seattle’s Week 1 loss that deserves attention is the absolutely abysmal Time of Possession (ToP) numbers.
In the first half, Seattle had the ball for just over a minute longer than the Rams did, and yet they lost the ToP battle for the game by 18 minutes and 46 seconds.
Think about that for a moment . . .
. . . and then “enjoy” the research that I did on this topic:
- In the 3rd quarter, Seattle had the ball for 2 minutes 38 seconds vs. the Rams 12 minutes 22 seconds.
- They had it even less time (2:28) in the 4th quarter.
Over the three previous seasons, there were a total of five quarters across 52 games where the Seahawks had the ball for less than three minutes.
- 2020: Q3 of their Week 17 road game in Santa Clara (2:14)
- 2021: Q3 of their Week 3 road game in Minnesota (2:46)
- 2021: Q2 of their Week 7 home game vs. New Orleans (2:58)
- 2021: Q3 of their Week 16 home game vs. Chicago (2:52)
- 2022: Q1 of their Week 14 home game vs. Carolina (2:33)
Against the Rams, they did it TWICE - and in back-to-back quarters no less.
That was truly something . . .
. . . that the 12s hope we never see happen to the Seahawks again.
Thought No. 5
Since Pete Carroll came to Seattle, the Seahawks have lost their season opener six times. On three of the previous five occasions, they also lost Week 2.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Seattle has never started 0-3 under Pete Carroll.
Want some more good news?
(Of course you do.)
The Seahawks are 9-4 under Pete Carroll in Week 3, and 9-3 under him in Week 4.
Note: Seattle had a Week 4 bye in 2014.
Given that Seattle’s Week 3 opponent is the Panthers (at home) and their Week 4 opponent is the Giants (on the road), bumping those win totals to double digits seems infinitely doable . . . or eminently doable . . . or very/extremely doable . . . or easily doable . . . or just plain old doable.
Note: That last bit is a tip of the hat to the commenters on this article from August 31st :)
Thought No. 6
Seattle’s secondary got mercilessly destroyed by Matthew Stafford and his no-name receiving corps in Week 1.
That fact notwithstanding, if ever there was a time to think that the Seahawks will turn things around instantly . . . this might be that time.
One. Quandre Diggs is “super confident” the Seahawks will bounce back.
This is from after Sunday’s game:
“Super confident. I don’t lose faith that I have in my team over one week,” Diggs told reporters after Sunday’s game. “I think we will be fine, sometimes it’s good to have a wake-up call early in the season and we got it over with now. We got punched in the chin, we have to see how we come out and fight, and come out and fight next week.”
Two. Jamal Adams is BACK !!!
Leave it to the Seahawks PR staff to fire up the 12s by releasing a simple video with ZERO football action in it:
For all of the hand-wringing about Seattle’s switch to a 3-4 defense and how it’s fallen short of expectations (thus far), that video is a reminder that the Seahawks’ most important defensive weapon has only been on the field for 15 regular season snaps since the scheme change was made a little over a year ago.
Note: After I wrote this, I found out that Adams has been ruled out for this week’s game :/ but I’m leaving it in the article because (a) the underlying point remains - i.e., that Seattle hasn’t really had their Swiss army knife of a player since implementing the change, and (b) I am assuming that his return is simply “delayed” (hopefully by only a week).
Three. Devon Witherspoon is expected to make his debut on Sunday.
How appropriate is it that the player Seattle selected with the 5th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft will make his professional debut against the team that was reportedly poised to select him with the 6th overall pick?
Thought No. 7
The Lions are unveiling an 8-foot-tall bronze statue of my all-time favorite running back this weekend.
Surprisingly, it’s the first such statue at Ford Field.
And I don’t mean the first statue of Barry Sanders, I mean the first “larger than life” statue of ANY former Lions player.
This is a statement from the team’s owner, via an article on the Detroit Lions’ website:
“Generations upon generations of fans will learn about Barry and his contributions not only to the Lions, but to the game of football. He is truly in a class of his own, and while we may never see a player quite as electrifying or elusive again, Barry’s legacy will live forever and be tangible right here in Detroit.”
Thought No. 8
Speaking of greatness - and, yes, I am intentionally being a little bit blasphemous by sharing this thought right after one about Barry Sanders . . .
It may be time to retire the Jared Goof nickname because Jared Goff is making a run at a very impressive record.
In Week 9 last year, Goff threw an interception against the Green Bay Packers. Since then, Goff has thrown 359 consecutive passes without an interception.
The recently-retired Tom Brady threw 399 straight passes without a pick in 2022 . . .
. . . and missed Aaron Rodgers’ record by a mere three passes.
Goff is currently No. 3 on that list.
Last week, against the Chiefs, Goff threw 35 passes which means the 40 passes he needs to catch Brady and, perhaps, the 43 passes he needs to catch Rodgers could be on the table this week.
If not, then next week vs. the Atlanta Falcons for sure.
Unless Seattle ends his streak.
Thought No. 9
While we’re on the topic of impressive quarterback feats . . . and being slightly blasphemous (in this case, by complimenting a division rival) . . .
And that’s not all . . .
Brock Purdy is the first quarterback in NFL history to win each of his first six career regular-season starts and throw at least two touchdown passes in each start. Purdy also is the first quarterback in NFL history with a passer rating of 95-or-higher in each of his first six…— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2023
I know that we hate our division rival with the fire of a thousand suns, and, by extension, any player that plays for them, but . . .
This is a guy who was the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, “Mr. Irrelevant” himself.
Dude was selected 63 picks later than Tom Brady was.
F—k the Niners? Absolutely!
But I, for one, am not ashamed to admit that what Mr. Purdy has done to start his career is pretty damn impressive.
Thought No. 10
Speaking of QBs with impressive starts to their careers . . .
Atlanta Falcons QB Desmond Ridder has thrown zero interceptions over his first five career starts. According to ESPN, quarterback starts were first tracked in 1950, and in the 73 years since then, no one has ever done that in their first SIX.
Atlanta hosts Green Bay on Sunday.
Want another one?
Washington Commanders QB Sam Howell had both a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown against the Cardinals in Week 1.
He did the same thing in Week 18 versus the Cowboys last year.
On Sunday, Sam Howell (and his teammates) will take on the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium - oops, sorry, I meant Empower Field at Mile High - with a chance to become the first player in NFL history to have passing and rushing touchdowns in each of his first three games.
The other was Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota in 2015. (Thank you, ESPN.)
Thought No. 11
You know that team we’re chasing for the division title this year?
No, not the Rams, the other one.
The folks in Santa Clara made headlines recently by agreeing to a record-setting contract extension with Nick Bosa. Around the same time, they restructured the contracts of Arik Armstead, George Kittle, and Trent Williams.
While those four moves are going to cause havoc with their salary cap in future years, the immediate impact is somewhat terrifying as the 49ers now have (arguably) the best roster in the NFL and over $42M in salary cap space.
To properly illustrate how potentially game-changing this is, here’s the amount of cap space each NFC West team currently has (according to OTC):
- San Francisco: $42,215,914
- Arizona: $14,529,901
- Seattle: $9,747,442
- Los Angeles: $2,225,468
Or, putting that another way:
- San Francisco: $42,215,914
- The rest of the NFC West: $26,502,811
- Difference: $15,713,103
Thought No. 12
I’m hoping for a shootout on Sunday.
NOT because I think it will give the Seahawks a better chance of winning (it might), but because I am a huge fan of “being there” when history is made . . .
. . . even if I’m just “there” via the nearest TV.
- January 1st, 2022: Seattle 51, Detroit 29
- October 2nd, 2022: Seattle 48, Detroit 45
- September 17th, 2023: TBD
Fact: In the history of the league, no two teams have ever combined to score 80 or more points in three consecutive games.
That could change on Sunday.