Week one of the NFL Regular Season has wrapped up and there were a lot of outcomes that football fans didn’t expect. Some losses were disappointing (from the perspective of a fan of a particular team), but you had an inkling that there was always a chance that it could happen. For example, the 49ers going into Pittsburgh. I don’t think anyone would have thought the final score would be 30-7 and that San Fran would have 199 yards to the Steelers 1…but it was semi-predictable that the 49ers were going to win that game overall. Let’s analyze four of the most discouraging Week One games from a franchise perspective.
Minnesota Vikings Losing at Home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Minnesota is coming off a 14-win season and has high hopes of winning the NFC North again this year. Looking at their transactions in the offseason compared with that of their NFC North counterparts, I predicted that Minnesota would finish third in the division. Make no mistake; the Vikings NEEDED to win this game against an even worse-looking Bucs team to be considered relevant for a Wild Card shot. In their next six weeks, they will play the Eagles, Chargers, Chiefs and 49ers. That’s a damn tough road. Too tough for Minnesota, and I am convinced that the playoffs will have to wait for another year for Minnesota fans. Do Vikings have an elk horn or something that they can blow into to give notice of total collapse and retreat?
Seattle Seahawks Losing at Home to Division Rival LA Rams
Seattle is another team that aspires to make it as a Wild Card in the playoffs this year. I think it’s safe to say that not many, if any, were picking them to win the division over the San Francisco 49ers. I had the Seahawks finishing third in their division as well behind San Fran and…the LA Rams. If Seattle wants to stay in the hunt, they’re going to have to beat the Rams in LA now. By then Cooper Kupp will likely be back, which won’t make it any easier for a team that didn’t address the defensive side of the ball in the offseason. It’s not so much that Seattle LOST to the Rams, but they lost convincingly by a score of 30-13. The Seahawks offense couldn’t keep up, and their defense couldn’t slow the Rams down. That’s not a great recipe to get Win Cakes!
New York Giants Getting Stomped at Home by the Dallas Cowboys
No doubt you’ve heard about this one. Losing by a score of 40-0 at home against a division rival is a completely demoralizing way to start your season. New York got Saquon Barkley back, they paid their new “Franchise QB”…yeah, there were high hopes in Giants camp.*gulp*
Not only did they get kicked right in the “mommy-daddy buttons”, but then they got kicked in the teeth as well. I had the Giants making it to the playoffs as the #7 seed by virtue of tie breaker over the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. All these teams looked like a hot mess this weekend. It’s barely ok to lose to a division rival at home in week one, but you can’t look like you were just put together the week before.
Chicago Bears Losing at Home to the Green Bay Packers
No, this is not just an “NFC Edition”. It just so happens that all the most disparaging losses came to teams in the NFC. I could very well have listed the Broncos losing to the Raiders in Denver, but to be honest, nobody really expects Denver to do s**t this year anyway, so it’s not that surprising. Plus, the Broncos only lost by one, whereas the Bears lost by 18.
There were talks of Justin Fields putting up MVP type numbers to which I laughed at loud, because he’s just not that good. The only way that the Bears make the playoffs is by default of everyone else losing, and then barely hanging on to an 8-9 record to grab the #7 seed. It looks like that dream may have been given to the Packers though. Chicago needed this game though, so, much like the Seahawks, they will have to go on the road and to beat Green Bay in Lambeau to make it up and stay in the hunt. Thanks for the “read”!