Through the shortened training camps, through no preseason, we finally have football on Sundays. There was only fans in the stands for one game and that was for the Jaguars/Colts game and it was at limited capacity and there was pumped in crowd noise that gave the games some sense of normalcy.
After everything that we saw, here are my 3 overreactions and 3 takeaways from the first NFL Sunday:
- TREVOR WHO?: The biggest home underdogs of the day, the Jacksonville Jaguars shocked the NFL world. Gardner Minshew completed 19 of 20 passes for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. His 3 touchdowns went to 3 different receivers including 2nd round draft pick Laviska Shenault. Minshew also did not commit any turnovers in the victory. While this team is not expected to compete for anything outside of the No.1 pick in next year's draft, they are highly underrated. I'm not saying they'll win the Super Bowl or anything, but this is a young team led by a guy in Minshew who plays with a chip on his shoulder and during his time as the starter, he has played very well. This team is loaded with draft picks and it's hard to imagine that they can't compete for division titles with Minshew as their starter if they can add more pieces around him.
- TUA TIME SOONER IN MIAMI: What a disappoint in Foxborugh for the Miami Dolphins. A team that spent more money than any other team in the offseason on defense, gave up over 200 yards on the ground, including 75 to QB Cam Newton. The offensive output has to be twice as disappointing considering the Patriots had key players opting out of the season and many thought this team would be riding the high of their week 17 victory last season that kept New England from getting a bye week in the playoffs. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 3 interceptions and the offense looked completely anemic. This was a chance for Miami to make their presence felt and they blew it. Fitzy won't have his job much longer if he continues to have performances like this which could lead to the beginning of Tua time in South Beach sooner rather than later.
- IN MITCHELL THE BEARS TRUST: What a way to save your job if your Mitchell Trubisky. Down 3 coming out of the 2-minute warning and driving, Trubisky dropped a dime to Anthony Miller in what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. For the day Trubisky went 20-36 for 242 yards and 3 TDs and 0 turnovers. He also had 26 yards on the ground. Even though Detroit had a chance at the end to win it (Bears fans breathed a massive exhale after D'Andre Swift dropped a pass in the end zone) you can't look past what Chicago's fourth-year QB was able to do. He beat out newcomer Nick Foles in the offseason to earn the starting job and kept the Bears in contention to win the game all day. Maybe a little competition was all that was needed to light a fire on the backside of Mitchell Trubisky.
- THE BUCS WILL BE FINE: Yes, Tom Brady's debut as the new Bucs QB did not go as many were hoping. The Jameis Winston jokes were flying around social media after Brady threw 2 INTs, including a Pick 6 to Janoris Jenkins. Tampa Bay as a team averaged 3.3 yards per carry on 26 carries including 5 carries for 5 yards from Leonard Fournette. It was ugly no doubt but this was Week 1 of a season that had a shortened training camp and no preseason. Tom Brady has won 10+ games in all but one year of his career. No need to hit the panic button off one ugly loss. When the end of the season comes around, expect 'Tom'pa Bay to be right there in the thick of the playoff race.
- CHANGE IN UNIFORM THIS SEASON, CHANGE IN COACH NEXT: Dan Quinn could be on a very hot seat in Atlanta. Last year he started out 1-7 before winning 6 of the final 8 games. Then to open up at home, playing a 1p game against a team from the west coast, and you give up 38 points. Russell Wilson had as many touchdown passes as incompletions (4) and despite outgunning the Seahawks in total yards, the Falcons put up a goose egg on fourth-down conversions, going 0-4. Since making the Super Bowl in 2016, the Falcons have had one trip back to the playoffs and back-to-back losing seasons. If Dan Quinn is trying to save his job, this isn't the way to do it.
- WHERE WAS THE AGGRESSIVENESS COWBOYS FANS WERE PROMISED?: Mike McCarthy is now the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys but it still looked like Jason Garrett was at the helm. The offense played decent in the first half though they were most effective in their 2-minute offense as they drove right down the field to take the lead heading into halftime. Then in the second half, the drives went punt, punt, field goal (set up by an INT), turnover on downs, punt, turnover on downs. Yes, people are questioning the call to go for it on 4th and 3 with a chance to instead kick a field goal and tie the game. I liked the call, but outside of that and the uptempo offense to close out the first half, it was more of the same in Dallas. I don't know if this was more of trial run to see what works and what doesn't since there was no preseason games, and if so, then that should ease the minds of Cowboys fans a bit. Otherwise, this was the same old song and dance for the Cowboys, just with a different guy calling it.
PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES