NFL
September 15, 2020
BY Lance Cartelli

5 NFL Hot Takes After Week 1

Week 1 of the NFL regular season is in the books. And while it was undoubtedly the weirdest start to the campaign in NFL history, the product on the field felt familiar despite having no preseason games. In fact, it almost felt like a regular Week 1 — minus the whole pumped-in crowd noise. 

And while it’s not a hot take to say that the fake crowd noise is, as 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan put it, “human torture,” it is a hot take to say that the NFL should blast future NFL preseasons into the deep reaches of outer space. 

That isn’t our only hot take from the first week of football. Here are five more overreactions that are so hot they could cause some burns. 

Seahawks Are the Best Team in the NFC 

There’s been a tremor in the Force. Have you felt it? The Seahawks’ brain trust has finally awoken from its slumber and allowed their prized possession, Russell Wilson, to cook. And that is the worst possible news for the rest of the NFC because when the ‘Hawks don’t commit to establishing the run and allow Wilson to work his magic, there isn’t a better team in the NFC, and perhaps the NFL

Instead of letting the Falcons hang around until the fourth quarter, the Seahawks unleashed Wilson from the jump and he absolutely ruined a poor Falcons defense in Week 1, passing for four touchdowns and tossing just four completions. 

What’s even scarier is that a defense with plenty of holes played pretty solid. Thanks to the newly acquired Jamal Adams, who looked unstoppable in the Seattle 3 defense. 

49ers are the worst team in the NFC West 

Could the defending NFC champions already be the worst team in the NFC West after only one game? If you take a peek at the current standings, it’s not so farfetched. And hot takes are all about small sample sizes. That being said, it could come to fruition if the NFC West is really as good as it looks on paper. The division appears to have four playoff-worthy teams if the Arizona Cardinals really are ready to take the next step. 

The Cards are still the least talented team in that division, but they already have the second-best quarterback in Kyler Murray, whose greatness should speed up their timeline. 

While the 49ers had a chance to blow out the Cardinals in the first half, the Niners’ offense and the defense collapsed (sound familiar?). 

The Niners will need Shanahan to be more creative on offense and Jimmy G to stop playing like he did in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. If not, the Niners could go from first to worst. And that’s spicy. 

Alvin Kamara is all the way back 

The Saints sure are happy they didn’t trade Alvin Kamara in the offseason. Despite rushing for just 16 yards on 12 carries, the 2017 NFL Rookie of the Year looks like he’s back to his All-Pro form. Kamara — who added 51 yards in the passing game — looked as explosive as ever against a stingy Buccaneers defense. 

The Saints will have to rely on Kamara even more heavily with Michael Thomas’ high-ankle sprain potentially hurting his availability. 

With an even more condensed offense, the Saints will be forced to feed Kamara, who could be in for a big year. 

If Kamara can score nearly three touchdowns against one of the better defenses in the league, he should be able to go absolutely crazy this season behind arguably the best offensive line in the league. 

Philip Rivers isn’t washed 

The Colts suffered one of the most surprising Week 1 losses after falling to the tanking Jaguars, 27-20. But, despite that terrible outcome, it wasn’t all bad for the Colts. In his first game since departing the Chargers, Rivers looked, well, like Rivers. He doesn't have the arm strength he used to, which will lead to inevitable turnovers, but threw for 363 yards and — other than targeting good-looking rookie C.J. Henderson — didn’t make too many egregious mistakes. 

While we might not think that Rivers transforms the Colts into a Super Bowl contender, he makes the Colts infinitely more entertaining than Jacob Brissett. And that’s what really matters.

The Patriots Want to be the Ravens

This might be a room-temperature take after the Patriots flirted with the idea of drafting Lamar Jackson in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and then signed dual-threat QB Cam Newton to be the team’s starting quarterback in the offseason. 

But after seeing Baltimore run wild over the AFC — including the Patriots — last year, Bill Belichick and the Pats decided to go full-Ravens in the offseason. 

Newton might not be as fast or agile as Jackson, but they both accomplish similar things on offense. 

Newton shined in the Patriots’ new-look offense, where he was asked to run 15 (!) times against an aggressive Dolphins defense that just wanted to snatch his chain. 

The biggest question surrounding Newton will always be his health, but if he can stay healthy, then the Patriots should have a much more dynamic offense this year. Although, it probably won’t match what the Ravens are doing in Baltimore. 

Photo: Getty Images/Lines Illustration