The 2020-2021 NFL Season finally kicked off after an offseason filled with uncertainty due to the current worldwide pandemic. While having football return brought back a sense of normality, things weren’t exactly back to normal as many teams played without fans in the stadium. The noise was authentic, but it was not live as it was prerecorded fans from previous games. Nonetheless, the NFL is back and the TFINS team is here to bring you a quick recap of a couple games in Week 1 of the 2020-2021 NFL Season.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Football Team (17-27)
Mike the Ace @TheAceWriter
I know you all want to get my take on this game, so here you go. The Eagles played a good offensive game for almost two full quarters. One good half of football usually won’t cut it in the NFL, and it didn’t on Sunday against Washington.
Carson Wentz got off to an incredible start, completing 14 of 17 passes, for 182 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Right before halftime, Wentz and the Eagles’ offense completely unraveled. The Eagles QB would finish the rest of the game going 10 of 25, for 88 yards, with 2 interceptions.
Wentz and Pederson had one of their worst halves together on Sunday. With a series of injuries along the offensive line, Pederson continued to call deep shot plays, looking for big yardage down the field. These types of plays genuinely take a long time to develop, and that worked perfectly for Washington’s defense.
Washington’s defense dominated the Eagles beat up offense, sacking Wentz 8 times on Sunday. Chase Young and Washington’s defensive line will be one of the league’s best units, if they can stay healthy. The secondary was also a pleasant surprise for DC, as both interceptions were great plays by their defensive backs.
Pederson will have to slow down with the deep shots until the Eagles get better play out of their offensive line. It was surprising to see him so hell-bent on launching it deep, especially when the Eagles rarely took deep shots last year. This offense will welcome the return of runningback Miles Sanders and offensive tackle Lane Johnson, if they are able to play next week.
Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos (16-14)
The score is not indicative of what happened on Monday night. The Tennessee Titans played like the superior team but special teams and new Kicker Stephon Gostkowski left 10 points on the field by going 1 for 4 in field goals and missing an extra point. This was an issue for Tennessee last year, who had the worst kicking core in the league going 44% as a team using four kickers. This needs to be addressed in the next few weeks, or we can’t take the Titans seriously as a contender.
Drew Lock went 22/33 with 216 yards and a touchdown. I really like how they used play action and rollouts to get him moving. It seems like it allowed him to get into a better flow in this game. The two headed monster of Phillip Lindsey and Melvin Gordon got off to a good start until Lindsey sustained an injury in the first half. This led to Gordon taking over in the second half and having a decent showing having 78 yards but also had a costly fumble early in the game (which led to a Derrick Henry touchdown).
Ryan Tannehill also has a good game going 29/43 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He made plays when they needed to happen at the end of the game to seal the victory. Derrick Henry added 131 all purpose yards and assisted with clock management in the game winning drive. He and Tannehill have and will continue to use the play action/ running game to file the Titans offense this season.
Another interesting storyline in the game was Denver head coach Vic Fangio not using any of the team’s timesouts as the Titans ran the ball, and ran the clock on the final drive. The Titans, down two, had 3:05 left on the clock. The Titans proceeded to go on a 12 play 83 yard drive and Fangio did nothing to stop the clock, so just in case the opposing offense scored (which they did), you’d give your team a chance to move the ball down the field. After the made field goal by Gostkowski, Drew Lock and the offense only had 00:17 left on the clock to move the ball into field goal range.
Denver young core looks like a very fun team to watch going forward. Drew lock will have to continue learning and developing his game and reading coverages, he left a few plays on the field that could have helped them increase the lead at the end of the game and halt the comeback. The Titans look like they are building on what they did last year: run Derrick Henry and allow Tannehill to work off of the play action. With these two, along with a stout looking defense with Jadeveon Clowney being added into the mix, they are looking to make another deep run this year.