In the first week of the NFL, a lot of things can happen. No names make names for themselves, and big names lose their star titles. But hey, it is just week one, right?
Week one sets the tone for the entire NFL season, both real life and the fantasy world. Nobody wants to lose their first game. Let’s take a look at who to look for to have huge week ones.
EJ Manuel and Mike Williams
photo via 247sports.com
Manuel had a very rough rookie season, playing in just 10 games and putting up less than 2,000 yards in the air. The same type of disappointment was felt for ex-Buccaneer Mike Williams, who had just 216 receiving yards last season in just 6 games. Still, the two join forces in Buffalo, where a talented offense is in the works. Weapons like rookie Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, Marquise Goodwin, and Bryce Brown all pose threats to defenses around the league.
Now, with their QB of the future healthy and ready to go as well as a veteran presence at WR who has over 200 receptions, nearly 3,000 yards, and 25 TDs, the Bills look like the real deal this season. Expect a big win over the Bears this Sunday for the Bills, and also expect over 250 yards and 2 touchdowns for Manuel, while Mike Williams hauls in 90 of those yards and one of those touchdowns.
Gerhart is poised for a big year if he can stay healthy, because the Jaguars will need him as their number one guy on offense. With uncertainty at the starting QB position week one, expect a lot of touches for Gerhart. Up against a week Philly run defense, Gerhart is going to put up big numbers.
Gerhart will be a top 1o running back statistically this year by sole touches alone. Gerhart will rush for well over 100 yards this week and a touchdown or two. But he won’t be done after this week.
Geno Smith and Chris Johnson
Geno has a lot of new toys to play with, such as Chris Johnson and Eric Decker, two players who, at one point, resided in the top of their positional ranking. Geno is going to really take advantage of these guys.
Already with a good defense, the Jets are going to be a legit playoff contender this year. Smith, coming off a positional battle victory in training camp against Michael Vick, should come out swinging week one versus Oakland, a defense with big names but little production.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 30 point outing for the Jets, where Geno Smith will throw for well over 300 yards.
The utilization of Chris Johnson, A.K.A CJ2K, will kick off also in week one, where he will get lots of touches. Chris Ivory will get the goal line carries, but Johnson doesn’t need those. Johnson will carry for at least 80 yards, including a big run, that gets him in the endzone. His speed will bring a whole new dimension the the Jets’ offense.
Clowney had a great camp and preseason, and happens to be rostered on what of the top defensive teams in the league. Clowney will waste no time making an impact in the NFL, as the number one pick will sack either RGIII or Kirk Cousins (whoever starts) twice on Sunday.
Clowney is an animal in the trenches, and the offensive line of Washington will be the first of many to feel his wrath in this NFL season.
Moreno didn’t play much in the preseason, but when he did, you could feel his breakout season last year is not over. Knowshon compliments Ryan Tannehill, his new quarterback, nicely and will be an immediate weapon in this offense. The Dolphins play in what now is one of the most competitive divisions in football, but they will be a successful team.
Moreno will win the starting job over Lamar Miller eventually, but even with split carries, Moreno will carry for over 75 yards and one touchdowns in week one. He will also be active in the passing game, catching 3 passes for around 30 yards.
Carolina Panthers Defense
A highly criticized bunch, the Panthers defensive crew will turn some heads back their way in week one after a great season last year. The Panthers may have lost Captain Munnerlyn and both safeties Mike Mitchell and Quintin Mikell, but they brought in some veteran talent and some winners to replace them with Thomas DeCoud, Roman Harper, and Antoine Cason.
The Panthers defense still possess the best linebacker in the NFL with Luke Kuechly, two of the best D-lineman in Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy, and a great supporting cast with guys like Star Lotulelei, Kony Ealy, Thomas Davis, Chase Blackburn, and others.
The Panthers go up against a revamped Bucs offense this Sunday at 4:15 PM ET, and they will proceed to shut down their new and old weapons – Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and especially Josh McCown.
The new Buccaneer QB will be sacked three times and toss two interceptions, while Martin, Jackson, and Evans will all produce less than 150 yards combined.
The Panthers D will help them route their NFC South rival in week one.