By the time this article gets posted, the entire first week of the NFL preseason will be in the books. No, I am not putting Dak Prescott in the Hall of Fame after his performance Saturday night. Shockingly, a lot of people are. The overreaction amongst NFL fans never ceases to amaze me. However, there are a few takeaways I am comfortable with. Here’s a few NFL week 1 preseason takeaways.
Football is back in Los Angeles and it is awesome
In their return to LA, the Rams drew just under 90,000 people. Keep in mind this is a preseason opener for a team that is likely going nowhere this year. Can we please end the myth that LA will not support NFL football? Combine that with stunning visuals like the one below and the fact that America’s second largest media market did not have an NFL team for the last 22 years becomes all the more ridiculous.
The NFL’s grand plan to eliminate kickoffs is backfiring
Make no mistake, the NFL wants the kickoff to become a thing of the past. I do not like it, but I understand it. The kickoff is a very violent play and in the concussion obsessed world of 2016, I see where the league is coming from. However, this is not ballet. Fortunately, the league may outsmarted itself by moving touchbacks out to the 25 yard line. At least for a week, it increased the number of kickoffs. We had three touchdowns on kickoff returns an one on a punt return this week. Additionally, kickoff and punt coverage was atrocious throughout the league. The lack of live hitting in the offseason really shows up on special teams early in the year.
The top two draft picks are in for long years
Jared Goff’s NFL career began with a bone crushing hit that led to an interception in LA Saturday. Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz was greeted with broken ribs. I was not particularly high on either guy coming out of college. It has been widely speculated that neither the Rams nor Eagles want to see their rookie quarterbacks play much regular season ball in 2016. In fact the Eagles, have pretty much confirmed that. Given their shaky debuts, that seems to be a wise course of action for both organizations.
The Browns are still the Browns
I am not sure any single piece of video better sums up the current state of an NFL team than the one below does the Cleveland Browns. They surrendered three safeties in Green Bay Saturday night. The worst of them came when rookie backup quarterback Cody Kessler ran out of the back of the end zone. Yes, new head coach Hue Jackson has improved the team quite a bit on paper, but this play is a sobering reminder of how far he and the Browns have to go. Thanks to USA Sports on YouTube for capturing this moment of football folly greatness.