Week 1 Recap: A Win, Despite Carson Wentz’s best efforts

Welcome to the recap blog, where we’ll take a look at the results from our previous weeks bets, as well as keep a running season total of our win loss record. Week to week results aren’t important, but I always liked the idea of tracking our bets to see how the season is going. Let’s get into it:

New England (-6.5) over Miami
We started off the year targeting a Patriots team that projected to be significantly worse after the loss of Tom Brady and a number of COVID-19 opt outs. What could go wrong?

Turns out, not much. The Dolphins weren’t able to do much against the stingy Patriots secondary, as Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 3 passes to Patriots defenders. On the ground, they averaged 3.2 yards per carry over 27 attempts. Meanwhile, the Patriots offensive line had their way with the Dolphins defense, allowing Cam Newton to rush for 75 yards on 15 carries (5.0 average) and 2 TDs. While the receiving core is still an issue for New England, Cam was still able to complete 79% of his passes (15/19), good for 8.2 yards per attempt. We had a minor sweat after Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry fumbled the ball out of the Miami endzone, which resulted in a turnover and Miami ball at the 20. The Dolphins capitalized on that opportunity, with a Jordan Howard 1 yard TD run capping off an 11 play, 80 yard drive. After a successful 2 point conversion, the game was within 3. New England then took more than 5 minutes off the clock on their next drive, which they finished off with a Sony Michel touchdown. The defense took care of the rest — the game ended with a JC Jackson interception.

Final score: New England 21, Miami 11

Philadelphia (-6.0) over Washington
We move onto our one loss of the week. Not only did the Eagles fail to cover, they fucking lost to a team without a fucking name. As it became clear that the Eagles weren’t going to cover, I found myself rooting for the Football Team in hopes that it would knock some people out of our survivor league. That’s degen life for you.

The game started out decently enough, with the Eagles taking a 10-0 lead after the first. Then the problems started. I wrote in the preview blog that the Football Team had one of the best defensive lines in all of football. We already knew that Eagles offensive starters G Brandon Brooks (achilles) and RT Andre Dillard (biceps) were going to miss, and then once news broke prior to kickoff that RT Lane Johnson (ankle) would also miss, we knew this was going to be a mismatch. I personally felt that Johnson had a good shot to play — he had been limited in practice — but either way, it seemed that Wentz shouldn’t have a problem with the Redskins secondary. I was wrong — Wentz ended up taking 8 sacks, threw two picks, lost a fumble, and failed to generate any kind of offense after the 1st quarter.

On the other side, QB Dwayne Haskins played safe, conservative football. He averaged a lightning quick 2.13 seconds to throw, and averaged a minuscule 5.7 yards per attempt. Even still, with his defense putting him in solid field position, it was more than enough to put points on the board. Haskins essentially did exactly what he needed to do.

Final score: Washington 27, Philadelphia 17

Baltimore (-9) over Cleveland
With 3 games going on during the 1PM slate, it was nice to have one where you didn’t even have to think about if you were going to cover. Lamar Jackson was highly efficient, both as a runner and a passer. The Browns did silly thing like not covering Mark Andrews in the end zone. The offense, much like last year, couldn’t be stopped.

A lot of people wondered if a new coaching regime could turn things around in Cleveland. If we can overreact to a week 1 game, no, they can’t. Baker Mayfield was brutal under pressure, completing just 2 of 10 passes for 25 yards. He targeted Odell Beckham 10 times, and Beckham only caught 3 balls. Outside of some decent runs from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (which don’t matter), the Browns offense was quite literally helpless.

Final score: Baltimore 38, Cleveland 6

LA Rams (+3) over Dallas
Moving onto the Sunday Night game, I felt fairly confident about this one after observing before kickoff that some books were offering this as a pick em. It’s a nice feeling when you get your bets in early and the closing lines move toward the model.

With a questionable offensive line, a quarterback that struggles under pressure, and the departure of Brandin Cooks, their deep receiving threat, the Rams logically adapted a dink and dunk passing strategy. Goff averaged 4.9 yards per target and 2.29 seconds to throw, which perfectly minimized these issues. Robert Woods was essentially always open — he hauled in 6 of 8 targets for 105 yards. On the ground, Malcolm Brown averaged 4.4 yards per carry on 18 attempts (79 yards).

Naturally, the Cowboys had tricks up their own sleeves. Zeke Elliot ended with 22 carries for 96 yards (4.4 average), and Amari Cooper caught 10 passes for 81 yards. Still, they had to deal with Aaron Donald, who put up a league best 10 pressures against constant double teams.

It was a close fight, with the Rams jumping out to a 3 point lead heading into the 4th that they never gave up. The Rams (and us) caught a lucky break with a ticky tack offensive pass interference call on Michael Gallup, but we’ll certainly take it.

Final score: LA Rams 20, Dallas 17

YTD Record: 3-1
Week 1: Week 1 Recap: A Win, Despite Carson Wentz’s best efforts (3-1)

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