Further Review

Steve Hummer's Further Review blog offers comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports

Snap judgments from Week 1 in NFL

If you insist upon jumping to irresponsible and rash conclusions based on the first week of the NFL season, well, good for you. We need your type here on the digital platform, where rashness is the clover we all graze upon.

Given a whole 1/16th of the season to assay, we can say with false certainty that this is going to be a mostly non-competitive year. Halftime will be nap time. Only five of the 15 games that Irma allowed in Week 1 were decided by single digits, only three of those by less than a touchdown. Average margin of victory for this entire batch: 13.6 points.

The Falcons were among the few games that went down to the final play, as they denied the Chicago Bears four times from five yards out. Based on this showing, it’s patently obvious that the defending NFC champion will slog its way through an offensively challenged campaign and turn its 2017 into a grim stalemate mindful of WWI.

Certainly, there’s no way this team next will feed off the immense energy of a home opener in a new stadium on the exaggerated stage of a Sunday night and break out of this malaise.

Other assumptions for the rest of the season are just as concrete:

At least the Falcons can discount their arch-rival, the Saints, after their Monday night showing in Minnesota. Drew Brees will never trouble them again.

It looks like the Patriots are as done as disco. After all, they never come back from seemingly hopeless beginnings.

Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, whose recent contract extension made him the NFL’s highest-paid player (an average of $27 million a year for five years) should get a raise after throwing for four touchdowns in a 12-point victory over Arizona. He now is the quarterback upon whom all others must model themselves.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, who have averaged just less than four wins a season for the past six, are unstoppable. A 22-point win over Houston on Sunday was just the beginning of a quest to uplift their water-logged hometown.

And for gamblers everywhere: Put the mortgage on Cleveland all year long. A 10-point underdog to Pittsburgh, the Browns lost by only three. They are anywhere between a touchdown- to 9-point dog to Baltimore in Week 2. You just have to risk it all on the Browns, for they never disappoint.

There. Isn’t it great to have the plot of this movie all figured out before they’ve finished rolling the opening credits?

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About the Author

Steve Hummer writes sports features for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He covers a wide range of sports and topics.