8 Takeaways From Last Night's Game
I didn't start Kareem Hunt. That's something I'm going to regret all year.
In case you missed it, last night the NFL season began with the New England Patriots vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, and it was a wild one.
Almost everyone predicted that the Patriots would win by a large margin, but the Chiefs came to play and won 42-27, which is the most points scored against the Patriots since Bill Belichick has been head coach.
The defending Super Bowl champs looked pretty terrible in the second half, much to the surprise of everyone, including myself.
But, it was an awesome game to start the season off with (the Patriots losing is always awesome), and there are quite a few things I learned from it that I think are worthy of sharing, starting with Kareem Hunt.
1. Don't Bench Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt showed us he is the real deal. After fumbling on his first NFL carry, he rebounded and ended up with 148 rushing yards, 98 receiving yards, and three total touchdowns. In standard scoring, he racked up 40.6 points.
What. A. Start. His 246 total yards are the most a rookie has ever had in Week 1. It's also the 6th best rookie RB performance in the last 15 years. That's crazy.
I'll admit it, in two of the three leagues that I own Hunt, I benched him. I'm dumb. I knew that Hunt was going to be good this year, but I had other "better" RBs and wanted to wait to see how he played. My mistake. I'll never bench Hunt again, and I already changed my team names to: Krispy Kareem, Kareem of the Crop, and Get Kareemed.
As the bellcow, Hunt looks like a legit RB1. I know it's only one game, but if this is a preview of what he's going to do for the rest of the season, I'm all in.
2. Chris Hogan Isn't Who We Thought He Was
Ever since Edelman was ruled out for the season, everyone believed Chris Hogan would be the one to benefit and see an increase in targets. Last night showed us we were all wrong. Hogan had one reception for eight yards, and 17 rushing yards. Instead, it was Danny Amendola that got the receptions and the yards.
Hogan looked slow and uninspired; not like the Hogan of last year. To be fair, Tom Brady looked off, too, but Hogan showed that he shouldn't be starting in any lineups in the near future. However, it's clear that the Patriots want him involved, so next week could prove me wrong. Until I see good production and usage, I'm keeping him on my bench.
3. Brandin Cooks Will Be Just Fine
Fantasy owners may have been a little frustrated by Brandin Cook's 8.8 points. But, if you watched the game, you saw that Cooks had some big plays that were called back due to penalties. In other words, his night could've been much bigger.
I don't think Cooks owners need to worry at all. He had seven targets and caught three of them (with one being a 58-yard bomb), and I think he'll still be Brady's biggest weapon this season.
4. Patriots Defense Is On The Struggle Bus
If you started the Patriots D last night, then you started off the season with a negative score. Thanks, Pats.
The Patriots D really struggled last night, especially in the second half, and their pass rush was nonexistent, letting Alex Smith have all the time in the world. Now you know: if Alex Smith isn't pressured, he can look like a legit QB.
With that said, I think the Patriots D will bounce back with the rest of the team, and I'm not too worried about them.
5. Tyreek Hill Always Finds A Way To Score
Tyreek Hill has lightning, Olympic-level speed, and finds a way to score touchdowns (reminds me of David Johnson). Hill has now scored a 65+ touchdown in five games in a row. That's insane.
That statistic right there should be enough reason to start him. On a blown coverage play last night, Tyreek had a 75 yard touchdown, and he had a total of 133 receiving yards. If not for that blown coverage play, the Pats would've shut Hill down pretty well.
I'm plugging Hill in my lineups for the foreseeable future. When a player is that fast and that talented, he's going to keep scoring and finding ways to make big plays.
6. Gronk Failed
During the game, my wife turned to me and said "Why is Gronk doing so bad?"
I gave her a couple reasons:
1. Because Brady is doing so bad. Brady only had 16 completions the whole game. Yes, the Chiefs defense is really good, but Brady was also over throwing and under throwing his receivers all game. He looked off and lost.
2. Gronk wasn't expected to blow up. He had the toughest possible matchup (the Chiefs are #1 against tight ends). However, he also had a touchdown called back, which would've silenced and fantasy complaints.
Gronk will get his and Gronk smash again. Don't worry, folks.
7. Mike Gillislee = Goal Line Back?
One of the most interesting things about the game was seeing how the Patriots would utilize their four RBs. Belichick finally revealed his plan, as Mike Gillislee was the goal-line and short-yardage back, while the other three rotated in and out. Gillislee had three touchdowns, all within the five-yard line.
However, this should all be taken with some caution. Belichick likes to switch game plans frequently, so what we saw last night may not be what we see next week. With that said, I still think Gillislee will stay the goal-line back, and holds weekly value based on those goal-line carries alone.
8. Travis Kelce Needs To Go To Anger Management
Seriously, someone give this guy a chill pill. After getting ejected last season for mocking the refs and throwing his towel, Kelce punched a football into a Patriots player's crotch (below). He was penalized 15 yards for taunting, and Kelce's anger issues are building week-by-week. What will he do next week?
What did you learn from last night's game? Let me know in the comments!
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