Inhabitants of the NFL give their biggest takeaways from week 1, including Aaron Rodgers' roller coaster one night and another dominant day for Tom Brady.
It is hard to know where to start, so let's start with this: The Detroit Lions are terrible.
That is it.
There is nothing else to say. Of course we can look up scores in the history books and find another season opener that was worse than Monday night in Ford Field.
If all you have to do is ask your father or your grandfather, and he will tell you the same sad story:
The lions give you hope, then the lions lose 30 against a rookie quarterback.
And even if you've never heard it before, you've heard a lot of it.
Once again …
The Lions have just revealed a new coach (Matt Patricia) and a so-called franchise quarterback with a huge contract (Matthew Stafford) and promising running people and a healthy attack line and … stop it.
It is always the same. Nobody can block it. Or pack. Or grab a pass if it counts. Or stop interceptions.
This is how a new era begins? You dip a toe in the water, you freeze by rest.
That is the long, sad history. You've heard it all before. Everything seen too. I felt it again and again – and a few more.
All lions reminded in their season opener Monday night why you can never trust them.
But it is early?
Okay, let's offer a perspective now, with that out of the way: it's early.
Only one game.
Ah, forget that too. The national shame of Monday night reminds you that New England assistant coaches did not win when they left Bill Belichick's cocoon. And that Patricia has much more to prove than before the opener.
Meanwhile … what happened to Stafford? He threw four interceptions. One was back for a landing.
He was not only inaccurate. He made bad decisions and played his worst game in years.
It is clear that someone has a cruel sense of humor. Stafford played some of his best football for the past two years.
He has the same recipients, the same coordinator and much the same offensive line.
Yet he seemed restless, as if playing with strangers.
That is also a mystery.
Patricia dragged down
Again, a little perspective: Patricia did not come in his pocket with pixie dust.
He came here with a plan. And no plan can make up for a lack of difference on the defense line or keep Ziggy Ansah healthy.
Ansah, the team's best rusher, hit the locker room halfway through the second quarter and took the hope that the defense had with him.
The often-injured star had two pockets before he hurt his shoulder. Without him the Lions could not put Darnold under pressure.
Not at all.
Even a rookie will, if given time, split a secondary NFL. Not that he had to. The defensive backs of the Lions could not cover a bed if they had a pile of blankets.
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The recipients of the Jets are free. Just like the running backs. And the problems that arose in the preseason came out on national television on Monday evening.
How appropriate. And how perfectly, comically not surprising.
Here came a man wrapped in the aura of the largest modern franchise of the NFL. A defensive guru with a beard, a pencil and the hope that he was the true one.
On Monday evening that hope collapsed under the weight of a nasty and depressing franchise.
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