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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

15 Biggest disappointments of NFL Week 1

Andy Dalton thumb

Some teams and players entered the 2017 NFL season with big expectations. These include players who were drafted highly, signed for a lot of money, or simply have shown us in the past that they’re capable of playing well. But they’re not the only ones who had high expectations they failed to live to in Week 1. Many coaches, teams, and position groups also failed to perform. Here’s a look at the 15 biggest disappointments of Week 1 in the NFL.

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals

Few athletes were more disappointing in Week 1 than Andy Dalton. Bengals fans have to be wondering how they waited all season for that performance from the QB. Dalton went 16 of 31 for 170 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions in a 20-0 loss to the Ravens. Dalton also was sacked five times, and his 28.4 passer rating was the second-worst of his career. The outing was reminiscent of Dalton’s stinker against the Browns in 2014 when he was intercepted three times and threw for just 86 yards. Cincinnati ended up shut out in their home opener for the first time since 1979.

New England Patriots’ defense

Who saw this one coming? The Patriots raised their fifth championship banner prior to hosting their opener on Thursday night against the Chiefs, and they seemed well on their way to another strong season early on. And then the wheels came off. The Patriots allowed a 75-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill, who had 133 receiving yards. They gave up a 58-yard run to Kareem Hunt, who finished with 148 rushing yards and a score. They also gave up a 78-yard pass to Hunt, who scored twice in the air. When it was all said and done, the Patriots’ defense had allowed 42 points and 537 yards — both the most of the Bill Belichick era.

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

Le’Veon Bell looked a little rusty in his first game since returning from his holdout. The Pittsburgh Steelers back rushed for just 32 yards on 10 carries. He only had three catches on six targets for 15 yards. The game marked one of the lowest rushing totals he’s posted since 2015 (he also rushed for 32 yards last year against the Ravens). The 47 total yards was his fewest since the fourth game of his rookie season.

Houston Texans’ offensive line

The Houston Texans’ offensive line is probably going to be torn apart in the film room. The Texans gave up 10 — count ’em, 10 — sacks to the Jaguars, which was a franchise record for Jacksonville and sparked a new nickname for the team. The 10 sacks allowed was the most ever for Houston. And it didn’t really matter who was at QB, either. Tom Savage took six sacks in the first half, and Deshaun Watson was sacked four times in the second half. The only winner in this situation is left tackle Duane Brown, who gains some leverage in his holdout with Houston.

Kevin White, WR, Bears

Calling someone who goes down with an injury a disappointment might not be the fairest thing, but it’s hard to view what’s happened with White as anything other than disappointing. White exited Chicago’s season-opener with a shoulder injury that reporters later said looked like a collarbone injury. He had just two catches for six yards before that. White was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 draft but missed that whole season with a shin injury. He then played in only four games last year before fracturing his leg. This was just his fifth game and he’s failed to crack 200 career receiving yards. Antonio Brown nearly eclipsed that total in one game Sunday.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins

Kirk Cousins’ overall numbers from Week 1 don’t look too bad; he threw for 240 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 30. But it’s in the turnover department where he really hurt his team. Cousins threw for an interception and lost two fumbles. The big one was a fumble lost that was returned by Philly for a touchdown with 1:29 left in the game. That turnover and touchdown took away Washington’s chance for a comeback and sealed the Eagles’ 30-17 win. Cousins’ interception came in the end zone and ruined Washington’s attempt to take a lead in the fourth quarter.

New York Jets’ “rushing attack”

We all know that the New York Jets are in a rebuilding year. They’re starting Josh McCown at quarterback and jettisoned most of their veteran talent. It’s clear they’re playing for a top draft pick. Still, they need to be able to show more on offense, especially on the ground. The Jets ran the ball just 15 times for 38 yards, good for a pathetic 2.5 average per attempt. Bilal Powell had seven carries for 22 yards, and Matt Forte rushed six times for 16 yards. Jets fans are prepared for a long season, but things will be even more unbearable if they’re unable to run the ball at least a little bit.

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