15 Biggest disappointments of NFL Week 1
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
Like Kirk Cousins, turnovers were Carson Palmer’s undoing on Sunday. The Cardinals quarterback threw three interceptions, including a pick-six, as Arizona blew a 17-9 third quarter lead in Detroit. Palmer’s first two interceptions happened when Arizona was approaching midfield. The good field position translated to six points for Detroit. Then with Arizona down 28-17 late and trying to mount a comeback, Palmer threw an immediate pick-six to make it 35-17.
Tavon Austin, WR, Rams
Few players in the league are getting paid more to do less than Austin. Tavon Austin’s role with the Rams is dwindling under the new coaching staff, but he still needs to make a greater impact than he is. He had just one catch for seven yards, two rushing attempts for 11 yards, and he muffed a punt in a blowout win against the Colts. The Rams signed Austin to a six-year, $56.14 million deal prior to last season. He needs to do more to try and earn his money.
Kyle Shanahan, HC, 49ers
Shanahan was supposed to bring a new era to the 49ers, which have been in a tailspin since pushing Jim Harbaugh out the door. Unfortunately it was more of the same in Shanny’s debut with the team. San Francisco’s offense was largely ineffective against Carolina’s defense. They failed to score a touchdown in the game and barely surpassed the 200-yard mark on offense. Even when they had a great shot after getting a turnover and beginning at Carolina’s 31, they turned it over at the goal line and failed to score any points. Shanahan is supposed to be an offensive wizard. Guess things are a lot tougher when you don’t have Matt Ryan and Julio Jones as weapons.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks
Eddie Lacy is turning into a bust in front of our eyes. A former second-round pick, Lacy began his career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for Green Bay and scored 24 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Then injuries and ineffectiveness began to take their course for Lacy, whose dedication to the game became questioned. He became more and more overweight and had to be incentivized by Seattle to drop some pounds. In his first game with the Seahawks, he rushed for just three yards on five carries. Both C.J. Prosise and Chris Carson were more effective on the ground than him. And this is without Thomas Rawls in the lineup for Seattle. Lacy could find himself fourth string and released by Seattle before too long.
Indianapolis Colts’ defense
Yes, Indy’s offense — and especially Scott Tolzien — deserve a mention for being bad, but the issue is few expected much out of them, which means they had low expectations and no room to disappoint. That’s not the case for the Colts’ defense, which couldn’t have asked for a better Week 1 matchup than facing last year’s worst offense in the league. Indy made Jared Goff look like Peyton Manning, allowing the second-year QB to have the best game of his career. They gave up 310 passing yards and two rushing TDs. The Colts didn’t force any turnovers (the lone turnover came on special teams) and they only had one sack. Sure, Indy’s defense had no help from their offense, which failed to sustain drives and put them in bad positions all game, but much more is expected from them than this.
New York Giants’ offense
The New York Giants went 11-5 last season and made the playoffs, but they had the worst offense of all NFC teams in the postseason. They were 26th in the league in points and 25th in offensive yards. 2017 is turning out to be more of the same. The Giants were held to 3 points against the Dallas Cowboys. They only cracked 200 yards of total offense in their final drive with under two minutes left in the game. The offense was missing top playmaker Odell Beckham Jr., yet you would still expect them to do more. Despite being 27 of 36 — a high percentage — Eli Manning missed key passes, including one late to Brandon Marshall that could have gone for a big gain. He also had a critical interception in the fourth quarter. The Giants’ running game was non-existent. There’s only so much that defense can do to win games without getting help from the O.
Kenny Britt, WR, Browns
The Cleveland Browns decided not to pony up to keep Terrelle Pryor, so they signed Kenny Britt as a consolation. They spent big money on him too, giving him a four-year, $32.5 million contract that included $10.5 million guaranteed. In his Browns debut, Britt completely disappointed. He had just one catch for 13 yards and was targeted only three times. He also had a brutal drop over the middle. Corey Coleman looks like he’s going to be more of the primary receiver in Cleveland rather than Britt.
Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens
Injuries continue to prevent Danny Woodhead from reaching his potential. Woodhead left the Ravens’ first game on their first drive with a hamstring injury. He also had a hamstring injury that limited him in training camp and the preseason. The scatback is coming off a torn ACL that ended his 2016 season early and limited him to two games. Baltimore will hope Woodhead doesn’t miss much time because he looked like a natural fit for Joe Flacco. He caught all three of his targets for 33 yards and rushed once for four yards on the team’s opening drive. Buck Allen and Terrance West saw the most carries with Woodhead out.