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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1) What a fun opening week of NFL football. We saw numerous games come down to the wire, the Oakland Raiders went for the win with a 2 point conversion, three quarterbacks threw for 4 touchdowns, we saw a 98 yard play, the Kansas City Chiefs came back to win after trailing by 17 with a little more than 13 minutes to go in the game.

What was your favorite game to watch from week 1?

2) So maybe there’s something to that whole spread the ball around theory in Detroit now that Calvin Johnson is retired. Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford targeted eight different players on the afternoon, and five of them he targeted five or more times. Stafford was 31 of 39, for 340 yards and 3 TDs in Detroit’s 39-35 win over the Colts.

3) Is the Robert Griffin III era already over in Cleveland?

The Browns have placed RGIII on injured reserve after suffering an injury to his left (non throwing shoulder). The new NFL injury designation rules state that teams don’t have to announce if their players are on season ending IR or not, so there’s a chance RGIII can return this season.

But his unfortunate injury means we’ll get to see ex-Bear Josh McCown under center for Cleveland. RGIII is under contract for another year, but they’d only be on the hook for $1.75 million if they cut him loose before the 2017 season.

I wonder if Browns’ brass are regretting not picking a QB in the 2016 Draft?

That meme is just plain mean if you’re a Browns fan.

4) Speaking of mean Tweets...

Well not exactly mean, but did you see the shot that Raiders coach Jack Del Rio took at ESPN after they Tweeted this?

Jack Del Rio ain’t got time for your stinking win probability models.

5) It’s only one game, but it seems the David Johnson hype was real. He caught 4 balls for 43 yards and rushed 16 times for 89 yards (5.56ypc) and a TD for the Arizona Cardinals.

6) If any of you stayed up for the late Monday Night Game, I’m sorry. But this is well worth your time to listen to.

I’m serious. Do it now.

7) That first MNF game was much better and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is going to be really, really good this year.

Is there a better #2 running back in the NFL than Pittsburgh’s 33 year old DeAngelo Williams?

8) Over the Hill Matt Forte (30 yrs old), rushed 22 times for 96 yards (4.36ypc) and caught 5 passes for 59 yards.

9) Many Chicago Bears fans are still stung about missing out on Aaron Donald in the 2014 NFL Draft, but them missing out on Leonard Williams in the 2015 may start to sting as well.

Donald went to the Rams one pick before the Bears grabbed Kyle Fuller at 14th overall and Williams went to the Jets at 6, right before the Bears grabbed Kevin White.

Donald has been all that and more, but Williams, who had a solid rookie year, just racked up 2.5 sacks, 5 QB hits and 6 total tackles against the Cincinnati Bengals.

10) Here’s a dilemma for the Chicago Bears coaches...

They obviously like the versatility of rookie OLB Leonard Floyd, with him starting and playing 80% of their defensive snaps, most among all Chicago OLBs. His ability to cover tight ends man to man down the seam and drop into zone coverage is something coordinator Vic Fangio likes to play around with.

But would the Bears be better off using Floyd and his 4.60 forty speed off the edge to harass QBs or to cover receivers?

A better pass rush will force QBs to throw quicker and allow Chicago’s coverage to cover for less time, so if the other pass rushers on the Bears are consistently getting home, then they can drop Floyd into coverage.

But if Willie Young, Lamar Houston, Eddie Goldman and company aren’t breaking loose quick enough, then Floyd and the other Bears’ back in coverage will be left to cover for far too long, something we saw last year.

I think the Bears will continue to use Floyd in a variety of ways until he learns more pass rush moves and counter moves, but once his full arsenal of pass rush skills is ready to unleash, I see him spending most of his time in the opposition’s backfield.