Clyde Edwards-Helaire has a very clear lead for the NFL’s Offensive ROY award.
In case you’ve been hiding under a proverbial rock somewhere, Clyde Edwards-Helaire needed only a single week of professional football to establish himself as the next shining star in the Kansas City Chiefs already-brilliant offense.
The Chiefs rookie running back, showcased his elite balance, vision, and agility in the team’s Week 1 win over the Houston Texans and, in so doing, took a clear and commanding lead in the race for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
With 138 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on 25 rushes, Edwards-Helaire’s production wasn’t just elite for his offense, but the Chiefs back was actually the only running back to break the 100-yard mark through Week 1. Next up were Zeke Elliott and Christian McCaffrey, who both had 96 yards rushing in their first games of 2020.
Let’s take a look at some other heralded rookies and how they fared in our OROY rankings:
2. Joe Burrow, QB, CIN – 23 of 36 for 193 yards (0 TDs, 1 INT), 8 rushes for 46 yards (1 TD)
The final stat line won’t blow you away, but Burrow had Cincinnati in a position to beat the L.A. Chargers in Week 1 late if not for a iffy penalty call. Even then, the Bengals could have tied if kicker Randy Bullock didn’t come up short on an easy field goal. Remember Patrick Mahomes first start had the same sort of stat line at the end of the 2017 season, but the Chiefs knew they had a good one.
3. James Robinson, RB, JAX – 16 carries for 62 yards, 1 catch for 28 yards
Here’s a name no one saw coming. Robinson earned the starting RB role for the Jags heading into Week 1 and set a record for most yards in a debut by any UDFA running back in NFL history.
4. J.K. Dobbins, RB, BAL – 7 carries for 22 yards (2 TDs)
The rushing average isn’t great, but it was clear while watching the Ravens that Dobbins is going to be a significant add to an already tremendous run game in Baltimore.
5. CeeDee Lamb, WR, DAL – 5 catches for 59 yards
The Cowboys have other targets worthy of attention at receiver, but Lamb is going to blossom with more experience.
6. Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN – 4 catches for 56 yards
Jeudy’s stat line looks solid enough, but it was his precise route-running and technique—did you see that footwork?—against the Tennessee defense that showed he’s an impact player from Week 1.
7. Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND – 9 carries, 22 rushing yards, 6 catches for 67 yards
The rookie from Wisconsin didn’t find his legs rushing the ball for the Colts but he showed solid hands out of the backfield. With Marlon Mack injured, Taylor is going to earn plenty more touches in his rookie year.
8. Joshua Kelley, RB, LAC – 12 carries for 60 yards (1 TD)
9. Henry Ruggs, WR, LVR – 3 catches for 55 yards
Ruggs left for a bit on Sunday with a leg injury, but the Raiders got enough of a glimpse of his game-altering speed to know they got this pick right.
10. Laviska Shenault, Jr., WR, JAX– 3 catches for 37 yards (1 TD), 2 carries for 10 yards
The Jags have another impressive rookie on the offensive side in Shenault, and the team tried to take full advantage of his versatility in a win over the Colts.
- Jalen Reagor, WR, PHI – 1 catch for 55 yards
- Cam Akers, RB, LAR – 14 carries for 39 yards, 1 catch for 4 yards
- Chase Claypool, WR, PIT – 2 catches for 38 yards, 1 run for 8 yards
- D’Andre Swift, RB, DET- 3 carries for 8 yards (1 TD), 3 catches for 15 yards
- Van Jefferson, WR, LAR – 1 catch for 31 yards
- Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN – 2 catches for 26 yards
- Quentez Cephus, WR, DET – 3 catches for 43 yards
Arizona Cardinals Week One MVP
After an intense battle between both teams in week one, the Arizona Cardinals managed to come away with the victory thanks to DeAndre Hopkins
The game ball for the offense could go either way, but DeAndre Hopkins played phenomenal in his season debut with the Arizona Cardinals. Hopkins finished with a career high in receptions with 14.
Despite Kyler Murray throwing over 200 passing yards and rushing for 100 against the second ranked San Francisco defense, Hopkins was the game changer. In his first game in an Arizona uniform, Hopkins finished with 14 receptions and over 100 yards.
Hopkins also had eight first downs, which kept the Cardinals in the game offensively. There was no answer for the Niners no matter what kind of defense they ran against Hopkins, and it showed.
When it seemed like the Cardinals were about to get off the field, Murray found Hopkins again and again for first down conversions. He hopes to do it again next week against Washington.
On the defensive side of the ball, the game ball could go to the entire defense. Last season, the 49ers were one of the best teams in the league offensively – ending up top five in total yards and rushing yards.
In Sunday’s matchup against the worst ranked defense in the league just a year ago, the Niners were bested by the Arizona Cardinals’ defense. Patrick Peterson only had the ball thrown his way three times, allowing no receptions, and Chandler Jones, Zach Allen, and newcomer Angelo Blackson all had a sack. Arizona’s defense also only allowed two third-down conversion on 12 attempts, and allowed less than 100 rushing yards.
One player on the defense who could be given the game ball, however, is Budda Baker. Baker finished the game with four and a half tackles, and was all over the field throughout. In one Niners possession, he had three and a half tackles.
Baker finished the game with 15 combined tackles. He hopes to have an even better game next Sunday when the Cardinals head back to Arizona.
Atlanta Falcons: Qadree Ollison must be part of the scheme moving forward
The Atlanta Falcons need Qadree Ollison in short yard situations.
Last week when the Atlanta Falcons took on the Seattle Seahawks, running back Qadree Ollison was inactive. Since he was not listed on the injury report in Week 1 or on the Week 2 injury report, the only assumption is that they did not want to carry four active running backs.
However, that decision backfired the moment they tried to run Brian Hill in short yard situations.
Running backs Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, and Brian Hill are all very similar in running styles and abilities – Ollison is not at all similar. He is the big bruising back that can follow a fullback into a hole and pick up the yards that the Falcons need whether it on the goal-line or just a short-yardage situation.
Last week, the Atlanta Falcons were 0-4 on fourth down attempts. On three of those attempts, the Falcons had three or fewer yards to gain. On all four attempts, Dirk Koetter had Matt Ryan drop back to pass because Gurley, Smith, or Hill are not the type of running back that can bruise their way to a first down.
This was an issue last year as well for the Atlanta Falcons.
Last season, Ollison was inactive for the first eight weeks of the season. However, he ended up with 9 carries that required three or fewer yards and he scored four touchdowns and picked up five first downs. In every short yardage situation last season that involved him, he delivered. They missed that against the Seahawks last Sunday.
We can keep saying that offense wasn’t the problem in Week 1 because the Atlanta Falcons had nearly 500 yards of offense but the fact remains that situational offense led by terrible game planning and scheming was a huge problem and has to be corrected immediately.
Regardless of what the defense does the rest of the season, the offense has to be more efficient and has to sustain drives in order to give the defense a break. Seven of the Falcons 12 drives were six or fewer plays and 10 of the 12 drives were less than 10 plays.
Having a short-yardage back available could have changed a lot of variables in this game and that is something that the offensive staff has to consider moving forward.
Buffalo Bills: Keys to victory and final score prediction for Week 2
With the season and home opener for the Buffalo Bills in the books as a victory, how will they do on the road against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2?
After beating the New York Jets at home in Week 1, the Buffalo Bills face yet another AFC East rival in the Miami Dolphins. This is another game that the Bills are expected to win, but the Dolphins made some key additions to their roster this offseason that makes them a tougher opponent than perceived by national media.
Although the Dolphins lost in Week 1 to the New England Patriots, they put up a good fight as they were only losing by three until a Patriots touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. The Dolphins did a good job limiting the Patriots passing attack by only allowing 155 yards passing from Patriots quarterback Cam Newton. However, what they denied in the passing game, the Dolphins defense allowed in the running game with the Patriots gaining 217 total yards rushing in week one.
As for the Bills in Week 1, their matchup with the New York Jets was almost never in question. Aside from a couple of Josh Allen fumbles and kicking yips from rookie Tyler Bass, the foot never left the gas pedal. After a 21-0 first half lead, the Jets did mount a small comeback after the departure of both Bills starting linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano due to injuries. At the end of the day, the Buffalo defense was too much for Sam Darnold and the Jets offense to keep any consistency scoring points.
Now, the Bills head into Week 2 hoping to keep their winning ways and not be too impacted by the absence of both starting linebackers. These are the keys to the game for the Buffalo Bills and a final score prediction.
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