Week 1 Monday Night Football Recap: What We Learned
The first week of Monday Night Football is in the books. Check that, the first week of the 2014 NFL season, period, is now a thing of the past. Oh, and what a glorious week it was. The Lions and Giants fortunately weren’t out capper for the week, as the Chargers and Cardinals gave us a nice “to the end” gritty battle that was worth staying up late to finish.
We learned more than just the scores (Arizona won, 18-17 and Lions crushed the Giants, 35-14), though. Let’s break down the top things we learned from both MNF games:
The Giants Aren’t Very Good
I’m not sure we “learned” this or that it’s even remotely surprising, but it probably needs to be said. Eli Manning is simply not on the same page with his wide receivers and even New York’s new pass defense has holes in it. There is still promise on the defensive front for the G-Men, but unless Manning and co. can get it together on offense, their efforts will prove to be futile.
The Chargers and Cardinals Can Play D
Perhaps it was just horrible offense, but from the looks of it, both San Diego and Arizona have solid defenses. It probably didn’t look that way coming in, though, as Arizona was playing without three key defenders and the Bolts were among the league’s worst against the pass in 2013.
That all was different on MNF. Arizona was still gritty and aggressive and San Diego’s pass defense was fairly stingy in the first half. Both defenses loosened up a bit in the second half, but their early efforts were promising.
Andre Ellington is Fine
Ellington hurt his foot in practice last week and some said he’d be out 4-6 weeks. He didn’t sit this game out and really didn’t miss a beat. He probably played less than he would at 100%, but he looked quite spry. He should be even better in week two.
Larry Fitzgerald, the Forgotten Man
Fitzgerald seems to be being phased out of AZ’s passing game, as he caught just one pass on three targets. The worst part is he didn’t see his first pass until deep into the second half. Could this be a sign of things to come?
San Diego Needs to Show the Love
The Chargers also had issues getting the ball to difference-makers, as athletic tight end Ladarius Green was used sparingly and shifty running back Danny Woodhead (76 receptions in 2013) caught just one pass.
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