Paylor: Five things I liked from Week 1’s games

Paylor: Five things I liked from Week 1’s games,

Green Bay over Chicago) and epic disappointments (Cleveland netting a tie despite winning the turnover battle 6-1). We had epic blowouts (as Buffalo and Detroit fans can attest) and so many big plays that the New Orleans-Tampa Bay game essentially morphed into a track meet in the second quarter.’ data-reactid=”32″>We had epic comebacks (Green Bay over Chicago) and epic disappointments (Cleveland netting a tie despite winning the turnover battle 6-1). We had epic blowouts (as Buffalo and Detroit fans can attest) and so many big plays that the New Orleans-Tampa Bay game essentially morphed into a track meet in the second quarter.

Oh yes, it was a great weekend for the NFL, which means the league will surely do something this week to annoy everyone again. Maybe it’ll enact another ill-fated policy that will alienate half its fanbase, or it’ll institute a new rule that is roundly hated. When times are good in the NFL, you just know something wicked this way comes.

But until then, we should absolutely enjoy this moment. So, let’s jump into my first “5 Things I Enjoyed” column, which I plan to write after every week of NFL action. The goal here is to bring attention to the most interesting things I saw during my review of the week’s action, most of which is informed by the hours I spend watching the all-22 coaches tape, all in hopes of being a more informed football writer, so I can then inform you.

Over the next several months, I hope to keep stuffing this thing with deep football analysis and amusing observations, all in my never-ending quest to be the dorkiest football writer in America (if the shoe fits, wear it, right?).

Without further ado, let’s go:

Tyreek Hill did here — sprinting to create a little misdirection at the mesh point. But I’ve never seen it executed this way, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes flipping the ball to Hill shortly before executing the fake to Kareem Hunt, the running back. You can tell the Chargers haven’t either because everyone was fooled.’ data-reactid=”44″>This is just … beautiful. By now, fans (and defenses) are so used to seeing running backs receive handoffs out of shotgun, they almost get lulled to sleep by it, even with a receiver — like Tyreek Hill did here — sprinting to create a little misdirection at the mesh point. But I’ve never seen it executed this way, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes flipping the ball to Hill shortly before executing the fake to Kareem Hunt, the running back. You can tell the Chargers haven’t either because everyone was fooled.

This isn’t the last time we’ll see this type of action on this zone-read play. Teams have long looked at Reid’s Chiefs for inspiration when it comes to spread-game concepts, and given the trickery involved — and the effectiveness of it — it won’t be long before you see a team steal this.

Let’s stay with the Chiefs for a minute, and let’s do it because second-year pro Patrick Mahomes is worthy of our attention. While Mahomes will have some growing pains this year, his four-touchdown effort on Sunday was outstanding, and his first TD pass, a 58-yard laser to Tyreek Hill, is going to give defensive coordinators nightmares.

Steelers wait on Le’Veon Bell.’ data-reactid=”67″>Aside from a fumble late in the fourth, Conner looked awesome. As long as the fumbling doesn’t become a thing, he showed he’s capable of handling a bigger workload while the Steelers wait on Le’Veon Bell.

Amari Cooper next to left tackle Kolton Miller, the Raiders had five men on the right side of the formation to block the Rams’ five on that side of the box? That’s an even-count box, and any offense worth its salt will take those odds.’ data-reactid=”77″>Notice how, on this play, by motioning Amari Cooper next to left tackle Kolton Miller, the Raiders had five men on the right side of the formation to block the Rams’ five on that side of the box? That’s an even-count box, and any offense worth its salt will take those odds.

Again, the Rams figured this out in the second half, and much of their ability to shut down the Raiders had lots to do with their superior talent. But these “tight” formations were still a nice wrinkle to get a numbers advantage and cause confusion, so much so that multiple Rams apparently didn’t realize what these personnel packages were, even once the game was over.

Based on the Raiders’ performance Monday night, Gruden will need to pull out more stuff like this to coax more than the six wins the Raiders netted last season.

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