Week 1 of the regular season began strong for the NFC East, with all teams showing promise. The two matchups were both entertaining to watch, with breakouts and breakdowns. Clara Lilley takes us through the highs and lows of NFC East Week one.
No one expected Keenum to start so strongly. In the first two quarters, the Eagles defense were at a loss to contain him. He threw for 380 yards for 3 touchdowns touchdowns. He made a spectacular throw downfield to veteran Vernon Davis for 48 yards. Washington were unable to stop the Eagles in the second half of the game but little of this was down to Keenum. Coming into this game, there were questions around Keenum’s ability to evade pressure with Trent Williams’ hold out continuing. Donald Penn was able to protect Keenum against the Philadelphia defense and give him space to make plays.
Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz was the polar opposite to Keenum in the division match up. His performance began slowly. He was unable to make plays downfield to his receivers. He didn’t look the the potential Hall of Fame quarterback we’d been promised. When the Eagles were trailing by 17, Wentz sprung into action. He threw a 48 yard touchdown to find DeSean in the end zone for the first touchdown of the day. He threw into coverage, evaded pocket pressure and made plays. Philadelphia came from behind from their first half score to win 32-27.. He looked every bit a superstar the hype dictates.
The Cowboys showed the world why they lay claim to the title of America’s team. They failed to stop the Giants on their opening drive, but once they settled themselves in, they were unrelenting. The defense held the Giants to 14 points, forcing 3 fumbles for two recoveries.
On the other side of the ball, Dak Prescott showed everyone why he’s their franchise quarterback. He was able to evade pressure, connect downfield and find space where very few could. He threw for 405 yards, completing 25 of 32 attempts for 4 touchdowns. The options Prescott had to throw to helped. There we so many it made them almost impossible to cover. Amari Cooper’s speed and reach made him a key target. With nine receptions, he was the favourite. Second year Michael Gallup found space down the field, too, completing all 7 of his catches for 158 yards. The Cowboys look dangerous this season.
The Giants Defense
The Giants lost the season opener for the eighth time in nine years, including the last two. One of the targets on Gettleman’s list in the offseason was to score some strong defensive players. Instead they signed veterans Markus Golden and Olsen Pierre, who previously played under the Cardinals. The Giants only had two hits and no sacks on Cowboys Dak Prescott, who finished with the rare perfect passer rating of 158.3. He was able to win with his arm, not with his legs.
Derrius Guice’s injury
Washington Redskins running back exited the game early for a visit to the medical tent, giving seventh year back Chris Thompson the majority of targets. Guice had been an explosive part of the Washington offense in the first half of the game. Guice rushed 10 times for 18 yards and caught 3 passes for 20 yards as the Redskins. He showed he was worthy of the starting job. It is reported that he is suffering from a meniscus tear in his knee, which will lead him to miss games. The former second-round pick missed his entire 2018 rookie season due to a torn ACL, and was hoping to prove himself this season.
This news should bring Adrian Peterson back into Washington’s plans, just days after Peterson was listed as inactive for the season opener. He will be the team’s primary option in the running game, though as we saw this week, Thompson will see plenty of work, too. It’s a stunning blow to a promising second year ready to come back from injury and play a big part in the Washington offense.
Clara is an avid NFL fan, with a passion for the off the field stories that inform the plays on the field. She used to host a former comedy podcast ‘Ice Up Sun’ combining her love of the game with astrology, and currently contributes to NFL Girl UK. A long suffering Tennessee Titans fan since 2010, she’s hoping this will finally be their year.
Twitter: @yellilaralc Instagram: @yellilaralc
Photo Credit: dallascowboys.com