Sep
18
2020

Buy Or Sell: NFL’s Week 1 Losers

16 teams were sent home with losses during Week 1. Some teams had encouraging performances despite the loss while others were comically bad. Here is a look at whose stock you should buy and whose stock you should sell.

Houston Texans: Buy after Week 2

While the Texans did lose by 14 on opening night, they played the best team in the NFL. Deshaun Watson was off at some points, but he should round into form in the coming weeks. His wide receivers did not play well, but that is likely due to a lack of reps rather than a lack of talent. Houston has dynamic players on the offense, and even David Johnson flashed some of his 2016 forms. The defense is full of question marks, but they will not have to play the Chiefs again during the regular season.

Baltimore could blow them out in Week 2, but be sure to buy the stock after Week 2 as Houston’s schedule lightens up. Pittsburgh will present a problem in Week 3, but the Texans should win four of the six games following a rough start. It will pick up for Watson and the offense.

Indianapolis Colts: Sell now

While the Colts have a talented offense and defense, Philip Rivers is a mess.

That’s right, despite playing behind the best offensive line in football, Rivers still managed to toss away the game with yet another interception.

At least the defense played up to snuff, right? Gardner Minshew threw more touchdowns than incompletions, and undrafted rookie James Robinson totaled 90 scrimmage yards.

One positive note is that Jonathan Taylor will be the starting running back for the Colts moving forward. Hopefully, Marlon Mack will have a speedy recovery from a season-ending Achilles injury, but the Colts are likely better off with Taylor as the lead back.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wait

The Buccaneers looked rusty. Defensively, 34 points allowed is misleading as New Orleans benefitted from three short fields (13 points) and a pick-six courtesy of Janoris Jenkins. Offensively, Tom Brady had a miscommunication with Mike Evans on his first interception of the day, but he made the throws one would expect an NFL quarterback to make (unlike a certain Drew Brees). Eventually, Brady and Evans will connect on deep passes, and the Buccaneers should hit their stride later in the season.

The Buccaneers lost by 11 against an inferior team, on the road (however, it was without fans), and despite both having a field goal blocked and throwing a pick-six. There are worse ways to lose.

Philadelphia Eagles: Buy Some Stock

In many ways, Washington was the worst matchup for the Eagles. Philadelphia was missing three of their original five offensive line starters as well as running back Miles Sanders. After jumping out to a 17-0 lead, the Eagles caved. Washington capitalized on short fields, and they sacked Carson Wentz eight times. Wentz faded down the stretch, but the offense will be better when Lane Johnson returns at right tackle.

In theory, Philadelphia should be able to channel their inner Washington and use a strong defensive line to dictate the action rather than folding under pressure. They have room to improve, but the personnel is in place for the Eagles to rebound.

Dallas Cowboys: Sell Some Stock

Dallas lost for a variety of reasons. They could not stop Aaron Donald and they also were outperformed in key spots, especially in the red zone. Dak Prescott had a reasonable day statistically, but he was not pushing the envelope. In general, the 2020 Cowboys resembled the Cowboys of the last few years. They have one of the best rosters in the NFL, but they falter against great teams (or the greatest defensive player of the last half-decade).

The offensive line was not its usual self. Tyron Smith and Zack Martin were their usual All-Pro caliber selves for the most part, but Terence Steele, Joe Looney, and Connor Williams were liabilities. It might just be Donald, but Steele, Looney, and Williams need to step up before Dallas can contend again.

Cincinnati Bengals: Wait

The offensive line was terrible yet again, but if it was not for a double-whammy of errors on the final two plays of the game, the Bengals would have either won or at least sent the game to overtime. Offensive pass interference on A.J. Green overturned a go-ahead touchdown with seven seconds left.

Immediately after, Randy Bullock shanked a game-tying field goal.

Despite a bad matchup, the Bengals nearly came out with a victory. Their competitiveness is a testament to how well a certain rookie quarterback played. Speaking of…

Joe Burrow: Buy All Stock

Outside of the worst decision of the week, Burrow played well.

He was reliably pressured by the likes of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, and even Jerry Tillery and Uchenna Nwosu had sacks. Despite the relentless pressure, Burrow was able to maintain his composure and lead the Bengals to a near game-winning drive. Los Angeles has one of the best pass rushes in the NFL and one of the best secondaries, and Burrow was one play away from beating them in his debut.

Watch out.