Week 1 of the 2018 NFL Season is nearly in the books and there’s a lot to talk about with the other three NFC East teams. The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants found themselves on the losing end of ugly losses, while the Washington Redskins took care of business in their trek to challenge for the East title. Brandon Lee Gowton and I went over the week that was in BGN Radio Episode #7.
The main topic, of course, was Dak Prescott, and BLG couldn’t be happier to talk about him.
“It wasn’t a good outing for Prescott, who finished 19/29 for only 170 yards (5.9 average), zero touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 81.1 passer rating.
Those numbers don’t even truly reflect his struggles. He totally failed to help the Cowboys move the ball during key moments. Dallas converted just two out of 12 combined third and fourth down situations.”
Prescott’s bad day doesn’t fall squarely on him, but it also doesn’t excuse him from his poor play. He was unwilling to push the ball downfield and failed to make accurate throws from clean pockets. The Cowboys’ coaching staff didn’t show much faith in him either, electing for quick throws, screens and runs on long down and distances. That type of inefficiency can’t continue much longer for Prescott or head coach Jason Garrett before they find their seats warming up.
The New York Giants dropped a home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars with similar struggles on offense. The “new and improved” ground game of the Giants did see Saquon Barkley scamper for 68 yards on an eye-popping touchdown run, but overall it was plagued by poor trench play. The ground game leaked a total of -2.01 expected points while amassing a porous 33% success rate, including Barkley being stuffed on a critical 4th & 2.
The least successful RB in the first 3 quarters (min 7 carries):— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 10, 2018
• 10 att, 1 successful, 3.9 YPC
Saquon Barkley 4th worst of 29 RBs. Top 5: Joe Mixon, Frank Gore, James Conner, Alvin Kamara, Kenyan Drake, via https://t.co/CSKyP7awn9 pic.twitter.com/mVWaf9gesv
The problem with the Giants run game is not with Barkley; that’s obvious. The problem is with an offensive line that is going to limit his overall impact throughout the game. Can the Giants survive the feast or famine situation they’ve created for their star rookie? They’ll have to if they plan on sticking with aging quarterback Eli Manning, who posted a 67.8 QB Rating on the day.
The Washington Redskins were the lone bright spot of the three divisional rivals, trouncing the Sam Bradford-led Arizona Cardinals by a score of 24-6. Newly acquired quarterback Alex Smith led an effective offense that racked up 429 yards and veteran running back Adrian Peterson kept Old Man Time at bay for one more week.
The Redskins’ defense played their role in the win, limiting Bradford to 153 yards, picking him off twice, and keeping star running back David Johnson handcuffed outside of one lone red zone score when the game was already decided. It’s early, but the Redskins looked competent, something the Cowboys and Giants couldn’t muster in the season openers.