2020 Week 1 Analysis: Raiders @ Panthers (By Ross Jacobs)
Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. Typically, he will have written/submitted his work before mine, so this is a look at the same game with different eyes...and you can compare and contrast or find some new takeaways.
-This might have been the most dull game I've ever seen by two teams that both scored over 30 points. The Raiders are the more talented team and looked like they thought it would be an easy win over the gutted Panthers, but the Panthers actually showed up to play and it caught the Raiders off-guard.
-I really have very few notes on this game which is shocking considering how much action there was.
-Most people expected the Panthers to completely tank this season given all their off-season moves of dumping players that don't fit their rebuild strategy, but I do have to give them some credit for showing some spunk here. They could easily have quit when they were down 27-15, but they kept on fighting and nearly won this game. They aren't going to win many games this year, but you have to like seeing them playing hard for new coach Matt Rhule. 2020 is going to be rough, but look for improvement here in the future.
-If I were a Raiders fan I would be very, very scared after what I saw here. They played like they were just collecting checks. No energy, no spark, just running Gruden's dusty old playbook. They aren't going to suddenly lose 12 games this season, but I don't see any life here or hope of being a contender. This team just isn't good enough to compete with the best teams in the league.
-Teddy Bridgewater looked like what he is, a game manager. He didn't make any egregious mistakes, but he isn't going to win games for your team either. The Panthers could do worse in the interim, but they will need to replace him sometime in the future if they hope to win a Superbowl.
-Josh Jacobs piled up 3 TD's here for a nice fantasy day, but he didn't do all that much on the ground. I thought the Panthers might be more vulnerable to the run, but it could just be that the Raiders aren't very effective running.
-Wanted to see more out of Raiders rookie Bryan Edwards. Not sure why he got ignored here, but he looked fine to me. Maybe it just wasn't part of the game plan. I don't know, but I wouldn't panic on him just yet. It's one game into the season.
-The Raiders will likely be somewhere around .500 this year. They look like the definition of an average team. The Panthers aren't going to do much winning with this defense. They'll have a tough time reaching 4 or 5 wins I think.
-Josh Jacobs isn't the best RB in the league, but he looks like he'll be near the top of the fantasy charts this year just because of his workload. He is the Raiders offense.
-Nothing much has changed with Christian McCaffrey either. The new staff is still running the offense through him. There may be a few less TD's this year which could drop him a few spots in the rankings, but McCaffrey is still a safe bet to finish as a top 6 RB this year.
-Hope you didn't draft DJ Moore. This is a three-way split between him and Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson. Anderson's big day came from one big play where he beat a rookie CB on a double move. Don't count on that happening every week. Which guy gets the numbers each week will be random. I'd avoid the situation.
-Darren Waller looked fine here. He's still the top receiving threat at the moment and Carr's safety blanket. The only thing that held him back last year was a lack of TD's, and we didn't really see any change in that here. In theory he's a great redzone threat, so perhaps Carr will start targeting him there more in the future. He's still a safe TE1 though.