Cole’s Corner: Takeaways from the NFL Weekend: Week One

Mariota-1, Winston-0.

The biggest storyline from the weekend is the Tennessee Titans taking on the Tampa Buccaneers and the debut of their rookie quarterbacks, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. In a highly anticipated debut, Mariota lit up box scores everywhere completing 81% of his passes (13/16), throwing for four touchdowns and having a perfect passer rating. On the other side (and behind a subpar offensive line), Winston struggled to help his Bucs survive. He completed less than half of his passes and threw two interceptions. It’s too soon to know just what direction either of these quarterbacks are going to go in, but Sunday gave us a potential glimpse. Even more importantly, Mariota proved that he could convert his game to play in a pro system and that he’ll be able to survive in this league.


Johnny Football is back… just not as “Johnny Football.”

Going into Sunday, Johnny “Football” was not as hot a topic as he was this summer. From rehab to training camp, Manziel wanted people to know he was taking a serious demeanor to his play this fall, even though he hadn’t earned a starting spot come regular season time. At the start of the second quarter, starting quarterback Josh McCown left the game with a concussion and it became time for Johnny to step in. Within a few moments, Manziel launched a 54-yard bomb to wide out Travis Benjamin for a score and the first passing touchdown of Manziel’s career. He finished off a 31-10 loss to the New York Jets going 13/24 on pass completions and also throwing an interception. To me, this game signified the return of what was so special at Texas A&M for Johnny Football. And even though Johnny Football may be gone, Johnny Manziel brings to the table some real potential that can, and will, grow into NFL talent.


Could Sunday’s performance spell the end of the line for Peyton Manning?

My last big takeaway from the weekend is most likely a surprise to many. The Denver Broncos took on the Baltimore Ravens and ended up winning, 19-13. Taking a closer look at the stats, the usually phenomenal Peyton Manning finished 24/40 (60% completion percentage), with 175 yards passing and no passing touchdowns. I’m not even entirely confident on this, but with Manning’s age, his rather dismal performance from last week might be a sign of things to come, potentially marking the end of Peyton Manning.

Denver will kick off week two in the NFL by playing Kansas City on Thursday night at 7:25 p.m.