Fantasy Football Week 1: What We Learned from the Monday Night Games

By Bill Pivetz
Philip Rivers
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

After a thrilling Week 1, the final games provided fans with a lot of scoring and – hopefully – fantasy owners with a lot of points. The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins scored a combined eight touchdowns in the first game while the Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers had eight as well.

Eagles vs. Redskins

The first Monday night game was exciting from beginning to end. This was the first time fans got to see the Eagles’ new offense under Chip Kelly. The Eagles quickly drove downfield to the Redskins’ 10-yard line in 2:46 as Michael Vick was 3-of-6 for 50 yards. Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson will all flourish under Kelly’s new system. The defense was great for the first half, allowing no points to the opposing offense, causing three turnovers and recording a safety.

Robert Griffin III took the field for the first time since the 2012 Wildcard game against the Seattle Seahawks. He looked rusty in the first half, going 5-of-10 for 53 yards with an interception and a fumble leading to a safety. In the second half, however, Griffin picked up the tempo and scored two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Alfred Morris ran the ball 12 times for 45 yards and a touchdown but fumbled the ball on his first carry. Leonard Hankerson stepped up big for the Redskins, catching five passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.

The Eagles’ offense, if their star players can remain healthy, can outscore a lot of teams. The defense needs improvement, but that will come as the chemistry builds. After a shaky first half, Griffin looked comfortable in the pocket and finished with 329 passing yards. If you started McCoy, Jackson, Vick and Griffin, you were rewarded with good games. Don’t get cute by adding Hankerson or Brent Celek. They won’t put up these kind of numbers on a weekly basis.

Texans vs. Chargers

The last game of Week 1 started off with a Matt Schaub interception, which led to a Philip Rivers to Ryan Mathews touchdown. Schaub answered back with a one-yard touchdown pass to Owen Daniels. Schaub finished the game 34-of-45 with 346 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Arian Foster carried the ball 18 times, despite Head Coach Gary Kubiak saying he and Ben Tate would split carries. Andre Johnson is still the man in Houston. He caught 12 passes for 146 yards.

Philip Rivers tossed three touchdown passes in the first half, one to Mathews, Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown. He connected with Royal again in the third quarter. Rivers looked to be in mid-season form as he threw a 4th-quarter interception, which was returned for a touchdown by Brian Cushing. Mathews didn’t do much on the ground and will remain a low-end No. 2 running back. The Chargers don’t seem to have a No. 1 wide receiver as the ball was spread out evenly to all of the pass-catchers. Don’t expect big games from any receiver.

Neither Rivers nor Schaub should be your starting quarterback. Johnson can easily reach 1,500 yards and 110 catches if he plays all 16 games. Foster was eased back into playing, but his role will improve in the coming weeks. The Chargers’ defense will be Rivers’ downfall, forcing him to throw the ball more than necessary. Houston’s defense may allow a lot of points, but they will make up for it with sacks and interceptions.

Bill Pivetz is a fantasy football writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Mr_Piv1127.

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