Week 1 Recap

Mike the Ace and D.K. roll out our 2020-2021 NFL Season Weekly recap with their reviews of two games in the opening week of the season.

The 2020-2021 NFL Season finally kicked off after an offseason filled with uncertainty due to the current worldwide pandemic. While having football return brought back a sense of normality, things weren’t exactly back to normal as many teams played without fans in the stadium. The noise was authentic, but it was not live as it was prerecorded fans from previous games. Nonetheless, the NFL is back and the TFINS team is here to bring you a quick recap of a couple games in Week 1 of the 2020-2021 NFL Season.

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Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Football Team (17-27)

Mike the Ace @TheAceWriter

I know you all want to get my take on this game, so here you go. The Eagles played a good offensive game for almost two full quarters. One good half of football usually won’t cut it in the NFL, and it didn’t on Sunday against Washington.

Carson Wentz got off to an incredible start, completing 14 of 17 passes, for 182 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Right before halftime, Wentz and the Eagles’ offense completely unraveled. The Eagles QB would finish the rest of the game going 10 of 25, for 88 yards, with 2 interceptions.

Wentz and Pederson had one of their worst halves together on Sunday. With a series of injuries along the offensive line, Pederson continued to call deep shot plays, looking for big yardage down the field. These types of plays genuinely take a long time to develop, and that worked perfectly for Washington’s defense.

Washington’s defense dominated the Eagles beat up offense, sacking Wentz 8 times on Sunday. Chase Young and Washington’s defensive line will be one of the league’s best units, if they can stay healthy. The secondary was also a pleasant surprise for DC, as both interceptions were great plays by their defensive backs.

Pederson will have to slow down with the deep shots until the Eagles get better play out of their offensive line. It was surprising to see him so hell-bent on launching it deep, especially when the Eagles rarely took deep shots last year. This offense will welcome the return of runningback Miles Sanders and offensive tackle Lane Johnson, if they are able to play next week.

AP Photo/Justin Edmonds

Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos (16-14)
DK @Ayeyoo_biggs

The score is not indicative of what happened on Monday night. The Tennessee Titans played like the superior team but special teams and new Kicker Stephon Gostkowski left 10 points on the field by going 1 for 4 in field goals and missing an extra point. This was an issue for Tennessee last year, who had the worst kicking core in the league going 44% as a team using four kickers. This needs to be addressed in the next few weeks, or we can’t take the Titans seriously as a contender. 

Drew Lock went 22/33 with 216 yards and a touchdown. I really like how they used play action and rollouts to get him moving. It seems like it allowed him to get into a better flow in this game. The two headed monster of Phillip Lindsey and Melvin Gordon got off to a good start until Lindsey sustained an injury in the first half. This led to Gordon taking over in the second half and having a decent showing having 78 yards but also had a costly fumble early in the game (which led to a Derrick Henry touchdown). 

Ryan Tannehill also has a good game going 29/43 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He made plays when they needed to happen at the end of the game to seal the victory. Derrick Henry added 131 all purpose yards and assisted with clock management in the game winning drive. He and Tannehill have and will continue to use the play action/ running game to file the Titans offense this season. 

Another interesting storyline in the game was Denver head coach Vic Fangio not using any of the team’s timesouts as the Titans ran the ball, and ran the clock on the final drive. The Titans, down two, had 3:05 left on the clock. The Titans proceeded to go on a 12 play 83 yard drive and Fangio did nothing to stop the clock, so just in case the opposing offense scored (which they did), you’d give your team a chance to move the ball down the field. After the made field goal by Gostkowski, Drew Lock and the offense only had 00:17 left on the clock to move the ball into field goal range. 

Denver young core looks like a very fun team to watch going forward. Drew lock will have to continue learning and developing his game and reading coverages, he left a few plays on the field that could have helped them increase the lead at the end of the game and halt the comeback. The Titans look like they are building on what they did last year: run Derrick Henry and allow Tannehill to work off of the play action. With these two, along with a stout looking defense with Jadeveon Clowney being added into the mix, they are looking to make another deep run this year.


Quick Profile: Clelin Ferrell

Michael Lipscomb

Clelin Ferrell – Clemson University, Defensive End

6’4” 264 lbs
Classification: Redshirt Junior (Senior)
High School: Benedictine College Preparatory, Richmond, Virginia

2018 Stats – 55 tackles (29 solo) 11.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 passes deflected
2017 Stats – 66 tackles (33 solo), 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 passes deflected

Give him a follow!
Twitter: @Cle_Missile                Instagram: missiledreaming

A key part of rushing the passer is getting off the line of scrimmage quickly. When a defensive lineman can get off the line quickly, it puts a lot of pressure on opposing blockers. Pressure on blockers means pressure on the Quarterback, which is usually trouble for an offense. Clelin Ferrell has the best “first step” in this entire draft. The 804 product was a machine rushing the passer on Clemson’s National Championship defense, racking up 11.5 sacks in his 2018 season. Ferrell pairs his tremendous ‘get off’ ability with strength, leverage, and athleticism to cause havoc for offenses. His game tape shows off plenty of versatility as a rusher. He has a complete array of moves that include the swim, rip, and chop to name a few. Ferrell can be a little stiff at times, and some coaches may want him to show more flexibility and bend when coming off the edge. Ferrell also doesn’t have a lot of pass coverage experience on his game tape, which may cause teams running a 3-4 defensive scheme to hesitate on drafting him high. Outside of those concerns, Ferrell is as well-rounded of a defensive end that you could ask for. He is strong against the run and plays with a high motor. The Clemson Tiger is an absolute lock to be a first round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

My Take:

Ferrell has all of the tools to be a very productive pass rusher at the next level. His first step is scary. Like, really scary. Even while playing next to other elite players like Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence along that Clemson defensive line, Ferrell was the first man off the line of scrimmage damn near every play. That kind of natural feel and timing does not come around often. If the poor offensive lineman gets back in his stance fast enough, Ferrell still has a full arsenal of pass rush moves to unleash. With more coaching and development, he could be a pass rushing technician at the next level. The only thing keeping Ferrell from being selected as one of the top 2 or 3 EDGE rushers is his athleticism. Ferrell is a good, but not great athlete, in comparison to other defensive ends that will get drafted ahead of him. His closing speed when rushing the Quarterback could be better. He is also limited in his ability to drop back into coverage. The pass coverage aspect of his game “could” improve with the right coaching at the next level, but I think it’s safe to say he should be a 4-3 defensive end for the majority of his career. When engaging blockers in the running game, Ferrell uses his long arms and strength to maintain control at the point of attack. He is also a very good tackler from his defensive end position. His motor is incredible as well. He plays with a sharp intensity and focus. I noted multiple plays where he did an outstanding job of chasing down ball carriers from the backside. Sometimes running 15 to 20 yards down the field to try and make a play. That kind of effort can be the difference in winning and losing football games. If you want to be a winning franchise, Clelin Ferrell is your guy. I predict Clelin Ferrell could get drafted anywhere from pick 8 to the Detroit Lions, to pick 16 to the Carolina Panthers.

Here’s a Highlight Reel!

Quick Profile: Ed Oliver

Michael Lipscomb

Ed Oliver – University of Houston, Defensive Tackle

6’2″ 287 lbs
Classification: Junior
High School: Westfield High School, Houston, TX

2018 Stats – 54 tackles (29 solo), 14.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 2 passes deflected, 1 forced fumble [8 games played]
2017 Stats – 73 tackles (47 solo), 16.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 3 passes deflected, 1 fumble recovery, 2 fumbles forced
2016 Stats – 65 tackles (46 solo), 22 tackles for a loss, 5.0 sacks, 6 passes deflected, 2 forced fumbles

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Twitter: @edoliver_11 Instagram: @edoliver_11

Coming out of high school, Ed Oliver was the #1 recruit in the nation. He had any offer you could imagine, but decided to stay at home and play for the University of Houston. Oliver became the first 5-star football recruit to ever commit to Houston, and dominated from Day 1 as apart of their program. After recording 65 tackles (22 for a loss) and 5 sacks as a freshman, Oliver put the college football world on notice. The athletic Defensive Lineman followed up his great freshman year with a dominant sophomore season, winning the Outland Award. Oliver is the first sophomore to ever win the prestige award, which is given to the best interior defensive lineman during that season. Oliver’s junior year showed flashes of explosion as well, but a recurring knee injury kept him in and out of the lineup. Even with the injures, Ed Oliver may be the most athletic Defensive Tackle you will ever see play. Oliver combines his athletic ability with plenty of strength, causing havoc on any given play. Oliver ran a 4.73 40 yard dash at his pro-day. That’s a lot of speed for a man weighing 287 pounds. Although Oliver is a giant compared to us everyday people, there are concerns that he doesn’t have the necessary size to anchor a defensive line. Most defenses need their interior lineman to hold gaps and stuff the run. Oliver is at his best when he is getting up the field and disrupting the backfield. Despite the questionable size and injury concerns, Oliver is still a highly valued prospect, and a lock to be a top 20 pick in the NFL draft. Drafting him may end up being the best (or worst) decision of a general manager’s career. Which team will end up taking that chance?

My Take:

Ed Oliver is the second biggest “boom or bust” prospect in this draft class (Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray being the first). When he’s healthy, Oliver is a menace for opposing offensive lineman. When he jumps the snap count well, it’s usually bad news for the offense. Oliver is truly a freak of nature in terms of his athleticism. His Pro Day workout numbers were comparable to above average Defensive Backs! He uses his quick feet and balance to jump into gaps when playing against the run. Oliver is also incredibly violent at the point of attack. His explosive first step combined with his strength is a nightmare for whoever he is lined up against. He attacks offensive lineman with multiple moves, but often goes to his swim and rip moves to get past blockers. I’ve seen a lot of scouts mention his shorter arms (31 ¾”). Drafting a Defensive Tackle that has short arms and is also somewhat underweight (287 lbs), can be a big risk.  I noted multiple plays where he was driven back off of the line of scrimmage with down blocks or double teams. If Oliver can continue to put on weight and strength, I think he can overcome these issues. As a pass rusher, Oliver relies heavily on his athletic ability. His speed and quickness often overwhelm interior blockers. His speed-to-power rush is one of the best in this draft class. There are plays on tape where he pushes double teams (!) back into the Quarterback and collapses the pocket. Interior pressure is a QB’s biggest fear, and Oliver provides that. Oliver’s 4.7 speed flashes on the field as well. If he recognizes a screen on the perimeter, he turns and runs to help on the tackle like a Linebacker. His effort and motor are tremendous, and there were a few plays that I saw him chasing ball carriers 30+ yards down the field. His injury-riddled 2018 season is worth discussing. There were several games where he spent quarters, and sometimes halves, on the sideline due to injury. Along with him only playing in 8 games in 2018. Knee injuries tend to be red flags for draft prospects. Recurring injuries like the one Oliver had tend to scare me as well. Despite the mentioned worries, this guy is a beast, make no mistake about it. If he can overcome these issues, we could be looking at a Top 5 Defensive Tackle in the NFL. I believe Oliver will gets selected somewhere in the pick 9, to pick 15 range. There have been some recent rumblings that he may get selected in the Top 5 of this year’s draft. We’ll see how it all plays out on April 25th.

Here’s a Highlight Reel!

Quick Profile: Devin White

Michael Lipscomb

Devin White – LSU, Linebacker

6’0” 237lbs
Classification: Junior
High School: Northwebster High School, Springhill, LA

2018 Stats – 123 tackles (62 solo) 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 6 passes deflected
2017 Stats – 133 tackles (37 solo), 4.5 sacks, 1 interception, 3 passes deflected

Give him a follow!
Twitter:  @DevinWhite_40               Instagram:@devinwhite_40

A common phrase that people love to use when discussing athletes  is “Speed Kills”. You may here this in reference to fast Wide Receivers who can beat the defense over the top, or a game breaking Running Back who can take it to the crib on any given play. LSU’s Devin White is the Inside Linebacker you need to save that phrase for. White clocked a 4.42 40 yard dash time at the NFL combine, which was good enough for 1st place amongst his position group. On tape, White uses that tremendous speed in both pass coverage and run support. He is a great open field tackler. White is comfortable blitzing from the inside or outside, and does a good job of creeping up and timing the snap count on his pass rush. Some concerns with White are in regards to his instincts and technique against interior running plays (such as dive, power, inside trap). These concerns won’t scare teams away from picking him in the Top 10 of this year’s NFL draft. Devin White has the chance to be an impact player and defensive anchor for many years to come.

My Take:

Devin White is an absolute stud. If you’ve watched an LSU game in this past year, I guarantee you’ve seen #40 around the ball A LOT. His effort and intensity are as good as any player in this class. White is regarded as a workout warrior and was a leader on that aggressive LSU defense. In run support, White is physical with blockers and uses his arms to engage them. I also believe Devin White is one of the best zone coverage linebackers in this draft. He is great in man to man coverage as well, and I would trust him against almost any running back out in space, 1 on 1. White is also an outstanding playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, forcing three fumbles during his 2018 campaign. The concerns about his instincts are legitimate. I noted several plays, in different games, where he over committed to a play fake or did not fill the correct gap. These issues can be fixed with a great defensive coordinator and a good linebackers coach at the next level. That hellacious speed and natural coverage ability cannot be taught. Whoever drafts Devin White could be looking at a defensive anchor for the next 8+ seasons. I believe the Tampa Bay Bucs will select White with the 5th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

Here’s a Highlight Reel!