Five Takeaways from the NFL season opener.
Opening Day in the 2021-2022 NFL season started with a thriller between the Dallas Cowboys and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Dallas stars had 4 defensive takeaways, but shoot themselves in the foot in the end. Here are my five key takeaways from the season opener!
1: Wow, Dak Prescott is that dude.
Dak Prescott came out firing and showing confidence in his throws. Kellen Moore knew the game plan was to pick apart the weakest part of the Buccaneers defense and that was the secondary. Dak executed with poise and accuracy going 42-for-58, 403 passing yards, and three passing touchdowns. Dak showed no concern about his old injuries to complete crucial passes. Great start for Dallas, even though they lost in the season opener 29-31.
2: Vita Vea treats linemen like children.
When you think of the NFL and who should be there, Vita Vea is that dude. Vea won’t show up on the stat sheets, but the pressure he has up the middle is astonishing. How do you stop a man like that with just one or two guys? Let alone you have Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul on the edges giving tackles a tough time to sleep at night. Crazy to think they only got one sack on Dak.
That is Vita Vea taking 6-4, 318-pound NFL center Tyler Biadasz on a trip to see his quarterback pic.twitter.com/Ck2jFxi629
— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) September 10, 2021
3: Drops on both sides.
CeeDee Lamb had some uncharacteristic drops that proved to be costly. One of these drops went right through Lamb’s hands right into Carlton Davis’ lap resulting in Dak’s only interception. Tampa Bay had issues with drops throughout the game as well. Chris Godwin dropped an easy catch for a potential touchdown in the fourth quarter along with fumbling the football trying to gain extra yards. The score at those crucial moments was 28-26 Tampa Bay. These didn’t prove costly and Tom Brady seemed to pull out the win regardless of the mistakes.
4: Defense in Dallas is good but not great.
Anthony Brown and Jayron Kearse were the lead tacklers for the star… NOT GOOD. Brown had 11 total tackles and Kearse had nine total tackles. No sacks as Tom plays hot potato like a pro and gets rid of the ball quickly. First rounder Micha Parsons showed improvement throughout the game with seven total tackles and a pass deflection.
Dallas had some turnovers to help give their offense more chances. Demarcus Lawrence and Damontae Kazee forced fumbles from Chris Godwin and Ronald Jones. Dallas’s Jordan Lewis and Trevon Diggs also snagged a few passes from Tom Brady. These are huge as last year the Dallas defense was a laughing stock. One area to improve is the pass rush, as Dallas didn’t take Brady down once.
5: Amari Cooper Appreciation.
When you think of a reliable wide receiver I never really thought of Amari Cooper until I saw him go and catch what felt like every ball thrown his way Thursday night. Key takeaways were so many spectacular catches and the crisp routes he runs made it so tough for a weakened Tampa Bay secondary. Dak and Amari are super underrated and will demand respect as long as both are healthy and on the same page.
Amari Cooper vs Bucs
♨️ 13 catches
♨️ 139 yards
♨️ 2 TDs
♨️ 38.9 PPR fantasy points pic.twitter.com/HFD6BTfVbJ
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 10, 2021
6: Overall thoughts.
Tampa Bay came in and defended their turf at home as they raised their banner. This game with Dallas shows us that Dak is coming to see Brady in January radiating his determination to get this team to the postseason. I’ll conclude that they’ll get it done and make it out of the NFC East and show everyone who America’s Team is. They’ll meet Tampa and have another showdown like they did for the first of 272 games overall. Football is back!