Ah, yes. The preseason. Football is officially back, but the new car smell hasn't completely worn off yet. The irrationality from fans of 32 future Super Bowl Champions and and 130 College Football Playoff Champions blends for one hell of a mix. It's hard to tell anyone anything -- not that they'd hear it over all the tooting of their own horns.
I do have to deliver some bad news. If you haven't noticed this phenomena, odds are it is because you're operating within your own team's optimism bubble -- where the thought of anyone else winning the division, the conference or the title can infiltrate your thoughts.
But I also come with good news -- we are here to set the record straight. I'm not going to tell you who is winning the Super Bowl this year -- that's Ben Solak's job. But what I am here to do is lay out all of the best and worst knee jerk reactions from Week 1 of the 2019 NFL Preseason. I'm sure no one will get their feelings hurt.
STUD - Devin Bush's performance vs. Tampa Bay
Folks. FOLKS! Did you watch Tampa Bay visit Pittsburgh this past weekend? Devin Bush was a man possessed in Week 1 of the NFL preseason. And, rightfully, everyone was freaking out about the 10th overall pick logging 10 tackles in the first half. Either disenfranchised Bucs fans were yelling at The Draft Network's account for hyping Bush (I'm the guilty party, there) or everyone else was blown away by his range and burst to the football. Well -- except for our friends at Pro Football Focus -- they scored him as a 70.6 for his 10-tackle first half.
I'm sure PFF knocked Bush for a missed tackle or two along the way -- but I'm not going to obsess over the score. The eyeball test was passed here for Bush and he clearly fills the void Pittsburgh had in the absence of Ryan Shazier. Get hyped for this one.
DUD - Ed Oliver's bullrush of Quenton Nelson
I have a love-hate relationship with Bills Mafia. They love to hate me. I get it -- I grew up a Dolphins fan and my favorite hobby is tormenting my co-host on Draft Dudes -- Joe Marino. A lifelong Bills fan.
But we've jumped the shark with the praise of Ed Oliver's bull rush of Quenton Nelson. If you missed it, here is the play in question:
The Mafia lost their minds on this play -- while I lost my mind on the hype that it got. Oliver surely has leverage here, but Nelson sits down on this rep and frames his block well. He gives ground, but not enough to get walked back into the lap of the quarterback. Oliver had his good plays against Indianapolis and I scored him as a top-5 overall player. But we don't need to create wins for Ed. I bet if you asked him how he thought that rep went, Oliver wouldn't give the same glowing review so many online were ready to provide.
STUD - Mecole Hardman's speed
Mecole Hardman. Confirmed fast.
The addition of Hardman to the Chiefs offense was meant to serve as an insurance policy in the event that Tyreek Hill's off-field transgressions would conflict with his availability on the field. And while it currently looks like Hill won't miss any time in 2019, yes -- you should still be panicking about Hardman's speed being added to this offense.
I understand there's only so many footballs to go around -- but consider the spacing Kansas City's athletes will provide and then add on top of that Hardman's ability to break angles underneath. This has some scary potential -- as Hardman's big play during Week 1 of the preseason suggests.
DUD - The Nate Peterman hype (again)
Don't you dare do this to yourself.
"But Kyle! Peterman looked great this weekend!"
Right. And so did those leftovers you left in the fridge a few too many days before scarfing them down because you were in a hurry. How'd that turn out? Oh, yeah. That's right. With you on the john and hating yourself for ever thinking that was a good idea.
Peterman is the two week old leftovers here, in case you're not picking up what I'm putting down. The quintessential back-up, Peterman will always look good in shorts and a t-shirt or when throwing on air. And if you play him against third stringers, sure -- his lack of arm strength won't get exposed by less twitchy athletes on defense.
But if you or the Raiders, for that matter, take the cheese on Peterman with any significant stock? You'll deserve the sickness that comes if he has to play. Couldn't be me.
STUD - The underdogs
I'm talking about Bills international player Christian Wade rumbling 65 yards for a touchdown on his first career touch in any kind of NFL game.
I'm talking about Browns returner Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi running back an 86 yard punt return for a touchdown in his first NFL game -- after smooth talking his way into a tryout with the Browns...one he wasn't even invited to.
These are the magic that the preseason can provide. To hell with 10-year careers and Pro Bowls...for many, this is the peak of their football careers. And seeing two guys roar into the end zone and check lifelong bucket list items this weekend was really damn cool to see.