Which Week 1 losers should we panic about? Definitely Cowboys, but who else?

The 2021 Green Bay Packers lost 38-3 in Week 1. He finished as the No. 1 seed in NFC.

Last season’s Tennessee Titans suffered a 38-13 loss at home in the opener. He was the No 1 seed of the AFC.

Clearly, a bad Week 1 loss in the NFL is not a death sentence. However, many of the losing teams in Week 1 are telling us that they are in a miserable season.

How nervous should we be about 1 loser each week? Not giving in to overreactions after the first game, let’s take a realistic look at the panic index on a scale from “not at all worried” to “the 2022 Dallas Cowboys” for each 0-1 team.

Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys had a rough week. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

We Already Knew They’d Be Bad: Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets

Not that we were panicking when we thought of teams vying for top-10 picks. Were bad in week 1. Although especially in the case of the Jets … could get this season really bad.

Maybe some mis-hype: Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars

Each of those teams spent some time being promoted as a potential breakout. Some cold water was poured on each of them. The Lions are probably the least worrying team, because there’s not much shame in losing to the Eagles. Giving 38 marks was not ideal though. These teams should be fine, but Sunday was a reminder that the off-season is long, and we talk ourselves into breakouts when we probably should have known better. They should all be moderately competitive, but the expectations should be low.

No worries yet: Los Angeles Rams, Las Vegas Raiders

Raiders and especially Rams lost to good teams. The Rams were blown away and if you want to brag about how uncompetitive they were against the Buffalo Bills, that’s fair. I’ll look forward to this week’s Rams-Falcons game. If the rams look bad in that, then yes, sound the alarm.

Just a business-fuelled anomaly: Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos

The Bengals were minus-five in the turnover difference and still took the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers into overtime, missing a 29-yard field goal attempt to win it. The Broncos stumbled twice on the goal line and lost one to the Seattle Seahawks. No need to worry here. However, I can’t blame you for being concerned about Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett’s decision making.

With those teams out of the way, let’s take a look at these remaining six Week 1 losers:

Relax: Green Bay Packers

We have done this with packers before. There’s no Davante Adams extra layer this season, but a week’s loss for the Minnesota Vikings isn’t that bad. It just looked ugly. Let’s assume Green Bay will bounce back, even if they have a lower ceiling this season without Adams.

Panic Meter: quieter than you

It was just raining… Maybe: San Francisco 49ers

If you want to blame a crazy rainstorm for the 49ers’ 19-10 loss to the Chicago Bears, I’ll allow it. It was difficult to work. But the Bears played in the same monsoon and won. The 49ers’ concern is their new QB, Trey Lance, who didn’t play well. Was it rain or was it a sign that he was not ready? I still think Lance will be good, but it needs to look a lot better in the sun this week.

Panic Meter: At least until Lance’s first finale Sunday, there’s no reason to be concerned.

If you can’t beat the Giants at home… : Tennessee Titans

Nothing really looked good for the Titans. We have to note that no one would have cared if they hit a field goal to end the game, but a 21-20 loss to the New York Giants still doesn’t look great. They were also bad last season 1 and Mike Wrabel is a good coach so all is not lost, but it’s hard to get excited about what’s on the roster. Sunday’s losses showed they were mediocre.

Panic Meter: Let’s not start the Malik Willis QB brawl just yet though maybe in a few weeks

Well, it was versus major: Arizona Cardinals

We can look back and put the Cardinals in that “they just got steamrolled by a great team” bin like we’ve been doing with the Rams. But the 44-21 loss to the Chiefs was even more ugly than the score indicated. The Cardinals’ defense was formidable and the offense did nothing. I would be worried, especially for a team that became notorious in the second half of the season.

Panic Meter: Perhaps before our “Is Cliff Kingsbury in trouble?” title

Precision can matter: New England Patriots

When every single August story says the patriots’ crime is messed up, it probably has legitimacy. A preseason finale in which the Patriots’ opening offense was capped off by the Raiders’ backup flowed into the regular season, when they scored seven points, losing to the Dolphins. Now Mac Jones has a back issue to worry about. Bill Belichick may have figured it all out, but it’s just too bad.

Panic Meter: Will not make any plans after the season

Oh No: Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott told us not to panic. Jerry Jones said that Prescott may return sooner than previously thought. We attempted to build a case for the Cowboys who remained relevant through a Prescott injury. But it’s not just hurt. That’s how bad Dallas was in that loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the injury took place. And then there’s Prescott’s injury. and other injuries. It can get fantastically ugly in a hurry.

Panic Meter: stay cool! Everything is fine! Everything is fine!

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