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And Our Week One NFL Awards Go to...

Blake Bortles, Austin Hooper and the Player Most Ripe for a Name Change

By Thompson Brandes ·
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The 2017 NFL season has officially settled in after a Week 1 full of mind boggling plays, devastating injuries and terrible quarterback play. Each week, we'll take part in admiring these fine catches and hysterical blunders by handing out a set of weekly accolades. Some players will undoubtedly be proud to take home the hardware, others not so much. 

Most Surprisingly Adequate Performance From a Belabored Quarterback: Blake Bortles

On Friday, I proposed a not-so-real prop bet that the Jacksonville quarterback would be benched by halftime, but Bortles beat the odds. Kudos to the frenetic quarterback for going out and doing close to damn-near nothing in a fantastic effort of conservative game management. Because when Tom Savage and the Houston Texans are so intricately involved in a game such as this one, it’s about all you need to do. Which leads me to our next shiny trophy…

Player Most Ripe For a Name Change: Tom Savage

Savage completed 7 of 13 passes for 62 yards and lost 2 fumbles after taking six (!) sacks in one half, only to be swiftly benched for sound rookie Deshaun Watson. What is the opposite of ‘savage’ in 2017? Tom Calm? I don’t know, he didn’t seem very calm on Sunday. Tom Compliant? Tom Benign? That one seems like it could be a fit for now. 

Houston Texans Quarterback, Tom Benign.

Most Devastating Stiff Arm En Route to an 88-yard Touchdown: Austin Hooper

My heart breaks for #21 every time I watch it. I don’t even want to know his last name. All I know is that if I could physically do what Austin Hooper did to another man on a professional football field, I too, would hold up a declarative number one. Consider it a definitive statement: Austin Hooper has the upper hand now.

Most Impressive Rookie Performance: Kareem Hunt

Of the slew of talented rookie running backs taken in this year’s draft, both Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette had solid debuts in their respective team wins. Though neither could top Kareem Hunt’s magnetic performance from Thursday night’s Chiefs win over the Pats. With 246 total yards and three scores, he managed to make Alex Smith look like an advanced galaxy version of Tom Brady while simultaneously fueling hot fire to smug fantasy owners everywhere. 

(It should be noted that Vikings tailback Dalvin Cook, who is also very good at making defenders look completely asinine, still has a game to play tonight.)

Best Performance By a Guy Who Terry Bradshaw Referred To As "Cal Calloway": Kenny Golladay

In case you were wondering, that was top-cornerback and all-round freak football player Patrick Peterson sulking on his knees. Talk your shit, Cal.

Catch of the Week: Cole Beasley

With respect to Galloday’s highlight-reel snag, Beasley gets the nod here.

Anytime you prompt Cris Collinsworth to deliver an exasperated “Oh my gosh...” like he just heard the juiciest piece of Monterey Bay gossip ever heard, you’ve done something right.

Week 1 MVP: Alex Smith

I’m no physics expert, but I'm pretty sure throwing a football to another human running at 50 mph is a task of great difficulty. Throwing for 362 yards and 4 touchdowns also helps. 

Tyreek Hill earns an honorable mention here for being Week 1’s most proactive supporter of world peace.

Week 1 LVP: The Indianapolis Colts

I’m not sure if you remember, but the Los Angeles Rams are a fairly bad football team playing in a stadium that garners less of a turnout than a high school state championship game.

Yet they managed to knock the teeth out of the Colts before even sniffing the 4th quarter. Indianapolis might be a pretty awful football team this year, with or without Andrew Luck.

Most Impressive Win: Green Bay Packers

Seattle’s lousy 9-point performance could be more indicative of a bad Seahawks offense than a gritty Packers defense, but we’ll let that play out in the upcoming weeks. What we do know is that the Seahawks still have the same gut-wrenchingly tough defense they’ve had for years, and with a healthy Earl Thomas back at that. Point being: this was a solid opening win for Aaron Rodgers and the good folks of Lambeau Field.

Thompson Brandes is getting sucked into another Jurassic Park movie on AMC right now.

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