5 teams we couldn't learn much about despite convincing Week 1 wins

by
Richard Mackson / USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 did little to quiet the plethora of questions circulating around several teams entering the 2017 NFL season.

Soft matchups led to convincing season-opening performances and 1-0 records. As bettors, fantasy managers, and fans alike try to determine if certain clubs are worth believing in, more needs to be seen.

Here are five teams that may or may not be misleading fans following a convincing Week 1 victory.

Los Angeles Rams

What we think we know: Competent offense with shutdown defense

Whether it was new head coach Sean McVay or the inept Indianapolis Colts' defense, sophomore quarterback Jared Goff's career day has the Rams looking like a potentially dangerous offense.

Goff looked every bit a No. 1 draft pick while connecting with the new wide receiver trio of Cooper Kupp, Sammy Watkins, and Robert Woods all day long, causing many fantasy managers to clamor to the waiver wire for Kupp and suddenly believe in a still-healthy Watkins.

Even with everything going the Rams' way, running back Todd Gurley struggled to average 2 yards per attempt on the ground. He finished the game ranked as Pro Football Focus' (PFF) No. 31 running back. Should he continue this inefficiency on the ground, it would hinder the passing game moving forward.

It's easier to believe in the play of the defense - one which returned two Scott Tolzien interceptions for touchdowns - but the Rams should have a much tougher task in Week 2, against a Washington Redskins team that will be looking to make amends after a disappointing start.

Buffalo Bills

What we think we know: McCoy can do it on his own

The Bills, equipped with a new head coach and multiple new players both on offense and defense, faced little resistance while cruising past the New York Jets.

The overhauled defense recorded just one sack but two interceptions, while limiting journeyman placeholder Josh McCown to 187 passing yards and one goal-line rushing touchdown.

The offense managed just 224 passing yards, led by receiver Jordan Matthews' 61 yards, but leaned on running back LeSean McCoy's 110 rushing yards (159 total). Matthews was the team's top-graded wide receiver, finishing at No. 30 for the week.

The Bills' 21 points were uninspiring against the team many predict to go 0-16 this season. McCoy's 27 Week 1 touches were topped just twice in the past three seasons. The Bills have little option but to continue feeding him the ball both on the ground and through the air, but it's a recipe for disaster with no viable secondary option on the roster.

Minnesota Vikings

What we think we know: Bradford can throw downfield

Sam Bradford maintained his usual efficiency against the Saints, but the Vikings quarterback took far more chances than ever before, moving the ball quickly and easily downfield against the team which allowed the most passing yards in 2016.

Just three signal-callers averaged more completed air yards, according to NFL.com's Next Gen Stats, with Bradford's air-yard differential ranking second for the week.

The Saints showed they still have the same issues that plagued them at the end of last year, with not a single member of their base secondary finishing with a PFF grade higher than 50.6.

Bradford's Week 1 style of play could have simply been a matter of taking what the defense gave him, but his willingness to air it out to receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen deep down field will open the door for rookie running back Dalvin Cook, who is PFF's No. 2 running back.

Baltimore Ravens

What we think we know: Unbreakable defense

While fans were quick to crown the Ravens' defense after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw four interceptions and coughed up a fumble, the uninspiring play of Baltimore's offense has largely gone overlooked.

Consistently starting with tremendous field position, the Ravens' offense managed just two touchdowns on the day, with quarterback Joe Flacco - fresh off a preseason of rest for an injured back - going a poor 9-for-17 for 121 yards through the air with an interception of his own.

Dalton has been prone to dud games such as this in his career. More needs to be seen from the Ravens' defense against superior opponents. The offense faces further concern with running back Danny Woodhead succumbing to yet another hamstring injury.

Carolina Panthers

What we think we know: Pass rush remains elite

The Panthers' pass rush remains elite after finishing second in team sacks in 2016. They were able to get to 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer four times in a 23-3 route. The immobile Hoyer had little chance behind the porous 49ers offensive line.

The Panthers' defense will be better tested by Bills dual-threat quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who was sacked just twice by the Jets in Week 1, while scrambling eight times for a total of 38 yards.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)