This NFL season, we’re introducing a weekly installment in which we look at social media winners and losers across the NFL. Each week, we’ll scour Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and whatever else the kids are using these days to determine who dominated the social media conversation, for better or for worse. Let’s get to it.
Winner: Tony Romo
It’s been a long time since Tony Romo received a heap of social media praise on an NFL Sunday. The now-former Dallas Cowboys QB made his CBS debut, calling Sunday’s Oakland Raiders – Tennessee Titans game and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive.
Awesome debut by Tony Romo as a commentator too. Composed, informative. 4-5 times he called out a play or blitz before it happened.
— Ted Nguyen (@RaidersAnalysis) September 10, 2017
Tony Romo with a little excitement here: "Boom! I'm back, baby! I'm Beast Mode!" pic.twitter.com/KUeWTOrVDZ
— Brandon George (@DMN_George) September 10, 2017
Romo: "Jim, I got $5 this is a run to the left."
[Derrick Henry runs left one second later] pic.twitter.com/qZRoAV388e
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 10, 2017
Loser: Tom Brady
It’s hard to imagine being a social media loser on a night in which your team unveils the banner for its fifth championship after you led the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, but New England Patriots QB Tom Brady looked all of his 40 years in Thursday night’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and was memed accordingly.
When the alarm clock goes off but you were already awake pic.twitter.com/HxSbYMK8xa
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 8, 2017
Winner: Kareem Hunt fantasy owners
Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt was without a doubt one of the stars of Week 1. The rookie running back recovered from a fumble on his first NFL carry to rush for 246 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns against the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Of course, those who took a gamble on Hunt following Spencer Ware’s injury celebrated.
— WaiverWired (@WaiverWired_) September 8, 2017
— Snack Time Fantasy (@Snack_TimeFS) September 8, 2017
Kareem Hunt fantasy owners!!!! pic.twitter.com/NudOvB7jt2
— RegularSZN Ethan (@EthanGSN) September 8, 2017
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell and Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson stood firmly atop most fantasy draft boards and both struggled in Week 1.
Bell showed plenty of rust, rushing for just 32 yards on 10 carries and catching three passes for 15 yards. Meanwhile, Johnson exited Sunday’s contest against the Detroit Lions with a dislocated wrist. He’ll be headed to the IR and could miss up to three months of action.
people with Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson on their fantasy teams… pic.twitter.com/CjXw5EO78W
— SpongeBob Sports (@SpongeBobSports) September 10, 2017
Winners: The Watt family
No family had a more dominant Sunday than the Watts. Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, who has raised a staggering $31 million (and counting) for Hurricane Harvey victims, took the field at NRG Stadium for the first time and the response from the crowd was unforgettable.
Sophie Musial, great-grandma of J.J., Steelers LB T.J. and Los Angeles Chargers fullback Derek Watt, also won our hearts when she wore her custom Texans jersey to church.
— Amy Palcic (@amypalcic) September 10, 2017
And in his NFL debut, T.J. did something his brother had never done before: record two sacks and an interception in the same game.
Derek’s Chargers nearly capped off a stellar opening week Monday night against the Denver Broncos, but his team’s furious comeback attempt was stymied by a blocked field goal.
Loser: California fans
The Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers opened their seasons Sunday, but someone might want to tell their fans. Both the Coliseum and Levi’s Stadium were shockingly empty for Sunday’s contests.
Tickets for Colts vs. Rams were $6 and still nobody showed up. pic.twitter.com/RND1DmDOof
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) September 10, 2017
In these fans’ defense, the Rams and the 49ers haven’t really given their faithful much to cheer about these days and there are a bevy of alternative entertainment options in the state.
Loser: Chuck Pagano
The Colts got the stuffing kicked out of them by Jared Goff and the Rams so badly that coach Chuck Pagano couldn’t even remember which team he just lost to.
Chuck Pagano says the Colts got their ass kicked by the 49ers… they played the Rams pic.twitter.com/fX89OhdRiB
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) September 10, 2017
Winner: Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick was a social media winner without doing anything at all. It was clear from looking at the Week 1 starting QBs across the league that his talents surpass those of, say, Scott Tolzien.
If you dislike Kaepernick, or things he's done that's all you.
If you pretend he isn't a better QB than Tolzien, you dont know football.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) September 10, 2017
When someone asks you for "proof" Colin Kaepernick has been blackballed, show them Scott Tolzien's game film from today.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) September 10, 2017
Colin Kaepernick not good enough to play in a league where two quarterbacks were benched in Week 1.
Or maybe it is something else.
— Raymond Summerlin (@RMSummerlin) September 10, 2017
At the 49ers game, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry showed his support.
Steph Curry making his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick pretty clear. (via IG) pic.twitter.com/yoM4dyGt7R
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 10, 2017
Colin Kaepernick has Steph Curry’s support. pic.twitter.com/9UPBgi3cFI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 11, 2017
Some also used the lack of 49ers fan support to dispute the notion that signing Kaepernick would be bad for business.
Thank goodness Kaepernick wasn't brought back, it might have cost the 49ers their passionate fanbase https://t.co/f2fAKx92fF
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) September 10, 2017
Loser: Eli Manning
The classic Eli Manning face has a 2017 upgrade.
33 yards passing for Eli pic.twitter.com/EeEauBcaKw
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 11, 2017
The New York Giants QB struggled without Odell Beckham Jr. against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, completing 29-of-38 passes for 220 yards and no touchdowns in a 19-3 loss.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 11, 2017
It’s OK, Eli. You’ve still got those two Super Bowl rings.
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