6 major takeaways from Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season

Saints, Drew Brees, NFL
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The no fans thing? Saints give best example of why it’s weird...

There was a moment early on in the Buccaneers/Saints game, in Tampa Bay’s first possession of the game, where I was expecting all hell to break loose.

It was third and two from the Saints’ 38-yard line. Tom Brady took the snap and dropped back in the pocket. As smoothly and as effortlessly as always, Brady flicked the ball deep downfield to Mike Evans. The ball floated over Evans’ shoulder and hit him right where it needed too, and Evans couldn’t haul it in through some tight coverage from Marshon Lattimore. And then, the flag. Pass interference called on Lattimore, in the Saints’ home stadium. And in my heart, I was expecting bedlam.

Here we are, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome! Watching the New Orleans Saints, the team most notorious for getting screwed on pass interference calls/no-calls. And the fans? They’ve never been shy about voicing their opinion when it comes to penalties they don’t agree with. With a penalty that, at best, could be described as “iffy” as this one was, I geared up for the Saints faithful to let the boos start raining out.

It didn’t happen, of course.

The Saints are one of many teams across the NFL not letting fans in attendance. Even the teams that can bring fans in can only permit them at partial capacity. And it’s weird. I get why they can’t let people in. I agree with the decision to not let people in. But it’s weird.

Nothing feels quite like a football crowd. A sold-out stadium, with tens of thousands of fans, all screaming through the headaches and throat pain that three hours of shouting is sure to cause. For this 2020 football season, we don’t get that. At least not now.

And it’s just weird. It’s really weird.