Ravens 38, Browns 6
The defending AFC North champions wasted no time picking up where they left off last season. Baltimore’s defense handled the Kevin Stefanski led Browns from the start, while reigning MVP Lamar Jackson shredded the Cleveland defense with ease. It was a disaster from the start for Cleveland as star CB Marlon Humphrey was able to pick off QB Baker Mayfield after a tipped ball from new Raven Calais Campbell. Not even five minutes later Lamar Jackson found Mark Andrews for a wide-open touchdown in which Andrews was able to show off his hands on a ball that missed high. The opening touchdown drive went 49 yards on 8 plays, and the Ravens only had to drop back to pass twice. The miscues kept coming for Cleveland on their next drive as a fake punt went awry on the that gave Jackson and Co. the ball at the Cleveland 38. In total, the Browns turned the ball over three times and failed on all three of their 4th down conversion attempts. As for the Ravens, it was business as usual for their offense. Jackson threw for 3 touchdowns on 25 pass attempts and tacked on 45 more yards on the ground to lead his team in rushing as well. The lone offensive slip-up came on a fumble from FB Paul Ricard inside of the Cleveland 10, but the stout Ravens defense quickly resolved the mistake by forcing a punt on the ensuing possession. From then on, Baltimore never looked back. They built on a 24-6 halftime lead as Jackson looped in a perfect touch pass to WR Willie Snead with 7:48 remaining in the 3rd quarter. The game had all but been sealed at that point, and the Ravens cruised to an easy victory.
Key takeaways for Baltimore:
Young talent was on display as WR Marquise Brown posted 101 receiving yards on 5 receptions. Just as well, rookie RB J.K Dobbins found pay dirt twice while accumulating 22 yards on 7 carries.
Rookie LB Patrick Queen had an outstanding NFL debut as he led his team in tackles with 8, forced a fumble, and tacked on a sack.
CB Marlon Humphrey reminded everyone of his elite status as he notched an interception and broke another pass up.
Key takeaways for Cleveland:
Baker Mayfield looked shaky in his 2020 debut as he completed only 21/39 passes and was picked off 3 times. He also took 2 sacks and finished with a 65.0 QBR.
Injuries keep accumulating for Cleveland as rookie OT Jedrick Wills left the game with a leg injury and did not return. Other notable Cleveland injuries: CB Greedy Williams, S Grant Delpit, LB Mack Wilson, and OT Chris Hubbard.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. had a disastrous week 1 as he only caught 3 passes on 10 targets. He was only able to gain 22 yards while dropping 2 passes.
Chargers 16, Bengals 13
Joe Burrow’s stellar debut ended in heartbreak on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. Joe Burrow led a 14 play, 69-yard drive in the last two minutes only to have K Randy Bullock push a 31-yard field goal attempt wide right with:02 in the game. The kick would have likely forced the game to overtime, but Zac Taylor’s squad has to face an alternate reality. Cincinnati’s game plan was rather conservative through the first three quarters, understandably so, since Burrow did not have any preseason reps to ease himself in. However, when the former LSU QB got the ball at his own 18-yard line with 3:08 left in the game, it was time to take the training wheels off. Burrow passed for 60 yards on his final drive and marched his team down the field with confidence. With 0:11 remaining in regulation, Burrow seemed to have topped off his masterful game-winning drive with a touchdown pass to WR A.J Green in the front right corner of the endzone. However, Green was called for offensive pass interference after he extended both arms to push off of CB Casey Hayward Jr. while turning around to reel in the pass. The Bengals had to settle for a field goal attempt after the call, leading to the unfortunate outcome for Cincinnati. The Bengals defense held the Los Angeles offense in check for the majority of the game, but veteran QB Tyrod Taylor did just enough to put points on the board against an inexperienced Bengals defensive unit. Burrow’s stat line from his first NFL game includes completing 23/36 pass attempts for 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. All is not lost for the Bengals though, as their rookie quarterback did not blink under pressure and delivered in key situations throughout the 2nd half. As for the Chargers, they will be happy to escape week 1 with a 1-0 record but will want to sharpen up their offense for a Week 2 date with the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs.
Key takeaways for the Cincinnati Bengals:
Burrow looked calm and collected under pressure Sunday afternoon. He had 5 different receivers catch at least 5 passes, proving his ability to distribute the ball between all of his targets.
The Bengals top 2 leaders in tackles today were 2nd and 3rd-year players. 2019 draft pick Germaine Pratt led the team in tackles with 12, while 2018 pick Sam Hubbard tallied 9.
Joe Mixon struggled to find running lanes against a stout Los Angeles defense, he and the Bengals offensive line will look for more success against the Browns on Thursday Night Football in Week 2.
Key takeaways for the Los Angeles Chargers
CB Casey Hayward Jr. showed he still is every bit of the elite corner he has been with 12 tackles and 2 pass breakups while covering Cincinnati’s top targets.
Injury-prone TE Hunter Henry looked strong and fast as he brought in 5 catches for 73 yards on 8 targets
Rookie RB Joshua Kelley established himself in his first NFL game gaining 60 yards on 12 carries, including the lone Chargers’ touchdown.
BAL: @HOU- SUN 4:25 EST
CLE: VS CIN- THU 8:20 EST
CIN: @ CLE- THU 8:20 EST