We finally got our beloved football back and Week 1 in the NFL certainly did not disappoint. We saw some outstanding individual performances as well as some highly contested games. Week 1 is always good for a few wild surprises and this year was no different. Surely, we all had the Washington Football Team edging the Philadelphia Eagles by 10 points, right? If not, then a lot of us had new Titans kicker Steven Gostkowski missing four kicks in Denver just hit a game-winner, didn’t we? Of course, none of us predicted those outcomes, but that is the beauty of the initial weekend of the season. It is important not to overreact to one game as each team has 15 remaining, but here is where they lie after one week of play.
Let’s get to it.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: (1-0)
The defending Super Bowl Champions wasted no time getting right back on track during the season opener on Thursday night. QB Patrick Mahomes was able to find his receivers downfield with little pressure, and the KC defense was able to keep rising star Deshaun Watson grounded. There is a lot of excitement in regard to 32nd overall pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and for good reason. He rushed for 138 yards on 25 carries in his debut.
2. Baltimore Ravens: (1-0)
It was business as usual for the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon. They dismantled a banged-up Browns defense by establishing the run and running play-action early and often. Lamar Jackson looks poised to compete for his 2nd straight MVP honor, and the Baltimore defense seems to have returned to its top 10 status.
3. New Orleans Saints: (1-0)
After a sloppy start, New Orleans proved that they are still the team to beat in the NFC South. The story of the day was not from the Saints' high-powered offense; however, it was the Saints' defense. The experienced unit returned back to action by picking off QB Tom Brady twice while sacking him 3 three times.
4. Seattle Seahawks: (1-0)
Seattle started off their season with an impressive road victory over the Atlanta Falcons. QB Russell Wilson sliced the Atlanta secondary, throwing for 4 touchdowns on 322 yards. Big offseason acquisition Jamal Adams fit right in, leading the team with 12 tackles and 2 hits on QB Matt Ryan.
5. Green Bay Packers: (1-0)
The last time we saw Green Bay, the offense could barely move the ball against a suffocating San Francisco defense in the NFC Championship Game. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers did a complete 180 and lit up the scoreboard in Minnesota. Davante Adams looked strong, catching 14 passes (2 touchdowns) for 156 yards. They look to get their second division victory in as many weeks as they will host Detroit on Sunday.
6. San Francisco 49ers: (0-1)
Our first week 1 loser on our list, the San Francisco 49ers. They struggled for most of the game against the new and improved Arizona Cardinals. Aside from a 76-yard TD pass to RB Raheem Mostert, QB Jimmy Garoppolo had trouble putting up points consistently. The defense could not figure out Arizona QB Kyler Murray, letting him throw for 230 yards and rush for 91 more. San Francisco has the talent and pedigree to bounce back, so we should not overreact off of one lackluster performance.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers: (1-0)
Big Ben looked strong in his return, throwing for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. However, the story of the day was the Pittsburgh front 7. One of the top units in the NFL a year ago, the Steelers added to their biggest strength with DE Stephon Tuitt returning from injury. Pittsburgh managed to hold Pro Bowl RB Saquan Barkley to just 6 yards on 15 rushing attempts (!!!). Just as well, they pressured QB Daniel Jones 20 times on Monday night, 5 more than the next closest team in Week 1.
8. Tennessee Titans: (1-0)
Luckily for Tennessee, an ugly win counts just the same as a pretty one. K Stephen Gostkowski split the uprights from 25 yards out to lift the Titans over the Broncos with:17 remaining in the game, but it was not as easy as it sounds. Gostkowski had missed 3 field goals as well as an extra point earlier in the game but found a way to make it when it mattered most. While they are happy to be 1-0, the outlook at that position is unclear for Tennessee.
9. Buffalo Bills: (1-0)
Buffalo started their season with an easy win against the lowly New York Jets on Sunday afternoon. Their defense looked strong against Sam Darnold and Co. while Josh Allen made enough plays to secure a victory. The Bills now will look to build off of their week one victory as they travel to Miami for a Week 2 contest against the Dolphins.