From great debuts, upsets, an early championship game preview and a few games that went down to the final play, the 2017-18 NFL season is off to a great start for Week One.
Here’s a recap of all the action from the first week:
1) Chiefs defeat Patriots, 42-27.
As the first game of the 2017-18 NFL season, this game was quite the shocker.
Despite being the underdogs, the Chiefs stormed into Foxborough on opening night to face the defending champions and pounded them for 42 points. Alex Smith picked apart the Patriots defense, connecting for four touchdown passes for the first time in four years.
However, the spotlight goes to Kareem Hunt, who had one of the most memorable opening night performances in recent history with nearly 250 total yards to go along with three touchdowns.
It’s a rare occasion for the Patriots to lose at home, but to allow 42 points is something else. Sure, Brady struggled, only connecting on under 50 percent of his passes and there were times where he just didn’t seem comfortable.
Sure, the Patriots are 0-1, but do not even sweat it. They WILL be fine.
2) Bills defeat Jets, 21-12.
Yeah, the Jets aren’t going to be good. C’mon, we all knew this entering the season.
Sure, they scored 12 points, but their play on Sunday showed they simply have a lack of talent. Their never-ending cycle of quarterback problems showed up once more and the defense failed to stop the running and passing games.
Most likely going to be the same sh*t, different season.
The Bills saw a few solid performances from their players, most notably quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back LeSean McCoy. Taylor finished the day going 16-of-28 for 224 yards with two touchdowns. He had a few mistakes (an interception), but he showed he can make plays, whether it be through the passing game or even the running game.
McCoy posted 110 yards on 22 carries, with 49 yards on five receptions, but he did suffer an injury that will be monitored heavily heading into week two.
3) Jaguars defeat Texans, 29-7.
Blake Bortles wasn’t the reason why the Jaguars won in week one. The entire Jacksonville defense, or in this case “Sacksonville,” was what made the difference in the ball game.
The Jaguars forced four turnovers and compiled 10 sacks, with four of them coming from lineman Calais Campbell. However, losing star wide receiver Allen Robinson for the year due to an ACL tear will hurt, but the Jaguars are going to be an interesting team to watch this season.
In what was probably the second worst performance in week one (sorry Bengals), the Texans squeezed by due to the fact that quarterback Deshaun Watson found wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a touchdown.
Outside of the touchdown, nothing really went right for Houston, as both Watson and Tom Savage struggled, getting sacked a total of 10 times. Defensive end J.J. Watt left the game early with a finger injury. Trust me, the game was uglier than it seemed on the stat sheet.
4) Steelers defeat Browns, 21-18.
Despite all the crap the Browns have received these past few years, they actually looked like an okay team on Sunday against the Steelers.
Making his NFL debut at 21 years old, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer flashed glimmers of hope. Sure, he made mistakes. Was sacked seven times, but he helped keep the Browns offense in the game, including an eight-play, 73-yard drive for a touchdown.
The running game was atrocious, but the defense did their part in shutting down Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant. Pretty solid game for the Browns, with lots to look forward to, even in a defeat.
Heavily favored by almost double digits, the Steelers were expected to stampede over Cleveland and sink the Browns. Eh… didn’t really go as planned.
Outside of tight end Jesse James (41 yards, 6 receptions) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (182 yards, 11 receptions), the Steelers offense was pretty much meh.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, while having two touchdowns, was average, running back Le’Veon Bell was nonexistent and wide receiver Martavis Bryant didn’t do much. Pretty underwhelming performance by the Steelers, especially for a team most expect to go far this season.
5) Lions defeat Cardinals, 35-23.
What a game, what a game, what a game!
As the highest paid quarterback in the league, Matthew Stafford’s first pass of the season was… a Pick-6. However, he reminded us why he’s the highest paid due to the way he finishes games; Detroit scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, behind Stafford’s red-hot 7-of-8 passing for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Despite the win, special teams were an absolute mess for the Lions. Punter Casey Redfern was carted off with an injury, there were botched snaps and a whole lot of penalties. Overall, a solid outing for Detroit, but not the kind of day when Stafford had to lead them out of a late deficit.
Arizona may need to find an answer to quarterback Carson Palmer, who has really looked his age since his 2015 benching. It also didn’t help that running back David Johnson had a bit of trouble of his own getting things started in the game, finishing the day with 23 yards on 11 carries and six receptions for 68 yards.
Things, however, got worse for the Cardinals and Johnson, who left with a wrist injury late in the game and could potentially cost him half the season. Ultimately, the Cardinals had a very forgettable performance, but keep an eye out for Johnson heading into week two.
6) Falcons defeat Bears, 23-17.
While the Falcons were inconsistent in week one, there was a lot to be excited about. With new coaches and the addition of defensive tackle Dontari Poe, things are expected to look good. Matt Ryan had a solid outing, going 21-of-30 for 321 yards while Julio Jones finished the day with four catches for 66 yards.
However, if Chicago hadn’t dropped two end zone passes in the final minute, the narrative would’ve been different, and we would be talking about a “Super Bowl hangover” immediately. The Falcons will be fine, but they were able to squeeze by with just an above average performance.
Much like the Browns, the Chicago Bears held their own despite the loss. Entering the season, quarterback Mike Glennon was the butt of many jokes, but in week one, he did work against the defending NFC champions, going 26-of-40 and 213 yards with one touchdown.
Most importantly, he kept the Bears in the game. Running back Tarik Cohen torched the Falcons defense all game long, going for 66 yards in five carries. What’s most impressive is the defensive line was able to contain one of the most explosive backfields from last season. For the Bears, fans should be proud for the showing with lots of hope for the young season.
7) Raiders defeat Titans 26-16.
The Raiders looked like the same team we saw last season, but with a much improved running game. Bringing Oakland native and star running back Marshawn Lynch into the mix certainly helped, as he looked like his old self and adds another weapon for quarterback Derek Carr to look to.
Carr bounced back from his leg injury with a fantastic outing, finishing the day with 262 yards and two touchdowns. Oakland had a solid all-around game against a Tennessee team set up for success this season.
As one of the must-watch teams of the season, the Titans still have a bit of growing pains to go through. Week one against the Raiders was a prime example, as they simply faced a better team.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota had a great passing day, completing 25 passes on 41 attempts (good for 256 yards), but the only withdrawal was he ended the day without a passing touchdown. Running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry struggled a bit after starting the running game off well and finished the day with a combined 69 yards on 18 carries.
Titans fans should most definitely be excited about this team, which just hit a small speed bump at the beginning.
8) Ravens defeat Bengals, 20-0.
The Ravens defense looks legit. Posting the only shutout in week one, Baltimore’s defense was the thorn in the side of Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton, causing him to turn the ball over five times, forcing four interceptions.
On the offensive end, Joe Flaco didn’t need to do much, going 9-of-17 for 121 yards with a touchdown, but he got much needed rest while nursing a back injury suffered during the preseason.
As for the Bengals, this shutout loss is pretty inexcusable. As mentioned earlier, Dalton struggled, with five turnovers and no touchdowns. Luckily, it’s only week one and hopefully the Bengals move past it in week two.
9) Eagles defeat Redskins, 30-17.
The R’s offense continues to be a mess and the defense fails to get stops on third down. Okay, the team is without two of its starting wide receivers from last season (DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon), so we’ll give them a break this week, although Garcon is now with the 49ers.
However, in their debut game together, quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor seemed like they weren’t on the same page, despite his six receptions for 66 yards.
For the Eagles, it’s nice to get a win against a division rival, but most importantly, they snapped their five game losing streak against Washington. Sure, there’s still 15 games left to go on the young season, but it’s surely a sign of progress for a relatively young team.
10) Panthers defeat 49ers, 23-3.
With a forgetful season in the back, the Carolina Panthers entered week one with a great chance to prove they moved past last season. Sure, it was against the 49ers, but Carolina balled out. Despite a slow start to the game, quarterback Cam Newton heated up as the game progressed, posting two touchdowns on 14-of-25 passing (171 yards).
Also, give the defense credit for allowing only three points, as they smothered 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer all game long. Amazing performance by the Panthers on offense and defense.
Yeah, we all knew the 49ers were going to be bad, but we didn’t expect them to be empty-house bad.
Second half kickoff pic.twitter.com/sEQgbtfJIq
— Ann Killion (@annkillion) September 10, 2017
Although San Francisco scored only three points on the day, the additions of Hoyer and wide receiver Pierre Garcon were the right choices. Garcon finished with 6 receptions and 81 yards while Hoyer racked up 193 yards on a 24-of-35 day.
The 49ers have a long way ahead of them in terms of their rebuild, but it’s hard to win football games now when they are simply outfavored from the start.
11) Packers defeat Seahawks, 17-9.
What’s expected to be a matchup late in the NFC playoffs had a bit of everything. From Eddie Lacy facing his former squad to Jeremy Lane’s ejection for throwing a punch, it was simply a matchup of two strong defenses.
While the Seahawks didn’t allow Aaron Rodgers to sock them with huge plays, the offense struggled, and for good reason: Seattle’s offensive line stinks. Like, can we really call them offensive lineman? Cause Russell Wilson is in for a LONG season with these “blockers.”
Seattle’s defense caused a lot of problems for Aaron Rodgers all game long, but he eventually found his rhythm with quick, short passes and the running game. Racking up a total of 311 yards on 28-of-42 passing, Rodgers made his receivers look spectacular, despite only having one touchdown pass in the game.
Defensively, the Packers kept the Seahawks in check, barely keeping them under 10 points. Green Bay had a tough challenge in week one, but they outdid Seattle in order to secure the win.
12) Rams defeat Colts, 46-9.
Now this was something nobody expected after last season’s abysmal roller coaster ride that was the Los Angeles Rams: they almost scored 50 points. In other news, for the first time in his young NFL career, quarterback Jared Goff finally won a game.
Goff had a strong performance on the offensive end, completing 21 of his 29 attempts for 306 yards and connected with rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp for his lone touchdown of the day. Sure, this may be the best showing the Rams may have all season, but it’s a great way to start the season, especially with a dominating win in the first week.
Not really sure what to say about the Colts, who were without Andrew Luck for the first game of the season. To put things into simpler terms, the performance was literally a crapshoot. For his first pass, quarterback Scott Tolzien threw a pick-six, a sign of a long day yet to be played.
Without Andrew Luck for the most likely the next few weeks, this is just the beginning of a miserably long season in Indianapolis.
13) Cowboys defeat Giants, 19-3.
The Dallas Cowboys finished the job. Although quarterback Dak Prescott wasn’t perfect, he still finished Sunday night with a 24-of-39, 268 yard performance with a touchdown. It also helped that suspended-then-unsuspended running back Ezekiel Elliott suited up and ran for 104 yards in 24 carries.
The defense was a big question mark heading into the matchup, but the Cowboys held the Giants to just three points and racked up three sacks on Eli Manning. Overall, a pretty solid outing for the Cowboys.
Really Giants? Only THREE freaking points? SMH…
New York really felt the absence of playing without star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the one who struggled the most without him? Eli Manning.
Yes, Manning put up 220 passing yards on 29-of-38 passing, but he had a difficult time passing the ball, falling on the wrong end of three sacks and an interception with no touchdowns to show for. Nothing went right for the Giants on primetime Sunday television, but hopefully they get good news regarding Beckham’s status within the next two weeks.
14) Buccaneers vs. Dolphins – POSTPONED
The Dolphins and Buccaneers game was postponed due to Hurricane Irma, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are currently affected by it. As of now, the plan is to postpone the game to Week 11.
Although they didn’t play, I do find issue with this postponement. For a league that has been battered by player safety issues these last few years, asking two teams to play an ENTIRE season without a bye week is not only dangerous, but stupid, idiotic and simply cruel. For two teams that have a realistic shot of making the playoffs, relocating the game would’ve been a better alternative (even pushing the game up a day or two depending on the parties involved).
15) Vikings defeat Saints, 29-19.
It’s so weird seeing Adrian Peterson in another uniform, but it happened. And what’s a better matchup against your former team? However, it wasn’t the AP of old, as he made a lackluster debut for the Saints (six carries, 18 yards).
On the night Minnesota honored Randy Moss, Stefon Diggs became the first Vikings receiver to catch two touchdowns in the first half since Moss did in 2004. Dalvin Cook also had a big night in his debut, rushing for 127 yards to surpass Peterson’s 107 yard debut in 2007.
16) Broncos defeat Chargers, 24-21.
This game was the perfect way to end week one: one that came down to the wire.
It’s not shocking that Denver had a strong defensive showing for much of the game, but the fourth quarter was highly questionable, as the Broncos surrendered 14 unanswered points to give the Chargers a chance to tie it at the end.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian had a decent outing, going for 219 yards on 17-of-28 passing with two touchdowns, but he saw a fair share of brutality, with four sacks and on interception. The Broncos barely escaped with a clutch block of a 44-yard field goal.
Now how about this: the LOS ANGELES Chargers. Despite falling behind 24-7 entering the fourth, Philip Rivers and company did not quit. During the eight-minute stretch, the Chargers defense locked up the Broncos, forcing two turnovers that were converted into touchdowns, a missed field goal and a punt.
With the score at 24-21 in the final minutes of play, the Chargers sent out rookie kicker Younghoe Koo to try and tie it. The first attempt was waved off due to Broncos head coach Vance Joseph calling a timeout just seconds before and the rest is history.
Despite the loss, the Chargers, along with the Rams, are going to be an interesting storyline to watch this upcoming season (FOOTBALL IS BACK IN LOS ANGELES!).