Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers each threw for four TDs, while the Jaguars, Cardinals and Washington all pulled off upset wins; here’s a look at what we learned from Week One in the NFL…
Seattle Seahawks 38-25 Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta’s Todd Gurley showed be may not be done yet, Jamal Adams settled very nicely into the Seattle but there is only one story here – Mr Unliiiiiiiiimited, Russell Wilson.
When they ask u somethin'… tell 'em ur….. #UNLIMITED pic.twitter.com/832yylOTjy
Wilson unveiled his alter-ego in a bizarre social media post during the off-season but the 31-year-old is one of the best QBs in the league. If there is a criticism of Pete Carroll it is he perhaps has not allowed Wilson to unleash his full throwing potential in the last few years as the Seahawks have focused on the running game that has underpinned most of their success under their head coach.
But he completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns as the Seahawks opted for a pass-first game that saw running back Chris Carson catch two TD passes and both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett rack up just short of 100 yards receiving. Paul Prenderville
Up Next – Seahawks v Patriots (Monday, 1.20am); Falcons @ Cowboys (Sunday, 6pm)
Indianapolis Colts 20-27 Jacksonville Jaguars
[email protected] today:
📺: #INDvsJAX on CBS
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Weren’t the Jaguars supposed to be ‘tanking for Trevor’? With the team that came so close to reaching the Super Bowl three years ago since decimated, the Jags were said to be nailed on for the No 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and first dibs on highly-touted Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Only problem is, nobody told current Jacksonville QB Gardner Minshew and his squad, as he completed 19 of his 20 pass attempts for 173 yards and three TDs. David Currie
Up Next – Colts v Vikings (Sunday, 6pm); Jaguars @ Titans (Sunday, 6pm)
Chicago Bears 27-23 Detroit Lions
Mitchell Trubisky pulled off quite the magic trick in the Bears’ season opener, transforming himself from a misfiring, mediocre QB to a fourth-quarter future Hall of Famer and Chicago saviour!
Trailing 23-6 going into the final quarter of their 2020 season opener, the much-maligned signal-caller, who beat out Super Bowl LII winner Nick Foles for the starting job, threw three TDs to Jimmy Graham, Javon Wims and Anthony Miller to turn things around in stunning fashion. David Currie
Up Next – Bears v Giants (Sunday, 6pm); Lions @ Packers (Sunday, 6pm)
Philadelphia Eagles 17-27 Washington Football Team
24 unanswered [email protected] has the lead on this Peyton Barber TD!
📺: #PHIvsWAS on FOX
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Carson Wentz is running for his life, again. The Eagles quarterback was sacked eight times as his team relinquished a 17-0 lead to suffer a surprise 27-17 defeat to the Washington Football Team. Eight times.
Now, you could put that down to a few things. The first being major concerns on an offensive line that lost right guard Brandon Brooks and left tackle Andre Dillard to injuries earlier in the offseason before entering Sunday’s game without Lane Johnson. An inexperienced line was then dealt another blow in the second half when Jack Driscoll exited the game with an unspecified injury, Jordan Mailata taking his place.
Combine Wentz’s depleted pass protection with what looks like an excellent Washington front seven and it makes for an ugly bruising. To the credit of Ron Rivera’s team, rookie Chase Young and Ryan Kerrigan looked frightening off the edge and Montez Sweat only looks like he’s going to get better this season. Cameron Hogwood
Up Next – Eagles v Rams (Sunday, 6pm); Washington @ Cardinals (Sunday, 9.05pm)
Green Bay Packers 43-34 Minnesota Vikings
Anyone for some Aaron Rodgers fireworks and a return to his MVP best? The Vikings defense looked woeful, but Rodgers looks in the mood already – and not just because the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of April’s Draft.
Rodgers has expressed his unhappiness about it but 364 yards and four touchdowns showed he still has the skills and in Davante Adams a willing accomplice. Adams tied the franchise record with 14 receptions, while two more TDs takes his total to 46 touchdowns since 2016, that’s the most in the NFL in that time
Ten points in the final quarter gave the scoreline a gloss that the Vikings did not really deserve as the truth is that Green Bay could have had two or three more touchdowns. If Rodgers really is in the mood and the young receivers step up, the Packers are going places. Paul Prenderville
Up Next – Packers v Lions (Sunday, 6pm); Vikings @ Colts (Sunday, 6pm)
Cleveland Browns 6-38 Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are good, really good. But I do not think that is something we learned just last night. One of the questions heading into 2020 was whether Lamar Jackson could hurt teams with his arm. He went someway towards answering that in Sunday’s rout over the Browns.
Jackson went 20 of 25 passing for 275 yards and three touchdowns, a highlight being a stunning deep ball into the hands of Hollywood Brown on a corner route. He made clear improvements to his progressions and accuracy last season, and looks poised to take another necessary step forward as a viable pocket passer.
Beside him rookie J.K. Dobbins looked every bit the additional threat capable of hurting teams as a multi-purpose back and aiding Jackson’s development. He finished with two rushing touchdowns on his debut after being listed as the Ravens’ fourth back on the depth chart. Do not be surprised to see him rise to No 2 in the coming weeks. Cameron Hogwood
Up Next – Browns v Bengals (Friday, 1.20am); Ravens @ Texans (Sunday, 9.25pm)
Las Vegas Raiders 34-30 Carolina Panthers
[email protected] lofts it perfectly to Nelson Agholor for the 23-yard TD! #RaiderNation
📺: #LVvsCAR on CBS
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The Raiders may have themselves a star in Jonathan Abram. It’s been a game of patience for the second-year safety after his rookie year ended prematurely when he was placed on injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff sustained in his Week One debut against the Denver Broncos.
He marked his return to action with a game-high 13 total tackles as the Raiders beat the Panthers 34-30 after three rushing touchdowns from the electric Josh Jacobs and an impressive display by Derek Carr under center. Abram’s night included a ferocious hit on Christian McCaffrey for a loss of yards on second-and-seven. Cameron Hogwood
Up Next – Raiders v Saints (Tuesday, 1.15am); Panthers @ Buccaneers (Sunday, 6pm)
New York Jets 17-27 Buffalo Bills
Jets fans will argue they already knew it, and that ownership should already know it but Adam Gase is walking a tightrope at Metlife. A strong finish to last season masked a myriad of problems and having lost Jamal Adams in the off-season their defense – one of the bright spots from the previous campaign – was all at sea as Buffalo did what they always do, take advantage of their opponents’ weaknesses.
Things have to take a pretty bad turn for NFL teams to fire coaches early in the season, trailing 21-0 with 90 seconds remaining in the first half is a pretty bad turn. Paul Prenderville
Up Next – Jets v 49ers (Sunday, 6pm); Bills @ Dolphins (Sunday, 6pm)
Arizona Cardinals 24-20 San Francisco 49ers
While DeAndre Hopkins went off with 14 catches for 151 yards on his Cardinals bow, the 49ers’ were led by the dual-threat expertise of Raheem Mostert with four catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Garoppolo needs more healthy receivers at his disposal, and he needs them now.
Kyle Shanahan’s offense were missing Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd and rookie Brandon Aiyuk, while tight end George Kittle was limited to four catches for 44 yards having returned a from a leg injury in the second half. Garoppolo meanwhile looked shot of confidence at times and was guilty of both poor timing and badly-placed throws.
It’s far too soon to worry about the 49ers, but summer-long concerns over their depth at receiver crept back in yesterday. It proved a reminder of just how important Samuel’s role on the offense was last season, and just how busy Aiyuk might find himself upon his return. Cameron Hogwood
Up Next – Cardinals v Washington (Sunday, 9.05pm); 49ers @ Jets (Sunday, 6pm)
Los Angeles Chargers 16-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Both teams took quarterbacks in the first round of the Draft, but only the Bengals gave their selection game time and Joe Burrow showed enough to suggest Cincinnati look set.
Justin Herbert sat behind Tyrod Taylor as the Chargers claimed the win but all eyes were on No 1 pick Burrow after his college season for the ages with LSU last year – and all looks to be in order.
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram is about as tough an assignment as a rookie QB could ask for. There was a rushing touchdown and an interception for Burrow but the 86-yard march down the field in the closing moments perhaps offered the most hope. He was only just denied a game-winning TD throw to AJ Green by a penalty call and then a shot at an overtime win when Randy Bullock missed a game-tying field goal. Paul Prenderville
Up Next – Chargers v Chiefs (Sunday, 9.25pm); Bengals @ Browns (Friday, 1.20am)
Dallas Cowboys 17-20 Los Angeles Rams
SoFi Stadium looks an absolute beauty! Seriously impressive. And it had better be, coming in at a staggering cost of $5 billion!
Ok, so the Rams’ new home is not quite the main takeaway from this Sunday-night clash; equally impressive was the way the Rams moved the football on the Dallas defence. Head coach Sean McVay was back to his old tricks on offence, while the three-headed backfield he has at his disposal of Malcolm Brown – who had two scores – rookie Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson is real encouraging for Rams fans. David Currie
Up Next – Cowboys v Falcons (Sunday, 6pm); Rams @ Eagles (Sunday, 6pm)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-34 New Orleans Saints
I know, I know, we are going to (predictably) talk about Tom Brady here. There was lots of things of note from this captivating NFC South divisional clash – Alvin Kamara’s two scores, Drew Bress breaking Brett Favre’s record for the most pass attempts in the NFL, and the strong defensive display from both teams – but their overshadowed by Brady’s struggles.
His Buccaneers debut got off to a cracking start as he ran in for a first-quarter score and spiked the ball ‘Gronk-style’ in the endzone, but two interceptions either side of the half – the second a pick six – put his team in a 24-7 hole that he couldn’t then dig them out of. David Currie
Up Next – Buccaneers v Panthers (Sunday, 6pm); Saints @ Raiders (Tuesday, 1.15am)
Miami Dolphins 11-21 New England Patriots
The New England juggernaut just keeps chugging along, even without a certain No 12 at quarterback. The Patriots did some nice things schematically with Cam Newton who, though did not look convincing as a pure passer, looked but to his old self in racking up 75 yards and two scores on the ground.
Oh, and the Patriots secondary is still scary too! Just ask Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was picked off three times in a game he had rather forget. David Currie
Up Next – Dolphins v Bills (Sunday, 6pm); Patriots @ Seahawks (Monday, 1.20am)
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