In this weekly NFL roundup, I’ll take a look at the top five games of the week in depth while mentioning a few of the other scores, standings and player highlights from around the league.
Week 1 of NFL action has come and gone, and you need to grab as much as you can out of the flurry of information that came out of the weekend!
Let’s get started!
Philadelphia 18 Atlanta 12
Opening the season on Thursday night was a matchup of the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. An NFC heavyweight fight was expected with both teams holding high divisional expectations for the year.
The Eagles looked to get the job done with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles starting at QB with Carson Wentz still recovering from the knee injury he suffered the year prior.
Atlanta came out fast on their opening drive throwing some run-pass-option back at the Eagles. Matt Ryan and company drove down the field but were shut down on four straight plays from the 1-yard line for the turnover on downs.
It was a very defensive game as neither team could find a way into the end zone for the rest of the half, while trading field goals. Atlanta took a 6-3 lead into the half.
The game stayed quiet until just over four minutes left in the third quarter when the Eagles got into the end zone.
Nick Foles took the offence down the field and after another Philly Special type trick play. Foles took a pass from Nelson Agholor for a big first down. Jay Ajayi would eventually take it into the end zone for the 10-6 lead.
The Falcons would get a break of their own off a fumble on a punt return by the Eagles. Matt Ryan would go on another drive into Eagles territory before throwing an interception at the goal line with just under 12 minutes left in the game.
Deion Jones would make up for it, however, coming up with a pick of his own giving the Falcons the ball back which would lead to a Tevin Coleman TD run and a 12-10 lead after a missed PAT.
Some big runs by Corey Clement and Jay Ajayi would get Ajayi in the end zone for his second TD of the game and a 2-pt conversion giving the lead back to the Eagles at 18-12.
Atlanta had one last chance driving down to the Eagles 10-yard line and in the dying seconds, they were stopped on four straight plays. On the last play, Philly would be called for illegal contact putting the ball at the 5-yard line with one second left.
Ryan would hit Jones in the corner of the end zone, but he came down out of bounds resulting in an incompletion and the Eagle victory.
Neither offence could move the ball effectively through most of the game with both QB’s struggling with accuracy and making reads. The Eagles got things going late and were to score a few touchdowns to take the win.
PHI: N.Foles: 19/34 117 YDs 0TD 1INT. J.Ajayi: 15CAR-62YDs 2TDs.
ATL: M.Ryan: 21/43 251 YDs 0TD 1INT. J.Jones: 10CAT-169YDs.
Houston 20-27 New England
Tom Brady opened his 19th season in the NFL battling father time and wanting to prove that at age 41 he can still get the job done and get back to the Super Bowl for his ninth appearance in the big game.
The Texans looked to come out with a massive Week 1 win. Deshaun Watson would be coming back from a torn ACL with JJ Watt fully recovered from his season-ending leg injury a year ago.
Watson would try and hand the ball off to Lamar Miller on the opening drive, but at the last second tried to pull the ball out resulting in a fumble that would be recovered by the Pats. The turnover would turn into points as Brady would hit Rob Gronkowski for the touchdown and the 7-0 lead.
Tyrann Mathieu would force a turnover the other way, coming up with a pick off a pass from Brady that was tipped at the line. A strong defensive stand by the Pats would limit the damage to just a field goal and the 7-3 score.
It was a sloppy first half for the Texans as Deshaun Watson would force a ball deep into double coverage in the back of the end zone, resulting in an interception by Stephon Gilmore.
Houston would only manage two field goals in the first half while Brady would add two TD passes, one to James White and one to Phillip Dorsett in the dying seconds for the 21-6 lead.
The Texans couldn’t get much going to start the second half either. After the defence forced a fumble on Gronkowski they would end up going for it on 4th and 5 from the red zone. Watson would throw an incompletion in the back of the end zone for the turnover on downs.
Watson would finally put together an efficient drive towards the end of the third quarter driving down the field and putting up seven on a 2-yard Alfred Blue run and the 24-13 score.
Houston would catch a break punting the ball with four minutes left in the game. The return would be fumbled and recovered by the Texans in the red zone.
After a few defensive holding penalties by Stephon Gilmore, Watson would hit Bruce Ellington for the TD and the 27-20 score. They would get the ball back with 48 seconds left on the clock, but it wasn’t enough as the Pats D stood tall for the victory.
Tom Brady did what he does, but most impressive was the New England defence who unlike in the early parts of last year looked dominant keeping Houston out of the end zone until late in the third quarter.
NE: T.Brady: 26/39 277YDs 3TDs 1INT R.Gronkowski: 7CAT 123YDs
HOU: D.Watson: 17/34 176YDs 1TD 1INT L.Miller: 20CAR 98YDs
Tampa Bay 48-40 New Orleans
The Bucs had a rough year in 2017 and would be without quarterback Jameis Winston after being handed a three-game suspension for 2018 after an incident with a female Uber driver.
The Saints were one play away from the NFC Championship game last year and with the 39-year-old Drew Brees under centre with explosive weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas looked to redeem their playoff exit from a year ago.
What was expected to be a one-sided game in favour of the Saints turned out to be a high-scoring shootout. New Orleans scored first driving down the field and capping it all off with an Alvin Kamara TD run for the 7-0 lead.
Tampa Bay would answer right back on the next drive with a 58-yard bomb from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Desean Jackson for the touchdown tying the game at 7. Fitzpatrick would take one in on his own a few drives later making it 14-10 Tampa Bay.
The Saints would open the second quarter matching the Buc’s TD. Brees would throw a 28-yard pass to Ted Ginn JR in the end zone giving them the 17-14 lead. The touchdowns kept coming as Fitzpatrick would then hit Chris Godwin at the pilon for the 24-17 lead.
Tampa Bay would then make it a two-touchdown lead with Mike Gililislee fumbling the ball, Justin Evans would scoop it and return it 34 yards for the 31-17 score. Brees would not settle for that however, hitting Kamara for a huge gain before finding Michael Thomas for the 6-yard TD and 31-24 score at the half.
After Tampa Bay added a field goal halfway through the third quarter the fire works continued with Fitzpatrick throwing a 50-yard strike to Mike Evans for the TD and 41-24 lead. And they weren’t done there. Fitzpatrick would open the fourth quarter with a 36-yard TD pass to Jackson for the massive 48-24 lead.
New Orleans played a very quiet second half offensively until late in the fourth. They would add two TD’s in the final eight minutes with a touchdown through the air and one on the ground for Kamara, but it wasn’t enough as the Bucs held on for the win.
It was a firework-filled shootout with both offences lighting it up left and right, but most surprisingly the Bucs offence who put up over 500 yards on way to a huge win over a division rival. For a team that was expected to finish last in the NFC South, it was a big-time statement win.
TB: R.Fitzpatrick: 21/28 417YDs M.Evans: 7CAT 147YDs D.Jackson: 5CAT 146YDs.
NO: D.Brees: 37/45 439YDs 3TDs M.Thomas: 16CAT 180YDs A.Kamara: 9CAT 112 YDs
Seattle 24-27 Denver
The Seahawks want to prove they can contend after experiencing huge turnover on the defensive side of the ball. Shaquem Griffin would get the start at linebacker with KJ Wright missing time with a knee injury and Earl Thomas would get the start after holding out through camp for a new contract.
After finishing with a 5-11 record in 2017 the Broncos came into the year hoping that they have finally found their starting QB in Case Keenum who had a tremendous year for Minnesota in 2017.
The Seahawks would get on the board first after Earl Thomas came up with an interception, putting the Hawks in the red zone. On the first play of the drive, Russell Wilson would hit Will Dissly on a beautiful play-action pass for the TD and the 7-0 lead.
Denver would answer back with a score on their next drive with rookie running back Phillip Lindsay scoring on a 29-yard catch to tie the game at 7.
The Broncos would take the lead in the second quarter with a Keenum throw to Emmanuel Sanders for a beautiful 43-yard TD pass and the 14-10 lead. The Broncos would add a field goal taking a 17-10 lead into the half.
In a game full of turnovers, the Seahawks handed the ball off to Chris Carson and while Von Miller came in for the tackle he ripped the ball out of Carson’s hands for the forced fumble and recovery.
Seattle would take the ball right back, however. Bradley McDougald came up with the interception near the sidelines off Keenum’s first pass after the takeaway. It was McDougald’s second pick of the game.
Wilson would make the Broncos pay for their mistake with a TD pass to Brandon Marshall tying the game at 17.
Following a Broncos field goal, Seattle would take the lead back with a huge 51-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Tyler Lockett for 24-20 lead. It didn’t last long, however.
The Broncos drove down the field and after big gains through the air and a roughing the passer penalty, Keenum would hit Demaryius Thomas for a TD and the 27-24 lead. The defence for Denver would shut down Russell Wilson and the Seahawks sealing the win.
It was a defence heavy game through most of it with a total of 6 turnovers and 7 sacks. Denver’s defence was especially great totalling 6 of those 7 sacks with Von Miller having an all-star performance with 3 sacks of his own.
DEN: Keenum: 25/39 329YDs 3TDs 3INTs E.Sanders: 10CAT 135YDs 1TD V.Miller: 5TCKs 3SCKs
SEA: R.Wilson: 19/33 298YDs 3TDs 2INTs W.Dissly: 3CAT 105YDs 1TD
**D. Baldwin leaves with sprained MCL
Chicago 23-24 Green Bay
The Bears who showcased one of the better defences in the league last year got even stronger with the addition of Khalil Mack. The divisional matchup with the Packers on Sunday night would be a huge opportunity for Mitchell Trubisky and company to make a statement in the NFC North.
After losing Aaron Rodgers for most of the season last year the Packers looked to get off the ground running against the Bears. It would be intriguing to see how the Green Bay offence would run without Jordy Nelson and the addition of red zone weapon Jimmy Graham.
The Bears would get on the board first a little over halfway through the first quarter. After an impressive 10-play drive Trubisky would run the ball in off the RPO for the 7-0 lead.
Chicago would put up 144 yards in the first quarter alone, on their way to taking a 10-0 lead into the second quarter. They would add to that lead before the half but not before some more bad news for the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers would be sacked by two Bears’ defenders appearing to injure his knee. He would be carted to the dressing room but luckily for the fans in Green Bay, he would return. However, he wouldn’t be back before things would get worse for the Packers.
DeShone Kizer would come into the game in relief but would not fair well for Green Bay. He would be sacked by Mack, who would rip the ball away from Kizer for the fumble and recovery.
Then just before halftime Kizer would throw while being hit and guess who other than Khalil Mack would come up with the interception and return it 27 yards for the pick-six and 17-0 halftime lead.
Rodgers would return for the second half and after both teams traded field goals in the third quarter the Packers would cut down that lead by more in the fourth.
Rodgers would hit Geronimo Allison for a 39-yard touchdown pass over Kyle Fuller for the 20-10 score. Then on their next drive they would go back down the field on five plays for 75 yards ending in a 12-yard TD pass from Rodgers to Davante Adams to make it 20-17 with nine minutes left.
Chicago would then extend the lead with a field goal but Aaron Rodgers would have the last say. The former Super Bowl MVP would buy time in the pocket and find Randall Cobb who would take off the distance for a 75-yard TD and the 24-23 lead with just under three minutes left in the game.
It would be enough for the Packers to finalize the comeback and victory. The Bears defence was ferocious and the offence was dynamic but it wasn’t enough to stop Aaron Rodgers from doing what Aaron Rodgers does.
GB: A.Rodgers: 20/30 286YDs 3TDs R.Cobb: 9CAT 142YDs 1TD
CHI: M.Trubisky: 23/35 171YDs K.Mack: 3TCKs 1SCK 1INT
Baltimore 47-3 Buffalo
J.Flacco: 25/34 236 YDs 3TDs/ J.Allen: 6/15 74YDs
Pittsburgh 21-21 Cleveland
B.Roethlisberger: 23/41 335YDs 1TD 3INT J.Conner: 31CAR 135YDs 2TDs. T.Watt: 4SCKs./T.Taylor: 15/40 197YDs 1TD 1INT J.Landry: 7CAT 106YDs. M.Garrett: 2SCKs 2FF 6TCKs. D.Ward: 2INTs 6TCKs.
Cincinnati 34-23 Indianapolis
A.Dalton: 21/18 243YDs 2TDs 1INT A.Green: 6CAT 92YDs 1TD/A.Luck: 39/53 319YDs 2TDs 1INT
Tennessee 20-27 Miami
R.Tannehill: 20/28 230YDs 2TDs 2INTs K.Stills: 4CAT 106YDs 2TDs/M.Mariota: 9/16 103YDs 2INTs B.Gabbert: 11/22 117YDs 1INT
**M.Mariota left with elbow injury. D.Walker leaves with dislocated ankle.
San Francisco 16-24 Minnesota
K.Cousins: 20/36 244YDs 2TDs A.Thielen: 6CAT 102YDs/J.Garoppolo: 15/33 261YDs 1TD 3INT
Jacksonville 20—15 NY Giants
B.Bortles: 18/33 176YDs 1TD 1INT/E.Manning: 23/37 224YDs 1INT S.Barkley: 18CAR 106YDs 1TD O.Beckham: 11CAT 111YDs
Dallas 8-16 Carolina
C.Newton: 17/26 161YDs 13CAR 58YDs/D.Prescott: 19/29 170YDs
Kansas City 38-28 LA Chargers
P.Mahomes: 15/27 256YDs 4TDs T.Hill: 7CAT 169YDs 2TDs 2PR 95YDs 1TD/P.Rivers: 34/51 424YDs 3TDs 1INT K.Allen: 8CAT 108YDs 1TD M.Gordon: 9CAT 102YDs
Washington 24-6 Arizona
A.Smith: 21/30 255 YDs 2TDs A.Peterson: 26CAR 96YDs 1TD/S.Bradford: 20/34 153YDs 1INT
**A.Peterson scores 100th TD.
NY Jets 48-17 Detroit
S.Darnold: 16/21 198YDs 2TDs 1INT I.Crowell: 10CAR 102YDs 2TDs/M.Stafford:27/46 286YDs 1TD 4INTs K.Golladay; 7CAT 114YDs
**Jets defence with 2 pick-sixes. **Z.Ansah left with shoulder injury.
LA Rams 33-13 Oakland
J.Goff: 18/33 233YDs 2TDs T.Gurley: 20CAR 108YDs/D.Carr: 29/40 303YDs 3INTs J.Cook: 9CAT 180YDs
1.Broncos (1-0) 2.Chiefs (1-0) 3.Raiders (0-1) 4.Chargers (0-1)
1.Patriots (1-0) 2.Dolphins (1-0) 3.Jets (1-0) 4.Bills (0-1)
1. Jaguars (1-0) 2.Texans (0-1) 3.Colts (0-1) 4.Titans (0-1)
1.Ravens (1-0) 2.Bengals (1-0) 3.Browns (0-0-1) 4.Steelers (0-0-1)
1.Rams (1-0) 2.Cardinals (0-1) 3.Seahawks (0-1) 4.49ers(0-1)
1.Eagles(1-0) 2Washington(1-0) 3.Giants(0-1) 4.Cowboys(0-1)
1.Panthers (1-0) 2.Buccaneers(1-0) 3.Saints (0-1) 4.Falcons (0-1)
1.Packers (1-0) 2.Vikings (1-0) 3.Lions (0-1) 4.Bears (0-1)