The wait is over and the 100th NFL season is here. From last minute trades to late releases and pick ups, the much anticipated season has had numerous changes and surprises.
Former Oakland Raider, Antonio Brown, who seemed to have a new concern everyday was “finally free” after being released from the Raiders. Less than 24 hours later, the star wide receiver was picked up by Super Bowl defending champs, the New England Patriots. As if the Patriots were in need of help in the first place, they opened the season with a blowout of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tom Brady at his 20th year in the league, still has not lost a step after throwing for three touchdowns. The Patriots won 33-3 not allowing a touchdown, but the biggest question is whether this move by Antonio Brown was all a set up from the beginning.
The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears kicked off the 100th season in Chicago in what looked like the sloppiest offensive game ever to start a season. The Bears held the Packers to only 19.2 yards per drive. Mitchell Trubisky could not get the job done on offense to help the Bears as they were held to only a field goal the whole game. The Packers came out on top in a 10-3 win which was the lowest-scoring season opener since 2002.
In other news, the Kansas City Chiefs are still pretty good on the offensive side of the ball. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are still making a fool out of defensive coordinators taking down the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-26, but the biggest concern for the Chiefs will be how long Tyreek Hill will be out with an apparent shoulder injury.
Lamar Jackson put an end to all the haters that said he was not good enough to be a throwing quarterback. Jackson had a perfect passer rating and matched the Baltimore Ravens franchise record for touchdowns in a game with five. Two of those touchdowns were to rookie Marquise Brown, whose first two catches were touchdowns totaling 130 yards making him the first player in NFL history to score multiple 40-yard touchdowns in a career debut. The Ravens put on an absolute show dominating the Miami Dolphins 59-10. Either the Ravens are going to be really good this year or the Dolphins have a lot of work to do.
Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns had a rough start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Mayfield threw three interceptions and the anticipated elite offense for the Browns looked not so elite. With their much improved roster, the Browns’ hype has the possibility of being a fluke. But credit to the Titans, Derrick Henry had a great game and the Titans defense was on point to shut down the Browns’ star receiving core.
The Buffalo Bills defeat the New York Jets 17-16. The Minnesota Vikings came out on top against the Atlanta Falcons 28-12. Christian McCaffery had an impressive game but could not help the Carolina Panthers enough in their 27-30 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Los Angeles Chargers fought a battle in overtime against the “Luckless” Indianapolis Colts. Both teams looked promising with lots of time left to improve. The Chargers took home the win 30-24. Ezekiel Elliot was OK in his debut but Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys looked outstanding in their 35-17 win over the New York Giants. Jameis Winston had three interceptions in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss to the San Francisco 49ers 31-17. Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals tied with the Detroit Lions 27-27 in a late comeback by the Cardinals. The Philadelphia Eagles took home a win against the Washington Redskins, 32-27. The Seattle Seahawks hung on late against the Cincinnati Bengals to win, 21-20.
The first week was full of surprising scores, standout performances and disappointing hype to say the least. Monday night was a night of two great matchups between the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints, which the Saints won, 30-28, and the Oakland Raiders against the Denver Broncos, which was a 24-16 victory for the Raiders.