Man, what an opening week for the NFL! From Tom Brady and the Buccaneers showing why they are the defending champions against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, Patrick Mahomes magic against the Browns, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson’s debuts, and much more on a wild opening week in the NFL.
First let's start with the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson who looked astonishing in the Seahawks win over the Indianapolis Colts, 28-16, with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldrons offense where he threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns, including a 69 yard wonder to Tyler Lockett on their last offensive drive of the first half. Lockett himself was stunning with four receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns, leading all receivers in yards.
On the other side Carson Wentz looked pretty healthy coming off a foot injury that sidelined him for five weeks, juking a defender early on in the game and showed some agility moving in the pocket amidst constant defensive pressure, showing can run Frank Reich’s offense. Wentz will need to continue building chemistry with a Colts team that was tied for the best record in the AFC South last season(11-5) along with the Tennessee Titans. Wentz will need to show he can make others better and create opportunities for his team if they are to be amongst the elite of the NFL this season.
Next up Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the highly regarded quarterback out of Clemson, compared to NFL greats Peyton Manning and John Elway prior to entering the NFL had an up and down NFL debut. His Jaguars lost to the Houston Texans, 37-21, who seem like they will be alright without Deshaun Watson all season, led by Tyrod Taylor, who threw for 291 yards, two touchdowns, completing 21 of his 33 passes. Lawrence threw three interceptions, something he never did throughout his career at Clemson, in an offense that looked totally out of sync and needs a ton of practice sessions together. Despite throwing three picks, Lawrence showed flashes of brilliance and why he’s so highly regarded, amassing for 332 yards for three touchdowns on 28/51 completion.
Now let's continue going around the league. Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals hammered the Tennessee Titans 38-13 behind Murray’s four passing touchdowns, along with a rushing one himself to go along with his 289 yards on 21/32 completions with just one interception. Murray’s versatility to use his elusive speed at his as well as his strong arm makes him a tough guy to prepare for for opposing defenses around the league. The Cardinals defense looked stifling as well with former 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt made his presence felt early in the game with a tackle on the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year in running back Derrick Henry, who had an uncharacteristic 58 yards on 17 carries.
Outside linebacker Chandler Jones was another defensive nightmare for the Titans, recording five sacks, along with two forced fumbles in an astounding performance by one of the best defensive players in the league. Meanwhile, the Titans, led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Henry, and wide receiver A.J. Brown, who had just four receptions for 49 yards and one touchdown looked lethargic on both ends of the field, totaling just 248 yards for the entire game and just 3.9 yards per play with their star players not playing up to their standards.
Other games around the league we had Mahomes and the Chiefs defeat the Cleveland Browns(33-29), despite being down 22-10 coming out of halftime. Mahomes was magnificent once again, proving time and time again that your lead is not safe when he is on the field with his troops, totaling 337 yards for three touchdowns with no turnovers on 27 of 36 completions. Tyriek Hill was Mahomes main target in the game and he was no slouch himself, totaling 197 yards on 11 receptions and a touchdown on an amazing 75 yard throw connection from Mahomes that will make your jaw drop with an average of 18 yards per carry.Travis Kelce also chipped in with two touchdowns on six receptions for 76 yards. The Chiefs are now 11-0 in September in every game Mahomes has started and the Browns were also no slouch either, going blow for blow with the Chiefs with Baker Mayfield looking sharp, completing 75% of his passes for 321 yards and a touchdown. The Browns rushing attack duo of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb also cashed in for them, combining for three touchdowns. The Browns will need to improve their defense if they want to be among the elite in the NFL, as they allowed the Chiefs to convert 9 of 13 attempts on third downs
Continuing around the league, can Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers redeem themselves after a embarrassing 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints? Are the Los Angeles Rams a legitimate Super Bowl threat after Matthew Stafford’s astonishing debut where he threw for three touchdowns and 321 yards against the Chicago Bears? What to think of the Zach Wilson vs Sam Darnold duel with the Carolina Panthers defeating the New York Jets 19-14 this past weekend? All these are great questions to continue evaluating as the season progresses, but one thing is certain, if week one is any indication of what’s to come, the NFL is in for a real treat.