The start of the NFL opened with a bang including many crazy catches, controversial play calls, and some great games played. Millions of people around the country were more than excited this weekend as every team in the NFL opened their season this past week. Overall the opening weekend for the NFL was an exciting one worth talking about.
Tom Brady made his not so long return to the NFL with a bang throwing for four touchdowns in his season debut, three of them to Rob Gronkowski. The Steelers battled back late, but Tom Brady and company were too much to handle with a final score of 28-21. In the first Sunday game, the Indianapolis Colts traveled to Buffalo to face the Bills who took a strong lead early and never looked back as they skyrocketed over the Colts 27-14. New quarterback Tyrod Taylor made it look easy against the Colts’ defense with a fifty-one yard touchdown pass to Percy Harvin that set the tone of the game. The Jets looked improved from last season as they crushed the Browns 31-10. New York ran all over the Browns on Sunday with 154 rushing yards in total and two rushing touchdowns. Receiver Brandon Marshall also chipped in touchdown reception of his own with 62 yards receiving to finish the day. The Packers opened their season against a damaged Bears winning 31-23. As usual Aaron Rodgers stole the show throwing for three touchdown passes two of those going to not-so-new newcomer James Jones. On the other end running, back Matt Forte had a monumental game, rushing for 141 yards and one score on the day. The Chiefs beat the Texans 27-20. Alex Smith started his season throwing for three touchdowns, two of them to rising star Travis Kelce. The Texans defense held things together while the offense was a mess. The next game was a big one; the Rams shocked the Seahawks 34-31 after a controversial onside kick in overtime led to a St. Louis field goal.
The Rams defense came up big on the next drive stopping Marshawn Lynch on a 4th and 1 that won the game. Will Brinson of CBS Sports still believes that” Seattle is absolutely a top team. Seattle will get it together, probably win the division and make a deep run in the playoffs.” The Dolphins took down the Redskins 17-10 in a close and scrappy match. Jarvis Landry dominated the game with fifty-three yards receiving and one punt return for a touchdown. Alfred Morris excelled on the ground with 121 yards rushing.
Now to the four o’clock games, our first one being the Chargers taking on the Lions. The Lions took a dominant 21-3 lead at halftime; it was all downhill for after that as the Chargers scored thirty unanswered points to defeat the Lions 33-28. Keenan Allen played a huge part in the comeback with a whopping 166 yards receiving on fifteen receptions. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 31-19. Both quarterbacks put up big numbers with over three-hundred yards and one throwing three touchdowns. The play of the game had to be the fifty-five yard touchdown reception by rookie David Johnson. In possibly the worst game of the day, the Broncos beat the Ravens 19-13 in a battle of the defenses. Both offenses were shut out for the day as both teams scored off of interceptions returned for touchdowns. The Bengals ravaged a weak Raiders team 33-13. Tight end Tyler Eifert stole the show scoring twice and catching nine balls for 104 yards. The Raiders didn’t put up much of a fight once quarterback Derek Carr went down with an injury. Last but not least for our four o’clock game was the Buccaneers vs. the Titans, a battle of the two rookie quarterbacks in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota making their pro debuts. Mariota was the quarterback on top in this matchup as he threw for four touchdowns in the first half, one of only two quarterbacks to ever do that in their rookie debut. In a recent email with Will Brinson, I asked him if believed Marcus Mariota is the real deal. He stated “Marcus Mariota is the real deal although it’s insane to expect the sort of performance we saw from him against the Buccaneers.” He also said I really like Mariota but expecting that sort of performance every week is asking way too much.” The final score of this game was 42-14 Titans.
The most important game was the Sunday night affair when the New York Giants blew their last minute lead against the Cowboys on some bad calls and some really terrible defense. The Giants decided to throw the ball on a third and goal at the one yard line with the clock running, down which resulted in Eli Manning throwing it out of bounds to stop the clock instead of simply dropping down and taking a sack. I again asked Will Brinson about his opinion on what transpired in those final minutes, and he stated “I’m fine with the pass play in a vacuum, provided you at least make sure that your two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback knows if the one read to the right isn’t there he needs to hit the deck, declare himself down, take the sack and keep the clock running. The whole drive was poor clock management, really, and never should’ve resulted in just three points.” Every Giants fan in the country was seething with rage as they watched the Giants potentially blow another game against a division rival. On the next drive, the Cowboys marched down the field and scored with exactly seven seconds remaining on the clock. Sunday night was not a proud night for any Giants fan as they watched Tony Romo and Jason Garrett dance all over the field in joy. The Giants defense dominated the whole game but could not hold at the end as the final score was Cowboys 27-Giants 26.
The closing games of week one in the NFL were the Falcons vs. the Eagles and the 49ers vs. the Vikings. The Falcons opened up their season strong and shocked the Eagles by taking them down 26-24. Everyone believed the Eagles were surefire favorites for this game, but Dan Quinn proved that his new Falcons team is no joke although luck may have been on their side when Eagles kicker Cody Parkey missed a field goal from forty-four yards out that would have put the team back on top. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones connected for 141 yards and two touchdowns on the night. The late game was the 49ers vs the Vikings. The 49ers beat them with ease 20-3 as Carlos Hyde rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings showed that they were no match for the 49ers as they failed to score a single touchown. Week two may be no match for this great week in the NFL.