Recapping a thrilling Week 1 in the NFL

Week 1 of the NFL was filled with comebacks, game winning plays and upsets


Luke Altier, Contributing Writer

Tampa Bay def. Dallas 31-29

In the first NFL game of the year, Dak Prescott and Tom Brady combined for almost 800 passing yards. The game-winning field goal was knocked in by Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop with only two seconds on the clock.

Houston def. Jacksonville 37-21

In his first game for the Jaguars, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft Trevor Lawrence threw for 332 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The turnovers gave the Texans, fueled by their rushing offense, enough possession to put up almost 40 points. 

Chargers def. Washington 20-16

The Chargers, led by second-year phenom Justin Herbert, won their first game of the season against the Washington football team. Washington’s plans for the week (and possibly the season) were shattered when Ryan Fitzpatrick, the quarterback they signed for the 2021 season, was removed from the game after taking a massive hit in the pocket.

San Francisco def. Detroit 41-33

The 49ers, led by second-year receiver Deebo Samuel (nine receptions, 189 yards, one TD) and new starting running back Elijah Mitchell (109 yards, one TD), were able to squeak past Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions. Goff had a great debut with his new team, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns.

Carolina def. Jets 19-14

Two top-five draft selections by the New York Jets, Sam Darnold (former Jet) and Zach Wilson (the Jets rookie quarterback), faced off on Sunday. Darnold beat his former team, throwing for 280 yards and a touchdown, as well as running one in himself. Wilson posted a decent stat line in his debut for the Jets (258 yards, two TDs, one interception).

Seattle def. Indianapolis 28-16

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks demonstrated a balanced attack strategy against the Colts. Wilson threw four touchdowns, three of which were to his two-star wideouts Tyler Lockett (two TDs) and D.K. Metcalf (one TD). Carson Wentz threw for 258 yards and two passing touchdowns in his debut for Indy. The Colt’s defense, led by DeForest Buckner and Darius Leonard, caused havoc throughout the game for Wilson. It wasn’t enough, as the Colts couldn’t consistently find the end zone.

Philadelphia def. Atlanta 32-6

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles earned a commanding victory and showcased their well-rounded receiving core. Hurts threw touchdowns to three different receivers (Devonta Smith, Jalen Raegor and Dallas Goedert), and didn’t turn the ball over for the entirety of the game. The Eagles’ defense helped keep the ball in Hurts’ hands. They sacked Matt Ryan three times and forced a fumble.

Pittsburgh def. Buffalo 23-16

In a game that was expected to be jam-packed with touchdowns, only two were thrown. Josh Allen was unable to connect in the red zone, scoring only once on four trips. Roethlisberger, similarly, only scored once on three trips. Arguably, the biggest factor in this game was the Steelers’ defensive unit, which caused four fumbles.

Cincinnati def. Minnesota 27-24

Joe Burrow, returning from a horrible knee injury, connected with Tee Higgins and rookie Ja’Marr Chase for touchdowns to help Joe Mixon (127 rushing yards, one TD) carry the offense. Dalvin Cook didn’t disappoint, as he rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown.

Arizona def. Tennessee 38-13

After signing the likes of J.J. Watt, A.J. Green and others, the Cardinals showed out against the Titans. Kyler Murray was phenomenal, throwing for almost 300 yards, dishing four touchdowns (DeAndre Hopkins — two TDs; Christian Kirk — two TDs), and rushing for one himself. While Murray and the offense were fantastic, the most impressive player on the field was Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones, who managed to sack Ryan Tannehill five times and forced him to fumble twice.

Kansas City def. Cleveland 33-29

Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill are back at it again this year — Mahomes connected with Tyreek Hill for a 75-yard touchdown; Hill was on the receiving end of almost 200 of his 337 passing yards. Baker Mayfield, while throwing for 321 yards, relied heavily on the likes of Nick Chubb (two TDs) and Kareem Hunt (one TD) to do the scoring for the Browns. However, the real story of this game was the brilliant comeback by the Chiefs. Their three forced turnovers gave the Chiefs enough momentum to win the game.

New Orleans def. Green Bay 38-3

Jameis Winston and the Saints bullied the Packers in their season opener. Winston threw five touchdowns, but only totaled 148 passing yards. Saints running backs Alvin Kamara and Tony Jones Jr. combined for 133 yards on the ground, which allowed Winston to get good red zone looks. The Packers, after dealing with offseason drama, had a tough time getting in the red zone. The Saints established an early lead at the half (17-0), and never allowed the Packers any breathing room to get back in the game.

Denver def. Giants 27-13

Newly acquired Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (264 yards, two TDs) and Daniel Jones (267 yards, one TD) matched up evenly in the pocket if you look at the stats, but Bridgewater played a much more efficient game (he only missed on eight of his 36 passing attempts). Bridgewater also led a huge drive at the end of the first half, giving the Broncos a 10-7 lead with just eight seconds remaining. Broncos running back Melvin Gordon rushed for 101 yards, which included a 70-yard touchdown that helped seal the victory in the fourth quarter. The Broncos look ahead to Justin Herbert and the Chargers next week. 

Miami def. New England 17-16

In the battle of the ‘Bama alumni, Tua Tagovailoa faced off against the Pats rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Tagovailoa, who had a decent game (202 yards, one passing TD, one rushing TD), led the go-ahead drive for the Dolphins in the third quarter. He completed a pass to highly-touted rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle, and the defense took care of the rest. Dolphins star cornerback, Xavien Howard, recovered a fumble by Patriots running back Damien Harris in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for Miami.

Rams def. Chicago 34-14

In his debut with Los Angeles, quarterback Matthew Stafford threw three touchdowns (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Van Jefferson) and totaled 321 yards. The Rams breezed past a Bears team that just couldn’t get its passing game going. Chicago running back David Montgomery, however, had a great day, rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown. The Rams defense forced a fumble and posted three sacks on the day, which was enough to let Stafford coast to an easy victory.