A typically wild opening NFL week. Overreactions from fanbases galore as the Bucs won, the Chiefs came from behind to win and the Bills lost badly – but nowhere near as badly as Green Bay.
In news to nobody the LA Rams have got the best of the Jared Goff/Matt Stafford trade, while Kyler Murray and Jameis Winston, yes, that Jameis Winston, took the plaudits. Great wins for Seattle and the Chargers too.
On the flip side, the new look Jaguars looked a lot like the old Jaguars, while things don’t look too rosy for the Titans, Vikings and Jets.
Elsewhere, there were handbags between rival players and coaches, sewage – or rainwater – spilling on fans in Washington. And just when you think it’s going quiet…
A DESERT CLASSIC
The Ravens had won 98-straight games when they held a 14-plus point-lead. No longer after the Raiders came from behind in a game defensive end Carl Nassib simply called ‘bananas’. Peyton and Eli Manning were equally effusive.
In the first NFL game to feature an openly gay player, Nassib – who came out in June – strip-sacked Lamar Jackson to seal a 33-27 overtime win.
The result caps a perfect weekend for teams in the AFC West and NFC West.
Lamar Jackson (bottom) has nowhere to go as Carl Nassib (second bottom) caps a strong defensive performance for the Baltimore Raiders against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday
Nassib came out in June and is the first NFL player to feature in a match while openly gay
Tom Brady has history with Atlanta. The Bucs host the Falcons on Sunday and Brady posted his weekly ‘W’ video. Have a look at the clock on the computer screen in the background…
At Super Bowl LI, Tom Brady (now of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) inspired the New England Patriots to a stunning 34-28 comeback victory against the Atlanta Falcons after trailing 28-3
Terry Bradshaw hands Brady the Vince Lombardi Trophy after THAT comeback in Houston
TWEET OF THE WEEK
In his first NFL game since October, Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan was mostly tasked with keeping Chandler Jones quiet. After a one-sided affair – Jones racked up five sacks, six quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles as Arizona romped to a 38-13 win in Tennessee – Lewan took to Twitter.
Next up for Lewan and the Titans is a trip to Seattle – whose defensive line racked up 10 quarterback hits against the Indianapolis Colts.
Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers endured the worst defeat of his career. After throwing five interceptions last season, he threw two against the Saints. He was duly benched for Jordan Love and then mocked for his appearance in the post-match press conference.
‘It’s just one game. We played bad, I played bad. One game, we got 16 to go,’ he said after the 38-3 loss against the New Orleans Saints.
Aaron Rodgers (right) embraces Jordan Love, the man drafted to replace him, on a rough day for the reigning MVP
JUST LIKE OLD TIMES
Philadelphia reunited Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts with DeVonta Smith, Miami did likewise with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailova and Jaylen Waddle and the Bengals landed Ja’Marr Chase to work with LSU team-mate Joe Burrow.
TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY
Browns safety Ronnie Harrison was ejected after five defensive plays after pushing Chiefs coach Greg Lewis.
Here’s Kansas City head coach Andy Reid: ‘So the fellow that was involved with it came over, and he was on the chest of our player and that’s what happened. So (Lewis) was trying to get (Harrison) off, and he didn’t want to get off, so he kind of just lifted him a little bit and then he got hit. But he was there to get that fellow who was leaning on our guy. That’s why there was a penalty, right? So the officials fixed it, which I thought was important.’
And Browns counterpart Kevin Stefanski: ‘I do think that any contact that came from Ronnie was incidental. If you watch the tape, it’s pretty obvious that he’s getting collisioned as he’s trying to get off of their boundary, but that doesn’t excuse him from retaliating. You can’t do that. That’s something we all know, that the game officials will see the second guy not the first guy.’
THERE ARE NO WORDS
Christian McCaffrey (right) rushed for 98 yards on his return to the Carolina Panthers
THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE
The Super Bowl champion Buccaneers pretty much continued where they left off. Tom Brady extended his perfect record over the Dallas Cowboys. He’s now P6 W6.
THEY AREN’T WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE?
EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT
Patrick Mahomes. Here’s why.
EVERYBODY SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT
Kyler Murray. Likewise.
Mac Jones looked solid on his NFL debut, but he and fellow debutants Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson all tasted defeat. Indeed it was Lawrence’s first-ever regular season loss.
Trey Lance threw a touchdown with his first pass in the NFL, while the clamour for Justin Fields grows by the hour in Chicago.
Bill Belichick is already onto the Jets after watching the Patriots lose at Foxboro to Miami
READ OF THE WEEK
Yes, Efe Obada’s debut for the Bills did not go to plan. During a 23-16 defeat by the Steelers, he played 15 of 58 defensive snaps (26 per cent). But this piece by Go Long’s Tyler Dunne is well worth your time.
THEY’LL BE IN ON TUESDAY
The Titans were awful, putting up just 248 yards of total offense. Head coach Mike Vrabel cut kicker Michael ‘The Money Badger’ Badgley and was not complimentary about blockbuster acquisition Julio Jones.
Their offense looked lost with Arthur Smith, who was calling the shots in Atlanta. The Falcons suffered a 26-point defeat.
‘I did a really poor job getting us ready to go,’ said Smith after the biggest game of his life. ‘I feel awful for our fans and everybody who showed up today. We’ll do a better job moving forward. That game is not going to define us.’
And the Vikings were called for 12 penalties for 116 yards. An almighty 10 came in the first half. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was typically revealing after the 27-24 overtime defeat in Cincinnati.
Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith was upset with his side’s display after losing to Philadelphia
Von Miller looked back to his best as the Broncos ripped through the Giants. The Super Bowl MVP paid tribute to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after a solid first outing for Denver…
SPARE A THOUGHT FOR…
Jeff Okudah, the No 3 overall pick last year. After missing seven games last season due to injury, the Lions cornerback ruptured his achilles in the 41-33 defeat by the 49ers and will miss the rest of the season.
The Cleveland Browns have not won their season opener since 2005, losing 16, tying one. And whenever you play the Kansas City Chiefs, you need everything to go right.
With eight minutes remaining, things looked pretty good. The Browns were 29-27 up on 4th and 13 inside their 20. But then this happened.
Kevin Stefanski said Scottish punter Jamie Gillan had time to kick it away.
‘He could’ve and he knows that. We talked to him about that in the moment, talked to him about that today. Obviously he knows he has a job to do and we expect him to do his job at a high level. If something like that happens, we expect him to pick the ball up and punt it, and he knows that.’
Gillan is grabbed by Jody Fortson as the Browns suffer a blow at Arrowhead
ON A SHORT WEEK
Two winless teams contest the season’s second Thursday Night Football. Last week’s game was glorious. This one may not continue the tradition.
Washington – the Football Team – lost quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a hip injury and the game against the Chargers 20-16. Taylor Heinicke will start against the Giants, who were defeated by Denver 27-13.
The teams have met 177 times; the Giants lead the all-time series 105-69-4.
It was initially reported that raw sewage poured onto fans at Fed Ex Field, the NFL’s creakiest stadium. The team claim it was rainwater which leaked from a faulty storage tank, but it last rained in Maryland on Thursday. Who to believe…