Packers 24, Bears 23— Epic comeback by Green Bay, which trailed 20-0 with 4:00 left in the third quarter; Aaron Rodgers left the field on a golf cart in the first half with an injured knee, his backup threw a pick-6 that gave Chicago a 17-0 halftime lead, but then Rodgers came back and led the Packers to a memorable win in this ancient rivalry.
When Chicago went ahead 10-0 in the second quarter, it was the first time they led Green Bay by 10+ points in any game since 2007— these teams play twice a year. Just a horrible way to start a coaching tenure for new Bears’ coach Matt Nagy, but they did look like an improved team.
Moving forward, Rodgers does seem to have a fairly significant knee injury, but also looks like he can play through it.
Buccaneers 48, Saints 40— Think Jameis Winston enjoyed this game? Bucs averaged 14.9 yards/pass attempt, had 31 points at the half and cruised to a divisional road win, handing Saints their fifth Week 1 loss in a row. There is a now a pretty good chance that Ryan Fitzpatrick will still be the starting QB when Winston’s suspension ends.
Three of Tampa Bay’s TD’s were on plays of 36+ yards; Saints threw 45 passes, ran the ball only 13 times. Drew Brees averaged 9.4 yards/pass attempt- not too shabby.
Ravens 47, Bills 3— If owned the Buffalo franchise, I’d damn sure want to know why we traded Tyrod Taylor, since the Bills made the playoffs last year for the first time in 19 years. This was a hideous performance on a dismal, rainy day— Nathan Peterman was 5-18 for 24 yards in this game- he might be the worst NFL QB since the strike replacement games in 1987.
If I was Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer, when his collusion trial starts we’d show video clips of Peterman starting an NFL game to show that there is collusion against Kaepernick ever suiting up again in the league.
Steelers 21, Browns 21— Speaking of Tyrod Taylor, he rallied Cleveland back from down 21-7 in 4th quarter to tie this game with 1:58 left on a rainy day by Lake Erie. Browns had FG blocked at end of overtime that would’ve won game, but this is only 2nd time in 20 years that Cleveland didn’t lose its season opener.
As for the Steelers, James Conner ran ball for 135 yards and two TD’s, caught five passes for 57 yards, as Le’Veon Bell’s leverage shrunk considerably.
This was the first NFL tie in Week 1 since Dolphins-Broncos in 1971.
Bengals 27, Colts 23— Bengals salted away this game with an 83-yard fumble return for a TD when Colts had completed a pass inside the Cincinnati red zone in the last minute.
Colts converted 11-17 on 3rd down; they picked off a Dalton pass on the first series, took over on the Cincy 9-yard line, but turned ball over themselves. Indy had 53 pass plays, 22 runs— I’m guessing that Frank Reich wants a more balanced offense than that.
Vikings 24, 49ers 16— Niners turned ball over four times (-3) as Garoppolo loses for first time in eight NFL starts- he completed only 15 of 33 passes. SF had ball in red zone four times, scored only 13 points. Vikings scored on a pick-6.
Jaguars 20, Giants 15— You think Tom Coughlin enjoyed this win? Jacksonville led 13-6 at half, then did nothing but punt in second half; their one 2nd half score came on a defensive TD. Giants’ rookie RB Barkley scored their only TD on a 68-yard run. Beckham caught 11 balls for 111 yards but no TD’s.
Patriots 27, Texans 20— New England started 11 of its 13 drives 75+ yards from end zone, lost field position by 10 yards, turned ball over three times (-1), but scored 24 yards on four red zone drives. Texans completely only half (17-34) their passes, averaging 4.3 yards/attempt.
Eagles 18, Falcons 12— Atlanta had ball in Philly’s red zone five times Thursday night, scored a total of 9 points- they lost despite a 13-yard edge in field position, which doesn’t happen much.
Philly had three red zone drives, scored 18 points. Eagles scored on three of their four drives that started outside their own 25- they scored zero points on the five drives that started 75+ yards from the goal line.
Dolphins 27, Titans 20— This game had two weather delays, took almost seven hours to play; game was 10-3 after the third quarter, so if you bet under, it was a long, miserable afternoon. Both teams returned a kickoff for a TD in the 4th quarter.
Miami won despite scoring only six points on four drives that started in Tennessee territory. Titans’ QB Mariota got hurt; former Jags’ QB Gabbert took his place.
Chiefs 38, Chargers 28— Patrick Mahomes was 15-27/256 passing with four TD’s, as Chiefs beat the Chargers for the 9th straight time. Tyreek Hill caught seven passes for 169 yards and two TD’s— he also had a 91-yard punt return for a score.
Mahomes was the 10th pick in the 2017 Draft; think the Browns would like to have taken him with the first pick?
Broncos 27, Seahawks 24— Denver/New England both turned ball over three times and won Sunday; that doesn’t happen a whole lot. Seattle turned turnovers into short TD drives of 15, 41 yards- they were outgained 470-306, had only 13 first downs. All three of Denver’s TD drives were 75 yards long- they had seven plays of 20+ yards, and 25 first downs.
Panthers 16, Cowboys 8— Former Dallas WR/current free agent Dez Bryant trolled Cowboys on social media after this game, which should really help him catch on with a new team. Rookie kicker Maher missed a 47-yard FG; the old kicker Dan Bailey hasn’t signed wth a new team yet.
Total yardage in this game was 293-232, Carolina; Panthers won field position by 17 yards. Teams combined to convert only 6-23 on third down.
Redskins 24, Cardinals 6— Washington led 21-0 at half, outgained Arizona 429-213, as Alex Smith won his Redskins’ debut and improved his career W-L record to 89-62-1. Washington ran ball for 182 yards, threw for 247— pretty good balance.