The first week of the 2017 NFL season has finally arrived and it often sets the mold for what is to come for most NFL teams. Players are finally able to compete in live action football for the first time in months, coaches are able to implement their new schemes and fans are able to get an idea of what they can look forward to, or dread, in the coming months. Week 1 had quite a few twists and turns, as some highly touted teams fell flat, and the teams that were expected to make a run at the first overall pick proved they are to be taken seriously. From utter blowouts to shocking upsets, Week 1 delivered on the hype fans were promised. The NFL season kicked off in Foxboro, Massachusetts with what was supposed to be a close matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and reigning Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots. On the night that the Patriots raised their Super Bowl banner, the Chiefs ran them out of the stadium, routing them 42-27. Coached by Andy Reid, the Chiefs put on an offensive showcase in New England. Reid managed to pick apart the Patriots’ defense, as well as shut down Tom Brady and the Pats’ offense. The opening game was also a breakout game for rookie Kareem Hunt, who proved that he may turn out to be the Chiefs’ best running back since Jamaal Charles. Behind Hunt’s 148 yards and two touchdowns, as well as Alex Smith’s incredible four TD game, the Chiefs cruised to victory over the defending champs.
While many teams were correctly predicted to win, some of their games were much closer than expected. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 21-18. Defending NFC Champions, the Atlanta Falcons, just squeaked by the rebuilding Chicago Bears 23-17. The Buffalo Bills defeated the New York Jets 21-12 and the Denver Broncos held off the Los Angeles Chargers’ late rally to win 24-21. There were also some games that defied all expectations, such as the game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, which the Packers won 17-9. The Oakland Raiders won against the Tennessee Titans 26-16 and the Jacksonville Jaguars won the game against the heavily favorited Houston Texans 29-17. Elsewhere, the Baltimore Ravens shut out the Cincinnati Bengals 20-0, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Washington Redskins 30-17, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 29-19 and the Carolina Panthers defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-3. Last, but not least, the Los Angeles Rams showed they are not to be trifled with by annihilating the Indianapolis Colts 46-9 and the Detroit Lions kept their throne as comeback kings by charging back from a halftime deficit to win 35-23.
Injuries inundated the NFL this week. The Arizona Cardinals’ star running back David Johnson may miss half the season because of a wrist injury he received on Sunday. The Ravens lost their complementary running back Danny Woodhead, the Jaguars lost their top wide receiver Allen Robinson for the season and the Eagles lost their top cornerback Ronald Darby.
One of the biggest and most anticipated games of the week took place between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, which the Cowboys won 19-3. The Cowboys’ defense made the Giants’ offense look entirely inept, as they forced punt after punt throughout the game. The Giants were incapable of running or passing the ball, and the offensive line seemed completely inefficient. The defense did the best they could possibly do, given the situations the nonexistent offense put them in. The Giants’ defense was on the field for most of the game and were able to hold off the potent Dallas offense to under 20 points, but that did not change the fact that the offense was unable to do their job. The Cowboys slowly weakened the Giants’ defense, as Ezekiel Elliot wore them down with his 104-yard performance. The absence of Odell Beckham Jr. was noticeable, and Eli Manning rightfully seemed uncomfortable throwing to any other receiver, as no other receiver was able to run a clean route.
Week 1 brought all the excitement of football season back to fans, coaches and players alike. Week 2 is sure to do the same.