Written by Sean Ryan
Carolina – Denver
The Cam Newton-Shaquille O’Neal comparisons have started already as the QB got hit in the head three times but only drew one flag (roughing the passer). Beat up and nursing some type of concussion, Newton STILL managed to drive into Bronco territory for a potential game winning field goal. Graham Gano couldn’t provide Panther fans with redemption from last year’s Super bowl as he missed the 50-yard attempt. Don’t feel bad Graham, Arizona’s Catanzaro didn’t capitalize either.
Green Bay – Jacksonville
Blake Bortles continued his progression into the upper echelon of NFL QBs as he went toe-to-toe with Aaron Rodgers. Although he fell short on a questionable 4th down & 1 yard WR screen pass, Bortles impressed as he led a potential game winning drive into Green Bay’s redzone. Rodgers fittingly hit Jordy Nelson, who missed all of last year, for his first TD pass of the season. Then, he reminded everyone, when healthy, who’s the best QB in the league with this 29-yard dart to Davante Adams.
Buffalo – Baltimore
Did anyone watch this game? Did anyone want to watch this game? After a respectable 10-7 halftime score, both teams tried their hardest to lose. Second half summary: MISSED FG, PUNT, PUNT, DOWNS, PUNT, PUNT, PUNT, FG, PUNT, 4:30 drive to end game. Only thing I learned: Baltimore 1-0, Buffalo 0-1.
Chicago – Houston
Jay Cutler threw as many touchdowns as picks, shocker. Brock Osweiler looked decent after receiving a ridiculous contract this offseason and Will Fuller might be his #1 target. Don’t worry DeAndre Hopkins, it’ll be beneficial to have a quality sidekick across the field! Lamar Miller, in his Texan debut, broke for over 100-yards and will be featured in Bill O’Brien’s offense all year long.
Cleveland – Philadelphia
Carson Wentz, the #2 overall pick Cleveland traded to Philadelphia, torched the Browns for 278 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. Robert Griffin III had a better rushing average (7.4) than passing (7.3) in addition to his one interception and zero touchdowns. Josh McCown’s number may get called before expected as the Browns sit wondering if they made the right moves this offseason.
Tampa Bay – Atlanta
Jameis Winston responded well with four touchdown passes after a first quarter interception. If Tampa Bay can improve on defense from last season, they could make a realistic run at the playoffs. Matty Ice dominated with 334 yards passing and a pair of TDs. No one expected Devonta Freeman to repeat his previous spectacular season, but posting 1.8 yards per carry on 20 touches should be alarming.
Minnesota – Tennessee
Sam Bradford will be starting at quarterback for the Vikings next week as the defense outscored the offense 13-12. Blair Walsh’s kicking woes continued as he went 4-6 with a missed PAT and two field goals from 56 and 37 yards. Demarco Murray showed his repertoire as a complete RB (77 total yards and 2 TDs) in a crowded Tennessee backfield.
Cincinnati – New York Jets
AJ Green ran around the field doing whatever he pleased with the once great Darrelle Revis attempting to cover him. Green lit up the Jets for 12 rec, 180 yds and 1 TD. Fitzpatrick didn’t live up to his new one year deal, but newly acquired RB Matt Forte must have Jets fans salivating as he led the team in rushing (98 yds) and receiving (59 yds).
Oakland – New Orleans
Dree Brees showed Saints fans that his hefty contract extension was worth it as he threw for over 400 yards, 4 TDs and 0 picks. Jack Del Rio adopted Al Davis’ “Just win baby!” motto after his gutsy 2-point conversion call with 47 seconds remaining. After winning, he posted an appropriate response to his decision via twitter.
San Diego – Kansas City
This AFC West showdown went to overtime as the Chiefs overcame a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to win 33-27. Spencer Ware’s unreal day rushing (70 yds, 1 TD) and receiving (7 rec, 129 yds) at Arrowhead Stadium should concern Jamaal Charles fantasy owners. Even though the Chargers struggled to sign top draft pick Joey Bosa, this team’s poised to fight for a playoff spot.
Miami – Seattle
Absolutely disgusting game, which featured multiple intentional grounding penalties, a blocked FG and PAT. Both teams waited until seven minutes were left in the fourth quarter to entertain fans. Cassius Marsh earned his game check and extra as he blocked Andrew Frank’s 27-yard FG attempt then ended the game with a sack and forced fumble.
Detroit – Indianapolis
Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford put plenty of air under the ball in this 39-35 shootout at Lucas Oil Stadium. Zero turnovers as these two gunslingers combined for 720 yards and 7 touchdowns. While the offense doesn’t need work, defense please hit the film room.
New York Giants – Dallas
Stephen A Smith may have said it best when he compared Ezekiel Elliott to Trent Richardson. His below average performance should worry fantasy owners as Alfred Morris and soon-to-be healthy Darren McFadden loom in the shadows. The Giants squeaked out a 20-19 win thanks to Eli Manning’s 3 touchdown passes.
New England – Arizona
Jimmy G in the dirty B holding down the pound for Tommy Brady (Sorry I've been sitting on that one). The Eastern Illinois alumni threw for 264 yards and 1 touchdown as the Pats escaped with a 23-21 win against the Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald, 33 years-young, showed his talents might be timeless with this unbelievable catch.
Pittsburgh – Washington
Antonio Brown solidified himself as the best WR, showed off some skills he may have picked up from “Dancing with the Stars,” and gave the referee some love (maybe too much).
If Pittsburgh can stay healthy (their kryptonite), then watch out for a Super bowl run. Kirk Cousins’ performance makes me wonder whether he’s worth the money or benefitted from playing in the NFC LEAST last season.
Los Angeles – San Francisco
Jared Goff, the #1 OVERALL pick, not only didn’t play; he didn’t even SUIT UP. The heat just turned up on Jeff Fisher’s job security as the Rams got dominated 28-0 in one of the most uneventful Monday Night Football games I’ve never watched (thank the Lord). At least Kevin Harlan’s radio call provided some comedy.