NFL Week 1 Wrap-up

By Rockin’ Reese

Last Thursday, we kicked off the 2023-24 NFL season. It was full of surprising moments and dominating performances. As we approach the start of week 2, let’s wrap-up week 1 & take a brief look at all 16 games that happened on kickoff week.

WEEK 1

It started at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The (defending Super Bowl Champion) Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Detroit Lions. However, to the shock of many, it was (Lions quarterback) Jared Goff who would throw the season’s first touchdown, as he completed a 9-yard to (wide receiver) Amon-Ra St. Brown.

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KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 7: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with fans after an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on September 7, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

More shockingly, it was (Chiefs quarterback) Patrick Mahomes who threw the season’s first interception, when (Lions safety) Brian Branch picked off the 2022-23 MVP & ran it back 50 yards for a touchdown. The most¬† shocking thing that happened was that the Lions prevented a Chiefs rally & held on for a 21-20 upset victory.

Then, the action continued on Sunday with an 8-game slate in the early afternoon block. At Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons gave their fans a happy start to the season, as they defeated the Carolina Panthers, 24-10. (Falcons running back) Tyler Allgeier scored 2 touchdowns & (safety) Jessie Bates intercepted (Panthers quarterback) Bryce Young twice, spoiling Young’s NFL debut.

At M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, the Baltimore Ravens also gave the home fans something to cheer about, as they defeated the Houston Texans, 25-9. (Ravens running back) JK Dobbins scored his only touchdown of the season, as he would later have his right Achilles injured. However, (fellow Ravens running back) Justice Hall would back him up with 2 touchdowns. The Ravens defense would sack (Texans quarterback) CJ Stroud.

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At Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, the Browns had the “Dawg Pound” barking, as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-3. (Browns quarterback) Deshaun Watson ran for a touchdown, then threw for another. At Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, the New Orleans Saints got into a field goal battle with the Tennessee Titans, but the difference maker finally came when (Titans qaurterback) Ryan Tannehill threw his 3rd interception of the day, which eventually led to (Saints quarterback) Derek Carr completing a 19-yard touchdown to (wide receiver) Rashid Shaheed.

The Saints would hold on for a 16-15 victory. At FedEx Field in Washington D.C., the Washington Commanders delivered a 20-16 victory, under new owner Josh Harris. (Commanders quarterback) Sam Howell threw for a touchdown, then ran for one.

While it was “home sweet home” in those 5 games, the remainder of Sunday would be about the road warriors. At Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Jacksonville Jaguars spoiled the NFL debut of (Colts quarterback) Anthony Richardson, as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-21. (Jaguars quarterback) Trevor Lawrence threw 2 touchdowns, while (linebacker) Josh Allen sacked Richardson 3 times.

At U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had success with (quarterback) Baker Mayfield, as they defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 20-17. Mayfield threw for 2 touchdowns & (kicker) Chase McLaughlin broke the tie with a 57-yard field goal. At Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the San Francisco 49ers bullied the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 30-7 win. (49ers quarterback) Brock Purdy completed 2 touchdown passes to (wide receiver) Brandon Aiyuk. (Running back) Christian McCaffrey ran for a 65-yard touchdown. The 49ers defense had 5 sacks against (Steelers quarterback) Kenny Pickett. While this concluded the early afternoon games, let’s take a look at the late afternoon games.

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) during second quarter of their game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

At Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, the Green Bay Packers may have had a new starting quarterback, but they delivered the same result, as they defeated the Chicago Bears, 38-20. (Packers quarterback) Jordan Love threw 3 touchdown passes. Meanwhile, (Bears quarterback) Justin Fields was sacked 4 times & threw a “pick 6” to (Packers linebacker) Quay Walker. At Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, the Las Vegas Raiders spoiled Sean Payton’s coaching return, as they defeated the Denver Broncos, 17-16. (Raiders quarterback) Jimmy Garoppolo completed 2 touchdown passes to (wide receiver) Jakobi Meyers, but they also got help thanks to (Broncos kicker) Will Lutz missing an extra point & a field goal.

At SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California, the Miami Dolphins showed it was Tua time again, as they defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 36-34. (Dolphins quarterback) Tua Tagovailoa threw 3 touchdown passes, 2 of which (including the game-winner) were caught by (wide receiver) Tyreek Hill. At Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the Philadelphia Eagles flew to a 25-20 victory over the New England Patriots. (Eagles quarterback) Jalen Hurts threw for a touchdown, (kicker) Jake Elliott made 4 field goals, & (cornerback) Darius Slay had a 70-yard “pick 6” of (Patriots quarterback) Mac Jones.

At Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington, the Los Angeles Rams took out the 12th man, as they defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 30-13. The Rams scored all 3 of their touchdowns thanks to their running backs, with 2 coming from Kyren Williams & the other from Cam Akers. (Rams quarterback) Matthew Stafford had a great day of passing, thanks to (wide receivers) Puka Nacua & Tutu Atwell.

The last 2 games of the schedule took place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Sunday night game saw the Dallas Cowboys ride into town & deliver the first shutout of the season, as they defeated the New York Giants, 40-0. (Cowboys cornerbacks) Noah Igbinoghene & DaRon Bland both scored. After (Giants kicker) Graham Gano’s 45-yard field goal was blocked, Igbinoghene recovered the ball & ran it back for a touchdown.

Bland scored a pop-up “pick 6”, after a pass from (Giants quarterback) Daniel Jones was caught by (running back) Saquon Barkley, then popped into the air, after (Cowboys cornerback) Trevon Diggs hit Barkley. (Cowboys running back) Tony Pollard scored 2 touchdowns & (wide receiver) KaVontae Turpin scored on a run. The Cowboys defense sacked Jones 7 times. The Monday night game saw the New York Jets survive losing (quarterback) Aaron Rodgers & survive a 10-point halftime deficit to win the first the overtime game of the season, as they defeated the Buffalo Bills, 22-16.

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The defense of the Jets had a field day with (Bills quarterback) Josh Allen, as they sacked him 5 times & intercepted him 3 times. After Rodgers went down, (backup quarterback) Zach Wilson did a serviceable job, even throwing in a touchdown. Breece Hall returned from injuries to his meniscus & ACL (which happened in week 7, back in October 2022) to run for 127 yards. When the Bills punted in overtime, (Jets wide receiver) Xavier Gipson ran it back 65 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Now, we enter week 2. Who will have a 2-0 start to their season? Who will earn their first win of the season, this week? Who will be 0-2? All of these questions will be answered tonight, Sunday, & Monday.

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