Devastating debuts, a reversal of fortunes, a one-sided battle between old quarterbacks and a Swift defeat highlight the NFL Week 1 Recap.
2020 NFL Week 1 Recap
September 14, 2020, 12:19 AM
On this night, redemption was spelled G-O-S-T … you get the idea. Stephen Gostkowski missed three field goals in a game for the first time in his career, and an extra point to leave 10 points on the field in Denver — but he hit the one that counted most to save the day for Tennessee. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s enough to save his job.
Pittsburgh was happy to have Big Ben back but Big Blue really blew this one; the Giants had a 19-play drive end in a turnover — tied for the longest such drive since 1999 — and were outrushed 141-29 after generating a putrid -3 rushing yards in the first half. To put that in perspective: Ben Roethlisberger outrushed Saquon Barkley 9-6. It’s going to be a long season in New York.
Behold: The perfect visual for what we should expect from both Ezekiel Elliott and the Rams defense in 2020.
Speaking of visuals, SoFi Stadium has replaced Dallas’ AT&T Stadium as the league’s most aesthetically pleasing home field — I’m just not sure either home team will be described that way this season.
In the NFL’s first matchup of 40-year-old starting quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Tom Brady both looked their ages, but Brees broke another record to help ruin Brady’s Bucs debut that should temper some of the talk of Tampa’s title hopes. There was a Super Bowl team on the field in New Orleans, and it wasn’t the Bucs.
Given the way Kyler Murray gives the 49ers fits and his immediate connection with DeAndre Hopkins (career-high 14 catches for 151 yards in his Cardinals debut), I’m feeling really good about my MVP pick.
Get used to this, Cincinnati. Joe Burrow is good — but not good enough to outrun decades of ineptitude. Not yet, anyway.
Talk about a reversal of fortunes: A year after blowing a 17-0 lead in Philadelphia, Washington erased a 17-0 deficit to notch its first victory in a home opener since 2014 and first Week 1 win at home since 2011. Chase Young’s debut for a unit that feasted on Carson Wentz (eight sacks, three takeaways) might signal Washington’s defense will get a nickname before the team does — especially if they can replicate this effort on the road against Kyler Murray.
The Ravens run defense didn’t show the necessary improvement right away, but if Lamar Jackson really is miles ahead of where he was in his MVP season, good luck stopping Baltimore — the first team in NFL history to win three straight season openers by 30 points or more — from bum rushing the league on the way to the Lombardi Trophy.
Cam Newton bucked the old “look good, play good” adage and decades of the Patriot Way of playing offense: Cam’s 15 rush attempts were the most ever by a Patriots QB, his 75 rush yards were the most by a Pats QB since 1977 and New England was the most run-heavy it has ever been under Bill Belichick. If this worked for Tim Tebow, a healthy Cam has a legit shot at keeping the Patriots’ dynasty alive.
Josh Allen carved up a Jets defense that sure could use a guy like Jamal Adams, who is still taking shots at his old team from afar …
… after a helluva debut for Seattle, registering a game-high 12 tackles and a sack on a day when Russell Wilson became the second QB to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 4,000 in his career. The NFC West is gonna be fun to watch this year.
Mitchell Trubisky earned his Air Jordans with his clutch three-touchdown performance, but let’s be real: This is a very different story if D’Andre Swift doesn’t get a case of the butter fingers at the end of this game. Don’t be surprised if this one haunts to Detroit at season’s end in what figures to be a tightly contested division.
While I’m tempted to leave this tweet here for every Green Bay score this season, the Packers dropped the most points ever on a Mike Zimmer Vikings squad many have said will challenge the Pack for the division title. Like I said: Minnesota will find ways to lose this year.
Look, I don’t know about comparing him to Sweetness, but Josh Jacobs outdueled the NFL’s highest-paid running back and looks ready to carry the Raiders offense when Derek Carr isn’t playing against the league’s most inexperienced defense. Next week’s Las Vegas debut against the Saints could be more compelling than previously thought.
Were it not for Washington’s win over Philly, Jacksonville dealing Indy its seventh straight season-opening loss would be the upset of Week 1. So enjoy first place while you can, Jaguars fans (both of you). Your mustached quarterback may be crowing now, but reality is coming.
Patrick Mahomes is 7-0 with 23 touchdowns, 0 interceptions in the month of September. He’s the first player to throw three touchdown passes with no interceptions in three consecutive season openers. Mahomes’ greatness is as obvious as Houston’s needless regression.
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