2022 NFL Week 1 Recap

A bunch of reunions, potential season-altering injuries and a major conflict of interest highlight the NFL Week 1 Recap.

Broncos 16
Seahawks 17

Ok, let me get this straight Denver … you give up a record haul of picks and players to get Russell Wilson, and then in his very first game … in his old stomping grounds … in primetime … with the game on the line … you try a 64-yard field goal with Brandon McManus?! Maybe the Broncos should have given all those picks to Baltimore for Justin Tucker instead.

(And, Nathaniel Hackett might be the first coach to ever land on the hot seat after only one game.)

But give Geno Smith his props — dude waited eight years in between Week 1 starts and all he did was shut up everyone who thought the Seahawks were joking about him being the starter. If he consistently plays like this in 2022, Seattle won’t only be much better than advertised — they’ll show they made Wilson, not the other way around.

Bucs 19
Cowboys 3

The NFL is so unpredictable that it can schedule the first-ever Week 1 meeting between the top two scoring offenses from the prior season and get a field goal-riddled, prime-time snoozefest.

But Dallas fans got another rude awakening from Dak Prescott — first it was the shoes, now it’s his throwing hand sporting an injured thumb his boss says needs surgery, which sounds a lot like Dak will be sidelined just long enough for the Cowboys to fall way behind in a division that, after only one week, looks more competitive than previously thought.

If Dallas, WITH Dak could only muster the second-worst Week 1 scoring output in franchise history, what happens if they have to go an extended period with Cooper Rush running the offense? Football season in Texas might be over before it fully begins.

Raiders 19
Chargers 24

For a guy not playing with a grudge against his old team, Khalil Mack sure did wreck his buddy Derek Carr. This game seems like a microcosm of what football season in Las Vegas will be: Carr putting up some nice stats throwing to his real buddy, Devante Adams, but the Raiders coming up on the losing end of the proverbial AFC West stick.

Chiefs 44
Cardinals 21

Sure things in life: Death, taxes and Patrick Mahomes ballin’ out of his mind in September.

Also a sure thing: Kliff Kingsbury is getting fired. This comment might have just ensured it’ll happen in-season.

Packers 7
Vikings 23

Look, Aaron Rodgers was playing without his starting tackles and perhaps his best receiver. So I don’t want to overblow this result (especially considering they lost way worse to start last season), but throwing his first pick against a division opponent since 2020, and getting held without a touchdown and under 200 passing yards, shows Green Bay could be in for a loooong season.

It also shows that Minnesota might be poised to steal the NFC North sooner rather than later. If Justin Jefferson can replicate Sunday’s monster game in prime-time in Philadelphia Week 2, I might just have to change my thinking about the Vikings.

Giants 21
Titans 20

If Tyreek Hill thinks his coach has, um, intestinal fortitude, he should see what Brian Daboll did in his debut. Eschewing the game-tying extra point for the game-winning two-point conversion is something we saw backfire here in Washington (ironically, against the Giants), but it’s a great way to win over a locker room desperate for quality leadership. If Big Blue can answer the big question at QB, I fear this team — with a healthy Saquon Barkley running wild with a chip on his shoulder — could be better than expected.

Plus, you know it’s not your day when Derrick Henry is out here getting hit with his own medicine.

Jaguars 22
Commanders 28

Of all the Week 1 debuts, Carson Wentz may have had the most on-brand. Only the Carson Wentz Experience gives you two great touchdown passes sandwiched around interceptions on consecutive throws in a game in which he becomes the first Washington QB to throw for four touchdowns in his first game in Burgundy and Gold.

Keep those Tums handy, Commanders fans. This roller coaster goes upside down.

Ravens 24
Jets 9

Lamar Jackson is betting big on himself, so what better way to kickoff this crucial season than to throw three touchdowns to his much-maligned receiving corps on a day when the vaunted Ravens rushing attack was held to just 63 yards? Consider this the first of many big games to come for Action Jackson.

Browns 26
Panthers 24

Baker Mayfield was literally paid by his former team to beat them but was a 58-yard field goal short of his (alleged) mission to “F the Browns up.” Baker will have his moments but this is gonna be a long season for Carolina.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland …

Eagles 38
Lions 35

I couldn’t help but look at this game from a Washington perspective — A.J. Brown had the fourth-most receiving yards in a debut with a new team to lead a Philly offense that also rushed for over 200 yards and had four touchdowns, while Detroit hung right there with the Eagles by scoring touchdowns in all four quarters. The Commanders will play each of these offenses in the next two weeks and I’m having a hard time seeing the Burgundy and Gold defense contain either.

Steelers 23
Bengals 20 (OT)

This was a wild (and pyrrhic) victory for Pittsburgh but it’s also a reminder that Mike Tomlin’s Steelers are not to be underestimated.

But also, let’s be real — Cincinnati gagged this one away to clinch the first year in the 21st century in which the two Super Bowl teams from the previous year each lost their season opener. Super Bowl hangovers are real.

Patriots 7
Dolphins 20

Remember when New England owned the AFC East? Well …

Of course, Miami had the Pats’ number well before that (the Fins have won eight of the last 10 meetings on South Beach) so while Bill Belichick keeps pulling the wrong levers, we need to see more empirical evidence of Mike McDaniels’ “cocojones.”

49ers 10
Bears 19

I could watch Justin Fields slide on the haters all day. But shame on the NFL — the league where a dude drove a whole snowplow across a field during a game 40 years ago — penalizing Chicago for a similar act during a monsoon on the worst turf this side of FedEx Field.

Saints 27
Falcons 26

Someone tell Arthur Smith we can only write the obituary of someone who was alive. Atlanta hasn’t been relevant since arrival and doesn’t seem likely to ever be while he’s at the helm.

Also, give Jameis Winston his flowers for this fourth quarter line: 13 of 16 for 212 yards and two touchdowns to lead New Orleans to victory in his first game back from a season-ending injury. Winston might just have me eating my words before we even reach midseason.

Colts 20
Texans 20 (OT)

I’ve ranted about ties here many times over the years so I’ll suffice it to say: If you play a game with no result, you get no recapping in this recap.

Bills 31
Rams 10

For whatever reason Buffalo is the Super Bowl front-runner, it’s impressive that this was the fourth time in the last six Bills games that their punter had the night off. Josh Allen has been clowning Jalen Ramsey for years, but Thursday night’s rebuttal happened to be the second-biggest beatdown of a defending champion in their opener. Take that for data.

Rob Woodfork

Rob Woodfork is WTOP's Senior Sports Content Producer, which includes duties as producer and host of the DC Sports Huddle, nightside sports anchor and sports columnist on WTOP.com.

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