NFL Week One Recap 

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The 2022 NFL season is hyped to be one of the best in recent memory, and week 1 certainly didn’t disappoint. There were upsets, there were chokes, there were hangovers, and there was a lot of stupidity. Let’s go over the sixteen matchups that took place this past week.

Bills 31, Rams 10 

The Thursday night game to kick off the season is known for miscues and the knocking-off of some preseason rust, and this year was no different. The only difference was that a team dealt these miscues put on an outright clinic at the same time. Buffalo sat through the Super Bowl banner raising and The Rock hyping up the crowd and came out firing, obliterating the Rams and their hung-over championship roster to a pulp… in the second half. The aforementioned miscues kept them tethered to the Rams for a good portion of the game, but once the receivers got their act together and stopped dropping everything, it was all over. The result was a dominating statement win to start the season for the Bills. Also note that Matthew Stafford had an awful game with 3 picks, but it was the Bills dominating defense that he faced, and it is only week 1. They’ll get it together soon enough.  


Eagles 38, Lions 35 

I don’t really know what to think about this one. On one hand, I was impressed with how the Eagles came out as a unit and took care of business in a game they were favored to win. On the other hand, though, they played the Lions. Sure, they’ll try to keep it close, but it’s only a matter of time until the better team begins to pull ahead. One thing does concern me, though. Philly stalled out late and allowed Detroit back in the game after dominating them for three quarters. I have doubts about the Eagles and I still think they’re way overrated, but a win is a win, even if it turned out to be a lot closer than it should have been. Detroit, well, they tried. Better luck next week, I guess.  


49ers 10, Bears 19 

Not going to lie, the Niners should have had this one. No excuses. To go into Chicago and lay an egg like they did is going to hurt, both in terms of fan optimism and locker room morale. For a quarterback that’s been getting endless praise by Niners brass and by the media for the past month, Trey Lance looked pretty mid. He had about two good drives and the rest was just mistake after mistake. That Niners offense was about as bad as the field conditions in Chicago. Remember those slip-and-slides you used to go down as a little kid? That’s what Soldier Field was like. The Bears even did a team demonstration after the final kneel downs. Despite Justin Fields having an awful game as well and Cairo Santos giving Bears fans Parkey flashbacks, the Bears pulled out in the end, thanks to San Fran’s incompetence and self-destruction throughout the 4th quarter. I’m sorry, but when you give an NFL team pristine field position on back-to-back drives, thanks to turnovers, even when they have an offense as flat as Chicago’s, you’re screwed. The result is a huge upset that shakes up the NFC power structure, possibly for the rest of the season. 

Steelers 23, Bengals 20 (Final/OT) 

This game was all the stereotypes of a week 1 game rolled into one. Huge upset? Check. Team that went to the Super Bowl tripping over themselves early? Check. Said team making it a game only to come up just short? Check. The defenses looking elite? Check. An ugly game of football? Check. Both teams did everything in their power to lose this game, and it showed. The “Bungles” collapsed on themselves in the first half and had five turnovers. Joe Burrow, in particular, had his worst game since his rookie season. Four interceptions, a QBR of 42, and sacked 7 times, a truly elite performance. The Steelers couldn’t capitalize. Trubisky looked horrible, the Steelers still have no offensive line, and Najee was getting obliterated on every play. And he got injured. Despite these challenges, they were able to step up and take a game being handed to them. They did it unconvincingly at the last moment. It honestly felt like the week 1 game against Buffalo last year. The Steelers had no business winning this one but won by screwing up less than the other team. This upset is a pyrrhic victory, however, as it comes at a staggering cost. TJ Watt tore his pec during the 4th quarter. Fortunately, though, it isn’t a season ender. He’ll be back by week 7. The yinzers breathe a gigantic sigh of relief, and Cincy now wants Zac Taylor chucked into the Ohio.  


Patriots 7, Dolphins 20 

For a team that made noise last year, especially one led by Belichick, I figured the Patriots would come out looking a lot better than they did. The score doesn’t do this game justice. The Pats got flat-out dominated in a game they needed for their playoff hopes, especially with how tight the AFC is this year. Miami got out to an early lead thanks to New England’s self-destruction, and spent the rest of the game toying with their prey as the Pats tripped over themselves over and over again. The Dolphins offense wasn’t that impressive, though. Yeah, Tyreek made a few catches, but their offense sputtered around for most of the game. To make matters worse for New England, Mac Jones suffered a back injury. I only feel bad for the player here. I would feel bad for the team if this weren’t the Patriots.  


Browns 26, Panthers 24 

Grudge match. Browns vs Baker. In the first half, the Browns looked to be winning this fight with ease. The defense was dominating Baker and Jacoby Brissett was making clutch throw after clutch throw, exposing the Panthers’ porous secondary. But then, the tables shifted in the second half. I don’t know if it was Brissett regressing to the mean or Carolina’s D getting their act together, but the Panthers started to climb back into the game. They even took the lead with one minute left, and then promptly let a rookie kicker score a 58-yarder on them to win the game for Cleveland. Browns win, Panthers have a bit of a sour taste in their mouths, and the entire Eastern seaboard wants Baker chucked into the Atlantic. 


Colts 20, Texans 20 

I was almost forced to separate this one as well, but events up in Cincinnati forced this game to be relegated to a mere recap segment instead of something greater. Indy, for roughly the tenth time in the last year, played down to their competition to such a heinous extent that the Texans, THE TEXANS, had a 17 point lead going into the 4th quarter. Then Houston realized they had narratives to maintain and allowed the Colts to roar back as Matt Ryan willed the game to overtime after having three terrible quarters. Then Blankenship missed a field goal, landing him on the unemployment line. Houston did nothing with the ball, gave it back to Indy, who promptly fumbled it and gave it back to Houston, leading to a deeply embarrassing… tie. I’ll give the Colts credit for coming back and making it a game, but this shouldn’t have even been one to begin with. They just tied with one of the worst teams in football. Frank Reich is now on a searing hot seat and will probably have third-degree burns from it by the end of the week.  


Saints 27, Falcons 26 

Glad to see the Atlanta storylines haven’t gone away. In fact, I’d argue they’re as strong as ever. What’s a more Falcons thing to do than go out to a big lead, with ESPN giving them a 97% chance of winning, only to lose the game thanks to a 4th quarter meltdown. Nope, definitely not getting flashbacks to a certain Super Bowl. For the Saints, though, this victory means a lot. Jameis Winston didn’t commit any turnovers and New Orleans rallied from 15 down to snag a win they should have had from the start. He might be a suitable long-term option at QB for the Saints. 0-17 still remains a possibility for Atlanta. I can hardly wait for them to break more records in the art of ineptitude.  


Ravens 24, Jets 9 

This game felt like a blur with everything else going on, partly due to it being the most routine and predictable of the day. The Jets were in their home opener, they were starting Joe Flacco, they were going up against an already battered Ravens squad, and the weather was about as ugly as north New Jersey’s landscape. The result was ugly football. While Lamar showed flashes, most of the game was just a war of attrition in which the Ravens slowly bullied the Jets into submission. Sauce Gardner got scorched so badly in coverage that he’s probably in the hospital right now getting the damage examined. The Jets are at least looking better than last year but that’s not saying much. Baltimore celebrates the free win. 


Jaguars 22, Commanders 28 

Washington got a good sample size of Carson Wentz today. During the first part, they got Wentz at his best. Spreading the ball around, making safe throws, not doing anything completely stupid. However, that soon devolved into the Wentz we’ve been used to for the past three years and change. He single-handedly allowed the Jags back in it as Trevor Lawrence was able to guide them to the lead. Then Washington realized they were about to lose to the Jags and rallied for 14 unanswered to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. I have severe doubts about this team at the next level, but a win is a win. Jacksonville played hard and they may be getting out of the basement this year. Doug Pederson will probably find a way to screw it up though. 

Packers 7, Vikings 23 

There’s always at least one game a year where the Packers implode and inexplicably lose to a vastly inferior opponent. For the second year in a row, this phenomenon occurred in Minnesota. The Vikings flaunted their freedom from the shackles of Zimmer by breaking out their high-flying offense for all to see. The Packers defense that was hyped to oblivion was immediately torched by Justin Jefferson, who single handedly carried thousands of fantasy teams to victory this week. The Packers sorely miss Adams and Za’darius Smith, the latter of whom got sweet revenge against the team that let him go this offseason. Aaron Rodgers looks mortal and the entire team looks terrible, but it’s only week one. The Packers did the same exact thing against the Saints last year and look what happened after that. I’m not too worried.  


Giants 21, Titans 20 

This game felt a lot like the playoff game against the Bengals for Tennessee. Going up against a team that was vastly outmatched in terms of talent, the Titans laid yet another egg and blew a sizable lead to Daniel Jones. Just like that playoff game, Derrick Henry did nothing. Also just like the other game, Tennessee’s offensive play calling was way too cute and ended up biting them in the rear-end when it really mattered. Even after the Giants took the lead and Tannehill willed the Titans into field goal range, Fat Randy missed a chip-shot field goal to lose the game. Do you think Tennessee regrets hanging on to him yet? I’ll give credit to the Giants: they played with heart and drive. Daboll has those guys running through walls for him and I’m loving every bit of it. Tennessee, though, blew a golden opportunity in this game. Next week, they get Buffalo. I would say good luck but I have a conflict of interest.  


Raiders 19, Chargers 24 

The Raiders found out today why Josh McDaniels hasn’t been offered a head coaching job in five years. The man is absolutely useless as a coach once out of the control of Belichick. Exhibit A: Sunday’s game against the Chargers. It was a glorified home game for the Raiders. The stands in SoFi Stadium was packed with Black and Silver and LA had to go back to using a silent count, and yet what do they do? Get completely suffocated and blown out of the water by a Chargers team with a bunch of variables. While the Chargers aren’t exactly the easiest opponent, they’re still beatable. Las Vegas couldn’t capitalize. Speaking of the Chargers, Staley seems to have cooled it when it comes to overaggressive play calling. This week may have been a breeze but they’ll have to reset and deal with a night game at Arrowhead on Thursday Night. They’re going to need all the help they can get, and if Keenan Allen is out for a while, I don’t like their chances. Speaking of which…

Chiefs 44, Cardinals 21 

I’ll spare you the buildup for this game, the Cardinals got completely and utterly collapsed in their home opener by a team with a bunch of question-marks. I was expecting this kind of performance from them in week 14 or 15, not in the first game. It wasn’t even Kyler’s fault, for the most part. The offensive scheming was just terrible. Perhaps they can learn from Patrick Mahomes, who had himself a whale of a game. Want to know how locked in he was? He threw for five touchdowns and torched the Cardinals secondary for almost 400 yards with weapons such as MVS and Juju Smith-Schuster, obviously not the most elite receiving core. I don’t know if this game is a result of the Chiefs’ skill and prowess or if Arizona is just trash. I personally think it’s a bit of both. Unless the Cardinals win a playoff game this year, Kingsbury is screwed. If this keeps happening? Maybe he gets fired either way.  


Buccaneers 19, Cowboys 3 

How ‘bout them Cowboys?! Leave it to a team like Dallas to take an outstanding defensive effort like the one they showed on Sunday Night and completely waste it thanks to horrific offensive ineptitude. Dak looked off, the receivers couldn’t catch, and calling the offensive line pylons would be an insult to pylons. Tampa was 1 for 6 in the red zone and had to kick four field goals and in total put up 19 points. When that kind of an effort is made on defense, you better be able to back it up. The Cowboys couldn’t. To make matters even worse for them, Dak Prescott injured his thumb and will be out for a couple months. To translate for any Cowboy fans reading this: YOU ARE DONE. We saw it in 2020: when Dak gets injured, the entire team goes down with him. Maybe Jerry Jones will finally see the light and fire Mike McCarthy like he should have done last year. I’m sure much of the Dallas-Fort Worth area would agree.  


Broncos 16, Seahawks 17 

Nobody was giving the Seahawks a chance before this game. Their franchise face would be on the other team for this game, and Seattle was forced to start Geno Smith. Even with all these advantages presented to Denver on a silver platter, they still couldn’t capitalize. The supposedly high-flying offense couldn’t convert, and the defense imitated the Hindenburg by imploding on several key drives in the first half. The second half was a perfect example of this ineptitude. The Broncos fumbled on the goal line twice and had some of the worst offensive scheming this side of that Jags vs Steelers game from 2018. Speaking of Denver’s play caller, meet the man who was Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator in that infamous match. Nathaniel Hackett is a product of Aaron Rodgers. This game proves it. In particular, the last two minutes of play. Denver is moving the ball efficiently and is on the Seahawks 45 yard line. They use no timeouts, get to a 4th and 6 with 20 seconds left, so what do they do? Try to kick a 64 yard field goal! They even got a bonus, as Seattle iced McManus as he shanked his first kick, so what do they do next? Do the same thing again! This led to predictable failure. Denver botched this game so badly that many fans are calling for Hackett to be fired already. It would be hilarious if they did fire him, but they shouldn’t. Not this early into his tenure. Don’t worry, though, the Hack did wind up using his timeouts… when Seattle was trying to knee the ball and end the game. Don’t you think he could have saved them for, you know, the $230 million QB that he decided not to trust on a 4th and 6 with the game on the line? What a joke.  


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