The NFL is wearing thin on me over the past copy of years, but there is no denying how awesome week one in the NFL has been. So many close games. So many comebacks. Incredible action. It’s been an extremely gripping opening week and The Stack is all in, at least for this week anyway. Let’s get some reaction to all of Sunday’s games in “the stack” for today, Monday, September 12th:
Tampa Bay 31 Atlanta 24
Yeah so Jameis Winston is pretty good. He had some beautiful passes including the touchdown throw to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. In all Winston threw four touchdowns. This Falcons defense is supposed to be pretty good, but they suffer some injuries in the preseason and that had an impact on their performance. They need to rebound and fast, because their schedule is brutal in the first half.
Baltimore 13 Buffalo 7
Not many points put on the scoreboard in this one, but there were still moments that drew some excitement including from Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace who had a 66-yard touchdown catch. He did stuff like that last year in Minnesota too…no wait, he was terrible. He could be a big factor for the Ravens this season.
Houston 23 Chicago 14
The Texans struggled a bit in their season debut with Brock Osweiler as quarterback, but good thing they were playing a Bears team that has their own struggles on offense. The AFC South is going to be a very competitive division, but DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller at wide receiver making big plays like they did Sunday with a touchdown catch each, the Texans are going to be a tough team to stop.
Green Bay 27 Jacksonville 23
On a steamy day in Jacksonville, it was Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers who looked cool under duress with two touchdown throws and one rushing touchdown. His touchdown pass to Davante Adams was absolutely brilliant. The Packers had to sweat this one out though down to the very end and stop the Jaguars on a 4th and 1 or this game could have had a different ending. Disappointing the Jaguars didn’t win, but if you can go toe to toe with the Packers, you know you’re heading in the right direction. Jordy Nelson catching a touchdown was nice to see too if you’re a Packers fan.
Kansas City 33 San Diego 27
The Chiefs have looked bad in season openers in recent years and Sunday looked no different for about three quarters. The Chargers had everything going for them (minus Keenan Allen’s knee injury that looks it could be season ending) including running back Melvin Gordon scoring the first two touchdowns of his career. The Chiefs scored their first touchdown late in the third quarter and then used two late scores to force overtime. Alex Smith played a large role in the comeback with over 300 yards passing and capped it off with a two yard run in OT to win it. What a comeback for the Chiefs and what an excruciating loss for the Chargers.
Oakland 35 New Orleans 34
Speaking of impressive comebacks and wins, what about the Raiders’ gutsy decision to go for two with 47 seconds left in the fourth on a pass from Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree. The win spoils what was another fantastic game by Drew Brees for the Saints. He threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns including a 98-yard touchdown to Brandin Cooks. Cooks had two touchdowns on the day. He is Brees’ go to target. What a game and finish this was.
Cincinnati 23 New York Jets 22
Despite allowing seven sacks, Andy Dalton would not let the Bengals lose this one. Specifically, he and A.J. Green would not let the Bengals lose this one. Green had 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown and was the main target all game long. What a start to the season. The Jets offense showed some good balance, but didn’t have nearly as many explosive plays as we saw last year. Tough loss for the Jets who now have to go to Buffalo on a short week to play the Bills Thursday night.
Philadelphia 29 Cleveland 10
Quarterback Carson Wentz’s first career NFL game was a good one. He led the Eagles on an opening touchdown drive and was good the rest of the game finishing with 278 yards through the air and two touchdowns. Let’s see how well the Eagles look against teams not named the Browns though. Cleveland could be in for a long year, especially if RG III has more than a shoulder sprain. This was the day’s biggest blowout of the day.
Minnesota 25 Tennessee 16
Blair Walsh’s field goal struggles continued from last year’s playoff miss for the Vikings in the first half of this game. He missed a 37-yard field goal and badly missed a 56-yard field goal that didn’t come close to the netting behind the field goal post. The Titans looked good early running with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Murray actually had two touchdown receptions in this one, but the last one was in garbage time because the Vikings defense came to play in the second half. Linebacker Eric Kendricks had a pick six that really swung momentum in favor of the Vikings and then defensive end Danielle Hunter returned a fumble for a touchdown. Walsh added four second half field goals which was good, because the Vikings offense failed to find the endzone. Shaun Hill played good, but Adrian Peterson did not. That will need to change if the Vikings want to beat teams better than the Titans this year.
Seattle 12 Miami 10
The Seahawks got all they could bargain for and more from the Dolphins in this one. It was a low scoring affair and Russell Wilson was clearly not himself in the second half after hurting his ankle. The Dolphins amazingly got the lead late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Ryan Tannehill ran it in, but the Seahawks responded with a drive that saw two fourth down conversions and Wilson found Doug Baldwin for the game-winning score. It wasn’t pretty, but Seattle is 1-0.
New York Giants 20 Dallas 19
Dak Prescott looked poised under center for the Cowboys, but he struggled to get the ‘Boys in the endzone. Eli Manning and the Giants weren’t great themselves, but it was nice to see Victor Cruz back on the field and score what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. At the end of the day the Giants are the most complete team in the NFC East, but the Cowboys are going to make strides this year with Prescott until Tony Romo is able to come back.
Detroit 39 Indianapolis 35
What a wild one in Indy this turned out to be. The Lions got going early both on the ground and through the air. They had the Colts in a 21-3 hole, but like Lions of teams of the past so often do they let them right back in it and eventually take the lead. Andrew Luck was sensational in this one for the Colts, but the Lions drove down to kick the game-winning field goal. This is a major cause for concern for the Colts and perhaps a huge sign that things will be different for the Lions this year.
New England 23 Arizona 21
No Tom Brady and no Rob Gronkowski? No problem for the…Patriots? Yes, Bill Belichick and company once again formulated the perfect gameplan on both sides of the ball to keep the Cardinals on their heels and sneak out of the dessert with a victory. This looked to be a for sure loss with no Brady and no Gronkowski, but the Cardinals missed a field goal at the end of the game that could have won it, but a low snap doomed them. Tough loss, but they will rebound. The Patriots won’t stop, they just absolutely won’t.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington 7:10 PM ET ESPN MNF
Opening week of the NFL season concludes with the customary Monday Night Football doubleheader on ESPN. You like that, don’t you Kirk Cousins? Good luck Washington trying to stop Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, the Steelers won’t have Le’Veon Bell, but they still have Brown and their defense should be able to slow down Washington.
Prediction: Steelers 27 Washington 20
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers 10:20 PM ET ESPN
Football is back in L.A., but Rams fans will have to wait until next week to watch the team play at home. It’s up the California coast in San Fran where their season begins. It is going to be a long year in the bay area for 49ers fans, but I think they can come out of this game with a win as long as they stop Todd Gurley from running wild.
Prediction: 49ers 20 Rams 17
Coming up Tuesday: MNF reaction plus reaction to other top stories from the weekend