It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the NFL is back! Welcome to the Sunday Sprint, where we run through all the action that went down on everyone’s favorite day so don’t forget to check back every single week for a refresher and some sarcasm.
Buffalo Bills 27- New York Jets 17Embed from Getty Images
While there wasn’t much hope that the Jets would take off this year, Sunday’s showing against the Bills made it seem that there wasn’t even enough air in the tires to get to home games. Regardless of the Jets’ ineptitude, the Bills did put out a strong showing on Sunday (for the most part) so now that Brady is out of the division, who knows if this was step one in Buffalo winning the AFC East.
Packers 43- Vikings 34Embed from Getty Images
There were many a confused Cheesehead when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers’ replacement instead of reinforcements, but all was forgotten Sunday afternoon when the current roster proved they are capable of getting the job done. Granted, their job was made slightly easier by the Vikings secondary getting the date of their bye week wrong, and another classic Rodgers performance, they impressed nonetheless.
Football Team: 27- Eagles 17Embed from Getty Images
I cannot believe I just had to type “Football Team” on the winning side of the scoreline, and that should tell you all you need to know about the Eagles’ opening performance. Their offensive line’s absence also told everyone the story of Carson Wentz’ injury woes: he was sacked eight times by a team who were bottom-feeders last season. Credit where credit is due though, the Football Team played a solid game of well, football and might want to entertain the idea of having this branding be a long-term option.
Ravens 38- Browns 6Embed from Getty Images
It might be time to update the age-old saying of the only guarantees in life being death and taxes, because in a year where nothing is normal the Browns are still the Browns: the laughing stock of the NFL. The bottom line is that there is enough talent on this team for them to put on a respectable performance week in and week out, even if they’re playing a juggernaut like the Ravens.
Jaguars 27- Colts 20Embed from Getty Images
Phlip Rivers may be wearing new shades of blue, but was left feeling the same blues after another self-inflicted loss. Not to disregard the return of Minshew Magic, but the fact of the matter is that Rivers threw yet another fourth-quarter pick in a winnable game. To add insult to injury, the Jags haven’t exactly been subtle in showing that they’re vying for a number one pick, seeing as their offseason was a patchwork of auctioning off disgruntled talent and a distinct lack of effort to bring in any new help.
Raiders 34- Panthers 30Embed from Getty Images
The new-name Las Vegas Raiders may not have gotten to break in their new stadium yet, but getting a win under the Vegas name must have felt good. While it may seem weird to say that in a high scoring game, it was the defense that shined, that is exactly the case here. The young Silver and Black D-core really grew up in the fourth quarter and managed to keep powerhouse back, Christian McCaffery at bay, which could be why the Panthers opted away from him with the game on the line.
Bears 27- Lions 23Embed from Getty Images
The discount New England Pa-sorry, the 2020 Detroit Lions should be 1-0, and rookie RB, D’Andre Swift, should have his first game winning catch. Instead, he had his “Welcome to the NFL” moment. With 6 seconds left in the season opener, the young gun, who the Lions will be looking to rely on more and more, had the winning catch between his hands and had his feet on the goal line. Somehow, someway, the ball wound up on the turf, and the win fell into the Bears’ paws.
Seahawks 38- Falcons 25Embed from Getty Images
Seattle was eating Falcon for dinner, cooked up by Chef Dangeruss. After some early shakiness, the Seahawks’ offensive line made some revisions and Wilson went to work on the Falcons secondary. Not to be outdone, the Seattle D-core did their part to make the team’s first win look like an easy one.
Patriots 21- Dolphins 11Embed from Getty Images
If we’ve learned anything from Week 1 it’s that the Patriots success wasn’t all Brady, and that the New England defense might not struggle as hard as we thought post-opt outs. It was also refreshing to see a New England quarterback who could bust a sprint out of the pocket on key downs. While the Miami defense didn’t exactly make Newton’s job difficult, he certainly looked to be back to his MVP ways.
Chargers 16- Bengals 13Embed from Getty Images
The Bengals wasted no time in introducing Joe Burrow to the heartbreak that will undoubtedly colour his career in Cincy. The first-overall pick may have actually surpassed expectations, to the point where he put the Bengals in a position to win, until it all came crashing down on the foot of kicker, Randy Bullock. With time expiring, Bullock was set to make the tying kick, only to, in classic Cincinnati style, shank it wide right.
Cardinals 24- 49ers 20Embed from Getty Images
Sunday’s version of San Francisco looked nothing like the powerhouse that terrorized opponents, up until the Super Bowl last season. They did, however, look exactly like the team that showed up to that championship game, namely Jimmy G and his costly mistakes in big moments. Two underthrows by Garapollo in the final two minutes sealed the deal in a Cardinals win.
Saints 34- 23 BuccaneersEmbed from Getty Images
Bucs bandwagoners were awfully quiet after Brady’s lackluster performance in the season opener. Sure it could be chalked up to lack of chemistry and familiarity with a new team and playbook, which undoubtedly played a role, but it would be naive to not consider the role that Father Time played, seeing as Brady consistently looked his age throughout the game. None of this is to discount the stellar performance put on by the Saints and their own 40 year old QB. Brees has been aging quietly in this league, his play hasn’t really seen a ropoff even as he climbs through his decades.
Rams 20-Cowboys 17Embed from Getty Images
There was perhaps no team who so evidently needed a preseason as much as the Dallas Cowboys. To say that their Sunday night performance looked disjointed would be generous, but it is also exactly what should have been expected; with a new coaching staff and new additions on both sides of the ball. The other sideline was in a new chapter of an entirely different story: Sean McVay is going into his fourth year at the helm and the roster is relatively unchanged. The advantages of consistency were evident on the field, namely with Dallas’ defence forcing 17 third downs, but then allowing nine conversions. Ultimately, the Cowboys can accept this loss as a preseason game, but if there’s any hope of fulfilling McCarthy’s “Super Bowl or bust” promise, they are going to have a long week of practice ahead of them.