Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books and there is a lot to digest as some of the biggest names in the league fell short of expectations.
Lions Roar Past Chiefs
It feels like a long time ago already but you know the taste of defeat will linger into Week 2 for the Kansas City Chiefs. Upset by the Detroit Lions 21-20, the defending Super Bowl champions are 0-1 to start the new season which will no doubt prompt gross overreactions and equally dismissive underreations. They played without Travis Kelce. Patrick Mahomes was working with new teammates and one of his picks came from a perfect throw…
This ended up being a Patrick Mahomes pick-6 pic.twitter.com/OoKV5gxauW
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) September 8, 2023
But while we can confidently call it an “off night” for the Chiefs, we’re going to need to see them bounce back against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 before hailing them as significant Super Bowl LVII favourites.
How real is all of this for the Lions, though? Plenty will talk it down with the usual “it’s only one game” line, but that one game was against the Chiefs – at Arrowhead. This isn’t you’re typical easy-to-overhype Week 1 win. It looks real whether the Chiefs had an off-night or not.
The major concern around the Lions heading into the NFL season was in their defence. They kept the Chiefs to six points in the second half. Sure, the Chiefs were without Kelce. Keeping Mahomes, regardless of who he has at his disposal, to six points in a half is very encouraging for the Lions moving forward.
When it’s all said and done, it is Week 1. There is a lot of water to go under the bridge. But this is a bigger win for the Lions than it is a loss for the Chiefs.
Dobbins Down & Rodgers Reeling
It hasn’t yet been confirmed for Aaron Rodgers, but Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins will miss the rest of the NFL season after suffering a torn Achilles in their 25-9 win over the Houston Texans.
Tackled as he fought his way towards the end zone on the back of a Lamar Jackson pass, Dobbins needed to be helped to the locker room. He won’t be seen again for the Ravens throughout this campaign. Having already played without Mark Andrews, it leaves a bitter taste in their mouth following an otherwise encouraging performance for the Ravens. Good without being great, they beat a team they should and did it comfortably while implementing new players and systems.
Meanwhile, the disaster struck for the New York Jets.
Playing in his first drive as the Jets quarterback, Rodgers was injured while taking a sack from Bills defensive end, Leonard Floyd. Like Dobbins, he limped off the field with help and the early prognosis is similar: That’s it for Rodgers this season.
Breaking: Robert Saleh says they fear a torn Achilles for Rodgers. “It’s not good.” MRI tomorrow. They expect it to confirm the tear. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) September 12, 2023
This was meant to be the year for the Jets. On an upward trajectory, Rodgers’ arrival signalled a continuation of that. A dodgy offensive line – made to look worse given the injury – made it difficult to get excited about them as Super Bowl contenders, but the expectation was for improvement and a playoff push.
Now the prospect of another season of Zach Wilson hangs over the heads, not only of Jets fans but also those planning to tune into the Rodgers-level number of prime-time games they have lined up.
It remains to be seen how the Jets respond to the injury. Are they prepared to waste another season with Wilson behind centre? He produced the goods for the Jets to claim a massive upset win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. But we have seen this movie before. If it ends like the others, Wilson doesn’t have a full season of production in him. Not enough for the Jets to reach the heights so many had expected only 24 hours ago.
Just like that, the Jets are out to $61 to win Super Bowl LVII.
Should We Be Worried About The Bills?
Difficult to overstate how embarrassing this is for the Bills. The moment Rodgers went down, all they had to do was play a controlled, mistake-free game. They have done everything but, at every turn. An immature and concerning game, independent of the final result.
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) September 12, 2023
The short answer: a little bit.
You can’t walk away from that performance without questioning their spot on the fourth line of betting in the Super Bowl LVII market at $11.
The true extent of this horror loss can start to be measured next week against the Las Vegas Raiders. If they don’t show some positive signs and Josh Allen doesn’t significantly improve in his performance, then we might start to grow concerned about a team that looked nailed on as contenders.
Improvements Under Payten, But No Win For Wilson
Sean Payten put massive pressure on his team when hailing the work of the former coach of the Denver Broncos as “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.”
While his team fell 17-16 to the Raiders, Payten appears to have provided Russell Wilson with renewed confidence.
Following on from a horror season, Wilson impressed early as he put together a nice first half.
Russell Wilson is having an INCREDIBLE first half under Sean Payton:
129.2 passer rating
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) September 10, 2023
Wilson looked a lot better in Week 1 overall. The bar wasn’t very high, though. There were positive signs for the quarterback but the Denver Broncos didn’t pay $242 million for positive signs. They paid for a match-winner, and this one was there to be won.
The Broncos scored only three points in the second half. Wilson needed to step up late in the piece and couldn’t. Jimmy Garoppolo, on the other hand, did what Jimmy Garoppolo does. He put up his fairly bog-standard numbers while doing what his team needed to win.
It’s neither an inspiring win for the Raiders nor a crippling loss for the Broncos. It’s what most expected, really. Neither will be in the hunt towards the back end of the NFL season, but they’re going to make things difficult for others throughout. The Broncos have opened Week 2 as $1.55 and -3.5 favourites against the Washington Commanders while the Raiders have the honour of travelling to play a smarting Bills team in Buffalo.
Other NFL Notes
– The Cowboys thrashed the Giants 40-0 in a statement-making performance. The Giants, on the other hand, became the first team in NFL history to lose 40-0 (or worse), lose the sack battle 7-0 (or worse), lose the turnover battle 3-0 (or worse), have a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown, and throw a pick-6 not only in the same season but the same game.
– Jordan Love threw for 245 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. A pretty good start for a quarterback under pressure to perform.
– The Bengals were beaten so badly by the Browns (3-24) that their starters were benched pretty, pretty early.
– There were 200 total yards of offence at one point of the 49ers’ 30-7 win over the Steelers. 199 of those yards were from the 49ers.
– After giving Baker Mayfield a bit of a bake before Week 1, he threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns and sealed a big win for the Buccaneers over the Vikings.
TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS
|TEAM||CURRENT PRICE||LAST WEEK’S PRICE|
|Kansas City Chiefs||$7||–|
|San Francisco 49ers||$8.50||–|