5 biggest winners from NFL Week 1 action
NFL Week 1, like any NFL game week, was the story of winners and losers. We take a look at 5 of the biggest winners from NFL Week 1.
5. Green Bay Packers
The Packers finally had more go right than Aaron Rodgers. In fact, Rodgers was pedestrian, but it didn’t matter with the defense holding the Chicago Bears to only three points in the NFL’s opening game. The Packers aren’t always going to be so dominant on that side of the ball, mostly because they aren’t always going to get to play Mitchell Trubisky. Still, it’s a terrific win for new head coach Matt LaFleur, who has to be feeling good as his team prepares for the Minnesota Vikings.
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4. Austin Ekeler
Ekeler has been somewhat the forgotten man nationally, but he’s going to be a star for the Los Angeles Chargers. the reserve running back showed why on Sunday in Los Angeles’ 30-24 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts. Ekeler combined for 154 total yards and three touchdowns. While Melvin Gordon will come back from his holdout at some juncture, Ekeler is showing he can do more than enough to keep the Chargers in the hunt for the AFC West crown.
3. Sammy Watkins
Speaking of the AFC West crown, Sammy Watkins might have something to say on the topic. Watkins was tremendous for the Kansas City Chiefs in their opening day 40-26 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former Clemson star caught nine passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns, including two long jaunts in the first quarter. With Tyreek Hill potentially sidelined for the next few weeks, the Chiefs need Watkins to stay healthy and produce more than ever.
2. Lamar Jackson
Jackson was much-maligned throughout the offseason, with pundits (including yours truly) believing he’s limited throwing the ball. However, Jackson had other plans in mind during the Baltimore Ravens’ 59-10 pounding of the Miami Dolphins. Jackson completed 17-of-20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns, including a pair to rookie wide receiver Hollywood Brown.
1. New England Patriots
The Patriots are already expected by most to reach the Super Bowl for the fourth straight year, and we all saw why in Week 1. The Patriots rolled the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, winning 33-3 in front of a national audience. Tom Brady went for 341 yards and three touchdowns, all while Josh Gordon starred and the offensive line kept the future Hall of Famer clean for most of the evening. If the Patriots can stay healthy — and Antonio Brown can stay on the roster — there’s little reason to think it will be anything but Kansas City and New England in the AFC title game.