NFL Week 1: 5 reactions from opening weekend
With NFL Week 1 in the books (save the Monday night doubleheader), let’s take a look at some of the early-season headlines that emerged from the Sunday affairs.
5. Jimmy Garoppolo is good, but he isn’t perfect
The San Francisco 49ers are going to be a good team under Kyle Shanahan. However, the notion that they are a threat in the NFC might have been rushed. San Francisco lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday — no shame in that — with Jimmy Garoppolo going 15-of-33 for 261 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. The youngster looked flustered by pressure and was occasionally throwing off his back foot, leading to a trio of turnovers. He’ll learn.
4. The Chargers have plenty to clean up before contending
Los Angeles seemed to consistently get hyped up before the season, and understandably so. The Chargers have loads of talent from Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen to Casey Hayward and Melvin Ingram. Still, Los Angeles hasn’t won the AFC West division since 2009. They showed why in a 38-28 loss to the Chiefs. Two turnovers, multiple dropped touchdowns and an allergic reaction to guarding Tyreek Hill resulted in an early hole for Los Angeles to climb out of.
3. Patrick Mahomes can really, really play
The stat line for Mahomes? 15-of-27 for 256 yards and four touchdowns in the aforementioned victory over the Chargers. The Kansas City Chiefs and their fans had to be thrilled with the result, with highlights ranging from his 58-yard touchdown pass on a slant — as he was being hit — to Tyreek Hill, to a 36-yeard rainbow score down the sideline to fullback Anthony Sherman. All told, Mahomes looked every bit the part of a franchise quarterback for a team that hasn’t had one in nearly 50 years.
2. What happened to the Saints’ defense?
The New Orleans Saints were one of the better defenses in the league last year, helping them go 11-5 and win the tough NFC South. However, things went amiss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Superdome on Sunday afternoon, with Ryan Fitzpatrick slicing the secondary up for 417 yards and four scores in a shocking 48-40 defeat. If the Saints plan on making another deep run into January with Drew Brees at the controls, the defense needs to figure its issues out.
1. The Bills are staring at a very long season
It’s only one game, but it’s hard to see anything but trouble on the horizon for the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were absolutely smoked by the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City, losing by the embarrassing final of 47-3. Buffalo failed to throw for 100 yards in the game despite benching Nathan Peterman in the third quarter to insert rookie first-round pick Josh Allen. Buffalo will be able to play better than it did on Sunday in Baltimore, but that isn’t saying a whole heck of a lot.