The NFL arguably had its most fun Week 1 in years, dwelling as much as the offseason hype generated via the entire participant motion over the spring and summer season months. The league had 5 games determined via a game-winning ranking in the general two mins of law or in time beyond regulation, tied for the third-most such games in Week 1 (and probably the most since 2002).
Four groups overcame deficits of no less than 10 issues to win or tie in Week 1, the primary time that took place in twenty years. 2022 kickoff weekend used to be additionally the fourth time that more than one groups overcame a deficit of no less than 16 issues to win or tie in Week 1, which has took place thrice in the final 4 years (2019 and 2020).
With the entire insanity in Week 1, it is onerous to gauge the outlook of each team after the outlet week of the season. There are nonetheless some issues to remove from each team, which we’ll get to the bottom of with Week 1 in the books.
Blitzing Patrick Mahomes used to be destined to fail: With no J.J. Watt to be had, the Cardinals threw the kitchen sink to take a look at and prevent Mahomes. Vance Joseph will have to have identified that wasn’t going to paintings according to what Mahomes has proven in the previous. The Cardinals blitzed Mahomes greater than he had ever been in his complete profession, and the Chiefs quarterback torched them for 4 landing passes in opposition to the blitz — and all 5 of his rankings had been in opposition to guy protection.
Mahomes used to be blitzed a league-high 54% of the time in Week 1. Teams were averting blitzing Mahomes on account of his good fortune in opposition to it. The Cardinals attempted the other.
That technique will have to paintings different weeks, however no longer in opposition to arguably the most efficient quarterback in the league.
Same previous Falcons: The Falcons earn the crown of blowing massive leads, which means the 28-3 meme would possibly not be going away any time quickly. Atlanta took a 26-10 lead over New Orleans with 12:41 to play, but allowed 16 unanswered issues the remainder of how to fall to 0-1.
The Falcons had 13 performs for 68 yards all over the cave in, whilst the protection allowed 213 yards after giving up simply 172 yards in the former 9 possessions. Jameis Winston went 13 of 16 for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, because the secondary unexpectedly turned into nonexistent. Jarvis Landry had 92 yards in the general quarter by myself.
How ancient is the Falcons cave in? Atlanta is 5-3 when main via 15 issues in the 4th quarter, however the remainder of the NFL is 244-2-1. The Falcons have a brand new trainer and entrance place of work, but the franchise nonetheless reveals a strategy to blow giant leads. Some franchises are simply cursed.
Lamar Jackson can move: Like when Happy Gilmore scoffs Shooter McGavin when creating a putt in the excursion championship, Jackson taunted the Jets protection with 3 landing throws in the season-opening win. Jackson rushed for simply 17 yards and the Ravens had their fewest dashing yards in a sport (63) since Jackson turned into the beginning quarterback, but he nonetheless threw for 3 touchdowns and completed with a 98.3 passer ranking.
The landing passes got here on 3 of 4 complete drives, one being an outstanding 55-yard toss to Rashad Bateman that sealed the win past due in the 0.33 quarter. With no J.Ok. Dobbins and the Jets disposing of Jackson’s talent to scramble for a large acquire, Jackson trusted his MVP arm to win the sport.
Contrary to widespread trust, Jackson can throw the soccer. This offense is tailor made for him to toss a large number of touchdowns.
Von Miller is the adaptation maker Buffalo wanted: The Bills had the Chiefs at the ropes with 13 seconds left, up 3 and on their strategy to the convention championship sport. Then Patrick Mahomes took place.
Buffalo corrected that mistake via making the No. 1 protection in issues and yards allowed even higher, giving Buffalo a distinction maker in the move rush. The Bills had 19 pressures in the blowout win over the Rams whilst Los Angeles most effective had 5. Jordan Phillips had extra pressures (6) than all of the Rams protection, freed up in the inner on account of the presence of Miller.
Miller completed with two sacks and gave the Rams offensive line suits all evening. Buffalo has the threshold rusher that is going to close out games in the playoffs — and get the Bills to the place they need to move come January.
Christian McCaffrey did not get the ball sufficient: Ben McAdoo wishes to give an explanation for why McCaffrey had simply 14 touches in a last-second loss to the Browns. McCaffrey had simply 10 carries for 33 yards and a landing and 4 catches for twenty-four yards, which is just no longer sufficient for a participant that is wholesome and a difference-maker at the box.
When the Panthers had simply six yards in the primary quarter, McCaffrey touched the ball most effective two times. He had simply 4 touches in a primary part the place Carolina scored most effective seven issues (which used to be his landing).
Carolina hung Baker Mayfield out to dry with the excessive quantity of passes. Those struggles may have been have shyed away from via force-feeding McCaffrey for a stretch.
Justin Fields confirmed the improvisation we did not see in rookie yr: Fields made the single play Trey Lance could not make in Sunday’s win over the 49ers, discovering a large open Dante Pettis after escaping two San Francisco move rushers in the backfield. The 2021 first-round pick out scrambled and heaved a move to his proper — whilst rolling to his left — in the pouring rain. Pettis used to be vast open and ran it in for a 51-yard ranking, giving the Bears the entire momentum wanted in the disappointed win.
Fields threw for 2 touchdowns in the second one part, finishing 5 of 8 passes for 102 yards and two rankings (145.8 ranking) in loopy climate stipulations. Luke Getsy’s scheme and play calling performed a job, however Fields’s talent to improvise in opposition to an competitive entrance used to be the adaptation in this one.
The Bears have a long term with Fields. They simply have to ensure they do proper via him.
The offensive line nonetheless can’t give protection to Joe Burrow: Credit to Cincinnati for making the offensive line higher this offseason via signing La’El Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras — developing a brand new proper aspect of the road. Unfortunately the similar issues exist for Cincinnati.
Burrow used to be sacked seven instances in the loss to the Steelers, making that 14 in his final two games (counting the Super Bowl). The offensive line used to be meant to be higher — and it’s skill smart — but really feel sufferer to a very good Steelers entrance led via T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward. The unit allowed 16 pressures and 11 hurries, whilst permitting Burrow to get hit 9 instances.
Cincinnati allowed probably the most sacks in the NFL final season (70). Through one sport in 2022, Burrow seems to be taking a large number of pointless hits once more.
Dominant run sport will raise them till Deshaun Watson returns: The Browns’ bread and butter is their run offense, one who completed with 39 carries for 217 yards (5.6 yards according to raise). Nick Chubb had 22 carries for 141 yards whilst Kareem Hunt completed with 11 carries for 46 yards and a ranking.
The Browns had their method operating the soccer in the back of a very good run blocking off offensive line, controlling the ball for 38:26 and the usage of that to keep watch over the tempo of the sport in opposition to the Panthers.
Jacoby Brissett is just right sufficient to control the offense and make the performs vital to win games, like at the ultimate force to arrange Cade York’s game-winning box target. If the Browns are going to compete in the AFC North and keep afloat, Chubb and Hunt desire a excessive quantity of touches like they gained Sunday.
Jerry Jones didn’t deal with the problems on offense: Dak Prescott’s damage is the icing at the cake for the Cowboys woes on offense, all led to via Jones refusing to stay alongside of the days and construct a roster across the quarterback. Paying Ezekiel Elliott $90 million over six years tied down the roster development, leaving the Cowboys hollow son the offensive line and at vast receiver.
The effects had been 3 issues and 12 first downs, the worst marks since Dallas drafted Prescott in 2016. Dallas has an offensive line that can’t give protection to Prescott and no intensity at vast receiver (James Washington and Michael Gallup are injured) for Prescott to believe.
With Prescott injured for a longer duration, Dallas does not have a backup quarterback that can stay them afloat both. Both backup quarterbacks had been launched and went unclaimed on waivers at roster cutdowns.
Jones had a chance to be inventive with the cap and upload intensity on offense and did not. Dallas’s putrid offense is on him.
Red zone errors need to be corrected: Forget all of Nathaniel Hackett’s blunders on the finish of the sport, the Broncos had quite a lot of errors in the pink zone that ended in the surprising loss in Seattle. Denver used to be 0-for-4 in the pink zone and 0-for-3 in goal-to-go scenarios, led via two fumbles on the 1-yard line on consecutive possessions that performed an enormous function in the one-point loss.
The Broncos had 10 goal-to-go performs, ensuing in two fumbles and nil issues. They are the primary team to try this because the Chiefs in Week 3 of the 1987 season, showcasing how uncommon this ineptitude is.
Hackett must be higher in the pink zone, which should not be hidden on account of his deficient clock control.
D’Andre Swift has created a deadly run sport: The Lions have an excellent offensive line, although they had been lacking Halapoulivaati Vaitai and had Frank Ragnow enjoying harm Sunday. Running backs trainer Duce Staley and offensive line trainer Hank Fraley are mindful how essential a just right operating sport is towards offensive good fortune, which is why Staley used to be urgent Swift so onerous in camp.
Swift is due for a breakout season, and is off to a very good get started after torching the Eagles protection for 144 dashing yards and a landing — averaging 9.6 yards according to raise. The Lions ran for 181 yards as a team, the second-highest general in any sport since Dan Campbell arrived.
Expect extra giant dashing performances from Detroit in 2022 with Swift getting the chance to steer a potent assault. His target of one,000 dashing yards and 1,000 receiving yards remains to be to be made up our minds.
Aaron Rodgers has to have a tender vast receiver step up: When A.J. Dillon is the main receiver, that team has an issue. The Packers did not have Allen Lazard for Sunday’s showdown with the Vikings, which means Aaron Rodgers used to be with out all his vast receivers that stuck 30-plus passes from final yr’s team.
The effects had been disastrous for the younger receivers, with Rodgers even admitting there could be “growing pains.” Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs mixed for 6 catches and 71 yards on 9 objectives, with Watson losing a 75-yard landing proper in his fingers at the Packers’ first offensive play.
Davante Adams is not strolling via that door, and Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins have their explicit roles. Watson or Doubs wish to make performs for Green Bay. There’s a chance to be Rodgers’ most sensible goal.
Lovie Smith performed conservatively for first position in the department: The Texans had a chance to scouse borrow a sport from the Colts (at house) via having the ball on fourth-and-3 at their very own 49-yard line with 26 seconds left in time beyond regulation. Instead, Smith made the verdict to punt and pin the Colts inside of their 10-yard line with little time left at the clock to make anything else occur.
Was the verdict the suitable name? The Texans had to get to the Colts’ 44-yard line for Ka’imi Fairbairn to have a chance to win it (Fairbairn’s career-long is 61 yards), so that they wanted seven yards — and a primary down — to have a shot.
If they do not convert, Rodrigo Blankenship’s career-long kick for the Colts is 53 yards — so Indianapolis would wish 13 yards (going via the road of scrimmage on fourth down for Houston) to scouse borrow the street win and whole the comeback.
At the top of the day, the Texans are tied for first in the AFC South. They are not anticipated to win the department, but when they’re in the race in January that tie can pay dividends.
Offense does not glance a lot other from final season: The Colts have a brand new quarterback in Matt Ryan, however that is the most effective vital trade in an offense that used to be inconsistent all through final yr (even though Carson Wentz used to be the issue).
This is not Ryan’s fault. Indianapolis has simply two playmakers on offense: Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman. Taylor completed with 161 yards and a dashing landing whilst Pittman had 121 receiving yards and a receiving landing. Not a marvel they had been the avid gamers to deliver Indianapolis again into the sport.
To make this construction higher, Pittman and Taylor had been the avid gamers with probably the most objectives in the passing sport. Someone in this offense has to step up but even so Taylor and Pittman, or the Colts’ issues from final yr will reappear.
Doug Pederson’s team nonetheless has some paintings to do: The Jaguars are a extra proficient and method higher coached team beneath Pederson, however errors reared its unsightly head in Sunday’s loss to the Commanders. Jacksonville had 13 consequences for 90 yards and went 3 of 12 on 0.33 down — a tender team that suffers from a loss of execution.
Going 2 of five in the pink zone and permitting Washington to transform 70% of its 0.33 down makes an attempt did not lend a hand both. Jacksonville identification some great issues in Sunday’s loss, however the loss of conversions and penalty numbers are problems that need to be corrected going ahead.
Jacksonville can transfer the ball and create takeaways, however solving 0.33 down eventualities will move far towards successful games.
The Chiefs are all the time contenders with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes: The perception the Chiefs had been going to take a step again as a result of they traded Tyreek Hill all the time appeared foolish. Reid is the one head trainer to win 100 games with two other franchises and he has arguably the most efficient quarterback in the NFL at his disposal.
Mahomes went 30 of 39 for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns in a dominant efficiency over the Cardinals, showcasing how a lot deeper the Chiefs are at vast receiver and in the passing sport. Kansas City has some of the most sensible offensive traces in soccer and a tender protection that will get after the quarterback constantly.
The Chiefs are nonetheless some of the absolute best groups in soccer. They’ll all the time be in the Super bowl dialog with Reid and Mahomes.
The offensive line is in a state of flux: Josh McDaniels had a captivating manner together with his offensive line, rotating avid gamers in and out all through the sport because the Raiders head trainer used to be looking for continuity up entrance. Bad offensive traces undergo this procedure, one who used to be prevalent gazing NFL games in the Nineties.
Dylan Parham began at proper guards, however used to be changed via Lester Cotton Sr. in the second one quarter. Jermaine Eluemunor began at proper take on, most effective to get replaced via Thayer Munford in the 0.33 quarter. The consequence used to be Derek Carr being sacked 4 instances and 11 pressures allowed via the rotating offensive line.
Vegas has some issues to determine up entrance. McDaniels has to search out continuity in a department stuffed with sturdy defensive fronts.
Defense can close out a sport: The Chargers run protection used to be some of the worst in the NFL final season, permitting the Raiders to run the ball down their throats and do away with them from the playoffs final season. That considerably modified Sunday, because the Raiders rushed simply 13 instances for 64 yards.
The run protection set the level for the move rush to keep the lead. Holding onto a 24-19 lead with two mins left, Khalil Mack sacked Derek Carr (0.33 of the day) and compelled a fumble on fourth right down to keep the win. The Chargers had six sacks, 9 quarterback hits, and 3 takeaways — protecting the Raiders to 19 issues in the win.
All the ones defensive signings in the offseason paid vital dividends Sunday.
No lend a hand from vast receivers outdoor of Cooper Kupp: The Rams simply want extra from their playmakers if their offense goes to be as dominant because it used to be final season. Allen Robinson used to be nonexistent all through the blowout loss to the Bills (1 catch, 12 yards), which is not need the Rams allotted their cash to when Von Miller departed.
Los Angeles had simply 6 catches for 47 yards on 10 objectives for vast receivers no longer named Cooper Kupp. No marvel why Matthew Stafford focused him such a lot. Van Jefferson’s go back will lend a hand, however Odell Beckham Jr. could also be a loose agent.
Tyreek Hill might be getting a large number of objectives this yr: Hill led the Dolphins with 8 catches for 94 yards in their Week 1 win over the Patriots. An excellent debut that did not inform the entire tale.
Hill used to be focused 12 instances in the win, the transparent point of interest of Miami’s passing assault. No different Dolphins participant used to be focused greater than 5 instances and that used to be Jaylen Waddle — who had 4 catches for 69 yards and a landing.
The Dolphins passing assault is obviously higher in Mike McDaniel’s scheme, one that does not want Tagovailoa to head deep at all times. Hil will nonetheless get his chew performs, as a result of he is simply going to get probably the most alternatives to cause them to.
Justin Jefferson will publish large numbers in Kevin O’Connell’s offense: Watching the Los Angeles Rams with Sean McVay and the Green Bay Packers with Matt LaFleur, their most sensible playmaking receivers are going to get the soccer. O’Connell comes from the similar training tree as McVay and LaFleur and he has an implausible playmaker in Jefferson.
Jefferson’s dominance used to be on show Sunday, as he had six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the primary part en path to a career-high 184 yards. Expect giant performances from Jefferson all through the yr, as O’Connell will power feed his most sensible playmaker.
McVay does it with Cooper Kupp. LaFleur did it with Davante Adams. O’Connell will do the similar with Jefferson.
Mac Jones has regressed because of his environment: All the development Jones made in his rookie season is out the window because of no matter Bill Belichick determined to do with the offense. From Joe Judge and Matt Patricia being essential figures main the unit to the deficient offensive line protective Jones, the Patriots’ second-year quarterback is a ways from the quarterback the league noticed final yr.
Jones now has a again damage so as to add to his struggles, main a clumsy offense which he used to be taking note of as many as 4 voices in his ear all over a timeout Sunday. How can a tender quarterback development with this dysfunctional construction?
The Patriots desire a Josh McDaniels-type play caller to train Jones. Too dangerous he is in Las Vegas.
The vast receivers are darn just right: Jameis Winston used to be fantastic in the fourth quarter of the comeback victory, maximum of which needed to do together with his receivers taking on the sport. Both of Michael Thomas’ landing catches got here in the fourth quarter (sure, he is again) and Jarvis Landry had 92 of his 114 receiving yards in the fourth quarter,
Keep in thoughts the ones are the highest two wideouts at the Saints. New Orleans nonetheless has Chris Olave, who had 3 catches for 41 yards in his debut. The Saints wideouts are going to open up the passing offense, liberating up the flat for Alvin Kamara to have an enormous yr in the move sport.
New Orleans vast receivers are as just right as marketed and are going to make this offense tricky to forestall.
Saquon Barkley is again: Barkley completed with 18 carries for 164 yards and a landing whilst additionally having six catches for 30 yards. Not most effective does Barkley lead the league in dashing, however he leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage.
A wholesome Barkley is likely one of the maximum dynamic avid gamers in the NFL. Having a trainer that is aware of make the most of his talent set and provides him 20-plus touches a sport is even higher. If Barkley remains wholesome, 2022 has the makings of a monster yr.
Mistakes destroyed any development on offense: Joe Flacco throwing a soccer 59 instances in a sport is one thing, however the Jets offense simply beat themselves with mistakes. The Jets had a number of drops in the loss to the Ravens (together with Michael Carter losing a large open move in the top zone), a fumble via rookie Breece Hall, and a Flacco interception led to via a receiver falling at the MetLife Stadium turf.
The Jets offensive line gave up a league-high 22 pressures Sunday, as accidents performed a vital function in that inefficiency. New York went 2 of 14 on 0.33 down, no longer changing one till halfway in the course of the fourth quarter. The Jets additionally had 81 yards in consequences.
New York wishes to return to the drafting board and right kind the mistakes, or else the Jets are in for any other lengthy yr.
Jalen Hurts is the rationale the Eagles win games: Hurts used to be sensible in Sunday’s win over the Lions, throwing for 243 yards and dashing for 90 yards and a landing. Facing relentless drive from Detroit’s blitz applications, Hurts used his legs to get the Eagles out of a gradual begin to the sport — and ensuring the Lions did not construct an enormous early lead.
Instead, the Lions had been chasing the Eagles. Hurts threw as many passes to his left as to his proper and put the ball into his absolute best playmakers’ fingers in A.J. Brown (10 catches, 155 yards). Hurts made quite a lot of good selections with the soccer as he, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson had been the one 3 avid gamers that completed Week 1 with over 300 yards of general offense with no turnover.
The Eagles win games on account of Hurts, no longer in spite of him. That could not be mentioned every now and then final yr.
T.J. Watt’s damage is a large void in a just right protection: The Steelers protection is an excellent unit, however they’re dominant when Watt is at the box. With Watt’s pectoral damage, the Steelers must make up for a participant that led the league in sacks and tackles for loss final yr.
The Steelers completed with 5 takeaways (one via Watt), seven sacks (one via Watt), 15 pressures (two via Watt), and 4 interceptions. Watt left the sport with 16 seconds left after a pectoral damage and the timetable for his go back is up in the air.
Pittsburgh has playmakers, however none with the magnitude like Watt. The Steelers nonetheless have a just right protection, however they are going to sorely pass over him as they compete for the AFC North crown.
No explanation why to panic over Trey Lance: Was Lance’s debut because the No. 1 quarterback just right? Not even close, however the 49ers had been enjoying a rain typhoon most effective Chicago may muster. This dangerous climate sport will have to no longer be an indictment of Lance, who completed 13 of 28 for 164 yards and an interception (50.3 ranking) in the loss.
Lance led the 49ers with 13 carries for 54 yards, however San Francisco neds to provide the ball extra to its operating backs. Lance and Deebo Samuel mixed for 21 carries, or 56.8% of the carries. Elijah Mitchell’s MCL damage did not lend a hand issues both.
The loss is a nasty one for San Francisco, however the 49ers wish to use Lance’s athleticism to his benefit. The 49ers wouldn’t have a just right offensive line to start with. Let’s see how Lance fares in extra very best stipulations.
Geno Smith used to be the suitable option to play quarterback: Many scoffed at Smith having the chance to start out in Seattle, even supposing he performed adamantly filling in for Russell Wilson final season. Smith used to be superb for the Seahawks in the opener, finishing 23 of 28 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions (119.5 ranking) in the disappointed win over the Broncos.
Smith finished his first 13 passes en path to a primary part which he went 17 of 18 for 164 yards and two touchdowns, the most efficient part of soccer he is had in his profession. The Seahawks quarterback used to be able for top time and used to be chargeable for the Seahawks development an early lead.
The protection took care of the remainder, however Smith did not flip the ball over both. Seattle might be in each sport if Smith manages the sport and makes a couple of performs like he did Monday evening.
The passing offense will get well: Worrying about the Buccaneers passing sport is unwarranted pressure. Tom Brady threw for simply 212 yards and averaged most effective 6.7 yards according to try, which is uncharacteristic after the marks Brady and the No. 1 move offense set final season.
Chris Godwin’s damage is a priority, but the Buccaneers nonetheless have Mike Evans, Russell Gage, and Julio Jones. They wish to determine the tight finish state of affairs, particularly since Rob Gronkowski is not catching pink zone passes anymore.
Tampa Bay confronted a just right Dallas protection that will get after the quarterback, in order that must be taken under consideration. Brady and the passing sport gets right into a rhythm because the weeks move on.
Treylon Burks and Kyle Phillips is also sufficient at vast receiver: The Titans misplaced A.J. Brown, however their pair of learners confirmed flashes in their debuts. Philips, a fifth-round select from UCLA, had six catches for 66 yards in the loss to the Giants — together with the 21-yard catch that arrange Randy Bullock’s 47-yard box target try to live on and get the win.
Burks had two 20-plus yards receptions and completed with 3 catches for 55 yards. The Titans are going to get Derrick Henry rolling all through the season, which goes to take the drive off the learners to accomplish. Even with the Giants secondary no longer being the largest problem, Tennessee seems to have one thing going in the passing sport.
Jahan Dotson goes to make Carson Wentz’s lifestyles so much more uncomplicated: Wentz had an up-and-down day in his Washington debut, however he threw two very spectacular landing passes to Dotson because the Commanders rallied to overcome the Jaguars. Dotson completed with 3 catches for 40 yards and two touchdowns in his debut, together with the game-winner with 1:46 to play — an implausible 24-yard landing clutch with Tyson Campbell giving him blanket protection.
As a direction runner, Dotson is past his years — making his landing grabs much more spectacular. Wentz has a very good receiving core in Washington, however Dotson being forward of the curve simply makes the unit higher. Dotson goes to be an issue for opposing secondaries all yr.