2017 NFL Week 1 Recap

2017 NFL Week 1 Recap
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The first week in the new NFL Season is always one of the most eye-opening. Unlike the NBA, where 82 games are played, the NFL Regular Season only has 16 games. A single loss can set the tone for an entire season.

Check out our 2017 NFL Week 1 recap.

2017 NFL Week 1 Recap

Kansas City Chiefs +9 at New England Patriots -9

The Chiefs’ offense was the real story in this game. Or, was it New England’s defense?

Kansas City amassed 185 rushing yards. Chiefs receivers amassed 368 receiving yards. QB Alex Smith threw for 368 yards. He threw 4 TDs. Those are amazing numbers.

The Patriots’ defense helped Kansas City big time. Throughout the game, the Pats failed to pressure Smith. He dominated New England’s D because he had the one, true, luxury that all QBs strive to attain, time.

The Pats’ offensive line appeared out of sorts. RB Mike Gillislee scored 3 TDs. He also averaged 3 yards per rush. Kansas City looks like the real deal. We’ll see how New England’s defense fairs against Drew Brees and the Saints in Week 2.

Result: Kansas City 42, New England 27

New York Jets +8 at Buffalo Bills -8

Buffalo’s victory was notable for one thing, how workmanlike it was. QB Tyrod Taylor only completed 16 out of 28 pass attempts. No worries. He completed passes to 8 different receivers. Neither one of Buffalo’s best skill players, RB LeSean McCoy or WR Jordan Matthews, scored a TD. Instead, Taylor threw a TD to tight-end Charles Clay.

Clay ended up with 5 catches for 53 yards. McCoy rushed for 110 yards while vet Mike Tolbert scored the TD. Defensively, the Bills were on point. Granted, the Jets, as I suspected, appear to have one of the worst offenses to ever show up in the NFL.

But, if you can hold an opposing team to less than 5 yards per pass completion, and to 2.5 yards per rush, you’re doing something right on defense.

Result: Buffalo 21, New York Jets 12

Atlanta Falcons -7 at Chicago Bears +7

Atlanta’s offense didn’t look nearly as explosive in NFL Week 1 as what we saw all last season. That was the biggest takeaway. Devonta Freeman averaged 3 yards per carry. QB Matt Ryan was great, but he ended up throwing 2 bombs to TE Austin Hooper while Julio Jones caught just 4 passes for 66 yards.

The Bears? I was impressed by both Chicago’s offense and defense. On offense, QB Mike Glennon showed why Coach Fox decided to keep Mitch Trubisky on the bench. Glennon was sacked 4 times. He didn’t let it bother him. Instead, he took what the defense gave him, only averaging 5.3 yards per completion. Chicago found a star in RB Tarik Cohen. Cohen caught 8 passes for 47 yards and a TD. He rushed 5 times for 66 yards. Cohen has potential to be a special player.

The Bears defense is much improved from last season. If Chicago can improve even more as the season goes along, who knows? They might have a shot to upset Detroit, Minnesota, or Green Bay in the NFC North.

Result: Atlanta 23, Chicago 17

Baltimore Ravens +3 at Cincinnati Bengals -3

I had the sneaky suspicion that the 2017-2018 Cincinnati Bengals were a tired bunch. What I meant by that is the lack of changes in the organization had led to most players and coaches going through the motions. No fire always leads to bad play.

That’s what happened to the Bengals in this game. They didn’t seem to care as much as the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens did nothing spectacular. QB Joe Flacco only threw for 121 yards. RB Terrance West rushed for 80.

Cincy QB Andy Dalton threw 4 interceptions. He’s a veteran who should be better than that. The Bengals have a short week. They battle Houston, another bummer team in Week 1, on NFL Thursday Night Football.

Result: Baltimore 20, Cincinnati 0

Pittsburgh Steelers -9 at Cleveland Browns +9

I’m not ready to say that Cleveland is the second best team in the AFC North Division. Not yet. I want to see this Cleveland team play a couple of more times before saying that. I will state right now that Cleveland is better than Cincinnati.

Things are coming together nicely for the Cleveland Browns. QB DeShone Kizer threw for 222 yards, a TD, and an interception. Kizer also rushed for a TD. The kid’s got amazing football instincts. Kizer is the final piece in a Browns’ offense that includes two terrific skill players:  RB Isaiah Crowell and WR Corey Coleman.

Pitt’s overall talent led to the win even though Cleveland outplayed the Steelers in Week 1. One thing’s for certain, Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger’s reliance on WR Antonio Brown hasn’t wavered. Brown caught 11 passes for 182 yards.

Result: Pittsburgh 21, Cleveland 18

Arizona Cardinals -1.5 at Detroit Lions +1.5

I’ve got 2 takeaways from this one. First, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford is worth every penny. He destroyed the Cardinals with 4 TD passes. Second, that mass groan that you heard from every bar in America were fantasy football owners decrying the fact that their Round 1 pick, Arizona RB David Johnson, had just gone down with a wrist injury.

I didn’t expect much from AZ. This game proved me right.

Result: Detroit 35, Arizona 23

Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 at Houston Texans -5.5

Jags QB Blake Bortles wasn’t great. He didn’t throw an interception. To me, that means he was good enough. Jags RB Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards from 26 carries. He scored a TD. Neither Blake nor Fournette are the reason that Jacksonville won this game in Week 1.

The Jaguars might have the most impressive defense to come along since Seattle’s in the 2014-2015 NFL Season. Jacksonville recorded 10 sacks. Houston lost 3 fumbles. Jacksonville got an interception.  If Jacksonville’s defense can be this good every week, the Jags should win the AFC South.

Result:Jacksonville 29, Houston 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5 at Miami Dolphins +2.5

Result: Game Postponed Due to Hurricane Irma

Oakland Raiders +2 at Tennessee Titans -2

I was dead wrong about this match up. Oakland’s offense didn’t miss a beat. Raiders’ QB Derek Carr threw for 262 yards and 2 TDs. Michael Crabtree caught 6 passes. Amari Cooper caught 5. The Raiders defense held Titan RB DeMarco Murray to 3.7 yards per rush.

If there’s one saving grace for the Titans, it’s that WR Corey Davis caught 6 passes for 69 yards. Tennessee might want to open the offense up more. Marcus Mariota should throw the ball to Davis, and TE Delanie Walker, much more than they did in this game.

Result: Oakland 26, Tennessee 16

Philadelphia Eagles -1 at Washington Redskins +1

Maybe, Washington owner Dan Snyder didn’t give QB Kirk Cousins the huge contract because he’s not positive Cousins is Washington’s future. Cousins was horrendous in Week 1. He completed 23 of 40 passes for 240 yards. He threw 1 TD. He tossed a pick. He only averaged 6 yards per completion.

Philly’s offense was inspired because not only does Washington have a so-so quarterback (let’s not get into the Redskins’ horrible rushing game), but the team from D.C. also has a bad defense. I don’t see Washington turning this around.

Philadelphia has a chance to prove they’re legit in Week 2. The Eagles battle the Chiefs at Arrowhead.

Result: Philadelphia 30, Washington 17 

Indianapolis Colts -3 at L.A. Rams +3

One of the reasons Washington’s offense looked so out of sorts is because last season’s mastermind offensive coordinator, Sean McVay, is now the Rams head coach. Wow. Talk about inspired offensive performances.

McVay put together a game plan that might have put QB Jared Goff into elite status. Goff threw for 306 yards and a TD. He completed 21 of 29 passes. Sure, he did that versus the Colts defense. But, RB Todd Gurley averaged 2.1 yards per rush. Goff was amazing without having to rely on Gurley.

The Rams might be for real. DT Aaron Donald didn’t play a snap and the Rams recorded 4 sacks. The defense has been decent for the past couple of seasons. If Goff is truly this good, LAR could be a tough team to handle in the NFC West.

Result: L.A. Rams 46, Indianapolis 9

Seattle Seahawks +3 at Green Bay Packers -3

The biggest thing I saw in Seattle’s big matchup against Green Bay at Lambeau in Week 1 is that the Seahawks have done nothing to address their offensive line issues from a season ago. You could put a young Eric Dickerson behind Seattle’s line and he’ll average a bit more than 3 yards per carry.

Seattle has no shot of making the playoffs if the line plays like this in every game. Green Bay’s offense appeared off during the entire contest. But, because QB Aaron Rodgers is so great, he still managed 311 passing yards.

Result: Green Bay 17, Seattle 9

Carolina Panthers -5.5 at San Francisco 49’ers +5.5

Carolina didn’t overwhelm San Francisco in NFL Week 1. Cam only passed for 171 yards. He threw 2 TDs and a pick. Carolina running backs averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Running backs Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey both averaged 3.6 yards per carry.

The problem San Francisco had in this game, and it’s a big one, was strategy. RB Carlos Hyde averaged 5 yards per carry. He rushed for 45 yards on 9 carries. He also caught 6 passes for 32 yards. Instead of going to Hyde as much as possible, SF decided to mix it up by having Brian Hoyer try to become Matt Ryan.

That didn’t work. New San Francisco HC Kyle Shanahan must coach according to his personnel. He can’t expect any 49’ers quarterback to be the reigning NFL MVP. Hoyer isn’t Matt Ryan. Pierre Garcon isn’t Julio Jones.

Pick: Carolina 23, San Francisco 3

New York Giants -3.5 at Dallas Cowboys +3.5

Even with Odell on the bench due to an injury, NYG should have moved the football much better than it did against Dallas’ defense. Unless, I was wrong about Dallas’ defense?

That’s the issue I’m having. The Cowboy’s D looked spectacular. But, was that because the Boys’ defense has improved? Or, was that because the Giants have absolutely no rushing game?

NFL Week 2 should tell us more.

Result: Dallas 19, New York Giants 3

New Orleans Saints +3.5 at Minnesota Vikings -3.5

Same old Saints, right? Sam Bradford torched New Orleans for 346 passing yards and 3 TD passes. RB Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards from 22 carries. It wasn’t even close.

It should have been, though. The Saints’ defense, although terrible in spots, also played well at times. It’s a much better unit than what New Orleans rushed onto the field last season. New Orleans also settled for 4 field goals in this game.

That’s a testament to Minnesota’s defense, which kept the Saints’ offense off-kilter all night. Minnesota looks legitimate to me. After Week 1, the NFC North Division appears to be one of the deeper divisions in the league.

Result: Minnesota 26, New Orleans 12

L.A. Chargers +3.5 at Denver Broncos -3.5

Denver won the game. By no means did the Broncos dominate the Chargers. L.A. played hard. But, they’re just not talented enough to seal the deal. It required a blocked field goal to keep this one from going to overtime.

That’s pretty much all I want to write about this game. Why? Neither team showed me much. Oakland and KC are looking like the class of the AFC West.

Result:  Denver 24, San Diego 21

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Written by D.S. Williamson

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