There were some major surprises in our Week 1 recap of the 2016 NFL Regular Season. Let’s get to it!
NFL Regular Season Week 1 Recap
Carolina Panthers 20, Denver Broncos 21
It was all about the Denver defense in this game. Once they started to pressure reigning MVP Cam Newton, the Panthers’ offense fell apart. Denver sacked Newton 3 times. Broncos’ QB Trevor Seimian played well enough for Denver to make a furious comeback. What a great game to open the 2016 NFL Regular Season!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Atlanta Falcons 24
Jameis Winston lit up the Atlanta Falcons like a September Christmas tree. He threw 4 touchdown passes. The Buccaneers’ defense played well enough for the 7-point win. Atlanta’s rushing offense was horrible with both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman not helping out QB Matt Ryan and the passing game at all. Unless Atlanta can get the running game going, they’ll lose with regularity in 2016.
Buffalo Bills 7, Baltimore Ravens 13
Ouch. That Buffalo offense was difficult to watch in Week 1. QB Tyrod Taylor went 15 out of 22 for 111 yards. He rushed 5 times for 11 yards. RB LeSean McCoy looked disinterested. WR Sammy Watkins’ incredible talent was wasted again. The Ravens played the type of game that the rest of the teams in the AFC should notice. It wasn’t that long ago when Baltimore beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl.
Chicago Bears 14, Houston Texans 23
The Houston defense stepped it up. J.J. Watt played sparingly and it didn’t matter. The Texans’ held a good offense to only 14 points. The Houston offense is a work in progress. RB Lamar Miller did rush for over 100 yards. But he didn’t score a touchdown. QB Brock Osweiler threw 2 TD passes and a pick. Houston has time to become a force in the AFC while Chicago is rebuilding.
Green Bay Packers 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 23
There were two things that I noticed during this game. First, Green Bay has to really improve on offense. The Packers were brilliant when scoring 3 touchdowns in the first half against Jacksonville. Then, Green Bay stalled on offense. QB Aaron Rodgers ended up throwing for less than 200 yards. The Packers only scored 6 points in the second half. Second, Jacksonville could be one of the better teams in the AFC this season. After making adjustments during halftime, Jacksonville actually had a chance to beat Green Bay in the final 2 minutes of this game. The Jags’ defense stepped it up big time.
San Diego Chargers 27, Kansas City Chiefs 33
The Chargers always play Kansas City tough. San Diego QB Phillip Rivers just knows what to do against KC. That’s just the way it is. The Chargers’ defense fell apart against Alex Smith and the Chief’s offense in the second half of this game. KC had no business coming back and beating San Diego in overtime. Both of these teams played well enough that they deserve attention in the future.
Oakland Raiders 35, New Orleans Saints 34
The Saints had a 14-point lead before Oakland QB Derek Carr practically willed his team to victory in this game. Going for 2 points after tying the game could end up as one of those magical moments in Oakland Raider history. The Saints’ defense, as to be expected, is a mess. The offense is brilliant with old man QB Drew Brees under center. This was just a fantastic game between 2 decent teams.
Cincinnati Bengals 23, New York Jets 22
Say what you want, but I think that Cincinnati beating a very good New York Jets team on the road is impressive. I don’t care that it was only a 1-point game. The Bengals threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the AFC North Division, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, who beat less talented teams than the Jets in Week 1. The Bengals might be the team to beat in the AFC This season.
Cleveland Browns 10, Philadelphia Eagles 29
Sure, Philly QB Carson Wentz looked good against the Cleveland Browns. It’s the Browns, right? But he was a rookie starting in his first NFL game. Dan Marino kept it going for his entire rookie season. Why can’t Wentz? The Browns are down to QB Josh McCown who was fantastic last season. The jury is still out on both of these squads.
Minnesota Vikings 25, Tennessee Titans 16
The Vikings played a great game with QB Shaun Hill under center. Tennessee had every right to run all over the Vikings’ defense. But Minnesota was stout in Week 1. Tennessee has to be more consistent on both sides of the ball. One good thing to notice about Tennessee is that without the 3 turnovers, this game could have been much closer. The Vikings might end up as one of the best teams in the NFC if QB Sam Bradford gets things going with WR Stefon Diggs.
Miami Dolphins 10, Seattle Seahawks 12
There were two things that I got out of this game. Neither of which have to do with the Seattle Seahawks. First, Ryan Tannehill didn’t throw an interception. What it means is that coach Adam Gase has Tannehill playing much smarter than he has in the past. Second, Miami’s defense sacked Russell Wilson 3 times. Miami could be a sneaky good team in the suddenly powerful looking AFC East Division.
New York Giants 20, Dallas Cowboys 19
The Giants were supposed to beat Dallas by more than a single point. QB Dak Prescott is going to be a player with the Cowboys’ organization. That’s what I really saw in this Week 1 game. Prescott passed for 227 yards without throwing a pick. The Cowboys also rushed for over 100 yards. But, the Cowboys’ defense? What a mess. Giants’ QB Eli Manning has a lot more weapons this season than just Odell Beckham Jr. But the Giants’ defense this season? Yeah…what a mess. Drew Brees and the Saints should score close to 40 points against the Giants’ D in Week 2.
Detroit Lions 39, Indianapolis Colts 35
Calvin Johnson…who? Megatron…what? Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford went 31 out of 38 for 340 yards. He threw 3 TD passes without throwing a pick. Stafford was en fuego. A lot of his success may have had to do with the Colts’ defense, which is terrible. The Colts allowed the Lions to rush for 116 yards from 24 carries Denver should have a field day against the Colts’ rush defense at Mile High in Week 2.
New England Patriots 23, Arizona Cardinals 21
How could Arizona’s defense allow QB Jimmy Garoppolo to throw for 264 yards and a TD? Who knows? How could Arizona’s defense allow RB LeGarrette Blount to rush for 70 yards and a TD? Who knows? New England looked good and Arizona looked bad. Week 2 should tell us more.
Pittsburgh Steelers 38 at Washington Redskins 16
Washington QB Kirk Cousins was a deer in headlights. He didn’t look like the QB that tore up the NFL in the final 8 games of last season. He wasn’t even close to that guy. Pittsburgh did what it always does on offense, pound you with the run before throwing to WR Antonio Brown for long TDs. The Steelers face a much tougher test in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Washington faces a must win game versus the rival Dallas Cowboys.
Los Angeles Rams 0 at San Francisco 49’ers 28
Oh, man, here we go again with the Los Angeles Rams. I’m not sure how good San Francisco is because the Rams played the absolute worst game out of any team in the NFL in Week 1. It was bad all over the board. The coaches called a bad game. The offense was putrid. The defense played better in the second half until giving up after watching how the offense was playing. With that being written, L.A. could step it up big time in Week 2 since they face Seattle, a team that they always play hard against. San Francisco could take a major step back against Carolina, a team that wants to prove that it’s as good this season as it was last season.