The 2023 NFL season is right here, and Week 1 has been wild. Within the early window, the San Francisco 49ers picked up proper the place they left off with a wholesome Brock Purdy, the Cleveland Browns shut down Joe Burrow, and a handful of rookies actually stood out of their debuts.
Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins got here out on high after an offensive battle in opposition to Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers, Jordan Love had no points being the Inexperienced Bay Packers No. 1 quarterback and the Denver Broncos did not rating sufficient — once more. Capping off Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys dominated the New York Giants en path to a 40-0 blowout.
Our NFL Nation reporters are reacting to all of the motion, answering lingering questions popping out of every recreation and selecting out who — or what — is rising and falling for each workforce. Let’s get to it.
Are the Cowboys actually this good? The final time the Cowboys opened the 12 months with a dismantling of the Giants was in 1995 (35-0). That workforce went on to win Tremendous Bowl XXX. The Cowboys have been looking for one other Tremendous Bowl ever since. The highway forward will probably be rather more troublesome — perhaps as quickly as subsequent week in opposition to Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets at AT&T Stadium — so do not ebook flights to Las Vegas but. However this was as dominant of a efficiency the Cowboys have had in Mike McCarthy’s tenure. The protection shut down the Giants and contributed a landing. The particular groups contributed a landing. Tony Pollard contributed two goal-line landing runs, answering any questions as to how the Cowboys would deal with the lack of Ezekiel Elliott.
Top off after the win: Dan Quinn. The coordinator had his protection prepared, which wasn’t sudden, however the unit was fully dominant (six sacks in lower than three quarters of motion). Since 2021 when Quinn took over, the Cowboys have 10 defensive touchdowns, together with DaRon Bland‘s pick-six Sunday, tied with the New England Patriots for essentially the most in that point. Additionally they have had 22 video games — out of 35 complete — with a number of takeaways, three greater than every other NFL workforce.
Inventory down after the win: Since now we have to select someone, Brandon Aubrey did not assist flip many into true believers by lacking his first additional level of the season, citing some Brett Maher reminiscences. However he made his subsequent 4 level after tries and each discipline objective makes an attempt, so there isn’t any have to be too frightened. — Todd Archer
Subsequent recreation: vs. Jets (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Is the Giants’ offensive line going to be their Achilles’ heel all season lengthy? This was maybe the workforce’s greatest concern getting into the opener. Would the Giants’ line maintain up in opposition to a dominant Cowboys go rush? The reply was clearly “No” after New York allowed seven sacks. It made it unattainable for the workforce to run any offense and quarterback Daniel Jones was flustered and regressed to his early kind. The Giants must determine a solution to get this proper shortly, in any other case they’re going to be embarrassed once more by the 49ers in prime time in Week 3. Second-year guard Joshua Ezeudu is an choice, however he could not win a beginning job this summer season regardless of each alternative. Trying outdoors the group for a veteran (Justin Pugh, Dalton Risner or D.J. Fluker) is likely to be an choice the Giants must discover.
Top off after the loss: Sorry, cannot consider something. No one was good for the Giants. They misplaced 40-0 after giving up 26 first-half factors. It is onerous to select positives from that type of takedown. The Giants opened with a discipline objective try returned for a landing. Jones had two interceptions, together with a pick-six. Even the all the time dependable Graham Gano missed a chip-shot discipline objective.
Inventory down after the loss: Greater than something, the appropriate aspect of the offensive line was particularly regarding. Proper sort out Evan Neal and proper guard Mark Glowinski have been at fault for 5 sacks. Additionally they allowed fixed stress all through the competition. Dallas had 12 pressures within the first half alone, with most of them coming in opposition to that proper aspect. — Jordan Raanan
Subsequent recreation: at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
What’s up with the Eagles’ offense? The usually dynamic offense sputtered for a lot of the sport and needed to accept 4 Jake Elliott discipline targets. The Eagles went three-and-out on 4 straight possessions within the first half. That they had just one recreation with 4 three-and-outs final season: their Week 17 loss to the Saints with Gardner Minshew underneath middle. And Jalen Hurts‘ late fumble may have price them the sport. It is possible only a momentary malaise — the starters did not play throughout the preseason so there’s some rust to knock off, and the Patriots’ protection is legit. The priority can be if this can be a signal groups have recognized methods to gradual this assault via their offseason research.
Top off after the win: DT Jalen Carter. The rookie made his presence felt in his NFL debut, producing a team-best six pressures and registering his first sack. Carter made it look simple, utilizing his distinctive mix of pace and energy to routinely pierce the backfield.
Inventory down after the win: Eagles’ offensive line. Usually a major energy of this workforce, the offensive entrance struggled to maintain a clear pocket for Hurts, who was pressured 19 occasions and sacked thrice. It was a troublesome first task, as Invoice Belichick is nearly as good because it will get at creating confusion upfront, however this unit must be higher. — Tim McManus
Subsequent recreation: vs. Vikings (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Can the Patriots begin quicker in Week 2? Self-inflicted errors helped put the Patriots right into a 16-0 gap, which made life tougher than it needed to be. Captain Deatrich Wise Jr. lined up within the impartial zone on the preliminary second down of the sport, so as an alternative of a third-and-long after a botched snap, the penalty helped prolong the Eagles’ opening drive that ended with a discipline objective. That was adopted by a Mac Jones pick-six and Ezekiel Elliott dropping a fumble that was changed into a landing. The Patriots did not look able to play early, which was a significant disappointment on a day when Gillette Stadium was rocking with Tom Brady again on the town to be honored. The workforce is dwelling once more in Week 2, and one other gradual begin may very well be pricey with highway video games on the Jets and Cowboys in Weeks 3 and 4.
Top off after the loss: Protection. After a shaky begin to open the sport, the unit held the Eagles to 9 factors after the primary quarter. The Patriots have been stingy in limiting the Eagles to 251 complete yards.
Inventory down after the loss: Working recreation. It did not assist that beginning guards Cole Strange (knee) and Mike Onwenu (ankle) have been inactive, however holes have been onerous to return by for backs Rhamondre Stevenson, Elliott and Ty Montgomery II. The group tallied 76 speeding yards on 22 makes an attempt — Mike Reiss
Subsequent recreation: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
Robert Kraft: Tom Brady to enter Patriots Corridor of Fame subsequent 12 months
Robert Kraft proclaims he’s waiving the wait interval for Tom Brady to enter the Patriots Corridor of Fame as he’ll be inducted subsequent June.
Was right now’s run protection the brand new regular or an anomaly? The Chargers ran for 121 yards within the first half and did not decelerate, ending with 234 speeding yards — essentially the most the Dolphins have allowed because the Bears ran for 252 yards in 2022. The Dolphins’ offense seemed a lot able to holding up its finish of a shootout, however it’s disheartening to get right into a shootout with the Chargers when Justin Herbert passes for under 228 yards. Towards a run-heavy opponent within the New England Patriots subsequent week, this side of the Dolphins’ recreation have to be cleaned up.
Top off after the win: Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill. Tagovailoa had 466 yards with three touchdowns and was 8-of-14 on throws of no less than 15 air yards, with 5 going to Hill, whose highway to 2,000 receiving yards received off to a scorching begin with a 11-catch, 215-yard, 2-touchdown day.
Inventory down after the win: The Dolphins’ entrance seven. They have been dominated all through the day by the Chargers’ speeding assault — however Miami’s pass-rushers have been additionally quietly ineffective. They did come via when it counted, forcing a Herbert intentional grounding earlier than sacking him twice on the Chargers’ last drive to seal the win. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Subsequent recreation: at Patriots (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
Is the Chargers’ speeding resurgence for actual? As the primary NFL workforce to run for greater than 220 yards and three touchdowns in a season opener since 2010, the preliminary returns underneath offensive coordinator Kellen Moore look greater than promising. The offensive line blocked properly, and tailbacks Austin Ekeler (117 yards on 16 carries) and Joshua Kelley (91 yards on 16 carries) ran decisively behind them. Los Angeles cannot run for 234 yards each week, however it will not must on these days when quarterback Justin Herbert and his receivers do the heavy lifting.
Top off after the loss: The run protection. The NFL’s worst run-stoppers a 12 months in the past, the Chargers restricted the Dolphins to 70 yards on a 3.5 per carry common, which qualifies as a big enchancment on 2022.
Inventory down after the loss: CB J.C. Jackson. Whereas he wasn’t the one member of the secondary at fault for Miami’s monster passing recreation, Jackson’s 30-yard go interference penalty to offer the Dolphins a 41-yard discipline objective on an untimed down to finish the primary half proved pricey. — Daniel Greenspan
Subsequent recreation: at Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Can Matt LaFleur hold developing with artistic play designs? He may need to, given the Packers aren’t precisely loaded with playmakers — particularly with receiver Christian Watson (hamstring) out. And the 51-yard display LaFleur referred to as and Jordan Love executed to perfection within the third quarter was as artistic as something the Packers’ fifth-year coach has unveiled. Love ran a bootleg to the left and threw throughout his physique to the appropriate, the place Aaron Jones had linemen Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers and Jon Runyan to dam for him. It was a part of a monster day for Jones (13 touches, 127 complete yards, 2 touchdowns) earlier than he left with a hamstring harm.
Top off after the win: Defensive kids. Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt and Lukas Van Ness all confirmed what the Packers’ protection may very well be about. Walker capped it with a 42-yard interception return for a landing within the fourth quarter. That adopted Wyatt, a fellow 2022 first-round choose, sacking Justin Fields, and earlier than that this 12 months’s first-round choose, Van Ness, recorded a sack on his ninth NFL snap earlier than he left with a hamstring harm.
Inventory down after the win: RB AJ Dillon: They did not want a lot from him contemplating Jones went off earlier than his third-quarter hamstring harm, however sooner or later they are going to want greater than the 19 yards on 13 carries and 17 yards on two catches that Dillon received Sunday. — Rob Demovsky
Subsequent recreation: at Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
How do the Bears jump-start the offense? Followers inside Soldier Area started booing the Bears’ offense at the beginning of the third quarter when the quick passing recreation resulted in one other fast three-and-out. Chicago targeted closely on this space within the preseason, however it’s not imagined to turn into the workforce’s offensive id. DJ Moore (two catches, 25 yards) and Chase Claypool (two targets) have been full nonfactors. That may’t occur in opposition to Tampa Bay in Week 2 if the Bears are to snap an 11-game dropping streak relationship to October.
Top off after the loss: RB Roschon Johnson. The rookie working again ripped off three bodily runs that gave the Bears momentum on a third-quarter landing drive. He was Chicago’s most effective working again (4.0 yards per carry) on a day when the working recreation fell flat. He additionally added six catches for 35 yards.
Inventory down after the loss: S Eddie Jackson. The Bears security was the closest defender on three targets that resulted in two receptions for 26 yards, together with Romeo Doubs‘ 8-yard landing on third down as Jackson was a step behind in protection. — Courtney Cronin
Subsequent recreation: at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Jordan Love slings TD go to Romeo Doubs for the Packers
Jordan Love finds Romeo Doubs behind the tip zone for a Packers’ landing.
Is Jimmy Garoppolo the man? Little question. Regardless of having to go away the sector for 2 performs within the first drive after taking a blow to the pinnacle and later having his surgically repaired left foot rolled up on, Garoppolo, changing nine-year starter Derek Carr, answered critics along with his efficiency within the Raiders’ fourth-quarter go-ahead drive. He was 4-of-5 passing within the sequence for 60 yards and a 6-yard landing go to Jakobi Meyers. He had three completions of no less than 10 air yards on the drive. And his 8-yard scramble on third-and-7 sealed the win. His decision-making was past reproach, and he gained over many teammates along with his management.
Top off after the win: WR Meyers. With the chemistry proven between Meyers and Garoppolo, you’ll have thought they performed collectively in New England. Alas, Meyers was not a Patriot till two years after Garoppolo left. Nonetheless, Meyers had two landing catches amongst his game-high 9 receptions, for 81 yards, earlier than leaving after taking a blow to the pinnacle within the fourth quarter.
Inventory down after the win: WR Hunter Renfrow. Not his fault in any respect, however the former Professional Bowl slot receiver was nowhere to be discovered on the stat sheet. He was not even focused as soon as. A silver lining may very well be that if the Raiders can function effectively with no contribution from him, think about what they are going to appear to be with him concerned? — Paul Gutierrez
Subsequent recreation: at Payments (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
It is one recreation, however can the Broncos ever discover some factors? One other season, one other teaching change and one other shut Broncos loss with out sufficient touchdowns. In a debut the place coach Sean Payton confirmed he might help Russell Wilson play effectively and transfer the ball shortly, the Broncos nonetheless discovered themselves in a well-recognized place: They misplaced by seven or fewer factors with 16 factors on the board.
Top off after the loss: CB Pat Surtain II. Surtain confirmed once more Sunday what sort of influence he can have because the Raiders have been pressured to maneuver WR Davante Adams away from the cornerback to get the receiver the ball. Regardless of a go interference name, total he constantly annoyed the Raiders’ greatest receiver and constantly pressured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to look elsewhere.
Inventory down after the loss: Broncos particular groups. Kicker Wil Lutz, whom the Broncos traded for throughout coaching camp, missed an additional level — in addition to a 55-yard discipline objective. Payton’s determination to make use of an onside kick to open the sport was a slim miss, however the gamble led to a brief discipline for the Raiders that resulted of their first landing of the sport. And the Broncos negated one in every of their returns with a holding penalty. — Jeff Legwold
Subsequent recreation: vs. Commanders (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET)
Can a wholesome Matthew Stafford hold a Cooper Kupp-less offense in video games? Stafford has mentioned a number of occasions this offseason that he feels wholesome, and it confirmed in Seattle. Los Angeles little doubt missed Kupp on Sunday — he accounted for 31% of all Rams targets via Week 10 final season earlier than he received damage — however Stafford was in a position to unfold the ball out properly within the win. Stafford accomplished passes to 5 completely different gamers, together with 4 with catches of no less than 20 yards. Stafford accomplished 24 of 38 passes for 334 yards. Whereas the offense appears to be like considerably completely different with out Kupp, Stafford and the Rams confirmed they might win with out their star receiver.
Top off after the win: Puka Nacua. The Rams’ rookie receiver made essentially the most of Kupp’s absence, with 10 catches for 119 yards, essentially the most receiving yards by a Rams participant in his first profession recreation in workforce historical past, in line with ESPN Stats & Data. He’s the third participant drafted within the fifth spherical or later (or undrafted) with 90 or extra receiving yards in his NFL debut since 2000.
Inventory down after the win: Penalty charge. The Rams’ youth was on show in a single side on Sunday: The workforce dedicated seven penalties for 53 yards. Flags did not price the Rams the sport, however little doubt they are going to be a degree of focus in follow this week. — Sarah Barshop
Subsequent recreation: vs. 49ers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
The place did this loss come from? This was the Seahawks’ worst defeat in current reminiscence, not simply due to how inept they seemed on either side of the ball but in addition due to who it got here in opposition to — a rebuilding Rams workforce that was a 5-point highway underdog and enjoying with out its greatest offensive participant, Cooper Kupp. L.A. nonetheless racked up 426 yards of complete offense, outgaining Seattle 257 to 12 within the second half. Followers have been already heading for the exits when the Seahawks started imploding late within the fourth quarter with private foul penalties on DK Metcalf and Quandre Diggs, an unsightly finish to an unsightly loss.
Top off after the loss: DT Jarran Reed. We’re actually greedy right here as a result of nobody’s inventory is actually up when a workforce suffers as dangerous a loss as this one, however Reed blocked a discipline objective try and arrange the offense with a brief discipline simply earlier than halftime. Seattle received no factors out of that, with Jason Myers lacking from 39 yards out.
Inventory down after the loss: CB Tre Brown. The third-year cornerback began on the left aspect after outplaying Mike Jackson within the preseason. However that will probably be an ongoing battle, particularly with Brown committing a pair of pricey errors within the purple zone on Rams landing drives — a missed sort out on a 16-yard acquire and a penalty for unlawful use of the palms that negated a third-down cease. — Brady Henderson
Subsequent recreation: at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
‘Oh my god!’ Aaron Donald scares Geno Smith on a blitz
Aaron Donald flies via on a blitz and startles Geno Smith, who throws it away.
Is the Browns’ protection for actual? It certain appears to be like that manner. The Browns rattled Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and fully shut down the Cincinnati offense. Move-rushers Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith have been in Burrow’s face on nearly each dropback. Cleveland’s secondary was much more spectacular, as cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Martin Emerson Jr. locked up Cincinnati’s gifted receiving corps. The wet situations helped. However the Browns’ protection despatched a message that, after a rocky 2022 efficiency, it may very well be among the many most improved models in the complete NFL.
Top off after the win: Jim Schwartz. Cleveland’s new defensive coordinator got here up with a masterful recreation plan in his debut, blitzing Burrow on 53% of his dropbacks within the first half, the very best charge of his profession, in line with ESPN Stats & Information.
Inventory down after the win: Cleveland’s passing assault. Quarterback Deshaun Watson made a number of performs along with his ft however tallied solely 154 yards via the air, so the passing recreation should be sharper going ahead for the Browns to turn into a real contender within the AFC. — Jake Trotter
Subsequent recreation: at Steelers (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
How regarding is the Week 1 offensive exhibiting? Even a light ringing of alarm bells looks like excessive conduct. Sure, quarterback Joe Burrow struggled and threw for a career-low 82 yards. However context is essential — Burrow remains to be recovering from a strained proper calf, he battled moist situations that made passing depressing, and the offense seemed like a bunch that did not have a ton of preseason reps with its beginning quarterback. It would take time for Burrow and the offense to get in sync.
Top off after the loss: The Bengals’ go rush. Cincinnati’s line of defense pressured Deshaun Watson early and sacked him thrice, a fantastic signal for a unit that wanted to be extra disruptive than it was in 2022.
Inventory down after the loss: Cincinnati’s run protection. Browns working again Nick Chubb and Watson have been in a position to reel off some huge runs, with the Browns totaling 206 yards on the bottom, which was big for Cleveland on a day when passing situations weren’t good. — Ben Child
Is there purpose to be involved about Atlanta’s go manufacturing? Whereas Desmond Ridder‘s completion proportion was good (15-for-18), Ridder threw for 118 yards and lots of of these throws have been due to nice changes by receivers, together with a fingertip catch by Mack Hollins and a swim-move kind adjustment on a 35-yard completion to Kyle Pitts. The Falcons have a very good run-based assault with Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson, however the query will probably be whether or not the passing recreation can catch as much as complement it. If it will probably, Atlanta’s offense would possibly turn into troublesome to cease.
Top off after the win: S Jessie Bates III. Atlanta made Bates one of many highest-paid safeties in NFL historical past this offseason, and he was marvelous in his debut, turning into the primary participant within the league since Chinedum Ndukwe in 2007 to have no less than 10 tackles (he had 10), two interceptions and a pressured fumble in a recreation, in line with ESPN Stats & Data.
Inventory down after the win: WR Drake London. The Falcons’ second-year receiver by no means gave the impression to be concerned within the passing recreation Sunday, with just one goal (a dropped go). And whereas this possible will probably be an aberration for London, it is price noting as a result of it is solely the second time in his profession he is had fewer than three targets in a recreation. — Michael Rothstein
Subsequent recreation: vs. Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Ought to the Panthers be involved with Bryce Young‘s interceptions? One among Younger’s strengths, in line with the Carolina workers, was seeing the center of the sector regardless of his top (5-foot-10). However on Sunday, the previous Alabama star threw two interceptions on makes an attempt over the center through which he clearly ought to have seen security Jessie Bates III. Each have been on makes an attempt of greater than 10 yards, the place Younger struggled. The Falcons turned the interceptions into 10 essential factors. It may have been a fluke, however that is one thing to regulate.
Top off after the loss: LB Brian Burns. The Panthers had higher give him a brand new deal quickly or the worth tag goes to proceed to climb. He had 1.5 sacks within the first half alone and was part of a protection that had 4 sacks and 6 quarterback hits within the first half earlier than Atlanta received the lead and went extra with the run.
Inventory down after the loss: CB Jaycee Horn. Horn, who missed 18 video games in his first two NFL seasons with numerous accidents, suffered a hamstring harm within the first half in opposition to the Falcons, placing the 2021 eighth total choose doubtful for the foreseeable future. — David Newton
Subsequent recreation: vs. Saints (Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET)
Bijan Robinson makes a pleasant reduce for 1st Falcons TD
Bijan Robinson makes a fantastic reduce and takes it in for his first NFL landing because the Falcons take a 7-0 lead.
What does the 49ers’ quick begin imply for 2023? The 49ers’ gradual begins of the previous two seasons (2-4 and 3-4) have not prevented them from reaching the NFC Championship Sport. However these early losses have made the highway to get there and past for much longer and harder. Which is why they emphasised popping out of the gates as quick this 12 months, with a long-term objective of cementing the NFC’s No. 1 seed and residential video games all through the postseason. Sunday’s win in Pittsburgh was a step in the appropriate path, and with their subsequent three video games in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, there’s purpose to assume the Niners are on their solution to the kind of begin that would pay dividends come January.
Top off after the win: Okay Jake Moody. After battling a proper quad harm and a few tough preseason video games, the No. 99 choose on this 12 months’s NFL draft responded with an ideal debut, connecting on all three of his discipline objective makes an attempt and all three additional level tries.
Inventory down after the win: RT Colton McKivitz. In his first recreation as San Francisco’s beginning proper sort out, McKivitz struggled in opposition to Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt, who completed with three sacks and compelled and recovered a fumble. — Nick Wagoner
Subsequent recreation: at Rams (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Why could not the Steelers replicate their preseason offensive success? The Steelers confronted one of many NFL’s greatest defenses within the 49ers, however the points go deeper. Quarterback Kenny Pickett, who did not throw an interception within the preseason and was correct all through coaching camp, threw two picks within the season opener. He usually threw passes excessive and off-target, together with one meant for Diontae Johnson that was intercepted within the first quarter. Previous to the scoring drive simply earlier than halftime, the Steelers had one web yard of offense on 5 drives — a stark distinction to the first-team offense scoring touchdowns on all 5 of their preseason drives. The run recreation did not have a very good outing, both. The Steelers ran the ball simply 10 occasions for 41 yards — and 24 of these got here on one run by Najee Harris.
Top off after the loss: DE T.J. Watt. Exhausting for the sting rusher to do rather more for this workforce; he racked up three sacks to tie James Harrison for essentially the most profession sacks (80.5) in Steelers historical past — in 90 fewer video games.
Inventory down after the loss: QB Kenny Pickett. After a reasonably stable preseason, Pickett’s accuracy points — together with a first-quarter interception — made him appear to be a wholly completely different quarterback in opposition to the 49ers. — Brooke Pryor
Subsequent recreation: vs. Browns (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Ought to the Bucs be involved by Baker Mayfield‘s gradual begin? After a disastrous begin that noticed quarterback Mayfield go simply 3-for-11 for 12 yards till the two-minute warning within the first half, the quarterback settled down and threw a 28-yard landing go to huge receiver Mike Evans and a 7-yard landing go to rookie huge receiver Trey Palmer earlier than Chase McLaughlin nailed a 57-yard discipline objective within the fourth quarter. Evans mentioned earlier this week that Mayfield’s greatest energy is “he would not let something get to him” and might flip the web page after a foul play. That could be his greatest attribute because the Bucs’ offense learns to navigate life with out Tom Brady.
Top off after the win: The go protection. The secondary could have had few solutions for receiver Justin Jefferson, who had 150 yards, however it additionally received three takeaways — which stored the Bucs within the recreation. Exterior linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble on a botched quarterback-center trade, security Antoine Winfield Jr. had a sack-forced fumble and restoration, and rookie nickelback Christian Izien had a touchdown-saving interception on the Tampa Bay 2-yard line simply earlier than halftime.
Inventory down after the win: The working recreation. Rachaad White averaged 2.5 yards per carry and Sean Tucker 3.0. The Bucs unveiled a large zone and midzone scheme however had 76 yards on the bottom, making it troublesome to get something going. — Jenna Laine
Subsequent recreation: vs. Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Have the Vikings misplaced their close-game magic? Sunday’s loss was the Vikings’ second consecutive defeat by one rating after successful an NFL-record 11 such video games throughout the 2022 common season. (Additionally they misplaced by one rating to the New York Giants within the wild-card playoff spherical.) Reasonably than viewing it as a matter of “magic,” it is higher to just accept the historic actuality that shut video games sometimes have random outcomes. Some groups is likely to be higher at it than others, however they finally even out. The Vikings have been accomplished in Sunday not by a lack of magic, however as an alternative by three Kirk Cousins turnovers within the first half and an incapacity to cease the Buccaneers on third down within the second half. The Buccaneers transformed 5 of their first 9 such makes an attempt earlier than a last kneel-down.
Top off after the loss: WR Justin Jefferson. The reigning offensive participant of the 12 months caught 9 passes for 150 yards, setting an NFL report for many 150-yard receiving video games (9) in a profession earlier than turning 25, a day after he and the Vikings failed to achieve an settlement on a contract extension.
Inventory down after the loss: C Garrett Bradbury. He didn’t return after struggling a again harm within the first quarter, an ominous growth contemplating Bradbury missed 5 video games final season due to a problem along with his again, and a reminder that the workforce determined to re-sign him in free company regardless of that harm. — Kevin Seifert
Subsequent recreation: at Eagles (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Mike Evans hauls in 28-yard TD for the Bucs
Baker Mayfield finds Mike Evans ultimately zone to tie the sport earlier than halftime.
Can the offense enhance? Washington might want to incorporate Brian Robinson Jr. and the run recreation greater than it did Sunday; he carried the ball 18 occasions for 56 yards however wanted extra work earlier within the recreation to ease the burden on younger quarterback Sam Howell. Robinson carried the ball solely 4 occasions within the first half. With Washington’s passing assault led by a younger QB — and with safety breaking down — the run recreation must be an even bigger issue shifting ahead.
Top off after the win: Washington’s line of defense. The road, led by sort out Daron Payne and finish Montez Sweat specifically, mixed for seven tackles for a loss, three sacks, two pressured fumbles and two recoveries.
Inventory down after the win: Washington’s passing recreation. Howell managed simply 202 yards passing, was sacked six occasions, threw an interception and had a fumble recovered for a landing. — John Keim
Subsequent recreation: at Broncos (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Can the Cardinals’ protection hold the stress on subsequent week? Not simply subsequent week — this protection has the potential to have video games like this all season. Arizona had six sacks by 5 completely different gamers and pressured Commanders quarterback Sam Howell six occasions. Arizona used 5 completely different outdoors linebackers in quite a lot of combos that stored legs contemporary and a rotation of various kinds of rushers continuously coming at Washington.
Top off after the loss: LB Dennis Gardeck. He had two of the Cardinals’ six sacks, placing his pass-rushing strikes on show. He was one in every of 5 Cardinals to get a sack Sunday, however the one one with a number of.
Inventory down after the loss: Arizona’s third-down offense. The Cardinals have been 4-for-14 on third down — together with a failed try within the last 90 seconds that led to a game-ending fourth down — in a recreation that was inside a landing the complete 60 minutes. — Josh Weinfuss
Subsequent recreation: vs. Giants (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Is the offensive line’s play going to be a problem? Proper guard Brandon Scherff was dominated out late within the recreation with an ankle harm, however the unit wasn’t doing a very good job of coping with the Colts’ defensive entrance earlier than he left the sport. The Jaguars averaged 3.2 yards per carry earlier than their last possession, together with working again Travis Etienne Jr.‘s 26-yard landing run, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence received hit six occasions. That stored the offense from getting right into a rhythm. If that continues to be a problem, it takes away the workforce’s greatest energy: The power to be explosive.
Top off after the win: LB Josh Allen. The Jaguars did not supply Allen an extension, so he is enjoying on the fifth-year choice — and enjoying for his subsequent contract. He received off to a very good begin, with a career-high three sacks in opposition to the Colts. The go rush was imagined to be the workforce’s greatest weak point, however Allen’s efficiency may very well be an indication that it will not be as dangerous as beforehand thought.
Inventory down after the win: Ball safety. The Jaguars had three fumbles — together with two on a weird play — and an interception. Rookie RB Tank Bigsby was concerned in two, having a ball bounce off his palms for an interception and having the ball stripped from his palms after selecting up Lawrence’s fumble. It did not price the Jaguars the sport, however it may have in opposition to the league’s higher groups — like Kansas Metropolis in Week 2. — Mike DiRocco
Subsequent recreation: vs. Chiefs (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What’s subsequent for QB Anthony Richardson after a robust however unspectacular debut? Richardson had a largely spectacular begin to his profession, finishing 24 of 37 passes for 223 yards. He ran for a landing and threw for an additional, and he seemed calm and in management all through. However the place he’ll must progress is in making the form of aggressive performs that win video games. Coach Shane Steichen understandably had a comparatively secure recreation plan for Richardson, however there have been minimal passing makes an attempt down the sector — he averaged simply 6.0 yards per try.
Top off after the loss: DT DeForest Buckner. The star defensive sort out confirmed his price Sunday, making an enormous fourth-down cease after which registering a sack/fumble and scoop-and-score on the identical wild sequence within the third quarter.
Inventory down after the loss: RB Deon Jackson. Jackson was pressured right into a beginning function within the absence of Jonathan Taylor (PUP) and Zack Moss (damaged arm). He misplaced two fumbles and rushed for 14 yards on 13 carries (1.1 yards per try), because the Colts constantly struggled to muster a working recreation. — Stephen Holder
Subsequent recreation: at Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Zay Jones makes an unimaginable catch ultimately zone
Trevor Lawrence finds Zay Jones for a formidable landing to offer the Jaguars the lead.
What is going to the Ravens do now that J.K. Dobbins is finished for the season? Dobbins left the sport early within the third quarter, and coach John Harbaugh later mentioned he suffered a torn Achilles and is finished for the season. The Ravens will break up carries between Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. On Sunday, Edwards obtained a variety of the snaps in early downs and Hill surprisingly was given many of the touches within the purple zone. Hill, a fourth-round choose in 2019, scored two touchdowns within the season opener after totaling two speeding touchdowns in his first 43 profession video games. Hill is rostered in 0.3% of ESPN fantasy leagues and was began in lower than 0.1% of them.
Top off after the win: WR Zay Flowers. The rookie first-round choose was the highest offensive weapon with 78 yards receiving and 9 yards speeding, practically turning into the second participant in Ravens historical past with 100 scrimmage yards in his first profession recreation.
Inventory down after the win: QB Lamar Jackson. Pressured all through the sport, Jackson seemed like a quarterback who hadn’t performed in 280 days, recording his first recreation with a number of turnovers (an interception and fumble) since Week 6 of 2022. — Jamison Hensley
Subsequent recreation: at Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What will be made from the debuts of Houston’s first-round picks? Quarterback C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 total choose, was inconsistent, going 28-of-44 for 242 yards with no touchdowns and a fumble misplaced. He accomplished solely 5 of 10 makes an attempt on throws longer than 9 yards. Defensive finish Will Anderson Jr., the No. 3 total choose, was disruptive as he completed with a sack and three quarterback hits.
Top off after the loss: CB Steven Nelson. The nook was focused 5 occasions, allowed solely 38 yards in protection and notched an interception.
Inventory down after the loss: TE Dalton Schultz. Schultz was one of many extra vital offseason acquisitions, however he underwhelmed with two catches for 4 yards on 5 targets in his debut. — DJ Bien-Aime
Subsequent recreation: vs. Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
How a lot has this Saints offense improved? The Saints signed quarterback Derek Carr in free company and restructured huge receiver Michael Thomas‘s contract to maintain him in New Orleans in an try and bolster the offense. There are brilliant spots, with Thomas off to a very good begin and Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed selecting up the place they left off final season. However there are actually issues, because the offensive line struggled to guard its new quarterback and kicker Blake Grupe offered many of the factors. The Saints might want to work out methods to defend Carr to have success shifting ahead.
Top off after the win: The Saints’ protection. This unit greater than held its personal, with the secondary combining for 3 interceptions, the run protection stifling working again Derrick Henry within the second half and everybody from starters to backups making contributions to maintain the Saints within the recreation.
Inventory down after the win: LT Trevor Penning. Penning missed a big a part of final season (his rookie 12 months) and struggled Sunday, partially contributing to Carr’s 4 sacks. — Katherine Terrell
Subsequent recreation: at Panthers (Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET)
Ought to the clock begin ticking for Ryan Tannehill? Tannehill appeared uncomfortable for many of the recreation. He completed with three interceptions and accomplished solely 13 of his 29 go makes an attempt. It was Tannehill’s eighth profession regular-season recreation through which he was intercepted three or extra occasions. Tannehill pressured throws to receiver DeAndre Hopkins, leading to two of the interceptions. He additionally overthrew tight finish Chigoziem Okonkwo and working again Tyjae Spears when every of them have been huge open for what would have been big features.
Top off after the loss: LB Arden Key. Key was dominant in his Titans debut, ending with two sacks and nearly inflicting a turnover when he knocked the ball out of Carr’s palms.
Inventory down after the loss: The offensive line. The road struggled to guard Tannehill, permitting three sacks on the day. Tannehill confronted heavy stress all through the afternoon. — Turron Davenport
Subsequent recreation: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Saints’ D grabs 3 INTs on Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill throws three interceptions within the Titans’ season opener vs. the Saints.
Will Lions QB Jared Goff break the NFL report for many consecutive passes with out an interception? Goff was not intercepted Thursday and has now gone 359 consecutive passes with no choose. That is the third-longest streak in NFL historical past behind Tom Brady (399) and Aaron Rodgers (402). Goff says he is comfy within the offense and has positioned an emphasis on ball safety, so there’s purpose to consider he can do it.
Top off after the win: DE Aidan Hutchinson. The second-year edge rusher had a career-high six QB pressures on Thursday night time, tied for essentially the most by a Lions participant because the begin of the 2020 season.
Inventory down after the win: WR Marvin Jones Jr. The veteran dropped a go and coughed up the primary fumble of his 12-year profession throughout the second quarter on a scoring alternative on his 563rd profession contact. — Eric Woodyard
Subsequent recreation: vs. Seahawks (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Did the Chiefs go away themselves quick at huge receiver? Between having hassle getting open and quite a few dropped passes, it seemed that manner in opposition to the Lions. Kadarius Toney was significantly struggling, which may very well be defined by the truth that he missed all of camp and the preseason with a torn meniscus in his left knee. If he and the opposite Chiefs receivers do not enhance dramatically, the reply to this query will probably be apparent.
Top off after the loss: DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah. The Chiefs’ first-round draft choose (No. 31 total) stood out — registering two tackles and two QB hits — because the Chiefs seek for pass-rush assist enjoying with out Chris Jones and Charles Omenihu.
Inventory down after the loss: Quick-yardage offense. The Chiefs had 9 performs through which they wanted 2 yards for a contemporary set of downs and transformed on three of these. The Chiefs battle with energy soccer and infrequently get too cute with their strategy. — Adam Teicher
Subsequent recreation: at Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)