By Tariq Snead & Donovan Gibbs, Staff Writers
As expected from the rollercoaster of the NFL offseason, Week 1 consisted of familiar faces on new teams, such as Tyreek Hill on the Miami Dolphins, Davante Adams on the Las Vegas Raiders, Russel Wilson on the Denver Broncos and many more finally playing for their new squads with the common goal of raising the Lombardi Trophy next February.
After one week of play, more questions were raised for teams instead of answers due to NFL Week 1 giving football fans upsets, incredible comebacks, missed field goals and of course, ties.
The NFL started with a huge amount of great games. The first game on Thursday, Sept. 8, to open the season was a game between a Super Bowl contender for this year, the Buffalo Bills, vs. the previous Super Bowl winners, the Los Angeles Rams.
Buffalo put up a great fight. Josh Allen passed for 297 yards while accounting for four touchdowns, Von Miller had two of Buffalo’s seven sacks, and the Bills stamped themselves as a clear contender for the Super Bowl with a 31-10 victory over Los Angeles.
Von Miller spoke to the media after the game and reassured how important of a victory this was, despite it only being the first game of the year.
“We’re going to make the plane do backflips on the way home tonight,” Miller said. “We’re going to celebrate this win because you have to, but then we’re going to go back to the lab.”
Another Week 1 matchup fans were anticipating was the Steelers and Bengals. The Steelers’ defense was phenomenal against the 2021 Super Bowl contenders Cincinnati Bengals.
Steelers’ safety Minkah Fitzpatrick had different plans for Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow’s first time back on the field. An interception on the first play from scrimmage resulted in Pittsburgh’s first score of the season. Turnovers continued to haunt Cincinnati’s franchise quarterback. T.J Watt, Cameron Sutton, and Ahkello Witherspoon contributed to the Steelers’ interception total.
If it wasn’t Joe Borrow throwing turnovers, it was pressure from the Pittsburgh defense. They accumulated seven sacks and a forced fumble from Alex Highsmith, which increased the takeaway total to five. Unfortunately, Star linebacker TJ Watt suffered a pectoral injury in that game that has him out 6-7 weeks for the Steelers.
Die-hard Steelers fans such as Youtuber Steve Linkowski was shocked at the outcome.
“I’m at a loss for words. I still don’t know how we won that game,” Linkowski said.
After a previously missed field goal by Chris Boswell, he was able to redeem himself and make a 53 yard field goal to win the game for Pittsburg.
A bunch of primetime players started their first week of the season off on the right foot with their new NFL teams. Von Miller recorded two sacks and four tackles in his debut for the Bills. Davante Adams had 141 yards receiving and a touchdown in his debut for the Raiders. A.J. Brown had 10 receptions for 155 yards in his debut for the Eagles and Matt Ryan had 352 yards passing and a touchdown in his debut for the Colts.
The New York Giants shocked the NFL with their performance in their 21-20 victory against the Tennessee Titans. Saquon Barkley returned back into form with 165 yards and a touchdown. Big Blue was down 13-0 at halftime, with things looking bleak due to quarterback Daniel Jones’ fumble that led to a field goal after. Then Barkley starts the half with a 68 yard run and follows up with a four-yard touchdown. Next drive Daniel Jones hit Sterling Sheppard for a 65-yard touchdown pass to tie the game up 13-13. After allowing a touchdown to fall behind, the Giants converted on their next drive with a touchdown, and then a two-point conversion sealed the deal.
Lifelong Giants fan and sports Youtuber was ecstatic about the victory.
” What the Giants did was really encouraging. They pulled out a win that they really had no business doing, the game was over several times, but they still somehow pulled it out,” Jaxson said. “Brian Daboll (Giants Head Coach) is really gutsy.”
The New York Giants are off to a very hot start, winning their first two games of the season. Running back Saquan Barkley is looking like his rookie self and producing big-time stats around as he is the leading rusher with 39 attempts, 236 rushing yards and a touchdown over the first two games.
The New York Jets are opening eyes as well, as they picked up two rookies that are showing their talents and making a name for themselves, Breece Hall and Garret Wilson. Quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns, with Wilson acquiring 102 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns in their 31-30 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Breece Hall led the team in rushes for 7 carries and 50 rushing yards.