2023 NFL season Week 1: Big questions, risers, fallers and takeaways
2023 nfl season week 1

The 2023 NFL season has officially begun on this Sunday. Joe Burrow, who recently became the highest-paid player in league history, struggled in his debut, falling to the Cleveland Browns of his division’s rivalry 24-3. In Chicago, the Green Bay Packers’ Jordan Love era got off to a terrific start with a 38-20 thrashing of the Bears.

Want Week 1 predictions? You’re in our care, cave, red. …and the full Week 1 NFL TV schedule? Yes, this is the case. 

Throughout the day, USA TODAY Sports will provide you with the most recent information, results, highlights, crazy plays, commentary, and more. Observe along. 

What NFL games are showing today?

Here are the kickoff times and TV info for all of Sunday’s NFL action.

  • Detroit Lions 21, Kansas City Chiefs 20 
  • Atlanta Falcons 24, Carolina Panthers 10 
  • Baltimore Ravens 25, Houston Texans 9 
  • Cleveland Browns 24, Cincinnati Bengals 3 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 31, Indianapolis Colts 21 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20, Minnesota Vikings 17 
  • New Orleans Saints 16, Tennessee Titans 15 
  • San Francisco 49ers 30, Pittsburgh Steelers 7
  • Washington Commanders 20, Arizona Cardinals 16 
  • Green Bay Packers 38, Chicago Bears 20 
  • Las Vegas Raiders 17, Denver Broncos 16
  • Miami Dolphins 36, Los Angeles Chargers 34
  • Philadelphia Eagles 25, New England Patriots 20
  • Los Angeles Rams 30, Seattle Seahawks 13
  • Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

On Thursday, Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions shocked the Kansas City Chiefs and defending Super Bowl champions Patrick Mahomes by defeating them in a game.

On Sunday, there will be some high-caliber games. In a matchup between the NFC South Division’s Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons, where No. 1 overall draft selection Bryce Young made his NFL debut, the Panthers were defeated to start the season. Bijan Robinson of the Atlanta Falcons, Anthony Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts, the second-overall pick, and new Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud were a few more notable rookies who donned their uniforms for the first time on Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers victory over Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears in the afternoon game included a long-standing rivalry. To wrap out the day, the Dallas Cowboys will soon play host to the New York Giants.

Jordan Love had little trouble taking over as the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins prevailed after an offensive struggle with Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Denver Broncos once again fell short of the mark.

Our NFL Nation writers are responding to all the action, responding to unanswered queries following each game, and identifying who or what is improving and deteriorating for each club. Let’s start now.

Philadelphia 25, New England 20

2023 NFL season Week 1: Big questions, risers, fallers and takeaways
|Eagles: 7 roster bubble players to watch in final preseason game

Eagles

Why is the Eagle’s offense so strange? For a significant portion of the game, the typically explosive attack stalled and was limited to four field goals by Jake Elliott. In the first half, the Eagles were three-and-out on four consecutive possessions. Last season, they only had one game with four three-and-outs: their defeat to the Saints in Week 17 while Gardner Minshew was the quarterback. Additionally, Jalen Hurts’ late turnover could have lost them the match. Since the starters didn’t play during the preseason, there may be some rust to shake off, and the Patriots’ defense is solid, it is probably just a short funk. If clubs have found strategies to limit this onslaught via their offseason research, that would be a cause for concern.

After the victory, DT Jalen Carter stocked up. In his NFL debut, he made an impact, producing a team-high six pressures and recording his first NFL sack. Carter made it seem simple, often piercing into the backfield with his special combination of speed and strength.

The Eagles’ offensive line’s stock dropped following the victory. The offensive front, which is often a key strength for this squad, failed to protect Hurts, who was harassed 19 times and sacked three times. Bill Belichick is the best there was confusion in the beginning, so it was a difficult first assignment, but this unit has to improve. Timothy McManus

Vikings (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET) is the next game.

Patriots

Can the Patriots get off to a speedier start in Week 2? The Patriots’ 16-0 deficit was a result of self-inflicted errors, which made things harder for them than they needed to be. After a fumbled snap on the game’s first second down, captain Deatrich Wise Jr. lined up in the neutral zone, which aided the Eagles’ opening drive—which concluded with a field goal—to go longer. A Mac Jones pick-six and Ezekiel Elliott’s fumble loss that resulted in a touchdown came after that. On a day when Gillette Stadium was rocking with Tom Brady back in town to be honored, the Patriots’ lack of readiness to play early was a significant letdown for them.

With home games against the Jets and Cowboys in weeks three and four, another sluggish start for the squad might be expensive.

After a defeat, bolster your defense. The team restricted the Eagles to only nine points after the first quarter despite a poor start to the contest. The Eagles only gained 251 total yards thanks to the Patriots’ stout defense.

Stock declines following the defeat: running activity. Although the absence of starting guards Cole Strange (knee) and Mike Onwenu (ankle) didn’t help, it was difficult for running backs Rhamondre Stevenson, Ezekiel Elliott, and Ty Montgomery II to find openings. 22 attempts resulted in 76 yards of rushing for the team. Michael Reiss

Next game: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Miami 36, L.A. Chargers 34

Dolphins

Was the run defense we saw today the new norm or an outlier? The Chargers finished with 234 rushing yards, which is the most the Dolphins have given up since the Bears ran for 252 yards against them in 2022. They started the game with 121 rushing yards. Although the Dolphins’ offense appeared to be more than capable of holding up its end of a shootout, it is disappointing to engage in one with the Chargers when Justin Herbert only completed 228 passes for 228 yards. This aspect of the Dolphins’ game has to be improved because the New England Patriots will be a run-heavy opponent the following week.

After the victory, Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill stocked up. Hill received five of Tagovailoa’s eight completions of at least 15 air yards, giving him a head start toward his goal of 2,000 receiving yards. Hill’s day featured 11 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 466 yards and three scores overall.

The Dolphins’ front seven lost value following the victory. The Chargers’ rushing offense dominated them all day long, but their pass rush also failed to make much of an impact. However, they did deliver when it mattered, forcing an intentional grounding from Herbert and then sacking him twice on the Chargers’ last drive to secure the victory. the author Marcel Louis-Jacques

The next game is against the Patriots on Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Chargers

Is the Chargers’ sudden comeback real? The early results under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore appear more than encouraging as the club ran for more than 220 yards and three touchdowns in a season-opening for the first time since 2010. Austin Ekeler (117 yards on 16 runs) and Joshua Kelley (91 yards on 16 carries) raced resolutely behind the offensive line thanks to strong blocking from the line of scrimmage. Los Angeles cannot consistently run for 234 yards, but on the days when quarterback Justin Herbert and his receivers put up the work, they won’t have to.

After the defeat, bolster the run defense. The Chargers, who had the worst run defense in the NFL a year prior, held the Dolphins to just 70 yards on an average of 3.5 carries, a major improvement over 2022.

CB J.C. Jackson’s stock fell. Jackson wasn’t the only secondary player responsible for Miami’s ferocious passing attack, but it was his 30-yard pass interference penalty that lost the Dolphins a 41-yard field goal on an untimed down to finish the first half. — Mr. Greenspan

 Green Bay 38, Chicago 20

Packers

Can Matt LaFleur continue to develop imaginative play concepts? Given that the Packers don’t exactly have a ton of playmakers, especially with Christian Watson (hamstring) out, he might have to. And the third-quarter 51-yard screen that LaFleur called and Jordan Love flawlessly executed was the most original play the Packers’ fifth-year coach has ever devised. Aaron Jones had linemen Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, and Jon Runyan blocking for him as Love ran a bootleg to the left and threw across his body to the right. Before suffering a hamstring injury, Jones had a tremendous day with 13 touches, 127 total yards, and two touchdowns.

After the victory, stock up on young defensive players. The Packer’s defense was demonstrated by Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt, and Lukas Van Ness. Walker topped it up in the fourth quarter with a 42-yard interception return for a score. That came after fellow first-round selection from 2022 Wyatt sacked Justin Fields, and before that, the first-round pick from this year Van Ness had a sack on his eighth NFL snap before leaving with a hamstring issue.

Stock declines following victory: RB Jones walked off before suffering a third-quarter hamstring injury, so they didn’t need much from AJ Dillon, but at some time they’ll need more than the 19 yards on 13 rushes and 17 yards on two catches he gained on Sunday

-Rob Demovsky

Next game: at Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Bears

How do the Bears get their offense going? When the short passing game led to another quick three-and-out at the beginning of the third quarter, Soldier Field spectators started criticizing the Bear’s offense. In the preseason, Chicago gave this area a lot of attention, but it shouldn’t become the hallmark of their attacking style. Chase Claypool (two targets) and DJ Moore (two receptions, 25 yards) had little impact. If the Bears want to end an 11-game losing skid that began in October 2022, they can’t let it happen against Tampa Bay in Week 2.

After the defeat, stock up on RB Roschon Johnson. On the Bears’ lone touchdown drive of the game in the third quarter, the rookie running back ripped off three forceful runs that gave the team momentum. On a day when the running game struggled, he was Chicago’s most productive running back (4.0 yards per carry). Six more receptions for 35 yards were added by him.

Stock declines following the defeat: S Eleanor Jackson. On three targets, the Bears safety was the closest defender, leading to two receptions for 26 yards, including Romeo Doubs’ 8-yard score on third down as Jackson lagged in coverage. (Courtney Cronin)

The following game is on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET vs. Buccaneers.

Eric Edholm’s takeaways:

2023 nfl season week 1

  1. Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson drive the Falcons’ lethargic offense. It should come as no surprise that the Falcons had their best running game in Week 1 and that Robinson lived up to expectations. He had an excellent burst in gaining 83 yards on 16 touches (six of which were catches), despite a few poor plays. Allgeier continued where he left off from the previous season, rushing for 75 yards and scoring twice. With five minutes remaining, QB Desmond Ridder had less than 100 yards. Drake London, the WR, had 0 receptions. Two were by Kyle Pitts. Early on, the passing game had trouble because pressure played a large part. It is clear that Atlanta’s primary offense for the time being is rushing the ball.
  2. Bryce Young’s NFL debut was challenging. Even if the situation didn’t seem too big, Young’s first start was difficult. Falcons S Jessie Bates III intercepted him twice on similar-looking plays while closing quickly on both. Young completed 20 of his 38 throws for 146 yards, including a fast flip for a touchdown to Hayden Hurst. But the going became tougher when Atlanta took over the game and began to produce a pass pressure late. Young displayed excellent composure while doing his progressions, but the lack of separation sometimes required him to force throws into tight windows. a notable exception? Young overthrew rookie Jonathan Mingo as he raced for what would have been a 99-yard touchdown throw.
  3. Fantastic debut for the Falcons’ significant free-agent acquisition. The Falcons, who had a game average of one turnover the previous year, were aware that they needed more impact defenders. They spent a fortune on Jessie Bates III for this reason. It appears to be fantastic thus far. Bates twice intercepted Bryce Young, reading his eyes and committing two major errors that resulted in Atlanta’s first 10 points. The Falcons were then in control as Bates forced a turnover that resulted in another score. In the first three quarters, Atlanta’s defense struggled to apply much pressure and had some issues stopping the run. But in a close game, Bates’ outstanding debut—he made 10 tackles before hobbling off the field late—helped hold this defense together.
  • Next Gen stat of the game: Bijan Robinson, who avoided three would-be tacklers on his 11-yard touchdown grab for his first career score, had a 10.7% probability of scoring.
  • According to NFL Research, this was the Falcons’ first victory in Week 1 since 2017, the last time they finished above 500 and qualified for the playoffs.

Michael Baca’s takeaways:

The Ravens are still getting used to Todd Monken’s offense. Due to an offense that had trouble getting going in the season opener, Baltimore spent the duration of the game in a battle with the underdog Texans. Lamar Jackson was rusty in the first half, fumbling twice (losing one), and throwing an interception. But the star quarterback for Baltimore made plays with his legs as well, gaining 38 rushing yards while completing 17 of 22 passes for a 77.3 percent completion rate and 169 yards. The Ravens’ defense eventually settled things down in the second half and took the pressure off an offense still acclimating to its new offensive coordinator’s system, but they will be forced to deal with an added hardship going forward with running back J.K. Dobbins suffering a torn.

  1. Texans are woefully inexperienced throughout. For a Houston club with a new coaching staff and a rookie quarterback, it was a difficult debut. A puzzling play call (play-action from shotgun on fourth-and-1) that led to a sack and a fumble on downs in Texans territory came to an end on C.J. Stroud’s debut drive as a professional. The Texans had used up all three of their first-half timeouts by the 8:12 mark of the second quarter, even though Stroud (28 of 44, 242 yards, no TDs) ultimately found his groove. A strong drive that Houston might have used to take the lead at halftime (settled for a field goal) was stymied by the lack of timeouts. Although DeMeco Ryans’ defense sacked Jackson three times in the final two quarters (four total), Baltimore began to pull away in the second half.
  2. The debut of Zay Flowers is exciting. On a day when tight end Mark Andrews was missing due to a quadriceps injury, the first-round rookie balled out with a team-high nine catches for 78 yards and was Jackson’s favorite target. While no other Baltimore pass-catcher had more than three targets, Flowers was targeted ten times. Given that his name was called twice on run plays (for a total of two carries and nine yards), the Boston College graduate should prove to be a valuable weapon in Monken’s scheme. The 22-year-old gave Baltimore a much-needed playmaker at receiver by displaying excellent instincts when executing his routes and throughout his runs after the catch. Regarding Odell Beckham Jr., the coveted offseason acquisition by the Ravens had two catches for 37 yards and made a crucial block.
  • Zay Flowers gained 54 of his 78 yards (69.2%) after the catch, the greatest percentage of yards gained after the catch (YAC) by a rookie wide receiver in a game during the previous two seasons.
  • NFL Study: Scorigami! This final score of 25-9 is the first in NFL history.

Nick Shook’s takeaways:

2023 NFL season Week 1: Big

  1. The new defensive coordinator has made such a difference. On Sunday, Cleveland’s defense was not as bad as it has been at times in prior seasons. New DC The influence of Jim Schwartz was evident throughout the whole first game for the Browns, as defenders who had previously struggled under Joe Woods are now flourishing. Grant Delpit, who had a team-high eight tackles and denied receivers the yards necessary for first downs, served as a shining illustration of this transition. The Bengals’ pass catchers were surrounded by Browns defensive backs all day as they played with a spirit not seen in Cleveland in a long time. Brad Robbins kicked 10 times, the Bengals were three-and-out seven times, and by the start of the fourth quarter, it was obvious Cincinnati had little hope of mounting a comeback.
  2. In Cleveland, Joe Burrow suffers yet another defeat. In Burrow’s string of road losses against the Browns, this game is the lowest point ever. He led an offense that managed only 142 yards in total on only 14 of his 31 throws for 82 yards. All day long, Cincinnati’s offense was inconsistent. The Bengals failed to show any signs of life for most of the day although neither quarterback was helped by the weather (both Burrow and Deshaun Watson had some of the throws miss their intended target). Given that Burrow only recently received a large contract, the timing is problematic. Good news: Week 1 has just begun.
  3. There is a kicker for the Browns. After a nightmare preseason, Cleveland released fourth-round selection Cade York and concluded that veteran Dustin Hopkins was their best choice, setting up the former Chargers kicker for an unexpectedly significant debut. Hopkins stood strong in the rain, making all three of his field goals from 42, 34, and 43 yards away to gradually increase the Browns’ lead in a tight contest. The Browns have discovered exactly how crucial the kicking game can be in deciding victories and defeats. On Sunday, the new man didn’t let us down.
  • Next Gen stat of the game: Joe Burrow concluded with a completion percentage that was -13.9% worse than anticipated, which was the lowest CPOE result in his career. He only completed one of nine passes that were at least 10 yards in the air (1 for 9 for 10 yards).
  • According to NFL Research, Joe Burrow’s 82 passing yards were the third-fewest in a game since at least 1950 for a player with 30 or more pass attempts and no interceptions.

Kevin Patra’s takeaways:

  1. Calvin Ridley has no rust. You wouldn’t know the talented wideout had missed 686 days of regular-season action. Like before, Ridley ran routes that had defenders gasping for air, displayed sticky hands, and ran after the catch. Ridley produced 8 receptions for 101 yards, including a stunning touchdown catch to start the scoring. Despite all the squandered opportunities, the wideout proved he is still a go-to target. Ridley’s inclusion opens up the offensive for Trevor Lawrence, who appeared primed to take the Year 3 star jump. Because of offensive line problems, as I anticipated going into the season, the Jags’ offense had some ups and downs. However, when they had to make late plays, Ridley, Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and others showed up to secure the road win.
  2. Anthony Richardson’s debut was up and down. After attempting to score with less than a minute remaining, the rookie QB took a huge shot and ended up on the bench. The play embodied a furious rookie attempting to rally his team after a physically taxing interception earlier in the fourth quarter. Shane Steichen, the head coach of the Colts, stated following the game that Richardson was not hurt. Richardson had a shaky start to the game, but he quickly recovered and appeared composed in the pocket, much as he had in the preseason.

Richardson is electrifying when he reads the D or sees the RPO and lets it fly. He runs into problems when he feels pressured to complete a development or when he doubts his reading. The novice attempted to throw his target behind him. Even though we were unable to witness the deep cannon in Week 1, his dynamic skill is still obvious. He never broke off a huge run, but he still managed to lead the Colts in running with 40 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Richardson will likely want his first interception of his career reversed because he misplaced his TE on a lob. There were some glimpses, but polish is needed in Richardson’s debut game, which is about what I anticipated.

  1. The game-winning score is set up by Jamaal Agnew’s punt return. The significance of the return game in altering the tone of this adventure will likely go unnoticed by the majority of people. Not right here. The Pro Bowl returner let a fourth-quarter punt bounce inside the 10-yard line while down by four points; he then picked it up and wove 48 yards. The return enabled a 10-play, 46-yard TD drive to retake the lead rather than having to start the drive much within their territory. That kind of play makes the difference in a close divisional contest.
  • The game’s Next Gen stat was Trevor Lawrence’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Zay Jones, one of three completions with 20 or more air yards. Lawrence completed 8 of 11 throws with at least 10 air yards for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns (+27.8% more completions than anticipated).
  • NFL Research: Anthony Richardson is the youngest player (21 years, 111 days) to score a throw touchdown and a run touchdown in the same game during the Super Bowl era. Only Bill Dudley and George Ratterman, who both played in the 1940s, were younger players.

Eric Edholm’s takeaways:

2023 NFL season Week

  1. The Vikings failed to replicate their close-game magic in Week 1. 11 of Minnesota’s 13 victories in 2022 were by a single goal. Before the playoffs, the Vikings had not dropped a tight game, but now they have lost two consecutive games that they couldn’t finish off. It boiled down to self-inflicted mistakes in this game. Despite throwing for 273 yards and three interceptions in the first half, Kirk Cousins. Two came on fumbles, one inside his 20-yard line and the other within field goal range, while the interception occurred at the 2-yard line of the Buccaneers. Although the errors only resulted in three Bucs points, they may have prevented the Vikings from having additional scoring opportunities. Their other major error was when Jay Ward went offside on a field goal by the Buccaneers; Tampa Bay took the points off the board and scored a TD.
  2. Performer Baker Mayfield gives a brave performance. Overall, the Buccaneers’ offense did not have the most attractive performance; in their first six drives, they gained just 29 yards. However, Mayfield and company fought hard and closed the game well, scoring three touchdowns on four drives (excluding the drives after each half). Mayfield completed 21 of his first 34 throws for 173 yards and two touchdowns despite completing seven of his first 11 attempts poorly. He handled pressure admirably and repeatedly threw the ball away when under extreme pressure. Mayfield’s two arduous late runs also contributed to the game’s victory. Forget about gold stickers and style points. Mayfield took the necessary action to ensure victory.
  3. The Vikings’ defense is unable to stop it. The Buccaneers tallied 95 first-half yards, so the early results for Brian Flores’ defense were quite encouraging. The Vikings’ corners fared well in heavy zone coverage, which is something we don’t typically see from Flores, and Danielle Hunter led a strong pressure attempt. However, the Buccaneers’ TD drives soon before and after halftime changed the course of the game. The Vikings’ lack of depth became apparent at this point. The Vikings’ defense was unable to leave the field when it meant the most, despite only giving up 242 total yards. The third quarter’s opening nine-minute Bucs drive looked to wear down Flores’ defense a lot. Although there are indications of improvement, Week 1 wasn’t nearly enough.
  • Justin Jefferson ended with nine receptions for 150 yards, which was the game’s Next Gen stat. Jefferson had three receptions on four targets for 97 yards (+21 more receiving yards than anticipated) on vertical routes. In the previous season, he outperformed expectations on vertical routes by a league-high +255 receiving yards.
  • According to NFL Research, Baker Mayfield has now triumphed in three of his four career team debuts (winning with the Browns, Rams, and Buccaneers; losing with the Panthers).

Nick Shook’s takeaways:

  1. When it mattered most, Derek Carr realized it. Carr’s debut in New Orleans got off to a great start as he hit Michael Thomas while running down the sideline. Thomas making plays after missing a large portion of the previous three years due to injuries was a welcome sight. However, nothing was flawless. On third down, Carr failed to complete a ball intended for Thomas on the goal line, forcing New Orleans to settle for a field goal. He wasn’t given a lot of advantages by the Saints’ pass protection. On 51.4 percent of dropbacks, he was under pressure, and he never seemed to be at ease. But in the second half, he began to settle in, completing a touchdown throw to Rashid Shaheed on a flawless double move down.
  2. A terrible opening is delivered by Ryan Tannehill. When Tannehill threw three interceptions in a close defeat to the Bengals during the Divisional Round of the 2021 season, the narrative around him began to change. Sunday resembled the game quite a bit. Tannehill failed to connect with new arrival DeAndre Hopkins, completing only 16 of his 34 throws for 198 yards. He also threw three interceptions, two of which were intended for Hopkins. Even in favorable circumstances, Tannehill lacked consistency, squandering two opportunities to score down the sideline while running wide-open routes. His performance was at best subpar, and it can be said that it was the main factor in a game that could have been won.
  3. Derrick The Titans’ powerhouse continues to be Henry. The greatest play of the day by Tannehill was a screen to Henry, who ran 46 yards downfield and set up a winning field goal. Henry ran for 63 yards on 15 attempts. We all understand that the Titans will need to rely on Henry to win games. Sunday seemed like a waste of a strong defensive effort, but Tennessee can win games by depending on Henry if they keep their remaining games tight. It’s that easy.
  • NFL Research: On Sunday, Tennessee and New Orleans combined to make eight field goals, which is a record for Week 1.
  • Ryan Tannehill was pressed on 40.5 percent of his dropbacks, according to the game’s Next Gen metric. When under pressure, he completed 5-of-12 throws for 45 yards and two interceptions (12.8 passer rating).

Kevin Patra’s takeaways:

2023 NFL season week 1
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  1. For the 49er’s offensive, a good day. Following elbow surgery, Brock Purdy appeared to be in excellent condition. The Niners rushed to a significant lead as the second-year signal-caller guided four consecutive scoring drives while deftly avoiding pressure and finding wide-open receivers. The big players for San Francisco all got off to a fast start. On his way to a 129-yard, two-touchdown day, Brandon Aiyuk found openings with ease. Deebo Samuel behaved in ways unique to him. Assaulting Pittsburgh for 152 yards on 22 runs, including a 65-yard TD gallop early in the second half, Christian McCaffrey was virtually unstoppable. Even though Purdy was sacked three times, the offensive line did have some issues, but Kyle Shanahan’s team couldn’t have had a better start.
  2. Steelers have a stumbling start. Toto, the preseason has ended. Even though Kenny Pickett and the Pittsburgh offense looked excellent in the preseason, they struggled in their first few crucial games. Five three-and-outs in a row by the Steelers to open the game cost them -9 net yards. The first down for Pittsburgh didn’t come until 1:16 into the second quarter. Pickett missed targets from behind, above, and low throughout the whole game. Pickett’s mind was spinning from the outset as he was under attack from the 49er’s defensive front. You could be reading this while it’s still spinning. Pittsburgh also lost studs Diontae Johnson (hamstring) and Cam Heyward (groin) throughout the game, adding insult to injury. T.J. Watt’s performance for Pittsburgh was its lone bright spot.
  3. The 49ers’ defense appears to be strong. The significant sum that the Niners paid Nick Bosa already appears to be worth it. The San Francisco defense stifled Pittsburgh early on, allowing Bosa to gain repetitions in late. The reigning DPOY played a typical snap level. The Steelers were limited to 41 running yards (24 of which came on one carry late in the first half) by the Niners’ defense, which controlled the line of scrimmage by sacking Pickett five times, absorbing nine quarterback hits, and doing so. As usual, Fred Warner was everywhere on the field. Same here, Dr. Greenlaw. Additionally, the secondary produced two INTs. The San Francisco premiere of Steve Wilks’ D seems to be every bit as good as earlier editions.
  • Brandon Aiyuk of the 49ers had 7 targets, 7 catches, 119 yards, and 2 touchdowns on intermediate throws (10–19 air yards), which is the Next Gen stat of the game.
  • According to NFL Research, the Steelers’ 30-7 loss (-23) was their worst home loss under Mike Tomlin (since 2007).

Michael Baca’s takeaways:

  • The presentation is concluded by Washington’s defensive front. The Commanders’ defense pinched its ears back and prevented any chance of an upset by limiting the Cardinals to three points and 93 yards in the second half. Three sacks were recorded between Montez Sweat (1.5), Jonathan Allen (1.0), and Abdullah Anderson (0.5), however, Daron Payne’s persistent interference in Arizona’s backfield won’t be recorded on the stat sheet. Sweat extended his stellar day by forcing two turnovers. Jack Del Rio’s defense is off to a terrific start, and once star pass rusher Chase Young returns to the field, it should only get better.
  • Never underestimate Arizona’s defense. The Cardinals’ quarterback performance finally caught up with them in the second half, which was to be expected, but Jonathan Gannon’s defense showed that it might be the team’s compass. The team played with a lot of enthusiasm, recording six sacks, two fumble recoveries, an interception, and seven passes defended, although they did make a couple of mistakes in the first quarter that allowed Washington to extend a scoring drive. The second of Dennis Gardeck’s two sacks, which resulted in Arizona’s first touchdown of the game, a scoop and score by Cameron Thomas, gave the Cardinals a 13-10 advantage at the half. The Cardinals’ offense eventually stopped them from winning the game, even though their defense kept them in it.
  • Washington might see a wild trip in 2023. If the Commanders’ offense hadn’t given Arizona so many opportunities, the game wouldn’t have been as close as it was. Sam Howell threw the ball downfield despite many errors (interception, fumble lost), appearing to go beyond them. Against a tough Arizona defense, Commander OC Eric Bieniemy gets praise for using creativity and switching up his looks. Although Howell’s offensive line made things difficult, the second-year quarterback put on a valiant performance despite being sacked six times. With a deft pass to Brian Robinson for the game’s first score and a six-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Howell gave Washington the lead. Howell’s attitude as a gunslinger, combined with a strong defense, should make for some exciting contests in 2023.
  • The Commanders had 17 quarterback pressures in Week 1, and 12 of those pressures came from a combination of Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat (6 QB pressures, 1.5 sacks, TO caused by pressure, and 6 QB pressures combined).
  • 210 total yards and no offensive touchdowns were surrendered to the Cardinals by the Commanders, the fewest total yards allowed by Washington in Week 1 since 2005 at Chicago (166 total yards, won 9-7).

Eric Edholm’s takeaways:

2023 NFL season week 1
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  1. Jordan Love is in excellent shape as the Packers continue to dominate the Bears. Late in the third quarter, the Bears reduced the Packers’ advantage, bringing it down to 10 points. Chicago had all the momentum after Green Bay’s previous possession ended in a punt. Love, though, crushed the Bears’ aspirations with three throws. Love connected with rookie WR Romeo Doubs for a four-yard touchdown before connecting with rookie TE Luke Musgrave for 37 yards on third-and-8. Love needs to tidy up after a couple of passes when it misfired. But in the post-Aaron Rodgers era, you couldn’t have written a better season opener. From their first touchdown drive to their sixth scoring drive of the game, Love had the game locked in.
  2. The Bears had trouble establishing their Justin Fields-DJ Moore combination. In the third quarter, with the Bears down 24-6, they ran twice (evaporating more than a minute off the clock) before Justin Fields fumbled on a sack, drawing a chorus of jeers from the home crowd. That series epitomized the offense’s dismal day, which saw poor execution and a lack of apparent game-plan support. The play-calling in the first half appeared to be predictable; it relied heavily on screens and Field scrambles while hardly targeting the center of the field. Before it was too late, not much changed in the second half. Early in the second quarter, Fields made two passes to Moore; he didn’t go after him again until the two-point conversion when they were behind by three points.
  3. Before realizing Aaron Jones is terrific, the Packers fled from him. On Green Bay’s first TD drive, Jones’ number was called six times, which was not surprising. Jones anticipated being busy because Christian Watson was absent and Jordan Love was making his Soldier Field debut. The Packers, though, managed to go the following four drives without giving him a touch (or a target). With two goals by Jones in the second half, that was fixed. When the Bears’ LB T.J. Edwards was in man coverage, Jones’ 35-yard touchdown reception on fourth-and-3 was the decisive play. On just 11 touches, Jones was undoubtedly the greatest player on the field despite suffering a hamstring injury while on the move.
  • The following-generation stat of the game belongs to Packers RB Aaron Jones, who ended with 86 yards after the catch on his two catches.
  • Justin Fields led the Bears in running yards on Sunday with 59. He has now been the top rusher for Chicago in 10 of his last 12 games.

Bobby Kownack’s takeaways:

  • Raiders recover from expensive errors. Although Las Vegas received the desired outcome, the Silver and Black were far from unblemished. Ten penalties were made by the Raiders, two of which came on fourth downs for the Broncos. Six of these infractions gave Denver fresh downs. Even though the Raiders only allowed their opponent to score 16 points, there will be a lot of concern in the Monday video study. For Josh McDaniels’ team, doing just enough despite expensive mistakes was the day’s theme, and Jimmy Garoppolo, the quarterback, was no exception. According to NFL Research, the rookie Raider finally led the 12th fourth-quarter comeback of his career, but not before he fumbled away his sole third-quarter possession.
  • With the top two WRs, Jimmy G. exhibits instant synergy. When he took the field, Garoppolo knew which teammates to look for, and he repeatedly did so against a stout Broncos defense. He divided 19 targets between Jakobi Meyers (10) and Davante Adams (9) on his 26 attempts for 200 yards. Adams got it, as he so frequently does, hauling in six catches for 66 yards and dropping bombs on Denver during several scramble drills.

Meyers was the unexpected touchdown connection, though, capping up Las Vegas’ opening and concluding TD drives with 3- and 6-yard receptions. With his nine catches and 81 yards, Meyers topped the club in all categories and added 147 yards to the combined total of Garoppolo’s two favorite targets.

  • Broncos offense is ineffective. In the beginning, the Broncos’ output seemed to be entirely the work of head coach Sean Payton. With only two incomplete passes in 19 first-half attempts, one of which was a spike to stop the clock, Russell Wilson originally appeared to be much closer to his peak in Seattle than the disaster that was his debut season in Denver. He threw touchdown passes to end two drives of 75 yards or more, giving the club a 13-10 advantage at the break.

But the team only managed to score three more points in the second half. Splash plays were rare, even when the Broncos advanced the chains; they were frequently substituted by dinking and dunking. Denver ultimately achieved a score that was identical to that of their critically panned season opening. Even worse, Payton’s veteran kicker Wil Lutz, who the club acquired in a trade after the preseason, missed four field goals and cost the team four points.

  • Game’s Next Gen stat: Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, completed 6 of 7 throws for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns (10-19 air yards). On these passes last season, Wilson had four touchdowns and six interceptions.
  • NFL Research: Raiders WR Jakobi Meyers caught more than one touchdown in a game for the first time in his career.

Kevin Patra’s takeaways:

  1. The offensive roller coaster for the Patriots. Bill O’Brien’s offense only managed to gain 43 net yards on the game’s first five possessions, which was a dismal start. But late in the first half, Mac Jones found his stride and started tossing beautiful touchdown passes to Hunter Henry and Kendrick Bourne. Any balance was destroyed by the Patriots’ inability to run the ball, as Jones attempted 54 throws (completing 35 for 316 yards, 3 TDs, and an INT). Jones did well to escape the Eagles’ formidable frontal rush and distribute the ball to eight pass receivers.
  2. The Eagles’ offense seemed sluggish to start the year. Maybe it’s just a result of playing against a strong Bill Belichick defense, which had months to prepare and horses up front, but Philly’s offense seemed like a pale imitation of what we witnessed in the previous season. The Eagles were only able to score a short-field touchdown before settling for four field goals.
  3. Next Gen stat of the game: After allowing 6.1 yards per attempt on intended QB runs last season (28th), the Patriots reduced Jalen Hurts to a 33.3% success rate on nine attempts (28 yards, +6 running yards over anticipated on five designed runs; 10 yards, -2 RYOE on three scrambles).
  4. NFL analysis: The Eagles’ offense only managed one touchdown on Sunday. Only once last season (Week 18 vs. Giants) did Philadelphia score one or fewer offensive touchdowns with Jalen Hurts as the starter.

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By Ayesha.N

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