The new NFL season kicked off last Thursday with an instant classic between the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the rejuvenated Dallas Cowboys. After Terrific Tom and Dak threw down, things didn’t cool off on Sunday when the Saints and Packers dueled in Jacksonville, two Alabama quarterbacks started in the Miami versus New England game, and Patrick and the Chiefs clashed with Baker and the Browns. Check out what happened in one of the most entertaining NFL Week 1’s in history.
READ MORE: 2021 NFL Week 2 Preview, Odds and Picks
Bucs get win over Cowboys
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their Vince Lombardi Trophy defense with a hard fought 31- 29 victory over the Cowboys. The key for both teams turned out to be quarterback play as Tom Brady and Dak Prescott combined for 782 passing yards, 7 TD passes and 3 picks.
Prescott and the Cowboys came up short, but they played a fantastic game. Still, it’s difficult not to worry for what happens to Dallas heading into the second week and beyond. RT La’ell Collins is suspended for 5 games and WR Michael Gallup and RG Zack Martin are out.
Tampa looks as solid as they did last season. Brady is in midseason form. The Bucs do have a tough game in Week 3 against the Rams. Circle the matchup.
Steelers mount second-half comeback in upset victory against Buffalo
Heading into the season, many felt the Bills were ready to overtake Kansas City as the American Football Conference’s best team. Based on Buffalo played on Sunday, the Bills aren’t close to being ready to challenge the Chiefs.
Buffalo held a 10-0 lead into halftime. At the end of the fourth quarter, the Bills had lost 23-16. The Bills must bounce back quickly. They face the Dolphins on the road in week 2.
Murray leads the Cardinals to massive upset over the Titans
The Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans were supposed to play in one of the most competitive NFL games in the first week. Instead, Kyler Murray and the Cards dominated.
Murray threw for 289 yards and 4 TDs. He also rushed for a touchdown. More impressive than Murray’s stats was how the AZ defense locked down the Titans offense. Ryan Tannehill threw for 212 yards, a TD, and a pick. Derrick Henry rushed for 58 yards. The Cards are yet another NFC contender from the loaded West division.
Saints roll Packers in Jacksonville
New Orleans started 10 new players in their game against the Green Bay Packers. Not only that, but the Saints had to play their “home” game on the road in Jacksonville because Hurricane Ida caused damage to the Superdome.
So it made sense why NFL handicappers had bet Green Bay to -4 points. But although the Packers looked like a decent play, Sean Payton, Jameis Winston, and the Saints’ defense had other ideas.
New Orleans dominated Green Bay 38-3. Winston threw 5 TD passes. The Saints’ defense held the Packers to less than 3 yards rushing per carry. New Orleans’ D also forced Aaron Rodgers into a couple of interceptions.
Brady and the Bucs are on notice. The win signals to Tampa that New Orleans, who have won the NFC South in four straight seasons, might be better in 2021 than they were in 2020.
Miami bests New England in battle of Bama quarterbacks
On Sunday, two Alabama quarterbacks dueled in one of the closest games of the day. Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins outlasted Mac Jones and the New England Patriots in a 17-16 game.
The Patriots had a chance to win in the final few minutes. But a Damien Harris fumble left the game in the hands of the Dolphins. Jones outplayed Tagovailoa, but not by much. The more important aspect of the game is how both defenses played great. Buffalo has real competition to win the AFC East because the Fins and the Pats have solid offenses and excellent defenses.
Mahomes outduels Mayfield in Browns at Chiefs clash
Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns came close to upsetting the Chiefs at Arrowhead. But like Dak and the Cowboys, Cleveland came up short. Patrick Mahomes rallied the Chiefs to a 33-29 win. For KC, it was more of the same. Mahomes threw for 333 yards and tossed 3 touchdown passes. Mayfield played a decent game, but he made a few suspect decisions. If Baker improves his decision making, the Browns are a contender. As it stands now in the AFC, it’s Kansas City and everyone else.
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