NFL fans got their first taste of the season, and it was a shocker for most teams. The first week is usually a more predictable week. If you know how well your team is built, your first week is either an opponent in your team’s division or a team with significantly greater or less talent than yours. What most fans didn’t see coming, was how flip-flopped this weekend was going to be.
On Monday Night Football, ESPN hosted two games, Rams and Raiders, and Jets and Lions. In what seemed like a promising season with new head coach Matt Patricia, the Detroit Lions had their worst nightmare against the New York Jets. Up 17-10 at halftime, the Jets went on to score 31 points in the third quarter. Lions franchise quarterback threw 4 interceptions. Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold electrified in the second half despite his first career NFL pass was a pick-six and finished the game with 198 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Later that night in what seemed like a giant spectacle in anticipation of Coach Jon Gruden’s return from the broadcast booth to the Raiders sideline, it would ultimately lead to disappointment. Following suit of the Jets, the Los Angeles Rams were tied with the Oakland Raiders at the half, but Gruden’s decent night took a turn for the worse. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr ended up throwing two fourth-quarter interceptions which the Rams took advantage of. Rams spoiled Oakland’s party with a final score of 33-13.
If week one didn’t get any worse for the Raiders, the night before the game, a former Raider linebacker and now a Chicago Bear, electrified Sunday night football against Green Bay Aaron Rodgers. With multiple tackles, sacks, and a pick six under his belt, he was worth every penny of his new contract.
In true Aaron Rodgers fashion, always expect a dogfight when you enter “Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood”. It started off as a nightmare for Packers fans in the first half as Rodgers went down with an injury, and it seemed like this year was gonna be a repeat of 2017. But, Rodgers had other plans. He said in the locker room at halftime to his teammates “Do your job. I’ll take care of the rest.” And he did. He was going to beat longtime rival Bears, even if it was on one leg. Late in the fourth quarter, Rodgers threw a 72 yard dagger to Randall Cobb which ultimately sealed the game in the final minutes. Another comeback complete and huge sigh of relief for fans.
The Browns didn’t lose! But, they didn’t win either. The Browns managed to end the game against division rivals and “big brother bullies” the Pittsburgh Steelers. In what seemed like a very good day for the Dawg Pound, it was a horrible day for Steelers veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who threw 3 interceptions and just one touchdown pass. The star for the Steelers was rookie running back James Conner who ran for over 100 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. Ultimately, the Browns defense were the Stars, more so rookie cornerback Denzel Ward. Ward finished a handful of tackles and 2 interceptions. The Browns made the right decision drafting him 4th overall in this year’s draft. The game ended with a score of 21-21.
Week 2 in the NFL should not disappoint either, as many face division rivals and others are pitted against teams that can cost them a game that might matter in the future between a playoff berth or watching the playoffs from their couches.