The NFL regular season is finally here. At least for 30 other NFL teams. For the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it will be another week before their seasons open.
South Florida is waking to the devastation of Hurricane Irma. The effects of which are being felt from Key West to Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. The storm battered the entire state of Florida for 12 hours yesterday if not more. While families were hunkered down riding the storm out, the NFL opened its regular season.
It was difficult to watch football on Sunday. It felt different and not just because Miami wasn’t playing. It was different because it was hard to see fans cheering while the majority of your family and friends were weathering the largest storm in U.S. modern history.
After the conclusion of Sunday’s games we got our first look at what might be in store for the NFL this season. Here is a recap of some of the more, “interesting” moments from Sunday.
Jacksonville and Houston
The Jaguars didn’t look bad on Sunday but starting WR Allen Robinson left Sunday after a few plays with a torn ACL, thus ending his season. The real surprise however was how bad the Texans defense looked. J.J. Watt entered the stadium with thunderous applause for his Hurricane Harvey relief efforts but on the field he didn’t make much noise. The Jaguars not only beat the Texans they forced the Texans to bench their starting quarterback at half-time for rookie Deshaun Watson. It didn’t help too much.
Cleveland and Pittsburgh
After the Browns allowed a blocked kick for a touchdown it seemed they were picking up where they left off last season. Cleveland pulled it together later and Deshon Kizer looks like he might actually have a chance in Cleveland. The Browns still lost but it was promising. Interestingly enough, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger became the winningest quarterback at Cleveland Stadium. That is really sad.
New York Jets and Buffalo Bills
The Bills are sitting alone at the top of the AFC East after the Patriots lost to the Chiefs on Thursday and after beating the Jets on Sunday. For a while it appeared that the game might be one no one wanted to win.
Bills fans were quick to claim victory and applaud the fact they are alone in first place. It was the Jets however and it was very clear that New York has no direction at quarterback. On Sunday it was revealed by some in the media covering the team that the Jets had at least two trade offers on the table for Bryce Petty and declined. Petty was not active on Sunday and he wasn’t injured.
Washington and Philadelphia
The Eagles defense swarmed the Redskin offense especially late when they put up points of their own. Skin fans are complaining that the Kirk Cousins fumble was actually a pass but let us be clear on one thing here, Cousins needs to do a better job. It was brought up that Cousins is still in contract negotiations with the team and that the team has on two occasions offered Cousins a five-year $110 million deal. And he has yet to take it. On the other side, Carson Wentz is looking good as he starts his 2nd season in the NFL.
Colts and Rams
Andrew Luck may want to sit this season out. Watching Tolzien get beat up all game could not have been enticing. At the rate the Colts are allowing their QB’s to get hit, Luck will come back in time to get put on season ending IR. The Colts are horrible and while the Rams looked good, it’s hard to say if they are 46 point good or the Colts are simply 9 points bad. Either way it was not pretty. Neither was the return to L.A. for the NFL. The stadium was near empty in some sections and there was a rumor that had game tickets being offered for $6.00 to fill the stadium. It didn’t work.
Oakland and Tennessee
One of the better games on Sunday the Titans and Raiders played a close game until the end but both sides showed they have come to play in 2017. Marcus Mariota looked good in his return from injury and Derek Carr showed little to no effect from his injury late last season. In the end Oakland took the game 26-16 but it was much closer than the score indicated.
The rest of the NFL
Detroit looked good with Matt Stafford who threw for four touchdowns against an Arizona defense that was supposed to be better, they weren’t and they lost.
Andy Dalton looked lost facing the Ravens who made the Bengals look like pop-warner.
Dak Prescott got a win against the New York Giants who didn’t give Dallas much trouble posting three points.
Seattle and Green Bay had a very solid game but the Packer offense was just too much in the end and the Packers won 17-9 on a solid defensive effort.
Atlanta needed a late game 4th and goal stop to beat the Bears in Chicago. They sacked Mike Glennon to end the game.
Tonight the Chargers and the Broncos will play the late game while the Saints and Vikings will play in the early game on Monday Night Football.
The Panthers put a big hit on the 49’ers who put up three points on the Panthers. The Panthers were slacking and only put up 23.