The NFL wrapped up its first Sunday of the 2020 season, and it was a fun one. Well, so long as you’re not a Bengal fan (more below).
There’s a whole lot of football left this season, but we already have some early takeaways as we move toward Week 2. Joe Burrow might just be a guy the Bengals can build around. Kyler Murray is loving the addition of DeAndre Hopkins. Cam Newton is off to a solid start. The Jaguars might not quite be tanking just yet. And Tom Brady & Co. have some work to do.
There’s plenty to break down, but for now, Ameer Tyree, Chet Gresham, and David Fucillo have some of their winners and losers from Week 1’s Sunday slate.
Every football fan in Arizona
We got to see what Kyler Murray looks like with an elite wide receiver to throw to in Week 1, and it was glorious. The second-year signal caller connected with DeAndre Hopkins 14 times for 151 yards to top the San Francisco 49ers 24-20. To be honest, I wouldn’t be mad at him if he never threw to a receiver not named Hopkins again.
I mean, how do you stop a talent like Hopkins while worrying about this Murray flying down the field and doing this?
You simply can’t. If Murray can complete 14 of his 16 passes to Hopkins against the 49ers, the rest of the NFC West could be in trouble. — Ameer Tyree
The point total was set at 39.5, and the inept Jets offense seemed set to cash the under for bettors. The Bills jumped to a 21-0 lead, and while the Jets cut the lead to 21-10, neither team could get much going in the fourth quarter. Buffalo added a pair of field goals to take a 27-10 lead with 3:15 to go. There was no reason to think the Jets would do much, and yet, they managed to drive 86 yards in 1:21 and score a touchdown with 54 seconds left. The Jets lost 27-17, the game went over the total, and it brought us the first bad beat of the season for those with the under. — David Fucillo
Any QB facing the Falcons secondary this season
Russell Wilson is a great quarterback by any measure and he could have completed 31-of-35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns against a bunch of NFL teams. But, he did it against the Falcons on Sunday and they look like they will be particularly bad this season. According to ESPN Analytics, the Seahawks receivers had a yard or more of separation on all 35 of Wilson’s passes. That’s a testament to a strong receiving group led by Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, but a secondary not giving the opposing QB even one contested completion is a truly bad sign. Dak Prescott and his trio of stud receivers is next for the Falcons secondary, so it doesn’t get any easier. - Chet Gresham
Player, coach health
Not a single player or coach tested positive for Covid-19 in the final testing leading up to Sunday’s schedule. It remains to be seen how this will all play out week-over-week, but the thus far the NFL appears to be doing a good job in handling the pandemic. There are questions to be answered about playing sports amidst all this, but that aside, the NFL seems to be doing a decent job with things.
Sunday marked the 49ers first game since blowing the Super Bowl. It wasn’t all on Jimmy G, but the pressure was on coming into Week 1. He threw two touchdowns, and while one gave the 49ers a late lead, he and the rest of the offense came up short on the final drive in a home loss to Arizona. — David Fucillo
Fourth quarter Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions did it again. They lost another lead in the fourth quarter. With a 23-6 lead going into the fourth quarter, you’d think the Lions could hold off Mitch Trubisky, but alas, they gave up three passing touchdowns to the close-to-being-benched Bears quarterback in the fourth quarter. Coach Matt Patricia was asked point blank if he needs to improve his fourth quarter decisions in light of the team’s late game trouble. His answer, was, uh, interesting:
Lions head coach Matt Patricia was asked if there's something in his coaching "that isn't happening enough in the fourth quarter."— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 13, 2020
"Yeah, I don't think so," Patricia said. "I think I got probably one of the biggest plays in the fourth quarter in the history of the NFL." pic.twitter.com/chcqBLXF6U
— Chet Gresham
The league has a host of fun, young quarterbacks emerging, but some of the bigger storylines revolve around the likes of Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees, among others.
— David Fucillo
Any Bengal not named Joe Burrow
Burrow didn’t put up eye-popping stats in his NFL debut, but he gave his team a fighting chance against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cincinnati Bengals were within three points of the Chargers when Randy Bullock did this.
I’m not gonna lie, I would pretend to be injured if I shanked a field goal this badly too. But if I wanted yo lie about what happened, I’d remember which leg I held in pain after the play. I, for one, hope Bullock got a nice Gatorade shower after the game to get him hydrated.
Bengals K Randy Bullock said his left calf cramped during his kicking motion. Still said that wasn't an excuse. "I let the team down and I'm really disappointed."— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) September 14, 2020
We can’t heap all the blame on Bullock though, as John Ross and A.J. Green blew potential touchdown catches down the stretch.
John Ross, lose this one in the sun?— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) September 13, 2020
THERE IS NO SUN pic.twitter.com/TEJdWpvNic
AJ Green’s receiving yards total was 51.5, this OPI made him finish with 51 instead of 54 and cost a Bengals W— Bet The Pigskin (@betthepigskin) September 13, 2020
Keep on chugging, Joe. — Ameer Tyree