The NFL season began with a bang on Thursday when the defending champion New England Patriots were stunned at home by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Kansas City defense did what they had to do to take down Tom Brady, including two giant stuffs on fourth and short.
Offensively, the Chiefs appear to have a new stud in running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt was more productive than any rookie who has ever made their debut despite a fumble on his first career touch. He was more than a nice complement to Alex Smith, who probably had the best game I’ve ever seen from him.
The shocking loss will raise a few questions about the Patriots. They were perhaps the most hyped team heading into a season in league history. Despite the loss, this is still the most complete roster in the NFL and they will figure it out shortly.
Locally, the Texans played about as bad as you can play on Sunday and were wiped out by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Starting quarterback Tom Savage was booed by the crowd and replaced by first round draft pick Deshaun Watson.
While Watson is undoubtedly the man of the future, savage got poor treatment from the fans and ultimately his head coach, Bill O’Brien. Savage may have produced horrid stats in the opening half, but it wasn’t entirely his fault. Houston’s offensive line offered absolutely no help for their quarterback while he was on the field. If that problem isn’t solved fast, it will be another long year for the Texans offensively no matter who they have throwing the football.
On the flip side, the Cowboys looked very impressive in a 19-3 win over the Giants. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot moved the ball nicely behind their stout offensive line as expected, but it was the defense that surprised me the most. Astonishingly, Dallas didn’t allow Eli Manning and the Giants to cross their own 35-yard line until the second half.
It was a nice win for the Cowboys, but New York is a better team than we saw on Sunday night. They will be much more competitive once they get star wide receiver Odell Beckham back in the lineup. Dallas strikes the first blow of what I expect to be an extremely competitive fight in the NFC East in 2017.
One of the most highly anticipated games of week one was also one of the biggest letdowns. In a potential playoff matchup between the Seahawks and Packers, Green Bay was essentially handed the game on a silver platter. They won the game 17-9, but a pick-six by Seattle was called back on a nonexistent block in the back penalty.
On top of taking 7 points off of the board early, the referees decided to eject cornerback Jeremy Lane from the game for throwing a punch during the exact same play. The problem was that Lane didn’t throw any sort of punch. They essentially took away a starting defender in the opening quarter for absolutely nothing.
Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham was also heavily interfered with in the end zone in the second half. This wasn’t called, and the Seahawks were forced to settle for a field goal. Both teams are forces and will be contenders throughout the season, but I believe the official robbed us all of a terrific week 1 matchup.
The NFL season will continue on Thursday night when the Texans travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. The week 2 matchups to keep your eye on include the Vikings at Steelers, the Cowboys at Broncos and the Packers at Falcons.