The first week of the NFL season is behind us. There were some expected wins, surprising defeats, and standout performances in the opening week. It’s time to take a look at some of the biggest winners of the National Football League’s first week.
New England Patriots
The reigning Super Bowl champions spanked the Pittsburgh Steelers by a 33-3 final score in their Sunday night season opener in Foxborough. Tom Brady looked to be his normal dominant self, the Pats’ defense completely shut down the Steelers’ potent attack, and Bill Belichick’s squad looks to be a favorite to win the title again.
They also signed uber-talented Antonio Brown after his release from the Raiders. If any team can get the most out of the troubled wideout, it’s the Patriots.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
The Ravens dominated the Miami Dolphins in a Week 1 blowout by a 59-10 final and they also saw that quarterback Lamar Jackson improved greatly with his throwing skills.
Jackson put on a clinic against Miami, completing 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns in a flawless performance. Baltimore could easily show themselves to be AFC North favorites if the second-year signal-caller continues at this torrid pace.
It’s hard to imagine that the Raiders would’ve appeared on this list considering all of the turmoil the team experienced last week with the Antonio Brown saga that ended with their prized off-season acquisition being released. But could it be that the Raiders are better off without him?
Oakland was impressive in a 24-16 season-opening win against the Denver Broncos. Coach Jon Gruden said that the team will be fine without Brown, and that certainly appeared to be the case. Off-season free agent signing Tyrell Williams had a huge night, hauling in 6 passes for a total of 105 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim
After a disappointing 2018 season that saw the Cardinals finish with the NFL’s worst record, the pressure was on Keim to choose wisely with the first pick in the 2019 Draft. If Week 1 is any indication, he did well.
Arizona’s season opener finished in a 27-27 tie against the Detroit Lions, but Kyler Murray stole the show. The #1 overall pick threw for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns with an interception. He didn’t look perfect, but the Cardinals’ rookie QB is only 22 years old and appears to be full of tantalizing potential.