Strasser: NFL Week 1 Recap

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Carson Wentz. - Photo / flickr user Keith Allison

After months of anticipation and even doubt, the time for NFL football is finally here — and if you love watching good football, this week did not disappoint. However, just because the games were fun to watch doesn’t mean some fan bases weren’t left upset with the end results.

One of the biggest stories coming out of Week 1 was the collapse of the Philadelphia Eagles in Washington on Sunday.

At first it seemed like an Eagles win against their NFC East rivals, the Washington Football Team, was going to come to fruition. Towards the end of the first half, tight end (TE) Dallas Goedert caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from quarterback (QB) Carson Wentz to extend the lead to 17-0, making it appear that the Eagles would cruise to victory.

Then, everything went wrong.

The Eagles gave up 27 unanswered points, only gaining a total of 95 yards on 11 drives and failing to convert on two different fourth downs. That last failed conversion would lead to Washington’s last scoring drive, making the final of the game 27-17.

The weaknesses of the offensive line were a huge glaring issue on Sunday as Wentz was sacked eight times. If the Eagles want to win the NFC East and compete for a championship, losing the season opener to a young and surprisingly hungry Washington team is definitely not the way to start off.

Another noteworthy game was the Dallas Cowboys vs. the L.A. Rams, the first Sunday Night Football game of the year. It also gave us our first look at L.A.’s new $5 billion project, SoFi Stadium.

While the stadium definitely lived up to the hype, the Cowboys offense definitely didn’t. The Ram outplayed the Cowboys for the entire game, but with the help of running back (RB) Ezekiel Elliot and a Rams missed extra point, the Cowboys were leading 14-13 at halftime.

After the second half, however, the Cowboys only managed to score three points. They got the ball down 20-17 two different times late in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t even manage a field goal on either of their drives. The Rams are definitely a much stronger opponent than Washington, but it seems as if both of the NFC East favorites could be in a little trouble.

Week 1 officially concluded a special Monday night double header, the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos vs. the Tennessee Titans.

The more exciting of the two was the Broncos-Titians game. It was definitely near the bottom of the list of games I thought I had to watch this weekend, but I was wrong. It was fun to watch Titans kicker Stephen Gostowski miss two field goals inside 50-yards, get one blocked, miss an extra point and somehow drill the game-winning kick late in the fourth quarter to secure the 16-14 win.

The other game that night, the Steelers vs. Giants at Meadowlands Sports Complex, wasn’t as exciting, but was still important. Both teams came out a little flat to start with their RBs, with Steelers’ James Conner and Giants’ Saquon Barkley having rough nights.

Giants QB Daniel Jones turned the ball over in crunch time with the game on the line while Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster got their connection going again with two touchdown passes, giving the Steelers an easy 26-16.

Other Notable Headlines:

  • Tampa Bay’s new QB Tom Brady had two interceptions in the team’s 34-23 lose to the New Orleans Saints.
  • QB Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals showed that the NFC West could be the best division in football after beating the San Fransisco 49ers 24-20. WR Deandre Hopkins caught 14 passes for 151 yards.
  • Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow had an impressive NFL debut against a the L.A. Chargers totaling 193 passing yards and a long touchdown run. Despite this, the Chargers won 16-13 after a missed field goal by kicker Randy Bullock that would’ve forced overtime.

My must-watch for Week 2 is the Sunday Night Football match-up between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.

Week 1 was well worth the wait. The lack of fans didn’t really affect my viewing experience as a whole, but it will definitely take some getting used to. If you’re an Eagles fan you might not have enjoyed Sunday, but I hope the Cowboys losing cheered you up. Until next week.

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