Home / Sports / NFL Week 1 takeaways – What we discovered, large response questions and stat leaders for each recreation

NFL Week 1 takeaways – What we discovered, large response questions and stat leaders for each recreation

Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season had a little bit little bit of the whole lot. The Cardinals’ offense appeared nice in a large win over the Titans, as Kyler Murray starred with 5 general touchdowns. Tennessee struggled all day, as did any other AFC powerhouse, the Expenses.

Somewhere else, Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold had an afternoon in opposition to his previous staff, the Texans shocked with a large day trip in opposition to Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars, and Carson Wentz‘s debut in Indianapolis did not move to plot. Inexperienced persons around the league confirmed their skill by way of discovering the top zone, the Eagles blew out the Falcons, and Washington has looming questions in regards to the quarterback place after Ryan Fitzpatrick left the sport with a hip damage. Minnesota and Cincinnati went to additional time, whilst the 49ers needed to fend off a overdue comeback try by way of the Lions.

Within the afternoon slate, Jameis Winston and Saints destroyed the Packers, Teddy Bridgewater opened with a win for the Broncos, the Dolphins held off the Patriots and the Chiefs got here again to overcome the Browns. Matthew Stafford capped off the evening with a large debut for the Rams.

Monday Evening Soccer capped Week 1 with a wild, additional time win for the Raiders, taking part in in entrance of enthusiasts in Las Vegas for the primary time.

Our NFL Country journalists react to all of it, with the foremost takeaways and lingering questions from this week’s motion — and what all of it method going ahead. Plus, they every have a look at the larger image with their present staff self assurance score — a Zero-10 grade of ways they really feel in regards to the staff’s long term outlook popping out of the week. Let’s get into it.

Soar to:
BAL-LAV | CHI-LAR | CLE-KC | GB-NO
MIA-NE | DEN-NYG | SF-DET
PIT-BUF | NYJ-CAR | PHI-ATL
SEA-IND | JAX-HOU | ARI-TEN
LAC-WSH | MIN-CIN | DAL-TB

Standout performer: Raiders QB Derek Carr with 435 passing yards, 2 TDs

Raiders

What to understand: The Raiders’ move rush is far stepped forward, and Las Vegas’ offensive line is a piece in growth. Maxx Crosby had two sacks, Yannick Ngakoue tipped a move and Carl Nassib made a a very powerful third-down prevent in law, sooner than his game-turning strip sack in additional time. Derek Carr, in the meantime, used to be below duress a lot of the evening, and he nonetheless got here up grab overdue, after a gradual delivery. Being extra relaxed at the back of a now-tested O-line will best assist. — Paul Gutierrez

Did Carr discovering his receivers additionally assist him in finding his rhythm after a clunky delivery? It used to be all Darren Waller within the first 1/2, when Carr centered his Professional Bowl tight finish 12 instances. And the Ravens have been able for him. However as soon as the playbook unfolded and Carr began in search of the likes of Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones — who had the walk-off TD — Carr were given comfortable. — Gutierrez

Gutierrez’s self assurance score: eight.1. The Raiders had each reason why to put down after Baltimore went up 14-Zero, however they confirmed a unravel that have been lacking lately, and it’s person who might be wanted in Pittsburgh. — Gutierrez

Subsequent recreation: at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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Lamar Jackson’s 0.33 fumble of the sport is helping arrange Derek Carr’s game-winning landing move to Zay Jones in additional time.


Ravens

What to understand: Lamar Jackson cannot be Lamar Jackson if the Ravens cannot give protection to him. Jackson’s two pricey fumbles have been the results of him eluding a collapsing pocket. He used to be harassed on 17 of 39 dropbacks (44%), despite the fact that the Raiders best blitzed two times. Ravens normal supervisor Eric DeCosta stated after final season key to making improvements to the passing assault used to be upgrading the offensive line, which led to 1 starter returning to the similar spot as final season. Offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva struggled in opposition to the Las Vegas move rush. This proved Jackson cannot be a one-man display. — Jamison Hensley

What came about to the Ravens’ move protection? Baltimore allowed a quarterback to throw for greater than 400 yards for the primary time in 4 years. This one used to be a head-scratcher for the reason that Ravens had contained Derek Carr within the first 1/2. However the move rush disappeared, and the secondary allowed too many receivers to run loose. Carr handed for 308 yards in the second one 1/2 and additional time. This is not a nice signal for a protection that misplaced Professional Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to a season-ending knee damage on Thursday. The Ravens need to regroup rapid, as a result of they face Patrick Mahomes on Sunday evening. — Hensley

Hensley’s self assurance score: 6.Five. This cave in is regarding for the reason that Ravens generally delivery the season so sturdy. It makes you ponder whether the unhealthy run of accidents have taken an emotional toll on Baltimore. However the Ravens can briefly reestablish themselves as one of the vital ultimate groups within the AFC if they are able to dissatisfied the Chiefs. — Hensley

Subsequent recreation: vs. Chiefs (Sunday, eight:20 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Rams QB Matthew Stafford with 321 passing yards, Three TDs

Rams

What to understand: The Rams’ passing offense is in nice fingers with quarterback Matthew Stafford. Forward of Sunday’s opener in opposition to the Bears, Stafford stated he sought after the offense to be bodily, difficult, environment friendly and explosive. Bodily and hard? Take a look at — see receiver Cooper Kupp combating for additonal yards. Potency? Stafford began with a bang when he let a 67-yard landing move fly to receiver Van Jefferson at the opening force, although potency waned in the course of the first 1/2 sooner than it picked again as much as delivery the second one. And explosiveness? Glance no additional than the opening-drive bomb to Jefferson and a 56-yard landing dime to Kupp at the opening force of the second one 1/2. — Lindsey Thiry

Can the Rams run the ball constantly? There used to be no query that shedding working again Cam Akers to a season-ending Achilles damage sooner than the season could be a large blow, however the Rams will have to be able to realize traction at the floor, as they rushed for best 18 yards within the first 3 quarters. Darrell Henderson Jr. began and rushed for 70 yards on 16 carries, with many of the yards coming overdue. Sony Michel, who used to be obtained simply over two weeks in the past in a industry with the New England Patriots, were given one elevate for two yards and rookie Jake Funk additionally didn’t test in on offense. — Thiry

Thiry’s self assurance score: eight.Zero. With the hope of a Tremendous Bowl season, the Rams had a cast debut in a decisive victory over the Bears. Whilst there is numerous room for development, they demonstrated a powerful basis in all 3 stages that may best be expecting to toughen because the season continues. — Thiry

Subsequent recreation: at Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Bears

What to understand: Chicago’s protection price it the sport. The bar is ready low for the Bears’ offense, however the protection — led by way of first-year coordinator Sean Desai — is meant to be the staff’s power. But the Bears’ secondary had more than one busted coverages that ended in lengthy Rams touchdowns. Unacceptable. The Bears would possibly not move anyplace with a protection that makes the ones sorts of essential mistakes. — Jeff Dickerson

Who can play left take on? The Bears are cursed on the place. Teven Jenkins — Chicago’s second-round pick out and unique projected starter — is out after again surgical procedure. Jenkins’ substitute, not too long ago signed veteran Jason Peters, left Sunday evening with a quad damage. Peters’ substitute, rookie Larry Borom, later exited the Rams recreation with what gave the look to be an uncongenial ankle damage. Elijah Wilkinson, who basically performs proper take on, needed to end the sport at the left facet. — Dickerson

Dickerson’s self assurance score: 2.Zero. Justin Fields cannot repair this. — Dickerson

Subsequent recreation: vs. Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill, 11 receptions, 197 yards, 1 TD

Chiefs

What to understand: The Chiefs are going to want to ranking a package to win. Their protection used to be a pushover for 3 quarters in opposition to the Browns. Led by way of Chris Jones, the Chiefs’ D were given scorching within the fourth quarter, however they are able to’t have enough money to dig themselves a hollow and put as a lot force at the offense as they did on Sunday. — Adam Teicher

Do the Chiefs have somebody to assist Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill as a receiver? No one stepped ahead in any significant method in opposition to the Browns. The offense leaned closely on its two best receivers. But when Kelce and Hill play the way in which they did in opposition to the Browns, it could now not subject. The pair appeared able to wearing the passing recreation at the receiving finish. — Teicher

Teicher’s self assurance score: 7.Five. Regardless of the comeback victory, the Chiefs confirmed a large number of defensive weak point. The D discovered its method within the fourth quarter, sufficient to permit the Chiefs to rally. However it is going to be tricky for Kansas Town to dig out of this kind of hollow maximum weeks. — Teicher

Subsequent recreation: at Ravens (Sunday, eight:20 p.m. ET)


Browns

What to understand: The Browns took it to the protecting AFC champs for 3 quarters. Then within the fourth, that they had a meltdown. Even supposing the end used to be disappointing, the Browns can take solace in the way in which they performed for many of the recreation. Regardless of the loss, Cleveland appears for actual once more. — Jake Trotter

When will Odell Beckham Jr. make his debut? OBJ warmed up at the box pregame sooner than being dominated inactive. Coming off the season-ending left knee damage, he has steadily ramped up his process in observe, portending an approaching go back. As nice because the Browns’ offense used to be Sunday, its ceiling might be upper as soon as Beckham comes again. — Trotter

Trotter’s self assurance score: eight. Even in defeat, the Browns despatched a message they have got the possible to be a valid contender. — Trotter

Subsequent recreation: vs. Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Saints QB Jameis Winston with 148 passing yards, Five TDs

Saints

What to understand: What an excellent, defiant win by way of the Saints and trainer Sean Payton in opposition to a mountain of inauspicious prerequisites. Certain, we idea possibly they might scrape by way of in Week 1 in spite of the whole lot they needed to handle: Drew Brees’ retirement; 10 new starters as a result of accidents, a suspension and a salary-cap purge; then a relocation to Dallas the previous two weeks and a “house” recreation in Jacksonville as a result of Typhoon Ida. However nobody may have anticipated this degree of dominance, with Jameis Winston throwing 5 TDs and Aaron Rodgers throwing two INTs. — Mike Triplett

Can the Saints win with Winston at QB? The solution used to be a convincing sure in Week 1, with Winston finishing 14 of 20 passes for 5 TDs and 148 yards, working for 39 yards — and most significantly committing 0 turnovers. Winston did have one INT nullified by way of a penalty. However for essentially the most phase, he used to be downright Brees-like with good choices. He used to be particularly spectacular when heading off force. And he added a house run within the fourth quarter with a 55-yard deep TD to Deonte Harris. — Triplett

Triplett’s self assurance score: eight.1. Clearly, a case might be made for a 10 after that lovely efficiency. However the greatest query for the Saints stays intensity — and so they already had two extra scares in Week 1 when standout heart Erik McCoy left with a leg damage and CB Marshon Lattimore is already coping with thumb and knee accidents. — Triplett

Subsequent recreation: at Panthers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Packers

What to understand: You’ll have anticipated the Packers’ protection to begin gradual given they have got a brand new coordinator (Joe Barry) and certainly one of their ultimate gamers (edge rusher Za’Darius Smith) slightly practiced all summer season. However the Packers’ offense? This wasn’t meant to occur — despite the fact that that they had two rookie starters at the offensive line and their left guard filling in for All-Professional left take on David Bakhtiari (who’s out a minimum of six weeks). Aaron Rodgers and his plethora of guns appeared sharp all summer season in coaching camp, which made it the entire extra unexpected they might slightly serve as in opposition to the Saints. And to best it off, Rodgers did one thing he virtually by no means does: He became it over within the pink zone. His third-quarter interception used to be his first pink zone interception since Week 6 of 2019. He had thrown 45 touchdowns down there since his final pink zone interception, and the Packers have been certainly one of best 3 groups (the Buccaneers and Browns have been the others) with no pink zone turnover final season. — Rob Demovsky

Did Rodgers’ offseason drama have an effect on how badly the offense struggled? That may well be a scorching take, however the truth is that the Packers gave the look of a smooth-running gadget all over summer season practices. The larger factor used to be the offensive line, and the 2 rookie starters — heart Josh Myers and proper guard Royce Newman. Rodgers used to be below duress a long way too steadily, and his first interception used to be the very best instance. Rodgers confronted fast force up the center from a five-man rush and threw it up simply sooner than he went down. Rodgers’ moment pick out used to be necessarily desperation. It used to be simply the second one time Rodgers had thrown more than one interceptions in a season opener (2010 used to be the opposite, however they received that recreation to begin their Tremendous Bowl season), and it used to be simply his moment multi-INT recreation for the reason that delivery of 2018 (it came about in Week 6 at Tampa Bay final 12 months). — Demovsky

Demovsky’s self assurance score: 6.Five. That is nonetheless in large part the similar staff that received 13 video games final 12 months, however the worry is not as a lot that it misplaced however how convincingly it were given beat. If this recreation used to be in New Orleans’ dome, you have to see it. However now not at a impartial web site with simply as many Packers enthusiasts as Saints enthusiasts in Jacksonville. — Demovsky

Subsequent recreation: vs. Lions (Monday, Sept. 20, eight:15 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, 202 passing yards, 1 TD

Dolphins

What to understand: Miami’s protection must cleared the path as soon as once more this season. 2d-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa confirmed flashes of taking price, in particular in his connections with extensive receiver DeVante Parker downfield. However hindered by way of mediocre-at-best offensive line play, the Dolphins’ offense in the end stalled out a long way too steadily Sunday to encourage a lot self assurance in its talent to hold the staff. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Is that this protection nice sufficient to preserve Miami out of shootouts shifting ahead? It did sufficient for the Dolphins’ moment win in New England since 2008 in opposition to a Mac Jones-led offense, however it is unclear how it is going to hang up in opposition to a stronger staff. The offense’s talent to win video games used to be a query mark coming into this season, and it stays simply as unsure coming into Week 2. — Louis-Jacques

Louis-Jacques’ self assurance score: 6.Five. The Dolphins’ protection is for actual and compelled turnovers when wanted maximum Sunday. The play of the offensive line left so much to be desired, however a Week 2 win in opposition to a Expenses offense that struggled in opposition to Pittsburgh in Week 1 however torched Miami final season will ship this self assurance score in the course of the roof subsequent week. — Louis-Jacques

Subsequent recreation: vs. Expenses (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Patriots

What to understand: Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had a promising debut. The sport is not too large for him — now not even shut. The 2021 first-round draft select from Alabama operated the normal Patriots offense, throwing in rhythm, out of empty formations, and with nice accuracy and decision-making. A few instances, he stood in and took a success whilst handing over throws down the sector, which additionally mirrored his toughness. His 133 passing yards within the first 1/2 would had been a season top within the first 1/2 for the Patriots in 2020. With Jones, the long run is shiny in New England. — Mike Reiss

How critical is beginning proper take on Trent Brown‘s calf damage? He used to be out after the primary force of the sport, changed by way of swing choice Justin Herron, and the Patriots’ line struggled from time to time because of it. It is conceivable that 2019 third-round draft pick out Yodny Cajuste may just fill the void if wanted in Week 2, however he used to be inactive with a hamstring damage. The Patriots even have Yasir Durant, a developmental prospect whom they obtained in a industry from the Kansas Town Chiefs a few weeks in the past (and he took over for Herron overdue on Sunday). If Brown is out for a longer length, another choice is shifting left guard Mike Onwenu out to proper take on and putting dependable veteran Ted Karras at guard. — Reiss

Reiss’ self assurance score: 6.Five. Jones looks as if a top quality beginning quarterback, and must best develop from right here, whilst trainer Invoice Belichick’s defenses historically proceed to toughen. — Reiss

Subsequent recreation: at Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater, 264 passing yards, 1 TD

Broncos

What to understand: It used to be rather the Denver debut for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who become the 5th quarterback to begin the staff’s season opener during the last 5 years. He confirmed composure when issues broke down in addition to nice mobility, and constantly moved the ball. Through the top of the 0.33 quarter Bridgewater used to be 26-of-34 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos had additionally put in combination scoring drives of 10, 16 and 15 performs. And most significantly, Bridgewater didn’t have a turnover. — Jeff Legwold

What would an extended absence for receiver Jerry Jeudy imply for the Broncos’ offense? Jeudy suffered a decrease proper leg damage within the 0.33 quarter. To begin with the Broncos believed it used to be a top ankle sprain and now not a fracture, however he’ll have further exams Monday. Jeudy has been referred to as “uncoverable” by way of his teammates, and a longer absence could be important. Tim Patrick, who led the staff in receiving touchdowns final season, could be pressed into further paintings within the two- and three-wide-receiver units. KJ Hamler, who dropped a positive landing Sunday, might be had to make performs down the sector. — Legwold

Legwold’s self assurance score: 7.eight. This used to be unquestionably their ultimate opener in years, and Bridgewater’s play is motive for some optimism, one thing the Broncos have not had a lot of over the former two Septembers. And the protection stifled the Giants. However within the large image, the Broncos have been too reliant on third-down conversions offensively from the type of distances that would possibly not be there in opposition to the league’s ultimate groups. — Legwold

Subsequent recreation: at Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Giants

What to understand: The Giants’ offense guided by way of Jason Garrett nonetheless leaves so much to be desired. It is exhausting to win when scoring 13 issues, and quarterback Daniel Jones had any other pricey fumble. Indisputably it has so much to do with working again Saquon Barkley (knee) and extensive receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) being non-factors after spending many of the summer season getting back from accidents. They blended for 91 general yards within the loss. It used to be very similar to final 12 months once they were not a part of the offense and the Giants averaged a paltry 17.Five issues in step with recreation. — Jordan Raanan

What is up with the Giants’ protection? This used to be a foul effort. The move rush stays a large drawback, and so does the protection’s talent to get off the sector on 0.33 downs. Denver transformed on 7 of 15 0.33 downs in opposition to the Giants, who have been 25th within the NFL final season on third-down protection. With out a constant move rush, it is taking place once more. — Raanan

Raanan’s self assurance score: Four.2. No longer many positives to take from this recreation. It used to be all the time lifelike that the offense would pop out of the gate slowly taking into account the wounds this summer season, however Jones fumbled once more and the protection appeared worse than anticipated. — Raanan

Subsequent recreation: at Washington (Thursday, eight:20 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Bengals RB Joe Mixon with 127 speeding yards, 1 TD

Bengals

What to understand: The way forward for the Bengals will hinge on quarterback Joe Burrow. On fourth-and-inches in additional time, Burrow gave the impression to take a look at of a play on the line of scrimmage. Burrow as a substitute dropped again and hit tight finish C.J. Uzomah for a 32-yard strike that arrange the successful box objective. — Ben Child

Are the Bengals going to fasten up protection Jessie Bates to a long-term extension? As a result of he earned his cash on Sunday. Bates became a possible loss into an eventual win when he pressured a fumble with the Vikings in box objective vary. Bates’ agent simply won a large information level in contract negotiations. — Child

Child’s self assurance score: 7.Zero. The Bengals are come what may by no means out of it so long as they have got Burrow at the box. — Child

Subsequent recreation: at Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Vikings

What to understand: The problems from the preseason — particularly the ones on offense — weren’t an overreaction. Minnesota won some assist from the Bengals, however Sunday used to be hideous offensively. Kirk Cousins appeared uncomfortable, the offensive line made error after error and the Vikings could not identify any semblance of a run recreation with Dalvin Cook dinner. The claims the previous couple of weeks that offensive problems from the preseason would paintings themselves out when the entire starters were given at the box used to be posturing, and Sunday’s loss proved it. — Courtney Cronin

How do they repair the offensive line problems? It is exhausting to get the rest going offensively when the O-line racks up numerous conserving and false-start consequences. The offensive line used to be chargeable for 70 of the staff’s 116 general penalty yards on Sunday, and the inner were given driven round. Cousins does now not glance relaxed or like he is aware of the place his coverage is, and that’s the reason an issue that does not seem to have a very simple repair. — Cronin

Cronin’s self assurance score: Five.Zero. The Vikings have to move at the highway once more subsequent week to play an Arizona staff that beat Tennessee 38-13. Making an allowance for how poorly the offensive line held up in opposition to Cincinnati, it is tricky to fathom how it is going to be any higher in opposition to the Cardinals’ move rush, which featured a five-sack day from Chandler Jones in Week 1. — Cronin

Subsequent recreation: at Cardinals (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell with 104 speeding yards, 1 TD

49ers

What to understand: For 3 quarters, the 49ers presented a reminder of ways dominant they are able to be when wholesome and firing on all cylinders. Additionally they let up overdue and just about coughed up a 28-point lead. The wanted caveat this is that the Lions once more appear to be contenders for the No. 1 general pick out in subsequent 12 months’s draft; if the Niners are going to go back to contender standing, they are able to’t let their foot off the fuel, particularly in opposition to inferior fighters. — Nick Wagoner

How will the 49ers proceed to combine Trey Lance into the offense? Lance threw his first occupation landing move on his moment NFL snap (and primary move try) however best performed sparingly after that, taking a complete of 4 snaps. For the reason that recreation used to be necessarily over at halftime, there used to be no use for trainer Kyle Shanahan to turn an excessive amount of of what he has in thoughts for Lance, however it is transparent he would possibly not be afraid to get the rookie quarterback concerned the place he sees have compatibility. — Wagoner

Wagoner’s self assurance score: 6.Five. It used to be a promising delivery for the 49ers, however accidents to working again Raheem Mostert and cornerback Jason Verrett — and letting off the fuel within the fourth quarter — put a damper on an differently dominant efficiency, which tempers this score rather a bit of. — Wagoner

Subsequent recreation: at Eagles (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Lions

What to understand: A brand new technology in Motown felt like trade as standard to begin the sport, with the Lions trailing by way of a minimum of 21 issues at halftime in their season opener for the 0.33 time for the reason that 1970 merger. Jared Goff become the primary QB now not named Matthew Stafford to begin a season opener for Detroit since Jon Kitna in 2008, however he appeared stiff early on — starting 1-of-Five for 12 yards and an interception on passes with greater than Five air yards down the sector within the first 1/2. The Lions sooner or later warmed up, getting inside one ranking after taking place 38-10 within the 0.33. They refused to surrender. Goff ended with 338 passing yards and 3 touchdowns whilst finishing 38 of 57 makes an attempt in his Detroit debut. — Eric Woodyard

Was once working again Jamaal Williams getting the beginning nod over D’Andre Swift a one-time factor? Or used to be Swift’s groin damage extra critical than it gave the impression and the training body of workers sought after to ease him again onto the sector? To his credit score, Swift did leap proper in on the second one force of the sport with a Four-yard run up the center, then took a brief display screen move up the center for a 43-yard landing within the 0.33. It is nonetheless one thing price noting, in particular when Swift is predicted to be “the man” this season with Williams as his complementary piece. — Woodyard

Woodyard’s self assurance score: Four.Five. Expectancies are low this season for the Lions with such a lot of new faces. This 49ers staff is probably excellent, so it is not the worst factor to lose this opener — particularly after this kind of dramatic end. — Woodyard

Subsequent recreation: at Packers (Monday, Sept. 20, eight:15 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Steelers LB T.J. Watt with two sacks, 5 QB hits, a take on for a loss

Steelers

What to understand: The Steelers’ protection used to be all the time going to be the power, and that used to be particularly glaring because it saved the sport shut within the first 1/2 and spurred the second-half comeback. Of Pittsburgh’s 20 unanswered issues, 17 have been the results of two Expenses turnovers on downs and a blocked punt/go back landing — which used to be put into movement when Cameron Heyward had a third-down sack of Josh Allen one play previous. T.J. Watt, simply off a large payday, had two sacks, and used to be a disruptive power all the way through the afternoon. The Expenses controlled to transform seven of 16 0.33 downs, however they have been Zero-for-2 on fourth downs. The offense has paintings via rising pains early, however the protection confirmed Sunday it is greater than able to buoying all the staff. — Brooke Pryor

What is up with the Steelers’ OL? The Steelers’ offensive line used to be the largest query mark coming into Sunday’s recreation, and it stays the largest one. The road, which integrated two newcomers making their NFL debuts, used to be abysmal — particularly within the first 1/2. The Steelers had speeding yards, and first-round pick out Najee Harris used to be averaging 1.1 yards in step with elevate. Roethlisberger additionally were given sacked two times within the first 1/2. The second one 1/2 used to be higher, and the run recreation picked up at the back of the road with 76 general yards and four.Zero yards in step with elevate. — Pryor

Pryor’s self assurance score: 6.eight. The Steelers outperformed their underdog standing coming into the matchup, and the primary 1/2 confirmed primary deficiencies at the offensive line — however the protection offers the Steelers’ numerous reason why for optimism.

Subsequent recreation: vs. Raiders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Expenses

What to understand: Regardless of a dominating defensive effort within the first two quarters, the Expenses allowed 20 immediately issues to the Steelers popping out of the 1/2 and misplaced a commanding lead. The protection allowed Pittsburgh to place in combination 3 drives of nine-plus performs in the second one 1/2 by myself and did not generate constant force in opposition to a tender offensive line. The Expenses additionally had a punt blocked, which used to be returned for a TD. — Alaina Getzenberg

Can the Expenses’ offense reflect final 12 months’s good fortune? Accuracy downfield proved to be an issue for Josh Allen in his first recreation of 2021, in spite of going through the bottom blitz price of his occupation, in step with ESPN Stats & Data. He finished 30 of 51 passes, a occupation top in move makes an attempt, for 270 yards in opposition to the Steelers and had bother connecting with each Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. The offensive line, one of the vital staff’s greatest questions coming in, additionally struggled with Allen’s restricted motion, which performed a component within the Steelers now not wanting to blitz. The road used to be also referred to as for 6 conserving consequences, 4 of which have been approved, one thing trainer Sean McDermott referred to as, “unacceptable.” Allen stepped forward on his accuracy problems final season, however the talent to construct on final 12 months’s good fortune might be one thing to observe going ahead. — Getzenberg

Getzenberg’s self assurance score: 6.Three. There are transparent problems to be corrected on each side of the ball, and being outscored 23-Three in the second one 1/2 is a telling statistic, however it is not sufficient for primary worry for a staff with this kind of top ceiling. — Getzenberg

Subsequent recreation: at Miami (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Panthers QB Sam Darnold with 279 passing yards, 2 general TDs

Panthers

What to understand: The jury continues to be out on quarterback Sam Darnold. Whilst the 0.33 pick out of the 2018 draft used to be environment friendly in opposition to his former staff in Sunday’s win in opposition to the Jets, it must now not had been that shut. Carolina scored one landing on 4 journeys throughout the New York 10-yard line, proceeding a pink zone factor that plagued it final season. Darnold best proved he can play neatly in opposition to a foul staff. — David Newton

Can the offensive line give protection to Sam Darnold in opposition to a nice protection? This staff that trainer Matt Rhule says stays a piece in growth gave up one sack, however Darnold used to be hit 8 instances. Darnold’s final good fortune relies on how he’s safe in opposition to best defenses such because the New Orleans Saints, who’re bobbing up subsequent. — Newton

Newton’s self assurance score: Five.1. Simply now not sufficient proof that Carolina can beat a better-than-average staff after this appearing in opposition to a staff that has been a crisis the previous few years. — Newton

Subsequent recreation: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Jets

What to understand: Zach Wilson is aware of how you can take a punch. Sadly for the Jets, he took too many. Their ballyhooed rookie quarterback confirmed no surrender in opposition to a continuing move rush, however he additionally made too many rookie errors. Now and then, the sport used to be too rapid for him, however he settled down and displayed one of the skill that made the Jets draft him moment general. It used to be an excellent finding out enjoy. There is not any reason why to be down on Wilson, who will toughen each week. — Wealthy Cimini

Can the Jets give protection to Wilson? Their move coverage used to be brutal in opposition to the Panthers, and now they face the possibility of now not having left take on Mekhi Becton, who suffered a probably critical knee damage. You needed to be expecting some rising pains for the reason that beginning 5 had no recreation reps in combination within the preseason, however this used to be ridiculous — six sacks and 14 pressures. — Cimini

Cimini’s self assurance score: Three.Five. Can not win if you’ll’t ranking, and this offense gave the look of one thing out of the Adam Gase technology for two-plus quarters. — Cimini

Subsequent recreation: vs. Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts with 264 passing yards, Three TDs, 62 speeding yards

Eagles

What to understand: There may be reason why to be thinking about the Eagles and their younger offensive playmakers. Quarterback Jalen Hurts outdueled veteran Matt Ryan in his 5th occupation delivery, going 27-of-35 for 264 yards with 3 touchdowns, and Eagles newcomers DeVonta Smith (six catches, 71 yards) and Kenny Gainwell (43 general yards) every discovered the top zone of their debuts. Upload within the performances of Miles Sanders (113 general yards) and Jalen Reagor (six catches, 49 yards, TD), and that’s the reason loads of manufacturing out of a reasonably green staff. They’re going to glance to stick with it in opposition to a powerful 49ers protection subsequent week. — Tim McManus

How top is that this staff’s ceiling? That more or less convincing highway win gets folks speaking about trainer Nick Sirianni and the Eagles. Expectancies have been low coming into this season, however the Eagles overperformed on each side of the ball Sunday, in particular on protection by way of maintaining Atlanta and its proficient ability gamers out of the top zone. The impending stretch within the Eagles’ agenda will inform the actual story: Their subsequent 5 video games are in opposition to the Niners, Cowboys, Chiefs, Panthers and Buccaneers. — McManus

McManus’ self assurance score: 6.Three. The Eagles inspired in trainer Nick Sirianni’s first recreation on the helm. It’ll take extra proof sooner than believing they are the actual factor, nevertheless it used to be about as nice a delivery as they might have requested for. — McManus

Subsequent recreation: vs. 49ers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Falcons

What to understand: Welp. That loss to the Eagles used to be in reality, in reality unpleasant. The entirety more or less fell aside for Atlanta. The offense fizzled after two sturdy drives to begin the sport. The protection used to be overwhelmed by way of 1000 gashes, zone reads and brief passes it could not protect. And it were given worse from there. This used to be about as unhealthy as it would get in trainer Arthur Smith’s debut. It used to be identified the Falcons had some roster holes and lacked intensity, however for it to be this kind of whole meltdown is regarding. When a staff’s penalty yards (99) approaches both its speeding (124) or passing (136) yardage, you comprehend it has been a in reality unhealthy day. — Michael Rothstein

What is up with the offense? Issues began out sturdy, with Smith bringing some no-huddle with a workforce set in numerous formations. However after that, the whole lot sputtered. The Falcons’ run recreation — which had 86 yards within the first quarter — completed with 124. The passing recreation slightly threw intermediate routes, let by myself deep pictures. Atlanta reached the pink zone two times and settled for box objectives. The offensive line had 3 false begins. The excellent news is that it cannot get any worse. With the exception of Atlanta performs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. — Rothstein

Rothstein’s self assurance score: Four.2. It is early, however there is now not a lot to love in any section from Atlanta after one recreation. — Rothstein

Subsequent recreation: at Buccaneers (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Texans QB Tyrod Taylor with 291 passing yards, 2 TDs

Texans

What to understand: It is very early within the season, however after one week, Houston leads the AFC South. If the department continues to fight, the Texans may just win extra video games than it gave the impression they’d on paper. Closing season, 1/2 of the staff’s wins got here in opposition to the Jaguars. This 12 months, it looks as if there are winnable video games within the AFC South. The actual query: Is successful sufficient that they do not get a best pick out in 2022 in reality a nice factor for the long-term long term of the franchise? — Sarah Barshop

Is that this Texans protection for actual? Houston matched its 2020 general with 3 interceptions on Sunday. Going into the season, it used to be transparent that Houston’s components for good fortune this season used to be a powerful efficiency on protection and particular groups. The staff best allowed 14 issues to Jacksonville, however can Lovie Smith’s protection proceed taking the ball away in opposition to non-rookie opposing quarterbacks? The Texans will in finding out in opposition to the Cleveland BrownsBaker Mayfield in Week 2. — Barshop

Barshop’s self assurance score: Three.Five. Houston appeared nice within the season opener, however Week 2 in opposition to the Browns would be the higher take a look at to peer whether or not the Texans might be higher than anticipated. — Barshop

Subsequent recreation: at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Jaguars

What to understand: The Jaguars appeared ill-prepared in City Meyer’s first recreation as an NFL head trainer, which is inexcusable. Errors occur, however having too many males within the huddle, lining up incorrectly two times (within the first 1/2), and burning two timeouts within the first quarter to steer clear of extend consequences are preventable issues. The ones are the type of issues that unhealthy groups — and the Jaguars had been unhealthy the final 3 seasons — do incessantly. — Mike DiRocco

Must we predict all these struggles out of QB Trevor Lawrence all 12 months? To not the level that we noticed in opposition to the Texans. He will make errors. That is what rookie quarterbacks most often do. Let’s additionally bear in mind his receivers dropped six passes. The sport were given out of hand within the first 1/2, and that pressured the Jaguars to desert the run in the second one 1/2, and that makes issues tougher for any quarterback. Lawrence made some in reality nice throws (the TDs to Chris Manhertz and DJ Chark, as an example) and scanned the sector beautiful neatly, however he additionally used to be astray on a host of others and stared down his receivers from time to time. It used to be a coarse delivery, however Lawrence does not lack self assurance, and this would possibly not shake him. — DiRocco

DiRocco’s self assurance score: 2.Five. The offensive problems have been unhealthy sufficient, however Tyrod Taylor — now not Tom Brady or Russell Wilson or Josh Allen — carved up the Jaguars’ protection. — DiRocco

Subsequent recreation: vs. Broncos (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson with 254 passing yards, Four TDs

Seahawks

What to understand: Up to now, so nice with the Seahawks’ new offense. It began rapid, with Russell Wilson landing passes on 3 of its first 4 possessions. It used to be explosive, with large performs from Tyler Lockett and Chris Carson. It used to be a long way from absolute best, although, stalling out within the 0.33 quarter. On the other hand, nobody may have anticipated perfection out of the gate with a first-time playcaller in Shane Waldron and no snaps for Wilson and many of the starters within the preseason. However the Seahawks will take 28 issues, 4 landing passes and no errors from Wilson any day, particularly in opposition to a nice Indy protection. — Brady Henderson

Are the Seahawks nice sufficient at cornerback? If their move rush has as a lot firepower because it confirmed Sunday, then possibly they’ll be. Drive at the quarterback could make lifestyles more uncomplicated for the blokes at the out of doors. That used to be the case in opposition to Indy with 3 sacks (from Rasheem Inexperienced, Darrell Taylor and Benson Mayowa), 10 QB hits and much more force than the ones numbers would recommend. Tre Plant life and D.J. Reed held up neatly sufficient in opposition to a Colts receiving corps that used to be with out T.Y. Hilton. It is going to be a far harder take a look at subsequent week in opposition to Julio Jones, A.J. Brown and the Titans. — Henderson

Henderson’s self assurance score: eight.7. Wilson has lined up a large number of deficiencies over time, so the Seahawks shouldn’t have to be absolute best round him, particularly if he is taking part in in addition to he did Sunday. — Henderson

Subsequent recreation: vs. Titans (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)


Colts

What to understand: Carson Wentz used to be meant to peer what it is love to have time within the pocket to throw whilst having one of the vital best offensive traces in entrance of him. Wentz as a substitute spent a good portion of the sport getting sacked, hit or scrambling to steer clear of having either one of the ones issues occur as a result of all the offensive line performed poorly. The Colts gave up 3 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. The objective used to be for Wentz to steer clear of being sacked and hit like he did final season (50 sacks) in Philadelphia. Issues don’t seem to be off to a nice delivery. And oh yeah, Aaron Donald, the premier defensive lineman within the NFL, and the Rams are up subsequent for the Colts in Week 2. — Mike Wells

Which Colts protection is the actual one? Will the Colts’ protection be extra of the unit that pressured 4 punts, a turnover and sacked Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson 4 instances on six second-half drives than the crowd that gave up 257 yards and struggled to get off the sector on 0.33 down within the first 1/2? The Colts gave up best 332 yards a recreation final season. Wilson confronted minimum force within the first 1/2 whilst with the ability to pick out aside the protection. It did not assist that the Colts did not have veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes (calf). — Wells

Wells’ self assurance score: Five.eight. Dropping in Week 1 is not the rest new for the Colts as a result of they have got now dropped 8 immediately season openers. However they were not meant to play as unhealthy on each side of the ball in a recreation that wasn’t as shut as the overall ranking. The offensive line must toughen as soon as left take on Eric Fisher (Achilles) returns and the protection can construct off its second-half play. — Wells

Subsequent recreation: vs. Rams (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray with 289 passing yards, Five general TDs

Cardinals

What to understand: The Cardinals’ protection is reliable — as in Tremendous Bowl-good. It used to be anchored by way of pass-rusher Chandler Jones‘ 5 sacks, which tied the franchise document. It confirmed its intensity with newcomer J.J. Watt within the backfield greater than Titans again Derrick Henry on Sunday. Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. confirmed his versatility and made performs from sideline to sideline. The defensive position all however close down Henry. Arizona’s protection confirmed what it is able to in opposition to an offense that made the playoffs final season. — Josh Weinfuss

Who would be the Cardinals’ ultimate offensive weapon after extensive receiver DeAndre Hopkins? It’ll rely at the recreation, however Arizona confirmed Sunday it has offensive intensity. Christian Kirk stuck two touchdowns, A.J. Inexperienced might be an choice in spite of a quiet first delivery and Rondale Moore could also be price keeping track of. Kyler Murray goes to be Kyler Murray and Hopkins is Hopkins. If defenses need to decide to them, Arizona has numerous different choices who can assist them ranking 40 issues a recreation. — Weinfuss

Weinfuss’ self assurance score: nine.Zero. The Cardinals have the roster and firepower to be excellent this season, demonstrated by way of 5 touchdowns from Kyler Murray, two every from DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk and 5 sacks from Chandler Jones. — Weinfuss

Subsequent recreation: vs. Vikings (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)


Titans

What to understand: The gradual delivery by way of the Titans may also be traced to having just one complete week of observe as a unit sooner than the season opener. Tennessee has notoriously gotten off to gradual begins. Sunday used to be no other as they fell at the back of 24-6 within the first 1/2. Every other week of observe in combination must assist. However the Titans could be smart to begin subsequent week’s recreation with pace on offense to create a way of urgency. — Turron Davenport

What is up with working again Derrick Henry? Henry won eight yards speeding within the first 1/2. That marks his lowest general as a starter since 2019, when he picked up Four yards in opposition to the Carolina Panthers. The struggles delivery with the offensive line. Arizona’s defensive position constantly driven the road of scrimmage into the Titans’ backfield. Henry used to be hit at or at the back of the road of scrimmage 8 instances leading to a internet lack of 3 yards over the primary 3 quarters. — Davenport

Davenport’s self assurance score: Four.Five. The Titans’ offensive line used to be ruled by way of Arizona, and questions stay about proper take on along with left take on after a foul efficiency from Taylor Lewan. — Davenport

Subsequent recreation: at Seahawks (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Chargers QB Justin Herbert with 337 passing yards, 1 TD

Chargers

What to understand: The Chargers made one of the goofiest mistakes (fumbling in spite of everything zone deep in Washington territory, which gave Washington a touchback) however controlled to win the sport due to QB Justin Herbert, who threw for 337 yards whilst finishing 31 of 47 passes. Herbert had the top zone fumble and threw a pink zone interception however controlled to preserve his cool, throwing the game-winning landing move to Mike Williams early within the fourth quarter after Kyzir White pressured a fumble deep in Washington territory which Joey Bosa recovered. The Chargers had two pink zone turnovers however have been ready to play keep-away for the final 6:43 out to get the win. — Shelley Smith

How will the staff blank up a few of these mistakes? Receiver Mike Williams stored the sport along with his landing reception, and he and Keenan Allen blended for 17 catches for 182 yards. Along side the 2 pink zone turnovers, a roughing-the-passer penalty on Joey Bosa overdue within the first 1/2 led to a few Washington issues. They’re going to want to minimize down at the errors going ahead. — Smith

Smith’s self assurance score: Five.Four. They received a recreation that final 12 months they’d have misplaced, because the Chargers have been ready to transform a number of 0.33 downs on their ultimate force to forestall the dramatic losses which they have got had the final two seasons. — Smith

Subsequent recreation: vs. Cowboys (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)


Washington

What to understand: Washington had more than one problems, however third-down protection used to be a big one. The move rush didn’t hassle quarterback Justin Herbert just about sufficient as Los Angeles transformed 14 of 18 0.33 downs. Whilst the offense had to do extra, the protection is meant to be the rock. Within the pink zone, Washington’s protection stiffened, however the incapability to get off the sector on 0.33 down used to be a significant issue. Numerous that stemmed from Herbert’s unbelievable passing, however a few of that used to be a couple of line that had to harass him extra. Washington’s line didn’t are living as much as the hype Sunday. — John Keim

What’s the have an effect on if Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to pass over time? Fitz left the sport with a hip damage, leaving the offense to Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke confirmed that he can run this offense neatly and offers a spark. The query with him has all the time been sturdiness and what occurs as groups get extra movie on him. Kyle Allen could be increased to the No. 2 function. They don’t have any other QB at the observe squad. Washington has had too many seasons the place accidents had been a topic at quarterback, so it is a difficult strategy to delivery the season. — Keim

Keim’s self assurance score: Five.Zero. Washington stays a skilled younger staff in some spaces, however now there are questions — once more — at quarterback, and the protection could not bail them out. The important thing to this season might be how the staff progresses in the second one 1/2, and one recreation does now not sidetrack them. However it does display that they’ve questions that also will have to be responded. — Keim

Subsequent recreation: vs. Giants (Thursday, eight:20 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott with 403 passing yards, Three TDs

Buccaneers

What to understand: In contrast to Tremendous Bowl LV, through which the Buccaneers’ protection saved the Chiefs out of the top zone, the Bucs’ offense needed to elevate them this time. Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 379 yards, 4 touchdowns and two interceptions, and the protection surrendered 403 passing yards and 3 touchdowns to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Had it now not been for 2 overlooked box objective makes an attempt by way of the Cowboys’ Greg Zuerlein, the Bucs would had been doomed by way of 4 turnovers. Nonetheless, the offense appears extra stepped forward than it did firstly of final season, suggesting that sure, they in reality may also be higher than their title-run season. — Jenna Laine

Did the Cowboys create the template to overcome Tampa Bay? They attacked the Bucs with displays and made their protection step up and take on at the perimeter. This might be particularly problematic if beginning cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (additionally their nickelback) misses any time after dislocating an elbow, and if they remain with out protection Jordan Whitehead. — Laine

Laine’s self assurance score: 7.Zero. Brady delivered some epic throws for the protecting Tremendous Bowl champs, however the protection used to be disappointing in opposition to Dallas. The Bucs will have to proper their mistakes with video games in opposition to the Rams and Patriots proper across the nook. — Laine

Subsequent recreation: vs. Falcons (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)


Cowboys

What to understand: There are causes to be inspired by way of the Cowboys’ Week 1 recreation: Dak Prescott’s 403 yards, Amari Cooper‘s 13 catches for 139 yards and the protection’s 4 takeaways. After which there are causes to be discouraged by way of the loss: Ezekiel Elliott had 33 yards on 11 carries, the Cowboys allowed 4 landing passes, and there have been too many errors on particular groups. “Like trainer stated within the postgame, the one factor we all know after this recreation is that we don’t seem to be going undefeated,” Cooper stated. “It wasn’t all unhealthy. We did some nice issues, too.” — Todd Archer

How a lot fear must there be referring to kicker Greg Zuerlein? He hooked a 31-yard box objective try and used to be off from 60 yards — which is okay — but in addition had an additional level hit the upright. He did not kick a lot over the summer season as a result of again surgical procedure and had one try within the preseason. The Cowboys want to do a more in-depth process offensively within the pink zone, however Zuerlein cannot pass over makeable kicks like this. — Archer

Archer’s self assurance score: 7.Five. The offense did what used to be anticipated. Scoring 29 issues in opposition to Tampa Bay is a superb appearing even though it did not — or could not — run the ball. Dallas shredded the Bucs’ move protection, and Prescott used to be sacked as soon as. And Dallas does not play Tom Brady each week. — Archer

Subsequent recreation: at Chargers (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)

Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season had a little bit little bit of the whole lot. The Cardinals’ offense appeared nice in a large win over the Titans, as Kyler Murray starred with 5 general touchdowns. Tennessee struggled all day, as did any other AFC powerhouse, the Expenses.

Somewhere else, Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold had an afternoon in opposition to his previous staff, the Texans shocked with a large day trip in opposition to Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars, and Carson Wentz‘s debut in Indianapolis did not move to plot. Inexperienced persons around the league confirmed their skill by way of discovering the top zone, the Eagles blew out the Falcons, and Washington has looming questions in regards to the quarterback place after Ryan Fitzpatrick left the sport with a hip damage. Minnesota and Cincinnati went to additional time, whilst the 49ers needed to fend off a overdue comeback try by way of the Lions.

Within the afternoon slate, Jameis Winston and Saints destroyed the Packers, Teddy Bridgewater opened with a win for the Broncos, the Dolphins held off the Patriots and the Chiefs got here again to overcome the Browns. Matthew Stafford capped off the evening with a large debut for the Rams.

Monday Evening Soccer capped Week 1 with a wild, additional time win for the Raiders, taking part in in entrance of enthusiasts in Las Vegas for the primary time.

Our NFL Country journalists react to all of it, with the foremost takeaways and lingering questions from this week’s motion — and what all of it method going ahead. Plus, they every have a look at the larger image with their present staff self assurance score — a Zero-10 grade of ways they really feel in regards to the staff’s long term outlook popping out of the week. Let’s get into it.

Soar to:
BAL-LAV | CHI-LAR | CLE-KC | GB-NO
MIA-NE | DEN-NYG | SF-DET
PIT-BUF | NYJ-CAR | PHI-ATL
SEA-IND | JAX-HOU | ARI-TEN
LAC-WSH | MIN-CIN | DAL-TB

Standout performer: Raiders QB Derek Carr with 435 passing yards, 2 TDs

Raiders

What to understand: The Raiders’ move rush is far stepped forward, and Las Vegas’ offensive line is a piece in growth. Maxx Crosby had two sacks, Yannick Ngakoue tipped a move and Carl Nassib made a a very powerful third-down prevent in law, sooner than his game-turning strip sack in additional time. Derek Carr, in the meantime, used to be below duress a lot of the evening, and he nonetheless got here up grab overdue, after a gradual delivery. Being extra relaxed at the back of a now-tested O-line will best assist. — Paul Gutierrez

Did Carr discovering his receivers additionally assist him in finding his rhythm after a clunky delivery? It used to be all Darren Waller within the first 1/2, when Carr centered his Professional Bowl tight finish 12 instances. And the Ravens have been able for him. However as soon as the playbook unfolded and Carr began in search of the likes of Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones — who had the walk-off TD — Carr were given comfortable. — Gutierrez

Gutierrez’s self assurance score: eight.1. The Raiders had each reason why to put down after Baltimore went up 14-Zero, however they confirmed a unravel that have been lacking lately, and it’s person who might be wanted in Pittsburgh. — Gutierrez

Subsequent recreation: at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

play

1:12

Lamar Jackson’s 0.33 fumble of the sport is helping arrange Derek Carr’s game-winning landing move to Zay Jones in additional time.


Ravens

What to understand: Lamar Jackson cannot be Lamar Jackson if the Ravens cannot give protection to him. Jackson’s two pricey fumbles have been the results of him eluding a collapsing pocket. He used to be harassed on 17 of 39 dropbacks (44%), despite the fact that the Raiders best blitzed two times. Ravens normal supervisor Eric DeCosta stated after final season key to making improvements to the passing assault used to be upgrading the offensive line, which led to 1 starter returning to the similar spot as final season. Offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva struggled in opposition to the Las Vegas move rush. This proved Jackson cannot be a one-man display. — Jamison Hensley

What came about to the Ravens’ move protection? Baltimore allowed a quarterback to throw for greater than 400 yards for the primary time in 4 years. This one used to be a head-scratcher for the reason that Ravens had contained Derek Carr within the first 1/2. However the move rush disappeared, and the secondary allowed too many receivers to run loose. Carr handed for 308 yards in the second one 1/2 and additional time. This is not a nice signal for a protection that misplaced Professional Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to a season-ending knee damage on Thursday. The Ravens need to regroup rapid, as a result of they face Patrick Mahomes on Sunday evening. — Hensley

Hensley’s self assurance score: 6.Five. This cave in is regarding for the reason that Ravens generally delivery the season so sturdy. It makes you ponder whether the unhealthy run of accidents have taken an emotional toll on Baltimore. However the Ravens can briefly reestablish themselves as one of the vital ultimate groups within the AFC if they are able to dissatisfied the Chiefs. — Hensley

Subsequent recreation: vs. Chiefs (Sunday, eight:20 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Rams QB Matthew Stafford with 321 passing yards, Three TDs

Rams

What to understand: The Rams’ passing offense is in nice fingers with quarterback Matthew Stafford. Forward of Sunday’s opener in opposition to the Bears, Stafford stated he sought after the offense to be bodily, difficult, environment friendly and explosive. Bodily and hard? Take a look at — see receiver Cooper Kupp combating for additonal yards. Potency? Stafford began with a bang when he let a 67-yard landing move fly to receiver Van Jefferson at the opening force, although potency waned in the course of the first 1/2 sooner than it picked again as much as delivery the second one. And explosiveness? Glance no additional than the opening-drive bomb to Jefferson and a 56-yard landing dime to Kupp at the opening force of the second one 1/2. — Lindsey Thiry

Can the Rams run the ball constantly? There used to be no query that shedding working again Cam Akers to a season-ending Achilles damage sooner than the season could be a large blow, however the Rams will have to be able to realize traction at the floor, as they rushed for best 18 yards within the first 3 quarters. Darrell Henderson Jr. began and rushed for 70 yards on 16 carries, with many of the yards coming overdue. Sony Michel, who used to be obtained simply over two weeks in the past in a industry with the New England Patriots, were given one elevate for two yards and rookie Jake Funk additionally didn’t test in on offense. — Thiry

Thiry’s self assurance score: eight.Zero. With the hope of a Tremendous Bowl season, the Rams had a cast debut in a decisive victory over the Bears. Whilst there is numerous room for development, they demonstrated a powerful basis in all 3 stages that may best be expecting to toughen because the season continues. — Thiry

Subsequent recreation: at Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Bears

What to understand: Chicago’s protection price it the sport. The bar is ready low for the Bears’ offense, however the protection — led by way of first-year coordinator Sean Desai — is meant to be the staff’s power. But the Bears’ secondary had more than one busted coverages that ended in lengthy Rams touchdowns. Unacceptable. The Bears would possibly not move anyplace with a protection that makes the ones sorts of essential mistakes. — Jeff Dickerson

Who can play left take on? The Bears are cursed on the place. Teven Jenkins — Chicago’s second-round pick out and unique projected starter — is out after again surgical procedure. Jenkins’ substitute, not too long ago signed veteran Jason Peters, left Sunday evening with a quad damage. Peters’ substitute, rookie Larry Borom, later exited the Rams recreation with what gave the look to be an uncongenial ankle damage. Elijah Wilkinson, who basically performs proper take on, needed to end the sport at the left facet. — Dickerson

Dickerson’s self assurance score: 2.Zero. Justin Fields cannot repair this. — Dickerson

Subsequent recreation: vs. Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill, 11 receptions, 197 yards, 1 TD

Chiefs

What to understand: The Chiefs are going to want to ranking a package to win. Their protection used to be a pushover for 3 quarters in opposition to the Browns. Led by way of Chris Jones, the Chiefs’ D were given scorching within the fourth quarter, however they are able to’t have enough money to dig themselves a hollow and put as a lot force at the offense as they did on Sunday. — Adam Teicher

Do the Chiefs have somebody to assist Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill as a receiver? No one stepped ahead in any significant method in opposition to the Browns. The offense leaned closely on its two best receivers. But when Kelce and Hill play the way in which they did in opposition to the Browns, it could now not subject. The pair appeared able to wearing the passing recreation at the receiving finish. — Teicher

Teicher’s self assurance score: 7.Five. Regardless of the comeback victory, the Chiefs confirmed a large number of defensive weak point. The D discovered its method within the fourth quarter, sufficient to permit the Chiefs to rally. However it is going to be tricky for Kansas Town to dig out of this kind of hollow maximum weeks. — Teicher

Subsequent recreation: at Ravens (Sunday, eight:20 p.m. ET)


Browns

What to understand: The Browns took it to the protecting AFC champs for 3 quarters. Then within the fourth, that they had a meltdown. Even supposing the end used to be disappointing, the Browns can take solace in the way in which they performed for many of the recreation. Regardless of the loss, Cleveland appears for actual once more. — Jake Trotter

When will Odell Beckham Jr. make his debut? OBJ warmed up at the box pregame sooner than being dominated inactive. Coming off the season-ending left knee damage, he has steadily ramped up his process in observe, portending an approaching go back. As nice because the Browns’ offense used to be Sunday, its ceiling might be upper as soon as Beckham comes again. — Trotter

Trotter’s self assurance score: eight. Even in defeat, the Browns despatched a message they have got the possible to be a valid contender. — Trotter

Subsequent recreation: vs. Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Saints QB Jameis Winston with 148 passing yards, Five TDs

Saints

What to understand: What an excellent, defiant win by way of the Saints and trainer Sean Payton in opposition to a mountain of inauspicious prerequisites. Certain, we idea possibly they might scrape by way of in Week 1 in spite of the whole lot they needed to handle: Drew Brees’ retirement; 10 new starters as a result of accidents, a suspension and a salary-cap purge; then a relocation to Dallas the previous two weeks and a “house” recreation in Jacksonville as a result of Typhoon Ida. However nobody may have anticipated this degree of dominance, with Jameis Winston throwing 5 TDs and Aaron Rodgers throwing two INTs. — Mike Triplett

Can the Saints win with Winston at QB? The solution used to be a convincing sure in Week 1, with Winston finishing 14 of 20 passes for 5 TDs and 148 yards, working for 39 yards — and most significantly committing 0 turnovers. Winston did have one INT nullified by way of a penalty. However for essentially the most phase, he used to be downright Brees-like with good choices. He used to be particularly spectacular when heading off force. And he added a house run within the fourth quarter with a 55-yard deep TD to Deonte Harris. — Triplett

Triplett’s self assurance score: eight.1. Clearly, a case might be made for a 10 after that lovely efficiency. However the greatest query for the Saints stays intensity — and so they already had two extra scares in Week 1 when standout heart Erik McCoy left with a leg damage and CB Marshon Lattimore is already coping with thumb and knee accidents. — Triplett

Subsequent recreation: at Panthers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Packers

What to understand: You’ll have anticipated the Packers’ protection to begin gradual given they have got a brand new coordinator (Joe Barry) and certainly one of their ultimate gamers (edge rusher Za’Darius Smith) slightly practiced all summer season. However the Packers’ offense? This wasn’t meant to occur — despite the fact that that they had two rookie starters at the offensive line and their left guard filling in for All-Professional left take on David Bakhtiari (who’s out a minimum of six weeks). Aaron Rodgers and his plethora of guns appeared sharp all summer season in coaching camp, which made it the entire extra unexpected they might slightly serve as in opposition to the Saints. And to best it off, Rodgers did one thing he virtually by no means does: He became it over within the pink zone. His third-quarter interception used to be his first pink zone interception since Week 6 of 2019. He had thrown 45 touchdowns down there since his final pink zone interception, and the Packers have been certainly one of best 3 groups (the Buccaneers and Browns have been the others) with no pink zone turnover final season. — Rob Demovsky

Did Rodgers’ offseason drama have an effect on how badly the offense struggled? That may well be a scorching take, however the truth is that the Packers gave the look of a smooth-running gadget all over summer season practices. The larger factor used to be the offensive line, and the 2 rookie starters — heart Josh Myers and proper guard Royce Newman. Rodgers used to be below duress a long way too steadily, and his first interception used to be the very best instance. Rodgers confronted fast force up the center from a five-man rush and threw it up simply sooner than he went down. Rodgers’ moment pick out used to be necessarily desperation. It used to be simply the second one time Rodgers had thrown more than one interceptions in a season opener (2010 used to be the opposite, however they received that recreation to begin their Tremendous Bowl season), and it used to be simply his moment multi-INT recreation for the reason that delivery of 2018 (it came about in Week 6 at Tampa Bay final 12 months). — Demovsky

Demovsky’s self assurance score: 6.Five. That is nonetheless in large part the similar staff that received 13 video games final 12 months, however the worry is not as a lot that it misplaced however how convincingly it were given beat. If this recreation used to be in New Orleans’ dome, you have to see it. However now not at a impartial web site with simply as many Packers enthusiasts as Saints enthusiasts in Jacksonville. — Demovsky

Subsequent recreation: vs. Lions (Monday, Sept. 20, eight:15 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, 202 passing yards, 1 TD

Dolphins

What to understand: Miami’s protection must cleared the path as soon as once more this season. 2d-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa confirmed flashes of taking price, in particular in his connections with extensive receiver DeVante Parker downfield. However hindered by way of mediocre-at-best offensive line play, the Dolphins’ offense in the end stalled out a long way too steadily Sunday to encourage a lot self assurance in its talent to hold the staff. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Is that this protection nice sufficient to preserve Miami out of shootouts shifting ahead? It did sufficient for the Dolphins’ moment win in New England since 2008 in opposition to a Mac Jones-led offense, however it is unclear how it is going to hang up in opposition to a stronger staff. The offense’s talent to win video games used to be a query mark coming into this season, and it stays simply as unsure coming into Week 2. — Louis-Jacques

Louis-Jacques’ self assurance score: 6.Five. The Dolphins’ protection is for actual and compelled turnovers when wanted maximum Sunday. The play of the offensive line left so much to be desired, however a Week 2 win in opposition to a Expenses offense that struggled in opposition to Pittsburgh in Week 1 however torched Miami final season will ship this self assurance score in the course of the roof subsequent week. — Louis-Jacques

Subsequent recreation: vs. Expenses (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Patriots

What to understand: Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had a promising debut. The sport is not too large for him — now not even shut. The 2021 first-round draft select from Alabama operated the normal Patriots offense, throwing in rhythm, out of empty formations, and with nice accuracy and decision-making. A few instances, he stood in and took a success whilst handing over throws down the sector, which additionally mirrored his toughness. His 133 passing yards within the first 1/2 would had been a season top within the first 1/2 for the Patriots in 2020. With Jones, the long run is shiny in New England. — Mike Reiss

How critical is beginning proper take on Trent Brown‘s calf damage? He used to be out after the primary force of the sport, changed by way of swing choice Justin Herron, and the Patriots’ line struggled from time to time because of it. It is conceivable that 2019 third-round draft pick out Yodny Cajuste may just fill the void if wanted in Week 2, however he used to be inactive with a hamstring damage. The Patriots even have Yasir Durant, a developmental prospect whom they obtained in a industry from the Kansas Town Chiefs a few weeks in the past (and he took over for Herron overdue on Sunday). If Brown is out for a longer length, another choice is shifting left guard Mike Onwenu out to proper take on and putting dependable veteran Ted Karras at guard. — Reiss

Reiss’ self assurance score: 6.Five. Jones looks as if a top quality beginning quarterback, and must best develop from right here, whilst trainer Invoice Belichick’s defenses historically proceed to toughen. — Reiss

Subsequent recreation: at Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater, 264 passing yards, 1 TD

Broncos

What to understand: It used to be rather the Denver debut for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who become the 5th quarterback to begin the staff’s season opener during the last 5 years. He confirmed composure when issues broke down in addition to nice mobility, and constantly moved the ball. Through the top of the 0.33 quarter Bridgewater used to be 26-of-34 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos had additionally put in combination scoring drives of 10, 16 and 15 performs. And most significantly, Bridgewater didn’t have a turnover. — Jeff Legwold

What would an extended absence for receiver Jerry Jeudy imply for the Broncos’ offense? Jeudy suffered a decrease proper leg damage within the 0.33 quarter. To begin with the Broncos believed it used to be a top ankle sprain and now not a fracture, however he’ll have further exams Monday. Jeudy has been referred to as “uncoverable” by way of his teammates, and a longer absence could be important. Tim Patrick, who led the staff in receiving touchdowns final season, could be pressed into further paintings within the two- and three-wide-receiver units. KJ Hamler, who dropped a positive landing Sunday, might be had to make performs down the sector. — Legwold

Legwold’s self assurance score: 7.eight. This used to be unquestionably their ultimate opener in years, and Bridgewater’s play is motive for some optimism, one thing the Broncos have not had a lot of over the former two Septembers. And the protection stifled the Giants. However within the large image, the Broncos have been too reliant on third-down conversions offensively from the type of distances that would possibly not be there in opposition to the league’s ultimate groups. — Legwold

Subsequent recreation: at Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Giants

What to understand: The Giants’ offense guided by way of Jason Garrett nonetheless leaves so much to be desired. It is exhausting to win when scoring 13 issues, and quarterback Daniel Jones had any other pricey fumble. Indisputably it has so much to do with working again Saquon Barkley (knee) and extensive receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) being non-factors after spending many of the summer season getting back from accidents. They blended for 91 general yards within the loss. It used to be very similar to final 12 months once they were not a part of the offense and the Giants averaged a paltry 17.Five issues in step with recreation. — Jordan Raanan

What is up with the Giants’ protection? This used to be a foul effort. The move rush stays a large drawback, and so does the protection’s talent to get off the sector on 0.33 downs. Denver transformed on 7 of 15 0.33 downs in opposition to the Giants, who have been 25th within the NFL final season on third-down protection. With out a constant move rush, it is taking place once more. — Raanan

Raanan’s self assurance score: Four.2. No longer many positives to take from this recreation. It used to be all the time lifelike that the offense would pop out of the gate slowly taking into account the wounds this summer season, however Jones fumbled once more and the protection appeared worse than anticipated. — Raanan

Subsequent recreation: at Washington (Thursday, eight:20 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Bengals RB Joe Mixon with 127 speeding yards, 1 TD

Bengals

What to understand: The way forward for the Bengals will hinge on quarterback Joe Burrow. On fourth-and-inches in additional time, Burrow gave the impression to take a look at of a play on the line of scrimmage. Burrow as a substitute dropped again and hit tight finish C.J. Uzomah for a 32-yard strike that arrange the successful box objective. — Ben Child

Are the Bengals going to fasten up protection Jessie Bates to a long-term extension? As a result of he earned his cash on Sunday. Bates became a possible loss into an eventual win when he pressured a fumble with the Vikings in box objective vary. Bates’ agent simply won a large information level in contract negotiations. — Child

Child’s self assurance score: 7.Zero. The Bengals are come what may by no means out of it so long as they have got Burrow at the box. — Child

Subsequent recreation: at Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Vikings

What to understand: The problems from the preseason — particularly the ones on offense — weren’t an overreaction. Minnesota won some assist from the Bengals, however Sunday used to be hideous offensively. Kirk Cousins appeared uncomfortable, the offensive line made error after error and the Vikings could not identify any semblance of a run recreation with Dalvin Cook dinner. The claims the previous couple of weeks that offensive problems from the preseason would paintings themselves out when the entire starters were given at the box used to be posturing, and Sunday’s loss proved it. — Courtney Cronin

How do they repair the offensive line problems? It is exhausting to get the rest going offensively when the O-line racks up numerous conserving and false-start consequences. The offensive line used to be chargeable for 70 of the staff’s 116 general penalty yards on Sunday, and the inner were given driven round. Cousins does now not glance relaxed or like he is aware of the place his coverage is, and that’s the reason an issue that does not seem to have a very simple repair. — Cronin

Cronin’s self assurance score: Five.Zero. The Vikings have to move at the highway once more subsequent week to play an Arizona staff that beat Tennessee 38-13. Making an allowance for how poorly the offensive line held up in opposition to Cincinnati, it is tricky to fathom how it is going to be any higher in opposition to the Cardinals’ move rush, which featured a five-sack day from Chandler Jones in Week 1. — Cronin

Subsequent recreation: at Cardinals (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell with 104 speeding yards, 1 TD

49ers

What to understand: For 3 quarters, the 49ers presented a reminder of ways dominant they are able to be when wholesome and firing on all cylinders. Additionally they let up overdue and just about coughed up a 28-point lead. The wanted caveat this is that the Lions once more appear to be contenders for the No. 1 general pick out in subsequent 12 months’s draft; if the Niners are going to go back to contender standing, they are able to’t let their foot off the fuel, particularly in opposition to inferior fighters. — Nick Wagoner

How will the 49ers proceed to combine Trey Lance into the offense? Lance threw his first occupation landing move on his moment NFL snap (and primary move try) however best performed sparingly after that, taking a complete of 4 snaps. For the reason that recreation used to be necessarily over at halftime, there used to be no use for trainer Kyle Shanahan to turn an excessive amount of of what he has in thoughts for Lance, however it is transparent he would possibly not be afraid to get the rookie quarterback concerned the place he sees have compatibility. — Wagoner

Wagoner’s self assurance score: 6.Five. It used to be a promising delivery for the 49ers, however accidents to working again Raheem Mostert and cornerback Jason Verrett — and letting off the fuel within the fourth quarter — put a damper on an differently dominant efficiency, which tempers this score rather a bit of. — Wagoner

Subsequent recreation: at Eagles (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Lions

What to understand: A brand new technology in Motown felt like trade as standard to begin the sport, with the Lions trailing by way of a minimum of 21 issues at halftime in their season opener for the 0.33 time for the reason that 1970 merger. Jared Goff become the primary QB now not named Matthew Stafford to begin a season opener for Detroit since Jon Kitna in 2008, however he appeared stiff early on — starting 1-of-Five for 12 yards and an interception on passes with greater than Five air yards down the sector within the first 1/2. The Lions sooner or later warmed up, getting inside one ranking after taking place 38-10 within the 0.33. They refused to surrender. Goff ended with 338 passing yards and 3 touchdowns whilst finishing 38 of 57 makes an attempt in his Detroit debut. — Eric Woodyard

Was once working again Jamaal Williams getting the beginning nod over D’Andre Swift a one-time factor? Or used to be Swift’s groin damage extra critical than it gave the impression and the training body of workers sought after to ease him again onto the sector? To his credit score, Swift did leap proper in on the second one force of the sport with a Four-yard run up the center, then took a brief display screen move up the center for a 43-yard landing within the 0.33. It is nonetheless one thing price noting, in particular when Swift is predicted to be “the man” this season with Williams as his complementary piece. — Woodyard

Woodyard’s self assurance score: Four.Five. Expectancies are low this season for the Lions with such a lot of new faces. This 49ers staff is probably excellent, so it is not the worst factor to lose this opener — particularly after this kind of dramatic end. — Woodyard

Subsequent recreation: at Packers (Monday, Sept. 20, eight:15 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Steelers LB T.J. Watt with two sacks, 5 QB hits, a take on for a loss

Steelers

What to understand: The Steelers’ protection used to be all the time going to be the power, and that used to be particularly glaring because it saved the sport shut within the first 1/2 and spurred the second-half comeback. Of Pittsburgh’s 20 unanswered issues, 17 have been the results of two Expenses turnovers on downs and a blocked punt/go back landing — which used to be put into movement when Cameron Heyward had a third-down sack of Josh Allen one play previous. T.J. Watt, simply off a large payday, had two sacks, and used to be a disruptive power all the way through the afternoon. The Expenses controlled to transform seven of 16 0.33 downs, however they have been Zero-for-2 on fourth downs. The offense has paintings via rising pains early, however the protection confirmed Sunday it is greater than able to buoying all the staff. — Brooke Pryor

What is up with the Steelers’ OL? The Steelers’ offensive line used to be the largest query mark coming into Sunday’s recreation, and it stays the largest one. The road, which integrated two newcomers making their NFL debuts, used to be abysmal — particularly within the first 1/2. The Steelers had speeding yards, and first-round pick out Najee Harris used to be averaging 1.1 yards in step with elevate. Roethlisberger additionally were given sacked two times within the first 1/2. The second one 1/2 used to be higher, and the run recreation picked up at the back of the road with 76 general yards and four.Zero yards in step with elevate. — Pryor

Pryor’s self assurance score: 6.eight. The Steelers outperformed their underdog standing coming into the matchup, and the primary 1/2 confirmed primary deficiencies at the offensive line — however the protection offers the Steelers’ numerous reason why for optimism.

Subsequent recreation: vs. Raiders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Expenses

What to understand: Regardless of a dominating defensive effort within the first two quarters, the Expenses allowed 20 immediately issues to the Steelers popping out of the 1/2 and misplaced a commanding lead. The protection allowed Pittsburgh to place in combination 3 drives of nine-plus performs in the second one 1/2 by myself and did not generate constant force in opposition to a tender offensive line. The Expenses additionally had a punt blocked, which used to be returned for a TD. — Alaina Getzenberg

Can the Expenses’ offense reflect final 12 months’s good fortune? Accuracy downfield proved to be an issue for Josh Allen in his first recreation of 2021, in spite of going through the bottom blitz price of his occupation, in step with ESPN Stats & Data. He finished 30 of 51 passes, a occupation top in move makes an attempt, for 270 yards in opposition to the Steelers and had bother connecting with each Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. The offensive line, one of the vital staff’s greatest questions coming in, additionally struggled with Allen’s restricted motion, which performed a component within the Steelers now not wanting to blitz. The road used to be also referred to as for 6 conserving consequences, 4 of which have been approved, one thing trainer Sean McDermott referred to as, “unacceptable.” Allen stepped forward on his accuracy problems final season, however the talent to construct on final 12 months’s good fortune might be one thing to observe going ahead. — Getzenberg

Getzenberg’s self assurance score: 6.Three. There are transparent problems to be corrected on each side of the ball, and being outscored 23-Three in the second one 1/2 is a telling statistic, however it is not sufficient for primary worry for a staff with this kind of top ceiling. — Getzenberg

Subsequent recreation: at Miami (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Panthers QB Sam Darnold with 279 passing yards, 2 general TDs

Panthers

What to understand: The jury continues to be out on quarterback Sam Darnold. Whilst the 0.33 pick out of the 2018 draft used to be environment friendly in opposition to his former staff in Sunday’s win in opposition to the Jets, it must now not had been that shut. Carolina scored one landing on 4 journeys throughout the New York 10-yard line, proceeding a pink zone factor that plagued it final season. Darnold best proved he can play neatly in opposition to a foul staff. — David Newton

Can the offensive line give protection to Sam Darnold in opposition to a nice protection? This staff that trainer Matt Rhule says stays a piece in growth gave up one sack, however Darnold used to be hit 8 instances. Darnold’s final good fortune relies on how he’s safe in opposition to best defenses such because the New Orleans Saints, who’re bobbing up subsequent. — Newton

Newton’s self assurance score: Five.1. Simply now not sufficient proof that Carolina can beat a better-than-average staff after this appearing in opposition to a staff that has been a crisis the previous few years. — Newton

Subsequent recreation: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Jets

What to understand: Zach Wilson is aware of how you can take a punch. Sadly for the Jets, he took too many. Their ballyhooed rookie quarterback confirmed no surrender in opposition to a continuing move rush, however he additionally made too many rookie errors. Now and then, the sport used to be too rapid for him, however he settled down and displayed one of the skill that made the Jets draft him moment general. It used to be an excellent finding out enjoy. There is not any reason why to be down on Wilson, who will toughen each week. — Wealthy Cimini

Can the Jets give protection to Wilson? Their move coverage used to be brutal in opposition to the Panthers, and now they face the possibility of now not having left take on Mekhi Becton, who suffered a probably critical knee damage. You needed to be expecting some rising pains for the reason that beginning 5 had no recreation reps in combination within the preseason, however this used to be ridiculous — six sacks and 14 pressures. — Cimini

Cimini’s self assurance score: Three.Five. Can not win if you’ll’t ranking, and this offense gave the look of one thing out of the Adam Gase technology for two-plus quarters. — Cimini

Subsequent recreation: vs. Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts with 264 passing yards, Three TDs, 62 speeding yards

Eagles

What to understand: There may be reason why to be thinking about the Eagles and their younger offensive playmakers. Quarterback Jalen Hurts outdueled veteran Matt Ryan in his 5th occupation delivery, going 27-of-35 for 264 yards with 3 touchdowns, and Eagles newcomers DeVonta Smith (six catches, 71 yards) and Kenny Gainwell (43 general yards) every discovered the top zone of their debuts. Upload within the performances of Miles Sanders (113 general yards) and Jalen Reagor (six catches, 49 yards, TD), and that’s the reason loads of manufacturing out of a reasonably green staff. They’re going to glance to stick with it in opposition to a powerful 49ers protection subsequent week. — Tim McManus

How top is that this staff’s ceiling? That more or less convincing highway win gets folks speaking about trainer Nick Sirianni and the Eagles. Expectancies have been low coming into this season, however the Eagles overperformed on each side of the ball Sunday, in particular on protection by way of maintaining Atlanta and its proficient ability gamers out of the top zone. The impending stretch within the Eagles’ agenda will inform the actual story: Their subsequent 5 video games are in opposition to the Niners, Cowboys, Chiefs, Panthers and Buccaneers. — McManus

McManus’ self assurance score: 6.Three. The Eagles inspired in trainer Nick Sirianni’s first recreation on the helm. It’ll take extra proof sooner than believing they are the actual factor, nevertheless it used to be about as nice a delivery as they might have requested for. — McManus

Subsequent recreation: vs. 49ers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Falcons

What to understand: Welp. That loss to the Eagles used to be in reality, in reality unpleasant. The entirety more or less fell aside for Atlanta. The offense fizzled after two sturdy drives to begin the sport. The protection used to be overwhelmed by way of 1000 gashes, zone reads and brief passes it could not protect. And it were given worse from there. This used to be about as unhealthy as it would get in trainer Arthur Smith’s debut. It used to be identified the Falcons had some roster holes and lacked intensity, however for it to be this kind of whole meltdown is regarding. When a staff’s penalty yards (99) approaches both its speeding (124) or passing (136) yardage, you comprehend it has been a in reality unhealthy day. — Michael Rothstein

What is up with the offense? Issues began out sturdy, with Smith bringing some no-huddle with a workforce set in numerous formations. However after that, the whole lot sputtered. The Falcons’ run recreation — which had 86 yards within the first quarter — completed with 124. The passing recreation slightly threw intermediate routes, let by myself deep pictures. Atlanta reached the pink zone two times and settled for box objectives. The offensive line had 3 false begins. The excellent news is that it cannot get any worse. With the exception of Atlanta performs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. — Rothstein

Rothstein’s self assurance score: Four.2. It is early, however there is now not a lot to love in any section from Atlanta after one recreation. — Rothstein

Subsequent recreation: at Buccaneers (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Texans QB Tyrod Taylor with 291 passing yards, 2 TDs

Texans

What to understand: It is very early within the season, however after one week, Houston leads the AFC South. If the department continues to fight, the Texans may just win extra video games than it gave the impression they’d on paper. Closing season, 1/2 of the staff’s wins got here in opposition to the Jaguars. This 12 months, it looks as if there are winnable video games within the AFC South. The actual query: Is successful sufficient that they do not get a best pick out in 2022 in reality a nice factor for the long-term long term of the franchise? — Sarah Barshop

Is that this Texans protection for actual? Houston matched its 2020 general with 3 interceptions on Sunday. Going into the season, it used to be transparent that Houston’s components for good fortune this season used to be a powerful efficiency on protection and particular groups. The staff best allowed 14 issues to Jacksonville, however can Lovie Smith’s protection proceed taking the ball away in opposition to non-rookie opposing quarterbacks? The Texans will in finding out in opposition to the Cleveland BrownsBaker Mayfield in Week 2. — Barshop

Barshop’s self assurance score: Three.Five. Houston appeared nice within the season opener, however Week 2 in opposition to the Browns would be the higher take a look at to peer whether or not the Texans might be higher than anticipated. — Barshop

Subsequent recreation: at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Jaguars

What to understand: The Jaguars appeared ill-prepared in City Meyer’s first recreation as an NFL head trainer, which is inexcusable. Errors occur, however having too many males within the huddle, lining up incorrectly two times (within the first 1/2), and burning two timeouts within the first quarter to steer clear of extend consequences are preventable issues. The ones are the type of issues that unhealthy groups — and the Jaguars had been unhealthy the final 3 seasons — do incessantly. — Mike DiRocco

Must we predict all these struggles out of QB Trevor Lawrence all 12 months? To not the level that we noticed in opposition to the Texans. He will make errors. That is what rookie quarterbacks most often do. Let’s additionally bear in mind his receivers dropped six passes. The sport were given out of hand within the first 1/2, and that pressured the Jaguars to desert the run in the second one 1/2, and that makes issues tougher for any quarterback. Lawrence made some in reality nice throws (the TDs to Chris Manhertz and DJ Chark, as an example) and scanned the sector beautiful neatly, however he additionally used to be astray on a host of others and stared down his receivers from time to time. It used to be a coarse delivery, however Lawrence does not lack self assurance, and this would possibly not shake him. — DiRocco

DiRocco’s self assurance score: 2.Five. The offensive problems have been unhealthy sufficient, however Tyrod Taylor — now not Tom Brady or Russell Wilson or Josh Allen — carved up the Jaguars’ protection. — DiRocco

Subsequent recreation: vs. Broncos (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson with 254 passing yards, Four TDs

Seahawks

What to understand: Up to now, so nice with the Seahawks’ new offense. It began rapid, with Russell Wilson landing passes on 3 of its first 4 possessions. It used to be explosive, with large performs from Tyler Lockett and Chris Carson. It used to be a long way from absolute best, although, stalling out within the 0.33 quarter. On the other hand, nobody may have anticipated perfection out of the gate with a first-time playcaller in Shane Waldron and no snaps for Wilson and many of the starters within the preseason. However the Seahawks will take 28 issues, 4 landing passes and no errors from Wilson any day, particularly in opposition to a nice Indy protection. — Brady Henderson

Are the Seahawks nice sufficient at cornerback? If their move rush has as a lot firepower because it confirmed Sunday, then possibly they’ll be. Drive at the quarterback could make lifestyles more uncomplicated for the blokes at the out of doors. That used to be the case in opposition to Indy with 3 sacks (from Rasheem Inexperienced, Darrell Taylor and Benson Mayowa), 10 QB hits and much more force than the ones numbers would recommend. Tre Plant life and D.J. Reed held up neatly sufficient in opposition to a Colts receiving corps that used to be with out T.Y. Hilton. It is going to be a far harder take a look at subsequent week in opposition to Julio Jones, A.J. Brown and the Titans. — Henderson

Henderson’s self assurance score: eight.7. Wilson has lined up a large number of deficiencies over time, so the Seahawks shouldn’t have to be absolute best round him, particularly if he is taking part in in addition to he did Sunday. — Henderson

Subsequent recreation: vs. Titans (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)


Colts

What to understand: Carson Wentz used to be meant to peer what it is love to have time within the pocket to throw whilst having one of the vital best offensive traces in entrance of him. Wentz as a substitute spent a good portion of the sport getting sacked, hit or scrambling to steer clear of having either one of the ones issues occur as a result of all the offensive line performed poorly. The Colts gave up 3 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. The objective used to be for Wentz to steer clear of being sacked and hit like he did final season (50 sacks) in Philadelphia. Issues don’t seem to be off to a nice delivery. And oh yeah, Aaron Donald, the premier defensive lineman within the NFL, and the Rams are up subsequent for the Colts in Week 2. — Mike Wells

Which Colts protection is the actual one? Will the Colts’ protection be extra of the unit that pressured 4 punts, a turnover and sacked Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson 4 instances on six second-half drives than the crowd that gave up 257 yards and struggled to get off the sector on 0.33 down within the first 1/2? The Colts gave up best 332 yards a recreation final season. Wilson confronted minimum force within the first 1/2 whilst with the ability to pick out aside the protection. It did not assist that the Colts did not have veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes (calf). — Wells

Wells’ self assurance score: Five.eight. Dropping in Week 1 is not the rest new for the Colts as a result of they have got now dropped 8 immediately season openers. However they were not meant to play as unhealthy on each side of the ball in a recreation that wasn’t as shut as the overall ranking. The offensive line must toughen as soon as left take on Eric Fisher (Achilles) returns and the protection can construct off its second-half play. — Wells

Subsequent recreation: vs. Rams (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray with 289 passing yards, Five general TDs

Cardinals

What to understand: The Cardinals’ protection is reliable — as in Tremendous Bowl-good. It used to be anchored by way of pass-rusher Chandler Jones‘ 5 sacks, which tied the franchise document. It confirmed its intensity with newcomer J.J. Watt within the backfield greater than Titans again Derrick Henry on Sunday. Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. confirmed his versatility and made performs from sideline to sideline. The defensive position all however close down Henry. Arizona’s protection confirmed what it is able to in opposition to an offense that made the playoffs final season. — Josh Weinfuss

Who would be the Cardinals’ ultimate offensive weapon after extensive receiver DeAndre Hopkins? It’ll rely at the recreation, however Arizona confirmed Sunday it has offensive intensity. Christian Kirk stuck two touchdowns, A.J. Inexperienced might be an choice in spite of a quiet first delivery and Rondale Moore could also be price keeping track of. Kyler Murray goes to be Kyler Murray and Hopkins is Hopkins. If defenses need to decide to them, Arizona has numerous different choices who can assist them ranking 40 issues a recreation. — Weinfuss

Weinfuss’ self assurance score: nine.Zero. The Cardinals have the roster and firepower to be excellent this season, demonstrated by way of 5 touchdowns from Kyler Murray, two every from DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk and 5 sacks from Chandler Jones. — Weinfuss

Subsequent recreation: vs. Vikings (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)


Titans

What to understand: The gradual delivery by way of the Titans may also be traced to having just one complete week of observe as a unit sooner than the season opener. Tennessee has notoriously gotten off to gradual begins. Sunday used to be no other as they fell at the back of 24-6 within the first 1/2. Every other week of observe in combination must assist. However the Titans could be smart to begin subsequent week’s recreation with pace on offense to create a way of urgency. — Turron Davenport

What is up with working again Derrick Henry? Henry won eight yards speeding within the first 1/2. That marks his lowest general as a starter since 2019, when he picked up Four yards in opposition to the Carolina Panthers. The struggles delivery with the offensive line. Arizona’s defensive position constantly driven the road of scrimmage into the Titans’ backfield. Henry used to be hit at or at the back of the road of scrimmage 8 instances leading to a internet lack of 3 yards over the primary 3 quarters. — Davenport

Davenport’s self assurance score: Four.Five. The Titans’ offensive line used to be ruled by way of Arizona, and questions stay about proper take on along with left take on after a foul efficiency from Taylor Lewan. — Davenport

Subsequent recreation: at Seahawks (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Chargers QB Justin Herbert with 337 passing yards, 1 TD

Chargers

What to understand: The Chargers made one of the goofiest mistakes (fumbling in spite of everything zone deep in Washington territory, which gave Washington a touchback) however controlled to win the sport due to QB Justin Herbert, who threw for 337 yards whilst finishing 31 of 47 passes. Herbert had the top zone fumble and threw a pink zone interception however controlled to preserve his cool, throwing the game-winning landing move to Mike Williams early within the fourth quarter after Kyzir White pressured a fumble deep in Washington territory which Joey Bosa recovered. The Chargers had two pink zone turnovers however have been ready to play keep-away for the final 6:43 out to get the win. — Shelley Smith

How will the staff blank up a few of these mistakes? Receiver Mike Williams stored the sport along with his landing reception, and he and Keenan Allen blended for 17 catches for 182 yards. Along side the 2 pink zone turnovers, a roughing-the-passer penalty on Joey Bosa overdue within the first 1/2 led to a few Washington issues. They’re going to want to minimize down at the errors going ahead. — Smith

Smith’s self assurance score: Five.Four. They received a recreation that final 12 months they’d have misplaced, because the Chargers have been ready to transform a number of 0.33 downs on their ultimate force to forestall the dramatic losses which they have got had the final two seasons. — Smith

Subsequent recreation: vs. Cowboys (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)


Washington

What to understand: Washington had more than one problems, however third-down protection used to be a big one. The move rush didn’t hassle quarterback Justin Herbert just about sufficient as Los Angeles transformed 14 of 18 0.33 downs. Whilst the offense had to do extra, the protection is meant to be the rock. Within the pink zone, Washington’s protection stiffened, however the incapability to get off the sector on 0.33 down used to be a significant issue. Numerous that stemmed from Herbert’s unbelievable passing, however a few of that used to be a couple of line that had to harass him extra. Washington’s line didn’t are living as much as the hype Sunday. — John Keim

What’s the have an effect on if Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to pass over time? Fitz left the sport with a hip damage, leaving the offense to Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke confirmed that he can run this offense neatly and offers a spark. The query with him has all the time been sturdiness and what occurs as groups get extra movie on him. Kyle Allen could be increased to the No. 2 function. They don’t have any other QB at the observe squad. Washington has had too many seasons the place accidents had been a topic at quarterback, so it is a difficult strategy to delivery the season. — Keim

Keim’s self assurance score: Five.Zero. Washington stays a skilled younger staff in some spaces, however now there are questions — once more — at quarterback, and the protection could not bail them out. The important thing to this season might be how the staff progresses in the second one 1/2, and one recreation does now not sidetrack them. However it does display that they’ve questions that also will have to be responded. — Keim

Subsequent recreation: vs. Giants (Thursday, eight:20 p.m. ET)

Standout performer: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott with 403 passing yards, Three TDs

Buccaneers

What to understand: In contrast to Tremendous Bowl LV, through which the Buccaneers’ protection saved the Chiefs out of the top zone, the Bucs’ offense needed to elevate them this time. Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 379 yards, 4 touchdowns and two interceptions, and the protection surrendered 403 passing yards and 3 touchdowns to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Had it now not been for 2 overlooked box objective makes an attempt by way of the Cowboys’ Greg Zuerlein, the Bucs would had been doomed by way of 4 turnovers. Nonetheless, the offense appears extra stepped forward than it did firstly of final season, suggesting that sure, they in reality may also be higher than their title-run season. — Jenna Laine

Did the Cowboys create the template to overcome Tampa Bay? They attacked the Bucs with displays and made their protection step up and take on at the perimeter. This might be particularly problematic if beginning cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (additionally their nickelback) misses any time after dislocating an elbow, and if they remain with out protection Jordan Whitehead. — Laine

Laine’s self assurance score: 7.Zero. Brady delivered some epic throws for the protecting Tremendous Bowl champs, however the protection used to be disappointing in opposition to Dallas. The Bucs will have to proper their mistakes with video games in opposition to the Rams and Patriots proper across the nook. — Laine

Subsequent recreation: vs. Falcons (Sunday, Four:05 p.m. ET)


Cowboys

What to understand: There are causes to be inspired by way of the Cowboys’ Week 1 recreation: Dak Prescott’s 403 yards, Amari Cooper‘s 13 catches for 139 yards and the protection’s 4 takeaways. After which there are causes to be discouraged by way of the loss: Ezekiel Elliott had 33 yards on 11 carries, the Cowboys allowed 4 landing passes, and there have been too many errors on particular groups. “Like trainer stated within the postgame, the one factor we all know after this recreation is that we don’t seem to be going undefeated,” Cooper stated. “It wasn’t all unhealthy. We did some nice issues, too.” — Todd Archer

How a lot fear must there be referring to kicker Greg Zuerlein? He hooked a 31-yard box objective try and used to be off from 60 yards — which is okay — but in addition had an additional level hit the upright. He did not kick a lot over the summer season as a result of again surgical procedure and had one try within the preseason. The Cowboys want to do a more in-depth process offensively within the pink zone, however Zuerlein cannot pass over makeable kicks like this. — Archer

Archer’s self assurance score: 7.Five. The offense did what used to be anticipated. Scoring 29 issues in opposition to Tampa Bay is a superb appearing even though it did not — or could not — run the ball. Dallas shredded the Bucs’ move protection, and Prescott used to be sacked as soon as. And Dallas does not play Tom Brady each week. — Archer

Subsequent recreation: at Chargers (Sunday, Four:25 p.m. ET)

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