The first Sunday of the 2018-19 NFL Season is in the books. We had a good blend of blowouts, upsets, close games and expected brilliance from the games best players. There were thirteen games on tap today so I’ll do my best to cover the important elements in each of these, and give some important stats for each of the games that are on tap today. Keep in mind that this format is a work in progress so any constructive feedback helps to give you guys the best possible recaps and headlines.
Cincinnati Bengals 34 @ Indianapolis Colts 23
One of the higher scoring games of the week with both teams finding pay dirt multiple times. Unfortunately for the Bengals, the big headline for them was no so much the road win against the Colts, but instead was the penalties for illegal hits that the team just didn’t seem to get. Most notably was Bengals safety Shawn Williams being ejected for a hit to the head of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. The games top performers for the Bengals were Andy Dalton going 21/28 for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns, with 1 interception. Running back Joe Mixon lead the way with 17 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. A.J. Green was top receiver with 6 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. For the Colts Andrew Luck went 39/53 for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns, with 1 interception. Jordan Wilkins was Indy’s top rusher with 14 carries and 40 yards. Jay Doyle was top of the receivers with 7 catches for 60 yards.
Buffalo Bills 3 @ Baltimore Ravens 47
Wow our first blowout of the year and boy was it a doozy. There just really didn’t seem like anything was going right for the Bills in this one. From juggling 4 running backs , to a complete quarterback change that did little to nothing, and let’s not forget the over 300 yards given up on defence. In short Baltimore had a field day and there was nothing to stop them on this miserable Buffalo team. Starting with Buffalo, the top quarterback for them was Josh Allen going 6/15 for 74 yards. Running the ball was equally bad with Marcus Murphy listing 6 carries for 31 yards. Zay Jones was the only Bills receiver who caught more than 2 passes today nabbing 3 catches for 26 yards. If you had Joe Flacco on your fantasy team right now you’re probably quite happy now as he went 25/34 for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kenneth Dixon led the ground game with 13 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown. The wealth was spread for the receivers as the top one number wise was Willie Snead catching 4 for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 @ New Orleans Saints 40
From the biggest blowout of the day we go to the highest scoring game of the day. These two division rivals bolstered over 900 yards of offence and almost 90 combined points. Speaking of points this was the worst opening night loss the Saints have had in the Drew Brees era and it was to Tampa’s backup quarterback to boot. In fact after this performance the Bucs fans may not miss starter Jameis Winston too much given he still has 2 games left to serve on his 3 game suspension. I mean look at these numbers for Ryan FitzMagic, 21/28 for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns plus another touchdown on the ground! Peyton Barber had himself a good game on the ground getting 19 carries for 69 yards. Mike Evans lead in receiving yards getting 7 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown, DeSean Jackson deserves a mention as well getting 5 catches for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. New Orleans had some impressive fantasy numbers as well with Drew Brees going 37/45 for 439 yards and three touchdowns. Although Alvin Kamara didn’t get many yards having 8 carries for 28 yards, he did secure 2 touchdowns on the ground. Saints reciever Michael Thomas had himself a game catching 16 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown.
Houston Texans 20 @ New England Patriots 27
Say what you will about the Patriots, but damn does that team know how to win. Now people may say “well the Texans aren’t a great team”, and well that’s mostly true the still have one of the best receivers in the game in DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller is an elite talent on the ground. Which is why it should come as no surprise that this was a close game from the score, to the total yards of offence. It wasn’t the greatest day for Deshaun Watson going 17/34 for 176 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Lamar Miller Got 20 carries and put up an impressive 98 yards on the Patriots defence. To nobodies surprise DeAndre Hopkins lead the team in receiving yards having 8 catches for 78 yards. Now for everyone’s favourite quarterback Tom Brady, and though his completion numbers 26/39, and yards 277 aren’t elite level the 3 touchdowns certainly look much better. Rex Burkhead lead the ground game netting 18 carries for 64 yards. No one should be shocked to see Rob Gronkowski leading the Pats in receiving yards with 7 catches for 123 yards and 1 touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers 16 @ Minnesota Vikings 24
This was a fun double debut for the featured quarterbacks, as both Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins got their first starts as their respective teams new #1. Though many would think Garoppolo would get the upper hand of the two it was actually Cousins who found his rhythm in this match up. Ultimately it was bad turnovers that cost this on for the 49ers. As evident in Jimmy Garoppolo’s stats going 15/33 for 261 yards and a touchdown, but he also chalked up 3 interceptions which ultimately cost the game. Matt Breida did a decent job in the running game getting 11 carries for 46 yards. George Kittle had the most receiving yards for San Fran getting 5 catches for 90 yards. On the Vikings side Kirk cousins has similar numbers going 20/36 and 244 yards, the big difference happens with the 2 touchdown to 0 interception ratio. Latavius Murray was almost dead even with his counterpart on the ground carrying the ball 11 times for 42 yards. Adam Thielen lead all revievers in the game catching 6 passes for 106 yards.
Tennessee Titans 20 @ Miami Dolphins 27
Wow, it almost seemed like we were never going to get a full game in this one as it set a new NFL record for longest game at 7 hours and 8 minutes. When the weather did finally allow for football, the Titans may have wanted to stay in the locker room, and not due to performance either. Both Marcus Mariota and Delaine Walker suffered injuries in the Titans week 1 defeat, both of which would be big losses if it’s long term. Blaine Gabbert played alright after coming in relief for Mariota, he went 11/22 for 117 yards and 1 interception. Dion Lewis had a good game on the ground netting 16 carries for 75 yards and 1 touchdown. Corey Davis had a respectable game on the receiving core catching 6 for 62 yards. Overall this was a hit/miss game for Ryan Tannehill as he went 20/28 for 228 yards and had both 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Frank Gore continued his long career as a great running back managing 9 carries for 61 yards. Kenny Stills had a great game catching only 4 passes but netting 106 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Jacksonville Jaguars 20 @ New York Giants 15
Wow, what happened to the New York Giants? The team just seem to find ways to lose these past couple seasons, and did so again this week against the Jaguars. It certainly doesn’t help when there were only 3 players with any kind of offensive use during the whole game for the Giants, on the plus side however second overall pick Saquon Barkley had a great NFL debut. I still don’t know what to think of Jags quarterback Blake Bortles, he puts up numbers like 18/33 for 176 yards with both 1 touchdown and 1 interception, but he keeps winning as of late. T.J. Yelton did alright in the backfield carrying the ball 14 times for 51 yards. The wealth was spread on the recieving core as Keelan Cole lead in yards posting 3 catches for 54 yards. Now time for Eli Manning who had respectable numbers despite the loss sitting at 23/37 for 224 yards and 1 interception. The a fore mentioned Saquon Barkley had a great game posting 18 carries for 106 yards and 1 touchdown. No surprise to see Odel Beckham Jr. leading the Giants receivers with 11 catches for 111 yards. The rest of the receiving core caught 12 passes for 113 yards by comparison.
Pittsburgh Steelers 21 @ Cleveland Browns 21
Rejoice Cleveland fans for the Browns won’t have a 16 in the loss column this season. Granted they could still go winless but eking out a tie against a division rival can only help bolster confidence. This marks the first week 1 tie since 1976 which is clearly going to show, the Steelers are missing Le’Veon Bell already. At firt glance you’d think Ben Roethlisberger had a pretty solid game going 23/41 for 335 yards and 1 touchdown… Until you also see the 3 interceptions tacked on there. You could say a lot of the same with backup running back James Connor as he put up 135 yards and 2 touchdowns, he did this with a whopping 31 carries which is the most of any back in week 1. JuJu Smith-Schuster lead in yards with 119 on 5 catches which lead the team in yards. Fun fact about Tyrod Taylor, he lead his team in both passing and rushing yards this game. His passing stats were overall not that great going 15/40 for 197 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His ground game on the other hand was very good getting 77 yards and 1 touchdown on just 8 carries. Newcomer Jarvis Landry lead the way for the receivers catching 7 passes for 106 yards.
Kansas City Chiefs 38 @ Los Angeles Chargers 28
This is a prime example of the the NFL foolishly relocating teams to places they clearly don’t belong. Just two years ago Los Angeles had no teams at all and now all of a sudden they have 2, so what’s the point of this little rant? The point is that The Chargers being the home team is not a typo, but if you look at footage from the game you’d swear they were playing In Kansas City. The Chiefs certainly played like they had home field advantage especially rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. At first glance it doesn’t look like anything special going 15/27 for 256 yards… The 4 touchdowns however will make a lot of fantasy gambles joyful. Kareem Hunt had a mediocre game on the ground getting 49 yards on 16 carries. Tyreek Hill on the other hand quickly established himself as the favourite target catching 7 for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. Phillip Rivers also had a great game for the chargers going 34/51 for 424 yards 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Melvin Gordon had a okay game in the backfield carrying the ball 15 times for 64 yards. The Chargers bolstered 2 100+ yard receivers with similar stats. Keenan Allen had 8 catches for 108 yards and 1 touchdown, and Melvin Gordon caught 9 passes for 102 yards.
Dallas Cowboys 8 @ Carolina Panthers 16
Yikes, for 2 teams ranked very high on the NFL’s offences they certainly didn’t look it. This was a battle of defences as both teams went sub 200 yards passing and sub 100 yards rushing in the game. Dak Prescott had a very ordinary game putting up average numbers going 19/29 for 170 yards. The only Cowboys touchdown came from Ezekiel Elliot who carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards and 1 touchdown. Top target for Prescott was Cole Beasley catching 7 for 73 yards. The Panthers also got no touchdowns through the air as Cam Newton went 17/26 for 161 yards. Newton also lead in rushing yards getting 58 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. Running back Christian McCafferey was the leading receiver for the Panthers catching 6 for 45 yards.
Washington Redskins 24 @ Arizona Cardinals 6
Another game with two teams with new quarterbacks. Alex Smith is the new man behind centre for the Redskins, whereas Sam Bradford is the new starter for Arizona. The real star of the show was Adrian Petersen who had a great game, as you’ll see in stats. Smith had a good game against the Cardinals going 21/30 for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. The a fore mentioned Adrian Petersen lead the team in both rushing and receiving yards. His rushing numbers were 26 carries for 96 yards and 1 touchdown. His receiving yards were 2 catches for 70 yards. Sam Bradford on the other end had a mediocre game going 20/34 for 153 yards and 1 interception. David Johnson had an okay game carrying the ball 9 times for 37 yards and a touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald was the top receiver for the Cards with 7 catches for 76 yards.
Seattle Seahawks 24 @ Denver Broncos 27
Well if you enjoy seeing games where there’s a good blend of touchdowns and interceptions then this was the one for you. there was a total of 6 touchdowns (all through the air) and 5 interceptions thrown between the two squads. The first half of the airshow at Mile High was Russel Wilson going 19/33 for 298 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Hawks running back Chris Carson had a good game getting 51 yards on 7 carries. Despite only getting 3 catches in the game, Will Dissly put up 105 yards and 1 touchdown. The other end of the airshow was Case Keenum who went 25/39 for 329 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Phillip Lindsey had a good game for Denver getting 71 yards of 15 carries. Emmanuel Sanders was the favourite target for Keenum catching 10 passes for 135 yards and 1 touchdown.
Chicago Bears 23 @ Green Bay Packers 24
The game may have gone well from a score perspective, but the Packers almost lost so much more. It occurred when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was hurt in a hit to his leg that took him out for what looked like a long term injury. The Packers were reeling without him… And jubilation when he returned. Before we get to the the Green Bay all-star we’ll start with the Bears. Mitch Trubisky who went 23/35 for 171 yards, he also got 1 touchdown on the ground. Speaking of the ground, the leading rusher for the Bears was Jordan Howard who had 15 carries for 82 yards. Top receiver for Chicago was Allen Robinson who had 61 yards on 4 catches. Now the performer of the week has to be Aaron Rodgers who went 20/30 for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns on a badly injured leg. Good thing too as Jamaal Williams was struggling on the ground only putting up 47 yards on 15 carries. Randall Cobb was loving life with Rodgers as he racked up 142 yards and 1 touchdown on 9 catches.
Stay tuned for recaps on the 2 Monday night games on FandomWire.
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