5 Things We Learned From NFL Week One

The first week of the NFL has given fans many takeaways. From unexpected injuries to standout performances and blowouts, teams have given us an idea of what to expect from them this season. For some teams, their fans and them know exactly what direction they are headed in. For others, a sense of uncertainty remains about the rest of their season.

Here are five things we learned from the first week of NFL action:

 

1. Aaron Rodgers is Out

After suffering an Achilles tendon tear 75 seconds into his first drive of the NFL season, Aaron Rodgers will miss the remainder of the year for the New York Jets. This leaves them with a couple of options. The main choice is of course to leave 2021 draft pick Zach Wilson in charge, who obtained a passer rating of 81.4 in Monday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

 The Jets ended up defeating the Bills, but mainly due to the defensive efforts of players like free safety Jordan Whitehead with three interceptions, and defensive end Quinton Jefferson with two sacks. Wilson has less than exceeded expectations during his time with the Jets, but has worked under the wing of Aaron Rodgers since his arrival over the summer.

 If the Jets were to sign a new quarterback, they would want someone who is experienced and able to teach Wilson the ropes, so that he may one day be a true starting quarterback. Among those listed as a possible mentor for Wilson include Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and former Super Bowl champion Nick Foles. If they do choose to sign someone, it is likely we will know who in a week’s time from now.

2. New Quarterbacks Make Positive Debut

Aaron Rodgers wasn’t the only quarterback to be traded this summer. Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield, and Derek Carr all found new homes in the form of the Las Vegas Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints. Each quarterback received a win in their first week of action, and earned a passer rating of above 95.

While each of them barely snuffed out a win; the Raiders and Saints each winning by one point and the Buccaneers three, a combination of solid performances has allowed each fanbase to trust its new leading men. Eyes will be on Garoppolo this weekend, as the Raiders play the recently dominant Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, Carr and Mayfield hope to increase confidence amongst their fan bases before facing a true test, as the Saints play the Carolina Panthers and the Buccaneers play the Chicago Bears.

 

3.  The Chiefs Will Bounce Back

It was clear that heading into the first game of the 2023 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs would be without two of its star players. Tight end Travis Kelce missed game one with a hyperextended knee suffered earlier in the week, and defensive tackle Chris Jones was on a holdout due to a failed contract negotiation.

Since that time, Jones has signed a new one-year contract for nearly $5 million officially restoring his tenure with the Chiefs. Kelce on the other hand appears to be getting better and could be back in time for the Chiefs matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday. 

Even if Kelce isn’t back in time for Sunday, he should not miss an extended amount of time, and despite suffering a week one loss, the reigning Super Bowl champs are not going to stand down. With the addition of the strong offensive and defensive forces they lacked in week one, the Chiefs should be back to winning ways in no time.

 

4. The Giants Need a Positive Response

The Giants suffered their eighth biggest loss in the teams nearly hundred year franchise history on Sunday, after losing 40-0 to the Cowboys. The team’s home crowd momentum was diminished almost immediately, after a blocked field goal attempt during the first drive resulted in a Cowboys touchdown. Giants kicker Graham Gano missed two field goal attempts, and Daniel Jones tossed two interceptions, only earning 104 passing yards. 

Luckily for them, they have a chance to redeem themselves against the 0-1 Cardinals this weekend, but if fans see a similar side that faced the Cowboys, they are going to start questioning Daniel Jones’ future for the remainder of the season. The Giants have already put themselves in a must win situation for Sunday’s game.

If they come out with a full head of steam and beat the Cardinals 40-0, then we will all forget about their blunder of a week one performance. However, with another loss, chances are embarrassment, and questions of the team’s abilities will ensue.

 
5. 49ers Make a Statement

Although the Cowboys may have had the most dominant performance of the weekend on paper, if there’s any team who showed they are ready to dominate this season, it’s the 49ers. The team began its NFL season with no questions asked, leading their opponent Pittsburgh Steelers at halftime 199-1 in offensive yards and winning 30-7.

Brock Purdy has yet to lose a regular season game and Christian McCaffrey may be the team’s best signing of the decade so far. Plus, let’s not forget how devastated wide receiver Deebo Samuel was after losing the NFC championship game two years in a row. This team is bold and has multiple members like Samuel and George Kittle who are out for vengeance.

In the past, the 49ers have struggled to find the consistency they were looking for with a combination of winning and losing seasons. This should only feed them all the more motivation to thrive this year. They may have lost the Conference Finals two years in a row, and it may be too early to tell, but the third time might just be the charm for this exciting team.

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