NFL Week 1 Recap


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Connor Easterday

The NFL is back and the first week of the season is in the books. No preseason, no fans, no problem. Now that we can look back at Sunday’s games, it’s clear that football has not skipped a beat since we last left off in February. Let’s take a look at some of the premier games we all watched from Thursday to Monday, and dig a little deeper into the good, the bad, and the ugly of week one.



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New Orleans Saints defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-23

In a season rife with anticipation, the vigor fans had to see Tom Brady sport a helmet absent of the red, navy blue, and nautical silver transcended all other reasons to be watching the NFL on game day. Tom Brady is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It remains a euphoric and surreal sentence to type. Along with the additions of Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, and others, Bruce Arians’ new look Bucs are precisely that…looking new. And going head first into Sean Payton’s perennial New Orleans Saints team was a tough task week one. As Tampa Bay fell behind by 17 points early on, things never truly picked up. Brady threw a pair of interceptions, the run game was nonexistent, and Todd Bowles’ defense suffered at the will of Sean Payton. However, let’s not beat up on the Buccaneers too hard here. It is a new team, there are a lot of new moving parts, the best player on their offense, Mike Evans, was hurt. The New Orleans Saints defense is the real deal, especially up front. So, without much of a running game, you can only expect so much out of Tom Brady. However, at the end of the day, New Orleans is 1-0 and Tampa Bay is 0-1. We should all be excited to see how the rest of the season shakes out for these division rivals.



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Arizona Cardinals defeat San Francisco 49ers 24-20

There aren’t many teams feeling better than the Arizona Cardinals right now. A huge, statement victory over your division rivals who had just been to the Super Bowl in the previous season. It was amazing to watch a team absolutely ravage what we have been used to calling an impenetrable defense. Kyler Murray truly is their kryptonite. In fact, the way that the Cardinals play in general really causes problems for the 49ers. What’s the greatness for that defense? The pass rush! Well, it doesn’t really matter when you’re playing Kyler Murray, who has both the legs and quick pitch arm talent to avoid sacks. And when San Francisco does fly up field and get into the face of Murray, it leaves open wide running lanes for him to take off and run up the middle. If the 49ers don’t figure out a way to out-scheme and out-coach the Cardinals the next time around, their title as division champs could be in jeopardy.



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Washington Football Team defeat Philadelphia Eagles 27-17

The Washington Football Team deserves all the credit in the world for their monstrous win over the Eagles. Coming back from being down 17-0 is not an easy feat. Ryan Kerrigan, breaking the franchise sack record, the entire defense totaling eight sacks, which is the most since 2014, Chase Young recording a game-securing fumble in his rookie debut. Things couldn’t have gone better for Washington. Meanwhile, I’ve never seen a team stumble over themselves more than Philadelphia in this one. Up 17-to-nothing, the Eagles had it in the bag. All they needed to do was run the ball out, chew clock, and play conservative football. Instead, they air it out, rely on Carson Wentz to get them out of 3rd-and-long situations, and go for it on fourth down multiple times. With all due respect to Washington, who performed incredibly, this game should have a different result. If it weren’t for Doug Pederson’s erratic and compulsion to be ultra-aggressive, despite holding a massive lead, they would’ve won the game. However, Washington took advantage, pounced on the opportunity, and brought home a victory.


Ultimately, week one had its ups and downs. Some teams flourished despite all the changes that have been named in the wake of COVID-19, and some teams clearly suffered. Either way, it seems everybody’s glad to have football back.