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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Tua is back, rough week for other young QB’s: NFL Week 1 Review

As the NFL returned, the first weekend of games revealed that some things may be changing around the league.
Image via Sports Illustrated
Image via Sports Illustrated

The greatest weekend of the year has officially passed, and whether your team won or lost, we can all appreciate that the Chiefs lost and NFL football will be on every week for the next five months. As usual, the Ravens were still made of glass, rookie quarterbacks continued their week one woes and the Jets will never escape misery.

The season kicked off when the Chiefs faced the Lions on Thursday Night Football, with Patrick Mahomes already facing adversity, missing key receiver Travis Kelce. His presence was missed, as Mahomes was forced to throw to guys like Kadarious Toney. Toney had three crucial drops that would end up being the difference in the 21-20 loss for the Chiefs. On the other side, Lions quarterback Jared Goff continued to demonstrate his elite connection with second-year stud wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown ended his night with a touchdown and the most targets on the team, contributing highly to their upset victory at the ruthless Arrowhead Stadium.

Image via NBC
This pass resulted in a Lions touchdown.

There were multiple lackluster quarterback performances for the main slate of games on Sunday, and surprisingly they all came from “veteran” quarterbacks. Big names such as Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts had mediocre games at best. All three of them received the largest contract in NFL history back-to-back-to-back, so it’s not a great look for the future QB market. Even the rookie quarterbacks such as Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson played better in their openers, and all three of them lost.

Image via Sue Ogrocki/ Associated Press

With the big names playing at their lowest, it opened a bit of spotlight for some guys who haven’t seen it in a while. After bouncing around at the Panthers and Rams last season, former first-overall pick Baker Mayfield seems to have found a new home in Tampa Bay, succeeding Tom Brady. It wasn’t a tremendous performance, but it was enough to upset the Vikings on the road in his first game as a Buc. Staying in the North, we saw some new faces in the Windy City as the Bears opened at home versus the Packers. With Justin Fields rising as the franchise quarterback for the Bears and Jordan Love finally getting a shot in Rodgers’ departure, it turns over a new chapter to this classic rivalry. Despite Fields’ having time last season as a starter, he played considerably worse than Love, who looked calm and comfortable in only his second NFL start. Green Bay would breeze past Chicago while maintaining its reputation as the superior team.

Around the same time, we moved out West to watch Tua Tagovailoa play football for the first time since his third concussion of the former season. Despite his permanent head trauma from last year, he managed to outperform Justin Herbert in a high-scoring 36-34 win at SoFi Stadium. Even with his high-flying stats, the offense ran through Tyreek Hill, and Hill ended his day with an incredible 11 receptions for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Did anyone else watch Sunday Night Football? Because it didn’t seem like it after the first quarter. The Giants were simply dominated 40-0 by a strong Dallas defense, a defense that displayed an incredible stat line of seven sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a blocked field goal also returned for a touchdown. Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott only throwing 13 completions for 143 yards and no touchdowns is all the proof needed that this was a defensively won game.

As we ended our first week on Monday night, we were hopeful to see an intense divisional rivalry between the Jets and Bills, with the Jets rallying behind a new face, Aaron Rodgers. We saw the intense rivalry part, but Rodgers would be absent after tearing his achilles after four plays on the first drive. He’s out for the season, and now the Jets resort back to Zach Wilson. For everyone thinking Wilson would throw away the game immediately, you might’ve been wrong, but look no further than Josh Allen for that responsibility. Allen threw three interceptions alone to Jets safety Jordan Whitehead and honored former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez late in the game by fumbling after running into his own player. Undeniably, Allen solely lost the game for the Bills. With these results, the AFC East is essentially the Dolphins to lose, assuming Tua doesn’t get another concussion.

Image via AP Photo/Adam Hunger
“Butt Fumble: 7 years later”

We waited a long seven months for opening weekend, and it passed quickly, but the NFL is already looking like a better league than last year. All your favorite players may have had their worst performance in years over the weekend while throwing your fantasy matchups, but most of the games were still thrillers unless you’re a Giants fan. We open our arms to a new season, and we pray that the quality of games doesn’t deteriorate as it did last year.


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About the Contributors
Ryan Brown, Sports Writer
Jackson Palich, Sports Editor