It was an interesting start to the league’s 102nd season as more than one reigning division champion took it on the chin in Week 1.
There were some promising performances by some rookie quarterbacks. There were also some surprises around the league as more than a handful of road teams came up with victories. And a franchise that was rumored to be in disarray was the only club in its division to come up with a victory on Sunday.
Arthur Smith made his NFL head-coaching debut when the Falcons took on the visiting Philadelphia Eagles in a battle of two teams that finished last in their divisions a year ago. Atlanta’s offense managed a mere 260 total yards and never found the end zone.
Dean Pees’ defensive unit was overwhelmed by the Eagles’ offensive line. The visitors rolled up 434 total yards, including 173 on the ground. And the Falcons sacked Jalen Hurst just once.
Urban Meyer made his debut as an NFL head coach at Houston. The Jaguars took a 15-game losing streak into this AFC South rivalry and found themselves down by 20 points at intermission.
The first overall pick in April’s draft wound up throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns, hitting on 28-of-51 of his passes. But the rookie signal-caller also served up three interceptions. Jacksonville’s running game managed only 76 yards on 16 attempts.
Zach Wilson was the second overall pick in April’s draft. And the former BYU product suffered through a rough debut in Robert Saleh’s debut as the Jets’ head coach.
While the final score indicated a five-point loss, the New York defense has few answers for former quarterback Sam Darnold as well as Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey. Wilson threw for 258 yards and two scores but was sacked six times and served up an interception.
The Giants have had four consecutive losing seasons dating back to 2017. They hoped to get off to a good start against the visiting Denver Broncos. But a New York defense that started to come into its own a year ago allowed their guests to amass 420 yards in total offense.
Vic Fangio’s team wound up rushing for 165 yards and Teddy Bridgewater threw for 264 yards and a pair of scores. And the Giants managed a disappointing 60 yards rushing.