Started with a bang, Thursday, with Buffalo’s victory over the LA Rams (31-10), the first day of the NFL continued on Sunday, with 14 matches, and already great sensations. Patrick Mahomes, the prodigious quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, did not miss his departure. He completed 30 of his 39 passes for 360 yards and especially five touchdown passes, and his team easily won on the field of the Arizona Cardinals (44-21).
For Joe Burrow, the little prodigy of the NFL, who took Cincinnati to the Super Bowl last season, it was however much more painful. The Bengals QB had a nightmare at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers: seven sacks, four interceptions and a fumble. His first pass was also returned for a touchdown. The offensive line, weak point of the attack last season, still does not know how to protect Burrow.
Still, Cincinnati could have won. Two seconds from the end of the match, Ja’Marr Chase scored the TD for the equalizer (20-20), but the conversion kick was missed. In overtime, the Bengals then missed a field goal, imitated by the Steelers (Chris Boswell’s strike hit a post). But, on another three-point attempt, Pittsburgh finally snatched the decision (23-20).
Prescott (Dallas) injured in a thumb and long absent
The match was not without breakage. Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins suffered a concussion in the first period. On the Steelers side, linebacker TJ Watt and runner Najee Harris suffered chest and foot injuries respectively during the last quarter.
The Dallas Cowboys were also affected. In front of their audience, they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19-3), but, above all, they lost, for apparently six to eight weeks, Dak Prescott, their quarterback, injured in a thumb and who will have to be done operate. Tom Brady, the legend of the NFL, made a sober copy for the ”Buccs”: 212 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked twice by Cowboys star defenseman Micah Parsons.
The Green Bay Packers missed their debut, losing to the Minnesota Vikings (23-7). Aaron Rodgers disappointed (195 yards, one interception, one fumble). Justin Jefferson, the receiver of the Vikings, he hovered (184 yards, two TD’s). The Los Angeles Chargers beat the Las Vegas Raiders (24-19), with a very good Justin Herbert passing. In the first period, he had completed 17 of his first 20 passes.
Mack (Chargers) and Barkley (Giants) shine
Derek Carr, the QB of the Raiders, has suffered (three interceptions, two fumbles). Both teams’ star rookies performed well. Khalil Mack, the new Chargers linebacker, split three sacks. Star receiver Davante Adams, spent this summer from Green Bay to Las Vegas, gained 141 yards. Led 10-26 in the last quarter, New Orleans managed to win in Atlanta (27-26).
The New York Giants surprised Tennessee at home (21-20). Returning to 19-20 in the score, one minute from the end, they took the lead, thanks to a two-point TD conversion. The Titans then missed a field goal. Saquon Barkley, the runner for the Giants, whose last seasons have been marred by injuries, galloped 164 yards. He had not been at such a party since December 2019.
Houston and Indianapolis left in a draw (20-20), having been unable to decide in overtime. The Colts missed a three-point kick. The first day of the NFL will end on Monday, with the Denver Broncos moving to the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson, Denver’s new QB, will return to the team he played with for 10 years (and won a Super Bowl in 2014).