NFL is Back: Decyfr’s Week 1 Roundup

NFL is Back: Decyfr’s Week 1 Roundup

The NFL season returned in style to treat fans to some blockbuster action in Week 1. The 206-day wait for football was well worth it, but which games were the pick of the bunch?

Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs

Final Score: 21 – 20

Reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, kicked the season off against the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football.

The Lions put the first points on the board via an eight-minute, 91-yard drive only for the Chiefs to immediately strike back at the beginning of the second quarter. A 92-yard Chiefs drive in just 90 seconds would put the home side ahead at the half before the Lions scored early in the third, as former Alabama safety Brian Branch intercepted Patrick Mahomes to return it for a 50-yard pick-six. David Montgomery scored the final touchdown of the night as the Lions pulled off a huge upset against the defending champions, showing just how much the absence of Chris Jones and Travis Kelce, as well as Kadarius Toney’s three drops, cost the team.

Player of the Game: Jared Goff, Quarterback, Detroit Lions


Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings

Final score: 20 – 17

After a slow start to the game, Baker Mayfield and the post-Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off an upset against the turnover-prone Minnesota Vikings. Mayfield threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns with 11 yards rushing. Tampa’s defense also showed just how good they still are with undrafted free agent Christian Izien intercepting Kirk Cousins on a pass to KJ Osborn by ripping it out of his hands.

Player of the game: Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers

Final Score: 36 – 34

After a disappointing end to last season, Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins responded by suppressing a late Chargers comeback by throwing for 466 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, finding just under half of those yards in the hands of Tyreek Hill. The former Kansas City Chief caught 11 passes for 215 yards along with two touchdowns, further staking his claim as one of the best receivers in the NFL.

Player of the game: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Miami Dolphins


Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Final Score: 38 – 20

Kicking off the post-Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay, it was 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love who threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns in his first start since November 2021, Love threw for 245 yards with 3 touchdowns. Star running back Aaron Jones had 127 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns showing he can be just as dangerous in the passing attack as he is gaining the hard yards in tandem with AJ Dillon. Green Bay’s defense also proved vital as Quay Walker returned a 37-yard interception to help cement the win for the green and gold.

Player of the Game: Aaron Jones, Running back, Green Bay Packers


Philadelphia Eagles @ New England Patriots

Final Score: 25 – 20

Tom Brady’s return to Gillette Stadium wasn’t the fairytale most Patriots fans had hoped for. After being down 16-0 before the second quarter – following Darius Slay Jr.’s 70-yard pick-six, the Patriots came back to make it 16-14 going into the second half.

However, the comeback was not meant to be as Jalen Hurts, Kenneth Gainwell and DeVonta Smith were able to find another gear to give the reigning NFC champions a 25 – 20 victory. Gainwell played the workhorse with 74 all-purpose yards – carrying the lacklustre offense on his back.

Player of the game: Kenneth Gainwell, Running back, Philadelphia Eagles

(Week 1 standings tweet)


Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

Final Score: 40 – 0

In the first Sunday night football game of the year, Dallas’ explosive secondary put on a defensive masterclass against the misfiring NY Giants, holding them to just 63 passing yards. Super Bowl LIII Champion and former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore got his first interception as a Cowboy, whilst Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland forced turnovers.

Ezekiel Elliott’s successor as RB1 for the Cowboys, Tony Pollard, ran for 70 yards with 14 carries and two touchdowns giving Dallas their biggest blowout in franchise history.

Player of the game: Tony Pollard, Running back, Dallas Cowboys


Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

Final Score: 16 – 22

A Monday Night Football match-up between two of the hottest NFL teams and division rivals was destined to be a blockbuster. Aaron Rodgers’ highly-anticipated Jets debut came on an emotional evening in New York – with the former Green Bay quarterback running out of the tunnel with an American flag, to mark the anniversary of 9/11. However, Rodgers’ first outing as a Jet ended in injury, four plays into the first quarter, with a torn Achilles. He will now be out for the season with Zach Wilson the only other quarterback on the roster.

The 39-year-old’s absence left Wilson at the helm of the Jets’ new-look offense. The Jets’ defense and special teams managed to steer the ship as Jordan Whitehead intercepted Josh Allen three times, and an overtime 65-yard punt return from undrafted rookie, Xavier Gipson sealed the win for the team.

Player of the game: Jordan Whitehead, Safety, New York Jets

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