After waiting nearly seven months for the return of the NFL; Football is officially back. However, amid the controversy surrounding the league mismanagement of Colin Kaepernick’s unemployment, as well as Hurricane Irma displacements and evacuations, the kickoff of the 2017 regular season was down 13% from last year, with only 21.8 million fans tuning in.
Thursday night’s season opener was full of surprises after Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the defending Super Bowl champions, the Patriots, 42-27. However, the Patriots’ loss wasn’t the only surprising outcome of week 1. Last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars finished 4th in the AFC South with a record of 3-13. In the team’s season opener against the Houston Texans on Sunday, Blake Bortles pulled out a 29-7 win over JJ Watt’s Texans.
The Buffalo Bills defeated the New York Jets in a 21-12 victory, with LeSean McCoy tallying 110 rushing yards in conjunction with 49 receiving yards on 22 carries and six receptions. The Pittsburgh Steelers barely made it out alive against the Cleveland Browns. Granted, the Cleveland team is 1-18 in openers since returning to the NFL in 1999, the team still managed to put up a fight against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in their 21-18 loss.
In a division match up against the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles came out victorious, 30-17. Marshawn Lynch made his season debut post retiring after the 2015 season. Lynch ran the ball 18 times for 76 yards as the Oakland Raiders beat Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans, 26-16.
Andy Dalton started the season sour with four interceptions and a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, who left the Cincinnati team with a goose egg. On the other hand, Joe Flacco went 9-of-17, dishing off the ball 42 times in his 20-0 win over the Bengals. The Atlanta Falcons kept it close with the Chicago Bears, but came out victorious in a 23-17 win with the help of a 37-yard field goal by Falcons’ kicker, Matt Bryant.
The Detroit Lions beat the Arizona Cardinals 35-23 and the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Indianapolis Colts, without Andrew Luck, 46-9. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers took out Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in a 17-9 victory, and the Carolina Panthers stomped the San Francisco 49ers in a 23-3 victory.
After falling to the New York Giants two times last season, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys pulled out a win over the Odell Beckham Jr-less Giants. Dez Bryant managed to shake off Janoris Jenkins a few times, which was better then last year’s head-to-head with the self-named Jackrabbit. Dez only has four receptions for 61 yards in three games against the New York team since Jenkins has been signed.
On Monday, the New Orleans Saints fell short against the Minnesota Vikings. Adrien Peterson faced-off against his former team, witnessing rookie running back Dalvin Cook break his [Peterson’s] rookie record for most yards in debut. In a close game between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos, Shelby Harris blocked a field-goal attempt, allowing the Broncos to hold on to a 24-21 victory over their AFC West rival.