The NFL season is underway after a fun Week 1 as we got our first real taste of football since February. There are a lot of fun games to highlight as we talk about the Game of the Week, some highlighted performances, and bad beats. Let’s go around the league to see some of the best games around the NFL.
Game of the Week – Baltimore Ravens vs Las Vegas Raiders
The Baltimore Ravens traveled to Las Vegas Raiders for Monday Night Football and it was a fun game. Baltimore is trying to figure out how their rushing attack as they are without J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards for the season and also lost cornerback Marcus Peters on the defensive side for the year. Both Lamar Jackson and Derek Carr had decent games but tight end Darren Waller stole the show with 19 targets (10 catches) for 105 yards and a touchdown. This game went to overtime after Daniel Carson hit a 55-yard field goal with two seconds left.
Derek Carr moved the ball down the field in overtime but threw an interception in the endzone to turn the ball over. Baltimore was getting close to field goal range to win but Lamar Jackson was sacked causing a fumble, and defensive end Carl Nassib recovered the ball to get new life. Wide receiver Zay Jones caught a 31-yard pass from Carr to win their first home game in Las Vegas with fans.
Bad Beats – Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans
It seems like the Houston Texans did not get the memo that they are supposed to be bad this season as they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-21. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence did his best impression of the Jaguars offense before being drafted as he finished 28-of-51 for 332 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. The transition to the NFL is going to be a completely different game as he only had five total interceptions at Clemson last season. Tyrod Taylor had himself a day as the Texans starting quarterback as he went 21-of-33 for 291 yards with a pair of touchdowns. The Texans scored early and often as they were winning 27-7 at halftime. This isn’t college anymore and I think the betting world has realized it.
Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
This game already had something off about it when the Saints called TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida home after Hurricane Ida. They had a change at quarterback with Drew Brees retiring and opening up against the reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers but it seemed to be easier than expected. Jameis Winston had a heck of a performance as he went 14-of-20 for 148 yards and five touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers had arguably his worst game in the NFL as he went 15-of-28 for 133 yards and a pair of interceptions. Seems like the fighting between Rodgers and upper management may have taken a toll as the Packers were 3.5-point favorites and got demolished 38-3 in the opener.
Surprise Performances – Detroit Lions Cover the Spread
The Detroit Lions are not expected to be a good football team this season and went against the San Francisco 49ers. The Lions were a 9.5-point underdog in this game right before the game started, which ended up being the largest line on Sunday. The 49ers were up huge at one point as they were leading 41-17 but the Lions came back and scored touchdowns in back-to-back drives as they were aided with an onside kick. They had a chance to even tie up the game, but they turned the ball over on downs and lost 41-33. However, the back-door cover really allowed the sportsbooks to clean up as it felt like a definite cover for the 49ers.
We were unsure of what exactly to expect out of the Philadelphia Eagles this season as quarterback Jalen Hurts failed to impress and they have Gardner Minshew III and Joe Flacco on the bench as veteran options if Hurts falls on his face. However, he had a huge game to open the year against the Atlanta Falcons. He finished going 27-of-35 for 264 yards with three touchdowns in the air (only sacked once all day) while also running the ball seven times for 62 yards.
DeVonta Smith led the Eagles receiving core with six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown but Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert also caught a touchdown. It will definitely be something to track if this is how the Eagles offense will be or if this is a sign of the putrid Atlanta Falcons defense. Either way, Jalen Hurts silenced a lot of haters for the week as he looks to host the San Francisco 49ers next week.
Who were your biggest performers during Week 1 of the NFL season? Make sure to sound off down below and if you are a resident of Tennessee, place your wagers on the Action247 sportsbook.