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NFL

NFL Update Week 1: Jackson Dominates, Chiefs Set the Standard

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Written by Eunice Visagie with the help of Corne Uys – former pro rugby player and now finding his way to NFL analyst while coaching rugby.

Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson Credit: @Ravens

For Corné, the most obvious factor in performances was, with no pre-season camps and matches because of the pandemic, clearly teams with the least personal changes and distractions have an advantage at this stage as they just picked up where they left off last season.

The Ravens picked the Cleveland Browns to pieces in the 38-6 victory in the opening week of the new season. Quarterback, Jackson – last season’s MVP – dominated and showed that he is not just as good as last season, he is even better! He will once again do his part in giving his all for the Ravens to go get to the play-offs.

The Browns were the worst in Week 1. Baker Mayfield struggled and Odell Beckham Jnr was nowhere in the match.

Chiefs started their campaign with a 34-20 victory over the highly regarded Houston Texans. Of the highly anticipated showdown between quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, not much came. Chiefs did what they had to do and that was it.

The New England Patriots showed that they are more than able to cope without the GOAT Tom Brady with Cameron Newton stepping up big time and scoring two touchdowns in the victory over the Miami Dolphins. Corné adds that Bill Belichick and especially Josh McDaniels (Offensive Coach) seems to be relishing the fact that they now have a quarterback which is a real running threat as well.

You could see in their play design that they used the play-action to great effect. It wasn’t a flawless, convincing performance from the Patriots, but the Patriots smiled after their first game while Tom Brady frowned a lot after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut.

Brady had a few interceptions and his coach blamed him for each of them. The Buccaneers lost to the New Orleans Saints. It was probably the hardest fixture on the Bucs’ schedule for the whole year and it was especially tough first-up with no preseason matches. The Saints did a fantastic job in taking away Brady’s biggest weapon in No.13 Mike Evans, who was held to only one reception the whole evening after being selected to the Pro Bowl last year, adds Corné. It was a more than solid performance from the Saints and they will be confident going into Week 2.

The Washington Football Team – previously known as the Washington Redskins – showed that you don’t need a name to win. Washington fought back to surprise friend and foe with a 27-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles after trailing 7-17 at halftime.

Washington Credit: @WashingtonNFL

Corné will also keep on following the interesting situation with the ‘America’s Team’ Dallas Cowboys. How they respond after their 17-20 defeat to the Rams with contract negotiations dragging on for as long as it did between owner and quarterback. How will that affect Dak Prescott?

Some other notes from the opening week include quarterback Joe Burrow scoring his first touchdown on debut for the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a disappointing end for Burrow when the kicker missed a goal-kick to force extra time and the Bengals lost 13-16 to the Los Angeles Chargers. Last season’s Super Bowl finalist the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Arizona Cardinals. Are they still recovering from the “Super Bowl Hangover”?

Joe Burrow Touchdown
Joe Burrow Touchdown! Credit: @Bengals

Week 2 starts with the Cleveland hosting the Bengals (SA time Friday morning at 02:20) and that means a meeting of the Heisman winning quarterbacks Mayfield and Burrow. Who will have the bragging rights when the times up in this one? My money is on Burrow. The Browns looked dismal and yes that was against the Ravens, but still. While the Bengals will have some confidence, it’s the Browns who were at the end of all meme jokes this past week.

The biggest match ups on Sunday night will be the Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks and Ravens taking on the Texans.

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