The season opening games of the NFL were somewhat surprising and also extremely entertaining. Teams whom we expected to do well were quite disappointing while some were just as dominant as ever.
The opening weekend was also highlighted by officiating errors that proved costly for some teams.
Patriots vs Steelers
The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers met this opening weekend in what was supposed to be a blockbuster and closely fought game. Indeed it was a blockbuster but it was far from close with the Patriots being nearly impossible to defend. That’s not to shy away from the fact that their offence was just as deadly as they embarrassed the Steelers 33-3.
The most surprising player on the night was Phillip Dorsett caught two scoring catches on the night when he had only caught three in his previous two seasons. Pittsburgh struggles offensively and many believe that it’s because they failed to replace Antonio Brown. This has resulted in Steelers suffering their biggest defeat since week 3 of the 2016 season against the Eagles.
Detroit Lions vs Arizona Cardinals
The Lions versus Cardinals started off boring, to say the least, but it quickly hotted up. It was an instant NFL opening weekend classic with an amazing comeback by the Cardinals. They were inspired by their rookie Kyler Murray. The no.1 pick inspired his team back from 17-0 down to come back and draw the game 27-27. Murray was 23-38 for 289 yards and scored two touchdowns which were the first of his career.
Although not all the Cardinals brilliance can be said to be due to the rookie, the veteran Larry Fitzgerald was calling the shots and looked back to his very best. It was his last grasp touchdown that took the game into overtime and ultimately saved the Cardinals from defeat.
Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins were absolutely thrashed by the Ravens. The Dolphins appear to be in worse shape than they thought, they struggled in every department possible. Their passing wasn’t efficient, they never bothered to run the ball and by just the end of the first half, their defence had conceded a shocking 390 yards and 643 in total. They were defeated embarrassingly 59-10.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson could do no wrong, he threw 10 successful passes which consisted four scores. On the end of these successful passes was the rookie Marquise Brown. He proved why they call him ‘Hollywood’, he had a near-flawless debut which included a long touch down from his first two receptions. For the Dolphins sake, they need to improve drastically and do a lot better come week two or else it’s going to be a long season.
It might be a new season but it was still another howler by the NFL officials. Fortunately for the New Orlean Pelicans, they came out on the right side of it this time around. New Orleans suffered a 15 second accounting error at the end of the first half during their clash with Houston Texans. During the Saints clash, there were more controversial decisions which nearly cost them. Michael Thomas was on the wrong side of a call when he was deemed a half yard short of a first down. Thomas was assumed to be in bounds which led to the Saints rushing for a quick fourth down. After the decision was reviewed it was clear that he did gain enough yards.