NFL week one: Upsets from north and south shake up the league

With the start of the longest season in the history of the NFL came the most upsets ever in a single week of football. According to the NFL power rankings and official point spreads, a total of nine upsets spanned across the league, eight being on Sept. 12, and the ninth taking place on Sept. 13.

The first upset came when Cardinals’ third year quarterback Kyler Murry put on a show against the Titans by scoring five total touchdowns, four passing and one rushing. The Cardinals’ defense put on a clinic as well, with defensive-end Chandler Jones racking up five sacks while new signing defensive-end J.J. Watt put pressure on the Titan’s offensive line throughout the entirety of the game. Jones and the Cardinals’ held running-back Derrick Henry to only 58 yards on 17 attempts, who by himself rushed for over 2,000 yards last season. The final score of the game read Cardinals 38-

13.Next up, the Chargers traveled from the west coast all the way to Washington D.C. to play the Washington Football Team. The Chargers’ second-year quarterback Justin Herbert put together an unheard of performance by converting 14 of 19 third-downs and passing for 337 yards and one touchdown, but he did have two turnovers in the red zone. Washington had quarterback problems of their own. Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick got injured early in the game. This led to playoff sensation quarterback Taylor Heinicke to step in. Heinicke went on to throw for 122 yards and one touchdown. Even with his heroics, Heinicke came up just short of a win allowing the Chargers to take the game, 20-16.

The city of Jacksonville was excited to finally see a quarterback that could lead them to the playoffs. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence was deemed the most pro-ready coming into the draft, having never lost a regular season game in his entire career. The Texans, on the other hand, were prepared for a disappointing season as their star quarterback DeShaun Watson was unable to play due to legal issues. Filling in for Watson, veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor put on a performance with shades of his younger years in Buffalo, throwing for 291 yards and two touchdowns to zero turnovers. Taylor put the Texans ahead early. The Jaguars slowly put themselves on the board as Lawrence threw three touchdowns

and three interceptions. The Texans handed Lawrence his first regular season loss ever with a score of 37-21.

Neither the Atlanta Falcons or the Philadelphia Eagles are expected to be ranked high this season. The Falcons lost an integral part of their offense in wide-receiver Julio Jones and the Eagles have a very young team. The Eagles dominated the Falcons on both sides of the ball. Second year quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns– one being caught by 2021 first round pick wide-receiver DeVonta Smith, and another by wide receiver Jalen Reagor. The Eagles defense held the Falcons offense off the entire game, as their only points coming from their special teams leaving the final score 32-6.

Right behind the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills came into the season as favorites to win the AFC, while the Pittsburgh Steelers were still a mystery. With quarterback Ben Roethlisburger, the Steelers could rise to the top of a competitive AFC North or sink to the bottom. The Steelers rose to the top, with Roethlisburger being the perfect game manager, throwing for 188 yards and one touchdown, while keeping his turnovers to a minimum and letting his stellar defense handle the rest. The Stelelers defense held the gunslinger quarterback Josh Allen to 270 yards and one touchdown. The Steelers special teams also had an impressive showing by blocking a punt and taking it back for a score. The final score read 23-16.

Second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailola for the Miami Dolphins and Rookie quarterback Mac Jones for the New England Patriots looked to put themselves at the top of their division. Both quarterbacks had a similar stat line, throwing for over 200 yards and one touchdown. Patriots running-back Damien Harris had himself an impressive showing as well, rushing for 100 yards on 23 attempts. Even with the Patriots having a more impressive stat line, they could not hold off the Dolphins and fell 17-16.

The storyline coming into the Cincinnati Bengals vs the Minnesota Vikings was: after coming back from injury, can second-year quarterback Joe Burrow still lead the Bengals offense, or can quarterback Kirk Cousins finally lead the Vikings to a playoff record? With such high stakes, it was natural that the game would go into overtime and end with a controversial call. Cousins threw for 351 yards and two touchdowns, while running-

back Dalvin Cook rushed for one on the ground. Burrow had a similar performance, throwing for two touchdowns, but only 261 yards. Bengals running-back Joe Mixon had a prime-Derrick Henry like day, rushing for 129 yards and a score. The special teams on both sides played an integral role too, with a last second fumble by the Vikings leading to a time-expiring kick by the Bengals to win the game 27-24.

The Green Bay Packers had a troubling offseason, nearly losing their long-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. They found a way to bring him back and looked to go beyond the NFC Championship this year. The New Orleans Saints, did lose their star quarterback Drew Brees in retirement, and is left in the hands of the gunslinger quarterback Jameis Winston– who has thrown for 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a single season. The way the two quarterbacks played looked like they switched roles, as Rodgers did not throw a single touchdown, but threw two interceptions and was benched for quarterback Jordan Love, who had never played an NFL snap prior. Winston put on a clinic, throwing for five touchdowns to zero interceptions. Winston played the game manager role perfectly, letting the run-game dwindle the clock while the defense did their job. The Saints dominated the Packers in every aspect of the game, 38-3

Monday night football starred the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders. The Ravens and senior quarterback Lamar Jackson were expected to extend their week one winning streak. While the Raiders and veteran quarterback Derek Carr were expected to fall short, just like they have been for the past few years. Jackson threw for 235 yards and one touchdown, while also racking up nearly 100 yards on the ground. The Ravens run-game was decent as well, a surprise to most as their top three running backs on the depth chart were injured, they managed to score two touchdowns. This held off the Raiders for the first half, before Carr threw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns to bring the game within reach, and allowed the special teams to send the game to overtime. In OT, Carr led his offense down the field, but threw a costly interception on a pass that bounced off the hands of wide receiver Willie Snead. Jackson made a costly mistake of his own however, fumbling the ball and giving the Raiders possession, which allowed Carr to toss one up to Zay Jones to call the game, 33-27.