An NFL season that looked like it may have never happened kicked off this week, and it was as exciting as ever. We saw some late-game drama, two enormous upsets and a reigning MVP stake his claim.
Here’s our recap of the first week of action, and where everyone stands after one week of NFL action.
- The favorites shine
The Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs were far and away the two most popular Super Bowl picks heading into 2020, and both showed exactly why in Week 1. First, the Chiefs offense looked a little more muted than usual, not attacking downfield as much as usual, but they still managed to earn a dominant 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans. Lamar Jackson and his Ravens team absolutely beat down the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, and their 31-6 victory was the most dominant win of the weekend. These teams look like they are in a different league than everyone else at the moment. Expect them to dominate the top of these rankings all season.
In the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans were popular picks themselves, and the met those expectations in Week 1 asw well. Seattle smashed the Atlanta Falcons in their cross-country road trip. While New Orleans set a huge marker in the NFC South by beating a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that will likely compete for a division title with them down the stretch 34-23.
- Early season collapses
You already know what happened to the Detroit Lions, but they were not the only team that fell apart down the stretch in their season opener.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers’ debut with his new team did not go as expected. They were facing off against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that should have given them an easy inter-divisional victory. Instead, the offense stalled out in the second half, and two interceptions by the veteran quarterback damned his team, as they fell 27-20 on the road.
The most embarrassing collapse belonged to the Philadelphia Eagles. Another team heading into Week 1 with an east divisional matchup on their hands against a team that literally does not have a name at the moment. The Eagles quickly went up 17-0 in the first half, then quarterback Carson Wentz forgot how to play, and they allowed the Washington Football Team to steal a 27-17 victory. Special props go to rookie second overall pick Chase Young, as the edge rusher was absolutely dominant coming off of the edge in his NFL debut.
- Don’t write them off just yet
Two players to watch coming into the year were Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton. Both are former MVPs who many believed were done. Newton was cut by the Carolina Panthers this offseason, and he did not land on a roster until the Patriots came calling late in the offseason. The Packers spent their first-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft on quarterback Jordan Love, seemingly sending a message to Rodgers that they thought his days as a top quarterback were finished.
Both quarterbacks silenced their doubters in Week 1.
Rodgers looked like his old MVP self. He looked motivated. He looked angry. He, once again, looked like the greatest quarterback of all time.
The Packers quarterback threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns in a dominant 43-34 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. With the NFC North seemingly wide open this season, the Packers may have made their claim as clear favorites this year.
Newton showed a dimension that the Patriots offense has never seen before. His 75 rushing wards were the most in over 40 years for a New England quarterback—and the most Newton has had in a single game since 2017. He had two touchdowns as well, in a comfortable 21-11 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Here are where the teams stand heading into Week 2:
Week 2 Power Rankings