Joshua Birch reflects on Week 1 of the NFL season, with Josh Allen, Chandler Jones, Aaron Rodgers and more discussed.
There is no denying that Josh Allen looked slightly uncomfortable in the face of constant Pittsburgh pressure.
The Bills’ potential MVP fumbled twice - losing one on a strip-sack by Watt. It was one of many examples of an offense which struggled to create let alone score.
Going one of eight on passes of 20+ yards, Allen just couldn’t find the mark downfield. Interestingly, his last two games with a passer rating of under 80.0 were both against the Steelers - are we at the early stages of that potentially becoming a theme?
There were sky-high expectations coming into the season but it was a slow start for Allen and Buffalo against a tricky Steelers side.
With the well-publicised absence of DeShaun Watson from the Houston line-up, Tyrod Taylor stepped up to take the spotlight - becoming the ideal quarterback to get the Texans through the 2021 season.
At 32 years of age, he isn’t prone to big mistakes and is a leader in a team that has been crying out for one.
All of the above traits were showing in the easy victory this past Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
J.J. Watt marked his arrival in Arizona by recording an early tackle on Derrick Henry - Chandler Jones did the rest with his five sacks.
The Cardinals weren’t just good up front, Isaiah Simmons stopped Henry on the goal line, and defensive backs were flying around all game.
Arizona came out aggressively and received plenty of fuel from its pair of edge rushers. If Arizona play this way week in, week out, opponents will need to worry about more than just Kyler Murray.
Aaron Rodgers was battered and flummoxed by a stellar New Orleans Saints defense.
The reigning MVP had no answers all game before giving way to Jordan Lowe during the fourth quarter as the Packers waved the white flag.
Rodgers completed just 53.6% of 28 attempts for just 133 yards. He also took one sack and two INTs, ending with a 36.8 QB rating.
The Packers didn’t convert a single third down with Rodgers on the field.
Patrick Mahomes is undefeated in the first month of the regular season, making it 11-0 in such games.
He moved the pocket, delivered passes at a variety of arm angles and depths, and made defending the Chiefs a frustrating guessing game against a revamped Browns.
It’s extremely difficult to beat the Chiefs in any month, but especially when it comes to a season opener.