Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 03:22 AM


The new NFL season got off to a roaring start, with a balance of tight tussles and games where points were plentiful. Commentary Box Sports brings a wrap of the action.

Games of the Week

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots

Tight through the first three quarters, the Chiefs blew the defending champions away in the fourth, scoring 21 points to 0 to record an emphatic 42-27 win.

The game was notable for the complete lack of defence in the New England side through the back end of the game, while for KC the standout performances of wideout Tyreek Hill and rookie Kareem Hunt, who set a new debut-game yardage record of 246 yards, were the major positives along with a stellar showing from QB Alex Smith.

An upset result to open the season is always welcomed.

Chicago Bears v Atlanta Falcons

A thriller which came down to the last play, with Atlanta surviving a long Bears drive which finished with them sacking Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon on fourth down, five yards from the end zone.

It was a gritty effort from the Falcons on the road, in their first competitive game since last year’s spectacular collapse in the Super Bowl, with tight end Austin Hooper making a telling impact via two receptions for 128 yards, one of which was the touchdown they ended up winning the game on.

The Bears meanwhile – who come off a 3-13 season and aren’t tipped to do much better this year – can take solace from coming within inches of upsetting the NFC champions to open their campaign.

Had it not been for a sloppy Jordan Howard drop inches out from the end zone in the final 30 seconds of play, the Bears would almost certainly have completed the dramatic comeback.

Arizona Cardinals v Detroit Lions

This year he is the highest paid player in the NFL, and Matthew Stafford showed why in the final quarter against the Cardinals, orchestrating a commanding comeback to earn his side a 35-23 victory at Ford Field.

After Arizona had led a close one through three quarters, the Lions came to life in the one that mattered, scoring 20 points to run out comfortable victors, with Stafford throwing four TDs.

Kenny Golladay recorded two TD receptions and wideout partner Golden Tate clocked 107 yards receiving.

Stafford has a rich history of comebacks in the final quarter, doing so on eight occasions last season.

Standout Stars

Kareem Hunt

It was a horror opening which ended up as a dream NFL debut. After Hunt fumbled on his first-ever touch, much to the dismay of the football world given he recorded only one spill in 782 ouches in his college career, he recovered to register on of the great first-game performances. By the end of the victory against the Patriots he had three touchdowns and had set a new record for first-game yardage, earning 148 on the rush and 98 in catching.

LeSean McCoy

‘Shady’ was on fire in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 21-12 defeat of the New York Jets. The 29-year-old powered for 156 total yards of offense, leading the Bills in both rushing and receptions.

He didn’t have a great deal of help around him this week, but McCoy was a clear standout.

Alex Smith

It’s not every day you outplay Tom Brady. Smith completed 28 of 35 for 368 yards, and had four touchdowns without an intercept in Foxborough, leading his Chiefs to an upset victory over the Pats. Smith’s composure and patience was huge for KC in this one.

It was a bad week for….

Tom Savage

Or should that be Tom Sackage? The Houston Texans’ QB endured an awful first half, headlined by getting put down for sacks no less than six times, in a half where his team failed to score a single point. He turned the ball over twice, one of which was taken to the house by the Jacksonville defence.

Savage was hooked in the third quarter for this year’s 12th overall draft pick Deshaun Watson, who played well when he entered the frame, and Savage’s immediate career prospects look shaky to say the least.

The Cincinnati Bengals offence

The only team held scoreless in the opening week, the Bengals were woeful in a 20-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

QB Andy Dalton served up three picks in the first half alone, and things didn’t get much better to start the second half for Dalton, as he was hit from behind and lost a fumble in the red zone.

Missing open receivers and a lack of all-round production meant it was an unhappy opener for Cincy.

The Packers’ offensive line

OK, they got the victory anyway, beating Seattle 17-9, but Green Bay let their stud QB Aaron Rodgers cop all kinds of punishment along the way.

Rodgers was put down four times, often a helpless figure as the pocket around him collapsed, and he took some serious hits to an already battered lower body.

On the Green Bay priority list every week, a close second to the word ‘winning’ are the ones ‘look after Aaron’ and they need to improve that immediately or face the prospect of spending time without #12 on the field.

Week 1 results so far

Kansas City Chiefs 42, New England Patriots 27
Buffalo Bills 21, New York Jets 12
Atlanta Falcons 23, Chicago Bears 17
Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Cleveland Browns 18
Baltimore Ravens 20, Cincinnati Bengals 0
Oakland Raiders 26, Tennessee Titans 16
Philadelphia Eagles 30, Washington 17
Jacksonville Jaguars 29, Houston Texans 7
Detroit Lions 35, Arizona Cardinals 23
Los Angeles Rams 46, Indianapolis Colts 9
Carolina Panthers 23, San Francisco 49ers 3
Green Bay Packers 17, Seattle Seahawks 9
Dallas Cowboys 19, New York Giants 3

Games to watch for next week

  • Denver Broncos v Dallas Cowboys
  • Atlanta Falcons v Green Bay Packers
  • New York Giants v Detroit Lions

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About the author

Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for NRL.com, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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