Around the NFL: Week 1 best and worst performances

Adam Schultz Roar Rookie

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    The first week of the NFL is done and dusted, so let’s go through who came out of their first game looking well, and who didn’t.

    Best performance of the week
    There were a few to choose from this week. From Alex Smith lighting up New England for 368 yards and four touchdowns to Jared Goff’s 306 yards and a touchdown as the Rams demolished the Colts.

    There were also the Ravens, who shut out the Bengals behind Joe Flacco’s 121 yards and a good running game with Terrance West and Javorius sharing the workload with 80 and 71 yards respectively, not to mention Andy Dalton’s four interceptions (sorry Bengal fans) as well and my Dallas Cowboys’ dominant performance against division rivals the Giants as they went some way to righting the wrongs of last season.

    The Giants were missing Odell Beckham and it was clearly evident on how much Eli and the offence will rely on him to be healthy this season.

    As much as I would like to sound out my Cowboys for the way they played on Sunday Night, my performance of the week goes to Alex Smith and the Chiefs who played absolutely outstanding football at the home of the Patriots.

    The Chiefs were great through the air and on the ground in an impressive performance while the defence recorded three sacks on Tom Brady and a forced fumble to go along with it. Not many, if any, people expected the Chiefs to come away with the win but they thoroughly deserved it and they will definitely be one of the teams to watch this season.

    Worst performance of the week
    Once again there are a few to choose from. The Giants offence didn’t have Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning and co struggled to produce much all game, one of the main reasons for New York’s defeat to Dallas.

    Andy Dalton’s five turnovers, four of which were interceptions, in the Bengals’ shutout loss to the Ravens deserves a mention, as does the Colts’ capitulation at the hands of the LA Rams.

    For me, the worst performance of the week was the Giants offence on Sunday Night. They showed just how dependent they are on Odell Beckham to make plays and with him off the field, they struggled for much of the game, only compiling 233 yards of total offence for the game. By comparison, the Cowboys had 392 total yards for the match.

    With a complete lack of running game to go with the bad passing attack, the Giants only yielded 35 yards from 12 attempts at an average of 2.9 yards a rush, which simply isn’t good enough. Dallas had 129 yards on 31 attempts, 104 of which were from Ezekiel Elliott.

    The Giants’ third down efficiency also let them down badly, going 4 for 12 for the game compared to Dallas going 8 for 15. New York had difficulty getting first downs as well, only managing 13 for the game while Dallas had 22.

    Time in possession is a stat Dallas normally dominate and this game was no different. The Cowboys held the ball for a total of 34 minutes while the Giants had it for 25 minutes.

    While that doesn’t sound like a big difference, no matter how good your defence is (and the Giants are a really good defensive unit) when you are on the field for as long as they were during this game you are bound to get tired and give up big plays.

    The offensive line was horrible against the Cowboys. Manning was sacked three times by the Dallas defence which, to be honest, leaves a little bit to be desired (or so I thought heading into this game). With no David Irving, who is their best pass rusher, many would have thought the Giants could muster up a little bit more than they actually did, even without Beckham.

    Only time will tell if having Odell missing was one of the big reasons the Giants struggled or if there is a bigger problem on offence. If so, they need to sort it out and quick. After all, it is only one game so let’s not jump to conclusions, but going by their opening day performance, there is definitely work to do for the boys from New York.

    Overall, it was good to finally have football back and to see our fair share of highlights. Here’s to Week 2 bringing more of the same.

    Week 1 results
    -Chiefs def Patriots, 42-27
    -Steelers def Browns, 21-18
    -Lions def Cardinals, 35-23
    -Jaguars def Texans, 29-7
    -Raiders def Titans, 26-16
    -Eagles def Redskins, 30-17
    -Ravens def Bengals 20-0
    -Falcons def Bears 23-17
    -Bills def Jets, 21-12
    -Rams def Colts, 46-9
    -Packers def Seahawks, 17-9
    -Panthers def 49ers, 23-3
    -Cowboys def Giants, 19-3
    -Vikings def Saints, 29-19
    -Broncos def Chargers, 24-21

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