NFL Scores Week 1: Most Shocking Results from Early Action
With the conclusion of Sunday's early-afternoon games, Week 1 of the NFL season has already turned out some shocking results.
Then again, the results of many of the games were to be expected. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Carolina Panthers, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A few toss-up games ended in not-too-shocking fashion as well. The New York Jets pulled out a last-second win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Chicago Bears were able to outlast the Cincinnati Bengals in a game decided by three points.
Fans waited 30 long weeks from the end of the Super Bowl to opening kickoff this weekend, and those seeking upset and action certainly weren't disappointed. The excitement is back, and now the teams involved in shockers will look to build off their early success and keep steady throughout the remainder of the season.
Tennessee Titans Defeat Pittsburgh Steelers, 16-9
That the Tennessee Titans were able to hold the Pittsburgh Steelers to just one touchdown is shocking in itself. While the Steelers are not an offensive juggernaut, Ben Roethlisberger does have weapons at his disposal to put some points on the board.
In fact, the Titans were up 16-2 until a four-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Jerricho Cotchery in the fourth quarter. The Steelers' inability to put points on the board can largely be attributed to their inability to consistently run the ball.
LaRod Stephens-Howling was the leading rusher with just 19 yards on six attempts, and Pittsburgh totaled a mere 32 rushing yards as a team. That's not the way to win football games.
Isaac Redman was disappointing, fumbling twice, losing one, and totaling nine yards on eight attempts. Wide receiver Antonio Brown also ran for four yards.
This is especially shocking considering Tennessee's 24th-ranked rushing defense in 2012. They allowed 127.2 rushing yards per game in 2012, though allowed nearly 100 yards less against the Steelers. The Titans' defensive line could prove to be stout and difficult to run through if they put together a repeat performance in Week 2 against the Houston Texans.
Pittsburgh has several running backs that could see playing time in 2013, as Le'Veon Bell will also receive carries when he returns to action. Their uncertainty in the backfield could have contributed to their poor showing to open the season, but it's hard to think that they'll rush this poorly against below-average rushing defenses all season.
People often say that the biggest improvement for teams comes between Week 1 and Week 2, so expect the Steelers to come out firing on all cylinders in their next game against the Bengals. Head coach Mike Tomlin will be sure they use this disappointing loss as motivation.
New Orleans Saints Defeat Atlanta Falcons, 23-17
The Atlanta Falcons finished 13-3 last season, a record worthy of the top seed in the NFC. On the other hand, the New Orleans Saints finished 7-9 and were a major disappointment. Sean Payton's return to New Orleans gave them new hope for the 2013 season, though Atlanta was still the popular choice in their Week 1 matchup.
Drew Brees and Co. wanted to be sure their presence in the NFC was made clear in this one, as they started off the season with the upset win against Atlanta. Seven different receivers caught at least two passes from Brees, and two receivers, Darren Sproles and Kenny Stills, topped the 80-yard mark. The two touchdown passes he threw were brought in by Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham.
His ability to spread the ball around clearly influenced the play of the Atlanta secondary, as double-teaming guys like Colston and Graham opened up more holes in the defense for the team's other receivers. Sproles used his elusiveness out of the backfield to rack up receiving yards as well.
By no means a low-scoring affair, perhaps the most shocking part of the Saints-Falcons game is the fact that there weren't more points put up. Both teams ranked in the top-10 in total offense in 2012. Both quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards in the game—Matt Ryan with 304 and Brees with 357—but each squad was only able to muster two touchdowns apiece.
This game came down to the defenses and the chemistry between quarterback and receiver. Each defense did a great job of limiting scoring opportunities and capitalizing on errant passes as each team recorded one interception.
In terms of chemistry, the first week of the season often brings timing issues between quarterbacks and their receivers. It was easy to see in this one that there were a handful of plays that could have been executed better by both teams. Those types of mistakes generally don't come later on in the season.
The Saints' victory was an upset, but the lack of gaudy offensive numbers is the shocker here. Both teams will put up their fair share of points this season, but it was interesting to see how tightly-contested this game was.
New England Patriots Defeat Buffalo Bills, 23-21
The result in this game wasn't exactly shocking, as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were favorites to defeat the Buffalo Bills and rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. It was what got us to the result that was shocking.
New England finished the first quarter with a 10-0 advantage over Buffalo, but the Bill dominated the next two quarters. They outscored the Patriots 21-7 in the second and third quarter, giving them a 21-17 lead entering the fourth.
All day long, it seemed as if Brady didn't have the best of chemistry with his receivers. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Kenbrell Thompkins were covered well by Buffalo's defensive backs, and Brady didn't seem as sharp as usual. Many of his passes weren't that tight spiral that fans are used to, resulting in some strange bounces off the hands of his receivers.
Which game was most shocking in Week 1?
After kicking a field goal in the fourth to bring the score to 21-20, the Patriots turned it on. Their final possession was typical Brady, as he used a fast-paced offense to move the ball down field. Running back Shane Vereen was a catalyst of that final drive, rushing for tough yards after contact to move into field goal position.
Stephen Gostkowski split the uprights with five seconds remaining for the lead, and the game ended on a failed lateral play by the Bills.
It wasn't the prettiest of victories, and that is what's shocking for the Patriots. Such a potent offense against such a mediocre defense should yield more points, but the Bills seemed to be playing with a passion that the Patriots couldn't always match.
While the end result is what fans of the Patriots have grown accustomed to, it's not often that they have to endure such tight games as this one.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?