The NFL’s 100th season started off with the oldest rivalry in the NFL at one of the league’s oldest venues: The Chicago Bears and the The Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field in Chicago. This game featured two of the youngest coaches in the NFL with Matt LaFleur’s Packers and Matt Nagy’s Bears. The 199th edition of the league’s oldest rivalry wound up to be an anti-climatic start to the year with only 13 points scored, in an old-fashioned 10-3 victory for the Packers. Elsewhere in the NFL, the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, picked up right where they left with a dominating 33-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, who seem to be reeling the loss of two of their best players: Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Le’Veon Bell’s new look Jets blew a 16 point lead to the Buffalo Bills, while their other AFC East foe, the Miami Dolphins, were humiliated 59-10, by the Baltimore Ravens and Quarterback Lamar Jackson’s five touchdowns. It was later reported that multiple Dolphins players requested trades after the game. Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns did not live up to the hype they received during the offseason as they fell to the Tennessee Titans, 43-13. Baker Mayfield played particularly poor as he generated a quarterback rating of only 27.2. The 2019 NFL Draft’s first pick, Kyler Murray, led his Arizona Cardinals to a 27-27 tie versus the Detroit Lions. Murray and the Cardinals were down by as many as 3 possessions during the fourth quarter against the Lions, however Murray pulled out some of the magic that took his Oklahoma Sooners to the College Football Playoffs last year, and forced the game to an overtime period.
During the Monday Night slate of games, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Houston Texans 30-28 on a game-winning Will Lutz 57-yard field goal. Week 2 kicked off in Charlotte, NC as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travelled to play the Carolina Panthers on a rainy Thursday night. The game ended in thrilling fashion as the Buccaneers stopped Panthers running back Christan McCaffery on 4th and 1 at the Buccaneers’ 10 yard-line. The excitement continued during the early game slate on Sunday with the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Chargers. Threatening to score late in the game, Chargers Quarterback Phillip Rivers threw an interception to seal the game for the Lions. In another thriller, Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Gardner Minshew II, replacing the injured Nick Foles, drove his team down the field and scored a touchdown against the stingy Houston Texans defense. Minshew’s touchdown brought the Jaguars within one point of tying the game, however instead of kicking an extra point, Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone elected to try and take the lead with a two point conversion. Jaguars Running Back Leonard Fournette was unsuccessful in his attempt of getting over the goalline during the two point try. Houston would end up beating Jacksonville 13-12. The Green Bay Packers defense continued their stellar play in a 21-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. In Miami, Tom Brady and Antonio Brown connected on their first touchdown of the year, as the New England Patriots annihilated the Miami Dolphins 43-0. Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his elbow versus the Seattle Seahawks, as the Steelers lost a close game 28-26. The Chicago Bears seem to have found a solution to their kicking woes. With only a few seconds left in their game against the Denver Broncos, Bears Kicker Eddy Piñiero drilled a 53-yard field goal to give the Bears a 16-14 win at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Capping off the night, the Atlanta Falcons played at home against Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons scored a go-ahead touchdown on 4th and 3 with 2:20 left in the game. The Eagles marched all the way down to the Falcons 20-yard line, however they fell just short of converting a 4th down and Atlanta went on to close it out and win the game.
By Tanay Desai