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Finally the opening weekend of the NFL season, we saw wackiness, comebacks, and it’s only week one. Here are my winners and losers:

Winners:

  1. Denver Broncos: The reigning champs did just enough to defeat the Carolina Panthers 21-20 in a rematch of this past February’s Super Bowl.
  2. Green Bay Packers: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. Late defensive stops helped the Packers hold off the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-23.
  3. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs scored 23 unanswered points including a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Alex Smith as they defeated the San Diego Charges 33-27.
  4. Oakland Raiders: Raiders came back from 14 points down. With less than five minutes went for the go-ahead two point conversion and got it as quarterback Derek Carr’s pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree helping them defeat the New Orleans Saints 35-34.
  5. New York Giants: Quarterback Eli Manning’s go-ahead touchdown pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz with over six minutes left as they edged the Dallas Cowboys 20-19. A big early division for the Giants.
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, two of those to wide receiver Antonio Brown. Running back DeAngelo Williams rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns as the Steelers defeated the Washington Redskins easily 38-16.

Losers:

  1. Carolina Panthers: Questionable play-calling late, lack of penalties from hits on quarterback Cam Newton, and kicker Graham Gano’s missed 50-yard field goal cost the Panthers in their loss to Denver.
  2. New York Jets: Despite having the edge in time of possession and sacking Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton seven times, they were 4 for 12 in third down in their loss to the Bengals 23-22.
  3. Indianapolis Colts: The Colts gave up too many plays in their loss to the Detroit Lions 39-35 in a wild one.
  4. Dallas Cowboys: Lack of time awareness by wide receiver Terrance Williams cost the Cowboys at least a chance to win it in their loss to New York.
  5. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers squandered a 21-point lead and ultimate loss to Kansas City.
  6. Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals failed to take advantage of the New England Patriots not having five starters, wasting a two touchdown performance by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and kicker Chandler Catanzaro’s missed a potential game-winning field goal in their loss to the Patriots 23-21.
  7. Los Angeles Rams: It’s hard to get shutout in the first game of the season. But in their first game back as the L.A. Rams, they did just that losing to the San Francisco 49ers 28-0. In 14 possessions, they punted 11 times and  quarterback Case Keenum threw two interceptions. Also their best player, defensive tackle Aaron Donald was ejected for contact with an official. Btw, the L.A. Rams still haven’t scored a point since Christmas Eve 1994.

Storylines Going Into Week Two:

The New York Jets face Buffalo in the AFC East as well as Miami goes to New England. Old rivals in the AFC North clash as Pittsburgh host Cincinnati. Dallas will try to rebound against Washington.

Kansas City battles Houston. Tampa Bay travels to Arizona. A couple of teams go cross-country as Indy goes to Denver and Atlanta travels to Oakland.

A NFC North battle commences as Minnesota hosts Green Bay.