Week 1 of the 2023 NFL regular season is in the books. It was great to have football back and we were treated to some exciting matchups. Today we take a look back at the first week of action and give you some takeaways, as well as look forward and preview some of the Week 2 slate.
(All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Cowboys looked like the best team in football this weekend, flexing their muscles in a dominant 40-0 victory over the New York Giants. After the Giants’ first offensive possession, the Dallas defense took control of the game, recording a league-high seven sacks. If the Cowboys play like that on the defensive side of the ball they are going to be hard to beat.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers, who were just a two-point favorite, also put on display a great performance, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-7. San Francisco outgained Pittsburgh on the day 391 to 239, rushing for 188 as a team and recording 22 first downs. San Francisco’s defense sacked Kenny Pickett five times and picked him off twice.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers simply do not lose to the Chicago Bears. Green Bay continued their dominance over Chicago in a 38-20 win. This marked the Packers’ ninth-consecutive victory over the Bears and their 14th in the two team’s last 15 matchups. Jordan Love looked good, tossing three touchdown passes, and the Packers defense put consistent pressure on Bears quarterback Justin Fields.
New York Jets
The Jets are the only team on this list that actually did not lose their Week 1 game. While New York did end up beating the division-rival Bills 22-16, they came out arguably the biggest overall loser of Week 1 as they lost their quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the season. It’s really a shame for both Rodgers and the Jets, who came into the season as a potential dark-horse Super Bowl contender. Now, New York will have to hope Zach Wilson can do enough to just get them to the postseason.
The Seahawks were an absolute mess in Week 1. Seattle got to face a Rams team without Cooper Kupp and still surrendered 30 points and 426 total yards. The Seahawks allowed Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to throw for over 330 passing yards in a game for the first time since Week 7 of the 2021 season. On offense, things were even worse for the Seahawks. Geno Smith looked terrible, posting a 44.4 QBR, and the team managed just 180 yards of total offense.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals looking as bad as they did was one of the more surprising outcomes of Week 1. Cincinnati looked atrocious on offense, recording only 142 total yards and scoring just three points in a 24-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Burrow, who missed almost all of training camp with a calf injury, posted the worst Quarterback Rating (52.5) of his NFL career. The Browns just seem to have the Bengals number, and that trend continued on Sunday.
One ⭐️ = The Jets Defense
New York’s defense was the sole reason they stayed in, and eventually won last night’s game. The Jets recorded four takeaways and made a crucial stop in overtime that led to the game-winning punt return for a touchdown.
Two ⭐️⭐️ = The Cowboys Defense
Dallas’ defense recorded 26 pressures, six sacks, and three takeaways. They held the Giants scoreless, becoming the 5th team in NFL History to open their season with a shutout of 40+ points on the road.
Three ⭐️⭐️⭐️ = Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa was the NFL’s MVP of Week 1. The 25-year-old threw for 466 yards, the fourth-most in a season opener in NFL history, and three touchdown passes, leading the Dolphins to a big 36-34 win.
Now we’ll take a look ahead to Week 2 and preview some things that stand out about the upcoming slate of games.
Game of The Week
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars
You could make an argument for a couple of games here, but this rematch of the 2022 Divisional Round between the Chiefs and Jaguars figures to be a very exciting matchup.
Favorite of The Week
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) vs Baltimore Ravens
After how bad the Bengals looked last week they are almost certainly in for a big rebound this Sunday against the Ravens. Back home and in better weather, Joe Burrow and Cincinnati’s offense should be able to put up some points against the Ravens’ defense.
Underdog of The Week
Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Vikings haven't had a ton of success when facing the Eagles in Philadelphia, but after their Week 1 performance the Eagles should not be a seven-point favorite here. Minnesota has way more offensive firepower than the Patriots did and should be able to pose some problems for the Eagles’ secondary.