NFL Recap: Week 1

Recapping Some Notable Performances

by Mike Valverde (@RFLRedZone)

The NFL regular season has finally returned, and 2019 is officially underway. We saw some good, some bad, and as always, a bunch we weren’t expecting. Below, you will find a game by game brief synopsis, with any relevant player stories you need to know for your Fantasy Football teams. Join us every Tuesday for these recaps, and don’t forget to become a subscriber to unlock access to our NFL database and DFS tool. Expand The Boxscore NFL Database

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

What happens when you mix two robust defenses with poor offensive performances and penalties? A 10-3 Packers victory. Outside of Allen Robinson‘s performance (7-102), nobody stepped up. Mitch Trubisky was not good (26/45-228-0-1) and Aaron Rogers (18/30-203-1-0) did enough to win the game. Rogers connected with Jimmy Graham on the touchdown.

Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns

These teams must have played the ole’ switcheroo, as the Titans had no trouble stomping out any relevancy of a Browns offense, or defense. Tennessee scored 43 points, and allowed just 13. It was Marcus Mariota (14/24-248-3-0) who was the quarterback of the game, and not Baker Mayfield (25/38-285-1-3). Mayfield had a hot start to the contest, and Cleveland looked to impose their will driving the ball 73 yards, that ended with a Dontrell Hilliard four-yard touchdown run. The game was close at the midway point with a 12-6 Titans lead. The second half was much different. It all started with a Derrick Henry 75-yard touchdown reception, with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, his second of the game. Mayfield threw two interceptions that thereafter turned into two touchdowns for Delanie Walker (5-55-2). Mayfield’s third interception went for a pick-six. The Browns have a lot of work to do in front of them. Tennessee constantly put Mayfield under pressure, and ridiculous penalties hurt.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Carolina Panthers

Much of the offense in this game was dominated by the RBs, as the Rams defeated the Panthers 30-27. Christian McCaffrey continues to be the best running back in the NFL. His 19 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns are just a partial stamp. The finisher is that McCaffrey goes out and catches ten balls on 11 targets for 81 yards. D.J. Moore was targeted ten times and caught seven passes for 76 yards, while Curtis Samuel (3-32) was fourth on the target list behind McCaffrey, Moore, and Greg Olsen (4-36). Cam Newton (25/38-239-0-1) has become a pocket passer, or at least in this game, as he only ran three times for two yards.

Both Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown nearly had a 50/50 split among carries. Gurley had 97 yards on 14 carries, while Brown was good for 53 yards on 11 attempts. However, it was Brown who got the carries near the goal line, and it was he who scored twice. Jared Goff was not very good against the Panthers defense. Goff completed 23 passes on 39 attempts for 186 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Rams made an effort to get Tyler Higbee the ball, and he delivered with four receptions on six targets for 20 yards and a touchdown.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Chiefs cruised to a 40-26 victory even without Tyreek Hill, whom they lost to a broken collarbone early in the game. Patrick Mahomes (25/33-378-3-0) was just as productive as last season, and it took less than 90 seconds to score the first touchdown. Mahomes hit Sammy Watkins on the Chiefs 40, and Watkins split two defenders on his way to a 68-yard touchdown. Mahomes would have had a second touchdown on the next drive, if he didn’t try his “no-look” pass to a wide-open Travis Kelce (3-88) in the end zone. The ball sailed clearly over Kelce’s head, and had the tight end looking at Mahomes like “WTF” is that?

LeSean McCoy seems to have a second-life rushing for 81 yards on ten carries. Damien Williams scored, but 26 yards on 13 carries isn’t going to cut it. Watkins was a man-beast, catching three touchdowns and nine passes on 11 targets for 199 yards. Watkins had his second touchdown from 49-yards out, with the score putting Kansas City up 17-7. His third put the game away, giving the Chiefs a 37-13 lead with just under 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

Nick Foles looked good, then went out with a broken clavicle. Foles hit D.J. Chark (4-146-1), in the corner of the end zone to cut the Chiefs lead to three in the first quarter. Enter rookie, and sixth-round pick, Gardner Minshew. Minshew hit on 22/25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Minshew hit a variety of receivers as Chark (4-146-1), Chris Conley (6-97-1), and Dede Westbrook (5-30-1) all had successful performances. Leonard Fournette was adequate gaining 66 yards on 13 carries. Fournette also added four catches on six targets.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins

The Ravens scored 42 points in the first half on their way to a 59-10 victory over the Dolphins. It was uglier than the score indicated. On the very first play of the game, Mark Ingram’s run went for 49 yards after plowing over a defensive back. He would later score on the drive from one yard out.

Lamar Jackson threw for five touchdowns, and even Robert Griffin added a score in garbage time. Overall, Jackson looked like a future Hall of Fame prospect connecting on 17 of his 20 attempts for 324 yards. Mark Ingram rushed for over 100 yards and scored twice, while Marquise “Hollywood” Brown caught four balls on five targets for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Mark Andrews still looks like the better tight end, as he caught eight passes for 108 yards and a score. Willie Snead, Miles Boykin, and even Patrick Ricard added touchdowns.

The Dolphins offense was as bad as their defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed less than half of his passes, and threw one touchdown with one interception. Josh Rosen was worse. Rosen completed just one pass on three attempts, and one of those misses was due to an interception. The run game put up just 21 yards on 12 attempts. Preston Williams caught the only Miami touchdown of the day.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Falcons offense didn’t wake up until the fourth quarter, but by then it was too late, as the Vikings would win 28-17. Minnesota’s first drive, after a blocked punt went in for a touchdown, with Kirk Cousins hitting Adam Thielen for the score. However, it was the run game for the Vikings that were the true offensive heroes.

Dalvin Cook garnered 111 yards on 21 carries and scored twice. Rookie Alexander Mattison was also impressive with 49 yards on nine attempts. The two runners took many carries around the end that went for long yardage. The offensive line was impressive blowing up holes for both Cook and Mattison. With Cook’s third-quarter touchdown it put the Vikings up 28-0.

Matt Ryan was a root cause of the early offensive troubles, throwing two interceptions before his first touchdown to Calvin Ridley with just over nine minutes remaining in the game. Running was virtually non-existent for the Falcons. Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith combined for 50 yards on 14 carries. Julio Jones was not very efficient for most of the game. Jones had 11 targets but only caught six balls for 31 yards, and added a late touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

What happens when you combine two bad offenses, with two good defenses, and two bad quarterbacks? A 17-16 victory for the Bills. Josh Allen threw two interceptions and one touchdown, while Sam Darnold added one touchdown pass and just 175 yards passing.

Even though Frank Gore is a Hall of Fame running back, it won’t be long before Devin Singletary is the bell-cow runner. Singletary rushed for 70 yards on only four carries, and added five receptions for 28 yards. John Brown was the main target for Allen. The free-agent from Baltimore came down with ten catches for 123 yards and a score.

For the Jets, Le’Veon Bell was adequate on the ground. Bell gained 60 yards on 17 carries (3.5 yards per carry), while doing work through the air, with six receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown. It was Jamison Crowder though with the monster game. Darnold targeted the free agent from Washington 17 times, and Crowder came down with 14 balls for 99 yards.

Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles

A tale of two halves as the Redskins took a 20-7 lead into half-time, only to lose to the Eagles 32-27. The opening drive led to a 48-yard touchdown when the old veteran Vernon Davis took a pass from Case Keenum at the Eagles 46 and leaped over a defender, broke two tackles, and rumbled the rest of the way for the score.

Keenum was a nice surprise at quarterback for Washington. The signal-caller completed 30 passes on 44 attempts for 380 yards and three touchdowns, most notably connecting with rookie Terry McLaurin on a 69-yard TD that put Washington up 17-0. Speaking of McLaurin, it was a great debut for him, as he brought down five passes for 125 yards and the one score.

Carson Wentz (28/39-313-3-0), down 17-0, changed the landscape when he spotted DeSean Jackson down the field with single coverage, laying out a perfect pass for 51-yards on 3rd and 10 to Jackson in the end zone. Wentz spotted D-Jax again, this time for 53-yards and another TD, giving Philadelphia their first lead of the game (21-20). Jackson would finish the day with 154 yards and two touchdowns, catching eight balls on ten targets. Alshon Jeffery (5-49-1) was an all-around standout, running for a score on a backward pass that extended the lead to 29-20 (after a two-point conversion), and also caught five passes for 49 yards with another score.

Derrius Guice was awful in his pro regular-season debut. Guice rushed for just 18 yards on ten carries, eventually leaving the game to have his non-torn ACL knee looked at. The Eagles run game incorporated an RBBC with Darren Sproles, Jordan Howard, and Miles Sanders.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Jacoby Brissett era has begun. However, the new starting quarterback for the Colts could not bring the team to victory, as Indianapolis fell to the Chargers 30-24 in overtime. Brissett was on target most of the game, completing 21 of his 27 attempts for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Phillip Rivers was much more impressive with 333 yards and three scores with one pick.

Marlon Mack was dominant all game. He had 25 carries for 174 yards, and scored on a 63-yard gallop. Both Austin Ekeler (12-58) and Justin Jackson (6-57) were active, but it was Ekeler who scored the touchdown on the ground, and added six receptions for 96 yards and two more scores.

T.Y. Hilton (8-87-2) was very impressive, which was nice to see. Hilton has been mostly missing in action when it comes to other quarterbacks not named Andrew Luck. Keenan Allen (8-123-1) on the other side, revisited the magic connection between him and Rivers.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks

Andy Dalton threw a ton of passes, but it wasn’t enough, as the Seahawks would win 21-20. Dalton completed 35 of his 51 attempts for 418 yards and two touchdowns, while Russell Wilson was good for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bengals offense struggled running the ball against the Seahawks. Cincinnati only put up 34 yards on 14 carries. Joe Mixon could only garner ten yards on six attempts. Seattle was not much better. On 25 totes, the combination of Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and Wilson put up 72 yards, plus a Carson score.

John Ross? The league left you for dead after another injury-plagued season, but the speedster from Washington displayed why he was a first-round selection. Ross caught seven passes on 12 targets for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Boyd was also busy, catching eight passes for 60 yards. Wilson only threw the ball 20 times, and seven of those targets went to Carson. The rookie D.K. Metcalf caught four for 89 yards, while Tyler Lockett caught Wilson’s second touchdown of the game.

Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray was awful in the first half in his rookie debut. Up until just under six minutes left in the fourth quarter, all that the Cardinals could manage was three field goals. It even led him at one point to consider retirement. However, he pulled it together and finished with a robust statistical game. Murray threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns, against one interception. Matthew Stafford was not very accurate, completing just over half his passes, but added 385 yards and three touchdowns.

David Johnson showcased his multi-talented skills. Johnson rushed for 82 yards on 18 carries, while adding six receptions for 55 yards, and catching one touchdown. It is difficult to say which running back had a better game between C.J. Anderson (11-35) and Kerryon Johnson (16-49). Neither stood out, and Stafford had the longest gain of the game.

T.J. Hockenson looks like the real deal. The rookie put up 131 yards on six receptions and scored once. Danny Amendola also was a big target. Thirteen times Amendola was targeted, and the vet came down with seven for 104 yards and a score. Kenny Golladay added the other touchdown, while catching four balls for 42 yards. Future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald showed no signs of aging. Fitzgerald caught eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Rookie KeeSean Johnson chipped in with five catches and 46 yards.

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Giants were impressive for one 91 yard drive. Eli Manning (30/44-306-1-0) took New York downfield and scored when Manning found Evan Engram in the end zone from a yard out. Dallas took over from there, and would beat their NFC East rival 35-17. Dak Prescott’s passing was excellent enough to only give Ezekiel Elliot 13 carries. Prescott destroyed the Giants secondary, throwing for 405 yards on 25 of 32 passing with four touchdowns.

Saquon Barkley was a key part to the Giants offense rushing for 120 yards on 11 carries, while catching four passes. But it wasn’t enough. Elliot scored once on his 53 yards rushing, and Tony Pollard also contributed 13 carries, albeit only for 24 yards.

Engram was the key to New York’s passing game with the tight end catching 11 passes for 116 yards. For Dallas, it was Michael Gallup,as he caught all seven of his targets for 158 yards. Amari Cooper caught six for 106 and a score, and Randall Cobb caught four for 69 yards and a touchdown as well. Tight ends Blake Jarwin and Jason Witten contributed additional scores.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 49ers defense should take credit for the 31-17 victory over the Buccaneers. The defense forced four turnovers and scored twice. They were also able to get to, and sack, Jameis Winston three times. Both teams committed several key penalties bringing back touchdowns, and the game was just sloppily played, mostly by the quarterbacks.

Jimmy Garoppolo (18/27-166-1-1) interception went for a pick-six by Vernon Hargreaves, giving the Buccaneers a 7-3 lead. Garoppolo made up for it when he spotted Richie James, Jr at the 15 yard line of Tampa Bay, and James rushed in for the score with just over 12 minutes remaining in the third quarter. This was also the first offensive score for both sides, and the touchdown put the 49ers up 13-7.

On Tampa Bay’s next possession, Winston threw a bullet to Richard Sherman, which he promptly returned for a pick-six. Like Garoppolo, Winston would make up for it, as he drove the Buccaneers down for their first offensive touchdown with just over six minutes remaining in the third. On a roll-out, Winston would hit Chris Godwin in the end zone.

Ronald Jones (13-75) looked promising. Jones ran hard between the tackles and found open lanes. However, with just over two minutes remaining in the game, Winston would throw his second pick-six of the game. Instead of just getting rid of the ball, he threw a bad pass right to Ahkello Witherspoon, expanding the 49ers lead to 31-17 after the two-point conversion was successful.

For the 49ers running game Raheem Mostert might be in line for more carries, as Tevin Coleman (6-23) hurt his ankle. Mostert (9-40) was actually the better performer of the three, which includes Matt Breida (15-37).

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots

I am sure wherever Antonio Brown was, he was enjoying watching his new team the Patriots dismantle his former team the Steelers 33-3. Tom Brady threw for 341 yards and three scores, while Ben Roethlisberger was virtually non-existent with his 276 yards and zero touchdowns plus one pick.

James Conner couldn’t run anywhere, carrying ten times for a measly 21 yards. Conner actually had more receiving yards, finishing with 44. Rex Burkhead (8-44), James White (4-26), and Sony Michel (15-14) made contributions to the Patriots run game.

JuJu Smith-Schuster led the Steelers in targets (8) and receptions (6) for 78 yards. Phillip Dorsett was big in the receiving department for New England, as he caught four passes for 95 yards, and scored two touchdowns. White (5-56), Julian Edelman (6-83-0), and Josh Gordon (3-73-1) were factors as well.

Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints

The first score of the game came on a Deshaun Watson (20/30-268-3-1) bootleg finding the end zone on fourth and one, scrambling to his left and nearly being untouched as he dove across the goal line. It didn’t take long for the Saints to get their first TD of the season. On the opening drive, Drew Brees (32/43-370-2-1) hit a wide open Alvin Kamara (13-97) on a slant pass for 37 yards to the Texans 30. Two plays later, Latavius Murray (6-43-1) took the handoff and broke free for the 30-yard touchdown. Kamara would go on to catch seven passes for 72 yards on eight targets. Watson then found DeAndre Hopkins (8-111-2) in the back of the end zone for a second touchdown and a 14-3 Houston lead.

Deshaun Watson’s second touchdown pass came on a slant to Hopkins from 16 yards out, giving Houston a 21-10 lead. Brees wasn’t to be outdone in the third quarter, and Kamara helped out the aging quarterback with some great runs. On a third and four, Brees found utility-knife Taysom Hill in the end zone for a touchdown from nine yards out. Brees followed that score with another touchdown in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. This was set up by a 28-yard run by Kamara, getting the ball down to the 12 of Houston. The next play Brees found Josh Hill for the touchdown, and a 24-21 Saints lead. Watson with just 43 seconds left would take over and drive Houston down the field with two big passes. The first went to Hopkins for 38-yards. The second would go to Kenny Stills (3-37-1) for what seemed like at Texans 28-27 win. Unfortunately, for Houston, the touchdown left too much time on the clock for the future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. After several completions downfield, he was able to get the Saints to the 40, setting up the winning 57 yard field goal by Will Lutz.

Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders are going to go with a balanced attack this season, and that was displayed on the opening drive. Josh Jacobs (23-85-2), the Raiders rookie centerpiece in the backfield, carried five times, and Derek Carr (22/26-259-1-0) threw five passes, as Oakland drove down the field, scoring from six-yards out on a pass to Tyrell Williams (6-105-1).

Oakland would take a 14-0 lead in the second quarter when Jacobs would blast his way from two-yards out. The Raiders third touchdown would come in the fourth quarter as Jacobs would again score from the ground from four-yards out.

The Broncos offense struggled against the Silver and Black defense. They could not score in the first half, and only managed three Brandon McManus field goals. With just over two-minutes left in the fourth quarter, Joe Flacco (21/31-268-1-0) was able to hit Emmanuel Sanders (5-86-1) for their first touchdown of the game. Cutting the lead to 24-16.

Denver will need to go back to the drawing board, as this offense just did not work. The running game of Phillip Lindsay (11-43) and Royce Freeman (10-56) was solid, but did not produce big results. Flacco was his typical game manager self. Courtland Sutton was also impressive with seven catches on eight targets for 120 yards.