Week 1 Wrap Up

Week 1 in the National Football League has given fans everything to cheer for: rivalry games, divisional battles, youthful talent, injuries and plenty of questions.

Starting with NFC East powerhouses, the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants as they set the tone for the 2016-17 NFL season.

Despite starting quarterback Tony Romo being out with another injury to his back, the Cowboys got into the win column to begin the year, 24-21.

Prescott didn’t look like a rookie going 18/31 for 204 yards and a touchdown pass to fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott. He caught four passes for 71 yards.

Elliott also rushed for 122 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.

In the same state on Sunday, the New York Jets took care of business at home defeating divisional rivals, the Buffalo Bills, 31-24.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdowns despite not being necessarily accurate going 17/32 for 168 yards. Matt Forte chipped in with 109 yards on the ground on 28 carries and found the end zone twice.

Perhaps the biggest bright spot for the Jets was their defense as safety Marcus Gilchrist tallied 10 tackles to go along with an interception, fumble recovery and pass deflection. Cornerback Darrelle Revis also nabbed an interception.

In a defensive struggle, the Arizona Cardinals saw their starting quarterback Carson Palmer go down with a broken collarbone. From then the team struggled to get on the opposite side of the field.

Much to their benefit, the Seattle Seahawks couldn’t find paydirt either until quarterback Russell Wilson found Jermaine Kearse in the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown strike with just six seconds left.

As for last year’s Super Bowl participants, the Carolina Panthers opened up their redemption tour with a 27-16 division win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cam Netwon went 12/23 for 209 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed 10 times for 38 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, caught four passes for 67 yards and Newton’s lone touchdown.

As for the defending champs, they defending home field with a first-time starter in Trevor Siemien.

He did not disappoint as he downed the Pittsburgh Steelers, 30-17, going 25/45, throwing for 196 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Emmanuel Sanders came up huge for the Broncos offense, catching five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.

The Denver defense, that was the story of the Super Bowl, held Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell to 47 yards on 13 carries. Ben Roethlisberger threw the football 55 times completing 32 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown, but he threw two interceptions.

Baltimore put the clamps on Cincinnati winning 15-3 in the first Monday Night Football game of the season.

Joe Flacco was nearly perfect going 16/21, 181 yards and a late touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken.

In the Monday Night nightcap, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders gave us an old school western shootout, with San Diego winning 38-31.

Philip Rivers (22/41, 288 yards, two touchdowns, an interception) outdueled David Carr (16/34, 223 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) on his home-field.

Both Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray battled each other until the final whistle. Gordon rushed for 94 yards on 17 carries while Murray rushed for 137 yards on 35 carries.

Both running backs scored on the night.

One thing worth mentioning is Jeff Fisher and the Los Angeles Rams chose to start the season with Case Keenum under center rather than No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff.

The Rams were able to come away with a 20-17 overtime win in Detroit over the Lions. Keenum went 33/44, throwing for 272 yards and two interceptions. That makes it eight straight quarters for Keenum with no touchdown pass dating back to last season.

With Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the season, the New England Patriots turned to Jimmy Garappolo to lead the team. And lead he did.

Garappolo went 26/49 for 254 yards with two touchdowns and more importantly got the Patriots off to a 1-0 start with a 27-14 win over the Titans in Tennessee.

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