Week one recap
The seven-month wait is over and week one of the 2021 NFL season has been completed.
Heading into the season, several teams were fancied to win the Super Bowl including the defending champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers and reigning AFC winners the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brady still at the peak of his powers as the Bucs begin with a win
Defending Super Bowl champions, the Buccaneers kick-started the new season when hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.
Returning with all 22 starters from last season, the Bucs are poised for another post-season run and looked on top form in their 31-29 win.
44-year-old superstar Tom Brady continued to add to his Hall of Fame career finishing with 379 yards passing and four touchdowns (TDs).
This included an impressive 47-yard TD pass to Antonio Brown that had a 25.9 percent chance of completion, according to Genius and NFL’s Next Gen Stats.
Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott impressed on his return from injury, throwing for 403 yards and three TDs.
The Cowboys took the lead with 89 seconds remaining but Brady had other ideas and set up Ryan Succop’s game-winning kick.
Mahomes leads Chiefs to comeback win
The Kansas City Chiefs rallied from 12 points down at half-time to stun a strong Cleveland Browns side and win 33-29.
Baker Mayfield and the Browns were looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round but came up short once again, against the Chiefs’ strong passing game.
The Browns were superb in the first half, taking a 22-10 lead, but the visitors responded brilliantly after the break.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 337 yards and three TDs, including an incredible 75 yard throw to Tyreek Hill.
Hill made 11 catches for 197 yards, while Travis Kelce made seven catches for 76 yards and scored two touchdowns to force a remarkable comeback win for the AFC front-runners.
Elsewhere, other Super Bowl hopefuls didn’t fare as well. Although the Bills and Packers were favoured to win, both started the season with defeats.
Rookie quarterback watch
Another major story of the week was first career starts for three of the top five quarterbacks signed at this year’s Draft: Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones.
While Trey Lance and Justin Fields saw limited gametime, these three rookie starters looked capable and competent albeit while losing their opening games.
- Lawrence threw 51 times for 332 yards, three TDs and three interceptions
- Wilson was under pressure all night getting sacked six times, but still registered two TDs
- Jones only threw one touchdown but had the highest completion percentage of the starters with 4%
Meanwhile, Trey Lance played a speciality role in the San Fransico 49ers 41-33 win against the Detroit Lions and scored a TD on his first ever NFL pass.
While Justin Fields didn’t earn a start, he showed potential in the Chicago Bears’ loss going 2-2 passing and rushing for a touchdown.