Week 1 action concluded in some fashion and few can lift a finger and say they didn't get their money's worth of action. While Week 1 was certainly entertaining, it left many teams with questions about their status moving forward. The same can be said for teams who were delighted by the results in Week 1 of regular-season action.
Surprisingly enough, some teams were downright bad, and the Green Bay Packers were one of those. Normally, they are a good team right from Week 1, but they looked lost in everything they attempted to do. Here's a look at the winners and losers from the first week of action in the NFL.
Week 1 Winners
New Orleans Saints
With Drew Brees finally retired, most in the league wondered who might replace the veteran stalwart. Enter Jameis Winston, the unlikely candidate who took the starting quarterback job and was masterful in his throwing.
The Saints now have a unique opportunity to bring out a sort of dual-threat QB attack with proven thrower and receiver Taysom Hill playing backup to Winston.
Winston had a fantastic Week 1 outing, throwing for 148 yards with five TDs on 14/20 attempts. Everyone on offense had their share of production as eight receivers were thrown to during the dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. Reports are coming in that Kenny Stills has returned to the Saints as well, adding even more offensive firepower as the Saints look to build on their Week 1 form.
Winston was so good that Brees, now turned analyst, also praised the new QB. Winston might just be what the Saints need to keep themselves in playoff contention.
The Arizona Cardinals defense
No defensive team was more dominant yesterday than the Arizona Cardinals. What was once a contract dispute between Chandler Jones and the Cardinals turned into an angry, fully-fuelled defensive force.
Jones' showing amounted to five sacks, two forced fumbles and four tackles for loss. Chandler is certainly making his case to be one of the highest-paid defensive players after the season ends. The entire defense put up six sacks, eight tackles for loss, eight passes defended and nine QB hits.
The NFC West
The entire NFC West won their games on Sunday. Not only did they all win, they easily beat their opponents.
The San Francisco 49ers routed the Detroit Lions with a 41-33 victory. Most of the Lions' points came during the end of the fourth quarter when there would be no stopping the 49ers.
The Seattle Seahawks cruised to an easy victory over the Indianapolis Colts by a 28-16 scoreline. Carson Wentz had no answers with the Seahawks defense terrorizing the QB all day. The defense stacked up three sacks and ten QB hits.
The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, absolutely dominated the Tennessee Titans in their 38-13 victory on Sunday. Chandler Jones accounted for five sacks of his own, leading the league after Week 1.
The Las Vegas Raiders won in an absolute thriller on Monday night. The Raiders sealed the victory in OT with a 33-27 scoreline. The back-and-forth Week 1 contest with the Baltimore Ravens will be talked about for years to come. On the night, Derek Carr threw for a league-leading 435 yards.
If this is the type of competition we will see all year from the NFC West, NFL fans are in for a treat.
Week 1 Losers
Green Bay Packers
No one has seemingly fallen from grace more than the Green Bay Packers. The once-feared Packers offense was laughable in their season opener against the New Orleans Saints. The final score of 38-3 was all too telling. With Aaron Rodgers reportedly heading for the exit door after the season, far-fetched rumors are swirling about a potential tanking.
The rumors are, of course, pandering to a wild imagination, but if the way Rodgers performed in Week 1 was an indication of said rumors, there could be some deep problems in Green Bay. Rodgers was 15-28 with 133 yards and two INTs.
Rodgers' embarrassing Week 1 performance netted fantasy football owners only 1.32 points. Rodgers and company were supposed to have their final send-off, but this might be a nightmare waiting to happen.
New York Jets
The New York Jets opted to let Sam Darnold hit free agency after they drafted their would-be franchise quarterback, Zach Wilson. The only problem is Wilson got hammered all day Sunday.
The rookie quarterback dealt with a Carolina Panthers defense that just wouldn't let up. The Panthers sacked Wilson six times. The Panthers beat the Jets 19-14, with Wilson's production happening in the third and fourth quarters. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold got his revenge on the Jets with 258 yards, two TDs and one INT. Looks like the Jets lost twice in Week 1.
The Jets also lost starting tackle Mekhi Becton for 4-6 weeks, leaving Zach Wilson's shaky protection in even worse shape.
The NFC North
The aforementioned Green Bay Packers were awful in their Week 1 debut, but the rest of the NFC North didn't do any better on the day.
As mentioned above, the Lions lost to the 49ers 41-33.
The Chicago Bears had no answers in their 34-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Packers were embarrassed by a 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The only team that made some noise was the Minnesota Vikings, who barely lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in OT, 27-24.
The NFC North did not look good across the board, apart from the Vikings. The division needs to find its footing or it might end up like the NFC East of 2020, who sent a 7-9 Washington Football Team to the playoffs.