A wild NFL Week 1 is officially in the books after the Steelers’ smackdown at Washington and whatever the Los Angeles Rams did in San Francisco in a 28-0 blowout loss. Cleveland Browns fans have and will continue to suffer enough, so we’re leaving them out of this review as Robert Griffin III’s career is in jeopardy, and 37-year-old Josh McCown takes over again at quarterback. Ready, break.
The clock runs out on the Cowboys and receiver Terrance Williams
Williams knows better and knows he knows better, but he just screwed up. In case you missed it, the Cowboys were down 20-19 with no timeouts and about 10 seconds when Williams caught the ball near midfield. Then he attempted to gain more yardage rather than get the heck out of bounds to give kicker Dan Bailey a long shot to win the game. But time expired before the Cowboys could to spike the ball and stop the clock. "I was clearly aware of the time," Williams said. "It was something that I was just thinking of. It was just a bang-bang moment. Now that I have the chance to sit back and think on it I should've just went out of bounds. It's still a poor decision for me. … Just looking back, I'll never do it again."
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The Seattle Seahawks offensive line struggles out of the gate
The departure of left tackle Russell Okung in the offseason and former Pro Bowl center Max Unger the year before turned a below-average offensive line into a massive liability. This will be an ongoing theme. The Seahawks line couldn’t get a push up front against the Dolphins -- Ndamukong Suh’s presence didn’t help -- and the running game mustered only 3.5 yards per carry. “We didn’t get as much space as we thought we would,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s not the way we expect to run the ball.”
Getty ImagesEzra Shaw
The Colts’ depleted secondary gets shredded by the Lions
The Colts entered the game without top defensive back Vontae Davis (ankle injury) and then in one series late in the second quarter, lost safety T.J. Green (knee) and cornerback Patrick Robinson (concussion). Those losses hurt but the entire defense deserves blame as Lions QB Matthew Stafford, his wideouts and running back Theo Riddick feasted underneath as Stafford completed 31 of 39 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns in a 39-35 victory.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills drops a sure-thing touchdown
Not only was Stills wide open on first-and-10 from Miami’s own 29, he had about 5-7 yards of green behind the league’s best safety, Earl Thomas. Doink. A touchdown would have put the Fins up 7-3 in what turned out to be a 12-10 Dolphins loss. "I felt like when I saw the ball come out [of Ryan Tannehill's hand] potentially it could be a jump ball," Stills said. "I thought somebody was there with me. I didn't realize until I dropped the ball that no one was around." Stills said he’ll get stronger from it, but he won’t have many wide-open opportunities like that again.
The Raiders light up the New Orleans Saints defense
Once again, the Saints are as bad at defense as they’re good on offense, and life got worse after New Orleans lost its best cornerback Delvin Breaux, who suffered a broken fibula Sunday against the Raiders. Breaux’s absence left behind a completely inexperienced Saints secondary with undrafted rookie free agents De’vante Harris and Ken Crawley (alongside PJ Williams) to battle with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Crawley struggled especially as Raiders QB Derek Carr scored a 143.8 passer rating against him on eight targets, per ProFootballFocus. It wasn’t just the secondary, of course. Watch the front seven get absolutely manhandled by the Raiders on this 75-yard touchdown run by Jalen Richard.
Getty ImagesJonathan Bachman
Bengals wideout A.J. Green torches Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis
Father Time is undefeated, and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is very good. That proved a brutal combination for the once-great but declining cornerback whose Revis Island was more like a booze cruise Sunday. Green beat him for 10 of his 12 catches during a 180-receiving-yard performance. "It probably wasn't one of my better games," Revis said later. "I can take a punch on the chin."
Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka
Adrian Peterson and the Vikings' rushing offense
The Vikings weren’t counting on Shaun Hill to carry them to victory and neither were the Titans, who loaded the box against Minnesota. Peterson and the big men up front failed to meet the challenge as AP averaged a meager 1.6 yards per carry (19 for 31 yards) as the Vikes rushed for only 65 yards total.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY SportsJim Brown
The NFL's concussion protocol
The most widely seen failure occurred during the season opener between the Panthers and Broncos when Cam Newton took not one but four shots to the head but never got examined by a Panthers trainer or the league’s independent neurologist during the game. The league said in a statement: “The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and team physician requested video from the spotters and reviewed the play. They concluded there were no indications of a concussion that would require further evaluation and the removal of the player from the game." They must have been watching videotape of a different game. If not, the criteria for evaluation is completely flawed.
Denver Post via Getty ImagesHelen H. Richardson
Everything about the San Diego Chargers in the 4th quarter
The Kansas City Chiefs registered the greatest comeback in their 56-year history Sunday, rallying from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter. San Diego had the ball with 12:53 remaining on KC’s 44-yard line, a drive that resulted in a missed field goal. After KC scored to make it 27-17 on the ensuing drive, the Chargers managed only 37 yards on their next three drives, all of them resulting in punts. The Chiefs won 33-27 in overtime. "You just can't let them back in. We've got to close it," Chargers tackle Joe Barksdale said. "Everybody with eyes who saw the game has got to know, we have to close it. It's not acceptable to be up by 24-3 and lose the game. We know that."
Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsDenny Medley
The Los Angeles Rams, everything
Head coach Jeff Fisher, quarterback Case Keenum, the defense, everyone. That was an absolutely dismal, barely watchable performance on Monday night. The Rams’ placeholder for No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, Keenum, completed 17 of 35 passes for 130 yards and two interceptions for a Week 1-worst 34.2 passer rating. That’s more than 20 points lower than the next QB, Robert Griffin III. Wideout Tavon Austin managed just 13 yards receiving on 12 targets. The team got flagged for 10 penalties (costing 102 yards), seven of them resulting in first downs. Fisher gave Keenum the dreaded “he’s still our starter” vote of confidence on Tuesday, meanwhile, what will Jared Goff learn by witnessing another debacle like this?