The first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season is in the books and it did not disappoint. While there are still two smash mouth games slated for Monday Night Football, opening weekend gave fans plenty to chew on. In case you missed anything, we’ve pinpointed the top three takeaways from Week 1.
Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton made his way up north during the offseason and is now at the helm as a Patriot. One can only imagine the pressure of having to fill Tom Brady’s shoes and appease New England fans. Newton, however, rose to the occasion Sunday afternoon, leading the Patriots to a 21-11 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough.
Newton completed 15 of 19 passes for 155 yards with a 100.7 passer rating. He rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. He controlled the tempo of the game and protected the ball, throwing no interceptions. His duel-threat ability is a completely different look for the Patriots’ offense — but Bill Belichick has prepared his team for a Brady-less run to the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady wearing anything other than a Patriots jersey might as well be a sign of the apocalypse — it is 2020 after all. In his Tampa Bay debut against the New Orleans Saints, Brady started strong leading the Bucs down the field in just nine plays for a QB sneak from the 2-yard line. After that impressive drive, however, Brady faded away.
Tampa Bay’s next five possessions played out like so: a punt, an interception, a blocked field goal, a punt, and another interception. The second interception was a pick-six which put the Bucs in a 24-7 hole just two minutes into the second half. While he did complete 23 of 26 passes for 239 yards, his passer rating was an abysmal 78.4.
Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson showed why they’re among the best gunslingers in the NFL with huge performances on Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson demonstrated why he was the NFL’s MVP last season, completing 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He also rushed for 45 yards on seven carries as the Ravens took care of the Browns 38-6.
Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson surpassed last year’s MVP with the following impressive state line: 31-for-35 passing, 322 yards, four passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Russell led his team to a 38-25 victory over the Atlanta Falcons with a passer rating of 143.1.
Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers had an equally monstrous performance on the field, leading his team to a 43-34 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. He completed 32 of 44 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the game with a 127.5 passer rating.