After much uncertainty leading up to the start of the 2020 NFL season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Week 1 got off to a roaring start that made it seem there was any doubt, to begin with. Now that the first week has come and gone, it’s time to jump into some three takeaways we saw over the weekend.
A lot of matchups featured mostly divisional games with some teams facing other top teams in their conference — games like the Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams, Tennesee Titans vs. Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs to name a few.
Certain teams got off to a fast start while others failed to get it going. In a season where fanbases tend to overreact based on their team’s performance — just remember that it’s just Week 1 and identities will change between now and Week 17.
Although, keep in mind, that an extra team will make it as a Wild Card this season, meaning teams that may have been done by Week 17 in year’s past, could still be alive in the 2020 season. But remember, it’s Week 1 and we’ve got 240 more games to be played.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at three takeaways from the week that was.
Kansas City Looks Unstoppable Again
The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs picked up where they left off last season and that’s with a convincing season-opening win against Houston. And like the last time they faced Houston, they ran away with the game after being down early. Sure, it wasn’t 24-0, but no matter what the score seems to be, Patrick Mahomes continues to score at will.
Now throw in rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire as another dangerous weapon for Andy Reid and this offense, and you can make a strong case for Kansas City to repeat as champions. However, as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had to deal with for 20 seasons, is how will Kansas City fair knowing they have a bullseye on their back?
If Mahomes and company can weather a yearly long storm from the team’s best shot, then they’ll continue to prove that they can be the next great dynasty in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers Back?
There was a lot of talk regarding the ability of Aaron Rodgers on whether he was losing arm strength or bleaker: becoming washed up. If Rodgers’ start against the Minnesota Vikings is any indication of his 2020 season, then look out, NFL. After a slow start, Rodgers would heat up to throw 364 yards and four touchdowns in a game where Minnesota was favored — and favored to slow down No. 12.
While Minnesota defenders had no answer for Rodgers, they also had no answer for his favorite target Davante Adams — who also torched them for 14 catches, 156 yards, and two touchdowns –who also tied Packers legend Don Hutson‘s single-game record with 14 reception.
If Rodgers and company can produce at a high level — they also got contributions from Aaron Jones, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling –, then they can erase all the doubt for not drafting a wide receiver at the NFL Draft in April.
Upset on the Road
Despite coming up heartbreakingly short in last year’s Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to be right in the thick of things in the NFC come January. However, the Arizona Cardinals never got that memo and decided to play spoiler on the road against one of the most complete teams in the NFL.
After winning Rookie of the Year last season, Kyler Murray has looked like the future of the Cardinals — and gifting him DeAndre Hopkins will give him and Arizona a true number one wide receiver — which has been lacking for quite some time out West.
Despite being a young, inexperienced team with a ton of upside to them, they didn’t falter on the road against the defending NFC champs after being down early. If Murray can continue to improve in a division that’s expected to be one of the more competitive ones across the NFL, then this is a team that’s going to be a problem the entire season.
Honorable mention of our three takeaways is the story happening in our Nation’s Captial. The Washington Football Team rallied for their new head coach Ron Rivera at halftime after Dwayne Haskins‘ motivational speech. Whether you cheer for the team or not, they have a relatable story as Rivera deals with lymph node cancer.
Sometimes, when a team faces the unknown out of their control, it can motivate a team to play well — as evident in their comeback win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.