Breakout Performances in Week 1 Upset Victories
Jameis Winston and the New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints hosted the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville, Florida. Where the Saint’s dominated the highly favored Packers in a 3-38 blowout. The Saints’ defense shut down last season’s 2nd best offense, forcing three turnovers, including intercepting two of Aaron Rodgers’ passes. While Jameis Winston broke out going 14-for-20, passing five touchdowns to four separate receivers for 148 yards. One of the touchdown receivers being Alvin Kamara, who also ran for 83 yards on 20 carries. Impressive performance from both sides of the ball. In a dominant performance as the Saints didn’t lose a step without Drew Brees.
The Saints are looking like they are going to be strong this season. Especially once Winston gets wideouts Michael Thomas and Tre-Quan Smith back from injury. This win against the Packers was deemed a home game for the Saints yet they played in Jacksonville. The surge of Saints fans coming back into the Superdome will give New Orleans a strong home-field advantage. Continuing through the season especially in key home games against Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Buffalo later this season. The Saints look to have another top-tier defense again this season. New Orleans could be a dark horse in the NFC for a playoff run.
Vic Fangio’s Denver Broncos
Vic Fangio finally won the first season opener of his professional head coaching career, defeating the New York Giants 27-13 at MetLife Stadium after going 0-7 at the beginning of the previous two seasons. Announcing Teddy Bridgewater at starting Quarterback turned out to be the right choice. Bridgewater was as cool as ice with a 115.7 passer rating staying calm in the pocket going 20-for-36, tossing two touchdown passes, and 264 yards in the air. In addition to the Broncos’ offense, Melvin Gordon III ran all over the Giants averaging 9.2 yards per carry, rushing for 101 yards on 11 attempts, his 2nd highest yards per carry average in a game of his career. This is the best-looking offensive performance Denver has seen in a while.
Also, Von Miller came back strongly, wrapping up Giants’ Quarterback Daniel Jones twice for two sacks in his first game back since 2019. The Denver defense forced a three-and-out twice and a fumble on Jones when the Giants were beginning to rally on that drive. Despite losing Jerry Jeudy for an expected 6-8 weeks Denver’s depth at the wide receiver position shouldn’t hold them back too much. Denver will look to continue their success in week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Houston Texans Interrupt Trevor Lawrence’s Debut
The Houston Texans stomped their rival Jacksonville Jaguars 21-37 in Houston. Amid the uncertainty of DeShaun Watson’s future, the Texans announced Tyrod Taylor the starter. Despite little expectation from the Texans, Taylor balled out going 21-for-33, passing two touchdowns, and 291 yards. Including a 52 yard bomb to Brandon Cooks splitting two Jacksonville defenders putting Houston inside the red zone. The Texans recorded a total of 449 offensive yards, controlling the momentum of the game in the air and on the ground. With Mark Ingram II and Phillip Lindsay playing well splitting the carries in the backfield.
The Texans’ defense intercepted rookie Quarterback Trevor Lawrence three times. Houston played far greater than expected and the Jaguars never came close to a comeback.
First-year Head Coach David Culley spoke on his team’s victory saying”...this football team expected to win today, and we knew if we did the things we had been practicing, we did the things that are winning football, we'd have a chance to win the game, and we did that today."
A confidence booster for David Culley. The Texans seem to be sneakily talented, especially on defense, getting six hits on Lawrence including a sack. As Houston is off to a better start than expected.