NFL Week 1 in the Books and What We Learned...

Opening weekend is in the books and aside from Monday Night Football so is week one of NFL action. A weekend that started with Antonio Brown as a Raider ended with him as a Patriot and the Browns as Super Bowl favorites ended with a 43-13 blowout by the hands of the Tennessee Titans. Why yes, as the Chiefs and Patriots were up to their same old ways as last season we still had a lot of surprises in opening weekend and were here to separate fact from fiction in the first edition of "What We Learned".

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (TEN 43-13)

Starting things off in Cleveland, the Browns were hyped as the best thing since sliced bread all through the 2019 off-season adding big names like Odell Beckham Jr and Olivier Vernon. Some even went as far as to have them picked to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl! To those dismay and the fans in Cleveland this definitely was not the case Sunday against the Titans. Marcus Mariota rolled into town throwing for 248 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions while Derick Henry rumbled on the ground for 84 yards on 19 carries and 1 touchdown leading to a 43-13 blowout win for the Titans. Baker Mayfield looked rattled by the Titans defense on the other side forcing him to throw 3 interceptions and only allowing 1 touchdown through the air. After such a loss many of the "Browns Haters" are thought to now have the upper hand and surely will voice their opinion in the coming days, however Baker Mayfield says he likes that and is focused on the locker room as well as their upcoming Monday Night mach-up with the New York Jets. What we've learned here with the Browns in week one is not to buy into a ton of hype and the same goes now with the loss. I thoroughly believe the Browns will bounce back in week 2 against the Jets, getting a little extra time being on MNF and now establishing a chip on their shoulder again will really suit them well. The Browns played a lot better last year when the world didn't believe in them and they felt they needed to prove something. Expect a more focused and prepared bunch out of Cleveland in Week 2. Don't discredit the Titans though, with a very disciplined and potent offense featuring emerging weapons like wide receiver A.J. Brown and a stingy defense the sky can be the limit for this team given Marcus Mariota stays healthy and plays well. Watch out for both these teams come December.

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (BAL 59-10)

Now onto that debacle down in Miami, the Ravens soared into south beach and wrecked the Dolphins by a score of 59-10. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamer Jackson looked like an MVP candidate throwing for 324 yards, 5 touchdowns through the air, no interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 99.4. Running back Mark Ingram scampered on the ground for 107 yards on 14 carries and a pair of touchdowns, while rookie sensation out of Oklahoma "Hollywood" Marquise Brown hauled in four passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns as well. It was a show of sure dominance from the Ravens through all four quarters never letting off the gas petal one bit. Keep the Ravens as a team to watch in 2019, mark it down. On the other side for the Dolphins things looked pretty bleak with running back Kenyan Drake never getting anything going on the ground with only twelve yards on the day and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick combined with Josh Rosen for two interceptions, 190 yards and one touchdown in the second quarter. Many could make the case that the Phins are just tanking at this point for the Draft slot next season, and they'd be surely right if things continue down this path. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who is entering the NFL Draft next year, has been highly speculated as an early front runner if the Dolphins truly are on the hunt for a change at signal caller. This would surely mark an abrupt end to the Josh Rosen era in Miami. Time will tell if the Dolphins put Rosen out more over the course of this season to see at least what they might have.

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals (TIE 27-27)

Lastly, Sunday was the depute for a ton of rookies across the NFL but none more speculated than Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma. Murray threw 56 passes in his depute, completing 29 of them for 308 yards and two touchdowns however turning it over with one interception. Matthew Stafford who had a good game on the other side with 385 yards through the air and 3 touchdowns seemed to have the game in hand. Until the Cardinals made a 18 point fourth quarter comeback to tie it up sending it to over time. Where both teams exchanged field goals eventually resulting in a tie ballgame. The Lions however did see a ton of production from their first round selection from a year ago in Tight End T.J. Hockenson who caught 6 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Not an ideal start though for either side however if you're a Cardinals fan you have to almost take this one as a win. Kyler Murray showed a lot of promise and pose in the fourth quarter to bring the team back and in position for over time. He still has a lot to work on but I think the Kyler & Kingsberry combo may work out in Arizona for a long time to come.

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