NFL Week 1: Big questions, risers, fallers and takeaways

NFL Week 1:

T he 2023 NFL season is here, and Week 1 has been wild. In the early window, the San Francisco 49ers picked up right where they left off with a healthy Brock Purdy, the Cleveland Browns shut down Joe Burrow, and a handful of rookies stood out in their debuts.

Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins came out on top after an offensive battle against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers, Jordan Love had no issues being the Green Bay Packers No. 1 quarterback and the Denver Broncos didn’t score enough — again. Capping off Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys dominated the New York Giants en route to a 40-0 blowout.

Our NFL Nation reporters are reacting to all the action, answering lingering questions coming out of each game, and picking out who — or what — is rising and falling for every team. Let’s get to it.

Dallas 40, N.Y. Giants 0

Are the Cowboys this benefit? The last time the Ranchers opened the year with the destruction of the Goliaths was in 1995 (35-0). That group proceeded to win Super Bowl XXX. The Ranchers have been looking for another Super Bowl from that point onward. The street ahead will be significantly more troublesome – – perhaps one week from now against Aaron Rodgers and the New York Planes at AT&T Arena – – so don’t book trips to Las Vegas yet. Yet, this was as prevailing of a presentation as the Cattle rustlers have had in Mike McCarthy’s residency. The protection shut down the Monsters and contributed a score. The unique groups contributed a score. Tony Pollard contributed two objective line score runs, responding to any inquiries about how the Cattle Rustlers would deal with the deficiency of Ezekiel Elliott.

Stock up after the success: Dan Quinn. The organizer had his safeguard prepared, which wasn’t surprising, yet the unit was prevailing (six sacks in under 3/4 of activity). Starting around 2021 when Quinn assumed control, the Cowpokes have 10 cautious scores, including DaRon Tasteless’ pick-six Sunday, attached with the New Britain Loyalists for the most in that time. They additionally have had 22 games – – out of 35 aggregate – – with numerous focus points, three a bigger number than some other NFL group.

Stock down after the success: Since we need to pick someone, Brandon Aubrey didn’t assist with transforming numerous into genuine devotees by missing his most memorable additional reason behind the season, raising some Brett Maher recollections. Be that as it may, he made his next four focuses after attempts and both field objective endeavors, so there’s a compelling reason that should be excessively stressed. – – Todd Bowman
Next game: vs. Jets (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Is the Giants’ offensive line going to be their Achilles heel all season long? This was perhaps the team’s biggest concern entering the opener. Would the Giants’ line hold up against a dominant Cowboys pass rush? The answer was clearly “No” after New York allowed seven sacks. It made it impossible for the team to run any offense and quarterback Daniel Jones was flustered and regressed to his early form. The Giants need to figure out a way to get this right quickly, otherwise, they’ll be embarrassed again by the 49ers in prime time in Week 3. Second-year guard Joshua Ezeudu is an option, but he couldn’t win a starting job this summer despite every opportunity. Looking outside the organization for a veteran (Justin Pugh, Dalton Risner, or D.J. Fluker) might be an option the Giants need to explore.

Stock up after the loss: Sorry, can’t think of anything. Nobody was good for the Giants. They lost 40-0 after giving up 26 first-half points. It’s hard to pick positives from that kind of takedown. The Giants opened with a field goal attempt returned for a touchdown. Jones had two interceptions, including a pick-six. Even the always-reliable Graham Gano missed a chip-shot field goal.

Stock down after the loss: More than anything, the right side of the offensive line was especially concerning. Right tackle Evan Neal and right guard Mark Glowinski were at fault for five sacks. They also allowed constant pressure throughout the contest. Dallas had 12 pressures in the first half alone, with most of it coming against that right side. — Jordan Raanan

Next game: at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Philadelphia 25, New England 20


What’s up with the Eagles offense? The normally dynamic offense sputtered for much of the game and had to settle for four Jake Elliott field goals. The Eagles went three-and-out on four straight possessions in the first half. They had only one game with four three-and-outs last season: their Week 17 loss to the Saints with Gardner Minshew under center. And Jalen Hurts’ late fumble could have cost them the game. It’s likely just a temporary malaise — the starters didn’t play during the preseason so there’s some rust to knock off, and the Patriots’ defense is legit. The concern would be if this is a sign teams have identified ways to slow this attack through their offseason studies.

Stock up after the win: DT Jalen Carter. The rookie made his presence felt in his NFL debut, generating a team-best six pressures and registering his first sack. Carter made it look easy, using his unique blend of speed and power to routinely pierce the backfield.

Stock down after the win: Eagles offensive line. Normally a primary strength of this team, the offensive front struggled to keep a clean pocket for Hurts, who was pressured 19 times and sacked three times. It was a tough first assignment, as Bill Belichick is as good as it gets at creating confusion upfront, but this unit needs to be better. — Tim McManus

Next game: vs. Vikings (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Can the Patriots start faster in Week 2? Self-inflicted mistakes helped put the Patriots into a 16-0 hole, which made life more difficult than it had to be. Captain Deatrich Wise Jr. lined up in the neutral zone on the initial second down of the game, so instead of a third-and-long after a botched snap, the penalty helped extend the Eagles’ opening drive that ended with a field goal. That was followed by a Mac Jones pick-six and Ezekiel Elliott losing a fumble that was turned into a touchdown. The Patriots didn’t look ready to play early, which was a major disappointment on a day when Gillette Stadium was rocking with Tom Brady back in town to be honored. The team is home again in Week 2 and another slow start could be costly with road games at the Jets and Cowboys in Weeks 3 and 4.

Stock up after the loss: Defense. After a shaky start to open the game, the unit held the Eagles to nine points after the first quarter. The Patriots were stingy in limiting the Eagles to 251 total yards.

Stock down after the loss: Running game. It didn’t help that starting guards Cole Strange (knee) and Mike Onwenu (ankle) were inactive, but holes were hard to come by for backs Rhamondre Stevenson, Elliott, and Ty Montgomery II. The group tallied 76 rushing yards on 22 attempts — Mike Reiss

Next game: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Miami 36, L.A. Chargers 34


Was today’s run defense the new normal or an anomaly? The Chargers ran for 121 yards in the first half and didn’t slow down, finishing with 234 rushing yards — the most the Dolphins have allowed since the Bears ran for 252 yards in 2022. The Dolphins offense looked plenty capable of holding up its end of a shootout, but it’s disheartening to get into a shootout with the Chargers when Justin Herbert passes for only 228 yards. Against a run-heavy opponent in the New England Patriots next week, this facet of the Dolphins’ game must be cleaned up.

Stock up after the win: Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill. Tagovailoa had 466 yards with three touchdowns and was 8-of-14 on throws of at least 15 air yards, with five going to Hill, whose road to 2,000 receiving yards got off to a scorching start with an 11-catch, 215-yard, 2-touchdown day.

Stock down after the win: The Dolphins’ front seven. They were dominated throughout the day by the Chargers’ rushing attack — but Miami’s pass-rushers were also quietly ineffective. They did come through when it counted, forcing a Herbert intentional grounding before sacking him twice on the Chargers’ final drive to seal the win. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next game: at Patriots (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

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