The first week of professional football made a statement for what could be an exhilarating season. Making up for a slow week in college football, a record number of close games took place this season. As it is still so early in the season that anything could happen but several teams made statements and several pulled ahead of their division. Thinking about last year and anticipating changes, I'll make some bold predictions that I hope will be more accurate than my baseball picks.
Despite having their backup quarterback after a controversy from two seasons ago, the New England Patriots pulled out a victory against a defensively dominant Arizona Cardinals in a close game. The rest of the division sustained losses: the Jets to the Bengals, the Bills to the Ravens, and the Dolphins to the Seahawks.
My favorite AFC team in nearby Cincinnati won against the aforementioned New York Jets. The Baltimore Ravens also won against the aforementioned Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Washington Redskins in the first game of Monday Night Football. The Browns took their place at the bottom with a loss to the Eagles.
The Houston Texans took a solid victory against the Chicago Bears and were another team to take a lead in their division. The Jaguars lost to the Packers, the Colts lost a heartbreaker to the Lions, and the Titans didn't put up much of a fight against the Vikings.
The reigning champion Denver Broncos won the first game of the season against their Super Bowl 50 opponent Carolina Panthers. The inter-division play between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers saw a victory for the Chiefs. The Oakland Raiders beat the New Orleans Saints.
The New York Giants had an exciting game against their divisional opponent the Dallas Cowboys while the Philadelphia Eagles dispatched the Browns. The Redskins' defense did not show up Monday night against Pittsburgh.
The North had a good first week. The Packers beat the Jaguars in a game that was closer than I thought it would be and fun to watch. The Vikings and Lions also won, but the Bears don't look to have a lot of hope this season.
Second-year quarterback Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a victory breaking my heart as the Falcons start off with a loss. The Panthers repeated their Super Bowl loss and the Saints didn't look great against the Raiders.
The Seahawks beat the Dolphins. The 49ers took down the Los Angeles Rams in late Monday night, the final game of week one and the Cardinals lost on Sunday night to the Patriots.
The teams pictured look to be solid picks for division leaders though I would like to see the NFC South change up and suspect the AFC East and AFC North to be highly competitive. Great matchups have already begun and I suspect they will continue throughout the weeks to come. I'm just excited that football is back to take up all my time on the weekends!