It was a messy weekend in the NFL as most of the East coast was under rainy, windy conditions. A majority of the games had the air taken out of the football due to the conditions and we saw teams rely heavily on the run game. The game of the week lived up to the hype as the Steelers scored a touchdown with 7:29 to play to take the lead from the Ravens. The Ravens had a few chances to take the lead but unable to score, the Steelers pulled out a 28-24 victory.
Roethlisberger didn’t look the sharpest after taking a hit early that seemed to bother his arm. He averaged just over 8 yards per completion for the game but managed to move the Steelers down the field for three second half touchdowns. The first came two plays after a Lamar Jackson interception. Roethlisberger hit Eric Ebron on a busted coverage and Ebron was able to walk into the endzone for an 18 yard touchdown. After a three and out, the Steelers went on a 10 play, 6 minute drive that ended with a James Conner 1 yard touchdown. Roethlisberger’s second touchdown of the day was a nice throw to Chase Claypool in the corner to take the lead.
Lamar Jackson didn’t have his greatest day throwing the football. The game started with an interception by Robert Spillane that gave the Steelers an early 7-0 lead. For most of the game, the Ravens dominated up front and methodically moved down the field en route to a 17-7 half time lead. Jackson again opened up the second half with an interception on the first play from scrimmage. Jackson tried to fit a ball into double coverage. Alex Highsmith did a good job high pointing the football but Jackson needs to do a better job taking care of the football. The way the game was going, continuing to run the football and not turning the ball over probably turns into a Ravens win. The Steelers did a good job of making him feel uncomfortable in the pocket which led to his worst completion percentage of the season at 46.4%.
The Sunday afternoon slate also saw a few big upsets to start the day. The Packers opened up the season with a dominating performance against the Vikings on the way to a 43-34 win. The Vikings came back this week with something to prove and Dalvin Cook led the way with 30 carries for 163 yards 3 touchdowns and added 63 receiving yards witha touchdown. The Packers, down two touchdowns, scored with 2:42 left in the game and converted the two point conversion to make it a 6 point game. The defense did it’s job and Aaron Rodgers had a chance with a Hail Mary before getting smashed by DJ Wonnum.
The Rams followed up their good Monday night performance with possibly Jarred Goff’s worst game of his career. The Dolphins defeated the Rams 28-17 in Tua Tagovailoa’s first career start. Tua didn’t look impressive with only 93 passing yards on 12/22 passing. The defense and special teams made up for his play with a fumble return for a touchdown, a punt return for a touchdown, and a forced fumble that set the Dolphins up on the 1. Miles Gaskin finished it off to take a 28-7 lead. On top of the fumbles, Goff added 2 interceptions as well.
The final big upset of the early games saw the Titans lose their second in a row, falling to the Bengals 31-20. The Bengals did a great job keeping the Titans off of the field in the first half. They put together scoring drives of 5:12, 4:59, and 5:32. The Titans also love using clocks with their running game but could only put together one scoring drive out of the four chances they had. A Ryan Tannehill interception, a Stephen Gostkowski missed field goal, and halftime ended the other three drives. Joe Burrow continued to put together a decent rookie campaign, completing 26/37 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. This was a game that really seemed over early and the Titans look to get back on track next week facing the Bears.
Those Bears looked like they might have something going early against the Saints jumping out to a 13-3 lead, but the offense and the Nick Foles experiment continues to disappoint. It may be difficult to make the switch back, but I think Mitch Trubisky got a raw deal in losing that starting job. The play calling by Matt Nagy has been atrocious. One of the best defenses in the league had another week doing all they could to keep their team in it. They managed to hold the Saints to three field goals in regulation but it wasn’t enough to come out on top.
The Cowboys looked to have something going early in the Sunday night game but the offense could only put together three field goals. The Cowboys were still in the game until momentum really changed due to the wild fumble returned for a touchdown and a safety on the following possession.