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Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season kicked off this weekend and it did not disappoint. With 10 games within a touchdown,including 6 games within 2 points, it was a very exciting start to the season.
Let’s start off with Thursday’s season opener. A rematch of Super Bowl fifty with the Carolina Panthers taking on the Denver Broncos. This game set the tone for the week as the Broncos and their stellar defence took a fourth quarter lead and hung on to win 21-20 thanks to a missed 50 yard field goal by Graham Gano with 4 seconds left after being iced (calling a timeout right before the snap to throw the kickers timing/rhythm off). It was a tough pill to swallow for reigning MVP Cam Newton and the Panthers, who were looking to extract some revenge of last year’s finals. Both teams looked pretty sharp in this one and are going to be definite threats to make it back to the big dance in February.
A few other teams made some big impressions on Sunday. The revamped Oakland Raiders are coming into this season as the “sexy” pick in the AFC west, with tons of speculation that this team is on the verge of drastic improvements. They were in tough against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. This was a gunslingers game with both teams exchanging scores throughout and going well over the line makers over/under 51. The game was decided by the Raiders scoring a last-minute touchdown and going for, and converting, the 2 point conversion for the win as opposed to the safe extra point to tie. Raiders 35- Saints 34.
Another of the many great battles was the AFC west matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs were favourites in this one by a touchdown but it was the Chargers that came out the gates electric taking a 21-3 lead into the locker room at halftime. It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that the Chiefs started surging and managed to tie the game and send it to OT. KC scored a touchdown in extra time to end the upset threat and take their home opener 33-27.
One of the big upsets that held up was the New England Patriots taking down the 9 point favourite Arizona Cardinals. Many people have the Cards as the Super Bowl favourite this year but Bill Bilichick and the Brady-less Pats did what they always seem to do and win. Jimmy Garoppolo played well in the 1st of 4 games that he will be under centre while Brady serves his “Deflate Gate” suspension. This was another game that went right down to the wire with Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro missing a 47 yard field goal with 41 seconds remaining giving the Patriots a 23-21 victory. The rest of Sunday’s scores included Baltimore hanging on to beat the Buffalo Bills 13-7. Tampa Bay over Atlanta 31-24. Houston 23 Chicago 14. Green Bay 27 Jacksonville 23. Cincinnati 23 New York Jets 22. Philadelphia 29 Cleveland 10. Minnesota 25 Tennessee 16. Seattle 12 Miami 10. NY Giants 20 Dallas 19. Detroit 35 Indianapolis 35. There were 2 Monday nighters in week 1 with the Pittsburg Steelers taking it to the Washington Redskins 38-16 and the San Fransisco 49ers shutting out the LA Rams 28-0.
The season is underway and it is shaping up to be a good one! Next up the Buffalo Bills look to bounce back on Thursday night against Division rivals the New York Jets.
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