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Recap: NFL Starts the Season Off Strong

Teams are gearing up for the new season and future games
Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash.

After a nearly nine month waiting period, the 2023-2024 NFL season is here. These are the highlights, injuries, and scores over the first 16 games.

The season started the night of Thursday, Sept. 7, when the Detroit Lions played against 2023 Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs played without their star tight end, Travis Kelce, after he suffered a knee injury. This led Chiefs quarterback Patrick Moahomes to create new strategies to attempt a victory. However, the Chiefs still lost as Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw the ball for 253 yards, and the Lions defence held the Chiefs offence. The Lions barely won with a score of 21-20.
Following that, Sunday brought many ups and downs for the NFL. The biggest upset being the Cincinnati Bengals losing to the Cleveland Browns.

Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow recently became the highest paid quarterback, earning $275 million over a five-year period. On Sunday though, Burrow only had a 45 percent completion rate, and no touchdowns. Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had a 55 percent completion rate, and 154 yards. Browns running back Nick Chubb rushed over 100 yards and carried the ball 18 times throughout the game. The Browns won the game 24-3, a dramatic loss for the highest paid quarterback.

It was no surprise that the San Francisco 49ers would come out on top against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Sunday afternoon game. Defensive-end Nick Bosa returned after missing the entire offseason, which helped improve their defence against the Steelers. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy scored two touchdowns, and had 220 passing yards, which aided greatly in their win. The final score was 30-7.

The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots challenged each other throughout this game. At the start of the first quarter, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts made a fumble, leading the Patriots to gain possession of the ball. Towards the end of the quarter, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw an interception to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. Bourne ran for 70 yards and scored a touchdown, making the score 10-0. The biggest takeaway from this game was at the end of the fourth quarter when Bourne scored his second touchdown with 75 yards rushing. After that, the Patriots attempted to convert to first down while they were on fourth and two. Jones attempted to pass to tight-end Jonnu Smith, but was unsuccessful. The first down would have increased the Patriots chances of beating the Eagles. The score ended with the Eagles winning 25-20.

As the night progressed, the first Sunday night football game took place as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants played their first game of the season. The Cowboys defence made three interceptions, and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 143 yards, compared to Giants quarterback Daniel Jones’ 104 yards. Jones also had three turnovers, and got sacked multiple times by Cowboys defensive linebacker Micah Parsons. The Cowboys upset the Giants as they won the game 40-0.

Monday night concluded the first week of the 2023-2024 season as the Buffalo Bills were paired up against the New York Jets. Jets quarterback Aaron Rodegers started his first game for the team as he was recently traded to the Jets after being on the Green Bay Packers for 18 years. Only four minutes into the first quarter, Rodgers suffered an achilles injury after being sacked by Bills defensive linebacker Leonard Floyd. Rodgers was immediately taken off the field and into an exam room, and former starting quarterback Zach Wilson led the Jets on for the rest of the night. As the game went on, Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw three interceptions to the Jets defence. Allen is known for throwing interceptions as he threw 14 in the 2022 season. This gave the Jets an advantage to score more touchdowns. As a result of Allen’s passing mistakes, the game was tied at the end of the fourth quarter, 16-16. The teams headed to overtime to see who would take home the victory. When Bills punter Sam Martin kicked the ball back to the Jets, wide receiver Xavier Gipson caught the ball and ran 65 yards for a winning touchdown. The Jets won 22-16.

The first week concluded with many upsets and wins from underdog teams. The first week determined where teams are heading for the upcoming season. The Cowboys exceeded their expectations as they took home a 40-0 victory over the New York Giants. The Cowboys are now 2-0 as they also beat the New York Jets 30-10.

About the Contributor
Isabella Navarro
Isabella Navarro, Sports editor
What are your favorite TV shows/movies? 10 Things I Hate About You, The Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, and Breaking Bad What causes are you passionate about? I am passionate about world hunger and the foster care system Who are your favorite music artists?  Lana Del Rey, Tame Impala, The 1975