The NFL wraps up Week 1 on Monday with the San Francisco 49ers as part of a Monday Night Football double-header, but there is plenty to take away from Sunday’s 13 games. It was a wild day for the NFC West, and plenty of other notable 49ers opponents and rivals. Here are some of the top stories, at least as far as we are concerned. Any other games stand out to you in Week 1?
The Seattle Seahawks are still slow starters
The Seahawks barely beat the Miami Dolphins, scoring a go-ahead touchdown with 31 seconds left to win 12-10. Seattle has had great success the last few years, but they have been inconsistent out of the gate. Their defense kept the Dolphins from doing enough to get a win, and the offense managed just enough. The big issue is Russell Wilson’s ankle sprain, but they’ll be fine. They might lose on the road in LA next week, but I don’t think Week 1 is a sign of anything particularly bad for now.
Never bet against Bill Belichick with a full offseason to prepare
The New England Patriots entered Week 1 without Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Nate Solder, or Jonathan Cooper. They were 9.5 point underdogs, which was their largest spread since they were 14-point underdogs to the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl in 2002. New England did benefit from Arizona missing a 47-yard field goal at the end of the game, but they still stymied the Cardinals all night long. I don’t know yet what this means for Arizona, who is home for Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jack Del Rio has some stones
The guttiest decision of Week 1 belongs to Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio. Oakland stormed back from a 24-10 deficit to score what would have been the tying touchdown with 47 seconds left. Del Rio chose to go for two instead of the game-tying extra point, and Derek Carr connected with Michael Crabtree on the end zone fade. The Saints kicker almost drilled a 61-yard field goal for the win, but he just pulled it.
This kind of guts is what is missing from a lot of NFL coaches. The Saints can score in a heart-beat at home. If you’re Del Rio and have a chance to end this thing, it is not as stunning a choice as it often seems. This Raiders defense has a lot of questions, but this should be a fun team to watch all season.
Dak Prescott can do some things, but is still a rookie
The Dallas Cowboys almost pulled off the home upset on Sunday, but when Terrance Williams did not get out of bounds, it cost them any chance at the win. Dak Prescott got off to a solid enough start, but clearly is still a rookie. There is chatter Romo might be done as starter, but I think we can wait and see what the next few games bring. Prescott finished 25 of 45 for 227 yards, and had two rushes for 12 yards. He gets to travel to Washington in Week 2, in another huge early divisional matchup. If the Cowboys drop to 0-2 in the division, including one home loss, they’re going to be in a tough spot.
Alex Smith and the Chiefs doing some things
Props to the Kansas City Chiefs for the big comeback against the San Diego Chargers. They are tied with the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders atop the AFC West, holding the tie-breaker for now with the divisional win. This is their division to win, but their defense will need to settle down a bit. I think Oakland is in a better position to win a shootout between these two teams, but the Chiefs defense has the more significant upside this season.