NFL Week 1: Tony Romo, Eli Manning highlight social media winners and losers

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/6760/" data-ylk="slk:Eli Manning">Eli Manning</a> face: 2017 edition (Screen shot via NBC)
Eli Manning face: 2017 edition (Screen shot via NBC)

This NFL season, we’re introducing a weekly installment in which we look at social media winners and losers across the NFL. Each week, we’ll scour Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and whatever else the kids are using these days to determine who dominated the social media conversation, for better or for worse. Let’s get to it. 

Winner: Tony Romo

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It’s been a long time since Tony Romo received a heap of social media praise on an NFL Sunday. The now-former Dallas Cowboys QB made his CBS debut, calling Sunday’s Oakland Raiders – Tennessee Titans game and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive.

Loser: Tom Brady

It’s hard to imagine being a social media loser on a night in which your team unveils the banner for its fifth championship after you led the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, but New England Patriots QB Tom Brady looked all of his 40 years in Thursday night’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and was memed accordingly.

Winner: Kareem Hunt fantasy owners

Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt was without a doubt one of the stars of Week 1. The rookie running back recovered from a fumble on his first NFL carry to rush for 246 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns against the reigning Super Bowl champions.

Of course, those who took a gamble on Hunt following Spencer Ware’s injury celebrated.

Loser: Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson fantasy owners

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell and Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson stood firmly atop most fantasy draft boards and both struggled in Week 1.

Bell showed plenty of rust, rushing for just 32 yards on 10 carries and catching three passes for 15 yards. Meanwhile, Johnson exited Sunday’s contest against the Detroit Lions with a dislocated wrist. He’ll be headed to the IR and could miss up to three months of action.

Winners: The Watt family

No family had a more dominant Sunday than the Watts. Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, who has raised a staggering $31 million (and counting) for Hurricane Harvey victims, took the field at NRG Stadium for the first time and the response from the crowd was unforgettable.

Sophie Musial, great-grandma of J.J., Steelers LB T.J. and Los Angeles Chargers fullback Derek Watt, also won our hearts when she wore her custom Texans jersey to church.

And in his NFL debut, T.J. did something his brother had never done before: record two sacks and an interception in the same game.

Derek’s Chargers nearly capped off a stellar opening week Monday night against the Denver Broncos, but his team’s furious comeback attempt was stymied by a blocked field goal.

Loser: California fans

The Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers opened their seasons Sunday, but someone might want to tell their fans. Both the Coliseum and Levi’s Stadium were shockingly empty for Sunday’s contests.

In these fans’ defense, the Rams and the 49ers haven’t really given their faithful much to cheer about these days and there are a bevy of alternative entertainment options in the state.

But, with the Rams’ 46-9 beatdown of the Indianapolis Colts in new head coach Sean McVay’s debut, maybe the tide will start to turn in the City of Angels, at least for one team.

LoserChuck Pagano

The Colts got the stuffing kicked out of them by Jared Goff and the Rams so badly that coach Chuck Pagano couldn’t even remember which team he just lost to.

Winner: Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick was a social media winner without doing anything at all. It was clear from looking at the Week 1 starting QBs across the league that his talents surpass those of, say, Scott Tolzien.

At the 49ers game, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry showed his support.

Some also used the lack of 49ers fan support to dispute the notion that signing Kaepernick would be bad for business.

Loser: Eli Manning

The classic Eli Manning face has a 2017 upgrade.

The New York Giants QB struggled without Odell Beckham Jr. against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, completing 29-of-38 passes for 220 yards and no touchdowns in a 19-3 loss.

It’s OK, Eli. You’ve still got those two Super Bowl rings.

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