Week 1 is always a great weekend. Every team has a fresh start, and it really does feel like anything could happen.
That in mind, Week 1 is also a very strange week, as several teams are still trying to figure things out, leading to more upsets and head-scratching performances, while others rise to the occasion and start the season off strong.
Here are three winners and three losers from Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.
Winner: Detroit Lions
Stone Cold Dan Campbell and his legion of leg-nibblers shocked the NFL world to kickoff the NFL season by defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on the road. Forget the fact that Chris Jones and Travis Kelce weren’t playing. Every team goes through adversity. The Lions were the better team.
Loser: Buffalo Bills
That game was handed to Buffalo on a silver platter, and they gave it away by not playing disciplined football. Josh Allen really needs to clean up his act on the field and take layups rather than launching full court shots when he doesn’t need to.
Winner: Miami Dolphins
What a combination of performances from Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill. Tua threw for over 460 yards, while Hill topped 200 yards receiving in a huge road win over the Chargers that could have playoff implications when all is said and done.
Loser: New York Giants
I mean, my goodness what a beating. I didn’t think the Giants would be nearly as good as they were in 2022, but I don’t think even the largest of doubters would have predicted a 40-0 loss at home. The Cowboys had three takeaways and a blocked field goal that they returned for a touchdown, and the outcome was never in doubt.
Winner: Los Angeles Rams
Without Cooper Kupp, and with a defense full of unknown players outside of Aaron Donald, the Rams went up to Seattle and beat the Seahawks convincingly. Matthew Stafford threw for 334 yards, while rookie Puka Nacua caught 10 passes to lead the Rams in a surprise win over a Seahawks team that really struggled on both sides of the ball.
Loser: Pittsburgh Steelers
T.J. Watt had three sacks. Everyone else was putrid. Kenny Pickett played a terrible game, throwing two bad interceptions, and having a third one dropped by Fred Warner. Steelers fans can complain about Matt Canada all they want, but this game was not on him- it was on the quarterback, and everyone on the defense not wearing No. 90. Christian McCaffrey ran for over 150 yards at seven yards a clip, and the defense couldn’t get off the field on third down while making Brandon Aiyuk look like Jerry Rice. Just an uninspired performance all around.