Buffalo Bills: Nathan Peterman was not named the starting quarterback for the Bills after a 47-3 loss Week 1 at Baltimore. “We are still evaluating the quarterback decision. We all have to do our jobs better and it starts with me,” head coach Sean McDermott said. Peterman gave way to rookie Josh Allen with 11:22 left in the third quarter. Peterman completed 5 of 18 passes for 24 yards and two interceptions while being sacked three times. In his previous start last season at San Diego, he threw five interceptions in the first half.
The Bills host the Chargers in Week 2.
Miami Dolphins: Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were the lone NFL players to kneel during the national anthem during Sunday’s Week 1 games. Head coach Adam Gase, who relented on a rule against kneeling last November, stood by his “I’m coaching football. I’m not dealing with this,” position on Sunday. But unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick did offer support via Twitter. “They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated,” he wrote of Stills and Wilson. “Their courage will move the world forward! Love is at the root of our resistance!”
New England Patriots: Undrafted rookie Ralph Webb could be moved from the practice squad to the 53-man roster as Jeremy Hill lands on injured reserve with a torn ACL in his right knee. In pursuit of Tyrann Mathieu after a turnover, Hill was drilled inadvertently by fullback James Develin. Webb had 31 carries for 102 yards and five receptions for 28 yards with three total TDs over four preseason games. Hill’s final assessment of Webb during preseason could be telling. “Keep doing his thing and good things will happen for him,” Hill said.
Baltimore Ravens: Future opponents have plenty to think about after the Ravens unveiled their Action Jackson package with rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. He lined up at wide receiver, running back and quarterback in Sunday’s game. “We wanted to establish him as a threat quickly, not as a possible threat,” coach John Harbaugh said. Jackson had seven carries for 39 yards and completed one pass in four attempts, with some of that production coming after Joe Flacco sat in garbage time. “We opened things up with some of the motion I was doing. Had the defense guessing,” Jackson said. “They never know what’s going to happen. Keep the defense guessing.”
Cleveland Browns: Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah injured his ankle on the final play of the first quarter on Sunday and is likely to miss Week 2 at New Orleans. Ogbah managed to play 27 snaps, but his attempt to return to the game was short-lived. Anthony Zettel, claimed off of waivers from the Detroit Lions last week and inactive for the opener, is a candidate to share time with Chris Smith with Ogbah out. Browns coach Hue Jackson said the team would know more about Ogbah’s status Wednesday. “We’ll see how he responds,” Jackson said Monday. A foot injury put Ogbah on injured reserve in November 2017.
Cincinnati Bengals: Running back Joe Mixon is assuming a leadership role with his actions, and that goes beyond his in-game production on 22 touches at Indianapolis. “He was the first person to congratulate John Ross (following his TD). I’m sure he was the first one in the end zone with Clayton Fejedelem (after the game-clinching TD),” coach Marvin Lewis said. “So, no it hasn’t changed one bit. He is the first one at everything and to congratulate his teammates. Within the football game, his spirit and drive is evident in that huddle.”
Pittsburgh Steelers: Cornerback Artie Burns said a couple of things got him going when he got tied up in a sideline skirmish with Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry on Sunday. “I lost my cool a little bit,” Burns said. Burns said Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who spent the past six seasons in Pittsburgh, shared a few choice words with him during the brouhaha. As for particulars from the fiery Haley, Burns claimed he forgot what was said. “It was a blur,” he added.
Houston Texans: Quarterback Deshaun Watson was spotty in his return from last November’s ACL tear in his right knee during Houston’s season-opening loss to the New England Patriots. Watson was 17-of-34 passing for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception and referred to his play as “terrible on my part.” However, coach Bill O’Brien was willing to cut Watson some slack. “It’s only his seventh game as a starter in this league,” O’Brien said. “He hasn’t played football in a live game, a regular season game, in a while. ... There’s a little bit of rust involved in all of those things and I know that he will improve. He’ll work very hard to improve but there’s a lot of work to do.”
Indianapolis Colts: Quarterback Andrew Luck played in a regular season game for the first time in 20 months and he was winging balls all over the football field in the opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Luck completed a career-best 39 passes while connecting with nine different receivers en route to passing for 319 yards in his first game under new coach Frank Reich. “I think it was fun getting to see how Frank calls a whole game,” Luck said. “I really feel there were some times when we got into a really good rhythm and everybody is catching the ball and running the ball and we were moving the ball. We’ll work to capture that feeling for 60 minutes, and we knew it wasn’t going to be perfect.”
Jacksonville Jaguars: Running back Leonard Fournette suffered a right hamstring injury in the opener against the New York Giants and his status for the AFC Championship Game rematch with the New England Patriots will likely be determined late in the week. “I talked to (the doctors) and they said it was a minor hamstring injury,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “We have a lot of time and we will see where it is. If he is ready to go, we will ease him back in there. We will see how he feels. I think a lot of it depends on that.” Fournette rushed for 41 yards on nine carries against the Giants before exiting as T.J. Yeldon (51 yards on 14 carries) handled most of the workload the rest of the contest.
Tennessee Titans: Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker was placed on injured reserve Monday with a serious ankle injury suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Titans haven’t disclosed his injury but Walker reportedly broke the ankle and his loss represents a big blow to the Tennessee offense. “Disappointing because he puts a lot into it,” Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel said. “He plays hard. Been a productive player for us and somebody that I was excited to coach and be with. Hopefully we’ll see where he’s at after surgery and then re-evaluate his potential return.” Second-year pro Jonnu Smith 19 career catches, one against Miami) figures to get more targets in the passing game.
Denver Broncos: Signed just two weeks before the season opener, Adam Jones is already making his presence felt in Denver, nabbing an interception on 38 defensive snaps and breaking a 24-yard punt return (which was called back for holding) against the Seahawks. Head coach Vance Joseph, who spent two years with Jones in Cincinnati, had high praise Monday for the soon-to-be 35-year-old corner. “I was very pleased with his assignment check and his eye placement and his technique,” Joseph said. “I mean he challenged those guys. ... Honestly, he’s not in great shape yet, and he’ll tell you that. But moving forward, he was a great guy to sign by John because he’s helping our team in a large way.”
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs were thrilled to get a 10-point road victory over a divisional opponent on Sunday, but Andy Reid saw several things to correct from the opener against the Chargers. First and foremost was the offense’s fourth-quarter struggles, as the Chiefs gained just 4 yards on 12 plays in four possessions in the final frame. “That’s ridiculous,” Reid told reporters Monday. “You’ve got to do better than that.” Reid also said quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who ran five times for 21 yards, can do a better job protecting himself from dangerous hits. “I’m sure he’ll feel it today,” Reid said. Mahomes also took six hits in the pocket, including three from Melvin Ingram, but was sacked just once.
Los Angeles Chargers: Despite falling to the Chiefs for the ninth consecutive time, the Chargers are relatively upbeat after looking back at how many of their issues were self-inflicted. “I’m sure fired up about this year,” Philip Rivers said after the loss, citing a number of missed opportunities. Head coach Anthony Lynn agreed on Monday. “There was a lot of positives,” he said. “The offense had yards of offense, they did some good things execution-wise. But yards don’t mean anything if you don’t put points on the board.” Lynn wondered if wideouts Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin — who combined for three critical drops on deep throws — were pressing too hard, but he has not lost confidence in them. “They’re good receivers, and they’ll bounce back,” Lynn said.
Dallas Cowboys: There is no change coming in the structure of offensive game plan and play-calling for the Cowboys. Head coach Jason Garrett said the effort was “not good enough, adding, “Everybody has a part of that. We have to improve offensively.” As for taking over the game-day calls from offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, Garrett said he has no intention of playing that card. “I have a tremendous amount of faith in Scott.”
The Cowboys finished with 232 total yards while averaging 4.1 yards per play, failing to get a first down on five of 11 possessions.
New York Giants: Ereck Flowers’ move from left tackle to right tackle is off to a rough start. Flowers was flagged on two of the first three plays Sunday, and was also charged with a sack. Flowers said he had some trouble with the Jaguars’ edge talent. “My first full game at right,” Flowers said. “(Jacksonville had) probably the best rushers yet that I’ve played at right, so it was a little different. But got to get better and move on. Go on to the next game and continue to work at it and get better at it.” Quarterback Eli Manning took the high road assessing Flowers on Monday. “Sometimes you can get off to a slow start,” he said. “You put it behind you, go to the next series, and it can only get better.
Philadelphia Eagles: A wide receiver depth chart with no true No. 1 continued to churn on Monday as the Eagles returned from a three-day layoff to prepare for the Buccaneers. Former Ravens first-round pick Breshad Perriman visited the team, and the Eagles signed a host of wide receivers, including Braxton Miller (Texans) to the practice squad. Without Alshon Jeffery, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, the Eagles turned to Nelson Agholor (eight catches, 33 yards) in Week 1. Mike Wallace said the Eagles are stressing explosive plays. “There have been a lot of guys in and out during training camp, a lot of guys up and a lot of guys down,” Wallace said Monday, a statement applicable to wide receivers and quarterbacks during August workouts. “We’ve been all over the place as far as guys working consistently in practice. We’ll jell. We had a pretty good day today.”
Washington Redskins: Adrian Peterson’s Week 1 performance at Arizona earned him a game ball from coach Jay Gruden and a flood of admiration during film review Monday. “Running backs at that age in the history of the NFL haven’t had too much success,” Gruden said of the 33-year-old. “But he’s his own guy. He’s a different animal. ... we’re fortunate he was on the streets and he had a great workout. ... He actually got stronger as the game went on.” Peterson, who had 166 total yards in the victory over the Cardinals, is being given select veteran “rest” days during the week.
Chicago Bears: In his first game with the team, outside linebacker Khalil Mack made his share of big plays, including a forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception return for a touchdown. But he said the biggest takeaway from Week 1 was the effort wasn’t good enough. “You can take away a few positives,” Mack said. “You definitely have to learn from this, about finishing. You have a few positives, but it’s a lot of negatives. You are only really satisfied when you win.” Chicago didn’t sack Aaron Rodgers once in the second half despite the quarterback battling a knee issue that limited his movement.
Green Bay Packers: The Packers have “some information” but are not sharing it until the NFL requires an injury status update on quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers injured his left knee and said he was in a lot of pain Sunday night when he went to the locker room on a cart, only to return and complete 17 of 23 passes for 273 yards in the second half. One factor in the decision is Rodgers’ mobility with the Minnesota Vikings up next. Rodgers was injured at Minnesota last season when he took a shot from linebacker Anthony Barr. “We’re still collecting all the information on his specific situation,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I know Aaron wants to play and is always driven to play, but that’s all I have for you right now.”
Minnesota Vikings: Opposing coach Kyle Shanahan felt the 49ers would have opportunities presented to make a play against former pupil Kirk Cousins, but the new Vikings’ quarterback was able to thread the needle on multiple occasions to win his debut on Sunday. After watching the film, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer — who commonly praised former quarterback Case Keenum for his, eh, guts — came away impressed. “He is pretty accurate. The one to Rudolph was a tight window. The one to (Stefon) Diggs, the one to (David) Morgan. He has been doing it in practice, too. He throws into tight places. When he needs to hum it, he can hum it. There was another throw in there, can’t remember which one it was, but he hummed that one in there pretty good, too. I thought it was probably a little bit of both. A little guts and a little bit of arm talent.”
Atlanta Falcons: The loss of Pro Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal leaves a void, and the Falcons feel second-year pro Damontae Kazee is ready to step up. Kazee was a ball-hawking cornerback at San Diego State, but his tackling ability also caught the eyes of Atlanta coach Dan Quinn. “We just said we think he had the skill set to play safety,” Quinn said. “So right when he arrived here, we put him at safety and at nickel. When we said OK, let’s just leave him at one spot to learn it, we settled at free safety. Then this year, we went back to training him at two spots where he can play safety and nickel. Now we’ll do it again with him at strong safety.”
Carolina Panthers: Coach Ron Rivera didn’t reveal how long tight end Greg Olsen (foot) will be sidelined, but it is clear he won’t be available for Sunday’s game against the Falcons. The injury provides an opportunity for fourth-round pick Ian Thomas. The Panthers — and Olsen — are high on the former Indiana player. “Ian has all the traits to be a true NFL tight end,” Olsen said recently. “He’s strong enough. He can engage at the line of scrimmage. He’s smooth. He’s faster than you think he is. He catches the ball well. So I think Ian has a chance to have all the traits to be a complete guy.”
New Orleans Saints: With Mark Ingram serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, there was plenty of work for Alvin Kamara on Sunday. “Probably up 10 from his normal average,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of Kamara’s 52 offensive snaps in the opening loss to Tampa Bay. “He’s somewhere in that 40 count. I felt like he’s in excellent shape, I thought he played exceptionally well yesterday and yet, it turned into one of those space, matchup games where we were throwing it more than we would like.” Kamara actually had more receptions (nine) than carries (eight) as he had a career-best 112 receiving yards in addition to a touchdown and added 29 rushing yards and two scores.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was beaming after throwing for 417 yards and four touchdown passes in the season-opening win over New Orleans for many reasons — one being that he has endured numerous low moments filled with boo-birds in his career. “There are so many high-highs and there are so many low-lows in this game,” Fitzpatrick said. “My wife, especially, and the kids have kind of been through it all with me. You learn to enjoy these.” Fitzpatrick is supposed to be the temporary starter until Jameis Winston returns from a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, but another strong showing this Sunday against the defending Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles could make things interesting.
Arizona Cardinals: There weren’t many positives to take from Sunday’s 24-6 drubbing at home against Washington, but head coach Steve Wilks was impressed with the team’s performance in the third phase. The Cardinals allowed a total of 36 return yards on two kickoffs (24 yards) and two punts (12) while springing rookie Christian Kirk for a 44-yard punt return “On special teams, I thought guys did a great job just with effort, playing with hands, getting off blocks, making tackles,” Wilks told reporters. “And you can see the excitement in the return game with Christian and his ability, and the things he’s going to be able to do on a consistent basis. ...I think it’s going to be good for us throughout the year.”
San Francisco 49ers: Some might have tempered expectations for second-year tight end George Kittle when he was listed behind Garrett Celek on the depth chart, but Kittle proved to be a key part of Kyle Shanahan’s offense on Sunday. He outsnapped Celek 51 (77 percent) to 23 (35 percent) and led the team in targets (nine), receptions (five) and receiving yards (90), including three grabs for 45 yards in the second quarter. Kittle’s day should have been even better, as an early third-quarter deep ball clanged off his hands, a play before Jimmy Garoppolo threw a pick-six. “It’s a play we hit all the time, so I am pretty disappointed in myself for that,” Kittle said.
Seattle Seahawks: Head coach Pete Carroll said the six sacks allowed on Sunday were the product of several factors, with both the offensive line and Russell Wilson taking significant blame. “He got hammered,” Carroll said of Wilson Monday on ESPN 710 Seattle. ...He bailed a couple of times and got in trouble, but we didn’t protect him as well as we needed to throughout.” Seattle’s ineffective and infrequent run game (15 carries, 40 yards outside of a 24-yard Chris Carson dash) also was a factor by leading to too many obvious passing situations. “There were too many third-and-longs,” Carroll said. “That’s enough to wreck your day if you don’t overcome it.”
—Field Level Media