Spending a day watching football, you could almost forget your worries and troubles for a moment. Almost. It was, however, a remarkably ordinary NFL day of fantastic finishes, injuries, player and coaching miscues, and fantasy excitement and disappointment.
Every Monday I'll come here and briefly recap the day, talking about the things that stood out for me from each game. It's not possible to get everything, so feel free to chime in below with stuff that made an impression on you. Let's get to it.
Eagles at A Football Team: This was all Eagles early and all Washington late, so pretty unexpected. Peyton Barber scored 2 TDs for Washington but carried 17 times for 29 yards, comical. Carries divided, but another game like that and Antonio Gibson will get more work. Maybe. Or they'll try to get Adrian Peterson back. I have Terry McLaurin in a lot of places, almost like I forgot who his quarterback is. Credible 5-for-61 game considering. Long catch for Jalen Reagor and another near miss, but deep threat doesn't look like a good fit with Philly's banged-up offensive line. Nice game for one of our favorites, Dallas Goedert, though he was probably drafted as a second tight end by many teams and not starting. Ertz also scored but not as otherwise productive and apparently not thrilled about it. Boston Scott left with an injury.
Dolphins at Patriots: Cam Newton doing Cam Newton things, Ryan Fitzpatrick doing Ryan Fitzpatrick things. Not to be mean to Fitzpatrick, it's a good secondary and the Dolphins couldn't do anything on the ground with their FOUR-back committee. Ugly offensive showing, at least DeVante Parker got you a little something (not much) and Sony Michel got in the end zone. So no, New England isn't completely cooked in the AFC East. More than twice as many rushing attempts (including 15 by Newton) as passing for New England, it's gonna be that kind of year.
Packers at Vikings:I may have said something about the over-under of 47 looking high. Green Bay nearly got there on its in this high-scoring slugfest. Did any starter in this game not have a big game? Marquez Valdes-Scantling sighting, guess the late August talk was worth respecting. Let's see if it continues. Minnesota was without Danielle Hunter, and he's a difference-maker who will be out at least another two games. Hard to imagine their defense will actually be this bad, but can't ignore it either. You're really happy if you had Adams or Thielen, as No. 1s on these teams as No. 1s can be.
Colts at Jaguars:Ugh. The Marlon Mack-Jonathan Taylor arguments are done now, as Mack suffers an Achilles injury, so it's gonna be a Taylor-Nyheim Hines backfield. And Taylor showed well in the passing game, so he looks like he'll be an automatic start going forward. Bigger concern for the Colts was their defensive collapse and Philip Rivers' uneven play. Big concern for the Jaguars was I don't think they want to win these things! Remarkably efficient 19-of-20 game for Gardner Minshew, with 3 TDs. James Robinson featured running back, well he's all they've got. Parris Campbell breakout game, looks like the No. 2.
Bears at Lions: So Matthew Stafford did everything for D'Andre Swift to produce the game-winning touchdown catch in his NFL debut except catch the ball for him. Laid a perfect pass right in his hands behind two defender, clonk. Stafford threw the pick that enabled the Bears to take the lead, but that one was tipped in the air. Anyhoo, brutal loss for the Lions, but I guess encouraging for those who have Swift that he was on the field for that opportunity (also scoring earlier in the game). Adrian Peterson rushed for 93 yards, an anomaly for the Lions. Nice game for T.J. Hockenson, decent receiving games from Miller, Robinson, Amendola. Trubisky gets the win, Stafford the heartbreak.
Raiders at Panthers: Big Josh Jacobs game, as expected. Carolina's going to help a lot of players have huge performances this year. Their offense did its part and was better than expected. I think we're going to need to see a couple of games from these teams not against each other to fully judge these offenses. Raiders spread it around in the passing game, only Darren Waller had a decent receiving day. Big game for Robby Anderson, the only Carolina receiving to have such a thing.
Jets at Bills: Bills were all over New York's C.J. Mosley and Jamal Adams-less defense, with Josh Allen having a big game. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss pretty much split time, except Moss played near the goal line and caught a touchdown...so he'll be better in a lot of weeks. Nice stats for John Brown (nearly a second touchdown) and Stefon Diggs. Allen is a big guy but took a lot more hits than I'd like to see a quarterback take, especially in a blowout win. Jets are godawful and LeVeon Bell left with a hamstring injury. At least Jamison Crowder paid off.
New Browns at Old Browns: I had a bad feeling in the one league I drafted Mark Ingram in and this game didn't make it better. Still the main back, but didn't do anything and if he continues losing goal-line carries to J.K. Dobbins, well, it will be hard to use him. Committee backfield not surprising but a bad outing for Ingram. Browns, there's not much good to say. Lots of teams are going to struggle against the Ravens and next week should be better (Cincinnati), but early returns on the new offense aren't good. Rough week for the first two quarterbacks drafted a couple of years ago.
Seahawks at Falcons: Falcons even more pass-happy than anyone could have guessed with Matt Ryan attempting 54 passes. Index favorite Hayden Hurst didn't much get in on the fun (another favorite Calvin Ridley did) but had a diving catch and surely all three of the team's wide receivers won't catch 9 passes and go over 110 yards every week. News was how pass-happy the Seahawks were, but might just be a matchup thing against a Falcons defense that probably intended to crush the run and instead got torched through the air. Carson and Gurley both did fine for those that started them. We had some interest in Russell Gage and it's looking like we should have had more.
Chargers at Bengals: If the Lions didn't have the week's worst loss, maybe the Bengals did. Just an ugly all-around game (I feel like Tyrod Taylor is involved in a lot of those type of games) which ended even worse when a beautiful A.J. Green toe-tapping game-winning touchdown was erased by a push-0ff penalty (guh) and then Randy Bullock shanked a 31-yard field goal that would have forced overtime. Maybe he got hurt on the play too. Joshua Kelley is your Austin Ekeler backup and touchdown vulture.
Cardinals at 49ers: I think the Cardinals are for real in the NFC West, which is a pretty remarkable division -- the fourth-place team is going to be a pretty good one. With the NFL's new 14-team playoff structure, all four could theoretically make the playoffs. (They won't, but still.) Looks like Jerick McKinnon is indeed going to be a factor in this backfield, probably at the expense of Tevin Coleman. Or maybe it will change week to week. Big day for DeAndre Hopkins, at the expense of Arizona's other wideouts. Not a great game for Jimmy Garoppolo, but he doesn't have any wide receivers right now.
Bucs at Saints: I won't lie, there was some amusement at Tom Brady channeling Jameis Winston by throwing the Pick Six that basically ended the game with almost a half left to play. (Maybe it was all Bruce Arians' fault!) Brady himself finished with good numbers if you started him, but not a strong performance for the Tampa Bay offense. But those of us who drafted the Saints passing game weren't happy with anything or anyone but Jared Cook. Patience is recommended, I think Michael Thomas will be OK, but hopefully there's a little more Drew Brees going forward. Chris Godwin was indeed Brady's preferred target but got knocked out of the game late, hopefully he's OK. Bucs should bounce back next week (Carolina).
Cowboys at Rams: I'm not a big Mike McCarthy fan, and this game didn't help his case. With 11 minutes left, down 20-17, he passed up a short field goal to try to convert a 4th and 3. Dallas didn't get it, the Rams' next possession took 6 minutes off the clock, that was the final score. Looks like we all underestimated poor undrafted Malcolm Brown in this backfield, basically free in drafts a week ago. He played 60 percent of the snaps and was the focal point of a conservative Rams offense. Dallas will have better offensive days ahead. Blake Jarwin is out for the year.
Monday, Monday: I'm not a big fan of the league's annual two games on Monday night in Week 1 thing. The late game starts at 10 p.m. here on the East Coast, which does nobody any good. Whatever, they don't care about my sleep. I need a big game from Saquon Barkley against the Steelers, hoping for a quiet game from Derrick Henry in another league. I usually pick the scores in these Monday games (once every two years I'll get one exactly right). Call it Steelers 23, Giants 17 and Titans 24, Broncos 19.