Welcome back NFL, we’ve missed you

Welcome+back+NFL%2C+we%27ve+missed+you

Brentton Wharton, staff writer

The NFL is officially back. On September 10, the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Houston Texans in the Thursday night kickoff game for the 2020-21 NFL season, and then on September 13, the first full Sunday slate of games were played to get the season off to a rocking hot start.

There were a few heavily anticipated matchups in week 1 and all lived up to their hype. First, you had Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, taking on Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. This game got off to a hot start, but not for the team many thought would pull ahead early.

The Texans jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead over KC off of a 19 yard touchdown scamper from new starting running back David Johnson (11 CAR, 77 YDS, 1 TD). After that it was all Chiefs. The Chiefs went on a 31 point run in quarters two through four, with three touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes (24-32, 211 YDS, 3 TDS), Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce each catching one of those touchdown passes, leading KC to a seemingly effortless 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans.

The Big story of this game though was the debut of Chiefs’ first round draft choice out of LSU, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire led both teams in carries with 25, and rushing yards with 138 and even found the endzone for the first time in his NFL career.

I don’t remember the last time I saw the Kansas City Chiefs run the football 20 times in one game, and adding a legitimate running game to the best passing attack in the league, is a nightmare for all 31 other teams looking to dethrone the champs this year.

Maybe the most anticipated debut ever though, happened midday Sunday as Tom Brady suited up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take on the New Orleans Saints. This game did not go how many people probably predicted.

Tom Brady and his new weapons didn’t feast on the defense, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not look like the Super Bowl team people had made them out to be. Tom Brady ended the game with 23 completions on 36 attempts, for 239 yards and two touchdown passes, along with two crucial interceptions, one of which being a pick six for Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

On the other side, Drew Brees was able to manage the game well enough for his Saints to pull away with a 34-23 victory, as he finished the game 18-30, with 160 yards and two touchdown passes.

Although it was just week 1, Brady and the new-look Buccaneers gained some critics after suffering an early loss to their division rival, and will look to bounce back next week and silence the doubters when they travel back home to Florida and welcome in another division rival the Carolina Panthers (0-1).

For Monday Night Football on ESPN you had the first game for Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisbeger in nearly a calendar year. He got off to a not so hot start as you could tell he had to knock off a bit of the rust from not playing in so long, but it wasn’t long after that Big Ben returned to his old form finishing the game 229 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes. Ben led the offense in the right direction, but that suffocating Steelers defense got the job done for them. The Steeler held arguably a top three running back in the NFL, Saquon Barkley, to just six yards on 15 carries, keeping him at an average of less than a single yard per carry. 

It was an amazing weekend full of football, and everyone is looking forward to week 2 in the NFL. I know I certainly am.