The new NFL season is finally upon us, and here we review week one before looking ahead to the action taking place in week two.
The 2023/24 NFL season finally got underway last weekend, with teams across the United States getting their campaigns underway. Each team has their own targets for the new campaign, and a win on the opening day for any side brings with it confidence and a good start to what they hope will be a successful season.
Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs were the Champions of the AFC, while the Philadelphia Eagles emerged as NFC Champions. Under the stewardship of Andy Reid, the Chiefs also went on to win Super Bowl LVII at the State Farm Stadium in Arizona, where they were 38 – 35 winners against the Eagles. This was their 3rd Super Bowl win, with the other two coming in 1970 and 2020.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and the Tennessee Titans are all participating in the NFL London Games in October 2023, and they all got their NFL seasons underway on Sunday, 10th September.
Atlanta Falcons 24 – 10 Carolina Panthers
Starting with the Atlanta Falcons, they came face to face with the Carolina Panthers on the opening day of the NFL season at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons secured the much-desired victory in their first match of the campaign, winning 24-10. New signings shone for them – for a start, Jessie Bates III had an impressive game, making two important interceptions to stop Bryce Young so that his team could score their first 10 points. Bates also made an impressive 10 tackles.
Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier were the Falcons’ other debutants who had a particularly impressive first game. Robinson accumulated 83 yards on 16 touches, with 6 being receptions. Meanwhile, Allgeier had 75 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns.
Baltimore Ravens 25 – 9 Houston Texans
The Baltimore Ravens also managed to get their season to a positive start against the Houston Texans at the M&T Bank Stadium. In the end, it was a comfortable 25 – 9 victory for the Ravens against their Texas counterparts. Players old and new helped the Ravens secure victory.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has been with the Ravens since 2018, did look rusty in places. However, he still managed to make significant contributions to the victory. Jackson completed 77.3% of his passes, and he made 38 rushing yards whilst taking pressure off the team’s offence in the second half.
Rookie Zay Flowers had an eye-catching NFL debut for the Ravens. He made a team-high nine receptions for 78 yards. He gained 54 of his 78 yards after the catch, which is the highest YAC (Yards After Catch) percentage (69.2%) achieved by any rookie wide receivers (WR) in a game in the past two seasons.
Jacksonville Jaguars 31 – 21 Indianapolis Colts
The final team participating in NFL London to win on the opening day of the NFL season was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who got the better of the Indianapolis Colts, beating them 31 – 21 on Sunday. Calvin Ridley was the Jaguars’ star man, generating eight catches for 101 yards, and he was a key player in scoring points for the team. Ridley, alongside Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, led the way to victory, with all three players putting in impressive performances on the day.
New York Jets 22 – 16 Buffalo Bills
It was a day to forget for the Buffalo Bills in their opening game of the season. On Tuesday evening, they were defeated 22-16 against the New York Jets at the MetLife Stadium. Breece Hall in particular stood out for the Jets, finishing the game with no less than 127 rushing yards on 10 carries. Hall also managed to add 20 yards as a receiver.
One positive for the Bills was rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid, who caught all four of his targets for 26 receiving yards.
New Orleans Saints 16 – 15 Tennessee Titans
The game contested between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans was one of the more tense and tight matches of week one. In the end, the Saints came away as 16 – 15 winners.
Derek Carr was in-form in the second half, delivering a touchdown pass to Rashid Shaheed before completing an important completion after finding Shaheed again late on in the fourth quarter. Derek Henry rushed 15 times for 63 yards and rumbled 46 yards downfield, leading to a field goal.
The other results for Week One are as follows:
Kansas City Chiefs 20 – 21 Detroit Lions
Cleveland Browns 24 – 3 Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings 17 – 20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington Commanders 20 – 16 Arizona Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 – 30 San Francisco 49ers
Denver Broncos 16 – 17 Las Vegas Raiders
New England Patriots 20 – 25 Philadelphia Eagles
Seattle Seahawks 13 – 30 Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Chargers 34 – 36 Miami Dolphins
Chicago Bears 20 – 38 Green Bay Packers
New York Giants 0 – 40 Dallas Cowboys
Now, we move on to a preview of Week Two of NFL action that is set to take place this weekend. All teams participating in NFL London (Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens & Tennessee Titans) play on Sunday.
Thursday: Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles
The first game of week two sees the Minnesota Vikings take on the Philadelphia Eagles. These two clubs first met on 28th October 1962, which saw the Vikings win 31 – 21. In 30 meetings, they have won 15 games each. The Philadelphia Eagles were 24 – 7 winners in their most recent encounter on 19th September 2022.
Sunday: Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons are set to go head to head, with both teams looking to make it two wins from two to start the season. The two teams played against each other for the first time on 23rd October 1966, where the Green Bay Packers won 56 – 3. The head-to-head record is close, with the Packers edging it with 19 wins compared to the Falcons’ 16. The Packers won the most recent meeting 30 – 16 on 5th October 2020.
Sunday: Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions
On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks come face to face with the Detroit Lions once more. They met for the very first time on 24th October 1976, when the Lions were 41 – 14 winners. Out of their 17 meetings, the Seahawks have won 12 games compared to the Lions’ 5. The Seattle Seahawks were 48 – 45 winners in the most recent fixture in October 2022.
Sunday: Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet on Sunday in the second weekend of the new NFL season. In their first meeting on 4th December 1977, the Bears were 10 – 0 winners. It is the Bears who have won 40 times in 61 encounters compared to the Buccaneers’ 21. The Buccaneers won the most recent encounter 38 – 3 on 24th October 2021.
Sunday: Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
The Indianapolis Colts will go head-to-head with the Houston Texans in the second week of NFL action on Sunday. The Colts were 23 – 3 winners on 22nd September 2002, which was their first encounter. They have met 43 times, with the Colts having 32 victories compared to the Texans’ 10. It was a win for the Colts in the most recent meeting on 8th January 2023, narrowly beating the Texans 32 – 31.
Sunday: Las Vegas Raiders @ Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills, who are set to take part in NFL London, take on the Las Vegas Raiders in week two of the new NFL season. Their first-ever meeting on 23rd October 1960 saw the Bills win 38 – 9. Out of their 42 meetings, they have recorded 21 victories each. The Buffalo Bills won the most recent match on 4th October 2020, beating the Raiders 30 – 23.
Sunday: Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Week Two of NFL action will see the Baltimore Ravens come face-to-face with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were 24 – 21 winners when they first met on 3rd November 1996. The head-to-head record is tight – out of their 55 encounters, the Ravens have 28 wins compared to the Bengals’ 27. The Bengals were 24 – 17 winners in their latest meeting on 15th January 2023.
Sunday: Los Angeles Chargers @ Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans will be heading to London later this year, and their second game of the NFL season will see them take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. On 18th September 1960, the Titans won 38 – 28 in the first encounter between these teams. The Chargers won 17 – 14 in the most recent encounter on 18th December 2022.
Sunday: Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are participating in the NFL London Games later on this year, and they look to secure victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second week of the new NFL season. It was on 9th November 1997 that these two teams met for the first time, and the Jaguars recorded a 24 – 10 victory. Of the 15 meetings, the Jaguars have won 6 compared to the Chiefs’ 9. The Chiefs were 27 – 20 winners in their most recent match against each other on 21st January 2021.
Sunday: San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
Week Two of the new NFL season sees the San Francisco 49ers go head-to-head with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. It was on 1st October 1950 that the first match between these two teams took place, and it was the Rams who were 35 – 14 winners. Of their 148 encounters, the 49ers have won 77 compared to the Rams’ 68. There have been 3 ties. The 49ers won the most recent match 31 – 14 on 30th October 2022.
Sunday: New York Giants @ Arizona Cardinals
On the second weekend of the new NFL season, the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals are coming face to face. The Giants were 20 – 0 winners in their first-ever match back on 7th November 1926. In 128 games, the Giants have won 80 times compared to the Cardinals’ 46. There have been 2 ties. The Arizona Cardinals won 26 – 7 in their most recent meeting on 13th December 2020.
Sunday: New York Jets @ Dallas Cowboys
The New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys were both winners on the opening weekend of the new NFL season, and the two teams are set to meet in week two, with both sides looking to make it two wins from two. On 4th December 1971, the Dallas Cowboys won the first-ever meeting 52 – 10. Of the 12 matches against each other, the Cowboys have 7 wins compared to the Jets’ 5. The Jets won 24 – 22 in their most recent meeting on 13th October 2019.
Sunday: Washington Commanders @ Denver Broncos
On Sunday, the Washington Commanders are set to meet the Denver Broncos in the second weekend of the new season. It was a 19 – 3 victory for the Washington Commanders when they first met the Denver Broncos on 1st November 1970. Of their 15 encounters, the Broncos have 8 wins compared to the Commanders’ 7. The Broncos were 17 – 10 winners in their most recent meeting on 31st October 2021.
Sunday: Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
In the final game on Sunday, the Miami Dolphins are playing the New England Patriots. A tense first match on 27th November 1966 saw the Patriots win 20 – 14. The two teams have met no less than 115 times, with the Dolphins having a slightly superior record of 60 wins compared to the Patriots’ 55. Their most recent encounter was also tense, with the Patriots edging the match as 23 – 21 winners.
Monday: New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
The first of two matches on Monday will see the New Orleans Saints take on the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers were 20 – 3 winners when the two teams met for the very first time on 22nd October 1995. The latest match between them on 8th January 2023 saw the Panthers win 10 – 7 in a tight game.
Monday: Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The final match of the second weekend of the new NFL season will see the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers go head-to-head. The Browns won the first match contested between them 30 – 17 on 7th October 1950. Of the 143 matches played between them, the Steelers have won 80 games compared to the Browns’ 62. There has been just 1 tie. In their latest encounter on 8th January 2023, the Pittsburgh Steelers were 28 – 14 winners.
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