National Football League kicks off exciting 2017-18 season

The National Football League commenced its season on Thursday Sept. 7 with a highly anticipated game, as defending Super Bowl Champions the New England Patriots faced the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Known for their impressive record at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots were defeated in a 42-27 upset. The team felt the absence of wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was out for the season due to a knee injury—especially quarterback Tom Brady, whose passes often connect with his fellow veteran players.

Certainly, if that game was any indication, the 2017-2018 football season will be a thrilling one. The fierce competition continued into the weekend, with many close games played. As if to make the matches even more stirring for fans, the overall offensive scores stayed low throughout the games. 

One major upset came on Sunday Sept. 10, when the Los Angeles Rams dominated a 46-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. A winning combination of offensive and defensive skills led the Rams to the highest scoring season opener for the team since the advent of the Super Bowl.

Another exhilarating result from week one was the Houston Texans 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday Sept. 10. Fans welcomed Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt, however, for his fundraising efforts for recent hurricane relief. Watt sustained a finger injury during the game, but reappeared in the second half. 

Due to the impending landfall of Hurricane Irma, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins game was postponed until week 11. Though an undeniably understandable move, both teams will play 16 weeks straight and forego a bye week, which can hurt both teams. 

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was another notable injured player to add after Watt. His status before the game was questionable, but he did not play. 

In other injury news, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson left the game with a wrist injury, though X-rays were negative. The Cardinals lost 35-23 to the Detroit Lions. After becoming the highest-paid player in the league this offseason, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw four touchdowns. 

Another key week 1 matchup of the 15 games that happened on Sunday Sept. 10 was the Dallas Cowboys. In the post-Romo era the Cowboys went 1-0, defeating the Giants in a low-scoring 19-3 result. Like the regular season football debuts, former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo made his first broadcasting performance as well, debuting for CBS on Sunday Sept. 10. 

Two National Football Conference heavyweights battled it out, with the Green Bay Packers narrowly winning against the Seattle Seahawks. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers led a second half pull to secure their 17-9 win. The Seahawks showcased impressive defense—sacking Rodgers four times—but it could not make up for their quiet offense. 

The Buffalo Bills also beat the New York Jets 21-12, as the Jets seemed to continue their woes from last season. Bills running back LeSean McCoy played well, with 110 yards of total offense for the day. 

The Baltimore Ravens, however, shut down the Cincinnati Bengals in a 20-0 victory; Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had a rough performance, throwing three picks in the first half alone. 

“I didn’t give us a chance to win,” Dalton said after the game. 

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco returned to the field for the season opener after opting to miss all of the preseason games to heal a back injury sustained in July. 

The Atlanta Falcons also beat the Chicago Bears 23-17. Moreover, the Cleveland Browns lived up to their low expectations, losing 18-21 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fueled by a solid start from quarterback Derek Carr, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Tennessee Titans 26-16. 

Additionally, the Philadelphia Eagles won their on-the-road opener, beating the Washington Redskins 30-17. The Carolina Panthers went 1-0, winning against the San Francisco 49ers in a 23-3 rout. 

With such an enthralling start, fans are reminded that this is only the start to the regular season.u