NFL Week 1 Review: Four Surprising Winners

by Wayne Root

The Washington Football Team, the Jacksonville Jags, the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals looked like dwellers in the cellar coming into the 2020 NFL season. They are all undefeated. How did they all accomplish this Herculean feat?

Washington was getting routed in Coach Rivera’s first game. As expected by most. Then poof, Peyton Barber ran for two touchdowns and Dwayne Haskins rallied Washington from a 17-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17. It was from a great defensive effort. One that they’ll most likely have to count on for wins. They sacked Carson Wentz eight times and forced two costly interceptions behind an Eagles injury-depleted offense line. Ryan Kerrigan led the way with two sacks and No. 2 overall pick Chase Young got a key sack.This seems to be the yearly pattern for Washington. Average offense that has to depend on their defense. If they ever get to a Championship Game, I hope they remember that defense wins playoff games.


Minshew Mania is back and maybe better than before if the
mustache is left out of conversations and he is left to play quarterback without distractions. The Jaguars entered Week 1 as the NFL’s biggest home underdogs with talk of tanking the season beginning with week 1. That talk was nonsense except maybe to the Colts. Gardner Minshew II was nearly flawless going 19-for-20 with 173 yards and three touchdown passes. Most were
betting on Colts QB Philip Rivers as he made his Colts debut. He had 363 passing yards, one touchdown pass and two interceptions. An new NFL record was established as undrafted
Jags rookie running back James Robinson accounted for 90 yards, including 62 on the ground. Look for everyone to forget Leonard Fournette real quick.


The Lions had the game but let it slip away from them. They were in familiar week one territory. Detroit opened last season by blowing an 18-point lead at Arizona and settling for a tie. Could they do it back to back? Spoiler Alert: YES as
Matthew Stafford had a game-winning touchdown pass to D’Andre Swift dropped blowing a 17 point lead. The highlights were that the Bears scored 21
unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win the game. The bombshell of the game was that Mitchell Trubisky had three touchdown passes. QB Nick Foles can keep his clipboard job another week or two. Father Time, Adrian Peterson ran for 93 yards on 14 carries in his Detroit debut, just four days after signing with the team. Matt Stafford was 24 of 42 for 297 yards in his loss.

Kyler Murray used the new offseason WR toy Arizona got him to get his second season off to a 1-0 rousing start. It all starts with the old adage: follow the money. It was evident that San Francisco did not as DeAndre Hopkins made a big impression in his first game with Arizona. He led the way with 14 catches for 151 yards in the game. I wonder if the Houston Texan players noticed someone missing? Was it mentioned that his performance was against one of the best secondaries in football? It is isn’t it? Arizona QB Murray threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and ran for 91 yards and another score to help the Cardinals shock the 49ers on their home field which Coach Shanahan is blaming the red fire lit skies on their loss. 
What are the odds that 3 of 4 are undefeated after next week? We know, so follow Wayne Root all week and all season long.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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