A new NFL season awaits

As fall approaches, that can only mean one thing: a new NFL season is upon us. Week one got off to a hot start Thursday night with a convincing 31-10 win by the Buffalo Bills over the defending champion Los Angeles Rams. What was supposed to be a fight to the end turned out to be a lopsided affair with the Bills running away with the contest in the second half.

After a heartbreaking end to their season, the Bills came out firing on all cylinders, putting a sour taste in the mouths of their opposing team during their banner-raising celebration.

The Bills got the ball first and immediately showed why they are considered one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. Quarterback Josh Allen set the tone for this drive, finding Stefon Diggs on the first play of the game, kicking off their nine play, 75 yard drive capped off by a 26-yard rollout play to receiver Gabe Davis.

The Rams got off to a rough start in this one with two punts on their first three drives and the first of Matt Stafford’s three interceptions. After the interception, Buffalo added on a 41-yard field goal by Tyler Bass to make it a ten point game.

Following the field goal, Stafford was able to reconnect with his favorite target, Cooper Kupp, for a beautifully placed 4-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to three. After a Josh Allen interception, kicker Matt Gay drilled a 57-yard field goal to end the first half at a split contest.

It was a one-sided contest during the second half, with the Bills scoring 21 unanswered points, headlined by newly acquired Von Miller from the Rams, who racked up two sacks on Stafford and three tackles for loss. Stafford’s offense was out of sync yesterday, putting a damper on their championship celebration. The Bills ended the game with seven sacks and three interceptions on one of the league’s premier quarterbacks, asserting themselves as one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL.

The rest of week one will kickoff this Sunday with a full slate of matchups. Revenge is a common theme for quarterbacks facing off against their former teams for the first time.

Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield will certainly be playing with a chip on his shoulder after feuding with the Cleveland Browns this offseason in which he demanded a trade from the team. Mayfield was not pleased with the Browns decision to trade for Deshaun Watson, and publicly stated that he would not stay in Cleveland if it meant him becoming the backup. After being named the starter for week one, Mayfield once again voiced his displeasure for the team, setting up an interesting battle to kick off the season.

A decade-long tenure came to an end this offseason with Russell Wilson’s blockbuster trade from the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos over the offseason. In a trade that was headlined by two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and quarterback Drew Lock being sent to Seattle for Wilson, it set the stage for a battle between Wilson and Lock on Monday Night Football at 8:15 PM on ESPN.

Longtime Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will also be facing his former team for the first time as the Jets starter, with Zach Wilson most likely not coming back from a torn meniscus until week four. Flacco brought the Ravens to their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history back in 2013, in which he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII.

There will be lots of new faces in new places Sunday after an offseason which will include eight teams beginning a tenure with a new quarterback.

After a surprising trade between Washington and Indianapolis which sent Carson Wentz to the Commanders for three draft picks, the Colts then found their new quarterback in a trade with Atlanta for former MVP Matt Ryan. Indianapolis will now continue their streak of consecutive seasons with a new play caller under center, making it six years running. It has been a struggle for the Colts to find the answer under center since the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck before the 2019 season.

Atlanta will begin their quest to find the answer under center, bringing in veteran Marcus Mariota and 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder. In what seems to be the start of a rebuild, the team hopes that Mariota will live up to some of his expectations when he drafted number two overall in 2015. The receivering group for the Falcons will be getting a much needed boost this season with the addition of this year’s eighth overall pick, Drake London. There was a desperate need for Atlanta to pick up a threat in the receiving game, in what looks to become a young and upcoming duo with tight end Kyle Pitts entering his second year in the league.

It will be an exciting first week of the 2022-23 NFL season with some heavyweight matchups and interesting reunions. There will be a lot to watch for, as we finally bring football back into our homes for another great season.