All of the big teams won (New England, Kansas City, New Orleans, LA Rams), but not everyone covered during this dog-heavy opening week in which the underdogs went 10-5-1 against the spread.
Only the Ravens, Cowboys, Patriots, Vikings, and Chiefs covered the spread in Week 1. The Rams closed as a 3-point favorite on the road in Carolina, but pushed with a 30-27 victory.
No less than 10 underdogs prevailed in the first weekend of action. Many mediocre teams failed to live up to expectations, while several top teams won close games, such as the Saints thriller and the Chargers holding off the Colts in overtime.
Tennessee Titans 43, Cleveland Browns 13... Derrick Henry (2 TD), Marcus Mariota (3 TD), and the Titans steamrolled the overrated Browns. Baker Mayfield (285 yards, 1 TD) threw three picks, but the Browns are still gonna win the Super Bowl, right? The Titans won this one as an underdog.
Baltimore Ravens 59, Miami Dolphins 10… Rookie “Hollywood” Brown scored two touchdowns on his first two catches. The Ravens decimated the tanking Dolphins. Easy money fading the limp Fish.
SCATTERED, SMOTHERED, AND COVERED
New England Patriots 33, Pittsburgh Steelers 3… The Steelers didn’t put up any fight against the Super Bowl champs. The ghost of AB hung over this game like a pissed-off spirit in a Stephen King novel.
Kansas City Chiefs 40, Jacksonville Jaguars 26… Nick Foles got knocked out in the 1Q. Backup, Gardner Minshew II had an auspicious debut, going 22-for-25 for 275 yards and two scores. Patrick Mahomes left the game with a foot injury. Chiefs’ fans unpuckered after he limped back onto the field, and finished the game with 378 yards and 3 TD.
Dallas Cowboys 35, New York Giants 17… Poor Saquon Barkley. He’s one of the top players in the league and he’s stuck on the Giants. Dak Prescott carved up the G-Men’s secondary for 405 yards and four touchdowns.
Minnesota Vikings 28, Atlanta Falcons 12… The Vikings and Dalvin Cook (11 yards, 2 TD) ran all over the Falcons. Matty Ice and the Dirty Birds were down 28-0 before scoring 12 points in garbage time.
San Francisco Niners 31, Tampa Bay Bucs 17… The Niners defense went into the house twice against Jameis Winston with two pick sixes.
Philadelphia Eagles 32, Washington Redskins 27… The Eagles came from behind to beat a bad team with heroics from DeSean Jackson (eight catches, 154 yards, 2 TD) and Carson Wentz (313 yards, 3 TD). The Skins made it close, despite only 28 rushing yards, thanks to backup Case Keenum (380 yards, 3 TD).
BAD BEATS: LOLJets, LOLLions
Buffalo Bills 17, New York Jets 16… Bills Mafia lit up the lot after they rallied from down 16-0. Josh Allen took advantage of an injured CJ Mosley in the second half. The LOLJets signed a Norwegian kicker off the street a few days before the game, and he missed an XP and a FG.
Detroit Lions 27, Arizona Cardinals 27… The Lions blew a 17-0 lead, and ended up with a tie. That’s a loss in everyone’s book for the Lions, and a win for rookie QB Kyler Murray. The Heisman winner threw two touchdowns in the second half to spearhead the comeback.
Green Bay Packers 10, Chicago Bears 3 (Thursday)… Ugly game to open the season. Hope you bet the under.
Oakland Raiders 24, Denver Broncos 16 (MNF)… The Raiders were on a mission to prove to the world (a.k.a. Antonio Brown) that they were a good football team, and not the laughingstock of the league. Rookie RB Josh Jacobs (113 total yards, 2 TD) dominated the trenches. Then again, the Raiders as an underdog beat a bad Broncos team and Joey Flacco.
CLOSE SHAVES: Philly, NOLA, and LA LA
New Orleans Saints 30, Houston Texans 28 (MNF)… Wil Lutz bailed out the Saints with a 58-yard game winner as time expired in the opening game of a rare Monday Night Football doubleheader.
Los Angeles Rams 30, Carolina Panthers 27… Christian McCaffrey is the real deal (211 combined yards, 2 TD), but he couldn’t overcome the Rams. The Rams spread the ball around, but the unknowns (Malcolm Brown 2 TD, Tyler Higbee 1 TD) scored the points, much to the dismay of fantasy nerds.
Los Angeles Chargers 30, Indianapolis Colts 24 (OT)… Without Andrew Luck, the Colts and Jacoby Brissett put up a valiant effort. The Chargers blew a fourth-quarter lead (as per usual), but Phil Rivers rallied them to victory. Mel Gordo, who? Backup, Austin Ekeler made fantasy dorks drool with three touchdowns.
Seattle Seahawks 21, Cincinnati Bengals 20… Andy Dalton looked like his old self with 418 yards and two touchdowns to John Ross II. Yet, it’s difficult to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Russell Wilson (196 yards, 2 TD) came out on top with a squeaker win.