Week 1 was a good reminder of why ‘revenge games’ are lame and almost never live up to the hype.
Baker Mayfield Is Over Week 1 Loss to Cleveland
Baker Mayfield is singing a different tune this week after Browns rookie kicker Cade York spoiled his revenge game bid against his old team on Sunday. Mayfield went from reportedly saying, “I’m gonna f–k them up” after Carolina’s final preseason game (a report Mayfield has since denied) to saying that “everybody made this out to be the Super Bowl” in regards to the Week 1 matchup.
Mayfield completed 16-of-27 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the loss to Cleveland. Mayfield had this to offer on moving on from the Week 1 letdown:
“In terms of distractions and specific questions, yeah, just to get back into a routine,” Mayfield said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “That goes for Week Two of any year and the anticipation leading up to the opener. No matter who you’re playing, there are going to be a ton of questions about all the changes in the offseason, the schemes, the players, and new faces. It’s just a matter of how you handle it, and how you learn from Week One to Week Two. It can be your biggest jump of the year, and you can learn from those mistakes; the great teams and franchises learn from that, they improve, and they continue to push forward, realizing it’s a long season ahead.”
Mayfield and the Panthers have turned their attention to their Week 2 matchup with the Giants, featuring two of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL in Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey.
Ja’Marr Chase’s Wildly Good Week 1
The Cincinnati Bengals lost. Joe Burrow threw four interceptions. Tee Higgins was injured. Evan McPherson missed a potential game-winner in overtime. Those things make it easy to forget about the wild performance of Ja’Marr Chase on Sunday in Cincy.
Chase – who racked up almost 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns in his rookie season with the Bengals last year – did everything for Cincinnati on Sunday. Literally, everything. Chase played all 100 offensive snaps for the Bengals. The result?
- 10 receptions
- 129 yards
- 1 TD
Chase was everywhere, playing 41 snaps as the right outside receiver, 35 as the left outside, 22 in the slot, 11 of those on the inside of a trips formation, and two in the backfield.
He also had a should-be touchdown that Zac Taylor didn’t challenge late in the game and one of the prettiest would-be touchdowns you’ll ever see that he came up a toe short on.
After delivering a double bird salute to Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and then dunking on the Steelers secondary all day Sunday, Chase has a date with a familiar face this week in Trevon Diggs when Cincinnati visits the Cowboys.
The last time Diggs and Chase matched up one-on-one, when the two played for LSU and Alabama, Chase caught six passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.
NFC, AFC Players of the Week
Saquan Barkley’s resurgent performance in Week 1 helped him net NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Barkley ran for 164 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, good for a whopping 9.1 yards per carry. Barkley’s big day helped the Giants upset the Tennessee Titans. Barkley also picked up 30 yards in the passing game.
Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu picked up seven tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble to earn NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Eagles corner Zech McPhearson logged two tackles and an onside kick recovery to earn NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Over in the AFC, Patrick Mahomes’ 360-yard, five-touchdown afternoon earned him AFC Player of the Week Honors. Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick earned the same honors on the defensive side of the ball after a monster game that included 14 tackles, a 31-yard pick six, and the game-saving block on the extra point with zeros on the clock in the fourth quarter. Browns’ rookie kicker Cade York was perfect on four tries and nailed the long game-winner against the Panthers to spoil Baker Mayfield’s revenge game bid.
- Patrick Mahomes led the list of the NFL’s top passers this weekend. Veteran Matt Ryan’s 352 yards were next best, and Russell Wilson (340), Joe Burrow (338), and Carson Wentz (313) rounded out the top five.
- 49ers tight end George Kittle, who missed Sunday’s contest with the Bears with a grade-two groin strain, is still sidelined from practice in San Francisco.
- Najee Harris left Pittsburgh’s victory over Cincinnati last weekend in a walking boot, but the Steelers running back says he’s “good” and expects to play on Sunday against New England.
- Joe Burrow turned the ball over five times on Sunday, including four interceptions and a fumble lost. Burrow knows he needs to be significantly better if the Bengals hope to make their way back to the Super Bowl conversation this season.
- The Cowboys’ offense looked abysmal on Sunday night in their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Dad Prescott sidelined for the immediate future with a hand injury, Dallas can use any extra help they can get. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t appear that Michael Gallup is any closer to his return.
- Former Bears wideout Allen Robinson says that he’s not worried about the “outside noise” after his lackluster debut with the Rams on TNF last week. Robinson caught one pass from Matthew Stafford in a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills, and Bears fans across the internet had a field day with the dud of a performance.
- Week 2 starts tonight in Kansas City with a battle of two of the top arms in the league, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes.