NFL Sunday is back: Biggest Week 1 moments
A first career pass ended with a touchdown. A starting quarterback left with a hip injury. A player was ejected for pushing an opposing coach. The NFL is back in full swing.
Missed some of the biggest moments from Week 1? The USA TODAY Sports+ Insiders have you covered. This will be updated as additional games end.
Saints 38, Packers 3
This is supposed to be biggest moments. But Jameis Winston had five of them in his first start with the New Orleans Saints. Winston threw five touchdowns (and more importantly, zero interceptions), vastly outplaying Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the other side, to help New Orleans start the season 1-0. This game was lopsided from the second quarter when Rodgers threw two interceptions in the worst opener of his career, and Winston needed just 14 of 20 passes completed to fuel the blowout.
Chiefs 33, Browns 29
Browns safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. was ejected after getting into a skirmish along Kansas City's sideline. It appeared Harrison stepped on Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire after he was tackled at the end of an 11-yard catch and run. Chiefs running backs coach Greg Lewis then pushed Harrison as he rushed to Edwards-Helaire's aid. After Harrison regained his balance, he jabbed his hand at Lewis' throat.
The referees initially called an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Chiefs bench, but changed the penalty, assessing it to Harrison. The Browns safety was subsequently ejected.
As far as the events that transpired between the white lines, wide receiver Tyreek Hill's 75-yard TD catch was part of fierce second-half rally as Kansas City escaped at home.
Dolphins 17, Patriots 16
Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard stripped Patriots running back Damien Harris in the fourth quarter, and Miami held on for a 17-16 win in New England. Howard, who was in a contract dispute for much of the year until training camp, showed the Dolphins why he was worth a slight bump in pay after finishing third for NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. In a battle between former Alabama quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa for Miami and Mac Jones for New England, Howard’s play saved the day for the Dolphins.
Broncos 27, Giants 13
Broncos running back Melvin Gordon had a 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to ice the game for Denver.
Teddy Bridgewater passed for 264 and two touchdowns in his first start in a Broncos uniform.
Denver led for the entire game in New York
49ers 41, Lions 33
Trey Lance’s first pass of his career was a touchdown. Lance came in for Jimmy Garoppolo on first and goal from the 5-yard line and delivered a strike to WR Trent Sherfield for a touchdown.
Chargers 20, Washington 16
Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was escorted to the locker room after taking a hard hit by Chargers edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick injured his hip on the play and was ruled out for the rest of the contest. Taylor Heinicke replaced Fitzpatrick at QB.
Heinicke came in and immediately sparked Washington's offense, but it wasn't enough because Justin Herbert was lights out for the Chargers.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley got a win in his NFL debut.
Seahawks 28, Colts 16
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson saw receiver Tyler Lockett streaking down the field, and just knew his teammate would get behind the Indianapolis Colts defense. Wilson delivered a 69-yard touchdown pass to Wilson to help Seattle take a 21-10 lead shortly before halftime. It marked the second touchdown connection of the day between Wilson and Lockett, showing their chemistry is still alive and well in Seattle.
Eagles 32, Falcons 6
The first catch and touchdown of Eagles rookie receiver DeVonta Smith’s career was quite poetic. Smith caught a touchdown pass on the same left side of the field and in the same end zone he caught the game-winning catch for Alabama in the 2018 national title game. Smith’s comfort level in Atlanta’s Mercedez-Benz Stadium is apparent, and his career got off to a fast start.
Bengals 27, Vikings 24 (OT)
Bengals rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had a case of the drops during the preseason. Chase showed Sunday he catches footballs in games that count.
Joe Burrow and Chase had a beautiful 50-yard touchdown connection reminiscent of their LSU days.
Chase ended the day with a team-high five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Cardinals 38, Titans 13
Chandler Jones was a sack artist Sunday. The Cardinals pass rusher lived in Tennessee’s backfield. Jones registered a single-game career-high five sacks during Arizona’s big 38-13 win.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill might have nightmares about Jones sacking him tonight. Jones' five sacks tied a franchise record, and he also forced two fumbles in the process.
Jones is the early leader for the defensive player of the week award.
Texans 37, Jaguars 21
The Texans spoiled Trevor Lawrence’s regular season debut. Everything was going the Texans way in H-Town.
Tyrod Taylor had a nice day at the office. Taylor created some magic on a 52-yard pass to receiver Brandin Cooks late in the first half.
Steelers 23, Bills 16
Here’s where things changed for Pittsburgh and Buffalo: Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw a short pass backward to backup running back Matt Breida on fourth down, and he was quickly tackled in the backfield by Steelers defensive back Cam Sutton for the turnover near midfield. The Steelers responded with Ben Roethlisberger’s 5-yard touchdown throw to Dionte Johnson and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown to turn the tide.
Panthers 19, Jets 14
Panthers' Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson got sweet revenge verses their former team. Darnold and Anderson hooked up for a 57-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Carolina had a 16-0 first-half lead and held on to spoil Zach Wilson's rookie debut.