Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season has already provided plenty of intrigue. The 49ers and Cowboys showed out in dominant performances on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Chiefs and Eagles, last year’s Super Bowl participants, showed some signs of slippage. And the Browns, Lions and Saints staked their claims to new territory after missing the postseason.
Sure, only 15 games are in the books. But it’s never too early to think about football, and Week 1 definitely taught us a few things.
Hanging a “40-burger” on a bitter division rival certainly sets the tone for a team with a Super Bowl-or-bust mentality.
It was not pretty, but the Eagles found a way to get into the win column despite a lackluster performance from an offense that sputtered for most of the day against the Patriots.
Deshaun Watson looked a little more like the QB the Browns expected when they made the blockbuster move to acquire him from Houston a season ago. The three-time Pro Bowler adds a little sizzle to a run-heavy offense that perfectly complements an opportunistic defense.
Dan Campbell’s old-school approach has made the Lions the team no one wants to face on NFL weekends. As a team with the capacity to control the trenches on each side of the line, the Lions specialize in beating up their foes with their physicality and toughness.
The Dolphins’ aerial attack overwhelms opponents as Tua Tagovailoa tosses the ball around to a collection of playmakers with world-class speed. With the Dolphins capable of turning any game into a track meet, opponents will need to put up 30-plus to knock off Mike McDaniel’s squad.
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If Dennis Allen’s defense continues to stymie opponents with its physicality and toughness, the Saints could move into the heavyweight division of the NFC.
The Jordan Love era looks a lot like the Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre eras that preceded his arrival. The Packers’ revamped offense flashes explosiveness but has a “Bully Ball” element that could make the team more challenging to deal with down the stretch.
10. Baltimore Ravens
The new-look offense needs a little work, but the Baltimore defense can hold things down until Lamar Jackson & Co. hit their stride — and they’ve added enough receiver talent to take a step forward.
Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He also breaks down the game for NFL Network and as a cohost of the “Moving the Sticks” podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.
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