32 Things We Learned from 2019 NFL Season Week 1

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Saints. (Associated Press)

The 32 things we learned from Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season:

1. Keepin’ it 100: The Packers and Bears resumed the league’s longest rivalry to kick off Week 1 and the NFL’s 100th season … and set offensive football back 100 years. Who knew the game would resemble the clubs’ first meeting in 1921, when the Chicago Staleys beat the Pack 20-0 in a game that featured more points than Green Bay’s 10-3 win Thursday night? Thanks for the throwback treatment, fellas — Halas and Lambeau loved it.

2. If you thought Nate Davis was inactive, think again — he’s juggling NFL coverage with coverage of a 6-week-old. Oh, the rookie lineman for the Titans didn’t play, but expecting big things from him eventually, too.

3. Though Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (378 yards, 3 TD passes) looks like a man determined to hang onto his league MVP award, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (17-for-20, 324 yards, 5 TDs, perfect 158.3 passer rating) emerged as the 2019 front runner after Week 1.

3a. The Jags were the only team to hold Mahomes without a TD pass in 2018.

4. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has paid quite a few guys in recent months. He may rue not prioritizing QB Dak Prescott, who posted the first perfect passer rating (158.3) of his career while racking up 405 yards (a Dallas record for Week 1) and four TDs through the air in a 35-17 defeat of the Giants. The meter is running, Jerry … even faster now.

4a. Dallas got two TDs from tight ends (Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin) Sunday after getting four all of last season. Nice to see Witten pull a rabbit out of his head after his one-year hiatus with ESPN.

5.Bolts > Colts.

5a. We told you the Chargers would be just fine with RB Austin Ekeler (3 TDs) as Melvin Gordon’s holdout is looking increasingly ill advised.

5b. But it must be noted Indianapolis might have found the win column if not for more strokes of bad “Luck” — K Adam Vinatieri, 46, missing two FGs and a PAT in the overtime defeat, probably the worst loss of his career.

6. Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins, who was drafted eight slots ahead of Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014, showed why he can be a game breaker by establishing career bests with 198 receiving yards and three TDs in Sunday’s win. This could be a key development for Kansas City depending on how long injured Tyreek Hill is out.

7. New Chiefs DE Frank Clark picked off a pass Sunday. He made sure that Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey, who didn’t, knew about it.

8. Marquise Brown > Antonio Brown … knock on wood if you’re with me.

8a. The Ravens first rounder (and cousin of AB) opened his career with 47- and 83-yard TD passes from Jackson, the first time a rookie has had two 40-plus-yard scoring snatches in his debut.

8b. Antonio Brown, newly signed by the Patriots, was, of course, inactive after worming his way out of Oakland.

8c. In hindsight, the Steelers should be commended for maintaining relative peace as long as they did with Antonio Brown.

8d. In hindsight — always 20/20 — the Steelers should have taken that first-round pick New England offered in the offseason for AB, per reports.

9. The Ravens’ 59 points in their win over Miami were a team record.

10. The Dolphins, who scored 10 points and have been consistently ranked last in USA TODAY Sports’ power rankings since the end of the 2018 season, appear like a team determined to be ranked 33rd.

10a. Per Elias, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s appearance for the Fins made him the first man in NFL history to start for eight different teams. Though Fitzpatrick will remain under center in Week 2, he also looked like a guy who could easily extend his record in 2020.

11. The Bengals had every excuse to look as bad as Miami — no A.J. Green, no Cordy Glenn, Joe Mixon banged up, almost nobody wins in Seattle. But Cincinnati looked quite spry in coach Zac Taylor’s debut as QB Andy Dalton threw for a career-best 418 yards, and WR John Ross resembled a good NFL player (7 catches, 158 yards, 2 TDs) in a one-point loss.

11a. The defeat of the Bengals gave Seahawks coach Pete Carroll a win over every NFL team.

12. Widely panned Giants first-round QB Daniel Jones debuted in a mop-up role Sunday … and fumbled.

13. Rams DT Aaron Donald, who was recently voted the league’s best player by his peers according to an NFL Network survey, is off to another slow start. Shut out Sunday, Donald has been held sackless in all of his season debuts save the 2015 campaign. He has 7½ sacks in 16 career September games but averages .83 sacks per game for the balance of his career.

14. If Todd Gurley truly is healthy and isn’t operating on a pitch count, why did the Rams star only get 15 touches Sunday — basically half of what Panthers counterpart Christian McCaffrey (29) received?

15. After outdueling Cam Newton, Rams QB Jared Goff is 5-1 all-time against fellow passers drafted No. 1 overall. No wonder he pulled down a record $110 million guarantee.

15a. Newton averaged just 6.3 yards per attempt in Sunday’s loss, a yard below his career average. Keep an eye on that shoulder (and revamped throwing motion).

16. Johnny Hekker, who may eventually go down as the greatest punter in NFL history, suffered his first blocked kick as an L.A. Ram. He had two punts snuffed in his previous life as a St. Louis Ram.

17. Hate it for Nick Foles (broken collarbone), who was making just the fourth Week 1 start of his career and first as the new leader of the Jags. Get well soon, sir.

17a. However Foles’ backup in Jacksonville, rookie QB Gardner Minshew, looked nearly as good as his fantabulous mustache in relief.

17b. Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette had never lost a fumble in his NFL career — until Sunday.

18. Browns QB Baker Mayfield tied his career high with three INTs in Sunday’s 43-13 loss to Tennessee. Per @NFLResearch, it was the first time since high school Mayfield suffered a 30-point loss as a starting quarterback.

18a. Even with Beckham on board (7 catches for 71 yards in his Cleveland debut), the Browns failed to win their first season opener since 2004.

19. Congrats to 35-year-old Titans TE Delanie Walker, who missed most of last season with a gruesome ankle injury but returned Sunday to catch two TDs for just the third time in his 14-year career.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: USA Today, Nate Davis