NFL 2023 Week 1: Biggest questions, risers and takeaways

The 2023 NFL season is here, and Week 1 has actually been wild. In the early window, the San Francisco 49ers got right where they ended with a healthy Brock Purdy, the Cleveland Browns closed down Joe Burrow and a handful of novices truly stood apart in their launchings.

Our NFL Nation press reporters are responding to all the action, addressing sticking around concerns coming out of each video game and choosing who — or what — is fluctuating for each group. Let’s get to it.

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Is the Browns’ defense genuine? It sure looks that method. The Browns rattled Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and totally closed down the Cincinnati offense. Pass-rushes Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith remained in Burrow’s face on practically every hang back. Cleveland’s secondary was a lot more outstanding, as cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Martin Emerson Jr. secured Cincinnati’s skilled getting corps. The rainy conditions assisted. But the Browns defense sent out a message that, after a rocky 2022 efficiency, it might be amongst the most better systems in the whole NFL.

Stock up after the win: Jim Schwartz. Cleveland’s brand-new protective organizer developed a skillful strategy in his launching, blitzing Burrow on 53% of his hang back in the very first half, the greatest rate of his profession, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Stock down after the win: Cleveland’s passing attack. Quarterback Deshaun Watson made numerous have fun with his feet however tallied just 154 backyards through the air, so the death video game will need to be sharper moving forward for the Browns to end up being a real competitor in the AFC. — Jake Trotter

Next video game: at Steelers (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


How worrying is the Week 1 offending revealing? Even sounding moderate alarm bells seems like severe habits. Yes, quarterback Joe Burrow had a hard time and tossed for a career-low 82 backyards. But context is essential — Burrow is still recuperating from his stretched right calf, he fought damp conditions that made passing unpleasant, and the offense appeared like a group that didn’t have a lots of preseason associates with its beginning quarterback. It may require time for Burrow and the offense to get in sync.

Stock up after the loss: The Bengals’ pass rush. Cincinnati’s protective line pressured Deshaun Watson early and sacked him 3 times, a terrific indication for a unit that required to be more disruptive than they remained in 2022.

Stock down after the loss: Cincinnati’s run defense. Browns running back Nick Chubb and Watson had the ability to rattle some huge runs, with the Browns amounting to 206 backyards on the ground, which was substantial for Cleveland on a day when passing conditions were bad. — Ben Baby

Next video game: vs. Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Is there factor to be worried about Atlanta’s pass production? While Desmond Ridder’s conclusion portion was excellent (15-for-18), Ridder just tossed for 118 backyards and much of those tosses were since of fantastic changes by receivers, consisting of a fingertip catch by Mack Hollins and a swim-move type modification on a 35-yard conclusion to Kyle Pitts. The Falcons have an excellent run-based attack with Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson, however the concern will be if the death video game can reach match it. If it can, Atlanta’s offense may end up being tough to stop.

Stock up after the win: S Jessie Bates III. Atlanta made Bates among the highest-paid securities in NFL history this offseason and he was wonderful in his launching, ending up being the very first gamer in the league considering that Chinedum Ndukwe in 2007 to have at least 10 takes on (he had 10), 2 interceptions and a forced fumble in a video game, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Stock down after the win: WR Drake London. The Falcons’ second-year receiver never ever appeared to be associated with the death video game Sunday, with just one target (a dropped pass). And while this most likely will be an aberration for London this season, it deserves keeping in mind since it’s just the 2nd time in his profession he’s had less than 3 targets in a video game. — Michael Rothstein

Next video game: vs. Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Should the Panthers be worried about Bryce Young’s interceptions? One of Young’s strengths, according to the Carolina personnel, was seeing the middle of the field in spite of his height (5-foot-10). But on Sunday, the previous Alabama star tossed 2 interceptions on efforts over them middle in which he plainly ought to have seen security Jessie Bates III. Both were on efforts of more than 10 backyards, where Young had a hard time in this video game. The Falcons turned the interceptions into 10 critical points. It might have been a fluke, however this is something to watch on.

Stock up after the loss: POUND Brian Burns. The Panthers much better offer him a brand-new offer quickly or the cost is going to continue to climb up. He had 1.5 sacks in the very first half alone and belonged of a defense that had 4 sacks and 6 quarterback hits in the very first half prior to Atlanta got the lead and went more with the run.

Stock down after the loss: CB Jaycee Horn. Horn, a gamer who missed out on 18 video games in his very first 2 NFL seasons with numerous injuries, suffered a hamstring injury in the very first half versus the Falcons, making the 2021 8th total select a doubt for the foreseeable future. — David Newton

Next video game: vs. Saints (Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET)


What does the 49ers’ quick start mean for the larger image? Their sluggish starts of the previous 2 seasons — 2-4 and 3-4, respectively — have not avoided them from reaching 2 NFC Championship Games, however their early losses have actually made the roadway to arrive and beyond a lot longer and harder. That’s why the Niners highlighted the requirement to come out of evictions quick as possible, with a long-lasting objective of sealing the NFC’s No. 1 seed and house video games throughout the postseason. Sunday’s persuading win in Pittsburgh was an action in the best instructions. With their next 3 video games versus the Rams, Giants and Cardinals, there’s factor to believe the Niners are well on their method to the kind of start that might pay huge dividends come January.

Stock up after the win: K Jake Moody. After fighting a best quad injury and a number of rough preseason video games, the No. 99 choice in this year’s NFL draft reacted with a best launching, linking on all 3 of his basket efforts and all 3 additional point attempts.

Stock down after the win: RT Colton McKivitz. In his very first video game as San Francisco’s brand-new beginning right take on, McKivitz resisted Steelers edge rush T.J. Watt, who completed with 3 sacks and required and recuperated a fumble. — Nick Wagoner

Next video game: at Rams (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)


Why could not the Steelers duplicate their preseason offending success? The Steelers dealt with among the NFL’s finest defenses in the 49ers, however the problems go deeper than just dealing with a more skilled group. Quarterback Kenny Pickett, who didn’t toss an interception in the preseason and was precise throughout training school, tossed 2 choices in the season-opener. He frequently tossed passes high and off-target, consisting of one meant for Diontae Johnson that was obstructed in the very first quarter. Prior to the scoring drive prior to halftime, the Steelers had simply one net backyard of offense on 5 drives — a plain contrast to the first-team offense scoring goals on all 5 of their preseason drives. The run video game didn’t have an excellent getaway, either. The Steelers ran the ball simply 10 times for 41 backyards — and 24 of those began one run by Najee Harris.

Stock up after the loss: DE T.J. Watt. Hard for the edge rush to do far more for this group, however he acquired 3 sacks in the loss to connect James Harrison for the most sacks in Steelers’ history — in 90 less video games.

Stock down after the loss: QB Kenny Pickett. After a quite strong preseason, Pickett’s precision problems — consisting of a first-quarter interception — made him appear like a completely various quarterback versus the 49ers. — Brooke Pryor

Next video game: vs. Browns (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Should the Bucs be worried by Baker Mayfield’s sluggish start? After a devastating start that saw quarterback Mayfield go simply 3-of-11 for 12 backyards up till the two-minute caution in the very first half, the quarterback settled and tossed a 28-yard goal to pass receiver Mike Evans and a 7-yard goal to novice pass receiver Trey Palmer prior to Chase McLaughlin struck nailed a 57-yard basket in the 4th quarter. Evans stated previously today that Mayfield’s most significant strength is “he doesn’t let anything get to him” and can turn the page after a bad play. That might be his finest quality as the Bucs’ offense finds out to browse life without Tom Brady.

Stock up after the win: The pass defense. The secondary might have had couple of responses for receiver Justin Jefferson, who had 150 backyards, however they likewise got 3 takeaways — which kept the Bucs in the video game Sunday, with outdoors linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka recuperating a Kirk Cousins fumble on a messed up quarterback-center exchange, security Antoine Winfield Jr. with a sack-forced fumble and healing, and novice nickelback Christian Izien with a touchdown-saving interception at the Tampa Bay 2-yard line prior to halftime.

Stock down after the win: The run video game. Rachaad White balanced simply 2.5 backyards per bring and Sean Tucker 3.0. The Bucs’ ground video game, revealing a brand-new broad zone and mid-zone plan however had simply 76 backyards on the ground, making it extremely tough to get anything going. — Jenna Laine

Next video game: vs. Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Have the Vikings lost their close-game magic? Sunday’s loss was the Vikings’ 2nd successive defeat by one rating after winning an NFL-record 11 such video games throughout the 2022 routine season. (They likewise lost by one rating to the New York Giants in the wild-card playoff round.) Rather than seeing it as a matter of “magic,” it’s much better to accept the historic truth that close video games generally have random results. Some groups may be much better at it than others, however they ultimately level. The Vikings were carried out in Sunday not by a loss of magic, however rather by 3 Kirk Cousins turnovers in the very first half and a failure to stop the Buccaneers on 3rd down in the 2nd half. The Buccaneers transformed 5 of their very first 9 such efforts prior to a last kneeldown.

Stock up after the loss: WR Justin Jefferson. The ruling offending gamer of the year captured 9 passes for 150 backyards, setting an NFL record for many 150-yard getting video games (9) in a profession prior to turning 25, a day after he and the Vikings stopped working to reach a contract on an agreement extension.

Stock down after the loss: C Garrett Bradbury. The Vikings center did not return after suffering a back injury in the very first quarter, a threatening advancement considering he missed out on 5 video games last season since of a problem with his back, and a pointer that the group chose to re-sign him in complimentary company in spite of that injury. — Kevin Seifert

Next video game: at Eagles (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Can the offense enhance? Washington will require to include Brian Robinson Jr. and the run video game more than it did Sunday; he carried on 18 times for 56 backyards however required more work previously in the video game to reduce the concern on young quarterback Sam Howell. Robinson carried on just 4 times in the very first half. With Washington’s passing attack led by a young QB — and with defense breaking down — the run video game requires to be a larger aspect moving on.

Stock up after the win: Washington’s protective line. The line led by take on Daron Payne and end Montez Sweat in specific — integrated for 7 takes on for a loss, 3 sacks, 2 required fumbles and 2 healings.

Stock down after the win: QB Sam Howell. Howell handled 202 backyards passing, was sacked 6 times, tossed an interception and had a fumble recuperated for a goal. — John Keim

Next video game: at Broncos (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Can the Cardinals’ defense maintain its pressure next week? Not simply next week, however the defense has the possible to have video games like it did Sunday all season. Arizona had 6 sacks by 5 various gamers and pressured Commanders quarterback Sam Howell 6 times. Arizona utilized 5 various outdoors linebackers in a range of mixes that kept legs fresh and a rotation of various kinds of rushes continuously coming at Washington.

Stock up after the loss: POUND Dennis Gardeck. He had 2 of the Cardinals’ 6 sacks, putting his pass rush carries on screen. He was among 5 Cardinals to get a sack on Sunday, however the just one with numerous.

Stock down after the loss: Arizona’s 3rd-down offense. The Cardinals were 4-for-14 on third down — consisting of missing out on one in the last 90 seconds that resulted in a game-ending 4th down — in a video game that was within a goal the whole 60 minutes. — Josh Weinfuss

Next video game: vs. Giants (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)


Is the offending line’s play going to be a problem? Right guard Brandon Scherff was eliminated late in the video game with an ankle injury, however the system wasn’t doing an excellent task of handling the Colts’ protective front prior to he left the video game. The Jaguars balanced 3.2 backyards per bring prior to their last ownership, consisting of running back Travis Etienne Jr.’s 26-yard goal run, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence got struck 6 times. That kept the offense from entering a rhythm. If that continues to be a problem, it removes the group’s most significant strength: The capability to be explosive.

Stock up after the win: POUND Josh Allen. The Jaguars didn’t deal Allen an extension, so he’s using the fifth-year choice — and betting his next agreement. He left to an excellent start, with a career-high 3 sacks versus the Colts. The pass rush was expected to be the group’s most significant weak point, however Allen’s efficiency might be an indication that it will not be as bad as possibly believed.

Stock down after the win: Ball security. The Jaguars had 3 fumbles — consisting of 2 on an unusual play — and an interception. Rookie RB Tank Bigsby was associated with 2, having actually a ball bounce off his hands for an interception and having the ball removed from his hands after getting Lawrence’s fumble. It didn’t cost the Jaguars the video game, however it might have versus the league’s much better groups — like Kansas City in Week 2. — Mike DiRocco

Next video game: vs. Chiefs (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What’s next for QB Anthony Richardson after a strong however unimpressive launching? Richardson had a mostly outstanding start to his profession, finishing 24 of 37 passes for 223 backyards. He ran for a goal and tossed another, and he looked calm and in control throughout. But where he’ll require to make a development is making the sort of aggressive plays that win video games. Coach Shane Steichen naturally had a fairly safe strategy for Richardson, however there were very little passing efforts down the field — he balanced simply 6.0 backyards per effort.

Stock up after the loss: DT DeForest Buckner. The star defensive take on revealed his worth on Sunday, making a big fourth-down stop and after that signing up a sack-fumble and scoop-and-score on the very same wild series in the 3rd quarter.

Stock down after the loss: RB Deon Jackson. Jackson was pushed into a beginning function in the lack of Jonathan Taylor (PUPPY) and Zack Moss (damaged arm). He lost 2 fumbles and hurried for 14 backyards on 13 brings (1.1 backyards per effort), as the Colts regularly had a hard time to summon a running video game. — Stephen Holder

Next video game: at Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What will the Ravens do now that J.K. Dobbins is provided for the season? Dobbins left the video game early in the 3rd quarter, and coach John Harbaugh later on stated he suffered a torn Achilles and is provided for the season. . The Ravens will divide brings in between Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. On Sunday, Edwards got a great deal of the snaps in early downs and Hill remarkably was provided the majority of the touches at a loss zone. Hill, a fourth-round choice in 2019, scored 2 goals in the season opener after amounting to 2 hurrying goals in his very first 43 profession video games. Hill is rostered in 0.3% of ESPN dream league and was begun in less than 0.1% of them.

Stock up after the win: WR Zay Flowers. The novice initially–round choice was the leading offending weapon with 78 backyards getting and 9 backyards hurrying, almost ending up being the 2nd gamer in Ravens history with 100 skirmish backyards in his very first profession video games.

Stock down after the win: QB Lamar Jackson. Pressured throughout the video game, Jackson appeared like a quarterback who had not played a video game in 280 days by taping his very first video game with numerous turnovers (interception and fumble) considering that Week 6 of 2022. — Jamison Hensley

Next video game: at Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


What can be made from the launchings of Houston’s first-round choices? ​​The No. 2 total choice, quarterback C.J. Stroud, was irregular. Stroud completed 28-of-44 for 242 backyards without any goals and a fumble lost. He finished just 5 of 10 efforts on tosses longer than 9 backyards. No. 3 total choice, protective end Will Anderson Jr., was disruptive as he completed with a sack and 3 quarterback hits.

Stock up after the loss: CB Steven Nelson. The corner was targeted 5 times, enabled just 38 backyards in protection and notched an interception.

Stock down after the loss: TE Dalton Schultz. Schultz was among the more substantial offseason acquisitions, however he underwhelmed with 2 catches for 4 backyards on 5 targets in his launching. — DJ Bien-Aime

Next video game: vs. Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


How much has this Saints offense enhanced? The Saints signed quarterback Derek Carr in complimentary company and re-structured Michael Thomaswide receiver ‘ agreement to keep him in New Orleans in an effort to reinforce the offense. There are intense areas, with Thomas off to an excellent start and Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed getting where they ended last season. But there are definitely issues, as the offending line had a hard time to secure its brand-new quarterback and kicker Blake Grupe supplied the majority of the points. They’ll require to determine how to secure Carr to have success moving on.

Stock up after the win: The Saints defense. This system more than held its own, with the secondary integrating for 3 interceptions, the run defense suppressing running back Derrick Henry in the 2nd half and everybody from beginners to backups making contributions to keep the Saints in the video game.

Stock down after the win: LT Trevor Penning. Penning missed out on a substantial part of last season, his novice year, and the left take on had a hard time Sunday, partly adding to Carr’s 4 sacks. — Katherine Terrell

Next video game: at Panthers (Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET)


Should the clock start ticking for Ryan Tannehill? Tannehill appeared unpleasant for the majority of the video game. He completed with 3 interceptions and just finished 13 of his 29 pass efforts. It was Tannehill’s 8th profession routine season video game in which he was obstructed 3 times or more. Tannehill required tosses to receiver DeAndre Hopkins, leading to 2 of the interceptions. He likewise toppled Chigoziem Okonkwo and running back Tyjae Spears when each of them were broad open for what would have been substantial gains.

Stock up after the loss: POUND Arden Key. Key was dominant in his Titans launching, ending up with 2 sacks and practically triggered a turnover when he knocked the ball out of Carr’s hands.

Stock down after the loss: The offending line. At times the line had a hard time to secure Tannehill, permitting 3 sacks on the day. Tannehill dealt with heavy pressure throughout the afternoon. — Turron Davenport

Next video game: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)



Will Jared Goff break the NFL record for many successive passes without an interception? Goff was not obstructed Thursday and has actually now gone 359 successive passes without a choice. That’s now the third-longest streak in NFL history behind Tom Brady (399) and Aaron Rodgers (402). Goff states he’s comfy in the offense and has actually put a focus on ball security, so there’s factor to think he can do it.

Stock up after the win: DE Aidan Hutchinson. The second-year edge rush had a career-high 6 QB pressures on Thursday night, connected for the most by a Lions gamer considering that the start of the 2020 season.

Stock down after the win: WR Marvin Jones Jr. The veteran dropped a pass and spent the very first fumble of his 12-year profession throughout the 2nd quarter on a scoring chance on his 563rd profession touch. — Eric Woodyard

Next video game: vs. Seahawks (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Did the Chiefs leave themselves brief at pass receiver? Between having difficulty getting open and various dropped passes, it looked that method versus the Lions. Kadarius Toney was especially having a hard time, which might be discussed by the reality he that missed out on all of camp and the preseason with a torn meniscus in his left knee. If he and the other Chiefs receivers do not enhance significantly, the response to this concern will be apparent.

Stock up after the loss: DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah. The Chiefs’ first-round draft choice (No. 31 total) stood apart — signing up 2 takes on and 2 QB hits — as the Chiefs look for pass rush aid playing without Chris Jones and Charles Omenihu.

Stock down after the loss: Short-yardage offense. The Chiefs had 9 plays where they required 2 backyards for a fresh set of downs and transformed on 3 of those. The Chiefs battle with power football and frequently get too adorable with their method. — Adam Teicher

Next video game: at Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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