NFL Week 1: Eagles Flex, Bills Scrap, Texans D Locks Down

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 07: Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter of a NFL game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 7, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Jaguars Won the First Half, Eagles Dominated the Second

A tale of two halves with a surprising beginning, as the Jaguars punched Philly in the mouth first. Undrafted rookie receiver, Allen Hurns, carried his preseason momentum over with a chance to start in place of Cecil Shorts. Hurns torched the Eagles for three big plays in the first half, two went for touchdowns as he finished with 110 yards. The defense looked relentless early on, forcing quarterback Nick Foles into three turnovers, matching his 2013 total. That was until, Foles and company looked like they did in 2013.

Chad Henne started fast but faltered as the game unfolded, getting sacked three times and missing his targets. Toby Gerhart got banged up a little bit, Philly wouldn’t let them get anything going on the ground. As for the reigning rushing leader, LeSean McCoy had 27 touches for 115 yards. Darren Sproles really got the offense going in the second half with a punt return, a long touchdown run up the middle, he got the ball 15 times for 85 yards himself. The hype about tight end Zack Ertz came to fruition with 77 yards and a score. Jacksonville finally broke down in coverage after doing so well. The safeties bit on a play-action that let Jeremy Maclin get past them for a 68-yard TD. After trailing 17-zip at the half, the Eagles dominated the second half 34-0, with a final of 37-17.

Buffalo Escapes Chicago with a W

Bills got a boost from running back, Fred Jackson, in overtime to beat the Bears in Chicago. Buffalo got just enough production from everyone on offense. Receiver Robert Woods caught 78 yards while all three active running backs eclipsed 50 yards: Jackson, C.J.Spiller, and Anthony Dixon. What stood out on the Bills defense aside from their two sacks and picks, was the fact that cornerback Leodis McKelvin made 13 tackles. They were patient on D by finishing tackles, and allow Cutler’s patience to dwindlefor those I-N-T’s.

As usual, there’s two sides to Jay Cutler, and he put both on display in the week one loss. Martellus Bennett played well as the eventual go-to target, as Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery were sidelined with minor injuries. Beyond the quarterback, Marc Trestman calling too many passing plays may be the issue. Running Back Matt Forte played outstanding last season, but he wasn’t used as much as he should have been, such as key short-yardage situations and they don’t run as much in 4th quarters. Nonetheless, Forte was great today, as Cutler chucked the ball nearly 50 times with two signature interceptions. The defense wasn’t much to talk about aside from notching a sack and a pick.

Washington Overmatched in Houston

Not only is J.J. Watt a prime time defensive lineman, he’s one of the best defensive players in the game and absolutely deserved that contract extension. Watt anchored a dominating defensive output that is better than 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 PD in the stats would suggest. The only thing that went wrong for them was losing rookie/number one pick, Jadeveon Clowney, to a torn meniscus for at least a month. The Texans held a Washington team with some popular names on offense to a pair of field goals in the opener. Actually, not really, but just checking to see who actually watched this game that ended 14-6 in Houston’s favor. The Skins handed the rock to Darrel Young and the fullback scored their only points, as the kicker missed the point after.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a pretty offensive display by the Texans either, as they mustered up a touchdown through the air, courtesy of receiver DeAndre Hopkin’s YAC. The other score came from a blocked punt. In the ground game, Arian Foster’s 103 yards edged Alfred Morris’ 92. Andre Johnson had his way with cornerback DeAngelo Hall, he caught 9 balls for 93 yards. Counterparts DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon combined for 18 catches and 139 yards, disappointing numbers as Robert Griffin was under pressure and getting up off the ground throughout the game.