The first weekend of the 2021 regular season is on the books and we have plenty to talk about. It seems that some things haven’t changed, like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes not sweating while leading a comeback. On the other hand, all NFC North teams lost. That means the NFC East can take a break from being the worst division, at least for one week.
I know there’s a lot of football left to be played but starting on the right foot it’s always important. This is the first year in which all teams will play 17 regular-season games. Let’s check what Week 1 left us, including results, injury reports and other important details for you to prepare your online NFL betting strategy for Week 2.
NFL Week 1 Recap
Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With 1:24 on the clock, Brady led the offense to a winning field-goal in a 31-29 victory.
Brady threw for 379 yards and four touchdowns. He connected with seven different players. Chris Goodwin finished with nine receptions, but tight end Rob Gronkowski was the one who found the end zone twice.
It was great to watch Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott back on the field. He also played an incredible game, throwing for 403 yards and three touchdowns. He and Amari Cooper (13 receptions, 139 yards, two touchdowns) showed good chemistry. For a moment, they looked like Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin — if, just for a moment.
Both had poor performances running the ball. Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott finished with 33 yards, while Tampa Bay’s Leonard Fournette finished with 32. The Cowboys need more from Elliott or it’s going to be a really long season for them.
The Buccaneers will play host to the Atlanta Falcons while Cowboys will pay a visit to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2.
Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts
Last season, Russel Wilson played the first five weeks like he really wanted to win MVP honors. He didn’t, but he led Seattle to the playoffs. Wilson started on an MVP level on Sunday, throwing for 254 yards and four touchdowns. He led the Seahawks to a 28-16 road victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Tyler Lockett (100 yards, two touchdowns) and D.K. Metcalf (60 yards, one touchdown) had a great game as well. They proved they’re one of the most dangerous receiver duos in the league.
The Carson Wentz era with the Colts didn’t start as expected. Wentz threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns, but he’s far from his 2017 form. Zach Pascal (43 yards, two touchdowns) established himself as their No. 1 receiver with T.Y. Hilton is expected to be out at least for a couple more weeks.
In Week 2, the Seahawks will return home to face the Tennessee Titans. The Colts will play host to the Los Angeles Rams.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans
Trevor Lawrence’s professional debut wasn’t the best. He threw for 332 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Jacksonville practically didn’t run the ball in a 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans. Lawrence showed character, but he’s going to need much more than that to win NFL games.
On the other hand, the Texans didn’t miss DeShaun Watson at all. Tyrod Taylor threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns while veteran Mark Ingram ran for 85 yards and one touchdown. With Ingram, Philip Lindsay and David Johnson in the backfield, expect Houston to keep running the ball hard.
Lawrence and the Jaguars will have a tough matchup in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos. Taylor and the Texans will pay a visit to the Cleveland Browns. Don’t expect to watch Watson play anytime soon. Houston is willing to trade him, but they’re asking too much.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons
Rocky Balboa, Nick Foles and now Jalen Hurts. That’s right, Hurts is bringing back hope to Philly. The second-year quarterback led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 32-6 victory in Atlanta after throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 62 yards.
Rookie DeVonta Smith met expectations in his debut and finished with six receptions, 71 yards and one touchdown. Hurts connected with seven different receivers.
The Falcons are still a mess on both sides of the field. Matt Ryan missed Julio Jones a lot. He threw for 164 yards and … that’s it. Calvin Ridley was their top receiver with five receptions for 51 yards. Defensively, they finished with only one sack. You know there’s a problem when your best player is the kicker.
Philly will play host to the San Francisco 49ers while Atlanta will try to achieve the impossible by upsetting the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Week 2. Expect scores and odds to keep avoiding them.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team
Justin Herbert is for real. The second-year quarterback keeps throwing for 300-plus yards like it’s nothing. He led the Chargers to a 20-16 victory at Washington after throwing for 337 yards and one touchdown.
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams combined for 17 receptions, 182 yards and one touchdown. They could become one of the best duos in the league. As expected, Austin Ekeler was their top running back, rushing for 57 yards and one touchdown.
Washington fought bravely, but they lost veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick due to a hip injury that will sideline him for at least three weeks. Tyler Heinicke took his place and finished with 122 yards and one touchdown. Not bad at all, but not everyone has a little magic hidden under a majestic beard.
Expect Washington to heavily rely on running back Antonio Gibson. He finished this game with 108 yards combined.
The Chargers will play host to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. Washington welcomes the New York Giants on Thursday Night.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh had a horrible first half in Buffalo, but the Steelers were able to react and win 23-16. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 188 yards and one touchdown. Juju Smith-Schuster (52 yards), Diontae Johnson (36 yards, one touchdown), and Chase Claypool (45 yards) remain his top targets.
Rookie running back Najee Harris got the opportunity to prove himself as the starting back. He carried the ball 16 times for 45 yards. Not his best game, but give him some time. Defensively, T.J. Watt celebrated his new contract with two sacks. Expect him to be in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation once again.
Buffalo was simply disappointing. Josh Allen threw for 270 yards and only one touchdown. Stefon Diggs (nine receptions, 69 yards) remains his top target. He also showed a good connection with Cole Beasley (eight receptions, 60 yards).
Devin Singletary was their top back and rushed for 72 yards on 11 carries. He got most of the work after Zack Moss was a surprise scratch.
In Week 2, we’ll see the Bills play their first divisional matchup against the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers will make their home debut against the Las Vegas Raiders.
San Francisco 49ers vs Detroit Lions
Jimmy Garoppolo made sure to keep his job for one more week. He led the 49ers to a 41-33 victory over the Detroit Lions by throwing for 314 yards and one touchdown. The most important thing for him was that he didn’t make any mistakes. Rookie Trey Lance proved to be effective by completing his only pass for five yards and a touchdown.
Deebo Samuel went off and finished with nine receptions for 189 yards and one touchdown. Running back Raheem Mostert left the field due to a knee injury. Eli Mitchell took advantage of the opportunity and finished with 104 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries.
The Lions had a slow start but managed to turn things around in the second half. Jared Goff threw for 338 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Tight end T.J. Hockenson became his preferred target after finishing with eight receptions, 97 yards and one touchdown.
D’Andre Swift was their top running back, but Jamaal Williams outplayed him. Swift finished with 39 yards in 11 carries while Williams finished with 54 yards in nine carries. This is going to be a fun battle.
San Francisco will hit the road again in Week 2 to face the Philadelphia Eagles. Detroit will play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Monday Night.
Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals
New season, same old Kirk Cousins. The veteran QB didn’t play a bad game, but he wasn’t able to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a victory. The Bengals won 27-24 in overtime thanks to a late field goal.
Cousins threw for 351 yards and two touchdowns, both to Adam Thielen, who also finished with 92 yards. Dalvin Cook finished the game with 104 yards combined and one touchdown. Expect them to heavily rely on him.
Watching Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow back on the field, and healthy, was great for all football fans. He finished with 261 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase finished with 101 yards and one touchdown. Take that, doubters.
Running back Joe Mixon had a great game with 29 carries for 127 yards and one touchdown. This could be the beginning of great times for the Bengals.
Week 2 will have the Vikings visiting the Arizona Cardinals and the Bengals visiting the Chicago Bears.
New York Jets vs Carolina Panthers
Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and the Jets had a slow start and lost 19-14 at Carolina. The good news is Wilson showed some character by turning things around in the second half. He finished the game throwing for 258 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Corey Davis left Tennessee to remain a No. 1 receiver and he proved himself in Week 1. He led New York with five receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets need to figure out the running game.
The Panthers trusted Sam Darnold and he delivered. He threw for 279 yards and one touchdown. It was a 57-yard pass to Robby Anderson. Christian McCaffrey is back and he finished with 187 total yards. Expect Carolina to heavily rely on him again now that he’s healthy.
Both teams will play at home in Week 2. New York will play host to the New England Patriots while Carolina welcomes the New Orleans Saints.
Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans
Wow. The Cardinals played a perfect game on both sides of the field. Offensively, Kyler Murray threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns. DeAndre Hopkins finished with 83 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Christian Kirk with 70 yards and also two touchdowns.
Defensively, Chandler Jones alone finished with five sacks. Limiting Derrick Henry to 58 yards through the ground isn’t an easy task. If the Cards can keep playing like this, they’re going to be a true contender in the NFC.
On the other hand, the Titans disappointed on both sides of the field, especially on offense. With Henry, Ryan Tannehill, Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown, they’re expected to score more than 13 points per game.
Defensively, they have a lot to improve upon, especially on the secondary.
What’s next for both? Well, Arizona will play host to the Minnesota Vikings while Tennessee will face the Seattle Seahawks on the road.
Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs
What a game. The Browns started on the right foot, but you cannot hit the brakes when playing against Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs managed to turn things around in the second half to win 33-29.
Baker Mayfield threw for 321 yards and one interception. Nick Chubb carried the Browns offensively 101 total yards and two rushing touchdowns. Without Odell Beckham, who remains questionable for Week 2, Jarvis Landry is their No. 1 receiver.
It seems like the Chiefs always find a way to win, except in the last Super Bowl. Mahomes threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for one score.
Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce remain the best one-two punch combo in the league. Hill finished with 11 receptions, 197 yards and one touchdown. Kelce finished with six receptions, 76 yards and two TDs.
Expect more of the same from Kansas City. They are used to routinely scoring 30-plus points per game.
Mahomes and the Chiefs will visit the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2. This will be one of those games that a sports betting enthusiast simply cannot miss. Mayfield and the Browns will play host to the Houston Texans.
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
The Mac Jones era in New England started with a 17-16 loss to Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins. Tagovailoa threw for 202 yards and one touchdown while Jones threw for 281 yards and one touchdown. The Miami QB also had one rushing touchdown.
Devante Parker, Jaylen Waddle and running back Myles Gaskin were Tagovailoa’s preferred targets. Will Fuller will be available starting Week 2, which means more deep weapons for Miami to face the Buffalo Bills.
Regarding the Pats, Jones connected with eight different receivers. Nelson Agholor led the way with 72 yards and one touchdown. There’s no doubt that Damien Harris is their top running back. He finished the game with 23 carries for 100 yards and a crucial fumble.
New England needs a little more time to become a real threat. The Patriots have another divisional matchup scheduled for Week 2, this time at the New York Jets.
Denver Broncos vs New York Giants
Teddy Bridgewater beat out Drew Lock for the starting job and met expectations in Week 1. He led the Broncos to a 27-13 victory at MetLife Stadium. Bridgewater threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns but, most importantly, he didn’t make any mistakes.
Jerry Jeudy finished as their top receiver with six receptions and 72 yards, but he suffered an ankle injury and is expected to miss several weeks. Courtland Sutton should take advantage of this to re-establish himself as the team’s top receiver. Melvin Gordon led the way on the ground with 11 carries for 101 yards and one touchdown.
The Giants thought Saquon Barkley was ready, but he’s going to need more time. He did play but finished with 26 yards on 10 carries. Quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 267 yards and a score and ran for a touchdown. Sterling Shepard outplayed Kenny Golladay to finish as New York’s top receiver with 113 yards and one touchdown. It’s going to be a long season for the Giants.
On Sunday, the Broncos will face Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars. They expect Bradley Chubb to be ready. The Giants will face the Washington Football Team on the road on Thursday night.
Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints
Aaron Rodgers stayed to play one more year with the Packers, but apparently his talent didn’t. He finished the game with 133 yards and two interceptions. He was replaced by Jordan Love in the second half of the 38-3 loss.
To be fair, all Green Bay had an awful day. Aaron Jones ran for nine yards on five attempts. Davante Adams finished with five receptions for 56 yards. We don’t need to say anything about the defense, right?
On the other hand, what a debut for Jameis Winston as the Saints starting QB. Winston threw for 148 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. That’s right, no mistakes for him. Alvin Kamara finished with 91 total yards and one touchdown. The Saints could become a real problem when wide receiver Michael Thomas returns in Week 7.
Green Bay will try to forget all about this game by beating the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field in Week 2. The Saints will try to go 2-0 against the Carolina Panthers on the road.
Chicago Bears vs Los Angeles Rams
What a debut for Matthew Stafford with the Los Angeles Rams. He led them to a 34-14 victory by throwing for 321 yards and three touchdowns. Cooper Kupp (108 yards, one touchdown) and Van Jefferson (80 yards, one touchdown) were his best allies.
There’s no doubt that Darrel Henderson is the team’s No. 1 running back. He ran for 70 yards on 16 attempts. No other back had more than one carry.
The Bears were a disaster and they’ll remain a disaster if Andy Dalton remains the starting QB. He threw for 206 yards and one interception. Rookie Justin Fields scored one rushing touchdown. Head coach Matt Nagy needs to pull the plug on Dalton now.
Running back David Montgomery had a great game with 16 carries for 108 yards and one touchdown. If Dalton remains the starter, expect the Bears to heavily rely on Montgomery.
In Week 2, Chicago will play host to the Cincinnati Bengals while the Rams will be visiting the Indianapolis Colts.
Be sure to check our NFL predictions for Week 2 in order to increase your winning chances.