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TSL Recap: What We Learned From NFL Week 1

Aaron Rodgers‘ heroic comeback win over division rival Chicago dominated the headlines in NFL Week 1, but we also gained some insight about the future of the season and noticed some early developments that could have a huge impact on the upcoming weeks. 

Aaron Rodgers is Superman

After getting sacked early in the second quarter Rodgers was carted off the field with a knee injury and a worried look on his face. With the Bears up 17-0 at halftime and the fate of the games best QB up in the air, most fans thought it would be a miserable night for Green Bay. 

Instead, it was Rodgers affirmation that he deserved the huge contract extension he received and another defining moment in the career of one of the NFLs all-time great leaders and QBs.  

Looking like Willis Reed in the 1970 NBA finals or Doug Williams in the first quarter of the Super Bowl, Rodgers limped back onto the field after halftime, and despite being visibly in pain and compromised by his injury, led the Packers on a 12-play, 46-yard drive that cut the lead to 20-3.

Rodgers got the ball again and thats when the magic happened. Thats when Rodgers reminded everyone why hes gods gift to football, NFL ratings, and fans across the country. 

SNF on NBC on Twitter

Rodgers + Allison = 6 : NBC https://t.co/jmbuGTO7vl

On the teams next possession, Rodgers carved up the Bears defense on a 75-yard drive, connecting with Davante Adams for a 12-yard score, cutting the lead to three. 

The 75-yard bomb to Randall Cobb that followed took the game from exciting to instant classic and gave Green Bay an improbable dub.  

NFL on Twitter

Randall Cobb goes 75 YARDS!!!!!! @packers have the lead! #CHIvsGB #GoPackGo : NBC https://t.co/S3trWF5UoY

Christian McCaffrey makes Cam Newton better  

Its obvious that Cam Newton is always going to carry a bigger offensive burden than every other quarterback in the league. Hes also never going to stop running the ball and the Panthers are never going to supply him with elite wideouts. Hes had one in his eight-year career — an aging Steve Smith. 

Carolina Panthers on Twitter

NORTH CAROLINAAAAAAA! C’MON AND RAISE UP https://t.co/ABq9ozGpDu

Thats where McCaffrey comes in. The former Stanford star is ready to emerge as one of the NFLs top all-around dual threats out the backfield. The Panthers finally have someone who can alleviate the burden for Cam and the Panthers need to start opening up the offense for McCaffrey and allowing him to show his explosiveness as a runner as well. 

On Sunday, the NFLs Great White Hope at running back carried the ball 10 times for 50 yards and snagged six of Cams completions for another 45 receiving yards. 

Carolina Panthers on Twitter

RUNCMC https://t.co/4mRXaRs5fi

If Cam starts breaking bread with McCaffrey — who had 80 receptions as a rookie — in Red Zone situations, the Panthers offense would be much improved. 

Rick Gehman on Twitter

With Jeremy Hill gone, that opens up 13% more rush attempts in Cincy and Gio Bernard appears relegated to a significant backup role.

Ron Rivera and Co. need to let McCaffrey rock out. 

 3. Mitch Trubisky still sucks

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft has continued to do nothing but prove that the Chicago Bears made one of the most idiotic and egregious decisions when they chose the unheralded, QB from UNC over Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson

Spike Friedman on Twitter

Mitch Trubisky had EVERY opportunity to make Eli Manning the worst QB in the NFC, and he went out and blew it

With the help of Khalil Mack and an inspired Bears defense, Trubisky jumped out to a 20-0 lead over Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, but could only muster a field goal the rest of the way and was ineffective, especially in crunch time with opportunities to put his team in field goal position to win a game that they never should have lost. 

Trubiskys 177 yards passing just wasnt enough. His erratic throws and frazzled demeanor down the stretch, proves once again, that hes not built for primetime and the Bears set their franchise back 10 years with that pick.  

4. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dallas Cowboys offense is in trouble

The Panthers defense is not an easy draw in Week 1, but quarterback Dak Prescotts 181 passing yards was a feeble output for a guy who knows he has to be a game-breaker and not a game manager this season if Dallas is going to make any noise in a loaded NFC East. 

Especially in a game when Ezekiel Elliott was limited to 15 rushed for 69 yards. The 15 carries are tied for the third-fewest in his career. Hes rushed fewer than 20 times in a game only five times, three of which came in his 2016 rookie season.

Jackson Allen on Twitter

Anyone who wants to argue on Dak Prescott’s behalf for being a good quarterback is just completely wrong. Great guy, terrible starting quarterback for an NFL team.

Prescott had the opportunity to show that he could lead a team to a victory with his arm. Instead, he looked like a deer in headlights. 

It was definitely tough. We just didnt go out there and execute, said Elliott, who only had 18 yards on seven carries in the first half. Our offense put our defense in a bad situation. We kept them on the field too long. We couldnt get first downs, keep our drives going.

In addition to dinking his way to a measly 4.9 yards per attempt and completing 19 unimpactful passes. Prescott also got sacked six times on Sunday, infusing even more doubt in most  Cowboys fans that hes the signal caller to lead them into the future.

Rich on Twitter

Great performance @dak. Glimpse of the season. If the run game is stopped, there definitely is no passing game. #CowboysNation @tonyromo https://t.co/HoG72UTslY

5. Von Miller wants that elusive Defensive Player of the Year Award  

Heres s stat for you: J.J. Watt has won three DPOY Awards since 2012, which is three more than Denvers QB-wrecking defender Von Miller. 

Miller got an early jump on the award on Sunday, collecting three sacks, even tackles, four QB hits, three tackles for loss, two forced dumbbells and one fumble recovery in Denvers 27-24 upset of Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.  

He was in full game-smasher mode. Wilson, who threw for 298 yards, was probably seeing Miller in his sleep last night.  

Rich on Twitter

Great performance @dak. Glimpse of the season. If the run game is stopped, there definitely is no passing game. #CowboysNation @tonyromo https://t.co/HoG72UTslY

When he got the first one, I was like, ‘OK, he’s something special,'” rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb said of watching Miller, via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala. “When he got the second one, I was like, ‘OK, he needs to slow down. I need to get one.’ And when he got the third one, I was like, ‘This is his game and nobody can take that from him.'”

The sack boosted Miller’s career total to 86.5, moving him past NFL Network’s Willie McGinest and into the top 50 all-time in that category. 

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