Paul Gallant recaps EVERYTHING you need to know from the NFL's first Sunday of 2019

NFL Sunday Week 1: In a nutshell

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Sup peeps. I host NFL Rush Sundays from 3-6 CT on SB Nation Radio. And since I'm keeping tabs on all of Sunday's games on the 9 TVs we have in studio, I'll be giving you an NFL cheat sheet every Monday...

Titans 43 - Browns 13

The Titans are a decidedly average football team. Still, they deserve credit. After all, scoring 40+ points with Marcus Mariota at quarterback is like scoring a single touchdown with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. Having Delanie Walker back (5 catches, 55 yards, 2 TDs) certainly helped, as did Derrick Henry (159 all purpose yards including a 75 yard screen and scramble, 2 TDs) picking up where he left off at the end of last season.

The Browns SHOULD be different than the Titans. They've got star-power and a potential star at quarterback. Unfortunately, one of these names is not like the others:

  • Baker Mayfield
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Jarvis Landry
  • Nick Chubb
  • Freddie Kitchens
  • Myles Garrett
No matter how his tenure plays out, we all have to agree that Freddie Kitchen was an EXTREMELY underwhelming head coaching hire. Especially for a young team like Cleveland. And it showed Sunday.
Baker Mayfield - who threw 3 picks, was sacked 5 times, and closed the game with 5 straight possessions ending in turnovers / turnovers on downs - stunk. But the Browns were penalized 18 times for 182 yards. And they were flagged for 2 MORE penalties that were declined. They were called for 4 on the Titans first TD drive. They had 5 personal fouls in the first half, and 6 total on the game. Myles Garrett took a shot at Delanie Walker's face. Greg Robinson KICKED Kenny Vaccaro in the face. Cleveland was the epitome of undisciplined Sunday.

Chiefs 40 - Jaguars 26

Jaguars fans have gotta be throwing Myles Jack-esque temper tantrums after Nick Foles broke his clavicle. Now they'll be starting Gardner Minshew for the forseeable future. In Minshew's defense, he didn't play poorly. But it's hard to take any quarterback that looks like Uncle Rico seriously.

The Chiefs offense - as expected - looked unstoppable in this one. And even though they've got a gimpy Patrick Mahomes (ankle) and no Tyreek Hill (shoulder, out for a few weeks) after this win, they've got to be feeling great about the offense:

  • Newly acquired running back Lesean McCoy had 10 carries for 81 yards
  • Travis Kelce had 3 catches for 88 yards, and could have had a 4th for a TD if Patrick Mahomes had been looking where he was throwing
  • And Sammy Watkins stole the show, with 9 catches for 198 yards and 3 TDs
The Jaguars defense might be a little undisciplined and always trying to start fights. But they are actually talented. And they were no match for KC Sunday.

Rams 30 - Panthers 27

Never change Cam Newton.

The Rams did get the road victory. But they can't be feeling great coming out of this game.

First off, they were unsure of Todd Gurley's knee (per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, they were "going in blind" into Sunday's game) and used him sparingly (just 14 carries, though he was effective late).

Second, newly acquired safety Eric Weddle got kneed in the head and was bleeding PROFUSELY.

Third, Jared Goff - who L.A. just gave $110 M guaranteed - did not look worth anywhere close to that. He was just 23-39 for 186 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.

Vikings 28 - Falcons 12

This was a very Gary Kubiak (the Vikings offensive advisor) feeling asskicking. Kirk Cousins only threw the ball 10 times, and Minnesota's zone blocking scheme helped Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison combine for 160 yards on the ground against a supposedly decent Falcons defense. At the very least, Atlanta was healthy on that side of the ball. Combine that with:

  • Their defense
  • The Packers offense looking inept
  • The Bears featuring Mitchell Trubisky as QB
And HOW are the Vikings NOT NFC North favorites?

On the Falcons front:

  • Sell all your Matt Ryan stock. He isn't a top level QB anymore.
  • Dan Quinn (+1200) is an EXCELLENT bet for first coach fired

Eagles 32 - Redskins 27

The Eagles got off to a VERY slow start. But Carson Wentz is an MVP candidate (and my MVP choice), especially with burner Desean Jackson back in green. Jackson had 8 catches for 154 yards and 2 TDs (51 and 53 yarders).

PS - Shoutout to Case Keenum for helping Washington look respectable out there. "The Wanderer" was 30-44 for 380 yards and 3 TDs despite throwing to 100 years old Vernon Davis and someone named Terry McLaurin.

Ravens 59 - Dolphins 10

The Dolphins are the worst team in the NFL, could EASILY go 0-16, and actually may be about to follow through on that whole mutiny thing they suggested. But...

I'm SO PUMPED for Lamar Jackson. He's one of my favorite college football players ever. And for those who watched him at Louisville, YOU KNEW he can throw the football. So it was great to see him show off that arm with a 17-20 day for 324 yards and 5 TDs. Even more promising? Jackson only ran the ball 3 times on the game.

Also important: the contributions that the Ravens got from their 3 biggest offseason acquisitions:

  • Earl Thomas had an interception
  • Mark Ingram had 14 carries for 107 yards and 2 TDs
  • And first round pick Marquise "Hollywood" Brown had 4 catches for 147 yards and 2 TDs (47 and 83 yards respectively)
After the Steelers and Browns embarrassing themselves Sunday, the Ravens look like the class of the AFC North.

PS - shout out to Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing an interception for an 8th NFL team, a record!

Bills 17 - Jets 16

NOBODY circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, who rallied from a 16-0 second half deficit FTW.

And NOBODY disappoints the Tri-State area like the New York Jets. The Bills have a great defense. But you can't feel good about the Jets regressing offensively in Sam Darnold's second season.

Seahawks 21 - Bengals 20

The Bengals might have stumbled into something by hiring Zac Taylor. Who knew that Andy Dalton had a 400 yard passing game left in the tank? Or that John Ross (7 catches for 158 yards and 2 TDs) actually might not be a first round bust?

The Seahawks are SOOO lucky to have walked away with a win. Their offensive line struggled to protect Russell Wilson (4 sacks allowed) AND pave the way for Chris Carson (15 carries for just 46 yards). Worse? It's GLARINGLY obvious how badly they miss safety Earl Thomas. ANDY DALTON JUST THREW FOR 400 YARDS.

Cowboys 35 - Giants 17

I don't want to overreact to a win over the Giants. But it's hard not to after Dak Prescott had perhaps his best game ever. With a full compliment of weapons (Amari Cooper, offseason signing Randall Cobb, Michael Gallup, and Ezekiel Elliott) Prescott ALSO had a perfect passer rating. He threw for 405 yards, with 4 TDs and just 7 incompletions on the game. He was so effective that the Boys only needed to give 'Zeke 13 carries.

Prescott had a strong finish to the season once Dallas traded for Amari Cooper. And now with Randall Cobb in the fold, he's got one of the strongest offensive supporting casts in the league. If he's still looking for $40 M a season, he might be able to statistically justify it.

The Giants? Until they take Eli Manning out back Old Yeller style, they're a waste of your time.

Chargers 30 - Colts 24 (OT)

Well, the Juice is right. The Chargers didn't miss a holding out Melvin Gordon at all. In fact, his backup Austin Ekeler IS a better running back. Ekeler had an Alvin Kamara esque day at the office (12 carries for 58 yards and a TD, 6 catches for 96 yards and 2 TDs) and gave the Chargers the W with the final score of the game.

As for the Colts, don't sleep on them. Jacoby Brissett is likely nothing more than a plus game manager. But Indy's O-Line is no joke, helping Marlon Mack run 25 times for 174 yards and a 63 yard touchdown.

49ers 31 - Buccaneers 17

If you've got stock in "Jameis Winston / Jimmy Garoppolo are going to be good quarterbacks...some day [gulps at latter]" takes, it's time to sell it. ALL OF IT. PANIC. PANIC. PANIC.

You can't fully appreciate Jameis if he's not making dumb throws, so you've got to thank Bruce Arians for keeping unintentional comedy in our lives. But Jimmy G picked up right where he left off in the preseason - Schaubing - and the 49ers have got to be regretting giving him $74.1 M. He might need another "learning experience" with an older adult film star to get him back on track.

Lions 27 - Cardinals 27 (OT)

WHY WOULD YOU WATCH THIS GAME? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Kyler Murray and Arizona's offense looked completely lost in the early going of this game. Sure, Murray eventually rallied the Cards back from a 24-6 deficit. But don't be too impressed. After all, how many Lions can you name after Matt Stafford?

Here's one: rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson. You'd have to be in a VERY DUMB fantasy football league for Hockenson to be available to you. Take a look anyway, and put in that waiver claim if he's available. He had 6 catches for 131 yards and a TD...the best debut by a rookie tight end since 1950.

Patriots 33, Steelers 3

Things I'm not surprised by:

  • The Steelers laying ANOTHER egg against the Patriots
  • Ben Roethlisberger saying "whatever." when asked for his reaction to the Patriots signing Antonio Brown
  • New England's defense looking like one of the NFL's best
Things I AM surprised by
  • The Patriots won THIS EASILY in a game where Tom Brady played a C game. Yeah, he didn't turn the ball over. But he had some bizarre throws over the course of the game. Best case scenario? He was rusty. If you're a Pats hater, I'd stay tuned to this.

Paul Gallant hosts the "Gallant Says" podcast (Tuesdays & Fridays), "Just Sayin'", Friday nights at 10:30 on Kube 57. He also hosts "NFL Rush", Sundays 3-6 on SB Nation Radio. Have any questions? Get after him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

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