Week 1 is officially in the books. Check out the biggest winners and losers TRO noticed from the opening round of games.
via Joe Sargent / Getty Images
With a wild opening slate of games behind us recap the bulk of the action here, as we highlight the biggest winners and losers from this week's action.
1) Tua Tagovailoa
via Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Picking up (and building upon) where he left off before last year's injuries, Tua laid down the most impressive quarterback performance of the opening week. He threw for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns as he moved the ball up and down the field with ease in an emphatic win over the Chargers. Tua was hitting short throws, deep bombs, timing throws, and pretty much everything in between. It helped to have Tyreek Hill running absolutely rabid throughout the Los Angeles secondary, but having a weapon like that at his disposal is another reason why Tua is one of this week's biggest winners.
2) Sean McVay
via Steven Bisig / USA Today Sports
Head coach Sean McVay reminded us exactly who he is Sunday. No one had the Rams going on the road and beating the Seahawks. Most people don't have the Rams winning many games this year at all, especially without Cooper Kupp. There were two wide receivers NO ONE had on their fantasy teams, and most people have never heard of, with 100+ yard games. Both runningbacks were being used to their benefit, and everything about the offense just seemed like a well-oiled machine. The Defense held Seattle to 3 yards of offense in the second half (not including 12 yards of garbage time). Los Angeles just dominated on all 3 phases, as they upset a Seahawks team with high hopes, picking up a huge division win, 30-13.
3) Jordan Love
via Jamie Sabau / USA Today Sports
We're not saying the Packers will be moving on to their third straight first ballot Hall of Famer, but Jordan Love was far more impressive than most of us expected. While we we're on the record predicting that he would be able to game manage this team to a decently competitive season, we did not expect him to lead them to an absolute curb-stomping of the Bears. Now, we don't want to pick too much on a team that finished with the worst record in the League last year, but decent-to-good quarterbacks take advantage of inferior matchups, and Jordan Love came out there and balled out. You can tell by some of the throws he was making, and his mechanics, that he has spent the last few years under Aaron Rodgers' wing. There were a couple of plays that looked eerily familiar.
4) Cowboys Defense
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This defense was the number 1 fantasy scoring defense last season. A lot of that was due to splash plays made by Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs piling up turnovers, but in reality the defense finished around 6th overall. Going into this year, Dallas added a couple of key pieces on defense and retained defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. They came out of the gates not only with the best fantasy performance of the week, but showed out with what looked like the most complete defense (in real life) on all 3 levels of the defense. The Cowboys put up a 40 - 0 victory over the Giants in a game where their offense honestly wasn't firing on all cylinders. If this team can lean on its defense throughout the season, they will be poised to compete for it all.
5) Xavier Gipson
via Getty Images
Probably the most "feel good" moment of Week 1. For Hard Knocks viewers, Xavier Gipson was an extremely easy-to-root-for individual. An undrafted rookie not sure if he'd make the team, Gipson was one of two undrafted rookie receivers seeming to fight for only one available roster spot in a hyper-competitive New York wide receiver room. Gipson has worked incredibly hard, has been a tremendous teammate, and really wants to be coached. His work ethic, speed, and contribution on special teams forced New York to untraditionally carry 7 wide receivers going into the season, meaning they kept both undrafted rookies. The undersized former Stephen F. Austin State Lumberjack got the start as the team's punt returner in their Week 1 matchup against the Bills, and in an emotional and improbable way, he scored the walk-off, game-winning touchdown to save the night for the Jets.
1) Ryan Tannehill
via New Orleans Saints
The Titans have spent the past 2 offseasons trying to draft Ryan Tannehill's replacement. There is a lot of draft capital invested in the next generation for Tennessee, and a learning curve has been the only thing preventing Tannehill from holding a clipboard this season. In their loss against the Saints, Tannehill led an anemic Titans passing attack, throwing for 198 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions in a game where even the most mediocre quarterback play would have led to a victory. Watching the game, you just felt like a quarterback change was coming at any moment. He survives to play another week, but you have to feel the fire nipping at his heels.
2) Sean Payton
via the Morganton News Herald
We were on the record with very low expectations for Sean Payton and this Denver Broncos team. That being said, our so far accurate prediction doesn't change the fact that he belongs on this week's list. We will admit that the Broncos offense looked slightly more efficient than it did last season, but the team still reeked of the same 2022 Broncos. While they did not commit any turnovers, this Denver offense only managed to score 16 points and accumulate 260 yards against a Raiders defense that leaves much to be desired. It also was an incredibly undisciplined game for the Broncos, totaling 10 penalties. Payton talked a big game this offseason, and even threw some major shade at last year's coach Nathaniel Hackett, only to come out incredibly flat in his debut.
3) Patrick Peterson
via NinersWire / USA Today
Speaking of throwing shade and failing to back it up, Patrick Peterson essentially guaranteed at least one interception on Brock Purdy ahead of the Steelers' matchup with the 49ers, and talked like the Steelers defense would have no problem with San Francisco's passing game. Not only did Peterson fail to pick off the ball, Pittsburgh was embarrassed at home in what looked like one of the worst losses in the Tomlin era. Not only did his team lose, but Peterson was personally picked on time and time again. Brandon Aiyuk had 8 catches for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns while in predominantly in Peterson's care. Brock Purdy finished the game 220 yards on 66% completion, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.
4) Joe Burrow
via Gregory Shamus / Getty Images
You would think just after signing a $275 million deal, and becoming the highest per year paid player in NFL history, that you wouldn't find Joe Burrow on this list. Unfortunately, Cool Joe's new deal didn't help him overcome whatever demons he has with the Cleveland Browns. Burrow had the worst game of his career Sunday completing 45% of his passes for a measly 82 yards and 0 touchdowns, as the Bengals got manhandled by some little elves.
5) New York Jets Fans
Sorry Jets fans. Curses might be real after all. This team had it all coming into the season. The elite defense, the head coach, the young playmakers, the hype built up by Hard Knocks, and finally, the elite quarterback to push them over the edge to make a run at the whole thing. Three plays into his first drive, and on his first pass attempt, Aaron Rodgers goes down for the year on a terribly unfortunate Achilles injury. The Jets did end up winning the game, beating the Bills, but the hangover from the injury to their newly-acquired signal caller leaves more questions than answers.