The two big duels of the weekend both ended with a surprise winner. The two Super Bowl teams—Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers—lost to the Chargers and Rams, respectively. There were also several duels that were decided in the last seconds with a field goal. Justin Tucker’s – 66 yards against the plucky Lions – was the most talked-about. Read the reviews of early games in NFL on Sunday here!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Los Angeles Rams | 24-34
In the victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defense of the Los Angeles Rams again played a major role. Aaron Donald has always been a scourge to the Bucs offense. Throughout the game, the Rams D held them to 446 yards, making it the 16th game in a row in which an opponent scored less than 30 points against LA. This time there were no turnovers, but the constant pressure on the offense was enough to secure the win. Donald is usually a defensive star, but this time safety Kenny Young played an even bigger part. He had 10 tackles, a sack and three big tackles for a loss.
Offensively, the Rams were also not indifferent. Led by the new general, Matthew Stafford, they put 34 points on the board against the reigning champions. Stafford is living his second childhood in Los Angeles. Against the Bucs, he had 27 completed passes from 38 attempts, 343 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions. In addition to his favorite target, Cooper Kupp (9/12, 96 yards, 2 TD), good old Desean Jackson also had a strong outing. Jackson caught only three balls, but with them he got 120 yards and a touchdown.
Brady and the Bucs had a rough night. Not bad, but difficult. Most of that was the Rams’ credit, but the bad start (twice a three and out ) and only six out of 13 converted third downs against any opponent is unique for a Brady offense. The offense was unable to rectify the 34 points against.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs | 30-24
The LA Chargers pulled off a huge stunt by beating the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Justin Herbert and co came fearlessly to the churning Chiefs stadium and kept the reigning AFC Champions to 24 points. Certainly in the first half, the Chargers were dominant and forced three turnovers on the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes threw an interception and Tyreek Hill and Clyde Edwards-Helaire lost the ball. The Chargers put two touchdowns on that. Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler caught Justin Herbert’s touchdown passes.
After the break, the Chiefs’ offense came to life and we got a very exciting game of football. With two quick touchdowns, Andy Reid ‘s team took the lead. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, among others, scored and corrected his mistake of the first half. The rest of the game turned into an offensive boxing match and the lead would change three more times. In the end it was the defense of the Chargers that made the difference. They forced Patrick Mahomes into a second interception late in the fourth quarter. Justin Herbert and co were able to score the decisive touchdown in the ensuing drive and take the unlikely victory. It’s already been a tough start to the season for the Chiefs, who are now actually in last place in the AFC West!