–Maybe the Jets are a cursed franchise. They’ve spent over half a century looking for their next Joe Namath and this year they decided to hitch their wagon to aging Aaron Rodgers as a short term fix. And for several months and through training camp, Rodgers seemed the right choice. He seemed happy and the Jets figured he could lead them to a Super Bowl. But four snaps into the season against the Bills, he was lost for the year with a ruptured Achilles. The Jets still pulled off a dramatic victory with an overtime punt return for a touchdown. But the road to the playoffs may be a bumpy one. They have a good defense and running game, but will need to find a quarterback if third year quarterback Zach Wilson isn’t the answer.
Meanwhile, the Bills have to wonder if Josh Allen is the quarterback who will take them to the Super Bowl. He threw three interceptions and lost a fumble and virtually gift wrapped the game to the Jets. He needs to stop being a turnover machine if the Bills are to do deep into the playoffs. He is now 0-5in overtime games.
—With Kansas City, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Chargers all stumbling, Miami may emerge as the favorite in the AFC. A year ago, there were concerns that Tuo Tagovailoa’s concussions might severely affect his career. But he had one of the best opening day showings ever, throwing for 466 yards with Tyreek Hill making 11 catchs for 215 yards in a 36-34 win over the Chargers. But it was a disappointing finish for the Chargers Justin Herbert, who needs to put a field goal on the board at the end, but didn’t get much protection and failed to pull the game out. He was even called for intentional grounding and sacked on last series.
—The two more impressive performances of the weekend were Dallas crushing the New York Giants 40-0 and San Francisco routing the Steelers, 30-7. Along with defending NFC champion Philadelphia, they look like the top three NFC teams. Meanwhile, the Giants and Steelers had high hopes for this year and have to hope the openers were a one off.
–Joe Burrow just got the best contract ever but that doesn’t change the fact he was rusty after missing training camp and it showed as he passed for just 82 yards and had a passer rating of 52.2. Both were career lows in the 24-3 loss to the Browns, who appear to know how to defend him. He is 1-5 against them.
–No surprise that the three rookie quarterbacks starting their openers – C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson – all lost. So did the five coaches in their first season with their current teams –Sean Payton, Frank Reich, Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon and DeMeco Ryans. Meanwhile, Jordan Love sat for three years behind Aaron Rodgers and led the Packers to the win over the Bears. Maybe Love can own the Bears the way Rodgers did.
–How much do the Chiefs miss Travis Kelce? Since he was sidelined with an injury, Patrick Mahomes tried to hit Kadarius Toney and one pass went off his hands for a pick six and he dropped a pass that would have set up a game winning field goal late in the game as Chiefs lost to the Lions, 21-20. Chiefs tackle Jawaan Taylor got a lot of attention for lining up off the line of scrimmage. He did it in Jacksonville, but the Jaguars didn’t play in a lot of high profile games and it wasn’t noticed. Now the Chiefs come to Jacksonville on Sunday we will see if he gets called for it.