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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 10 Grueling Truths we learned during week 1 of the 2023 NFL season

10 Grueling Truths we learned during week 1 of the 2023 NFL season

Publish Date: 09/11/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Week 1 takeaways

Week one as always in the NFL showed that on any given Sunday anything can happen in the NFL. The Bengals and Chiefs both lost and the Eagles struggled to beat the Patriots. So buckle up as we head into week two because it looks like we are setting up for a wide open season!


1) It is critical to win in week one

How significant is winning in Week 1 for Super Bowl 58 success? Eighty-one per cent of Lombardi Trophy winners (46/57). Won their opening game.

How important is winning in Week 1? Since 2002, when the league expanded and realigned, 53% of teams that won Week 1 made it into the postseason, while 75% who began with a 0-1 start did not qualify.

It is more important than you think to get off to a winning start if your goal is to win the Super Bowl.

2) The Dallas Cowboys defense was dominant

Given their dominance on defense against the Giants — including seven sacks and three takeaways — there’s every reason to believe the Cowboys may have one of the finest defenses seen since 2000. The Cowboys have a fast, violent defense led by Micah Parsons, and the offense looked pretty good also.

Video: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants | 2023 Week 1 Game Highlights

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants | 2023 Week 1 Game Highlights

3) The Bengals did not show up

Following a recent trend in Cincinnati, the Bengals were no-shows in Cleveland, and with a game at home against Baltimore in week 2, the Bengals face a must-win or they will be two games behind Baltimore and possibly Cleveland. Last season the Bengals lost two three-point games and while they did not play well they at least showed some fight. This year is different as they effort was non-existent. Questions also have to surround how healthy Joe Burrow is because his arm strength was not what it usually is, which can be related directly to Burrow’s calf strain.

Video: Cleveland Browns top Cincinnati Bengals 24-3 in season opener

Cleveland Browns top Cincinnati Bengals 24-3 in season opener

4) The 49ers might be the best team in the NFL

The Niners only question coming into this season was at the quarterback position, and on Sunday, Brock Purdy was efficient and very good. If he continues to play like this, the Niners will be very tough to beat. They have weapons galore on offense and the defense is stacked with talent.

Video: Every Brandon Aiyuk Catch from His 129-Yard Game vs. Steelers

Every Brandon Aiyuk Catch from His 129-Yard Game vs. Steelers

5) The Colts are in trouble

The Indianapolis Colts got a taste of life without All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor – currently on the physically unable to perform list and out until at least Week 5 – as Richardson led them with 40 rushing yards while Deon Jackson produced 14 on 13 carries. Richardson ran and passed for touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars but could encounter difficulty as defenses adapt to him. The Colts offense is very limited and without Taylor I don’t think a lot of hope exists in Indianapolis.

6) Jessie Bates was a great signing by the Falcons

Atlanta S Jessie Bates III takes an early lead for the most effective offseason acquisition after picking off Young twice during Sunday’s 24-10 win for Atlanta. Of course that could all change after we see Aaron Rodgers plays for the Jets tonight, but Bates is one of the best safeties in the NFL and he made his presence seen on Sunday.

7) Tua getting it done in Miami

Although Niners-Steelers was likely Week 1’s biggest letdown, the Dolphins’ 36-34 victory over the Chargers exceeded even its already lofty expectations. QB Tua Tagovailoa put forth an incredible 466-yard passing effort with three touchdown passes to set aside any doubters; his yardage output ranked fourth most in any Week 1 game ever played by any NFL franchise. If Tua stays healthy, the Dolphins could make a run at the Super Bowl. People forget how good Tua was last season until he got hurt. The only question in Miami comes on the defensive side of the ball.

8) The Vikings may not have the magic of last season

Kirk Cousins proved no ally to the Minnesota Vikings during their 20-17 home loss against the Buccaneers. His three turnovers (1 interception, two fumbles) proved fatal to Minnesota, who typically battled hard for victories last season and found ways to pull games out like this.

9) Giving Jordan some Love

Even with Aaron Rodgers gone the Packers continued their dominance over the Chicago Bears as quarterback Jordan Love hung three touchdowns on the Bears. Does this mean the Packers are playoff contenders? It might be because if Love continues to play well the Packers have the defense to be a playoff contender.

10) Geno Smith has hit midnight

Smith was an amazing story for a little over half the season last year, and then he ran out of gas, On Sunday Geno was bad as the Rams blowout the Seahawks in Seattle. The Seahawks made some great moves in the off season, but they missed big time if they thought Geno Smith was the man to lead them to the promised land.

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