Ben Kuchipudi ’25
Sports Editor & Writer
The Bills showed why they’re Super Bowl favorites on Thursday night. In the most hyped up matchup of Week One, Buffalo came into SoFi Stadium and absolutely stuck it to the Rams. Overall, the first half was sloppy with two first half picks, but Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and the rest of the Bills turned it up in the second half. Allen finished the game with 297 yards and four touchdowns, and Diggs and Gabe Davis combined for 200 yards and two touchdowns while making Jalen Ramsey look like burnt toast. The big story, however, was the Buffalo defense stifling the potent L.A. offense. Former Ram Von Miller had two of the team’s seven sacks and Matt Stafford was picked three times. This was a concerning game for the Rams to say the least, as the only Ram who produced was last year’s Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp. On the other hand, this was a statement win for the Bills who are looking to assert themselves as the best team in the league.
The Bengals and Steelers both deserved to lose. If you saw a box score and you saw that a quarterback turned the ball over five times, you would expect a blowout victory for the opponent, right? Well, this happened to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they should’ve lost this game if it wasn’t for the Bengals’ incompetence on special teams. Joe Burrow had four turnovers in the first half and Pittsburgh still wasn’t able to capitalize due to a slower-than-molasses offense. Pittsburgh’s offense fell flat in the second half and they nearly lost the game, but Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked playoff hero Evan McPherson’s extra point with no time remaining. Overtime felt reminiscent of the Bengals vs. Packers game last season, where there were numerous kicks missed in overtime. McPherson had a chance to win the game once again, but he missed from 29 yards out. Chris Boswell then proceeded to miss from 55. Cincy once again got into field goal range, but Joe Burrow fumbled again and forced the Bengals to punt. Led by former NVP Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh marched into field goal range and finally ended this joke of a game. Don’t let the score fool you; both of these teams deserved to lose today, because this was an embarrassing performance on both sides. To make matters worse for the Steelers, last year’s Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt is feared to have suffered a torn pec, which could knock him out for three to four months.
Tyreek Hill who? The Chiefs are still elite. Patrick Mahomes proved those who thought he would regress without Tyreek Hill wrong and then some. He absolutely SCORCHED the Cardinals in the desert with 360 yards and five touchdowns. The whole Kansas City offense was clicking as everyone got involved in this game. Travis Kelce had over 120 yards and a touchdown, and newcomers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling combined for the same amount of yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire caught two touchdowns and seventh round rookie Isiah Pacheco ran for a touchdown, also averaging over five yards a carry. The Chiefs looked as deadly as ever today, which is a scary sight for the rest of the league.
Saquon Barkley, Michael Thomas, and CMC are back. Back in 2018 and 2019, these guys were the best in the league at their respective positions, but injuries have plagued them over the past two seasons. Luckily, their Week One performances made it look like they never got hurt at all. Barkley lit up the Titans for almost 200 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, including a 68 yard burst that reminded us of his rookie season and a two point conversion that gave Big Blue their first winning record in six(!) seasons. Michael Thomas missed nearly two full seasons after his historic 2019 campaign, but he led the Saints’ furious comeback on the Falcons with two second half touchdowns, proving that you still “Can’t Guard Mike”. Christian McCaffrey didn’t have as good of a game as the other two, but he still scored and had the second most receptions for Carolina. It feels good to see these guys back on the field and each one is making their case for Comeback Player of the Year.
The Cowboys are in SERIOUS trouble. Besides their opening drive, the Cowboys looked like Bishop Sycamore against the Buccaneers. I get that injuries are a huge problem for the Cowboys (we’ll get to that later), but come on. Whether it was Dak Prescott missing receivers, Tony Pollard not getting carries, CeeDee Lamb dropping passes, or the offensive line completely collapsing, the offense just looked completely out of sync. Tom Brady looked a step slow and the Cowboys still managed to screw it up. I can’t really blame Dak for playing as poorly as he did since two of his receivers had never caught an NFL pass before that game, but he’s not going to get the chance to redeem himself for a while. In the fourth quarter of what was already a blowout, Prescott dropped back to pass and his throwing hand collided with Shaquil Barrett, forcing him to leave the game. It was found later that Prescott needs surgery on that hand, which will knock him out of action for 6-8 weeks. The events that happened in this game is eerily similar to 2020 where Dallas had to rely on stopgap quarterbacks to keep them afloat. They have to hope Cooper Rush can keep them in the hunt until Dak returns, or this could be a rough season for Dem Boyz.