N.F.L. Week 1 Live Updates: Lamar Jackson and Baltimore Up to 59 Points
The N.F.L. began its 100th season with a defensive slugfest between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on Thursday night that reminded people a bit too much of what football looked like 100 years ago. There should be quite a bit more offense on Sunday. Come back here all day for highlights, injuries, top performances and (presumably) even more drama from Antonio Brown.
Nick Foles Injured in Jacksonville
In a terrible blow to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Nick Foles, the team’s new starting quarterback, was forced out of the game with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder while throwing his first touchdown pass of the season. He will not return.
The game slowly turned into a blowout with Foles out and Patrick Mahomes cruising, but Gardner Minshew, a rookie out of Washington State, has been better than anyone could have reasonably anticipated in Foles’s absence. Jacksonville trails the Kansas City Chiefs by 37-13 midway through the fourth quarter.
It was midway through the first quarter, with Jacksonville down by 10-0, when Foles launched a deep ball into the end zone that D.J. Chark pulled down for a 35-yard touchdown. Shortly after Foles released the ball, he was crushed into the turf by Kansas City’s Chris Jones.
Foles immediately left the field, and reports from the sideline indicated that he had not gone to the locker room, but had instead gone straight for X-rays on his left arm and shoulder. The team announced almost immediately that he would not return though they did not specify the extent of the injury.
He returned to the sideline in street clothes late in the second quarter.
Foles has had an up-and-down career, but after his shocking win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII and his strong play toward the end of last season, he was expected to help stabilize a Jacksonville offense that had struggled to live up to the team’s defense.
With Foles out, and the team having already fallen behind by 17-7, the Jaguars’s offense was put in the hands of Minshew, a sixth-round draft pick who threw for a whopping 4,779 yards last year while running the Air Raid offense under Coach Mike Leach at Washington State.
The Air Raid is similar enough to the style Nick Foles played in Philadelphia, and that Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has installed, that Jacksonville appeared to be in good hands. Sure enough, in the remainder of the first half, Minshew completed the first nine passes of his N.F.L. career — the first quarterback to do that since Brad Johnson in 1994 — for 128 yards. Unfortunately that led to just a pair of field goals and a 23-13 deficit.
Kansas City’s offense, meanwhile, has been limited as a result of a shoulder injury to Tyreek Hill that will keep the superstar receiver out for the remainder of the game. On Friday, Hill signed a three-year contract extension with a reported $35 million in guaranteed money.
Even without Hill, though, Mahomes, nursing an ankle injury, has lived up to last year’s Most Valuable Player Award. He has 375 passing yards and three touchdowns with 3 minutes 46 seconds left in the game.
Lamar Jackson Is Having Fun
Remember when there was concern over whether Lamar Jackson could succeed as a quarterback once teams adjusted to Baltimore’s run-heavy approach? He started off his sophomore season by completing 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns before being pulled in the fourth quarter for Robert Griffin III thanks to Baltimore’s 52-10 lead.
Griffin didn’t miss a beat, throwing a touchdown pass to Mark Andrews that made it 59-10.
It would not be wise to draw too many conclusions in a game being played against the Dolphins, but with Baltimore up to 570 yards of offense with just over 9 minutes left to play, it certainly looks like a good idea for the Ravens to have stuck with the quarterback that got them into the playoffs last year.
The Dolphins rallied to score a touchdown on a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in the final minute of the second quarter, but that barely put a dent in Baltimore’s lead and there have been no signs of life in the second half.
Sunday’s Top Performers
The top performances as of halftime of the 1 p.m. games.
Lamar Jackson, BAL: 10-11, 210 yards, 4 touchdowns
Patrick Mahomes, KC: 16-20, 313 yards, 2 touchdowns
Case Keenum, WAS: 16-22, 257 yards, 2 touchdowns
Mark Ingram, BAL: 9 carries, 77 yards, 2 touchdowns
Dalvin Cook, MIN: 12 carries, 74 yards, 1 touchdown
Christian McCaffrey, CAR: 11 carries, 65 yards; 4 rec., 36 yards
Sammy Watkins, KC: 6 rec., 178 yards, 2 touchdowns
Marquise Brown, BAL: 4 rec., 147 yards, 2 touchdowns
D.J. Chark, JAX: 3 rec., 111 yards, 1 touchdown
Terry McLaurin, WAS: 3 rec., 104 yards, 1 touchdown
Greg Robinson Ejected for Dirty Play
Greg Robinson, a left tackle for the Cleveland Browns, was ejected from his team’s game against the Tennessee Titans for an ugly play in which he kicked Kenny Vaccaro, a safety, in the head as they were both falling to the ground.
The ejection proved remarkably costly for Cleveland, as Robinson’s replacement, Kendall Lamm, was ruled out with a knee injury shortly afterward. The Browns, who came into the season with a great deal of enthusiasm, were trailing the Titans by 15-13 late in the third quarter.
In other action, Myles Jack, a linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, was ejected for throwing a punch at Chiefs’ receiver Demarcus Robinson. He briefly refused to leave the field and had to be escorted off by Jacksonville coaches.
Today’s Key Inactive Players
The two most notable inactives in the 1 p.m. games are Adrian Peterson, a running back for the Washington Redskins and Marcell Dareus, a defensive tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Peterson, who at 33 had a comeback season for Washington last year, is a healthy scratch as Coach Jay Gruden decided the rookie Darrius Guice was his better option at running back and Wendell Smallwood was seen as a better option on special teams.
Dareus, a key to Jacksonville’s run defense, is still working his way back from an elbow injury. His absence could be terrific news for Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy, as the Kansas City Chiefs should have significantly more room to run.
What to Look For in Week 1
The Los Angeles Rams are seeking to avoid the Super Bowl hangover that has plagued so many N.F.L. teams in recent years. Fresh off signing quarterback Jared Goff to a contract that guarantees him $110 million, they open on the road against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. (1 p.m., Fox)
How does Patrick Mahomes follow up winning the N.F.L.’s Most Valuable Player Award in his first season as the starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs? Can Nick Foles, reunited with the offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, give the Jacksonville Jaguars the offense they’ve lacked in recent years? We’ll get a glimpse of both when the Chiefs take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla. (1 p.m., CBS)
We will get our first glimpse of Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s modified version of the Air Raid offense when the Arizona Cardinals host the Detroit Lions (4:25 p.m., Fox) in a clash between the N.F.L.’s offensive revolution and a Lions team led by Coach Matt Patricia that seems determined to stick to a game plan more popular 20 years ago.
The Cleveland Browns have not had a winning season since 2007, but optimism began to skyrocket after they closed the 2018 season strongly thanks to Coach Freddie Kitchens opening up the offense for Baker Mayfield. Now the team has added Odell Beckham Jr. to its promising young core, and the hyperbole has been off the charts. They’ll get started by hosting the Tennessee Titans, a team that became known last year for dragging teams into ugly battles of will. (1 p.m., CBS)
Ezekiel Elliott will be back on the field for the Dallas Cowboys after holding out in a salary dispute throughout training camp. He and Dak Prescott will be running a new offense, designed by the team’s boy genius offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore. Even if they are rusty there’s little reason to believe they’ll have any trouble when they host the Giants. (4:25 p.m., Fox)
The Sunday night game always has plenty of drama, and an A.F.C. battle between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots was sure to be exciting regardless, but the subplot of the former Steeler Antonio Brown agreeing to sign with the Patriots will add a major talking point even if the enigmatic wide receiver will not be able to officially join New England until Monday after his messy divorce with the Oakland Raiders. (8:20 p.m., NBC)
Benjamin Hoffman is a senior staff editor and regular contributor to the Keeping Score column in sports. He joined The Times in 2005. @BenHoffmanNYT • Facebook
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