In his first start since officially being named 49ers quarterback, Lance had a disastrous performance in a shocking 19-10 loss to the Bears in Chicago. Sure, it didn't help that the game was played in the middle of a biblical rain storm, but no matter how you spin it, it was any ugly game for Lance.
The second-year quarterback completed under 50% of his passes (13 of 28) and threw for just 164 yards. The troubling part for the 49ers is that Lance wasn't able to come through when the 49ers needed him most. With the 49ers trailing 13-10 in the fourth quarter, Lance had the chance to engineer a comeback, but any hope of that happening ended when he threw an ugly interception to Eddie Jackson that basically iced the win for Chicago.
Jackson ended up returning the pick to San Francisco's 21-yard line and the Bears would score five plays later to take an insurmountable 19-10 lead.
Lance was at his worst in crunch time, going 4-for-13 for 41 yards and an interception in the fourth quarter. The upside for the 49ers is that Lance won't have to play in weather like this every week, but the downside is that if he doesn't start improving soon, San Francisco could have a quarterback controversy on its hands before the end of the month.
Chicago 19-10 over San Francisco
|Although Trey Lance struggled, you definitely can't pin this entire loss on him. Deebo Samuel had one of the biggest mistakes of the game for San Francisco as he lost a fumble after the 49ers drove inside of Chicago's 20-yard line in the first half. The 49ers' defense also disappeared in the second half. After holding the Bears scoreless in the first half, the 49ers came out and let the Bears score a touchdown on their first three possessions of the second half.
|There are no style points in the NFL, which is good news for the Bears, because they definitely won the ugliest game of Week 1 on Sunday. After getting shut out in the first half, Justin Fields and the offense came alive in the second half with three touchdowns. Fields started the scoring spree with a 51-yard TD to Dante Pettis that seemed to spark the Bears' offense and defense. After that TD, the 49ers wouldn't score another point and Fields would put the game away with two more scoring drives. The Bears' defense came up with several big plays. Not only did it force the 49ers to go 0-for-2 on fourth down, but Eddie Jackson also came up with a fourth-quarter interception that iced the game.
New Orleans 27-26 over Atlanta
|After taking off most of the first three quarters, the Saints finally decided to show up in the fourth quarter and they ended up doing just enough to win the game. Jameis Winston, who threw for just 56 yards through the first three quarters, caught fire and went 16 of 19 for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He also led the Saints on a 47-yard drive in the final minute to set up Wil Lutz's game-winning, 51-yard field goal. Jarvis Landry (114 receiving yards) and Michael Thomas both came up with multiple huge plays for New Orleans. Taysom Hill also came up big for the Saints with a 57-yard run that set up his own 11-yard TD run in the first half.
|It wasn't quite the same as blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, but the team that's known for blowing big leads blew another big lead. Leading 26-10 with just 12 minutes left to play, the Falcons appeared to have this one in hand, but then they had a defensive meltdown in the fourth quarter, letting the Saints score on all three of their offensive possessions after shutting them down for most of the game. Before the meltdown, the Falcons seemed to surprise the Saints with their rushing attack. Not only did Cordarrelle Patterson rush for 120 yards and a touchdown, but Marcus Mariota also added 72 yards and a TD on the ground. Mariota wasn't perfect, though, as he also had a key fumble in the third quarter that he lost inside the Saints' 10-yard line.
Indianapolis 20-20 tie (OT) with Houston
|The scoreboard says this was a tie, but this has to feel like a loss for the Colts, who made several ugly errors against Houston. In the first half alone, the Colts drove inside Houston's 25-yard line on two separate occasions and came away with zero points (One drive ended with a failed fourth-and-goal while the other drive ended with a Matt Ryan interception). Ryan had his bright spots, but he also made several mistakes that a veteran QB shouldn't make, including losing a fumble on a snap from the center. Jonathan Taylor (161 rushing yards, 1 TD) and Michael Pittman (121 receiving yards, 1 TD) were the two big reasons why the Colts were able to claw back from a 20-3 deficit to get the tie. The Colts have now gone nine straight seasons without winning their opener, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. The Colts had a chance to end the streak, but Rodrigo Blankenship missed a field goal from 42 yards out in overtime.
|The Texans played nearly perfect football for three quarters, but then things fell apart in the fourth quarter as they squandered away a 20-3 lead. A big reason they were able to jump out on top so quickly is because of the play of Davis Mills, who threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns. The most surprising performance for Houston came from O.J. Howard, who was just signed earlier this month. The tight end only caught two passes against the Colts, but they both went for touchdowns.
Baltimore 24-9 over N.Y. Jets
|If Lamar Jackson is bothered by the fact that he didn't get a new contract, he definitely didn't show it against the Jets. Although he got off to a slow start in the first quarter, he threw three touchdowns over the final three quarters of Baltimore's blowout win. Offensively, the Ravens weren't great -- they had a nonexistent ground game -- but players like Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay (54 receiving yards, two touchdowns) came up with big plays when the Ravens need them most.
|If this Jets team was supposed to be better than the one they fielded last season, they definitely didn't show it on Sunday. The Jets' offense had an ugly first half that included four punts, a missed field goal and a Joe Flacco interception. If Flacco was out for revenge against his old team, he definitely didn't get it. Although he put up some big numbers (37 of 59 for 307 yards), the Jets QB was largely ineffective when the game mattered.
Washington 28-22 over Jacksonville
|Under Urban Meyer, the Jaguars regularly made ugly mistakes and it looks like Doug Pederson hasn't quite cleaned things up just yet. Although the Jags definitely looked much improved in their first game under Pederson, they were still plagued by some key mistakes: Travis Etienne dropped an easy pass on fourth-and-goal in the first half, Riley Patterson missed a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter and Trevor Lawrence threw an ugly interception with 1:10 left to play that sealed Jacksonville's loss. The loss overshadowed impressive games from both Christian Kirk and James Robinson, who totaled 69 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 touches in his first game back since tearing his Achilles last season .
|The Commanders traded for Carson Wentz this offseason because they thought he could win them some games and he came through in Week 1. Of course, this is Wentz we're talking about, so there was obviously some drama first. After nearly throwing away the game with a fourth-quarter interception, Wentz rebounded to throw two TD passes over the final 10 minutes to give Washington the win. Overall, Wentz threw four touchdowns in the game with the final one going to Jahan Dotson with just 1:46 left to play. It's impossible to know if the Wentz gamble will pay off long term, but it definitely paid off in the opener.
Pittsburgh 23-20 (OT) over Cincinnati
|Pittsburgh needed five forced turnovers and an injury to the Bengals' long snapper to post a win in a wild overtime game. Minkah Fitzpatrick sent the game to overtime by blocking a Bengals extra point with just two seconds left to preserve the tie in regulation. The Steelers' win came at a high cost, though, as T.J. Watt and Najee Harris both left the game with injuries. Watt's injury is feared to be serious.
|The Bengals' rebuilt offensive line didn't look any better than last year's group. Joe Burrow was sacked seven times and spent much of the day picking himself off the ground. When he did throw, the result wasn't much better. Burrow threw four picks as the Bengals fell in a 17-3 hole. Cincinnati showed plenty of grit in the second half and nearly won the game but could not overcome long snapper Clark Harris' injury. Evan McPherson had a chance to win it in overtime, but missed a 29-yard field goal thanks in large part to an errant snap.
Steelers-Bengals grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Cleveland 26-24 over Carolina
|The Browns got the win over their former quarterback, which was the goal. Jacoby Brissett proved he could be a game manager, and rely on his two stud running backs -- which will be the plan of attack until Deshaun Watson returns. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 213 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. A tip of the hat to Cade York as well, who hit all four of his field goals -- including the 58-yard game winner.
|Carolina delivered a thriller despite what was a very up-and-down performance. The Panthers truly looked like they were on the verge of disaster in the first half, as Cleveland acquired a 10-point lead at halftime while Baker Mayfield and the Panthers' offense could get nothing going. However, they rebounded in the second half to keep things close. The defense hunkered down in the final two quarters and Mayfield hit Robbie Anderson for a 75-yard score in the fourth. Still, the offensive line didn't do a great job protecting the quarterback, as Mayfield was sacked four times and fumbled a whopping four times -- although all four were recovered by Carolina. The loss stings, but there's both good and bad to take away from Sunday.
Browns-Panthers grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Philadelphia 38-35 over Detroit
|The Eagles' offense looked explosive throughout the game, thanks to A.J. Brown and his dominance of the Lions' secondary in the second and third quarters. Brown finished with 10 catches for 155 yards -- setting a franchise record for receiving yards in a debut by a non-rookie. Jalen Hurts had no choice but to target Brown, who lived up to his "always open" moniker. The Eagles scored 38 points and tallied 455 yards, yet didn't have a reception from DeVonta Smith or Quez Watkins. They still rushed for 216 yards and had two 90-yard rushers in Hurts and Miles Sanders. Philadelphia had four different players rush for a touchdown in the same game for the first time since 1961. Despite how the offense had to carry the defense throughout the game, the Eagles look like a force in the NFC East with all their playmakers on offense.
|The Lions are better than many think, especially on offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown kept his five-game streak of getting at least eight receptions and a touchdown streak and D'Andre Swift looks every bit of the running back that can get 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards this year. The Lions didn't relent, going down 31-14 in the third quarter and eventually cutting the deficit to 38-35. Detroit's defense had no answer for Hurts running the football early and Brown throughout the game, yet the Lions still found themselves hanging in with a division title contender. This team has a lot to look forward to and will win more games than people think.
Eagles-Lions grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Miami 20-7 over New England
|For a minute there, it looked like all that worrying about the Patriots' offense was going to be thrown out the window. On the opening possession, they were moving the ball down the field with relative ease. However, Jones was later picked off in the end zone on a deep shot to DeVante Parker and it was largely downhill from there. After the pick, they punted twice and allowed a strip sack that was returned for a touchdown over the final drives of the first half. In that time, Miami jumped out to a 17-0 lead. New England's offense did find the end zone on its opening possession of the second half, but then proceeded to end the game with a punt, turnover on downs and a fumble.
|The Dolphins started the Mike McDaniel era on as good of a note as you could hope for, beating the Patriots at home rather convincingly. While so much was made about the Miami offense and how the 49ers influence will impact how they move the ball, it was actually the defense that separated itself from New England. The unit forced three turnovers on the afternoon, including two clutch turnovers in the first half. On the opening possession, the Patriots pick off Jones in the red zone and later forced a strip sack that was recovered for a touchdown. Those two turnovers alone directly contributed to 10 points being put on the board. As for that offense, Tyreek Hill is a target vacuum, seeing 12 looks from Tua Tagovailoa on the day and leading the team with 94 yards receiving. Second-year wideout Jaylen Waddle also made his presence felt with a back-breaking 42-yard touchdown. What keeps Miami out of the "A+" range was some questionable decisions by Tagovailoa down the stretch, which will undoubtedly keep the lingering question going if he can truly be the franchise guy.
Patriots-Dolphins grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Kansas City 44-21 over Arizona
|Patrick Mahomes had five touchdowns, and the team scored 44 points, so it is tough to give them a grade other than an 'A.' The Chiefs proved they have the playmakers they need to make up for losing Tyreek Hill. Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire were two of the biggest stars of the game, scoring one and two touchdowns, respectively. The Chiefs dominated all day long as they shot out to a 14-0 lead in a game where they never trailed. Yes, it is only Week 1, but the Chiefs look like they are ready to make another deep playoff run this season.
|I went back and forth on how harsh to be on the Cardinals, but found a medium ground with a C-. They did manage to get three touchdowns and a fumble recovery, so they did not completely embarrass themselves, but scoring two touchdowns late did not give them a chance for a comeback and they did not capitalize on the fumble recovery. Another pro for the Cards is that Kyler Murray was not throwing any interceptions. With every pro, there is a flip side, and for Murray, despite not having a terrible day, he did not "wow" either. The Cardinals clearly have a lot to work on, and once they get DeAndre Hopkins back, their offense is expected to improve, but that won't be until Week 7.
Chiefs-Cardinals grades by Shanna McCarriston (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let her know on Twitter.)
N.Y. Giants 21-20 over Tennessee
|If the NFL handed out the Coach of the Year award after just one week, it would probably go to Brian Daboll. In his first game as Giants coach, Daboll took a huge gamble by going for two following a New York TD with under 70 seconds left to play and that gamble paid off big time thanks to Saquon Barkley, who pounded the ball in for the game-winning points. It was fitting that Barkley scored the two-pointer, because he basically carried the Giants to victory. The rejuvenated running back totaled 194 yards and a TD against the Titans. A 33-yard run by Barkley helped set up Daniel Jones' game-winning TD pass to Chris Myarick (It was Myarick's only catch of the game). Jones wasn't perfect, but he came up with several clutch plays, including a late fourth-and-1 conversion and he proved that he might be able to turn his career around playing for Daboll.
|The Titans' 2021 season ended on a disastrous note, and now, their 2022 season has started on one. The Titans had a chance to be 1-0 right now, but Randy Bullock missed a 47-yard field goal on the final play of the game. It was an epic letdown for a Titans team that had multiple letdowns in the second half. Defensively, the Titans overwhelmed the Giants' offensive line for most of this game, sacking Jones five times. However, the defense couldn't come up with a big play when it needed it during the Giants' game-winning TD drive, which covered 73 yards on 12 plays. Offensively, the Titans mostly disappeared in the second half with three three-and-outs and four overall punts. The Titans were let down by all three phases of the game in the second half, which is why the Giants were able to battle back from a 13-0 halftime deficit.
Minnesota 23-7 over Green Bay
|If you're a Vikings fan, this is exactly how you wanted the Kevin O'Connell era to start. Not only was the offense clicking through the air, with Kirk Cousins playing a near-flawless game dishing it to the always-open Justin Jefferson, but the revamped defense was feisty around the pocket and on clutch downs, with Za'Darius Smith and Jordan Hicks in particular proving the linebacker corps is worthwhile again. Beating the Packers on opening week is one thing; waltzing past them with a straightforward game plan is another.
|Blame it on the front office that saddled Aaron Rodgers with a receiving corps headlined by ... AJ Dillon? Rodgers wasn't perfect, but he was actually darn good considering he had no one to trust downfield, throwing one pick only because somebody needed to take a chance to move the ball. Defensively, they held tight in the red zone late, but only after letting Jefferson do any and everything he wanted. A lot of screws need to be tightened (i.e. a receiver needs to be added) if they intend to run away with this division again.
Vikings-Packers grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Chargers 24-19 over Las Vegas
|First off, the Raiders probably wanted to score more than 19 points on Sunday. Derek Carr threw two touchdowns, but also three picks. I'm curious to see if this offensive line is going to affect this team's ceiling as a whole, because the Chargers' pass-rush made Carr uncomfortable all game long. Davante Adams balled out with 10 catches for 141 yards and one touchdown, but the defense struggled to contain Herbert. The Raiders are still a good team, but they looked outmatched by the Chargers.
|The Chargers are a Super Bowl contender, and they got off on the right foot against the Raiders with the victory. Justin Herbert looked like an MVP candidate, as he completed 26 of 34 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns. The offensive line didn't allow a single sack, while the defense took down Carr five times. How about Khalil Mack? Anyone questioning if he's still got it? Nope. He recorded three sacks -- including the clutch QB takedown to seal the win in the fourth quarter. The defense also picked off Carr three times. I will say that the Chargers probably don't want to be outscored 16-7 in the second half, but a win is a win. Bolt Nation, let's ride.
Chargers-Raiders grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tampa Bay 19-3 over Dallas
|The Buccaneers dominated the Cowboys in every phase of the game on Sunday night. The Buccaneers' offense moved the ball at will, the defense absolutely shut down the Cowboys and even Tampa Bay's special teams came up big with four field goals in the win. Although we spent all offseason talking about Tom Brady, he wasn't even Tampa Bay's best offensive player in this game and that's because that honor went to Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 127 yards on 21 carries. The Buccaneers did struggle in the red zone, but that's about the only thing they struggled with in the win. We've only seen one week of football, but the Buccaneers are already looking like the best team in the NFC.
|In this case, the 'D' stands for disaster because that's what the Cowboys' offense was on Sunday night. Dak Prescott had one of his worst games of his career, completing just 48.3% of his passes while also throwing an interception before leaving late in the fourth quarter after injuring the thumb on his throwing hand that will cost him some time on the field. The Cowboys couldn't run the ball, they couldn't throw the ball and the only reason this grade isn't an 'F' is because the defense somehow held the Buccaneers to under 20 points even though they were on the field for nearly the entire game.
Seattle 17-16 over Denver
|Russell Wilson's return to Seattle is probably a trip that he's going to want to forget as soon as possible. Although Wilson didn't play a bad game, the Broncos made several unimaginable mistakes, starting with the fact that they became the first NFL team since 1987 to lose two fumbles at their opponent's one-yard line. Overall, the Broncos got inside of Seattle's three-yard line on three different drives in the game, but only scored once and that came on a field goal. The fumbles were bad, but not as bad as Nathaniel Hackett's decision-making at the end of the game. With 20 seconds left, Hackett decided to attempt a 64-yard field goal instead of letting Wilson attempt to convert a fourth-and-5. Not surprisingly, the kick missed and Hackett is now going to be answering questions all week about why he took the ball out of Wilson's hands.
|In Russell Wilson's return to Seattle, the Seahawks decided to play the role of spoiler. Despite being a huge underdog, the Seahawks pulled off the upset thanks to the play of Geno Smith and their goal line defense. On Smith's end, he almost looked like Wilson out there. The QB completed his first 13 passes on a night where he finished 23 of 28 for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Although Smith was good, this dramatic win wouldn't have happened if not for two big goal line stops. Early in the third quarter, the Seahawks forced a Melvin Gordon fumble on a fourth-and-goal play from the one-yard line. Less than six minutes later, the Seahawks also forced a Javonte Williams fumble on a play from the one-yard line. The Seahawks were the definition of a "bend but don't break" defense Monday night, and that's a big reason why they were able to shock Wilson and the Broncos.