NFL 2023: How the Top Teams Fared in Week 1

The opening weekend of the 2023 NFL season produced plenty of headline moments, particularly in matches involving the top teams.
A Week 1 defeat for Kansas City Chiefs was the biggest upset, with the reining champions blowing a seven-point half-time lead to lose 21-20 against Detroit Lions.
Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was far from his best, although he had plenty of cause to be frustrated with the efforts of many of his teammates.
Read on as we assess that shock result, before looking at how some of the other fancied teams fared during the first round of NFL games.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs went into the new season as the bookmakers’ favourites to retain the Super Bowl and they were expected to sweep aside the Lions in their first game.
However, with tight end Travis Kelce sidelined with a knee injury, Mahomes was not quite as effective as usual. Mahomes was not helped by his wide receivers failing to consistently extricate themselves from the Lions’ gritty defensive unit.
Kelce could return for the Chiefs against the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend, which would be a major boost to their hopes of returning to winning ways.
Despite losing the game, the Chiefs will take plenty of confidence from their defensive performance, with Steve Spagnuolo’s unit making life difficult for the Lions.
Mahomes is far too talented not to bounce back from this result, and the Chiefs remain worthy favourites to go back-to-back in the Super Bowl.
Odds of 6/1 remain a fair reflection of the Chiefs’ chances, although bookies in some jurisdictions have another team threatening their position at the head of the outright market.

Philadelphia Eagles

After being edged out by the Chiefs in last season’s Super Bowl, the Eagles were tipped to be the team most likely to beat the reigning champions this time around.
Their 25-20 victory against the New England Patriots has done little to dampen enthusiasm among sports bettors, particularly in several overseas markets.
They include Australia, where NFL fans eagerly follow the exploits of Jordan Mailata and Arryn Siposs whenever they feature for the Eagles. The Aussie duo were both on the roster against the Patriots, and will be delighted to have kicked off the new campaign with a victory.
Several Australian betting apps were were impressed enough with the result to cut the Eagles into 13/2 to win the Super Bowl, and they could become favourites if they win again this weekend.
The Eagles are a best-priced 1/3 to defeat the Minnesota Vikings on Friday and Aussie punters will likely make them the cornerstone of their weekend multiples on mobile betting sites.
Nick Sirianni’s side looked a little rusty against the Patriots, but they look a good bet to build on that result and be a major force again in the NFL this season.

Buffalo Bills

The sight of New York Jets’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers leaving the field with what is feared to be a ruptured Achilles tendon should have been the catalyst for a big Buffalo Bills victory.
However, head coach Sean McDermott failed to seize the initiative and his overly cautious approach ultimately scuppered his team’s chances.
His decision to deny quarterback Josh Allen the chance to convert a fourth-and-2 chance on the Jets’ 22-yard line early in the game set the tone for an underwhelming performance.
The Bills still edged into a 13-3 lead at half-time, but McDermott’s failure to back Allen in that moment clearly impacted his mindset. He turned the ball over three times in the second half, which allowed the Jets to claw themselves back into the game.
Allen was also sacked five times, with the Jets’ belligerent defensive unit swarming all over him like bees around a honey pot. Their efforts were ultimately rewarded, as the Jets fought back to record a memorable 22-16 overtime victory over the Bills.
A favourable upcoming schedule gives the Bulls every chance of making amends, but punters who have backed them to win the Super Bowl will want to see more aggressive calls from McDermott over the next few weeks.

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