NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Kicking Off the NFL Season


Sept. 7 was the official start of the National Football League, or NFL, season, with all 32 teams taking part in the opening games of the 2023-24 campaign. With many fans getting their popcorn and tailgate rituals ready after almost nine months, there were a lot of great games to watch over the first weekend. 

Starting with the season-opening thriller between the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs, Lions quarterback Jared Goff shocked the world. Not only did Goff hand the ball off to running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery for 100 yards, but he also tossed 253 passing yards of his own, along with a touchdown pass to his star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.  

In the same division, the Green Bay Packers went out there and destroyed the Chicago Bears with quarterback Jordan Love’s 245 passing yards and three touchdowns. Packers star running back Aaron Jones accounted for two of those, while Bears quarterback Justin Fields was struggling on the other side.  

It was the week of newly acquired quarterbacks getting wins for their respective teams. New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr beat the Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo beat the Denver Broncos, and biggest of all, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield won his first game against the Minnesota Vikings.  

Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud and Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young, two rookie players, both struggled in their opening games while playing against tough defenses. In comparison, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson did decently well. Back in the draft, analysts predicted that Richardson would be the worst of the three new players.  

The New York Jets had the most devastating news of the week, as they lost their savior quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the team’s hype is finally gone. With Zach Wilson as quarterback, there will be a lot of trouble for the New York Giants, as they must face the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and more in upcoming weeks. So far, this season has started off as a banger and there will be more great games coming as players show off their potential. 

The following week, the Giants faced the Arizona Cardinals. Led by Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley, the Giants make an impressive 21-point comeback, leading to their first win of the season. Notable newcomers like wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, made an impact by making his first career catch for almost 55 yards, providing a significant boost to the Giants’ offense.  

Linebacker Jason Pinnock also stood out,contributing 13 tackles, mostly in the second half. Tight end Darren Waller had a relatively quiet game, yet he still managed some crucial first down catches. Saquon Barkley, who had two touchdowns in the game, looked especially great before sustaining an injury.  

This Giants’ performance shows they are a formidable team, but they will face a challenge as they go up against the ferocious San Francisco 49ers’ defense. To succeed, they will need to execute a flawless offensive game plan.  

There have been some other great games as well. The two best were the Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinatti Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens. The Lions vs. Seahawks game was not to be missed. Both teams are known to play competitively against each other every year, including last year’s 48-45 performance, and this was similar.  

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith dominated with another great start after throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Kenneth Walker had 43 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, wide receivers DeKaylin Zecharius “DK” Metcalf and Tyler Lockett got back to their normal selves after not having more than 40 yards combined in the first week when playing against the Los Angeles Rams.  

In the recent game against the Lions, the Seahawks had a combined 14 receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Noah Fant added 4 receptions for 56 yards and overall, and the other side of the ball also looked like a well-oiled machine. The defense had two sacks and one interception, all while playing great defense under pressure in overtime to win 37-31.  

On the other team, Goff looked good as well, with 323 passing yards and three touchdowns while having a 14-point comeback to help the Lions force overtime in the game. Montgomery had 67 yards and a touchdown through the ground, while St. Brown was the leading wide receiver in the game with 102 yards on seven catches. Gibbs had a nice game through the air out of the backfield too with seven catches for 40, while picking up a lot of first downs throughout.  

The Bengals vs. Ravens game had a slow start, which Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took advantage of and gave the Ravens the 27-24 win. Jackson had 237 passing yards and two touchdowns while running for 54 on 12 carries. Running back Gus Edwards had 10 carries for 62 yards and wide receiver Nelson Agholor was the leading receiver, as he had 63 yards with a touchdown. Safety Geno Stone, former University of Iowa Hawkeyes star, had a big interception against Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.  

The Bengals were struggling a lot in the first half, but the team looked like it had the same offense from the last two years in the second half. Burrow finally found wide receiver Tee Higgins in the end zone twice in the same second half, and during that half, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had five catches for 31 yards, while running back Joe Mixon averaged about five yards per carry in the second half. The stars seemed to play better, and Burrow looks like he will continue this improvement in the next few weeks. 


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Neev Chopra, Senior Staff Writer
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