With Deflategate finally in the rear view mirror, the Patriots were back in action and opened their season with a 28-21 victory on opening night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback Tom Brady reminded us why the Pats won it all last season, finishing with 288 yards and four touchdowns. Three of those touchdowns went to his favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski.

It was evident that Brady was ecstatic to be the Pats starting QB on opening night, as he ran down the field pumping his fist when starting lineups were announced. For the Steelers, they were controlled by the Pats for much of the game despite a close final score.

QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 350 yards, including a late touchdown pass to All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown during garbage time. Despite the loss, their running game showed promise. With running back Le’Veon Bell serving a suspension, backup DeAngelo Williams led the way and finished with 127 rushing yards. The former Carolina Panthers running back showed he can still be a productive player, and will be a valuable backup when Bell returns.

Pittsburgh was also without deep-threat WR Martavis Bryant due to suspension. After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was furious, saying that he and his coaches couldn’t communicate at times during the first half.

Their radio connection was interfered with the Patriots’ radio broadcast of the game. Another Patriots cheating conspiracy? Not this time, it seemed. The Pats also experienced trouble with their radio communication, and the NFL announced that this has happened before in Gillette Stadium.

If you’re a New York Giants fan, then you might’ve had a particularly bad case of the Mondays. The Giants suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night, as QB Tony Romo threw a touchdown pass to TE Jason Witten with just seven seconds left in regulation to pick up the narrow 27-26 win.

The Giants had multiple chances to score late in the game, but they were held out of the end zone by the Dallas defense. QB Eli Manning wasn’t exactly sharp, throwing for just 187 yards and no touchdowns. As for the other New York football teams, the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets opened with strong victories.

Rookie head coach Todd Bowles notched his first win for the New York Jets, 31-10 against the Browns, thanks to a great performance from All-Pro WR Brandon Marshall. They scored 24 unanswered points after being down 10-7 early in the second quarter. Marshall finished with a touchdown, and finally provided the Jets with a much-needed star caliber receiver who can help their red zone success.

In Buffalo, the Bills set the tone from the start. With head coach Rex Ryan now calling the shots, their defense rattled star QB Andrew Luck and the Colts. QB Tyrod Taylor won the starting job for the Bills in training camp, and did not disappoint, completing 14 of 19 passes for 191 yards. He threw a 51-yard bomb to WR Percy Harvin that went for a touchdown. But in the end Luck and the Colts struggled, despite finishing with 243 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Super Bowl favorite Green Bay Packers started off on the right foot, defeating the Chicago Bears 31-23. QB Aaron Rodgers finished with three touchdown passes, two of which went to newly-signed WR James Jones.

The biggest upset on Sunday occurred in St. Louis, where the Rams pulled off a thrilling overtime victory, 34-31, against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks erased an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but their sloppy play got the best of them in overtime. They tried to fool St. Louis with an onside kick to start overtime, but the Rams didn’t fall for it.

All-in-all, it was a great Week 1 to kickoff this 2015 NFL season. Next Sunday should continue to bring good football, as the Pats take on the Bills in an American Football Conference East showdown. In New York, the Atlanta Falcons visit the Giants. The Dallas Cowboys will face their National Football Conference East Philadelphia Eagles, with RB Demarco Murray facing his former team for the first time since signing with the Eagles in free agency.   

 

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