Breaking down Week 1 in NFL: Rams- Panthers among top games | TribLIVE.com
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Breaking down Week 1 in NFL: Rams- Panthers among top games

Associated Press
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AP
Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) warms up before the start of an NFL preseason football game against the Denver Broncos in August in Los Angeles.

Here is a breakdown of Week 1 games in the NFL.

Sunday games

Los Angeles Rams at Carolina

1 p.m. Fox

Opening line – Rams by 2.5

Streaks, stats and notes – Rams reached Super Bowl last season before losing to Tom Brady and Patriots 13-3. … Sean McVay owns .750 winning percentage (24-8) in two seasons as Rams coach. … Rams averaged 30.8 points per game last season, second only to Kansas City (34.8). … QB Jared Goff was fourth in yards passing (4,688) and sixth in TD passes in 2018. … RB Todd Gurley led NFL with 21 TDs last season, was limited late last season due to knee soreness. … WR Brandin Cooks going for fifth straight 1,000-yard receiving season after career-high 1,204 yards in 2018. … DT Aaron Donald has won NFL Defensive Player of Year in back-to-back seasons. … LB Clay Matthews and S Eric Weddle make Rams debut. … Panthers are 4-4 in season openers under coach Ron Rivera. … QB Cam Newton returns from offseason shoulder surgery and mid-foot sprain in preseason. Newton needs 121 yards rushing to pass Randall Cunningham for second most by an NFL quarterback. … Christian McCaffrey set NFL record for receptions by RB last season with 107. McCaffrey also set franchise record with 1,965 yards from scrimmage.

Kansas City at Jacksonville

1 p.m. CBS

Opening line – Chiefs by 5

Last meeting – Chiefs beat Jaguars 30-14, Oct. 7, 2018

Streaks, stats and notes – Chiefs coach Andy Reid needs three wins to pass Chuck Noll (209) for sixth most in NFL history. … KC led NFL in scoring last season, averaging 35.3 points, and ranked third in NFL history. Also led league in yards per play (6.84) and in yards per game (425.6). … Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is reigning league MVP after throwing for more than 5,000 yards and 50 TD passes in 2018. … Travis Kelce had second-most yards receiving by TE in NFL history last season (1,336). … Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill led NFL with 22 catches of 25-plus yards. He was fourth with 12 TD catches. … Chiefs tied for NFL lead with 52 sacks in2018. DE Chris Jones had 15 1-2 of those, including stretch of at least one in 11 straight games. … Jaguars 2-0 in openers under coach Doug Marrone and one of nine NFL teams to do that. … QB Nick Foles making regular-season debut with Jaguars. Foles spent 2016 with Chiefs and was 1-0 as starter. … WR Chris Conley also faces former team. Conley spent last four years in KC, totaling 104 receptions for 1,238 yards and six TDs. … Jaguars expect to have at least two rookies in starting lineup: RT Jawaan Taylor and LB Quincy Williams locked up spots in training camp.

Buffalo at New York Jets

1 p.m. CBS

Opening line – Jets by 3

Last meeting – Jets beat Bills 27-23, Dec. 9, 2018

Streaks, stats and notes – Bills enter season with revamped offense that includes eight new starters, including four on offensive line. Only returning starters are QB Josh Allen, LT Dion Dawkins and FB Patrick DiMarco. … Allen had 18 TDs last season – 10 passing, eight rushing – for most by rookie QB in team history. … RB Frank Gore will make Bills debut. Has 14,748 yards rushing and needs 522 to pass NFL’s No. 3 career rusher Barry Sanders. With LeSean McCoy cut last weekend, Gore will share load in backfield with T.J. Yeldon and rookie Devin Singletary, third-round pick out of Florida Atlantic. … WRs Cole Beasley and John Brown also make Bills debuts. Brown ranks third in NFL over last two seasons with 17.0 yards per catch. … Adam Gase makes regular-season coaching debut for Jets after leading Dolphins last three years. … RB Le’Veon Bell signed four-year, $52.5 million with Jets in offseason and will play for first time in nearly 20 months after sitting out all last season in contract dispute with Steelers. Since entering NFL in 2013, Bell leads all RBs with 312 receptions and ranks second with 7,996 yards from scrimmage. … QB Sam Darnold capped up-and-down rookie season by throwing six TD passes and just one INT in last four games. His 17 TD passes were second in franchise history among rookie QBs to only Joe Namath, who had 18 in 1965. … C Ryan Kalil came out of retirement in early August and will start for Jets. Spent last 12 seasons with Panthers. … LB C.J. Mosley is biggest addition to defense after playing first five NFL seasons with Ravens.

Washington at Philadelphia

1 p.m. Fox

Opening line – Eagles by 9.5

Last meeting – Eagles beat Redskins 24-0, December 30, 2018

Streaks, stats and notes – Redskins QB Case Keenum making first start for Redskins since offseason trade from Broncos. … In previous game at Philadelphia, Keenum threw for TD and two picks with Minnesota in NFC title game loss to Eagles in January 2018. … With Colt McCoy injured, rookie Dwayne Haskins will back up Keenum. … RB Derrius Guice expected to make NFL debut after missing 2018 season with torn left ACL. … LT Trent Williams remains on reserve/did not report list amid dispute with team. … Donald Penn to start at LT in Williams’ absence. … TE Jordan Reed unlikely to play because of concussion. … S Landon Collins to make Washington debut after playing first four seasons with Giants. … RB Adrian Peterson eighth on career list with 13,318 yards rushing. He’s tied with Hall of Famer Jim Brown for fifth with 106 TDs rushing. … Eagles QB Carson Wentz plays first game since Week 14. … WR DeSean Jackson plays his first game for Philly since former coach Chip Kelly released him following his best season in 2013.

Atlanta at Minnesota

1 p.m. Fox

Opening line – Vikings by 5

Last meeting – Vikings beat Falcons 14-9, Dec. 3, 2017

Streaks, stats and notes – Vikings have won three straight over Falcons, dating to coach Mike Zimmer’s first season, 2014. … Falcons WR Julio Jones, playing in 112th game, needs two catches to become second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 700 receptions, behind Antonio Brown (111 games). … Jones led league with 1,677 receiving yards last year. … Falcons WR Calvin Ridley led all NFL rookies in catches, yards and TDs in 2018. … Vikings have won first three home openers at U.S. Bank Stadium, where they’re 18-7 in regular season and playoffs. … Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, starting second year with team, has fourth-most passing yards in league (17,474) since becoming starter in 2015. Ryan is first with 18,554. … Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, who had 920 total yards from scrimmage last season, has missed 17 of 32 games to injury in career.

Tennessee at Cleveland

1 p.m. CBS

Opening line – Browns by 3.5

Last meeting – Titans beat Browns 12-9 OT, Oct. 22 2017

Streaks, stats and notes – After summer of hype, Browns finally get to show if they’re for real against Titans, beginning second season under coach Mike Vrabel. … Titans begin 60th season of franchise which began in Houston. … Titans opened 2018 playing in NFL’s longest game — seven hours because of weather delays in Miami. … Titans have lost three straight season openers. … Titans missing Pro Bowl LT Taylor Lewan, serving four-game league suspension for violating league’s policy on performance-enhancers. … Titans placed veteran K Ryan Succop on injured reserve and signed Cairo Santos, who was with Tampa Bay. … Titans threw second-fewest passes in NFL in 2018. … Three-time Pro Bowl TE Delanie Walker returns after breaking right ankle in ‘18 opener. … Titans allowed third-fewest points per game last season (18.9). … Titans QB Marcus Mariota has won 27 games with Titans, most for franchise in first four seasons since Hall of Famer George Blanda won 34 (1960-63). … Browns followed 0-16 season by going 7-8-1 in 2018, winning five of last eight after coach Hue Jackson fired. … Browns coach Freddie Kitchens makes debut. He started last season as team’s running backs coach and has never been head coach – at any level. … Browns QB Baker Mayfield broke NFL rookie record with 27 TD passes last season in just 13 starts. … Mayfield surrounded with talent, led by three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who came over in March trade from New York Giants. … Beckham didn’t play in preseason because of minor hip injury.

Baltimore at Miami

1 p.m. CBS

Opening line – Ravens by 3

Last meeting – Ravens beat Dolphins 40-0, Oct. 26, 2017

Streaks, stats and notes – Ravens are 7-1 against Dolphins since 2008, including wins by scores of 38-6 and 40-0 in 2016 and 2017. … Last season Baltimore won AFC North and reached playoffs for first time in four years. … Baltimore has won three straight openers and owns 8-3 record under coach John Harbaugh in first game of season. … Lamar Jackson starts at QB for Ravens, first time since 2008 that Joe Flacco did not start in opener for Baltimore. … RB Mark Ingram, S Earl Thomas to make debut with Ravens. Ingram played eight years with Saints, Thomas with Seattle for nine years. … Ingram enhances running game that finished second in NFL last year. … Baltimore lost five starters from last year’s No. 1 defense: C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith, Terrell Suggs, Brent Urban, Eric Weddle. … Dolphins have won five of past six openers. … Ryan Fitzpatrick will make Miami debut and set NFL record by throwing pass for his eighth team. … Miami’s Brian Flores makes head coaching debut. Dolphins are 3-6 in openers with new coach. … With recent trades, Dolphins have two picks in first round and two in second round in both 2020 and 2021. … Dolphins’ projected starting front seven has combined for 8½ career sacks. … CB Xavien Howard has 11 interceptions in his past 17 games.

New York Giants at Dallas

4:25 p.m. Fox

Opening line – Cowboys by 6

Last meeting – Cowboys 36, Giants 35, Dec. 30, 2018

Streaks, stats and notes – NFC East rivals opening season against each other for sixth time in eight seasons. … Giants QB Eli Manning and Cowboys TE Jason Witten set to establish club records with 16th seasons. Witten came out of retirement following one year in broadcasting. … Manning returns to home of Cowboys 10 years after winning first regular-season game played there, supposedly autographing wall in visitor’s locker room with score (33-31), noting it was first game. He enters with 87-87 record against NFC teams. … RB Saquon Barkley finished as NFL Offensive Rookie of Year season with 109 yards rushing against Cowboys, fifth 100-yard game in last seven of season. Barkley led NFL with 2,028 yards from scrimmage. Joined Eric Dickerson (1983), Edgerrin James (1999) as only rookies to surpass 2,000 yards. … K Aldrick Rosas finished 2018 with 19 straight made FGs, second-longest streak in NFL. … Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott expected to play four days after signing $90 million, six-year contract extension after holding out entire preseason with two years left on rookie deal. Fifth player since 1970 merger with two rushing titles in first three seasons (league-leading 1,434 yards last year). Second to Barkley in yards from scrimmage with 2,001. … Dak Prescott became first QB in NFL history with at least 20 TDs passing, at least five TDs rushing each of first three seasons. His 10 TDs passing vs. Giants are most against any opponent. … WR Amari Cooper needs 92 yards receiving to reach 4,000 for career in fifth season. … Witten’s 154 catches against Giants are most by any player vs. NY.

Indianapolis at Los Angeles Chargers

4:05 p.m. CBS

Opening line – Chargers by 3

Last meeting – Colts beat Chargers 26-22, Sept. 25, 2016

Streaks, stats and notes – Chargers have won six of last eight in series, including two playoff games. … Indy won 10 of last 12 games last season after starting 1-5. … Jacoby Brissett is 5-12 as starter, including 4-11 with Colts in 2017, but threw only four passes in 2018. … Indy returns other 10 starters on offense – only retired QB Andrew Luck missing – and nine of 11 defensive starters. … WR Devin Funchess and DE Justin Houston expected to make Colts debuts Sunday. … Rookie WR Parris Campbell expected to play after missing first three preseason games with injured hamstring. … Indy’s offensive line allowed league-low 18 sacks last season after yielding league-high 56 in 2017. … All-Pro LB Darius Leonard hopes to defend league tackles title (163) in second pro season. … NFL career scoring leader Adam Vinatieri begins season No. 24 needing four extra point attempts to become first Colts player with 500. . Chargers looking to make playoffs in consecutive season for first time since 2009. Philip Rivers will make 209th straight start, passing Peyton Manning for third among QBs. Rivers one of five QBs not to take snap in preseason. Chargers return nine starters on offense but missing Pro Bowl RB Melvin Gordon (holdout) and LT Russell Okung (blood clots).

Cincinnati at Seattle

4:05 p.m. CBS

Opening line – Seahawks by 7

Last meeting – Bengals beat Seahawks 27-24, Oct. 11, 2015

Streaks, stats and notes – Zac Taylor makes regular-season debut as Bengals’ 10th head coach. … RB Joe Mixon hasn’t fumbled in 290 carries since Dec. 31, 2017. … WR John Ross expected to play after missing camp with hamstring injury. … WR A.J. Green had ankle surgery during camp and is out indefinitely. … Three new starters are on offensive line – rookie LG Michael Jordan, C Trey Hopkins and RG John Miller – and could have fourth if Andre Smith is at left tackle in place of Cordy Glenn. … Bengals opening on road for eighth time in Dalton’s nine seasons; 5-2 in road openers since 2011. … Seahawks open at home for just seventh time in past 20 seasons. … Pete Carroll enters 10th season as Seahawks head coach. He needs two wins to become fifth active coach with 100 total wins. … Last season Russell Wilson joined Peyton Manning as only QBs with at least 3,000 yards passing and at least 20 TD passes in each of first seven years. Wilson became highest-paid player in NFL after new contract extension in offseason. … Seahawks led NFL in rushing at 160 yards per game last season. RB Chris Carson rushed for 1,151 yards … WR Tyler Lockett becomes featured No. 1 wide receiver after retirement of Doug Baldwin. … DE Jadeveon Clowney acquired in trade with Houston last week. Clowney had 18.5 sacks combined past two seasons. Clowney and DE Ziggy Ansah expected to make Seattle debuts.

San Francisco at Tampa Bay

4:25 p.m. Fox

Opening line – 49ers by 2

Last meeting – Buccaneers beat 49ers 27-9, Nov. 25, 2018

Streaks, stats and notes – San Francisco has dominated series, winning 17 of 23 regular-season meetings. … Niners lost both season openers under coach Kyle Shanahan after winning previous six. … Niners ranked fourth in NFL last season with 6.61 yards per play on first down. … San Francisco’s George Kittle set record for most yards receiving by tight end with 1,377 last season, including 870 after catch. … 49ers set records for futility last season with seven takeaways, two INTs. … K Robbie Gould has made 72 of 75 FGs (96 in two seasons with 49ers, most accurate in NFL in that span. … San Francisco went 0-8 on road in 2018. … Bruce Arians debuts as Tampa Bay coach after one year in retirement. Went 58-33-1 in five seasons with Cardinals (2013-2017), plus 12-game stint as Colts interim coach (2012). … Bucs WR Mike Evans had franchise-record 1,524 receiving yards in 2018, joining Randy Moss and A.J. Green as only players in NFL history with five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin career. … Bucs’ Cameron Brate, Kansas City’s Travis Kelcie, Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz only TEs with 20-plus TD catches over last three seasons.

Detroit at Arizona

4:25 p.m. Fox

Opening line – Lions by 1

Last meeting – Lions beat Cardinals 17-3, Dec. 9, 2018

Streaks, stats and notes – Detroit QB Matthew Stafford has thrown for 2,815 yards in Week 1 games from 2009-18. That’s third-most in league behind Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. … Three of NFL’s most experienced active players will be in game. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald has appeared in 234 games, Arizona LB Terrell Suggs has appeared in 229, and Lions LS Don Mulbach has been in 228. … WR Kenny Golladay will try to improve on 2018 season that saw him catch 70 passes for 1,063 yards. … DE Trey Flowers needs 1½ sacks Sunday to become first player in NFL history to have at least 1½ sacks in three straight Week 1 games. … Stafford has had at least 3,750 passing and at least 20 touchdown passes in eight straight seasons. Only person with longer streak is Brees, who has done it 13 straight years. … Game marks debut of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, who was No. 1 overall pick in last spring’s draft. … Murray will be first rookie quarterback to start season opener for Cardinals since Lamar McHan in 1954. … Larry Fitzgerald will set franchise record Sunday with 235th career game in 16th season. He’s currently tied with K Jim Bakken. … Suggs begins 17th NFL season and first with Arizona.

Monday’s games

Houston at New Orleans

7:10 p.m. ESPN

Opening line – Saints by 7

Last meeting – Texans beat Saints 24-6, Nov. 29, 2015

Streaks, stats and notes – Texans have won three of past four AFC South crowns, including last season. … Texans fell in wild-card round of playoffs last season to Colts. … DE J.J. Watt led AFC with 16 sacks and had career-high seven forced fumbles in 2018. He has four seasons with at least 15 sacks. … Deshaun Watson last season had 4,165 yards and 26 TDs passing, along with 551 yards and five TDs rushing, making him first QB in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 25 TDs and rush for at least 500 yards and five TDs in same season. Watson is one of four QBs with 40-plus TDs in first 20 career games, joining Patrick Mahomes, Dan Marino and Kurt Warner. … WR DeAndre Hopkins tied franchise record with 115 catches last season and ranked second in NFL with 1,572 yards receiving. … Saints were No. 1 seed in NFC playoffs in 2018, lost to Rams in NFC title game marred by NFL-acknowledged officiating mistakes. … Saints have dropped past five season openers. … Saints have won past two NFC South titles. … Brees is NFL career leader in yards passing (74,437) and completions (6,586). He has 520 career TD passes, needs 20 to surpass Peyton Manning (539) for most. … Brees completed NFL record 74.4 percent (364 of 489) last season. … RB Alvin Kamara ranked second in NFL last season with 18 scrimmage TDs (14 rushing, four receiving), had 1,592 scrimmage yards in 2018. … WR Michael Thomas led NFL with 125 catches and had franchise-record 1,405 yards receiving in 2018.

Denver at Oakland

10:20 p.m. ESPN

Opening line – Raiders by 3

Last meeting – Raiders beat Broncos 27-14, Dec. 24, 2018

Streaks, stats and notes – Raiders won three straight home games in rivalry. … Broncos’ 21 all-time wins at Oakland Coliseum most of any visiting franchise. … Vic Fangio makes NFL head coaching debut for Broncos. … Broncos’ coaches 11-1 all-time in season-opening debuts, with John Fox having only loss in 2011 vs. Raiders. … Denver seeks 500th all-time win as franchise, including playoffs. … Broncos’ seven straight wins in season openers are longest active streak in NFL. … Denver RB Phillip Lindsay had 1,037 yards rushing last season, becoming third undrafted rookie since 1970 to top 1,000. … Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders’ 50 catches vs. Oakland his most vs. any team. … Raiders lost 13 of 16 openers, including five prime-time home games. … Raiders QB Derek Carr needs 340 yards passing to break Ken Stabler’s franchise record of 19,078. Carr will join Stabler, Rich Gannon as only Raiders QBs to start six straight season openers. … Raiders coach Jon Gruden seeks 100th career regular-season win. … Carr was sacked career-worst 51 times last season. … Raiders had NFL-low 13 sacks in 2018. … Oakland has 11 rookies on roster with seven draft picks, four undrafted free agents.

Categories: Sports | NFL
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