Familiar faces in new places, Rookie’s first games, and the NFL is back

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Joseph Celsur, Sports writer

This week, the NFL started their 2020-2021 season, and there was a lot of action and plenty to talk about. The season kicked off with the Houston Texans taking on the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs first-round pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, took the NFL by storm and ran for 138 yards and 1 touchdown in his debut. Patrick Mahomes picked up right where he left off by throwing for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The other AFC favorites, the Baltimore Ravens, took on the Cleveland Browns and Lamar Jackson threw for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Ravens 38-6 victory over the Browns.

In America’s Game of the Week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the New Orleans Saints. For the first time in over 20 years, Tom Brady would suit up for a team that wasn’t the Patriots. Brady started off strong, leading Tampa Bay down the field and rushing in for his first touchdown in a Buccaneers uniform. He also threw for 2 touchdowns and threw two interceptions, one of those would be a pick-six. For the Saints, Drew Brees did what Drew Brees does, throwing for 2 touchdowns and helping the Saints get the win with the help of newly extended running back Alvin Kamara, who rushed for 2 touchdowns.

As for this year’s rookies, all the attention was the rookie quarterback, Joe Burrow, who got the start against the Chargers. The first overall pick would struggle throughout the game only having 89 yards throughout the game by the middle of the third quarter. However, he would have a 23-yard run that would account for his first NFL touchdown. The Chargers rallied, however, and they took a 16-13 lead after kicker Michael Badgley made 3 field goals and rookie running back, Joshua Kelly, would score his first touchdown on a five-yard run. Joe Burrow looked like he did at LSU on the last drive of the game, showing his ability to take control and manage the game clock in crucial situations and leading his team down the field which gave them a chance to send the game into overtime. However, kicker Ryan Bullock shanked the game-tying field goal, which ended the game and gave the Chargers the close 16-13 win.

To close the first Sunday of football, the Dallas Cowboys would take on the Los Angeles Rams in their brand new stadium on Sunday night football. The Rams started the game off strong with their defense stopping the high powered Cowboys offense and scored the first touchdown of the game when Malcome Brown ran for a one-yard touchdown. The Cowboys struck back with Ezekiel Elliott, who caught a wheel route pass from Dak Prescott and took it to the house. The Rams added on another 6 points when their new kicker, Samuel Sloman, nailed 2 field goals, which gave the Rams a 13-7 lead. Ezekiel Elliott struck again on a one-yard run with 17 seconds left before halftime. In the third quarter, Malcome Brown scored again on a two-yard run with five minutes left in the quarter. Cowboys new kicker, Greg Zuerlein put the Cowboys 3 points behind them when he nailed a 33-yard field goal with two minutes left in the third. The Cowboys would have a chance to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter when Dak Prescott launched a pass to receiver Michael Gallup, but the play got called back after an offensive pass interference was called on Gallup when he pushed off of Ram’s corner Jalen Ramsey.  The Rams would get the victory 20-17 and open up their new stadium with a win.

On Sunday, you may have seen a familiar face on the Philidelphia Eagles when hometown favorite and 21st overall draft pick, Jalen Reagor, made his NFL debut against the Washington Football Team. Reagor, who was supposed to be inactive after a shoulder tear in practice, made a speedy recovery and made his debut Sunday. Reagor would have the longest reception of the game when he hauled in a 55-yard reception from Carson Wentz. The Eagles lost the game 17-27, but they are still a contender for the NFC East this year and expect a lot more from Jalen as the season continues.