2023 NFL Week 1: Top Takeaways for Every Team from Sunday’s Games

He’s not accurate. He’s not ready. He’ll need to sit on the bench and learn. Biggest project in years.

Granted, Richardson threw an interception by staring down his target when the Colts attempted a late-game comeback and got dinged shortly before the end of the contest. But Indianapolis proved to be fun and feisty and gave the reigning AFC South champs all they could handle, with Richardson leading the way.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Offensive Play-Calling Leaves Plenty to Be Desired

When the Philadelphia Eagles offense was humming last season, Shane Steichen called the plays. Steichen is now the Indianapolis Colts head coach. The transition from Steichen to Brian Johnson didn’t prove to be seamless.

The Patriots can be berated for how poorly they started Sunday’s contest or given credit for not giving up and making a run toward beating the Eagles. What they can’t do is come out of their 25-20 loss thinking it’s OK along the offensive line.

The team entered the season opener with no real answer at right tackle. Calvin Anderson made his first start on the strong side after only playing left tackle during the previous two seasons. Injuries to both of the team’s starting guards—Cole Strange and Michael Onwenu—forced a pair of rookies into the lineup. Sidy Sow and Atonio Mafi opened the season as starters after being fourth- and fifth-round draft picks, respectively.

Eventually, the Patriots will get both of their guards back and Anderson should build a comfort level at right tackle. But Jones isn’t the type of quarterback who can create much or carry an offense. New England should be worried until things are straightened out among its front five.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass in the first quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on September 10, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

High-Flying Miami Dolphins Present Significant Problems in AFC

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit the ground running, with the Miami Dolphins quickly taking off and flying past the Los Angeles Chargers.

Tagovailoa shredded the Chargers secondary. His 466 passing yards in the 36-34 victory are the fourth-most ever during a season opener, according to ESPN Stats & Info. When a performance invokes the names of Norm Van Brocklin, Tom Brady and Dan Marino, something went really well.

The numbers are what they are. What they don’t tell is the story of Tagovailoa not being sacked throughout the entire contest and the Chargers hitting the quarterback only two times. Considering Tagovailoa’s injury history, those numbers are vitally important. The 25-year-old signal-caller leading a game-winning, 75-yard drive with under four minutes to play is even more so.

Tagovailoa’s precision throughout the contest bordered on uncanny. If opponents can’t fluster and flush Miami’s quarterback, he’ll pick them apart by throwing to arguably the game’s best weapons in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Hill is basically unstoppable. His 215-yard, two-score performance shows exactly why the Dolphins are a scary matchup for any opponent.

Brandon Staley Continues to Come Up Short as Chargers Head Coach

The Chargers are a talented team. They’ve posted back-to-back winning seasons since Brandon Staley became head coach. Yet they continually feel like they’re falling well short of expectations.

With Justin Herbert behind center and names such as Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Rashawn Slater, Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack and Derwin James on the roster, the Chargers should find themselves among the AFC’s elite. Instead, they’ve been a middling team that’s fallen short against top competition.

The Chargers went 1-6 against teams with a winning record last season. This year isn’t starting much better.

Staley came to the organization as a defensive guru whose approach with light boxes and extra men in coverage became standard throughout the league. Yet Staley’s defenses haven’t finished among the top half of the league. They were exploited again by the talented Dolphins.

Eventually, something must give, or the Chargers may find themselves in a position where they never realize their potential with this core.

This content was originally published here.

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