On September 7, 2017, the National Football League (NFL), had the first game of the newest 17 week season. The defending Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots, taking on one of it’s hottest conference rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs.
As football returns, the NFL brings back their regular weekly schedule, with games on Thursday night, Sunday/Sunday night, and Monday night. For football fans all over the nation, the first game being played means different things for different people.
“Football to me, is a good time, a good bonding activity, just enjoy the season and it only comes around once a year, and that’s the best time of the year,” said Ryan Welton, a senior at Leesville.
Welton continued by saying how football has become a big part of American tradition. Having a competitive family at home, football has been the way Welton has grown up. Whether its watching the games with friends at home, on Thanksgiving, or at parties, he has always been around the game.
Excitement and controversy is what the NFL is based around, whether it be on or off the field. One of the biggest storylines heading into the new season is how the suspension of Dallas Cowboys halfback Ezekiel Elliott will affect the team. The suspension is 6 weeks long, however, Elliot is eligible to play Week 1 because of a temporary restraining order issue. The star running back for the Cowboys led the league in rushing yards in the 2016 season.
The opening game of the 2017 NFL Season took place in Gillette Stadium, the home of the reigning champions, the Patriots.
The game was full of excitement and energy from both teams, but in shocking fashion, the Chiefs blasted right through the Patriots defense and perfect record dreams, with the final score in their favor, 42-27.
Tom Brady, Patriots starting quarterback, came into the game with a lot of pressure, and had a lot of fans wondering if he could repeat his success from last season. Brady finished the game going 16-36 in passing attempts, 267 passing yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. It was a performance not many fans anticipated from his legendary status.
The running backs were the strong part of the game for the Patriots, where they were led in rushing by free-agent signee Mike Gillislee. Gillislee recorded a performance of 15 carries, 45 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Gillislee was the heart of the Patriots offense on Thursday night, but it couldn’t overcome the high powered and explosive Kansas City offense.
Alex Smith, the Chiefs starting quarterback, had a much more impressive game then Brady. Smith finished the game going 28/35 in passing attempts, 368 yards passing and 4 touchdown passes.
Two of those touchdown passes went to rookie halfback Kareem Hunt, who had a shocking performance after the first carry of his career was a fumble. Hunt, unfazed by the fumble, went on to have an exceptionally strong dual performance, ending the game with 17 carries, 148 yards rushing and 1 rushing touchdown,as well as 5 receptions, 98 receiving yards, and 2 touchdown catches.
The Chiefs defense made sure the game was put away in their favor, with multiple key fourth-down stops against the Patriots offense. Once the Chiefs found a rhythm in their offense, New England’s defense could not keep up, ensuring the Chiefs began the season with 1-0 record, or win-loss count of the season.
With week 1 of the new 2017 season in the books, the NFL had a week full of excitement. Look forward to more of the same chaos in week 2.