Up and down: Whose stock has risen and fallen after NFL Week 1?

The opening weekend of the 2022 NFL season is fully in the books after Denver’s visit to Seattle (more on that in a moment), and the first round of games produced a few surprises as well as confirming a lot of expectations. As we look ahead to Week 2, which starts with the Chiefs (1-0) welcoming the LA Chargers (1-0), let’s take a look at who has come out of the first week of proper action with their stock rising, and who suffered a setback that means they’ll need an immediate rebound.

GOOD WEEK: Geno Smith (Seattle Seahawks)

Seattle have been on the receiving end of a lot of cynical comment, with many people looking upon them as a team that was going to tank for an early draft pick. At the head of the list of reasons was their trading away of Russell Wilson to the Broncos, leaving them with journeyman and sometime backup Geno Smith at QB. Much of the Bitcoin betting focus at Cloudbet, home of the highest parlay limits online, was on the Seahawks having a miserable season. Not least as Smith’s backup was Drew Lock, who the Broncos considered disposable.

The gods of NFL narrative then saw fit to arrange for Wilson to make his Broncos debut at Seattle, and despite a perfectly solid performance for the former Seahawk, it was his replacement who banked a win with two touchdown passes in a shock 17-16 win for the home side. Some personal vindication for Smith, which is nice.

BAD WEEK: Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)

It’s not anything that Burrow himself did wrong, although four interceptions certainly didn’t help as last season’s Super Bowl runner-up (0-1) lost their opener at home to a non-vintage Pittsburgh. Burrow threw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns, but was also sacked seven times by a blitz-happy defense that saw Cincy’s porous offensive line as an invitation. Burrow absorbed a league-leading 51 sacks last season and, after the first week of 2022, is on pace to exceed that total by mid-season. He travels to Dallas (0-1) this weekend, and will hope to stay upright for long enough to secure a first win of the season.

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GOOD WEEK: Mike McDaniel (MIami Dolphins)

As offensive coordinator and run-game specalist, McDaniel was responsible for one of the most innovative offenses in the game while in San Francisco, and a poor day on the ground might suggest he had a bad weekend in his debut as a head coach. However, the Dolphins sparked a pass offense that has been anemic in past seasons, as Tua Tagovailoa responded to an early misfire by registering his fourth consecutive win over the Patriots. McDaniel bested veteran HC Bill Belichick with plenty to spare, and one has to wonder how much longer New England will be able to ride their past glories given they’re clearly the AFC East’s third-best team.

BAD WEEK: Sean McVay (LA Rams)

It’s one thing to win a Super Bowl, another entirely to retain, and McVay was reminded of that as Buffalo (1-0) blew into LA and blew back out again with a 31-10 win. One of those teams was defending champion, the other is the favorite to take their crown, and Bills QB Josh Allen played up to this heightened occasion to emerge with a crucial win. If the Rams make it back to the big game (still more than possible), they could well be facing the same opposition once more. McVay will need to spend the rest of the season working on a plan to contain Allen if that’s the case.

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