It wouldn’t be Monday Night Football without some drama. The first game gifted the football world with an exciting last-second field goal finish to push the New Orleans Saints past the Houston Texans, while the second game saw the underdog Oakland Raiders overcome the Antonio Brown fiasco to upset the Denver Broncos.
After last seasons devastating loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game, the Saints enter the 2019 season with Super Bowl aspirations. Their Week 1 matchup was against the surging Houston Texans, who recently traded outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.
The Texans are the clear-cut favorite to win the AFC South after the recent retirement of Andrew Luck. The Texans boast one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, Deshaun Watson, to lead their team throughout the season. Watson is a competent signal-caller who can realistically lead the Texans to the Super Bowl.
The Saints entered the game as six and a half point favorites, but at halftime were trailing the Texans 14-3. The Saints made a late game surge, taking the lead in the fourth quarter. Watson needed only two plays to get the Texans back on top. With time winding down, Drew Brees put his team in position, and kicker Will Lutz drilled the 58-yard field goal as time expired. What an exciting start to Monday Night Football for the 2019 season.
Brees finished with 370 yards and two touchdowns, as the 40-year old quarterback outplayed the young Watson, who passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Watson continues to prove his worth in the league, but in the end, the old man got the last laugh.
The second game wasn’t as exciting, with the Raiders jumping to an early lead and maintaining that lead throughout. After the recent distractions caused by Brown, many wrote the team off, as they entered the game as underdogs.
The Raiders scored early, taking a 14-0 lead heading into halftime. The Joe Flacco led Broncos (yes, he still has a job) were limited to less than 100 yards of total offense in the first half. Looking to turn the game around, the Broncos settled for two field goals in the third quarter, closing the gap on the Raiders lead to 14-6.
The Raiders eventually led 24-9 late in the fourth quarter, before the Broncos put on an impressive drive to make the game look closer than it actually was, at 24-16. That would be the final score for the second game on Monday Night Football.
Antonio Brown who? Tyrell Williams was on fire throughout the night, as the primary target for quarterback Derek Carr hauled in six catches for 105 yards and one score. The Raiders were also supplied by a vicious running attack, led by Josh Jacobs, who produced 85 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Broncos looked limited offensively, as Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders were able to produce any sort of offense for the team. With as tough as the AFC West is, the Broncos can’t afford to lose games to inferior opponents.
Monday Night Football returns next week with the Cleveland Browns traveling to the New York Jets stadium, where both teams look to avenge tragic loses in Week 1.