Week One Panic Stations: Are the Early Losers Still Contenders?

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The first set of NFL games in the 2023 season didn’t disappoint. There were some real shock results throughout the weekend – as three major Super Bowl contenders all lost. We look at each of them and whether they are still worthy of being listed as the favourites with the offshore sports betting sites.

The Kansas City Chiefs Lost to the Detroit Lions

The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t lost a game in their opening weekend for the past five years. The same period in which Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes masterminded a spell of domination in the NFL – as the team appeared in three Super Bowls and won two of them. Are the wheels falling off? Probably not. This first match was without Travis Kelce who is still dealing with a niggling injury. Also, consider that the opening-day defeat was by a singular point. When this team is complimented with the returning Kelce, it simply doesn’t lose these games.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Detroit Lions are currently rising as a Super Bowl outsider with the community’s favorite offshore sports betting sites, so this might not be as embarrassing as it first seemed.

The larger problem could be the offensive coordinator position. The Chiefs had employed Eric Bieniemy throughout the aforementioned glory years. He’s now left the franchise to go work for the Washington Commanders – who won their first match this season. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if the new Chiefs OC, Matt Nagy, wasn’t already being questioned for his decisions in the loss to the Lions. All of this makes them less likely to the Super Bowl this year. Yet, they are still the Chiefs. They still have the best QB in the game right now, with Brady retired and Rodgers injured – is there anyone to contest Mahomes? It’s hard to see a reality where the Chiefs don’t at least challenge to be in the Super Bowl this year even if they lose a few more games in the regular season.

Not Even the Best in Ohio: The Bengals Suffer Defeat to Browns

There’s losing to your rivals and then there’s losing to your rivals and looking absolutely abject in the process. The Cincinnati Bengals were culprits of looking like the second-best team in every department against the Cleveland Browns on the opening day as they lost 24-3.

Joe Burrow even got himself a haircut after the team’s tragic performance, stating that he wants to signify a fresh start in week two. However, this drag has been ongoing for some time as the Bengals failed to win a single game in the preseason campaign, too.

It doesn’t get too much easier for the Bengals either. In week two, they’ve got to play another one of their big rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. However, if there’s one team that knows how to balance the win and loss column, it’s the Bengals. For the last two seasons, Zac Taylor’s team has lost the opening game, started somewhat slowly, and picked up momentum in the endgame. Both times it resulted in the Bengals making it to the AFC Championship and one time the Super Bowl. Therefore, they are the team out of these three which are the least likely to be affected by the Week 1 result.

Aaron Rodgers out for the Season

The New York Jets might not have lost their game to the Buffalo Bills, in fact, they won it. Yet, Aaron Rodgers sustained a season-ending injury in the game. This sobered the mood somewhat. After years of instability and no clear QB option, they thought they had fixed that problem by signing the Green Bay Packers legend to come and orchestrate the play.

This will hurt their chances of progressing to the postseason. Their schedule was already ranked as the second most difficult across all the NFL teams. Rodgers will be missed in those critical game moments as his experience is invaluable. However, did they truly have that much chance? They were outsiders before and now they are total outsiders like they’ve been for the last few years anyway.

Of course, if Zach Wilson has now found his form as a top QB and has the capacity to carry the entire franchise on his back (unlikely as he’s never shown it before), this Week 1 outcome could have little effect on the totality of the Jets season. The more likely outcome however is that the team descends into recruitment QB chaos and repeats itself.

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