NFL Week 1: Do These Teams Prove They Are Legit?

nfl week 1

Too much stock is put into NFL week 1, or is it? These teams, including the Patriots and Steelers, can prove they are legit contenders with decisive wins to start the NFL 2023 season.

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The 2023 NFL season finally kicks off this week. We know the season can’t be won in Week 1, but scaffolding can be put up and momentum can be built. We have a number of matchups that feel like big deals right at the start of the season. Will the outcome really matter more because it sets the tone against a big foe, or are you more on the side of any NFL Week 1 game being pretty meaningless with so much football left to play?

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Maybe getting into specifics will change your answer. Things get going right from the jump with our championship favorite hosting a playoff up-and-comer with lots of pomp on Thursday night. Detroit travels to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. But that’s not all! New England, Pittsburgh, both New Yorks, and even Houston can prove themselves above our expectations with big wins. Its prove it week in the NFL.


NFL Week 1: Prove It Time



Todd Salem: Believe ALL Of The Hype

In my opinion, no outcome changes the Chiefs’ season, but the same can’t be said for the Detroit Lions. I am skeptical that the Lions are going to be a heavy NFC contender this season. Winning in Arrowhead in Week 1 would immediately change my opinion.

I’m dubious of the defense, of Jared Goff being able to elevate teammates, and of the all-around talent level of Detroit’s skill positions. If the Lions lose, it isn’t fair to say my concerns were valid simply because of the quality of the opponent. However, a win could prove me wrong in many departments.

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Cincinnati at Cleveland has a similar feel assuming Joe Burrow is ready to roll. We know the Bengals are going to be around all year, win or lose in Week 1, but is Cleveland ready? As we outlined in our divisional previews, this Browns roster is kind of loaded. The real question is how Deshaun Watson will perform. Another stinker right out the gate will confirm everyone’s suspicions/hopes. Cincy doesn’t even necessarily have an elite defense, so Watson really needs to have a good game here to prove Cleveland is a true contender in ’23.

Perhaps a step below these games are a few more that fit the same narrative: an underdog that considers itself a real contender can prove it with a huge win in Week 1. That describes Pittsburgh hosting San Francisco, New England hosting Philadelphia, and the Giants hosting the Cowboys. Wins from any of the home dogs here would be real statements in my mind.

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Then there’s the main event; one more home dog out to prove this is the year they break through into title contention. The Jets host Buffalo on Monday night with all eyes on this team. The Bills, despite remaining AFC East favorites for the year and a road favorite in this specific game, are kind of being ignored. Everyone knows Buffalo’s deal by now. They are old news. A win from NYJ would cement that and make the Jets immediate favorites to win a division title. A loss doesn’t necessarily write them off, though a home loss to a divisional foe isn’t a great way to kick off a season of high hopes.

Am I reading too much into these matchups between true, blue contenders and those hoping to make the leap? Did I miss anyone that you also think belongs in this discussion? Or was I being too kind? Maybe only one or two teams have a chance to make a real statement in Week 1. Set me straight.


nfl week 1
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Dan Salem: Four Teams Will Prove Us Wrong

The entire month of September provides fishy football, with lies and costumes dressing up even the best and worst of teams. But if any single week is an exception to the overall flavor of September football, then it’s NFL Week 1. Every team has had over a month to prepare for this opponent in this game at this time. All players are rested. Each unit is as complete as it will be all year. There are zero excuses and even fewer chances for redemption. It’s all over in a flash, so yes, these games mean a lot.

The real problem arises when we look at specific matchups, because we know nothing about each team beyond what is on paper. You are in fact reading a bit too much into each matchup, but momentum is real and it’s certainly a lot of fun to place huge implications on the outcomes of these first games. There are four teams which can make a legitimate statement in NFL Week 1 with wins, but not a single team that will reveal anything with a loss.

The New York Jets – Defeating their division rival, who is also a favorite to win the AFC, proves this team is here to compete and challenge all season. Don’t sleep on the Jets and don’t take them lightly. This is what will be proven with a victory. It also builds major momentum for New York, who enters the season with a ton of expectations already.

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The New England Patriots – Most people don’t see much more than an average team in New England, but a win over Philadelphia means we must take the Patriots seriously. They may not be a great team, but they are formidable and perhaps will challenge for the playoffs. It proves something is right and we all must acknowledge it.

The Pittsburgh Steelers – Here’s another team that most people are overlooking and is on the fringe of contention to start the season. Defeating the 49ers means Pittsburgh is formidable and can’t be overlooked. While the AFC appears much better than the NFC, it’s safe to say we consider San Francisco on top and in the conversation with the AFC elite. It’s the same argument for the Patriots here with the Steelers. At least as far as September is concerned, a win in Week 1 proves we need to fear this team right now.

The Houston Texans – Everyone assumes the Texans are bad and will be bad this season. They have a rookie quarterback and are rebuilding, right? Defeating the Ravens on the road in Week 1 proves we are wrong about Houston, at least in September. They may not be playoff ready, but they are certainly not losers. We must be wary of this football team, even if victories like this one over Baltimore are more fluke than anything. Any team that defeats a playoff contender on the road must not be taken lightly.


Meet our Writers:

Dan Salem is Lead Editor, Writer, and Co-owner of BuzzChomp. He’s a published author, as well as an award winning Actor, Director and Producer. Visit M Square Productions for his film work, or get lost in his old-school comedy on Pillow Talk TV. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Todd Salem is a Staff Writer and Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also a fantasy football and fantasy baseball Staff Writer for RotoBaller. Follow him on Twitter or comment below for his unfiltered opinions.

NFL Week 1 Photo Credits:,, and via Getty Images

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