Week 1 NFL Recap: Stock Up and Stock Down
Tua Tagovailoa (Stock Up)
Odds are, going into 2023, you fell into one of two camps: Tua believer or Tua skeptic. But the Dolphins quarterback was undeniably back to early-2022 form against the Chargers, repeatedly feeding Tyreek Hill on accurate downfield shots while also showcasing short-area touch to outgun Justin Herbert, 36-34.
Zac Taylor (Stock Down)
The Bengals coach said after Sunday’s 24-3 rain-soaked shellacking at the hands of the Browns that “this isn’t the team that we are going to be.” However, the team he’s currently fielding struggled without a clean pocket or ideal conditions. A rebound is likely, but it’s not a great start for a title bid.
Trey Purdy (Stock Up)
It was fair to be a little concerned about Purdy’s small sample size as the 49ers’ starting QB late in 2022. But he picked up where he left off against the supposedly stingy Steelers defense, picking apart Pittsburgh in a 30-7 rout. San Francisco’s in good hands.
Steelers (Stock Down)
The Steelers had no answers for the 49ers on Sunday, perhaps disproving their own preseason hype. Kenny Pickett struggled to find a rhythm against San Francisco’s energetic defense, and Mike Tomlin’s own defense was even worse, with T.J. Watt’s pass rush overshadowed by a jarringly overmatched corner group.
New England Patriots (Stock Up)
They’re 0-1 after falling to the Eagles, but by the end of Sunday’s matchup, it felt as if they’d beaten the reigning NFC champions. Bill Belichick’s defense clamped down on Jalen Hurts, and Mac Jones settled in under new coordinator Bill O’Brien. A win is a win, and they look as feisty as ever in a tough division.
Brandon Staley (Stock Down)
The Chargers coach was already on the hot seat coming into 2023, and a shootout loss to the Dolphins isn’t a total failure. However, his defense remains a liability, offering no answer for Miami’s aerial assault. In-game adjustments continue to pose problems for Staley.
Jordan Love (Stock Up)
In his first start as the Packers’ full-time quarterback post-Aaron Rodgers, Love effortlessly guided Green Bay over the rival Bears. He threw three touchdowns and no interceptions, while Justin Fields struggled with passing consistency. The Lambeau faithful appear to be in good hands yet again.
Minnesota Vikings (Stock Down)
A year after going 13-4 atop the NFC North, the Vikings played down to the overlooked Buccaneers on their home turf. They allowed Baker Mayfield to steal the late-game spotlight, and their roster may be running into the reality of its “competitive rebuild.”
Los Angeles Rams (Stock Up)
Most people wouldn’t have been too shocked if you told them the Seahawks would take a little step back this year. But who figured Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay’s makeshift supporting cast would roll over Pete Carroll and Co. in Week 1? Even with Cooper Kupp out and young fill-ins doing most of the work, L.A. showed second-half energy in a divisional upset to start the new year.