The USFFL kicked of it’s 20th season this week, coinciding with week 1 of the NFL. All games were played head to head ahead of the Sunday deadline. In the AFC, Super Bowl Champs the Kansas City Chiefs led a successful first week defense of their title. New England, New York (Jets), Baltimore, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Oakland also won their games. In the NFC Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minnesota, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Arizona, and San Francisco all won their games. The NFC West is shaping up to be a competitive division with 3 of the 4 teams winning their first week games. The NFC South posted only one week 1 winner – the Saints.
The week 1 player of the week is Derrick Henry, who led all ball carriers with 285 rushing yards on 28 carries.
Game of the Week
We are going to try something new this year in the USFFL. Each week one of the Game Summaries posted to the League Slack channel will be highlighted in the weekly recap. This weeks highlight goes to Jeff Wendlandt. Nice write-up Jeff!
Cincinnati Stuns Seattle 24-20 in Week 1 Win
Cincinnati flew out to Seattle to open the season in a hostile environment. The Bengals received the opening kickoff and proceeded to march 75 yards in 11 plays to get on the board first and take a 7-0 lead. The Seahawks answered with their own 75 yard drive capped off by a 41 yard TD run by Chris Carson and we were tied at 7-7. Dalton and company weren’t shaken and put together another long drive of 70 yards. Andy Dalton took it in himself from 2 yards out and the game had all the makings of a shootout. Seattle once again moved the ball up and down the field but stalled at the Cincinnati 9. They settled for 26 yard FG from Jason Myers to cut the lead to 4. The defenses seemed to adjust and after a few possession changes the Bengals stopped Russell Wilson and company on downs to set up their last drive before the half. Randy Bullock connected on a 43 yard FG to give Cincinnati a 7 point lead at halftime (17-10) The 3rd quarter was quiet as neither team could get on the board. Early in the 4th Seattle came to life when Jason Myers kicked a 43 yard FG to bring the Seahawks within 4 points with the score being 17-13. The momentum had swung to Seattle as Cincinnati’s next 3 possessions ended with missed FG (50 yarder), a punt and an interception by Tre Flowers. The Hawks capitalized with an 11 play 56 yard touchdown drive with Russell Wilson running it in from 2 yards out. Seattle now led 20-17 with less than 6 minutes to go. Dalton, Mixon & Co . needed to put something together to at least tie the game. They methodically moved the ball and got within field goal range. A late penalty against the home team got Cincinnati even closer. After going 63 yards in 13 plays Andy Dalton kept the ball on the 14th play and ran the last 4 yards in for the go ahead touchdown. The drive took off nearly 5 minutes and Seattle had :52 seconds to try and pull this one out. Cincinnati’s defense stiffened and the Bengals came away with a surprising 24-20 victory. Dennis called a great game as always and with the help of a few timely fortunate rolls the Bengals pulled off the upset.
Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, and Lamar Jackson each had 4 TD throws in Week 1. Matt Ryan led the league in completions (31) and attempts (47).
Ted Ginn led all receivers with 120 yards. Michael Thomas had 2 TD receptions, and Austin Ekeler lead all receivers with 10 receptions.
Derrick Henry had an eye popping 285 rushing yards. Ezekiel Elliot, Chris Carson, Nick Chubb, Saquon Barkley, Lesean McCoy, and Marlon Mack each had over 100 yards. Rex Burkhead, Leonard Fournette, Phillip Lindsay, Andy Dalton, and Dion Lewis each had two Rushing TDs.
Other Players of Note
Marcus Maye and Duron Harmon each had two interceptions. Greg Zuerlein had 14 points kicking 4 field goals and 2 extra points.
Odds and Ends
We are going to be working on a FAQ for the website over the next few weeks. If you have questions, our veteran coaches have answers. So send in your questions and we will update the league FAQ.
Have a great week 2, and remember to schedule your game early, and submit it before Sunday night!