INSIDE THE AFC
Difficult debut. The Broncos have been allowed to draft linebacker/defensive finish Bradley Chubb fifth total in April when Cleveland opted for cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth choose. First up for Ward is Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown, he of 5 consecutive 1,200-yard seasons. Brown has 86 catches in 12 video games vs. Cleveland. “Positively embracing that problem and stay up for going in opposition to him,” Ward mentioned. The Browns’ No. 1 total selection, quarterback Baker Mayfield, will again up Tyrod Taylor.
Brown nears milestone. If the Steelers don’t have working again Le’Veon Bell, they’ll all the time feed the soccer to Brown. He has 9,910 yards receiving in his profession. If he can attain 10,000, he’ll tie for the second-fewest video games (116) to achieve that milestone. Calvin Johnson wanted 115 video games and Torry Holt 116.
Watt returns. Houston defensive finish J.J. Watt returns Sunday at New England after lacking most of final yr with a torn ACL. It’s a tricky ask for Watt to return to his dominant self. Since 2011, regardless of lacking 24 video games, Watt nonetheless leads the league in tackles for misplaced yardage (136), quarterback hits (219), fumble recoveries (13) and multi-sack video games (21).
Ramsey vs. Beckham. The very best particular person matchup of Week 1 is Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey in opposition to Giants receiver Odell Beckham. As a result of they’d Professional Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye, the Jaguars usually didn’t have Ramsey shadow elite receivers across the discipline final yr. Even when that continues to be the case, Ramsey will run into Beckham sooner or later. “Lots of people try to make it me and him particularly; that’s not what it’s about,” Ramsey mentioned. “It’s going to be 11 guys on the market for us and 11 guys on the market for them.”
Jets going younger. Kudos to the Jets for not losing time. They’re beginning rookie Sam Darnold at quarterback at Detroit on Monday. Josh McCown is the backup and so they traded Teddy Bridgewater to New Orleans. At 21 years, 97 days previous, Darnold will turn out to be the youngest quarterback to start out a Week 1 recreation within the Tremendous Bowl Period. The earlier youngest was New England’s Drew Bledsoe (21 years, 203 days) in 1993.