3 NFL teams that were surprisingly impressive in Week 1

NFL, New York Giants, Saquon Barkley - Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
NFL, New York Giants, Saquon Barkley - Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3

As you may have expected, Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season was loaded with surprises from individual player performances to teams going out and raising some eyebrows with unexpected wins over quality teams. As a matter of fact, that happened in a variety of matchups and although it’s just one game, you can’t help but wonder what kind of implications some of these games could have throughout the rest of the 2022 season.

Which teams put forth the most unexpected (in a good way) performances in Week 1? Which teams vastly exceeded expectations? Let’s take a look at three of them.

NFL Week 1: 3 surprisingly impressive teams that got wins

NFL Week 1
NFL Week 1, Chicago Bears, Justin Fields (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears stormed back after slow start in the rain

Early on in the Chicago Bears‘ matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, it looked like we were going to get an encore of what we’d all seen last season. It was a slow start for Justin Fields and the offense, and the Bears trailed 10 deep into the third quarter.

That was when the Bears caught the 49ers’ defense sleeping. Fields found Dante Pettis across the field wide open, and Pettis was able to sprint 51 yards for the Bears’ first touchdown of the game. From that point on, it just seemed like Fields and the Bears were playing with huge momentum and confidence. They scored 19 unanswered points including this touchdown pass from Fields to Equanimeous St. Brown.

Watching this touchdown drive — a 10-play drive that covered 84 yards — was one of the clearest signs of obvious progression I think we’ve seen from Justin Fields up to this point. The Bears’ defense helped in a big way in this game, holding Trey Lance to under 50 percent passing and forcing two turnovers, but even in sloppy playing conditions, it was Fields that made the necessary plays down the stretch to help get the Bears a big season-opening win. Not to mention, it came against a 49ers team that finished in the NFL’s final four last year.