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Rick Zamperin: NFL’s first week provides fresh prospective on contenders and pretenders

Quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots continue to be the gold standard in the National Football League. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Week one of the NFL season has come and gone, and while it’s only one week it did offer us a glimpse of every team’s promise, or pitifulness.

The New England Patriots continue to be the gold standard.

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the rest of the Pats are a machine that, remarkably, keeps on keeping on.

The defending champion Philadelphia Eagles, while not looking as dominant as they had for the majority of last season, started off on the right foot as well.

What more can you say about the living legend, Aaron Rodgers?

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The highest paid player in the NFL earned every penny Sunday night after coming back from a knee injury to rally the Green Bay Packers from a 20-0 deficit and beat their arch-rivals, the Chicago Bears, 24-23.

Other takeaways from week one. The Kansas City Chiefs have something special in sophomore QB Pat Mahomes. The Minnesota Vikings are going to be an even tougher out this season with Kirk Cousins under center. And the Miami Dolphins should have added a retractable roof when they revamped Hard Rock Stadium. Miami’s 27-20 victory over the Tennessee Titans was delayed because of lightning.

I’m all for watching quarterbacks chuck the ball around and nothing topped the show that New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick put on. The two veterans combined to throw for 856 yards and seven touchdowns. Wow.

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Oh, by the way, the Cleveland Browns didn’t win. But they didn’t lose either, after coming back to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-21.

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And I’m glad I’m not a fan of the Buffalo Bills, 47-3 losers in Baltimore.

I know that no one circles the wagons like the Bills, but that team is going to be a tire fire all season long.

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