First Sunday of NFL season brings surprises, controversy

San Francisco 49ers' Carlos Hyde (28) dives into the end zone for a touchdown with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) helping block against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

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San Francisco 49ers' Carlos Hyde (28) dives into the end zone for a touchdown with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) helping block against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

It was a cool summer’s night on Sept. 10, 2015 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Fans of both the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers waited anxiously for 8:30 p.m. to arrive. As Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski sent the ball into the air, the NFL season was officially under way.

Through four weeks of the season, only six of the league’s 32 teams were undefeated. The Patriots (3-0), the Cincinnati Bengals (4-0), the Denver Broncos (4-0), the Carolina Panthers (4-0), the Atlanta Falcons (4-0), and the Green Bay Packers (4-0).

“I was most surprised by the fantastic debut of [Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback] Marcus Mariota. I never really thought he would come out of the gates as well as he did,” George Ryan, PE coach said, “However, I was not surprised by the performance of [Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterback] Jameis Winston. I thought from the beginning it would take him time to adjust.”

Week one also allowed fans a chance to see which division in the NFL is best.

“I think the NFC West is the best division right now because the [Seattle] Seahawks, the [St. Louis] Rams, the [Arizona] Cardinals, and the [San Francisco] 49ers are all teams that are capable of making the playoffs,” Julian Leahy, eighth grade band major said.

While Ryan said it takes “four weeks to see what is there” in terms of Super Bowl contenders, it was not difficult for some to see who the lesser teams in the NFL were.

“I think that the Buccaneers, the [Oakland] Raiders, and the [Jacksonville] Jaguars will finish at the bottom this year,” Leahy said.

As of Oct. 2, the Buccaneers have a 1-3 record after a win against the New Orleans Saints in week two, the Jaguars are 1-3 after a win against the Miami Dolphins in week two, and the Raiders are 2-2 because of two wins in a row against the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns.

Ryan mentioned the same three teams Leahy mentioned, but said that there might be a fourth team that will be far down in the NFL.

“I think that the [Chicago] Bears are going to look bad all year long. Although they have a lot of talent on their team, there is a lot of conflict amongst players who do not like starting quarterback Jay Cutler,” Ryan said.  “As we have seen in the past, even if a team has talent, locker room issues can derail the season.”

However, neither Ryan nor Leahy predicted the Dolphins to be near the bottom of the NFL, through four weeks, the Dolphins had a record of 1-3 and fired head coach Joe Philbin after the team’s 27-14 loss to the New York Jets in London.

Although Ryan said it will take some time to see Super Bowl contenders, he did not shy away from making a prediction.

Ryan said, “After seeing their performances in week one, I think that the Patriots and the Packers will make it. I think the Packers will struggle with the loss of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, but they still have enough talent elsewhere to go all the way.”