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NFL first-year coaches 0-5 in Week 1, but Sean Payton, Shane Steichen favored in Week 2

There are five news head coaches in the #NFL this season: Denver’s Sean Payton, Indianapolis’ Sean Steichen, Arizona’s Jonathan Gannon, Houston’s DeMeco Ryans and Carolina’s Frank Reich. All five lost in Week 1, and only Payton’s Broncos and Steichen’s Colts are favored in Week 2.

Special teams clearly cost Payton (not his first overall head coaching rodeo) a win Sunday at home against Las Vegas in the 17-16 defeat. The #BroncosCountry had a costly hold that negated one return, a botched onside kick to open the game and two big misses from former Pro Bowler Wil Lutz, Payton's ex-reliable kicker in New Orleans whom he reacquired in a trade with the Saints last month.

Sean Payton's Broncos debut was not a success.

On the bright side, Russell Wilson did look a lot better for half the game. He completed 17 of 19 throws for 125 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns but did nothing in the second half as Denver was held to three points after intermission. Wilson was sacked multiple times for the 16th consecutive game -- the longest active streak in the NFL.

Scoring 16 points or fewer and losing a close game was Denver’s MO last year under Nathaniel Hackett. But the Broncos are -3.5 at home this Sunday vs. Washington.

Arizona did cover a 7-point spread in their loss to the Commanders in Gannon’s head coaching debut. Gannon was a former defensive coordinator with the Eagles, and his defense played great with up six sacks and three forced turnovers. However, the Joshua Dobbs-led offense didn’t score a touchdown as it settled for field goals the three times out of 11 possessions it crossed midfield. #BirdGang finished with 210 total yards. It is +4.5 this Sunday for its home opener vs. the Giants.

Carolina closed +4 in Atlanta for Reich’s Panthers debut and QB Bryce Young’s first NFL game, and the #KeepPounding lost 24-10. Behind a bad offensive line, Young threw for only 146 yards and two picks. No. 1 overall quarterbacks are now winless (one tie) in their past 15 debuts. The Panthers are 3.5-point home dogs for Week 2 on Monday against New Orleans.

One new coach will get his first win in Week 2 barring an unlikely tie because #ForTheShoe is in Houston as a 1-point favorite, and it will be the first matchup of rookie QBs this season between the Colts’ Anthony Richardson, the No. 4 overall pick, and the #Texans CJ Stroud, the No. 2 selection.

Richardson became the fifth rookie quarterback since 1970 to record both a passing and rushing touchdown in Week 1, joining Deshone Kizer (2017), Archie Manning (1971), Cam Newton (2011) and Chris Weinke (2001). Richardson was the youngest player in the Super Bowl era to record both a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the same game. Stroud completed 28 passes on Sunday in a lopsided loss in Baltimore, the fourth-most completions by a rookie QB in NFL history.

The 2023 season has joined 2012 (five rookie quarterbacks) and 2021 (three) as the only seasons since 1970 in which at least three rookie quarterbacks started in Week 1.

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