Media by Associated Press - Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Media by Associated Press – Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Maintaining a strong performance level in the NFL from week to week isn’t always the easiest task. Different matchups are more advantageous for certain teams and players than others.

Here’s a look at three players who looked good in Week 1 that may struggle to duplicate that performance.

Gino Smith, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Whatever else Gino Smith does during his time as Seattle Seahawks quarterback may not be as important as what he did against Denver in Week 1.

Playing against the man he replaced, Russell Wilson, Smith put together one of the best performances of his NFL career. Smith went 23-of-28 passing for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

Having a steady Smith under center allowed the Seahawks to grab a 17-16 win. In Week 2, Seattle will have to battle with San Francisco, which took an embarrassing loss to Chicago last week.

The 49ers lost despite severely outgaining the Bears’ offense. Smith will have a tougher time being as accurate against the 49ers.

Seattle and Smith may also be in position for a letdown following such an emotional victory at home to open up the year.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

Fitzpatrick’s productivity isn’t going to suffer because of his own doing. For the second straight year, Pittsburgh has opened the season with a big win over a Super Bowl hopeful but has been hit with difficult injuries. Steelers linebacker TJ Watt suffered a pec injury that is going to keep him out for six weeks.

What that means for Fitzpatrick is he may have more responsibility in trying to stop the run game against New England in Week 2.

With added responsibilities, that will make it more difficult for Fitzpatrick to freelance and make plays like he typically does. Fitzpatrick returned an interception for a touchdown and blocked an extra point against the Bengals.

While Bill Belichick doesn’t have the weapons he used to, the New England coach is still one of the sharpest minds for game planning. The Patriots should be able to find a way to pull Fitzpatrick in many different directions to prevent the Steelers’ safety from wreaking too much havoc.

D’Andre Swift, Running back, Detroit Lions

Swift showed an immense amount of potential against the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener. While Swift will have an opportunity to play well against the Washington Commanders this weekend, him replicating his Week 1 performance will be difficult to do. On 15 carries, Swift piled up 144 yards in a 38-35 loss to the Eagles.

Detroit will also be trying to move the ball against a Ron Rivera-led team. Rivera has more of a defensive mind and will likely maneuver his defense into the best possible positions to stop what Swift can bring to the table.

If the Commanders can force Detroit to open up the offense more, Detroit may be forced to lean more on Jared Goff and the passing game instead of what Swift can do on the ground.

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Barry Devoe can regularly be found rocking the sticks on League of Legends, Rocket League, and CS:GO, but he loves his traditional sports as well. Barry is a Chicago sports fan through and through, but his knowledge of the game is second-to-none. When he's not watching or playing, he works as a baseball umpire and football referee.

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