Week One In Review

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I would be remiss to start this off without commending the NFL on a classy opening weekend, remembering the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. We all remember where we were when we heard the news that fateful day, and such an event puts the game we all love into perspective. It is just a game. The NFL was also correct in loosening their strict uniform policy, allowing players to wear red white and blue cleats and gloves. Unlike the MLB, who did not allow the Mets to wear FDNY or NYPD hats during their game Sunday. The NFL got it right all weekend and showed what a class act they can be. Now on to the action on the field…

10 Things we learned in week 1

  1. Peyton Manning has been the league MVP 4 times in his career. After watching the Texans manhandle the Colts it’s a wonder he hasn’t won the award more. The Colts “Next Man Up” mentality seemed to unify the team in the week leading up to this game, if they cannot pull it together and find a way to be better Andrew Luck may be the next man up in Indy.
  2. Tony Romo has to be better. There is no excuse for the way Romo played down the stretch, and the QB will tell you that himself. Starting with his ill-advised head first dive towards the end zone resulting in a fumble. Romo followed that up with a horrendous underthrow of Dez Bryant right into the arms of Darrelle Revis, which set up the game winning field goal.
  3.  After all the fuss about kickoffs being moved up week 1 saw a record tying 3 kickoff returns for touchdown. The fun now moves into a “will he take this out?” and builds anticipation before the kick and while the ball is in the air. Still after only one week it is too early to tell if the new rule will be beneficial in preventing injury.
  4. There is still room on the Lions bandwagon, but hurry up it will be full soon. The Lions mad their way down to Tampa Bay Sunday and bullied the Bucs all day. LeGarrette Blount, who caused a stir on a social media website saying he was looking forward to running over Ndamukong Suh, was held to just 15 yards on 5 attempts. As a team the Bucs were held to 56 rushing yards. The Lions have a scary front seven, and they are a defense to watch as the season moves forward. Although they handled Tampa for most of the day, they are still a team who is learning to win, and will have to learn how to put teams away if they want to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
  5. The Ravens were out to make a statement on Sunday. Message received Baltimore. With division rival Pittsburgh coming into town the Ravens defense forced 7 turnovers, and dominated the game physically.  Ray Rice came to play, rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown; also catching 4 passes adding another score. The Ravens wanted to make the statement that they will not play second fiddle to the Steelers, and came out with a strong showing in week 1.
  6. Ryan Fitzgerald is a good quarterback, just starting to find his way in this league. Fitzgerald led the Bills to probably the biggest surprise win of the week beating the Chiefs 41-7. Fitzgerald posted a 91.2 QBR (ESPN’s new QB rating system) throwing 4 touchdowns. Fitzgerald should benefit from being the starter in camp and is off to a good start, but will face some tough defenses in his division.
  7. The Chiefs are in for a long season. The Chiefs simply did not come to play on Sunday. If losing offensive weapon Tony Moeaki for the season wasn’t bad enough, Eric Berry will be lost for the season after tearing his acl during the game. The Chiefs will have an uphill battle the rest of the way.
  8. Cam Newton surprised us all. Cam Newton had the best statistical game of any rookie QB in his first game. Newton threw for 422 yards,2 TD, and added a rushing TD (which came with a flag for celebrating after).  The Panthers did an excellent job in game planning, putting Newton in positions where he can be successful. The Panthers kept in extra blockers, and kept the offense simple for the rookie allowing him to shine. What is most impressive about Newton is how he handled the loss. In his post game interview Newton put the blame on himself, saying there were some throws he could have made better down the stretch. Those don’t sound like the words of someone who is overly concerned about becoming an icon. There is a buzz around the player and the team going into their week 2 matchup against the defending champion Packers.
  10. 10. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots made a statement last night. Brady threw for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns, including a 99yd touchdown pass to Wes Welker. The performance is even more impressive coming against a stout Miami Dolphin defense that returned 10 of 11 starters from a top 10 defense last year. The Patriots seemed to score at will against Miami, look for Brady to top his MVP numbers from last season. On a side note, where was Chad Ochocinco last night? Did he know there was a game? Ochocinco hauled in only 1 reception for 14 yards, can Chad keep quiet and follow along with the “Patriot way” if this is the way he will be used? Dan Koppen suffered a broken ankle in the victory and that will hurt an already thin Patriots offensive line.