Week 1 of the NFL season is officially in the books. It’s been great to have football back. The hard hitting action of America’s favorite sport has returned and with it, all the surprises, big plays, and story lines. A lot of this is going to be quarterback intensive because that’s where the stories were for the most part. Here’s a look at what we learned.
Tom is still terrific.
Last season’s unanimous MVP was in mid-season form early. He may just repeat as league MVP. Brady threw for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns, including one 99 yard touchdown to Wes Welker. It didn’t hurt the Patriots that Miami’s defense looked like a cross between horrible and just plain suck. Miami’s corners and and safeties were getting torched regularly by seemingly all manner of Patriots receivers. Gronkowski and Hernandez did a lot of the damage themselves gathering 189 receiving yards between the two of them. This was due in part to how terrible Miami played defensively, especially in the second half. Mostly, it was because Tom detected every blitz that came his way and absolutely demolished Miami’s secondary, which started the game looking somewhat decent and competent.
If you still hate Tom Brady you should be running out of reasons by now. He really is that good.
Cam Newton Looks Legit.
Newton had a record breaking 422 yards on 24 of 37 passing and 2 touchdowns. He looked brilliant. He made good decisions with the football. He was looking off defenders and going through progressions, which is surprising considering how much time he had to learn the offense he’s in. Just by watching him play it’s apparent that he put a lot of work into learning the offense. He was able to use his athleticism but at the same time he stayed in the pocket and kept his eyes downfield. I know I was impressed.
The Chargers Defense Is Solid.
Good thing too, they needed it to be. Philip Rivers had a less than desirable day. Rivers was 33 of 48 passing for 335 yards and 2 touchdowns, but with 2 interceptions. Most of his yards this game also came from short passes that got extended into big gains. Despite all of this the Chargers defense held from a lot of bad positions.
Donovan McNabb Looks Old.
At least his arm does anyway. His legs seemed fine as he escaped the pass rush a few times for a total of 32 rushing yards but, 39 yards in the air? That’s not acceptable at all. Minnesota’s defense could have given the Viking’s offense more touches though, it would have helped because San Diego held onto the football for nearly twice as long as Minnesota did.
Did Ron Jaworski say S–T on Live TV?
Yes he did. Initially I thought it was Gruden but nope, it was Jaws.
Matt Ryan Needs To Prove Himself. Again.
Matt Ryan a.k.a. Matty Ice didn’t look very good in the season opener. He was to busy getting punk’d by the Bears defense. He racked up tons of yardage but simply couldn’t get into the endzone. With all the weapons the Falcons have put around him, that’s going to have to change in a hurry. Topping Michael Vick in his return to Atlanta could do the trick.
Beating the Bears would have been a nice start to the season when considering that many experts expected the Bears defense to be over the hill. I guess it wasn’t.
Kerry Collins Is Not Peyton Manning
That’s it. Nothing to see here, move along.
Baltimore Can Win the Division. Finally.
The wood shed beating that the Ravens carried out on the Steelers was nothing short of epic. This game had all the hype because of the past performances of these teams against each other. The Ravens showed up on both sides of the ball. Flacco looked spectacular as he and Ray Rice tore the Steelers defense to shreds. The Steelers however did not seem nearly as prepared offensively as they turned the ball over a whopping seven times. Roethlisberger was involved in five of those turnovers (three picks and two fumbles). The Steelers can certainly play better than this, but this victory ought to give the Ravens the kind of swagger they’ve been looking for.
The Redskins Are A Changed Team.
The Redskins topped the Giants guided by the steady hand ( and I can’t believe I’m typing this) of Rex Grossman. The victory was far from perfect. Mistakes were made and the offensive line, though improved, still looks at time to be made out of paper mache. However this Redskins team did something that they haven’t done in the past. They made big plays and they didn’t beat themselves. Even when Grossman fumbled late in the game the Skins pulled themselves together and blocked Tynes field goal and kept moving forward.
They also got help from their rookies. Ryan Kerrigan picked off an Eli Manning pass and returned it for a touchdown. Manning was sacked twice by Chris Nelid. Who? The last Redskins pick in the draft. This man was one pick away from being Mr. Irrelevant and then shows up huge in the first game of his NFL career.
Tony Romo Is Still Tony Romo.
Many people worried about Romo’s health and wether or not he would be the same after breaking his clavicle a season ago. Never fear! Tony Romo is the same as he’s ever been, choking away games in crucial moments. It’s a shame too. He’s was having a good game until he had the brain fart of the year and threw a sloppy pass at the best corner in football. The Cowboys need to get the wheels turning next week against San Francisco or this year could be another long one for them.