The 2010 NFL season is here! Yay! Raise your hands and celebrate…unless you’re a fan of the Cowboys, Lions, Kevin Kolb, and a few other guys this week that didn’t exactly light the world on fire and put themselves in a bad spotlight, but we’ll get to that eventually. On the plus side, there were some exceptional performances that I want to point out, but those will come later as well.
Overall, it was a solid week of football, the usual upsets and normal beatdowns. While I didn’t see every game, I read the gist on them and formulated my opinions the best I could (Not all of us have the NFL package). Without further ado, let’s get ready to rumble and grumble.
To start off with, I’ll pick the top 6 best and worst of the week. Why 6? Because everyone else does 5.
Week 1 Standouts:
1. New Orleans Saints-While not an overly exciting game, Sean Payton didn’t disappoint as his team played a tough chess match against their 2010 NFC Championship opponent, the Minnesota Vikings. Favre looked lost without Sidney Rice, and the Saints defense harassed him, getting aggressive enough to force errant passes and an interception. Drew Brees showed how effective he is, and the offense was sharp, even though they only put up 14 points.
2. Baltimore Ravens-I know everyone is ranking on Jets coach Rex Ryan for not backing up his talk with a 10-9 loss to the Ravens, but 1) it’s only week 1, and 2) it was a tough defensive game. That being said, the Ravens showed up and didn’t bow down to Hard Knocks’ hype or the threat of Rex Ryan’s words. Plus, Anquan Boldin didn’t disappoint, arming Joe Flacco with the weapon he deserves.
3. Kansas City Chiefs-San Diego is infamous for starting the season off slowly, then streaking past everyone else, but I think this year is going to be different. Without Vincent Jackson or Marcus McNeil, the Chargers have to adapt, and the Chiefs took advantage with arguably the upset of the week, shocking the Chargers with a 21-14 win. Good for them, and hopefully they can build on it.
4. Michael Vick-Though they didn’t win, the Eagles nearly overcame a 17 point deficit against Green Bay when starting QB Kevin Kolb was knocked out and Michael Vick entered. The more comfortable Vick got in the pocket, the more his older, Pro Bowl-self re-emerged, and suddenly 27-10 became 27-20. With the throwback uniforms and Vick running around, I thought I was watching the 90s Eagles under Randall Cunningham. Despite a questionable call to throw it away near the endzone when he could have easily run it in, Vick proved that he wasn’t past his prime and may have a shot of taking the starting QB position for the Eagles.
5. Houston Texans-The Texans always play the Colts tough, but I figured with their track record, the Colts would roll them as usual, and they almost did. Despite a solid game by Peyton Manning, the Texans literally ran all over them with current running back sensation Arian Foster and his 231-yard, 3-touchdown performance. Every team in the AFC South except Indianapolis won on Sunday. It will be quite a competitive division this year, more so than last year.
6. Amazing Mascot Costumes-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0isTj0DzjQ
If this video doesn’t make you smile, you are incapable of being happy.
Week 2 Stand-DON’TS:
1. Alex Barron and the Cowboys’ coaching staff-First, Alex Barron committed a crucial holding penalty that negated a game-winning touchdown for the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t care how bad a certain team plays: if they have a chance to win, they deserve it… unless they also signed the most penalized player in the NFL. Secondly, Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett have some explaining to do, with some very questionable play calls, including 2 consecutive screen passes to Dez Bryant that combined for 0 yards, a timeout called right before a possible touchdown scoring run by Marion Barber, AND LEST WE FORGET, the toss to Tashard Choice before the first half ended that led to a fumble and Washington touchdown.
2. NFL Ruling on what is a catch-Please make this clear for everyone to understand. Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson made a spectacular (seemingly) game-winning touchdown catch against the Chicago Bears, but the play was negated because even though he had both feet in bounds and maintained possession, he dropped the ball as he came to the ground, and that was considered lack of possession. What appeared to everyone as just setting the ball down after making a catch was viewed by the NFL as “juggling”. Go figure, the Lions’ bad luck continues.
3. NY Jets-This isn’t totally about the loss to the Ravens and the subsequent criticism of their trash-talking. No, this is about the currently coming together story of a female reporter who was apparently harassed by the Jets’ players and coaching staff. I’m all for a team that likes to act tough and rough and kid around, but once it goes into lewd conduct and harassment, AND it leaks out, then that’s a huge publicity black eye.
4. Bob Sanders-How is this guy an all-pro safety but only has started 8 games in at least 2 seasons? Even worse, after just one game, Sanders managed to injure his bicep, and he will meet with Dr. Andrews to go over the extent of the injury. You can’t be that talented but that fragile and expect to stay on a team forever. I see the Colts cutting him by seasons end.
5. San Francisco 49ers-All the talk of winning the NFC West was put to rest (for now) after a 31-6 thrashing at the hands of division rival Seattle. Now it’s being reported there is infighting among the players and staff due to “miscommunication”. As a Cowboys fan, I’m familiar with infighting and miscommunication, and let me say from personal experience, you need to squash this ASAP, Mike Singletary. It will fester and rip the team apart if allowed to spread.
6. The Philadelphia offense-I should say “or lack thereof”. Under Kevin Kolb, the Eagles’ offense was offensive. Kolb just didn’t look comfortable or even all there, and that was before he got a concussion. What’s worse, their Pro Bowl FB Leonard Weaver is out for the season after a gruesome leg injury. Now that Vick showed that he can still move, what kind of offense will they be running and who will be running it? Not exactly the best way to start the season with a possible QB controversy.
WEEK 2 Preview
I’m going to make a few quick predictions here and there, so here’s my crystal football with week 2 news.
Philadelphia at Detroit-no matter who’s QB-ing the Eagles, the Lions will not have the offense or defense necessary to keep up with Philadelphia. Philly-30, Detroit-10
Chicago at Dallas-Chicago’s offensive line will be harassed all day, and the Dallas offense gets its groove back after an embarrassing season opening loss to Washington. Dallas-27, Chicago-17
Buffalo-6, Green Bay-24
Pittsburgh at Tennessee-Tough game to call. Look for lots of running. Pittsburgh-13, Tennessee-27
Tampa Bay-13, Carolina-9
Kansas City-21, Cleveland-7
Miami at Minnesota-my upset of the week, the Miami defense shuts down AP , while Ricky and Ronnie power run the crap out of the Williams Wall. Miami-20, Minnesota-13
St. Louis-10, Oakland-16
Houston at Washington-I’m not convinced about Washington’s offense yet, but without Brian Cushing, the Houston defense will have a tough time containing McNabb. If Haynesworth plays, he’ll have to step it up and help Brian Orakpo stop Arian Foster. Houston-27, Washington-20
New England at NY Jets-the second biggest game of the week, an AFC East showdown. Will Rex Ryan’s bravado overwhelm Bill B? Doubt it. New England-31, NY Jets-14
Jacksonville-23, San Diego-27
NY Giants at Indianapolis-THE MANNING BOWL! The game of the week, I’m predicting a shootout, mostly because I want to see it, plus even though Peyton will put up big numbers, the Indy defense will make Eli look like Peyton. Indianapolis-34, NY-31.