Sunday, 9 September 2007

NFL Week 1 Thoughts

Time to give my thoughts on what was a very, very solid mostly opening day action in the NFL.

Vikings 24, Falcons 3
You already know how I feel about this... this is how the Vikings are going to have to win football games this year. They played great defense (with a very good pass rush - 6 sacks - which was the achillies heel of the defense last year), and were able to run the football with success. Obviously I hope Chester Taylor isn't hurt, because the Vikings are going to need him, but Adrian Peterson made my Rookie of the Year pick look good, at least for one day.

Broncos 15, Bills 14
Obviously this isn't quite what I expected from Denver, given that I picked them to win the AFC West, but they did just barely get the job done. Statistically, Denver dominated the game. Cutler had over 3 times as many passing yards as Losman, and Denver had more than 50 yards rushing edge on Buffalo. However, Buffalo had the Special Teams edge... with a Roscoe Parrish TD, which kept the game in their favor until time expired. Which is all that matters.

Steelers 34, Browns 7
I expected the Steelers to dominate this game, though maybe not quite this much. Also as expected, the Browns QB woes will keep them from doing anything this year. Charlie Frye was abysmal (and replaced early in the game), and Derek Anderson wasn't much better, completing less than 50% of his passes. Brady Quinn, hope you're ready.

Packers 16, Eagles 13
Philly special teams, you have got to be kidding me. Two muffed punts... one that led directly to a Packer TD and the other that led to the game-winning FG (Mason Crosby is pretty good, by the way). Everyone knew the Packers defense was good, but they shut McNabb down, as he completed just 15 of 33 passes... whether that was because of the Packer defense or because McNabb just struggled, I didn't really see enough of the game to comment... anyone that watched a lot of it want to help me out here?

Panthers 27, Rams 13
This is definitely not what I expected. Marc Bulger had troubles, barely completing 50% of his passes, and Steven Jackson could not get it going either, fumbling twice. Meanwhile, after so many years of the Panthers being picked to have a chance to go to the Super Bowl, could they be flying under the radar? If they play defense and run the ball like they did today, then they are a very real threat to New Orleans in the South.

Patriots 38, Jets 14
It's always tough for me to watch Randy Moss play in another uniform, especially today, when it was just about vintage Randy Moss. Brady had lots of time in the pocket, and he made the most of it, completing 79% of his passes for nearly 300 yards and 3 TDs. I already can't wait for the AFC Playoffs.

Redskins 16, Dolphins 13 OT
Remember all that preseason talk about how Ronnie Brown hadn't won the job yet, and everyone just scoffed at it as just motivational tactics by Cam Cameron? Well, Brown didn't exactly light it up, with 11 carries for 32 yards (not that Jesse Chatman was any better). A great performance by the defense at home, and Miami doesn't have enough to get the win. It could be a long season in Miami. Their 2nd and 3rd leading receivers on the day were their starting RB and backup RB.

Titans 13, Jaguars 10
So much for that vaunted Jaguars running game. Maurice Jones-Drew had 7 carries for 32 yards, and Fred Taylor had 6 carries for 16 yards. Are you kidding me? 13 carries combined for those 2 guys? Garrard was statistically solid, but the offense has to run through the 2 good RBs. Otherwise we could be seeing this result a lot for the Jags.

Texans 20, Chiefs 3
It's really going to be a long season in Kansas City. The offense is just simply atrocious. A bad QB (whoever they throw out there), bad WRs, a slowing down Tony Gonzalez, and a mediocre O-Line. Larry Johnson isn't going to get much help. On the other side, I'm really excited to see what Andre Johnson will do this year now that there are other talented guys around him. 142 yards and TD for him in the opener.

Lions 36, Raiders 21
I thought the Raiders defense was good? Kitna had 2 INTs, but he also completed 75% of his passes for 289 yards and 3 TDs. And yeah, Calvin Johnson is pretty good. For the Raiders, they at least have to be encouraged by the resurgent LaMont Jordan. 159 total yards and a score for him.

Chargers 14, Bears 3
New year, same Rex Grossman. He was inconsistent, threw 1 INT (not entirely his fault) and had one play where the ball just slipped out of his hands. Vintage Rex Grossman right there. Also, I know the Chargers eventually wound up with 14 points, but that Bears defense is really, really good. No one holds LDT to 25 yards on 17 carries. That's ridiculous.

Seahawks 20, Bucs 6
Nothing real surprising here, as the Seahawks are just clearly the better team. The Bucs took a 6-0 lead after the 1st, but it was Seattle after that. Now a whole lot to say about it.

Cowboys 45, Giants 35
More than anything, the one thing that I took away from this game was... that both secondaries suck. Eli Manning and Tony Romo are good, but they shouldn't be throwing for a combined nearly 660 yards and 8 TDs. On a positive note, we did get a "Hefty Lefty" sighting, and that's always exciting. For my fantasy team's sake, I hope Brandon Jacobs' injury isn't serious.

So far in my picks against the spread this week I am 8-5-1... a nice start in my quest to finish above .500.

What stuck out most to you?