Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What We Learned from Week 1

It was a very interesting weekend of football to say the least. The most anticipated opening week of NFL football in recent memory gave us an idea of how each of our teams will look this season. Here is a touchdown's worth of things we learned from the first weekend.

1. Most teams were not nearly ready for the regular season.

You saw this in many of the games this weekend, whether it was horrible defense, dropped balls, or bad protection by the offensive line. The Eagles, under Andy Reid, have always been a very prepared team. And when they are having a mess of issues on opening day while winning by 18 points, how prepared do you think the rest of the league could have been?

2. With Eric Berry done for the season, the Kansas City Chiefs are done for the season.

When you get shellacked 41-7 on opening weekend, there is something seriously wrong. In Kansas City’s case, they were shellacked 41-7 on opening weekend… by the BUFFALO BILLS. It just so happens that the Chiefs lost their Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry on the third defensive play of the first quarter on Sunday, and the rest was history. One thing I do know is that if Kansas City can’t stop Buffalo, there’s no way in hell they are going to be able to handle the Chargers’ loaded offensive attack twice this year as well as visits to New England and the Jets. Mark my words for the 2011 Chiefs. Stick a fork in them.

3. The most offensive week in NFL history.

-9 teams scored 30+ points on Sunday.

-8 QBs had 300+ yards.

-7 teams had 400+ offensive yardage.

-89 touchdowns were scored.

-Cam Newton set a rookie record for passing yards with 422

-Tom Brady and Wes Welker tied the record for longest touchdown pass (99 yds)

-Sebastian Janikowski tied the record for longest field goal (63 yds)

-Randall Cobb of the Packers tied the record for longest kickoff return (108 yds)

-Chad Henne and Tom Brady combined to set a single game passing record (933 yds)

-Tom Brady set a Monday Night Football record and Patriots record with 517 passing yards.

-Another record broken-- Week 1 of 2011 was the most watched single week in NFL history.

-And one final record- Peyton Manning missed his first NFL start, ending his streak at 208 games or 13 years.

4. The front-runners still have a long way to go.

Philadelphia won a tough one in St. Louis this week with early defensive troubles and horrible offensive line troubles throughout the game. If it weren’t for Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson getting hurt, it may have been a totally different game.

Green Bay allowed 34 points in a win, New England allowed 24 points and almost 500 yards in a win on South Beach, Atlanta got smoked by the Bears, and Pittsburgh didn’t even show up against Baltimore. So much for preseason rankings…

5. With Peyton Manning done for 2-3 months, the Texans win the South.

I think this statement was on the tips of almost everyone’s tongues leading up to Sunday. After Sunday, it is a foregone conclusion. A 34-7 Houston win without Arian Foster just shows how much of a difference Peyton Manning makes in that Colts machine… or lack thereof. It’s going to be a looooong season in Indy.

6. 2010 division winners- losers on opening weekend.

NFC East- Philadelphia Eagles W, 31-13—problems on the D and O-lines.

NFC North- Chicago Bears W, 30-12 – Nicely done with a shaky O-line.

NFC South- Atlanta Falcons L, 12-30—Embarrased in Soldier Field.

NFC West- Seattle Seahawks L, 17-33 – Not much of a division winner.

AFC East- New England Patriots W, 38-24—Horrible defense. 500 yards allowed.

AFC North- Pittsburgh Steelers L, 7-35—Need I say anything?

AFC South- Indianapolis Colts L, 7-34 – They are helpless without Peyton.

AFC West- Kansas City Chiefs L, 7-41 – Absolutely pathetic.

So 5 of last year’s division winners got steamrolled on Sunday, and the other three didn’t have it very easy. The power is shifting yet again in the NFL.

7. The Point After- The running game wins games.

Here were the top five passers in Week 1: Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Chad Henne, Tony Romo. Here were the top five rushers in Week 1: Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy, Cedric Benson, Ben Tate, Fred Jackson.

So what?

Out of the top 5 passers this week, 1 man came away with a W—Tom Brady

Out of the top 5 rushers this week, ALL FIVE men came away with a W

They say Defense wins championships. Well, running the ball wins games.

That concludes a very eventful Week 1 in the NFL. I can’t wait for Week 2!

n Philadelphia @ Atlanta, Sunday Night Football

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