Week 1 of the 2010 NFL season is in the books and it was just about everything that we could have hoped for. We had fantasy leagues get blown up by relatively unknown players, we had officiating controversy that cost some teams a win, and we had epic matchups (some lived up to the hype, others not so much). So as we take a look back at what was an exciting opening week in the NFL, here are some brief notes on each of the games. (Hint: you can read them all, or click on the game you want to read more about – the choice is yours).
- New Orleans Saints 14, Minnesota Vikings 9
- New England Patriots 38, Cincinnati Bengals 24
- Miami Dolphins 15, Buffalo Bills 10
- Chicago Bears 19, Detroit Lions 14
- Tennessee Titans 38, Oakland Raiders 13
- New York Giants 31, Carolina Panthers 18
- Pittsburgh Steelers 15, Atlanta Falcons 9
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17, Cleveland Browns 14
- Jacksonville Jaguars 24, Denver Broncos 17
- Houston Texans 34, Indianapolis Colts 24
- Arizona Cardinals 17, St. Louis Rams 13
- Green Bay Packers 27, Philadelphia Eagles 20
- Seattle Seahawks 31, San Francisco 49ers 6
- Washington Redskins 13, Dallas Cowboys 7
- Baltimore Ravens 10, New York Jets 9
- Kansas City Chiefs 21, San Diego Chargers 14
This game was hyped up big time, not only because it was the first game of the 2010 NFL season, but also because it was a rematch of the NFC Championship game from last year. Everyone wanted to see if Adrian Peterson could redeem himself for his costly mistakes last year and of course to see if Brett Favre still had the talent to be an NFL QB. Because it was so hyped up, this game turned into a pretty big disappointment. Low scoring, nothing too flashy, and the stars didn’t really shine. We did like to see that the Saints opened their title defense with a win, however.
The Patriots came out swinging and the Bengals got in the way too many times. Although New England never officially delivered a knockout blow, this game was much more one sided than the score would indicate. This game taught us that Brady is back from his knee injury in 2008 and Welker is surprisingly back from his knee injury from late last year. We also learned that teams will have a hard time shutting down both Owens and Ochocinco this season and if Carson Palmer can find the right guy, this team can strike quickly. The Patriots looked good throughout the game while the Bengals struggled off and on.
I’m not sure about your area, but when the Bengals/Patriots game got out of hand, they switched over to the Dolphins/Bills matchup which had all the excitement of watching a possum cross the highway. You didn’t want to watch because you knew something bad was going to happen, but somehow the Bills hung in long enough to make it exciting. Neither team looked impressive, however, but we can chalk some of that up to first week jitters.
This game got more national attention than just about any other, but for all of the wrong reasons. Yes the officials got the call right, and yes, we all believe that the rules need changing, but the decision to change this rule won’t happen any time soon. It is sad to see the Lions have to fight anymore uphill battles, but when it comes down to it, they are still the Lions and the football gods have fated them to suffer. Cutler played really well and Matt Forte looked like the 2008 version. Still, this game shouldn’t have been that close, especially with Stafford leaving the game early.
This game was very ho-hum for most of the first half, and then out of nowhere, CJ2k decided to rip off one of his amazing runs and the Titans never looked back. The Raiders do not seem very improved with Jason Campbell under center but McFadden had a strong game which is a sign of encouragement for this team. The Titans looked like any strong team would look going up against the Raiders, which means they didn’t play down to their level – tricky to do in week 1. Vince Young had a flashy touchdown, but didn’t do much after that – mostly because he didn’t have to. It’s Chris Johnson’s world and we all live in it.
Manning starts off the game about as bad as you could imagine, 1-2 on pass attempts with an interception, and fantasy owners around the league began to groan. Then he turned it around out of nowhere and had a game that would make his brother proud (263 yds, 3TD’s). The uncertainty at RB with the Giants loomed large as neither back looked to really take charge of the game, although combined, they put up some good numbers. Hakeem Nicks was the story of the game as he caught all three of Manning’s TD’s. The Panthers on the other hand looked weak, sloppy, and slow. Matt Moore excelled at the end of last year, filling in for Jake Delhomme, but he looked uncomfortable all afternoon, completing just 14 passes.
This was one of the many games of opening week that had a dramatic finish, although it was the only one to go into OT. The sense throughout the league was that this was the perfect opportunity for Matt Ryan to lead his team to victory and keep everyone riding the Falcons bandwagon for a while. But everyone forgot that Ben Roethlisberger’s absence didn’t affect the defense which has always been the staple of the Steelers organization. Dennis Dixon tried his best to lose the game, but the Falcons never seemed to want to win this one. In the end, a Rashard Mendenhall TD sealed it in OT for Pittsburgh. Too many field goals to make it an interesting 4 quarter game, but the OT sure was exciting!
This is our early front runner for “Pathetic Bowl 2010.” This game showcased two of the worst QB’s in the league, and the running back on everyone’s watch list, Jerome Harrison, barely racked up 50 yards. If you combined both Freeman and Delhomme’s passing yardage, they still wouldn’t beat what Peyton Manning put up, which shows you just how dismal both of these teams are. There were way too many turnovers in this game, which we haven’t been able to correlate to bad offense or good defense as of yet, but AST is on the case and we will let you know next week.
This was one of a pair of games delayed because of lightning, but the Broncos weren’t able to bottle any of it up as the Jaguars won pretty handily. There was a lot of buzz surrounding Tebow and his first NFL start which amounted to very little. Instead, the star of the day was David Garrard who tossed 3 TD’s despite throwing for under 200 yards. MJD saw a lot of carries, but wasn’t able to break 100 yards which could be a cause for concern. However, the Jags were effective when they needed to be and the Broncos were not.
Very few, if any, had the Texans winning this one; and I would wager that even fewer people had Arian Foster on their radar, but he is undoubtedly on every Defensive Coordinator’s mind this week. So many times we have seen players put up monster games in terms of fantasy scoring or personal accolades – Heck, Peyton Manning had a great personal game (433 yds, 3 TD’s) but it means very little if the team doesn’t win. Arian Foster’s breakout performance not only sealed his role as the every down back, but also sealed Houston’s win over the AFC South rival Colts. The Texans are primarily a passing offense, but they are glad they kept handing the ball to Foster this week. It will be interesting to see if the Colts can bounce back after a week 1 loss, in conjunction with the injury to Bob Sanders.
This game was runner up for “Pathetic Bowl 2010” but at least we got to see Sam Bradford debut and Larry Fitzgerald score a TD. I have always thought of Derek Anderson as an “adequate” quarterback who just needed the right system and the right pieces in place to shine. Well he has the right system and he has a ton of pieces in place, but his light switch was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Bradford, on the other hand, looked surprisingly good for a rookie, hooking up with Marc Clayton over and over. All things being equal, however, both offenses looked anemic and neither team looked like it could compete with the Seahawks who are quickly turning into frontrunners for taking the division title.
This game started off as Rodgers vs. Kolb and ended with us all wondering where Michael Vick could be as a player if he hadn’t spent two years away from the game on dog fighting charges. We now have a full blown QB controversy on our hands here as Andy Reid must decide which guy gives his team the best chance to win. On the Green Bay side of the ball, Rodgers looked just ok, and he even admitted as much in his post game interview. The Packers did what they needed to do to win on the road against a tough Eagles team, and thankfully the defense won’t have to play against anyone that mobile again for a long time.
For about the last five or six seasons, the 49ers have been a feel good pick to win their division. The experts feel that with the right combination of determination, weak competition, and luck that the Niners could take the title, but every year they are wrong. This week was no different as Pete Carroll’s new look Seahawks put the boots to San Francisco. We hate to make any claims after just one week of football, but the Seahawks have what it takes to win the NFC West and maybe even go far in the playoffs – completely unexpected. The 49ers have a lot of work to do if they don’t want to get embarrassed like this again, but we can’t forget to congratulate Pete Carroll on his first win back in the NFL.
The rain just wouldn’t let up during this game, and by rain, we mean penalty flags against the Cowboys. Call the Redskins pushovers, call them weak, call them whatever you want, Washington is still a tough place to play and you cannot kill yourself with penalties. Well nobody told the Cowboys that so they proceeded to penalize their way to a loss. It was only fitting that this game, which saw the Cowboys squad penalized 12 times for 91 yards, would end with some yellow on the field. Romo looks like he needs more time to get comfortable, as did McNabb – but the difference is that McNabb is in a new offense where Romo should have a good handle by now. This was a sloppy game from both sides, but I think it says more about the Cowboys need to improve than anything else.
This was the second game interrupted by lightning, which is about Mark Sanchez’s only excuse for his terrible play. Every time I heard an expert say that Mark Sanchez was going to have a great year, I tried to remember if there was something from the 2009 season that missed, but stats show that he was only the 23rd best QB in the league last year in terms of yardage, and 28th in terms of rating. Well that undoubtedly showed in their game against the Ravens as Sanchez looked confused, hesitant, and downright terrible. The Ravens have a good defense, but Sanchez made everyone look like Pro-Bowlers out there. Let’s not take anything away from the Ravens though, they did just enough to win and newcomer Anquan Boldin had an amazing game despite being shut out of the endzone.
The last game of the week featured the perennial AFC West champion Chargers against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs. Well after last night’s performance, this division is turned upside down. The Chiefs showed that they could do it on offense, defense, and special teams on their way to victory. Philip Rivers looked both good and bad throughout the game and the offense had a lot of trouble syncing. I don’t think that is even because of the absence of Vincent Jackson either – this team just didn’t look ready. Ryan Matthews made rookie mistake after rookie mistake and the Chiefs defense never allowed the Chargers to get into a rhythm.