Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NFL Week 1 Review

Back here for my Week 1 Review. Some close games, some blow outs, and some head scratchers in Week 1. Same type of review as last year, but I'm holding off doing any type of Power Rankings until after Week 4, by then we should know who is for real and who isn't.

Team of the Week: Baltimore Ravens
-Talk about starting the season with a statement. The Ravens are my Super Bowl pick, and I wanted to see in Week 1 that they could finally shake the curse that is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well, they not only got rid of the curse, but they buried it 6 feet under and put some concrete over it. The Ravens dominated the Steelers in every facet of the game. They forced the Steelers into as many points as they had turnovers (7), Ray Rice ran all over the stout Steelers defense, and Joe Flacco finally shed the "Can't Beat the Steelers" tag he's had his whole career. If the Ravens can keep up this play the whole year, there's no reason to think they won't finally win the AFC North this year.

Game of the Week: Green Bay 42  New Orleans 34
-While there were some close games this week, nothing really topped the opener. Who doesn't love a high scoring game? The Packers looked like the Super Bowl Champs from last year. Despite the close score the Pack looked dominant on both sides of the ball, out playing the Saints for pretty much the entire game. I think these two teams showed that they are the class of the NFC this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see these two match up in late January. The Saints suffered a blow, losing WR Marques Colston for at least a month. But Drew Brees has enough weapons that he should be fine. But the Packers offense is good, scary good. It will be tough for anyone to stop them this year.

Goat of the Week: Tony Romo, QB Dallas Cowboys
-The Cowboys should have won this game. There's no questions about that. It all comes back to Tony Romo. Romo should have either thrown the ball out of the end zone on 3rd down, or taken a sack and settled for the field goal. And I have no idea why Romo made that throw that was intercepted by Darelle Revis. Even if Dez Bryant ran the wrong route, he still shouldn't have made that throw. Romo should have read that and held back, or again thrown it away. All of his WRs were covered. If the Cowboys don't improve this year, there will be some people questioning whether Romo should be brought back next year. He's his own worst enemy. Romo needs to step up his game, otherwise Cowboys fans will be letting him hear it very soon.

Other Week 1 Thoughts
-Hey, where did that performance by my Bills come from? The offense looked like a machine out there. And the defense played one of their best games as a unit in recent memory. Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to be at home in Chan Gailey's offensive scheme. Fred Jackson just can't be brought down at all. And how about Scott Chandler? I have no idea who this guy is, but now I want to buy his jersey. I'm not getting too over-excited yet. The Bills play the Raiders next week, who will be traveling cross country and coming off a short week. Win that one, then they have the Patriots at home. Lets see how they do there.

-You have to feel bad for the Rams. They have an array of injuries after their loss to Philadelphia this week. Sam Bradford should be ok after an injury to his finger. But Steven Jackson is out a week or two, and Danny Amendola is out for probably an extended period of time with a dislocated left elbow. The Rams were a sexy pick to win the NFC West this year, and with the amount of injuries they have, added on to a rough opening schedule, could put the Rams in a hole they won't be able to get out of.

-Uh, Colts fans better hope this won't be the norm in "Life Without Peyton Manning." The entire team looked lost out there in the ass-whooping they received at the hands of the Texans. Some of it might have just been the pressure getting to him, but Kerry Collins looked like a rookie playing his first game. While the Texans are better than they were last year, the Colts aren't that bad. But they need to right the ship quickly. I don't buy the fact that they will be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes in next year's Draft, because they are not the worst team in the league. I still think the Colts right the ship soon. Maybe not enough to make the playoffs, but enough to finish with 6-9 wins.

-I'm not crowning Cam Newton yet, but he looked mighty impressive yesterday against Arizona. 422 yards, 2 TDs, another one running. That's very impressive even if it was against a mediocre Cardinals defense. It may still be a long season for Panthers fans, especially with star LB Jon Beason reportedly suffering a torn Achilles tendon, but the offense should be fun to watch. I had my doubts about Cam Newton as an NFL QB, but if he even plays half as well as he did yesterday, he should be fine in the NFL.

-Did Matt Ryan and the Falcons forget the season started yesterday? I thought that game would be the complete opposite yesterday. I said I was down on the Bears this year, and then they go out and shut down one of the best offenses in football, and Jay Cutler looked good. The NFC North race may be the most interesting race come late in the season. The Packers, Lions, and Bears all should contend for a playoff berth this year. The Lions showed how good they can be if everyone stays healthy. The Vikings? Well I'm sure that's not how Donovan McNabb saw his first game as a Viking going. 38 passing yards? I think I could do better than that, with no NFL experience whatsoever.

-Tom Brady must have been mad Monday night. Everyone was talking about how Cam Newton threw for more yards in his first game than Tom Brady had in any game of his NFL career. So what did Brady do? Throw for 511 yards, including a 99 yard TD to Wes Welker. The Patriots offense looks just as scary as it has in the past, and they didn't even use Chad Ochocinco. The TE combo of Dan Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez is one of the best I've seen in quite some time.
Hey, I'm Just Sayin....
-Does Todd Haley regret firing Chan Gailey now?

-Does anyone on the Steelers defense still think Joe Flacco can't play QB?

-Hey Pete Carroll, is Tavaris Jackson still the solution for your QB situation?

-Looks like you're really not needed after all, Carson Palmer.

-Did Tony Sparano's shades stop him from seeing the 2nd half of the game last night?

-Broncos fans chanting for Tim Tebow? They're better off chanting for Jake Plummer.

Like I said, no full Power Rankings yet. But here are my Top 5 & Bottom 5:
Top Five
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. New England Patriots
4. Houston Texans
5. Chicago Bears

Bottom Five
28. Seattle Seahawks
29. Pittsburgh Steelers
30. Denver Broncos
31. Indianapolis Colts
32. Kansas City Chiefs

Three Games I'd Like to See Next Week:
Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints: Can the Bears stop another high powered offense?
Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons: Mike Vick against his former team. Can the Falcons rebound?
San Diego Chargers vs New England Patriots: Chargers can't fall behind early in Foxboro.

That's all for my Week 1 Review. WWE Night of Champions Preview Thursday night.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

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