A new feature here this year is going to be a weekly what to like and what not to like about the previous NFL weekend. In week one there were 16 games, which means 16 winners and 16 losers. So I’m going to give you 16 things I liked and 16 I didn’t with a twist.
The twist? Just because your team won doesn’t mean they’ll be in the 16 things I liked grouping. The list is also in no particular order.
Things I Liked About Week One
Tennessee Defensive Line – Everyone, including myself, expected this unit to drop a level after losing Albert Haynesworth. Well that wasn’t the case as they completely handled the Steelers’ offensive line by shutting down the running game and frequently getting to Ben Roethlisberger.
Baltimore’s Offense – All you can say is wow about these guys. 38 points? Really? They scored 30 a few times in 2008 but I thought that was just the lightning in the bottle they caught with Joe Flacco. If this happens again next week, opposing teams better start worrying about this offense as much as they do the defense.
New York Giant defensive and offensive lines – Both units dominated the Washington Redskins. The offensive line made Haynesworth a complete after thought. While the defensive line caused 3 sacks, 2 fumbles, 1 fumble returned for a touchdown and pressured Jason Campbell into throwing his 1 interception.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots QB – Brady struggled early, who wouldn’t after missing 53 weeks. In the 4th quarter he regained his composure and form leading the team to a come from behind win. He showed why he’s the one who makes the Patriots offense what they are.
Atlanta Defense – The Falcons were the first team of which I think will be many too completely shut down the Miami Dolphins Wildcat offense. Guarantee you other coordinators are already implementing that blueprint.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys QB – This is a huge year for Tony Romo, his career has been riddled with playoff failures and even missing the playoffs, while having off the field distractions. Romo had to come out in Week One and silence some of his critics and he did that in a big way. I just wonder if he can keep it up.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts WR – Wayne had a huge opening week, 10 catchers for 162 yards and a touchdown. Expect a lot of that this season.
New Orleans offense – Yes, I know it was against the Detroit Lions but they completely throttled the Lions and without their top running back, Pierre Thomas. This offense could be scarier then any of us thought.
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets QB – Sanchez played like a veteran taking his team on the road and beating a possible playoff team in the Houston Texans. He limited his mistakes only one interception and utilized his playmakers. Nice debut.
San Francisco defense – Were the Arizona Cardinals really in last years’ Super Bowl? No really, I’m serious cause the Niners defense made them look like they won’t even be playoff contenders.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings RB – Peterson had a huge week one, 25 carries for 180 yards and three touchdowns. His presence will be what keeps Brett Favre healthy for an entire season and makes them a contender in the NFC.
Kansas City offense – The Chiefs put up points on the vaunted Ravens defense and did so with Brodie Croyle at quarterback. I wonder how good this offense will be once Matt Cassel takes over.
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks QB – The Seahawks finally have their QB at 100% health and showed that he can still lead a team. The ‘Hawks offense looked well rounded and should be able to keep that up, if he stays healthy.
Trent Edwards, Buffalo Bills QB – Edwards melted some down the stretch against the Patriots, but looked very good early on running the No Huddle offense. If the team keeps using that strategy and he throws to Terrell Owens a little more, he could have a breakout season.
Richard Seymour, Oakland Raiders DL – What a trade for the Raiders. They make a trade and player almost refuses to show up. Seymour shows up Saturday and plays on Monday with no practice. The results 2 sacks and 3 tackles. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and wants to make the Pats regret the move, it’s why I’m keeping him listed as my predicted 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns QB – Quinn did a decent job managing the Browns offense against a very tough Minnesota defense. Once Jamal Lewis gets going against the weaker run defenses it should help Brady settle down and his numbers go up.
Now it’s time for the things I didn’t like in Week One.
Philadelphia Eagles QB Situation – Losing McNabb for even just one week is a blow but signing Jeff Garcia could wind up a blow to team chemistry if McNabb is out longer.
Pittsburgh offensive line – The offensive line looked absolutely horrendous Thursday night. The running game couldn’t get going and Big Ben was getting his clocked cleaned, hmm lot like last year. They’re going to have to be better then last year thou if they want to repeat.
Green Bay offense – Yes, Aaron Rodgers led the team for a last minute touchdown but where was that all game. Any time your defense causes four interceptions (three of which Rodgers led the team after) you got to put points on the board. Two picks were followed by 3 and outs, the other had a 1-yard touchdown but Rodgers gets no credit they only had 1 yard to go.
San Diego offense – This was another offense struggled mightily, whats even worse is it was against inferior competition, the Raiders. Once they get their running game figured out I think things will get better. So is it LT or Sproles?
Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals as a whole played like they did in the preseason, like they had nothing to prove. They played like it was still practice, there’s no urgency, there’s no life. Do they think that their careers are complete now that they been to the Super Bowl?
Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears LB – I hate to see any player get injured, but I’ve always liked Urlacher. He plays the game like the Bears linebackers of yester years. This is a huge blow to their defense.
Washington passing attack – Jason Campbell looked good at times Sunday, he put up some solid numbers but looked pretty lost whenever he needed to truly make a play. I don’t care what anyone says about this improving Redskins passing attack, it looks like the same shit they’ve put on the field the past few years.
Miami’s Wildcat Offense – I’ve been telling people for weeks this year the Dolphins will struggle, especially when a team finally blows up the Wildcat. Well Atlanta did it in week one and the Dolphins had no answer. Their offense is created too much around a gimmick and as long as that’s the case we’ll see more of the same.
David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars QB – The defense and running game were superb Sunday, the passing game was not. That’s why they lost.
Carolina QBs – Carolina is in a huge mess at quarterback after having to go to their third stringer. All three were horrible while in the game. Can A.J. Feeley move up the charts quick?
Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals – Spectacular play to finish the game but before that has anyone seen a worse football game ever?
Houston Texans – This was a team that many thought could contend for a playoff berth. They looked like the same Texans against the Jets too me. That means about .500
Tampa Bay defense – Their defense has been known as one of the best for many years, so what happened Sunday? Tony Romo shredded that secondary like it was the Lions out there.
St. Louis Rams - I know they’re going to struggle to score points this year, but a shutout?
Detroit Lions defense – The offense looked ok under Matthew Stafford, yes he threw three picks, but they were getting killed he was forced to chuck the ball the whole time. Once they get Kevin Smith involved and balance that offense they should be able to score points. The problem? THE DEFENSE!! or better yet lack of. Minus a weak penalty call on New Orleans they would of gave up 50+ points.
There ya go, that’s what I liked and didn’t like about Week One in the NFL. What are your opinions?
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