NFL Week 1: The Top Eight Things We Learned
While the action is still in progress on Monday Night Football, the NFL's first weekend is officially over, and what a great weekend it was. There were plenty of thrillers, stellar rookie debuts and inconceivable upsets abound.
Let's take a look at some of the highlights.
The Jaguars Could Actually Go 0-16
When you take a look at the Jaguars' schedule, the future doesn't look very bright.
The Minnesota Vikings were suppose to be the one team the Jags were going to be able to beat, but they fell short. On the back of a rejuvenated and clearly very healthy Adrian Peterson, the lowly Vikings edged out a win against Jacksonville in overtime.
Will the Jags possibly go 0-16?
Probably not. They'll take one of two from Indy and might be able to take out Miami later in the season, but it's not unreasonable to believe that the Jaguars are on a path to a first overall draft selection, which they desperately need to rebuild their moribund franchise.
RG3 Was Even Better Than Advertised
Those who labeled us doubters or haters of RG3 were all smiles yesterday.
Wow, was this kid good.
RG3 went into the New Orleans Superdome and manhandled the Saints and out dueled Drew Brees, the single-season record holder for most passing yards.
Griffin had the second most passing yards of all time for a rookie debut, wedged in-between Cam Newton's performance last year and Peyton Manning's first game.
The difference between RG3 and the other guys? He won.
Give credit to the Redskins' defense for shutting down any semblance of a Saints' running game.
Nobody is going to deny Brees his seemingly standard 300 plus yards passing, but in making the Saints one dimensional, the Redskins' defense definitely earns some credit.
Tennessee Might Have the Worst Coach in the NFL Right Now
The Tennessee Titans put up 20 total yards of rushing against the New England Patriots.
How is that even possible?
When Jeff Fisher left for St. Louis everybody knew that filling the shoes of the longest single-team tenured coach in the NFL was going to be no easy task but new coach Mike Munchak really blew this one.
Tom Brady and second year running back Stevan Ridley made a joke out of the Titans in what was easily one of the most unwatchable games this past Sunday.
Tennessee has San Diego, Detroit and Houston for their next three games. Unless the Chargers can reverse their culture of first half failures, expect the Titans to go 0-4 before they face the Vikings on Week 5.
Atlanta Cannot Be Overlooked as a Serious NFC Contender
The Chiefs are not a bad team, but Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons made them look horrible.
When you have Julio Jones and Roddy White as your starters, you are going to throw a lot of touchdowns, and that is exactly what we must expect from the Atlanta Falcons this season. With a potential juggernaut offensive lineup, the Falcons are going to put up serious points no matter who they face.
With teams like San Francisco, Green Bay and Philadelphia getting automatic Superbowl bids in the minds of fans, Atlanta is somehow left out of the conversation when we talk about which two teams are going to be in the NFC Championship game.
The Falcons face the Denver Broncos next Monday night in what should be a very entertaining shootout.
The Media Pressure Finally Got to the Jets, in a Good Way
Avoiding a week-long quarterback controversy in New York was almost as important as actually winning the game.
The new and improved Bills were suppose to take this one easily and the Jets were going to be licking their wounds all week long, but that was not the case.
Other than the occasional conspiracy nut, and maybe a few fanboys, nobody will be talking about Tim Tebow 'til at least next Monday.
If Sanchez even comes close to playing as well as he did Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers next week, Tebow probably won't be mentioned for the first half of the season.
Mark Sanchez's performance proved to everyone that he is above the pressure the media puts on him and that he is much better than the undeserved criticism that he receives.
Either the Lions Aren't That Good or the Rams Aren't That Bad
This one wasn't even suppose to be close.
Calvin Johnson, the best wide receiver if not the best offensive player in the league, had a subpar, by his standards, 111 yard game with one score and Matthew Stafford was off all night, throwing three picks.
The difference in the game was Cortland Finnegan's pick-six which gave the Rams their second lead of the game.
Bradford put on a pedestrian performance, which, sadly, we've all come to expect from him.
The Rams just weren't good enough to pull off the massive upset, but this game wasn't about St. Louis, it was about Detroit and how this young team full of future superstars was suppose to casually walk away with a win. How will the closer than expected result affect the teams going forward?
The Steelers Can't Run the Ball
When Todd Haley replaced Bruce Arians as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator, the mantra around town was "run the ball".
In their opener against Denver, the Steelers rushed for a total of 75 yards, and nobody really stood out as a viable replacement for injured back Rashard Mendenhall.
The blame isn't completely on the running committee of Pittsburgh however.
Steelers fans got to see their offensive lineman drop like zombies, a sight everyone in Steel town has been all too used to since 2006.
After first round pick David DeCastro was injured in the preseason, the makeshift line for Ben Roethlisberger had to begin anew.
The Steelers' running game was atrocious and was only able to break the defensive line of the Broncos a handful of times, resulting in gains, but insignificant ones.
Mendenhall, who has lost the hearts and minds of many Steelers fans after his Superbowl fumble and off-the-field comments, is going to be welcomed back with open arms next week.
San Francisco Did the Impossible
For a second season in a row, the Green Bay Packers were crowned Superbowl Champions without even having played a down in a regular season game.
San Francisco's defense brought all the pundits back down to Earth after their fierce and stifling defense contained Aaron Rodgers and his corps of elite receivers.
If you're saying "Contained? Rodgers threw for 300 yards!" you are, in a way, correct, but the 49ers were able to make a good situation out of what could have, and probably should have been, horrific for a Niners' secondary playing on the road.
How did they do it?
They made the Packers even more one-dimensional then they already were.
The Packers' top rusher?
Aaron Rodgers with 27 yards worth of scrambling.
After holding the Packers to less than 350 yards of total offense, San Francisco's confidence is at an all-time high. What's truly scary about this team is that they now have the confidence to go and impose their will upon any team in the league.
Out of all 28 teams that played previous to Monday night, the 49ers were without a doubt the most complete squad.
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