NFL Top 10 True/False Statements: Week 1 Edition

Bryn SwartzSenior Writer IIISeptember 12, 2013

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 5: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

1. The Pittsburgh Steelers are in serious trouble in the AFC North.

You can't deny this after their embarrassing Week 1 showing against the Tennessee Titans. I think the Steelers have a much better chance of finishing in last place in the AFC North than making the postseason, especially with the strengths of the other teams in the division.

The Steelers are in disarray right now. Le'Veon Bell is injured, and Isaac Redman looked brutal starting in his place. Larry Foote is out for the year. And the most crushing blow is the season-ending ACL injury to Maurkice Pouncey, a player who is almost as important to their offense as Ben Roethlisberger.

Mike Tomlin has missed the playoffs just twice in six seasons. That's as many times as he's appeared in the Super Bowl. If he misses the postseason again, he could find his seat getting just a little bit warmer in 2014.



2. Mike Wallace has all the makings of a free-agent bust.

What a surprise. Mike Wallace isn't living up to his big free-agent contract. It's only been one game, but the Dolphins' top wide receiver couldn't have been more of a disaster in his opening game in a Miami uniform.

He caught just one pass and complained after the game to reporters about not getting the ball more often. And this was in a game that Miami won. Imagine how he'll be when the team loses. 

You could not have scripted a more disastrous debut.



3. Chip Kelly's offense is legitimate.

That was something special Chip Kelly showed the world in his coaching debut on Monday night. Michael Vick combined for three touchdowns in the first half. LeSean McCoy rushed for 184 yards. DeSean Jackson caught seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. And the Eagles ran 53 plays in the first half. 

I'm not buying the hype for the Eagles as a playoff team, largely because of their defense. But I don't see a single argument for Kelly's offense failing in the National Football League. The Eagles will never be out of any game this season with Kelly running the show. 



4. RGIII is in for a lost year. 

Robert Griffin III looked lost on Monday night. He looked scared and timid. He was knocked around by the Eagles defense. And he couldn't lead the Redskins to any points until the end of the third quarter, when the Eagles led by more than four scores. 

That being said, I am still predicting that the Redskins win the NFC East this season. Of course RGIII looked skittish. He never played in the preseason. He's recovering from a torn ACL. 

He might not turn in a year quite as special as his rookie season, but he's a really good quarterback, and he has a bright future in this league. I expect him to hit his groove by the end of the month. By the start of the playoffs, the Redskins should have as much chance as anyone at competing for a Super Bowl title. 



5. Mike McCoy clearly hasn't fixed Philip Rivers.

Philip Rivers threw a game-tying interception touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans in Week 1. Clearly, he hasn't been fixed, despite new head coach Mike McCoy's previous success with Denver Broncos quarterbacks (Tim Tebow in 2011 and Peyton Manning in 2012).

That couldn't be further from the truth. Rivers threw four touchdowns before his game-tying interception. Sure, he didn't play well in the fourth quarter, but he still had a triple-digit passer rating from the game. 

Let's give McCoy and Rivers a few more games, or maybe an entire season, before determining whether Rivers has been fixed. 



6. Another lost year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers' defense did a tremendous job against the Seattle Seahawks, holding Russell Wilson and company to just 12 points. But Cam Newton and the rest of the Panthers scored just a single touchdown, leading to a loss. Clearly, this is the same Panthers team that has struggled in one-score games over the past two seasons. 

Or not. Cam Newton played well. He threw a touchdown without an interception and added 38 rushing yards on five attempts. It doesn't help when your starting running back fumbles twice.

The Panthers have done nothing to surround Newton with a solid supporting cast. He's a one-man offense with one weapon to throw to, but Steve Smith can't produce forever. 

Enter Carolina's defense. With young players like Luke Kuechly and Greg Hardy, the Panthers have the talent at quarterback and on defense to at least compete for a playoff berth in the competitive NFC South. They're a true sleeper. They just need to start winning close games. 



7. The Baltimore Ravens were clearly exposed.

Talk about a revenge game for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, who thrashed the defending Super Bowl champions in the season opener. Manning tied a single-game NFL record with seven touchdown passes, and the Broncos' defense intercepted Joe Flacco twice.

Without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, can the Ravens even compete this season? You bet they can. Rookies Matt Elam and Arthur Brown will play better than a pair of aging veterans.

The potential demise of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the inability of the Cleveland Browns to develop Brandon Weeden into even a competent starting quarterback could make the Baltimore Ravens a serious contender in the AFC North. 



8. David Wilson is not the franchise running back in New York. 

With no Ahmad Bradshaw in New York, the time is now for last year's first-round pick David Wilson to shine. That didn't happen against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, as Wilson fumbled twice before he was benched for Da'Rel Scott.

Wilson was in Tom Coughlin's doghouse for fumbling in the season opener in 2012 as well. But this time is different. The Giants don't have a solid backup running back, as Andre Brown has a broken leg. Veteran Brandon Jacobs was just signed, but he shouldn't take carries away from Wilson.

Wilson has a bright future in this league. He just needs to cure his fumbling issues. Coughlin fixed Tiki Barber. He can do the same with Wilson. 



9. Reggie Bush is a perfect fit in Detroit.

Talk about a dream debut game for Reggie Bush in Detroit. The former Heisman Trophy winner carried 21 times for 90 yards and caught four passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. 

With a quarterback who set the single-season record for pass attempts in 2012, Bush could catch 100 passes in 2013, something that's only been accomplished by two other running backs (Larry Centers in 1995 and LaDainian Tomlinson in 2003). Oh, and he could also add 1,000 yards on the ground. 



10. Quarterbacks are the best they've ever been.

The first week of the NFL season produced 63 passing touchdowns. That's the most ever in a single week in the NFL. 

Peyton Manning and Eli Manning both threw for 450 yards. Colin Kaepernick topped 400. A total of 12 quarterbacks topped 300 yards and 19 passed 250. 

If running backs continue to struggle like they did in Week 1, passing numbers will be through the roof this season. But with the ridiculous amount of talented quarterbacks currently playing in this league, don't expect anything to change.