NFL Week 1 Monday Night Recap

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after LaDainian Tomlinson #21 scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

What a doubleheader of Monday Night Football that we were all treated to tonight. Two great games that went down to the wire. We all thought we were going to see two upsets, but in the end, the favorites prevailed. Tom Brady and Philip Rivers, two of the fantasy studs in these games, led their teams to victory when it mattered most, and most importantly for everybody reading this article, salvaged their fantasy performances. Let’s take a look at tonight’s contests.

New England Patriots 26 vs. Buffalo Bills 25

First and foremost, you have to tip your hat to Fred Jackson. For those of you who took a chance on him and plugged him into your lineup, you were rewarded as he gave you 140 total yards and a touchdown. Just remember, Marshawn Lynch will be back in a few weeks, but Jackson gets the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints, both at home, before Lynch returns. The only thing quieter than Terrell Owensmouth tonight was his game. Owens finished with a quiet two catches for 46 yards. He won’t always be that bad, but it’s a sign that maybe the Buffalo Bills are going to struggle this year. His counterpart, Randy Moss put up 141 yards receiving. He didn’t find the endzone, but you can’t complain about the yardage. Wes Welker, like Moss, recorded 12 catches for 93 yards. But it was Ben Watson who stole the show with Tom Brady. I’m sure all Brady owners were grinding their teeth at that fact that 2009 didn’t start like 2007 for the New England Patriots. Brady finally pulled through in the end with two scores. Just as a reminder to all those Brady and Moss owners out there, you can’t expect the Patriots to do exactly what they did in 2007, but those two should still celebrate many touchdowns this season.

San Diego Chargers 24  @ Oakland Raiders 20

We have to begin this game with LaDainian Tomlinson. Nevermind the fact that although he punched in a one-yard touchdown, he only mustered 55 yards on 13 carries. Here’s the most alarming factor about LT in this game. When the San Diego Chargers were driving for the game-winning score, LT…was on the sidelines. That had to frustrate LT’s fantasy owners. While he did produce respectable fantasy numbres, he was facing the Oakland Raiders, a team that he used to own.The Raiders’ running game was clicking well in the first half. Darren McFadden had 68 yards on the ground, while Michael Bush had 55 and a score. McFadden was running strong and should have a good year if he stays healthy. Besides Zach Miller, Oakland’s leading receiver tonight with 6 catches for 96 yards, it doesn’t look like there are any real enticing fantasy players in the Raiders’ passing game thus far. But we’ll see how JaMarcus Russell does and maybe a receiver will emerge as his go-to guy.Philip Rivers connected with Vincent Jackson for their first score of 2009. Big things are expected of Jackson this year, as Chris Chambers has apparently disappeared from this passing game. Antonio Gates was San Diego’s leading receiver with 5 catches for 83 yards. As long as he stays healthy, Gates is in line for another big year.