Direct Snaps: Wes Welker Impresses, Alex Barron Depresses, and Other Insights

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Direct Snaps: Wes Welker Impresses, Alex Barron Depresses, and Other Insights
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Patriots WR Wes Welker made an impressive return Sunday.

If you're looking for Tuesday Morning Running Back, you've found it, but it's under a different name.

Allow me to explain.

I decided to reformat this column for two reasons:

1. The old column took me almost two hours to write every week.

2. Peter King could sue me for plagiarism.

Simply put, I no longer have the time to comment on every game and watch highlights every week. However, I still wanted a format to vent my frustrations about pro football and life in general.

While King's style is still going to be a major influence on these articles, I felt it was unfair to him for me to use the exact same title of his column, albeit with a different day and offensive position in my title.

In short, I'm covering my behind.

So what you will see here is a redone version of the old column with new wrinkles.

Gone are the long introductions and bullet points that really amount to nothing.

In their place are sections and numbers that will allow me to cut down on my writing time and give the piece more structure.

If you're a longtime reader, I'm glad to have you back. If you're a newbie, I hope you like what you see and come back every Tuesday from now until the Super Bowl.

Now that I've removed myself from the soapbox, it's time to analyze Week 1 in the NFL.

 

Five Things That Impressed Me

1. Wes Welker and E.J. Henderson returning from injuries

Welker came back from a torn ACL to score two touchdowns in the Patriots' win over the Bengals, while Henderson returned from a broken femur that left him incapacitated for a couple months to record nine tackles for the Vikings. Both men are warriors who fought their way back much sooner than expected.

 

2. Arian Foster

The one-man wrecking crew destroyed the Colts defense to the tune of 231 rushing yards in a surprise Texans victory. Thanks to him, we don't have to hear the media obsess over another potential perfect season by the Colts.

 

3. The Seahawks

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought Pete Carroll's return to the NFL would be as successful as it was. The Seahawks dominated the projected NFC West champion 49ers 31-6.

 

4. Carl Nicks

The Saints left guard's block on the team's second touchdown was impressive because it opened a hole and he flattened his defender like a pancake.

 

5. Jordan Shipley

He's the most underrated of the Bengals' wide receivers. He caught a 52-yard Hail Mary from Carson Palmer on the final play of the first half when Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco were already in the locker room. He has the talent to make Cincinnati even more dangerous offensively.

 

Five Things That Depressed Me

1. Alex Barron

The Cowboys offensive lineman was whistled for three holding penalties in the last 31 minutes Sunday night, the most costly of which cost the Cowboys a game-winning touchdown. Did I mention that Barron has been whistled for more holding calls than anyone in the league over the last five years and that he's a backup? Perhaps he needs to go down to the UFL to prove he's competent enough to handle the pressure.

 

2. The officials in the Lions-Bears game

Okay, there has to be a gray area in the rule somewhere. You mean to tell me that Calvin Johnson had to maintain control of the ball after he hit the ground? That doesn't make any sense. As far as I'm concerned, that's a touchdown even if the ground caused Johnson to lose control. He was already in the end zone anyway.

 

3. Kevin Kolb

It took him 26 minutes to complete a pass, and he only threw for 24 yards before he suffered a concussion. Be that as it may, I'd still start him over Michael Vick next week simply because the Eagles believed in his ability enough to trade their franchise quarterback. It wouldn't be fair to give up on him this quickly.

 

4. Ryan Mathews

The media geniuses, including the aforementioned Mr. King, said this guy was a can't miss power runner. Being the idiot I am, I believed them and drafted him for my fantasy team. Well, after only rushing for 75 yards and losing a fumble, we both have eggs on our faces this morning.

 

5. The Bay Area teams

The Niners got smoked by Seattle, and the Raiders allowed 205 rushing yards and allowed a historically inaccurate passer in Vince Young to complete 76 percent of his throws. There has to be a bright side after this.

 

Miscellaneous Thoughts

1. In taking time to complain about the level of respect he feels he has in Foxborough, Randy Moss clearly took a page out of Manny Ramirez' book.

2. I wish Tony Siragusa would go away.

3. Ditto Rodney Harrison. It was a mistake not to retain Keith Olbermann on Football Night in America because now it gives Harrison more time to be a loudmouth.

4. I loved the hat Wes Welker had on during his postgame press conference. Was he planning to go golfing or hit the early bird special?

5. I'm more interested in the NL West race than the Red Sox right now.

6. Jackie Evancho will not win America's Got Talent because she doesn't need to. She will be more successful than anyone else on that show.

7. I wish I had a Buffalo Wild Wings near me. The commercial makes it seem like such a happening place.

8. Thank you to the Cubs fans who laughed at my threat to drop Alfonso Soriano from my fantasy team this summer. You really made a tourist feel welcome.

9. If I had Oprah's money, I'd charter a plane to every NFL and MLB stadium. Never mind down under.

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