NFL's Sunday Surprises

Craig Garrison SrSenior Analyst ISeptember 8, 2008

With the NFL's first Sunday in the books, I thought I'd throw out a few things that surprised me.


Tom Brady

No. 1 has to be the injury to Tom Brady. One of the NFL's iron men, Brady hasn't actually missed a game since 2001. He has shown not just toughness, but also that the football Gods are with him. Reportedly, Brady is done for the season with a "serious knee-injury."


How 'bout them Falcons?!

That's right, the Atlanta Falcons showed that they just may be players in the NFC South after all. With free-agent running back Michael Turner proving that he is indeed capable of carrying the load, with a Falcons' franchise record-setting day, 220 yards on only 22 carries.

Rookie quarterback Matt Ryan was not to be outdone completely though, finishing the game nine-of-13 with a touchdown and no interceptions.


How 'bout them Bills?!

Oh yeah, the Bills also proved that they are for real, making the Seattle Seahawks wonder "what the hell just happened?"

The Bills sacked Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck five times, pressuring him into a poor performance—17-of-41 with 190 yards, a touchdown, and one interception.

Bills' quarterback Trent Edwards did what he needed to do, play solid, if not spectacular, finishing 19-of-30, for 219 yards and a touchdown. Bills' Head Coach Dick Jauron also showed some "risky" behavior, calling a fake field goal late in the third quarter, perfectly executed by punter Brian Moorman and resulting in a touchdown.

While it's no real surprise that the Chicago Bears' defense played well against the Indianapolis Colts, holding the Colts' offense to under 300 yards of total offense, it was a surprise that the Bears' offense was able to control the game as well as they did.

Bears quarterback Kyle Orton had an "efficient" outing, completing 13 passes in only 21 attempts, with no turnovers. The Bears also showed that rookie Matt Forte just may be the answer at running back they've been looking for.

A few more quick hits:

  • The Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars finishing with under 200 yards total offense...HUH?
  • The Falcons finished the day third in the league in total offense with a whopping 474 yards from scrimmage...HUH?
  • Philadelphia Eagles' rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson, is he the guy the Eagles have been looking for?
  • Ex-Cowboy and current Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano, the best tight end in the league...HUH?
  • Every home team won among the "early" games except for one, the Miami Dolphins (the Dolphins losing was not the surprise here), OK.
  • Every home team LOST in the "late" games...HUH?

And so the NFL's first Sunday of football comes to an end, and what a Sunday it was.

What were your biggest surprises?