By Will Stevenson
Welcome back NFL!
Sunday provided NFL fans something we’ve all been waiting for since the Superbowl in February; Excitement with real-live, on the field action. With the Thursday Night game coming down to the wire with a missed field goal by the Panthers, the close games continued throughout Sunday’s schedule. Some teams stayed the same, while others game us a delicate surprise.
Cowboys vs Giants
Dak Prescott committed no turnovers Sunday evening which is more than what the Cowboys fans could’ve hoped for. The running game was not as explosive against the Giants defense with Ezekiel Elliot and Morris, but they kept the game close and had a chance to go for the game-winning field goal in the last seconds. You saw what happened. Stephen A. Smith can’t blame this one on Tony Romo.
The Giants got a lift from Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul and their effect offensively and defensively made the difference in the Giants victory. That being said, it wouldn’t have mattered if the Cowboys didn’t go Full-Cowboy in the final seconds, but with that being said the Giants needed every catch and every pressure.
Lions vs Colts
It was a somewhat revenge game for coach Caldwell and the Lions as they were able to pull off a win in the final minutes against the Colts. Andrew Luck was his usual self, and their defense was the same old Colts that keep them from doing much in the playoffs. The Lions were able to go up and down the field, and without Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford was able to find his new targets and spread the ball around the field. With Abdullah and Riddick in the backfield, the Lions may challenge for the North crown. Offensively.
Eagles vs Browns
I know it’s only Week 1, but why not be excited while you can. We all know the Browns are a work in progress and they aren’t the strongest of competition, but it is the NFL and all it takes are a few blown assignments and you can be on the wrong side of a blowout. Carson Wentz has given the Eagles fan base hope for one week at the least as he looked poised in the pocket throwing for a couple of touchdowns.
Robert Griffin III struggled for most of the game and ended up injured in the end. It’s Cleveland.
Falcons vs Buccaneers
The Falcons seem to be headed in a downward spiral as their redzone struggles continued Sunday afternoon. Their tackling was abissmal to say the least and their coverage on Mike Evans left something to be desired.
The Bucs and Jameis Winston seem to be trending up after their victory against the Falcons as the torched their defense throughout the day with their receiving core and made key runs in the 4th quarter to keep them at bay.
Saints vs The Raiders
The Saints have a passing attack. The Saints have no defense. The Saints lose at home. These three things are very familiar to the Saints fanbase as they once again struggle to keep another team out of the endzone on their home turf. Brees will be at the top of the league in passing yards, but if their defense does not improve, look for another losing season under the great Sean Payton.
Onions. Pure Onions. If you were able to listen to the telecast, you were able to here the disgust and second guessing as the Raiders began to line up for the 2pt conversion after scoring a touchdown that had them down by one point in the final seconds. The Raiders need this play, whether they lost the game or not. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. On the road, young team, and you go for the win, and you actually get the win. It’s only one week, but that’s one win that could’ve been a loss in overtime.
Chiefs vs Chargers
Oh look, another passing offense with no defense. Well what else is new for the Chargers? The gave up a 21 point lead to the Chiefs on the road as they allowed Alex Smith to look like he was back at Utah. And Keenan Allen may be done for the season; Sometimes you just can’t catch a break in this league.
For the Chiefs, we know they will flail in the playoffs. We know they will pull off wins during this regular season as they flame out offensively this postseason. This is Week 1, and it’s great to get a division win agaisnt a rival after being manhandled in the first half.
Seahawks vs Dolphins
What a stinker. Now, Ryan Tannehill was actually allowed to throw the ball downfield, but he kept coming up short as he forced throws to Kenny Stills. The Dolphins defense was very good against the Seahawks, but they couldn’t muster up enough offense to win the game. What else is new.
Russell Wilson looked out of sorts all through the game even before his ankle injury. He made key throws to Baldwin, Miller and Kearse, but it was the defense that showed themselves to be dominant Sunday Afternoon
Jets vs Bengals
When Ryan Fitzpatrick is your quarterback, you need your defense to keep the oppsing offense out of the endzone. Poor Darelle Revis. Life comes at you fast.
The Bengals passing offense led them to their victory, but their running game is soemthing that will need to improve for next week. Or it could just be that the Jets run defense is that good.
Patriots vs Cardinals
The Patriots will struggle because the Cardinals have too many weapons on offense. Well, Jimmy G is looking good and playing good as he Matt Cassel 2.0’s this team to a Week 1 win on the road in primetime. They also got a pretty consistent running game from Legarette Blount as the Patriots did what they always do; Bend, but not break. The Patriots won a game everybody said they would lose while the Bills, Dolphins and Jets did what they always do; stay one step behind the Patriots.
All in all, it was a great Sunday for the NFL. The passing offenses are still ahead, but their are some defenses to be reckoned with. The running game seems to be non existent by any player. The short passing game and precision offense has replaced the running game while teams continue to put up more and more points.
The missing of extra points will continue to make a difference at the end of games as points will be lost in the mix, but will definitely have teams chasing points in the final quarter.
GET OUT OF BOUNDS! Wide receivers stayed in bounds while trying to get extra yards for the field goal team. The Lions made it work, while the Cowboys and Dolphins lost the game. Just get out of bounds and stop the clock.
It’s amazing to watch these teams roll out new players and coaches, implement new schemes during the offseason and still give us the same results every single year. The same defense that can’t stop the run still can’t stop the run. The same teams that can’t throw the ball can’t throw the ball. The same teams that get penalties keep getting penalties.
An interesting year is on the way, but for some fans, it’s the same old song.