Sunday, September 10, 2006

Week 1

Random thoughts about each NFL game from Week One...

Pittsburgh 28, Miami 17
This was a great football game to kickoff the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense makes no one look good, but the Dolphins' offensive line was terrible, as was both Daunte Culpepper and Ronnie Brown. How about Charlie Batch with three touchdowns? I find it interesting how the Steelers' two most recognizable defenders, Troy Polamalu and Joey Porter, both get huge game-changing interceptions. I love big time players making big plays.

Seattle 9, Detroit 6
Yes, I know the score. But despite how much I have been saying Matt Hasselbeck has an opportunity to be great this season, 25/30 for 210 yards impresses me. Darrell Jackson's run after the catch to other side of the field was not only a huge play in the game, but encouraging to see after two knee surgeries. The Seahawk defense contained Mike Martz's offense. This game was closer than it should have been as the Lions blocked two Seahawk field goals. Shaun Alexander (19 carries for 59 yards) was unable to take over in the redzone as he normally does. This is why Seattle's offensive line, which also gave up five sacks, continues to worry me.

Atlanta 20, Carolina 6
The Michael Vick show is back! Warrick Dunn was great as usual, but the Falcons are near-impossible to stop when they are running all over you and Vick throwing two (!) touchdowns. John Abraham was a beast pressuring Jake Delhomme, who was without Steve Smith.

Baltimore 27, Tampa Bay 0
Steve McNair, Derrick Mason, Jamal Lewis, and the Ravens offense looked good as they actually moved the ball. Chris Simms, Cadilacc Williams, and the Buccaneers offense did not.

New England 19, Buffalo 17
The Patriots needed a game-winning safety to overcome a nightmare of a first half. While Buffalo was definitely impressive, no one has good chances against Tom Brady playing catch up.

Cincinnati 23, Kansas City 10
After a nasty hit, Trent Green is doubtful for next week. Without him, the Chiefs are in trouble as defenses will further key on Larry Johnson and his already weakened offensive line.

St. Louis 18, Denver 10
I am not sure whether Jim Haslett has vastly improved the Rams' defense, or whether Jake Plummer just made it seem that way. I give Jake Plummer two more games like this before Mike Shanahan makes the switch to Jay Cutler.

New Orleans 19, Cleveland 14
If you are not rooting for New Orleans, you are just evil. Sean Payton, my prediction for coach of the year, is using Reggie Bush perfectly (141 total yards off of 14 carries, 8 catches, and 3 punt returns). The combination of Bush, Deuce McAllister, and Drew Brees dumping it off to them, will prove to be better than most expect. With a soft schedule and what appears to be a weakening division (2005 Playoff teams Tampa Bay & Carolina lost), the Saints are in position to make some noise this year.

N.Y. Jets 23, Tennessee 16
I like the idea of throwing Vince Young in the second quarter for a drive. He actually looked good and completed his first three passes before taking a shot downfield and getting picked off. Chad Pennington was in control of the game, and was able to starve off an amazing Kerry Collins-led Titan comeback.

Philadelphia 24, Houston 10
David Carr looked a lot better, but still got sacked five times. Andy Reid ran the ball thirty times, setting up Donovon McNabb and the passing game for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Chicago 26, Green Bay 0
I doubt the Packers have ever been shut out at Lambeau. It is going to be another long season for Brett Favre.

Jacksonville 24, Dallas 17
T.O. had six receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys' defense was looking really good, but failed to overcome Bledsoe's 3 interceptions. Remember, the Jaguars made the playoffs last year in a tough conference despite a banged up Byron Leftwich; imagine what they could do if healthy.

Arizona 34, San Franciso 27
Kurt Warner threw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, but the Cardinals defense was unimpressive. I will be able to say that about the Cardinals quite often this season.

Indianapolis 26, N.Y. Giants 21
The Manning Bowl lived up to the hype. A questionable offensive pass interference call followed by an Eli interception sealed the win for the Colts. Think New Yorkers will feel for us Seattle fans after having a flag cost them a shot at winning the game?

Minnesota at Washington
The two starting quarterbacks' ages' combine for 74 years. The Redskins must win after a discouraging preseason while the Vikings look to get big road victory in a weak division.

San Diego at Oakland
Denver and Kansas City both lost, and neither looked good in doing so. The Chargers have the perfect opportunity to jump out to an early lead in the AFC West.