BY: JEFF Schneberk
Well it seems like the Super Bowl 48 game in New York was just last week but it wasn’t, and the new season is now well underway with two final games being played right now.
The first official Sunday afternoon and night of NFL took place yesterday and what a crazy day it was. The Broncos won a bit of a thriller, the Steelers won, the Browns nearly won, the Dolphins won and the Patriots lost. The Pats lost an opener for the first time in ages, I never would have believed that. And the Buffalo Bills are 1-0.
Let’s see, where to start…think I’ll start in Denver where the day ended with Manning and company happy.
First overall pick Jadeveon Clowney got hurt and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Denver 31, Indy 24
Peyton Manning joins Brett Favre as the only QBs that I know of to defeat every single team in the National football League. Now we gotta hope that one day the Pats deal Brady for some young talent then maybe he can join the club too! Lol, won’t happen but fun to think of anyways.
Manning beat his former club on his second try, so that had to feel good. Andrew Luck is known for making comebacks late in games and he almost did it last night. However, the revved up defense the Broncos have on display proved to be equal to the task.
Denver did jump out to a 24-0 lead though, which is kind of sad considering that they had me thinking overtime when the Colts started to climb back into it. Denver GM John Elway spent over $100M to re-tool his defense and last night, they made him look good for it.
Manning however blamed himself, and his offense for not being able to shut down the Colts’ attack. “We’ve got to find a way to play all four quarters as an offense. Thank goodness the defense picked us up when the offense wasn’t doing their job quite as well.”
Had Indy capitalized on all of their red-zone opportunities last night, they would have destroyed Denver in front of their own crowd.
“It wasn’t the best win, but guess what, it was a great opener,” said DeMarcus Ware, who had 1 1/2 sacks in his Denver debut after franchise-high 117 in nine seasons in Dallas.
Luck brought the Colts within a touchdown when he found Hakeem Nicks for a 9-yard scoring strike with 3:26 remaining. And they got the ball back 28 seconds later after Denver went three-and-out.
Indy’s last drive for the tying TD stalled at midfield when rookie Bradley Roby broke up a fourth-and-6 pass to Reggie Wayne.
Julius Thomas made most of the noise for the hometown crowd, scoring three TDs. One was for 3-yards, another saw him scamper 35-yards and the third was a 5-yarder.
“I feel like it’s my responsibility to make big plays when my team needs it,” Thomas said. “Something I pride myself on is being ready for man coverage. It’s like backyard football with your little brother or cousins. I don’t believe you should be covered 1-on-1.”
Carolina 20 Tampa Bay 14
For the first time in a lot of years, Derek Anderson threw a touchdown pass! The former horrible Cleveland Brown QB who was stuck in a 3-way fight for starting quarterback with Charlie Frye and Brady Quinn, finally appears to be getting a chance. He had a good day yesterday for his new team, the Panthers, who obviously won a game without their big gun, Cam Newton.
Anderson also threw for 230 yards. Anderson is in his 10th year of pro and has appeared in just four games and threw the same number of passes over the previous 2 seasons playing behind Newton.
He finished the game 24-34 and did not get sacked.
“I’ve been through a lot of different things. I haven’t been out there in four years. Just to play a solid football game and get a win was big for me,” Anderson said.
The Buccaneers lost their debut with former Bears head coach Lovie Smith.
San Francisco 28 Dallas 17
Colin Kaepernick got the better of Tony Romo, scoring 21 points in the first quarter to start the season 1-0 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
Room pretty much gave this one away too, tossing three picks even though his defense shut down the Niners through the entire second half.
Colin K led SF to 80 yards in only three plays on their opening drive, shaking off a pretty rusty pre-season for SF.
SF scored 3 TDs in the first quarter alone while Dallas could only counter with a FG.
Atlanta 37, New Orleans 34 OT
In one of the many surprises on the day, the Falcons beat the Saints in overtime, thanks in part to nearly 450 yards throwing from QB Matt Ryan.
“He’s played a lot of games, made a lot of plays for us,” coach Mike Smith said. “But I was really impressed with his ability to extend some plays by moving around in the pocket. And he was very, very accurate. When you have (568 yards) of total offense and 448 through the air, your quarterback is playing well.”
Atlanta beat New Orleans for only the 4th time in 17 meetings.
Atlanta won on a 52-yard FG by Matt Bryant.
Minnesota 34, St. Louis 6
Minnesota scored points in each quarter and held St. Louis to only two FGs as the Vikes open the season 1-0. And they did it for the most part without the help of RB Adrian Peterson. Corradelle Patterson ran for 102 yards on only 3 carries, including a 67-yard scoring run.
Pittsburgh 30, Cleveland 27 ***
One of the biggest surprises on the day came at Heinz Field. Cleveland was in good position to ‘steel’ a win from Pittsburgh in the season opener for the first time possibly forever, but unfortunately for them, Pitt has one of the best quarterbacks in the game and he showed why.
Ben Roethlisberger put up 27 points in the first half before Cleveland responded with 24 in the second half after scoring a FG early in the game.
I don’t recall a Cle/Pitt season opener being this close before.
Still, in the end it was Roethlisberger doing what he always seems to do when he faces the Browns. Roethlisberger improved to 18-1 against Cleveland after one last audible set up Wheaton for a 20-yard gain.
Cleveland hasn’t beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh in 11 years.
Cleveland’s second-half rally came without receiver Josh Gordon (suspension), running back Ben Tate, who left in the second quarter with a knee injury, and tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder).
Philly 34, Jacksonville 17
Jax opens up a 17-0 lead on Philly but that was not enough as the Eagles scored 34 unanswered points to win the game in the second half.
Nick Foles played quite the game, leading his team to 14 points in the 3rd and 20 in the 4th quarters. Foles also overcame three turnovers in the first half. He threw a 68-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin which gave them the lead.
Bills 23 Bears 20 OT
I don’t follow the Bills too closely but starting off the season with a win, to me, is a shock.
Bengals 23 Ravens 16
I do know that this is the second year in a row at least, that Baltimore loses their season opener, last year it was to the high-powered Broncos. Joe Flacco outthrew Andy Dalton, but not by much.
Texans 17 Redskins 6
All Houston needed was a 2-TD outbreak in the second quarter and that was enough to knock off Washington. RGIII was good with his pass attempts going 29-37 but could not score.
Titans 26 Chiefs 10
The Chiefs are not the team they were last year. Tennessee does not appear to have much in their favour this year but still had enough to get out to a 1-0 start.
Dolphins 33 Pats 20
One of the top surprises of the day, this has to rank as one of Tom Brady’s biggest embarrassments. He only threw 29 completions on 56 attempts.
Panthers 20 Buccaneers 14
Former Cleveland Browns reject QB Derek Anderson has been given new life in the NFL (last year sometime) and even though it happens to be under the same spotlight that Cam Newton gets, Anderson finally had his day in the sun when he got the start vs the Buccaneers as Newton has been nursing sore/broken ribs. For the first time in nearly 10 years, Anderson didn’t make any mistakes.
49ers 28 Cowboys 17
Finally this would be been the biggest disappointment of Week 1 had the score been reversed. SF had an 18-point lead in the first quarter before Dallas started to make their comeback, they cut the lead to 11 but no further.