And with that we are off on the 2012-13 NFL season. A boring game last night turned into a rather intense game late in the fourth with the Dallas Cowboys knocking off the defending Super Bowl champions and getting the first win of the NFL season. We'll have plenty on that game and more so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, September 6:
Cowboys open season with impressive win over Giants
My oh my oh my. The Dallas Cowboys were more than impressive in their 24-17 win over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. In particular, quarterback Tony Romo did more than his fair share throwing for 307 yards and three touchdowns. He made clutch throw after clutch throw. In fact, he completed over 75 percent of his passes Wednesday night against the Giants defense. He was able to extend plays, escaping the Giants defense multiple times. In fact, the Giants had just two sacks against Romo the entire game. In their week 17 matchup last year, they had six! Romo couldn't have done it though without a rising star in wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. "Who?" you might ask. Wide receiver Kevin Ogletree only had eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He was a target for Romo all night, constantly getting open and making big catches.
Now the game didn't start out exciting. It was 3-0 Giants deep in the second quarter. But the momentum of the game seemed to turn before that when the Cowboys made a goalline stand after Romo threw a pick and the Giants returned the ball inside the five. That seemed to ignite a fire under the Cowboys, because they scored at the end of the half and each of the first three possessions of the second half. They were dynamite. The Giants had no answer to stop them, particularly in the secondary. Romo carved up the Giants defense. And the Giants offense wasn't much better. The team, particularly wide receiver Victor Cruz consistently dropped balls and Eli Manning missed on a couple of throws. It was like they just didn't have the energy to sustain themselves through the entire game. Maybe it was pregame celebration festivities. Whatever it was, the Giants became the first Super Bowl champion since the Denver Broncos in 1999 to lose their opener.
I admit, I don't mean to be prisoner of the moment, but I am a little worried about the Giants because of their defense, but am equally impressed with the Cowboys and fear I have underestimated tehm because of their defense. Rob Ryan's crew gave the Giants fits all game long. They were a big reason why the Cowboys won. Imagine what they can do if they can sustain this all season long. They will be right up there for the division with the Philadelphia Eagles and are leaders to land a wild card birth. I hate backtracking and like I said, I don't want to be a POTM, but I would be worried about the Giants if I were a fan and ecstatic about the porspects for the Cowboys this season and their projected standings if I'm a Cowboys fan...or someone in the media...or someone with a blog who recently had an NFL preview blog.
Replacement officials...eh alright.
While not quite as many people were watching the officials as they were the game, it's safe to say that the replacement officials were being looked at far more by fans and the media than they would any other season. And yes, it is because they are replacement officials and most of them have come from high schools, division II and division III colleges (one has even officiated in the lingerie football league). As with any game, there are always calls that officials miss that you say "how did they miss that?" or "why did they call that?" It's a fact of life when it comes to sports. But you couldn't help noticing that it seemed like players were getting away with a little more in last night's game. There were at least three pass interference or defensive holding penalties that should have been called against the Cowboys that never were. There was a block-in-the-back penalty against Victor Cruz that never should have been made and I'm sure there were several players along the offensive line that got away with holding for both teams. Several times, it took refs longer than normal to reach a consensus on a penalty. But they were decent for the most part. They didn't make so aggregious of an error that it decided the game. They did their best not to become thee story of the game. So overall, I'll give them a low C-. I'm curious to hear what others thought of them and what the NFL though about them as well.
College football week 2 big games
Week two of the college football season kicks off tonight with the Pittsburgh paying a visit to Cincinnati (7 PM ET, ESPN). For the most part, week two doesn't have one must see game. There are a few intriguing matchups. The battle of Iowa between Iowa State and Iowa isn't one of them. The two most intruiging matchcups of week two, in my opinion are:
#24 Florida @ Texas A&M 3:30 PM ET ESPN
#7 Georgia @ Missouri 7:45 PM ET ESPN2
These two matchups are the most interesting because the home teams (A&M and Mizzou) will be playing their first conference games as members of the SEC. How will they do? My guess is not that good. The Big 12 is a good football conference, but it has nothing on SEC football. The SEC is a whole new kind of game and A&M and Missouri are about to find that out. A&M has the best chance of winning simply because Florida is still trying to figure some things out I believe. Georgia is way too talented to be intimidated by Missouri and their fans who will be loud. I like both Georgia and Florida to win these games, though I am a little hesitant in picking the Gators.
Andy Roddick's career is done, Federer upset
We'd be remissed if didn't mention at the very least that Andy Roddick will no longer be playing professional tennis following his four set loss to Juan Martin del Potro. Roddick just never had it after the match was postponed due to rain on Tuesday. He missed several shots wide. It was an emotional farewell for Roddick who leaves the game having won 32 titles including a 2003 U.S. Open title. Now he just gets to spend more time with his wife Brooklyn Decker. I feel so bad for him.
There was also a big upset on the court as number one seed Roger Federer was upset by Tomas Berdych 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. It was a very compelling match, but Federer made some very uncharicteristic errors. Now the men's side is looking like Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray will take the title. Should be a very good match.
Coming up Friday: NFL Week 1 previews and predictions