And with that the first NFL Sunday is in the books. What a Sunday it was. Lots of great games and some amazing performances. The Stack is here to talk about it all so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Monday, September 9:
New England Patriots 23 Buffalo Bills 21
It's probably a little bit closer than the Patriots or their fans would have liked, but the Patriots were able to escape Buffalo with a victory. Danny Amendola looks like he will fill in for Wes Welker just fine, but Steven Ridley needs to hang on to the ball. EJ Manuel had a strong debut and Bills fans should take come solice in knowing that the team fought hard and that Manuel wasn't terrible.
Seattle 12 Carolina 7
This was a bit of a trap game and Seattle played as though they were sleepwalking for much of the game. Their defense was strong though and Russell Wilson had a big day through the air with 320 yards. Carolina played tough, but didn't have much of anything going offensively, something that must improve if they want to compete in the NFC South.
Chicago 24 Cincinnati 21
Two pro bowl wide receivers put on a show in Chicago. A.J. Green was sensational for Cincinnati, torching the Bears defense for 162 yards and two touchdowns. But it was Brandon Marshall and the Bears who had the last laugh. Marshall caught the game-winning touchdown an had over 100 yards receiving for the Bears in a hard fought game. Both of these teams will definitely be fighting for a playoff spot. Good first win in the Marc Trestman era for the Bears.
Miami 23 Cleveland 10
The Dolphins looked pretty good. The Browns looked like, well, the Browns. Quarterback Brandon Weeden was bad and they couldn't establish a running game. Could be a long year in Cleveland. What else is new?
Detroit 34 Minnesota 24
It was Reggie Bush's show in Detroit Sunday and we were all witnesses. What a game for Bush with over 100 yards receiving and 90 yards rushing. The Vikings defense had no answers and Detoirt's offense is going to be something to watch this season. Vikings need the offensive line, some pressure from the defensive line and quarterback Christian Ponder to play ten times better if they want to avoid starting the year 0-2.
Indianapolis 21 Oakland 17
You shouldn't need a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Oakland Raiders at home, but the Colts needed one and they got it from Andrew Luck. Definitely has to be a little concern in Indy, but folks in Oakland have to be excited about the prospects of Terrelle Pryor who showed a lot with his legs rushing for over 100 yards. The Raiders may be more competitive than we thought this year.
Kansas City 28 Jacksonville 2
The Jaguars are making an early run and claim to the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but don't think that it is a lock that it will be Jadaveon Clowney. They need a quarterback...badly. Absolutely awful performance by the Jaguars on offense. The Chiefs played well, but they didn't need to do much to beat this team.
New Orleans 23 Atlanta 17
Had wide receiver Roddy White been 100 percent healthy, the outcome of this game may have been very differenet. But it was the Saints with a defensive stand (defense?) that won them this game. Nice to have head coach Sean Payton back. He makes a difference on this team. Both teams seem like they'll be in the playoffs and despite the loss, I like the Falcons a little more.
New York Jets 18 Tampa Bay 17
Credit must be given where credit is due and much credit needs to go to Rex Ryan (for getting his team focused and ready to take on the world with all of the doubters out there) and Geno Smith for leading the Jets on a last minute game-winning drive after the Bucs had taken the lead. Lavonte David's late hit on Smith set up the Jets game-winning field goal. They may not win many more games this year, but this is a huge first win for the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets!
Tennessee 16 Pittsburgh 9
This is a great win for the Titans no question about it. Their defense played really well. This game speaks more about the Steelers and their offensive ineptitude and losing offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey for the year with a torn ACL and MCL is damaging. It could be a long year in the steel city and there will be plenty of pressure on head coach Mike Tomlin as a result.
San Francisco 34 Green Bay 28
What a game! It certainly lived up to the billing though pretty much everyone is talking about the sequence that happened when Colin Kaepernick was tackled out-of-bounds by Clay Mathews and then a scrum happened an offsetting penalties were given. It should have been fourth down, but the officials inexplicably let San Francisco redo third down. Had they not, the 49ers likely would have gotten a field goal instead of a touchdown and the outcome could have been way different. As it is though, Kaepernick played outstanding with 400 yards passing and three touchdowns with zero interceptions, only the fifth quarterback in NFL history to do that on opening day. The Packers contained him on the ground. Kaepernick beat them through the air. The 49ers are going to be incredibly difficult to beat this year.
St. Louis 27 Arizona 24
The Cardinals look so much better than they did last year. Larry Fitzgerald is just happy he has a quarterback who can get him the ball. The Rams are better too though and they came back in the fourth quarter to earn this win Both teams are going to fight hard all year long and come up with some good wins. This was a good first one for the Rams.
Dallas 36 New York Giants 31
Six turnovers will doom any team and that is what the Giants had, yet somehow they were really close to beating the Cowboys. The Cowboys defense forced 16 turnovers all last year. Six already this year speaks to just how good that side of the ball can be. The Giants need to come out with some more fire and intensity and urgency or they could be in for a long season. Running back David Wilson also may want to hang onto the ball.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins 6:55 PM ET ESPN
What a fascinating game this will be. The Eagles come in with an uptempo offense that will be fun to watch while RGIII makes his return for the Redskins. Big battle in the NFC East. Slight upset here. Head coach Chip Kelly is going to show just how difficult his offense will be...at least for one week.
Prediction: Eagles 27 Redskins 20
Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers 10:15 PM ET ESPN
The Texans are Super Bowl contenders. The Chargers are not and under new leadership. We'll see the difference between these two teams early and often.
Prediction: Texans 31 Chargers 17
Coming up Tuesday: Reaction to MNF and NFL Week 1 Power Rankings