Football Season! Woo-hoo! Time to get off your seat and get on your couch! Despite how your team did, I'm sure everyone is finally happy that football season has begun. Time to do a little bit of roundup here:
Rookie QBs Play it Right
Matt Ryan impressed me to no end yesterday. He only had 13 attempts, sure, but 9 of them were completions, and he finished the day with 161 yards, 1 TD, NO interceptions, 1 sack, and a more-than-impressive 12.4 Y/A. He had a lot of help in the run game (Turner: 220 yds, Norwood: 93, 3 combined TDs), but consider that if Ryan had played like a typical rookie, the Lions could have stacked the box and taken away at least half of those rushing yards.
Joe Flacco wasn't quite as impressive, but 15-29 ain't bad when you also have no sacks and INT (albeit no TDs either). He did win the game for the Ravens, however, when he ran 38 yards for his own score that would eventually be the TD that won the game (Ravens won by 7).
Woe is Tom
We all know it by now: Tom Brady is out for the season (reportedly put on the IR) after a tackle made by Chiefs S Bernard Pollard on Brady's leg, injuring his knee. Matt Cassel is the official starter for now, heading into Week 2 against the Jets.
Yes, this is killer for the Pats, but it isn't time to count them out, not even close. I nevertheless think Cassel needs to play at least decently for the Pats to actually go deep in the playoffs, or even make them. The Bills and Jets are both coming off encouraging wins, and the Pats are probably the most morally low team in the NFL right now
As far as Brady goes, I'm always the first to curse his name and the last to applaud him, but hopefully he'll have a speedy recovery. The NFL needs guys like him.
First of all, I consider a blowout to be a win of 2 or more scores. And there were more than a few blowouts this week. The Steelers annihilated Houston 38-17 in a game where the score actually lies in favor of Houston. The Bills soundly defeated the Seahawks in a 34-10 rout, the Eagles crushed St Louis 38-3, and the Cowboys silenced the Browns 28-10. There were also some smaller blowouts like the Bears defeating the Colts (???) 29-14, and the Falcons beating the Lions 34-21.
Old Man Brett Still Has It
Sorry non-Jets fans, but who am I to not talk about Broadway Brett, AKA The Man Who Plays With The Enthusiasm Of A Young Rookie? He had a very good game yesterday with the Jets, going 15-22 with 194 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INT. One of his TDs came after a 4th and 13, and with kicker Mike Nugent injured, Brett threw a desperation floater that was -- caught -- in the endzone by Chansi Stuckey.
What's ironic about the whole thing is that had Nugent never been injured during that TD drive, the Jets would merely have kicked a FG on that play instead of going for it and scoring a TD. They would have been up 17-14 by the time the Dolphins drove to the Jets 18 with time running out, and the game likely would have gone into overtime instead of Pennington throwing up a desperation pass that was intercepted. Funny how things like this work, eh?
1. Cowboys: They stuck it to a potential playoff team yesterday, and were pretty much flawless all around.
2. Steelers: They ALSO stuck it to a potential playoff team, albeit not quite as good as Cleveland. Willie Parker, BTW, already has more rushing TDs than all of last year.
3. Patriots: Like it or not, the Patriots are far too talented to not make the top 3. Cassel is an unknown, and this whole situation tastes too much like Bledsoe to me.
4. Giants: The reigning champs won it on Thursday, and it was a pretty decent game all around for them. Their pass rush wasn't too bad, and Eli showed flashes, although of brilliance AND ineptitude.
5. Indianapolis: One bad loss makes not a bad season. This team is way too talented all around to keep playing like that. Expect a much better Week 2 with Minny rolling into town.
6. Eagles: A trouncing on the Rams. McNabb looked like the 2004 version of himself, with as good a game as I've ever seen him play.
7. Bears: They beat what I thought was the best team in the AFC. Regardless of whether the Colts are or not, we now know that Matt Forte is one heckuva runner.
8. Chargers: Lost at the very last second to a Panthers team they should have beaten. Rivers was on fire and Tomlinson was excellent, but what really killed them was Time of Possession.
9. Bills: Crushed the playoff-making Seahawks (of yesteryear, at least), and did it on offense, defense, and special teams. Jacksonville is on the schedule for next week.
10. Falcons: Surprised? The run game was superb, the passing game was astoundingly effecient, and the defense was reasonably stout. This team could surprise all and at least touch 8-8 this year.
On The Bubble: Tennessee, Jacksonville, Green Bay, Minnesota, Carolina
Week One Awards:
Offensive MVP: Michael Turner, ATL - 220 yds rushing, 10 YPC, 2 TDs and a week one win...you can't ask for more.
Defensive MVP: (tie) James Harrison (PIT) had 3 sacks, 9 tackles and a FF, but Cortland Finnegan (TEN) leads the NFL with both 2 INT and 3 PD. I couldn't choose, wuss that I am.
Rooke OMVP: Matt Ryan, ATL - See the beginning of this.
Rookie DMVP: Dwight Lowery, NYJ - 4 tackles is nice, 3 PD (tied for league lead) even nicer. From the little I saw of him, he was doing a pretty sweet cover job.
Well, that's all for today. Feel free to write in the comments (or FM me) and questions, corrections, praises, criticisms, etc. Actually, if I get enough NFL-related questions, I might consider making that a part of the blog.
And BTW, not sure when the next "issue" is coming out.