I want to begin by apologizing for not finishing up the Power Rankings and offering my Week 1 predictions, I lost my stepfather last weekend and attended his homegoing in South Carolina this weekend. I was so deep in the sticks that I had no cellular or wireless service. I missed every game because I was on the road. Thanks to Okori for filling in on short notice.
Here is a review of yesterday’s games…
Texans 34 – Colts 24: Last season Houston Texans running back Arian Foster joined the practice squad as an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee. Yesterday, he had the second best rushing performance on opening day in NFL history. An impressive feat considering the 80-year history of the NFL. Even more impressive was the Titans 34-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, a team that they have measured themselves against and have come close to defeating the past couple of seasons. Before today’s game, the Colts were 15-1 against their division rival.
Buccaneers 17 – Browns 14: Sometimes a change of scenery doesn’t always mean better results, ask Jake Delhomme. Delhomme has had his share of struggles his last two seasons in Carolina and it has carried over to Cleveland. Looking to build on a 14-3 lead before the half, Delhomme threw and interception, which Ronde Barber returned 65 yards to the Browns 3-yard line. Bucs QB Josh Freeman rebounded from a broken thumb on his throwing hand to throw two TDs, one which put the game away with about seven minutes to go.
Dolphins 15 – Bills 10: So much for the debut of C.J. Spiller. The rookie from Clemson struggled as coach Chan Gailey did not use the change of pace back in space which allowed the Dolphins defense led by free agent acquisition Karlos Dansby (8 tackles 1 sack). The Bills only gained 186 yards of total offense. For the ‘Phins quarterback Chad Henne was 21-34 for 182 yards, Ronnie Brown scored for the Dolphins.
Patriots 38 – Bengals 24: The T.Ocho Show got off to a disappointing start as they combined for 19 receptions and 212 yards and a touchdown (Ochocinco 12-159-1) as Cedric Benson struggled and the hype was just that. Tom Brady reconnected with wideout Wes Welker as he returned from a serious knee injury scoring twice as the Patriots look to make a run for it all this season. Stay tuned as the Randy Moss contract situation becomes a bigger story as the season moves on.
Jaguars 24 – Broncos 17: David Garrard played like a man whose job was on the line as he passed for three touchdowns as the Jags topped the Broncos in Tim Tebow’s debut. Tight end Marcedes Lewis hooked up twice with Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 98 yards. Kyle Orton passed for 295 yards - the bulk of which went to Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal.
Giants 31 – Panthers 18: The last time these two faced off it was to close out the old Giants stadium and the G-Men were demolished – not the case yesterday. Eli Manning hooked up with Hakeem Nicks not once, not twice, but thrice as the Giants defense dominated in typical fashion, by knocking out Matt Moore as the game wound down. Manning was 20 for 30 for 263 yards but he also threw three interceptions.
Bears 19 – Lions 14: Instant replay played a role in ruining a potentially great ending by the Detroit Lions as a last second touchdown was wiped out, allowing the Bears to escape with a 19-14 victory. The call came as Lions wideout Calvin Johnson seems to come down with a 25-yard touchdown pass but the replay was upheld as officials ruled that Johnson released the ball before both feet were down. Matt Forte finished with 201 total yards from scrimmage including an 89-yard touchdown reception. What looms larger for the Lions is the fact that they may have lost quarterback Matthew Stafford for a month or more with a shoulder injury.
Steelers 15 – Falcons 9 - Rashard Mendenhall rushed 50 yards for the game-winning score 2:35 into overtime as the Steelers outlasted the Falcons in an offensive struggle at Heinz Field. The Steelers missed a field goal late that would’ve won the game in regulation but he was wide right on the 40-yard attempt. The game overcame shaky performances by both Matt Ryan and Dennis Dixon, wideouts Roddy White and Hines Ward both finished with over 100 yards receiving.
Titans 38 – Raiders 13: Chris Johnson rushed for his 12th consecutive 100-yard game as the Titans offense looked nothing like the team that resembled the one that opened up 0-6 last year. Johnson finished with 142 yards and two scores while Vince Young threw for two touchdowns. The debut of Raiders QB Jason Campbell was nothing like he expected as finished 22 for 37 for 180 yards, he managed a touchdown but also turned the ball over twice. Darren McFadden was a bright spot for the offense as he finished with 18 carries for 95 yards.
Cardinals 17 – Rams 13: Derek Anderson did just enough for the Arizona Cardinals to hold off a game St. Louis Rams squad. Anderson passed for 297 yards as he hung tough in the pocket. His main target Steve Breaston had 7 receptions for 132 yards as Larry Fitzgerald, still recovering from a knee injury finished with 3 receptions for 43 yards and a score. Rookie Sam Bradford was solid going 32 for 55 for 253 yards with a touchdown and three picks, Mark Clayton signed this week finished with a career high 10 receptions for 119 yards.
Seahawks 31 – 49′ers 8: Matt Hasselbeck turned back his personal clock yesterday as he threw for two touchdown and ran for one as Pete Carroll won his coaching debut as the Seahawks shocked the 49′ers 31-8. Alex Smith was picked off by Seattle’s Marcus Trufant for a 32 yard interception return. Both QBs went through stretches Smith started out 9 of his first 10, then would later go 12 for 21. Hasselbeck after opening up the game with an interception would complete 10 of his next 11 passes. After the game, coach Mike Singletary questioned the future of his quarterback as well as some of his younger players.
Packers 27 – Eagles 20: There is a storm brewing in Philadelphia. Michael Vick replaced the injured Kevin Kolb after halftime and nearly brought the Eagles back from a 13-3 defecit but the Eagles would fall to the Packers 27-20. The injuries came in waves for the Birds who have more than likely lost fullback Leonard Weaver for the season with a torn ACL, Kolb and linebacker Stewart Bradley were both obviously concussed and allowed to re-enter the game before being pulled again. Aaron Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Vick ignited a stagnant offense to finish with 16 for 24 for 175 yards and a TD, he would also rush for 103 yards. Stay Tuned…
Redskins 13 – Cowboys 7: Any win Donovan McNabb can muster over the Dallas Cowboys he’ll take, regardless of performance. The Cowboys would help the Redskins along with two keys errors that would cost them the game. With 4 seconds remaining in the half coach Wade Phillips opted to run a play instead of running the clock out. DeAngelo Hall would return a Tashard Choice fumble 32 yards for a touchdown to end the half. A last second touchdown pass to Roy Williams was nullified when Alex Barron was called for holding defensive end Brian Orakpo. Thus ending the game.
Saints 14 – Vikings 9: The Saints opened up the season to a sold-out Superdome crowd as the world champions took on the Minnesota Vikings in a rematch of the NFC Championship. Not many fireworks in this one but the Saints didn’t seem to be suffering from a Super Bowl hangover either. Just a good solid game as the Vikings struggled without number one receiver Sidney Rice and for whatever reason took the ball out of Adrian Peterson’s hands. That may decision may have cost Brad Childress and Co.
Monday Night predictions coming up later.