Every week this season Ryan Bradley will be reviewing the NFL weekend that was.
Week one of the NFL season is in the books, and what a week it was. Denver bulldozed the defending Super Bowl champions, Eli Manning looked like Mark Sanchez, and courtesy of a Buccaneers mistake Geno Smith delivered a win for the lowly Jets.
After the season opening matchup between the Broncos and Ravens the question everyone was asking was “are the Broncos that good or are the Ravens that bad.” I’m outspokenly dubious of the Broncos, but they looked great. The Ravens also happened to look terrible. They looked like a team that forgot how to play competitive football. It was kind of sad to watch really.
The best game of the weekend was the rematch between the 49ers and Green Bay. It was a nerve-wrackingly close game. The Packers were devoted to stopping Kaepernick from running all over them, but what they forgot is Kaepernick isn’t just a running quarterback, he broke passing records in college, too. And he lit it up, throwing for over 400 yards. In fact, it didn’t even look like he wanted to run. The 49ers are going to be scary good if they stay healthy. And the Ravens ought to be ashamed of letting Anquan Boldin go; he lit it up with thirteen catches for over 200 yards.
The ugliest game of the week might have been Cowboys-Giants. On the first play of the game Eli Manning did exactly what Mark Sanchez did on his first play of the preseason; he threw the ball right to a defensive lineman. Then he threw two more. All in all, the Giants out-Jet-ed the Jets, with six turnovers (almost a third of Dallas’ total takeaways in 2013). It was almost enough to make me believe in some Freaky Friday hocus pocus.
The most anticipated game of Week 1 might have been Eagles-Redskins, Chip Kelly’s debut as Philadelphia’s head coach, and for the first half his offense looked every bit the part of a Chip Kelly offense. They had over fifty plays in the first half. It helped that the Redskins turned the ball over like they were trying to compete with the Giants. RGIII looked like he desperately needed a preseason (I still think they should have started Kirk Cousins for the first week or two). In the second half the Eagles looked winded and Michael Vick was limping around. The difference between college and the NFL is the amount of time you have to devote to your team’s conditioning. Development time isn’t the same with pros, and that will be something to watch with Philly. Either way it was a lot of fun to see the Eagles run and gun in the first half.
Other items of note:
Reggie Bush is finally being used the way he was meant to be used and he looked great for the Lions. If he stays healthy he could be the difference between a good season and a bad season in Detroit.
Tim Tebow proved his talk about loving the game of football comes second to his ego by turning down interest from teams who want him to change positions. If you truly love playing football and it’s all you want to do, you’ll suck it up and try to prolong your career any way you can. Plenty of athletes have done it, but Tebow clearly likes the spotlight.
The Patriots looked sloppy. But it was everything I expected from them. If weak teams are going to have a shot at the Pats, it will be during the first half of the season, before the Patriots find their legs. And the Seahawks had trouble against the Panthers. That was something of a surprise to me. Marshawn Lynch looked mediocre, which I expected, but the defense was spotty and the offense as a whole had a hard time getting going. Seattle fans should be a little worried.
Photo: AP/Alex Brandon