This post is mostly for those of you who wager on NFL games (not that any of you actually do that.) So what was the most important takeaway from week one in the NFL? For me the answer is obvious. The San Francisco 49ers are the team to beat. This was an opinion that I had going into week one as I felt they would beat the Green Bay Packers outright, however obviously I was in the minority as the 49ers walked into Lambeau Field as 5 ½ point underdogs. Walking out of the legendary house of gridiron worship money line victors, my thesis was confirmed and my wallet thickened.
I had three major bets going into this weekend, the other two were the New Orleans Saints and the New York Jets. I’m not certain that I wouldn’t bet the Saints again if these two teams play again next week, but the Washington Redskins are obviously better than the pundits gave them credit for. Teams just don’t walk into the Superdome and push the Saints around like that; at least not since Drew Brees has been there.
To me the jury is still out on the Redskins as Mike Shanahan’s teams have had plenty of instances where they played up to the competition only to see them play down to the competition the very next week. For now, they certainly get the benefit of the doubt as Robert Griffin III clearly has different skillsets than Rex Grossman or anyone on the carousel of QB’s Shanahan has tried in D.C.
As for the Saints, I view them very much like the New York Giants and I would be shocked if they didn’t right the ship. The NFL is a league like no other however and 0-1 can sometimes feel like you will never get a win. 0-2 can make even the best of franchises, athletes and fans start doubting things and 0-3 has the football world starting to do math as to whether a team can still make the playoffs. The Giants host the 1-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend in Greg Shiano’s return to familiar surroundings and the Saints travel to Bank of America Stadium to take on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers who are also 0-1. A second loss to open the season for the Giants or the Saints and the pressure will start to build while a win should stabilize things and get these two teams back on track.
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As for the Jets, the whole “the offense sucks” thing was so overblown that an offensive outburst was just too easy to call. You didn’t know how it would happen, but the fact that it did was very predictable; at least that’s the way I saw it. The Tim Tebow “issue” was pretty much a non-event. Now that the world can see how he’s going to be used, I suspect that the insanity surrounding the guy will subside a bit.
With all the euphoria surrounding the Jets week #1 win, I have to say that their 4th quarter defense was quite disturbing. Buffalo moved the ball very easily in the fourth quarter scoring two TD’s cutting the lead to 13 with 5:58 still left in the game. Had Buffalo been able to successfully execute the on sides kick (no thanks to Tebow who recovered it) the ending to this one may have gotten quite interesting. Add the fact that C. J. Spiller scampered for 169-yards on just 14 carries including a 56-yard TD and it’s the Jets defense who has something to prove next week at Heinz Field against the Steelers not the offense.
If David David Akers is going to make 63-yard field goal’s the 49ers are going to be tough to beat.
He’s baacckk… Peyton Manning is back and the Denver Broncos will no doubt be a playoff team with him in the lineup. Once the Broncos went into the no-huddle offense in the second quarter, Manning was unstoppable. The Broncos will have to make certain to keep Manning upright. We’ve already seen what a Manning led team looks like without Manning under center.
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