You don't need no stinkin' game recaps here, you can turn on the TV or go elsewhere for that. I'm here to tell you what didn't happen but should have. That play to the right in the Lions vs. Bears game was a travesty. This exact rule was applied differently in last year's Super Bowl as the Saints were awarded a TD, so I'm lost. Bob Costs has this one right. "If it looks like a TD and feels like a TD, it should be a TD." More on that later.....
Vikings (9) at Saints (14)- I don't think either defense played that well. It seemed to me that the offenses faltered more than the defenses stepped up.
Favre showed signs he can still play, but there's no way you can tell me that coming to camp so late made for an offense that clicked. Perhaps he physically couldn't have gotten on the field quicker anyway, but never the less, it couldn't have helped. Then again, maybe that's just what Favre and the Vikings offense looks like without Sidney Rice. Percy Harvin was surprisingly a non factor and while Visanthe Shiancoe and Adrian Peterson both looked dynamic at times, if there is no true wide out threat, the Vikings are could have problems.
As for the Saints, they threw the ball well in their first drive, and ran the ball when they needed to towards the end, but they didn't look sharp overall.
I know Garrett Hartley made a pressure kick to get the Saints into the Super Bowl last year, but this is a "what have you done for me lately league." Don't expect Sean Payton to stick with the young kicker if he continues to struggle. Saying, "but coach, I was 2 for 2 on my extra points" won't cut it in the NFL.
For those of you that are still whining about the blocked extra point preventing you from successfully covering the 5 point spread, hey, shit happens. It's not the first time and it won't be the last. Get over it.
Browns (14 ) at Buccaneers (17) - The headlines read "Freeman's two TDs guide Bucs past Browns" but Cleveland was able to move the ball almost at will early until turnovers derailed them. After building a 14-3 lead, two interceptions and a fumble handed the Bucs this game.
Seemingly in control and hoping to build onto the lead before halftime, Delhomme, in a brain freeze moment that we have now seen all too often, threw an ill-advised, sidearm pass that Ronde Barber intercepted and returned 65 yards to the Browns 3-yard line. Freeman threw his first TD pass on the next play. Although Delhomme is a veteran and can be very effective at times, that type of "Favre" decision making is why he's no longer in Carolina.
The Bucs with only 288 yards of total net yards from scrimmage didn't aren't going to win many games this year and were blessed to play Cleveland in week one. If the Browns don't beat the Chiefs next week, they may themselves without a win until week 11 Jacksonville. I know your thinking it, so I'll just go ahead and say it. Let the Colt McCoy watch begin.
Dolphins (15 ) at Bills (10) - For the Bills it was deja vu all over again as it seems like game 17 of the 2009 season. Buffalo had had nine first downs, endured six three-and-outs, and managed just 72 yards offense and five first downs on their first nine possessions. Penalties, missed blocking assignments, the lack of a running attack and a limited deep-threat attack all hurt an offense that was booed off the field.
For those of you interested in this game because you had C.J Spiller on your fantasy roster, the good news is that they are certainly working him right into the offense as he had 11 touches in his very first NFL game. The bad news is that 7 rushes for 6 yards and 4 catches for 8 yards didn't help either you or the Bills.
Miami's two new high profile faces, receiver Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby, each contributed with effective workman-like efforts in week 1. Marshall had an efficient day finishing with team-leading eight catches for 53 yards and the Dolphins big free agent signing this offseason, linebacker Karlos Dansby, had a big day with eight tackles and a sack.
It's hard to read much into this game for either team. Chad Henne played ok as he was 21 for 34 for 182 yards passing and the Dolphins went on the road in their division and took care of business, which is not the easiest thing to do in the NFL. The Bills are going to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year and Chan Gailey is going to have a hard time making this year's Bills look any better than last year's Bills.
Bengals (24) at Patriots (38) - Carson Palmer was 34/50 for 345 yards with 2 TD's and an INT. Chad Ochocinco was 12/159 with a long TD, Terrell Owens was 7/56 and rookie Jordan Shipley chipped in with 5/82. The Bengals must have killed the opponent right? Not exactly.
Rumors of Wes Welker's demise where apparently a bit premature as Tom Brady showing off his new contract connect with him 8 times for 64 years and two TD's. Randy Moss whined after the game in his orchestrated press conference about his contract and declared he won't be in New England next year, but on the field he did his job with 5/59.
Despite giving up 24 points, this one was never in doubt for New England. I don't know that the Patriots are going to be able to put up 38 points every week (although their offense looked much like it was clicking on all cylinders once again) but it appears they may have to because teams are obviously going to be able to throw on them. As for the Bengals, they simply dug themselves too big of a hole to get out of in this game. They have a tough divisional match-up with the Ravens next week, but then catch a break with the Panthers, Browns and Bucs before their bye. If they are anything less than 3-2 with their act together by that point, I would worry, but there's no need to worry now.
Colts (24) at Texans (34)- I hope some off you were able to make some money off of Robert Fairchild's call on this one.
It wasn't Peyton Manning's fault. It's not often that you go 40/57 with 3 TD's and 0 INT's and walk away with your head down. You didn't get what you wanted if you had Matt Shaub on your fantasy roster as he only threw for 107 yards, but when you have a running back, Adrian Foster that gallops for 231 yards, there just isn't much need to throw the ball.
Manny people were picking the Texans to finally have a playoff year this season, but I don't know anyone who though it would be because of their ground game. If people are going to have to defend the run against them, Matt Shaub , Andre Johnson and the entire offense could end up having a fantastic year.
So the Colts are 0-1. Losing in September is certainly not what Colts fans are used to. Let's not call this the end of a dynasty just yet though. Perhaps this just might be the year the Peyton Manning really impresses us and takes it upon himself to do what the Colts defense can't (stop the run) and plays both ways. Bob Sanders is hurt once again, maybe he can play safety?
Broncos (17) at Jaguars (24) - The home team won, but the fans were disappointed. The game was delayed by a storm, and their returning home town hero, Florida Gators star Tim Tebow, was a non factor as he had only two rushing attempts for two yards.
This may be the only game you will ever see where the home town crowd had wore more visiting team jerseys than home jerseys. Tebow played two plays in the Broncos first series and then did not return for the rest of the game.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 98 yards and David Garrard threw three touchdown passes, two to tight end Marcedes Lewis.
Broncos QB Kyle Orton blamed some of the problems the team had on the day because of the static he was getting in his helmet, possibly the result of a thunderstorm that moved through Jacksonville and forced a 33-minute delay between the third and fourth quarters. That's the kind of day it was......... Neither of these two teams appear to be playoff caliber. At least not to me.
Falcons (9) at Steelers (15) - There were certainly a lot of people that left the Steelers bandwagon this preseason, and it appeared that many of those same people had jumped on the Falcons bandwagon. Bandwagon jumping is a dangerous game this time of year as NFL teams really don't reveal their true character until the regular season starts.
The Falcons certainly didn't do anything to make you think that they were "taking the next step" as their performance was pretty pedestrian. The Steelers who are buying time until Ben Roethlisberger suspension have to be happy as realistically, they were hoping to simply be .500 when Big Ben returns, a goal that would seem very reasonable to achieve if not exceed after today's win.
The Falcons need to show more offense, the Steelers need to keep playing defense. There are plenty of very surprised pundits and fans in these two cities the day after as the Atlanta was thought to have been able to win this game.
Raiders (13) at Titans (38) - The Raiders are much improved, the Raiders are much improved! Well maybe, but they are not in the class of the Titans.
Remember the awful hole the Titans dug themselves in last year? That was a fluke more than anything else. They are off to a good start this year and have much of the same personnel that was 13-3 in 2008. Chris Johnson looks is simply faster than anyone else. It actually looks silly at times as he just runs away from defenders. Say what you want about Vince Young, but not only is he a fantastic athlete, he knows how to win as he's now 27-13 as an NFL starter.
Jason Campbell is better than JaMarcus Russell (that's not saying much) and Darren McFadden ran the ball well, the Raiders have to be happy about that, but they were never really in this one and never really had a chance. The Titans host the Steelers next week. If they don't have a letdown, they should be 2-0. The Raiders host the Rams next week. If the silver and black really is improved, they should be able to get that one.
Panthers (18) at Giants (31) - The Giants tried their best to give this one away with 4 turnovers but the inept Panthers with 5 turnovers of their own just couldn't stand prosperity.
The Giants receivers (Manningham, Nicks, and Smith) are better than they are given credit for and I can see Eli putting up Peyton-like numbers this year It was hard to take anything from this game because it was played so sloppily. The game was riddled with penalties with no flow and hard to watch.
The Giants won the time of possession game 34:39 to 25:21. If the Panthers are going to do anything this year, aside from the occasional Steve Smith big play, they are going to have to run the ball and control the clock with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Matt Moore throwing 3 INT's every week isn't going work either, they could have kept Delhomme to do that.
PS - Was it just me or did Jimmy Clausen look absolutely lost when he got in the game? For a second I thought he was going to pull a Dan Orlovsky and unknowingly run out of the back of the endzone!
Lions (14) at Bears (19) - There's a lot I can say about this game but none of it matters because the referees call with 25 seconds left was the entire game.
The Play - Calvin Johnson out-jumped Chicago's Zackary Bowman for what looked like an apparent winning 25-yard touchdown pass from Shaun Hill. Johnson appeared to have gotten both feet down inbounds, his knee and even his ass as well to be honest, before letting the ball go. But what looked like a game-winner was ruled an incomplete pass by the officials.
Did anyone tell Mike Martz that he's not in St. Louis anymore? He had Jay Cutler and Matt Forte doing their best Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk impressions as Cutler threw for 372 yards, 151 of them to running back Forte.
It looks like Matthew Stafford could miss 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, so Shaun Hill will get the call. The Lions just can't catch a break.
Cardinals (17) at Rams (13) - I think most people thought that this game would be a cake walk (stupid expression) for the Cardinals. That couldn't be further from the truth.
Larry Fitzgerald caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Derek Anderson for the go-ahead score with 6:13 to play in the fourth quarter, helping the Arizona Cardinals spoil a solid debut by No. 1 pick Sam Bradford.
A few observations..... With 7 catches for 132 yards, Steve Breaston really stepped up his game with Anquan Boldin gone..... If Sam Bradford is going to throw the ball 55 times a game, he's going to have a very short career as the injuries will mount.
Packers (27) at Eagles (20) - The Packers are the better team but I would still be pissed if I was an Eagles fan. Mike Vick game in for the weary Kevin Kolb to start the third quarter and was vintage Vick proceeding to throw for 175 yards with a TD and run for another 103.
Andy Reid's choice to use his last time outs before the 5 minute mark was suicidal and his play call to put Vick in the shotgun on 4th and short with 2:00 to play in the game and then try to run up the middle for a 1st down was worse. If you are an Eagles fan, you have to feel that the way Vick was rockin and rollin, that at the very least you were going to punch that in ad get a chance at a coin flip. Reid often gets praise for his prowess as a head coach. Whatever, he stunk up the joint in this game.
Aaron Rogers didn't play all that well; at least not up to all the hype he's been getting. 19/31, 2 TD's, 2 INT's although it does appear he's going to have a great year. For my money, he may in fact have the best group of receivers to throw to. Clay Matthews was all over the place on defense. What a family of football players. But the hair has to go....
No one will say it around the locker room in Philly because they don't want to cause controversy so early on. But I'll say it. Quarterback controversy! There, I said it.
49ers (6) at Seahawks (31) - Do you think all the people that declared the San Francisco 49ers the winners of the NFC West are going to stay home from work today and peel the egg of their face? Wow, what a flop!
This one was a set-up and no one saw it coming. The 49ers thought they the world was rotating on its axis perfectly until an earthquake hit San Francisco mid way through the send quarter. They called the quake Pete Carroll's Seahawks. The Seahawks trailed 6-0 and ran just seven plays for 11 yards in the first 1½ quarters, then outscored San Francisco 31-0 the rest of the way.
Matt Hasselbeck threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Jordan Babineaux and Marcus Trufant each intercepted 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, with Trufant returning his 32 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to give Seattle a 21-6 lead.
Smith completed nine of his first 10 passes, then missed 12 of his next 21 as San Francisco continued to struggle on the road. The 49ers are 4-10 on the road under coach Mike Singletary. It's not going to get any easier for the 49ers as they host the Saints next week and are now staring 0-2 in the face. Seattle travels to the Mile High city looking to go to take on the Broncos, who frankly aren't that good, looking to go 2-0.
Cowboys (7) at Redskins (13) - What were the Cowboys thinking of? Why didn't they just kneel on the ball with :04 left before halftime on their own side of the field. Didn't Bum tell Wade him about the Joe Pisarcik play? And what about Jason Garrett? The guy went to Princeton! What the heck are they teaching over there? DeAngelo Hall 32 yard fumble return with :04 on the clock just before half time was Washington's only touchdown, and proved to be the game winner.
Can't take Romo to task here, he played well going 31/47 for 282 and a TD. Austin Miles had a great game and Dez Bryant is going to be a star. You can tell by the confidence Romo had in him on that last drive.
It's a shame to see a game end on a holding penalty like that, but it was clearly a hold and that's the rule. Great job by Romo and the receivers on that last drive, but it doesn't count.
Donovan McNabb in a Redskins uniform was anti-climactic as he went 15/32 for 171 yards.
Man does Mike Shanahan love to live dangerously. I would have punted the ball and not kicked the field goal. If Gano missed the 49 yarder, he would have served the game to Dallas on a platter. - Mike Cardano
Mike is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball and Xtra Point Football.
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