The show is back. It is always a good thing when NFL football dominates the television landscape on a Sunday. That being said, there are teams who are looking to rebound after a tough start. Some teams are even panicking over their first week result. Meanwhile, other teams are overjoyed with their opening week victories, to the point where the parade route is being planned. I say, let’s cool off for a second. Sure, winning is better than the alternative. (Well DUH) But no team should go into hysterics over the first week of the season. But we can analyze the action from the first week and determine the winners and losers of Week 1. So without further ado, here are the winners and losers of Week 1, of the 2013 NFL season.
While fellow SBM members Dubsism and Meehan are trashing the Broncos defense, (there is some merit to that argument) I will take the side of the Broncos gaining revenge for last year’s playoff loss to Baltimore, as a big victory for Denver. Does Denver’s defense need work? Absolutely! But if Peyton Manning throws 7 touchdown passes every game, (which he won’t) the Broncos will remain the favourites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The 49-27 thumping the Broncos gave to the Ravens on Thursday night was more psychological than anything else for Denver and their fans. They needed to win this game to get over last season’s disappointment, and move forward this season. If Denver shores up their defense, look out!
Chip Kelly’s “Quack Attack” offense, which lit up college scoreboards during his tenure at Oregon finally came to the NFL on Monday night. And what a debut it was. The Eagles ran 53 plays, compiled 322 yards of offense, picked up 21 first downs and scored 26 points…IN THE FIRST HALF! This offense was so fast, Usain Bolt lost a 100 metre sprint to it. Perhaps no player benefitted from Kelly’s high-octane offense than running back LeSean McCoy, who gained 184 yards on 31 carries and scored a spectacular 34 yard touchdown that had Redskin defenders wondering what in the world was going on. Yes there are things the Eagles need to work on, such as finishing games off. (The Redskins came back to make things very interesting in the end) But there is no denying that the Eagles will be one of the most exciting and intriguing teams to watch all season.
New Orleans Saints:
Sean Payton’s return to the Saints sidelines was made successful, by the Saints defense! Did you expect that anyone? Be honest now. Yes, it was the Saints defense that came up with the vital play in the Saints win over arch-rival Atlanta in the opener. Roman Harper’s interception sealed the game for the Saints, snuffing out a potential game-winning drive from the Falcons. It wasn’t a perfect game by the Saints defense by any stretch of the imagination, but this was the type of game the Saints lost last season. With Payton and new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on board, the Saints are looking to make some noise in the NFC South and what better way than beating the division champs.
It wasn’t a good week for the teams representing the AFC North. The Ravens got steamrolled on Thursday night. The Bengals blew an 11 point second half lead in a loss to Chicago. The Steelers looked anemic in their loss to Tennessee and the Browns looked like…well the Browns in their loss to Miami. While the Bengals did show some potential, the rest of the division looked simply dreadful. Baltimore sure looked like they will miss Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Pittsburgh are a shell of their former selves which could put coach Mike Tomlin on the hot seat. Cleveland had a strong preseason, but once again managed to disappoint their fans with a weak showing. Could this be the weakest division in the NFL? Stay tuned.
Can we just fold the Jags and get it over with already? What an inept franchise. Yes they did sell out EverBank field but only because they’ve reduced the capacity. It could be the Jags only sellout of the season, unless a visiting team brings some travelling fans with them. The Jags looked useless in being thrashed 28-2 by Kansas City and clearly their isn’t much with this team. It’s too early to say this team is a candidate to go 0-16, but if things don’t turn around quickly, it will be a very long season in Northern Florida. Oh and their new helmets are hideous!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Or to be more specific, linebacker Lavonte David. What in the name of Derrick Brooks was David thinking? There was no need for David to push Geno Smith after the New York Jets quarterback stepped out-of-bounds on a running play. Bucs coach Greg Schiano has stressed discipline and toughness since he arrived in 2012, but the message has yet to be heard from the young Buccaneers. The NFC South is a very tough division and every loss could be damaging to playoff hopes. The Bucs can’t afford to lose many games, with the likes of New Orleans, Atlanta and an unknown factor in Carolina. If the Bucs do struggle this season, they can look back to the opening game and Lavonte David’s needless shove.
One final note. Can the NFL please stop having idiotic celebrities like Ryan Seacrest announce the start of the NFL season? Seacrest is a no talent douchebag who just poses and looks pretty for the camera while hosting a glorified karaoke show. And what happens? A lightning storm delays the start of the game. I know this isn’t an original line but many users on Twitter said it best: “God has spoken. He doesn’t like Ryan Seacrest either.”
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