The clock has struck zero on the first week of the NFL season. So what did we learn (If anything)? Here’s a quick recap, I’ll also call this Overreaction Tuesday.
KAEPERNICK IS THAT GOOD AND HE LIKES PLAYING THE PACKERS:
Many wondered what the third year Quarterback could do after his first full training camp as the starter in San Francisco. All he did, was just prove that his record setting playoff debut against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional round wasn’t a fluke. Sunday, Kaepernick threw for a career high 412 yards and 3 touchdowns while only rushing for 22 yards, far less than the record (for a quarterback) 181 yards he racked up this past January. Next up, the highly anticipated matchup with rival Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll and his Defense are in a quandary, stop Kaepernick’s arm or legs?
Oh and that Anquan Boldin trade looks like highway robbery. Boldin had 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown. I bet the Baltimore Ravens wish they still had him. If only every coach in the league had a brother to trade him one of his best players.
PEYTON MANNIG IS REALLY BACK:
In his first game after neck surgery that kept him out for the entire 2011 Season, Peyton lit up the Steelers defense – last season’s number one against the pass – for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 19 of 26 in a 31 to 19 victory to open 2012. After that game, everyone said Peyton was back. Well after throwing 7 touchdowns on 27 of 42 Passing with 462 Yards, The Sheriff is the leader in the clubhouse for MVP and is REALLY back.
THE NEW YORK GIANTS NEED AN UPGRADE AT RUNNING BACK:
David Wilson had two key fumbles and his backup Da’Rel Scott was lost and confused on a screen pass play, that he tipped up and was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Brandon Carr to seal the game for the Dallas Cowboys. The G-Men’s RBs only managed 50 yards on 14 carries for an average of 3.6. Even worse, they looked lost in pass protection. Eli was under pressure by Demarcus Ware and the Boys all night. Willis Mcgahee, Chris Beanie Wells, Cedrick Benson, Kevin Smith, Brandon Jacobs..the list goes on. Pick one, matter of fact take two. You need them.
THE AFC NORTH HAS LOST IT’S LUSTER:
I picked the Cincinnati Bengals to win this division before the preseason, I stick to that, but with an 0-4 week 1 in which the two traditional powerhouses of Baltimore and Pittsburgh looked like, well, how Cleveland and Cincinnati usually look, and both those teams giving away halftime leads to lose, this division might be won at 8-8. The Ravens Defense looked like many thought it would after losing two future Hall of Famers in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and the Steelers still can’t protect their only playmaker on offense. Roethlisberger was sacked 5 times and the running game only managed 32 yards against a Tennessee Titan Defense that gave up the most points in the NFL in 2012. 8-8 will win this division, watch and see.
THERE IS A D IN DALLAS AFTERALL:
The Cowboys Defense set the tone against the New York Giants causing them to turnover the ball 6 – the most in one game since 1987- and sacking Eli Manning 3 times. The Dallas D only managed 16 turnovers in 2012. We know Jerry Jones loves his offensive toys and pays them well, but his best acquisitions of the offseason seem to be defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. If Tony Romo can avoid being Turnover Romo, the Cowboys could finally live up to expectations.
THE SAINTS ARE MARCHING:
The Atlanta Falcons are the sexy pick by many to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 48 and win the Lombardi – author raises hand- but the Saints who had a historically bad defensive last season – they gave up the most yards in NFL History – held down the high flying Atlanta offense. Head Coach Sean Peyton returned from a year long suspension related to “Bounty-gate” and looks poised to lead Nawlins back to the top of the division.
THROWBACK REGGIE BUSH:
Bush looked like the guy who created video game like highlights at USC and his first couple of years with the New Orleans Saints. Bush ran for 90 yards on 21 carries, but it was his 101 yards receiving, 77 on a screen pass play he took to the house blowing by everyone, that Detriot Lions fans hope will help alleviate pressure on the Marthew Stafford/Calvin Johnson combo. If they can get half of this every week, they’ll be back in the playoffs for only the second time in two decades.
THE EAGLES OFFENSE IS FAST AND FURIOUS, SO IS THE D:
Many doubted – and still do – if Philadelphia’s new Head Coach Chip Kelly and his uptempo Oregon offense would work in the pro game, but through one game we can see they will put pressure on the opposing defense, even if its just wearing them down. Philly’s offense ran 19 plays in their first three possessions – scoring a field goal and touchdown, after a Washington fumble on their first offensive play of the game – and that was with 9:07 still left in the first quarter.
Before a backwards pass returned for a touchdown stalled their first drive, the Eagles quickly moved down the field in 5 plays to get into the red zone. The next drive after the defensive touchdown, the Eagles went right down the field again in a hurry and got 3 points.
Kelly’s offense had the ball for 20:20, produced 53 plays, 322 yards, 21 1st downs and most importantly, 24 points in the first half alone. LeSean McCoy shined with 31 carries, 184 yards a touchdown and several highlights plays that will made the top ten list of several nightly sports cast shows. It’s only one game, and we haven’t seen all Coach Kelly has to offer, but it will be fast and furious.
Lets not forget about Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis’ unit. The Eagles D, made it difficult for Robert Griffin the Third and the Washington offense from getting into any kind of rhythm. They didn’t get into the red zone until 7 minutes left in the third quarter and then missed a field goal that would’ve given them their first points of the game.
Everyone expected the Eagles offense to play fast, but not the D. The Defense got 3 Sacks on RGIII, 3 (2 Interceptions) turnovers and a safety. But, and there is one, it was with the lead. What will that high flying offense look like when they’re playing from behind.