NFL Watercooler: A recap of week 1

There are two Monday Night Football games still remaining, but the majority of week 1 of the National Football League season is in the books. As we tend to do during week 1 of every NFL season, we spent Thursday evening and most of Sunday plopped in front of a TV with a laptop in tow, keeping close tabs on all of the opening weekend games. There really weren’t any major surprises, in terms of team or player performances, and after watching all of the teams in action we’re okay with sticking to our pre-season predictions.

However, it was definitely a busy weekend and there were some significant happenings of note in week 1 of the NFL season, including:

Peyton Manning. If you drafted him in the first round of your fantasy football league, you must be feeling really good about yourself right about now. Manning looked great against the New Orleans Saints and looks poised to have a monster year. The emergence of Joseph Addai and the running game will open up the passing game again for Manning, as it did during Edgerrin James’ heyday with the Colts. Could he approach the record 49 TDs he threw during the 2004 season?

Who looked worse, the Browns or the Chiefs? Both teams looked absolutely pathetic, particularly offensively, but we’ll take the Chiefs by a nose. We expect Chief’s running back Larry Johnson to bounce back next week, so the Chiefs will at least have some semblance of a running game. Also, on the over/under, we are picking week 3 as the official start of the Brady Quinn era in Cleveland.

News flash: Adrian Peterson is talented

Adrian Peterson is in for a big rookie year and will challenge for ROY considerations, but the Vikings looked better than they actually are against a fatigued Falcons team – the Michael Vick saga must have had some significant effect on Atlanta, as they looked tired both mentally and physically. Although, we do expect Joey Harrington to bounce back and have a decent 2007 season.

Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell seems to have an US Army certified cannon for an arm. But, his accuracy is about as consistent as former attorney general Roberto Gonzales’ testimony on wire tapping. Campbell threw above, behind and way ahead of his receivers several times during the Redskins game against Miami. We expect the accuracy to improve as the year progresses, but we also expect a ton of interceptions from Campbell (he threw 2 on Sunday). As pretty as some of his passes can be, we can’t see the Redskins making the playoffs this season with the inexperienced Campbell at the helm.

Randy Moss had a breakout game for the Patriots. But, he also had a breakout game in his first game for the Raiders, and we all know what eventually happened there. Those are of course two completely different situations and we’re not saying that Moss won’t be in for a big year with the Patriots, but beware of injuries and of conflict with Tom Brady and/or Bill Belichick at some point during the season.

The Cowboys and Giants (and NBC) puts on a show

The Cowboys/Giants Sunday night game was a lot of fun to watch. Dallas QB Tony Romo threw for 5 touchdowns and the Giants’ Eli Manning threw 4 TDs. Even the pre-game show on NBC, Football Night in America, was intelligent and entertaining, with Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, Chris Collingsworth, Tiki Barber, and Jerome Bettis in the studio, and Al Michaels and John Madden calling the game. Good stuff.

When Chris Brown can stay healthy (he has missed a total of 12 games in the last 2 seasons), he’s a pretty good running back. Brown torched a very good Jacksonville run defense by racking up an astounding 175 yards on the ground – pretty damn impressive. If Brown can avoid the injury bug, he should claim the starting HB spot from LenDale White in Tennessee.

Please God, make the Bears bench Grossman...please!

We must say we underestimated the Chicago Bears defense, because we expected in our season predictions that they might be a little soft this year. But, in week 1 against a really good San Diego Chargers offense, the Bears D was about as soft as a brick wall. With anchors Tommie Harris and Mike Brown healthy to start the year, joined by names like Urlacher, Tillman, Briggs, Vasher, et al, the Bears mercilessly stifled the Chargers’ running game, holding NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson to a total of 25 yards on the ground on 17 attempts. But, as good as the defense looked on Sunday the Bears’ offense looked equally as bad. Backup Brian Griese may not be the answer either, but coach Lovie Smith’s Rex Grossman experiment needs to end now – never let him even touch a football again, please.

If you’re into fantasy football, think about adding the following players, who may still be sitting on your league’s waiver wire: Chris Brown (RB, Titans), Ronald Curry (WR, Raiders), Eric Johnson (TE, Saints), Brady Quinn (QB, Browns), Wes Welker (WR, Patriots), Matt Schaub (QB, Texans).

And finally, if you watched any of the games on Sunday, you probably saw the Nike ad titled “Leave Nothing” with Chargers LB Shawne Merriman and Rams RB Stephen Jackson. Although it debuted earlier, Nike bought a ton of Sunday air time to showcase the ad for the masses. Check it out here on YouTube. Great concept, great execution, very intense – one of the best football ads we’ve seen come out of the Nike marketing machine in some time. Michael Mann (yes, that Michael Mann of “Heat” and “Miami Vice” fame) directed the commercial, which features music from the film “The Last of the Mohicans”.


Asif said...

2 comments: 1. Rex Grossman... why? WHY??? 2. Great Nike ad... especially the very last part where Stephen a.k.a. "The Real Best RB in the NFL" Jackson gets stone walled by... that's right, the Stihhllrrrs!!! (I checked the replays... the ball does not cross the plane of the goal line!)

b4hoops said...

You could look at it that way, or you could look at what seems like 15 inept Steeler tacklers not being able to stop Jackson's forward progress to the end zone. On second thougt though, I guess it's better than the Bears D being torched left and right by LT in that other Nike commercial.