Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The NFL: Week 1 in Review

Wild finishes became the theme for Week 1 in the National Football League.  Whether it be a late field goal to seal victory, or an onside kick that almost worked, the final minutes of some of Week 1's games gives us more reasons why you shouldn't look away during those critical moments.

Here's what entertained us the most in Week 1:

New England (1-0) 23, Buffalo (0-1) 21 - To be honest, the Buffalo Bills surprised me during this divisional showdown with the Patriots.  Granted, there were moments when you watched (or listened) and wondered if this was going to turn into another 30 point loss for the Bills against the division's best team, but the Bills hung in there.

The defense wasn't stellar, allowing the Patriots to convert 11 of their 20 3rd down opportunities.  And discipline was an issue, with the Bills being penalized 10 times for 75 yards.  Those are two things Coach Doug Marrone will want to work on as they prepare for the Carolina Panthers.

The Bills were able to hang in the game thanks to the work of EJ Manuel.  Manuel did look a little rusty at first, but calmed down to complete 18 of his 27 passes, throwing for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Fred Jackson added 67 yards on 13 carries.

Tom Brady did not look as sharp as he usually does, going 29 for 52 for 288 yards, throwing for 2 touchdowns and had one interception.  But he was aided by the leg of Stephen Gostkowski, who converted all three field goal tries, including the 35 yard attempt with 5 seconds left on the clock to give the Patriots the victory.

Detroit (1-0) 34, Minnesota (0-1) 24 - Adrian Peterson's two touchdown runs and catch for a touchdown wasn't enough to overcome Christian Ponder's 3 intersections, as the Lions roar to victory in Week 1.

Adrian Peterson took his first touch of the football 78 yards for the opening touchdown for the Minnesota Vikings.  He would finish with 93 yards on 18 carries, which meant he ran an average of less than a yard per carry after that 78 yard touchdown run. Christian Ponder completed 18 of 26 passes, for 236 yards, but those three picks hurt the Vikings.

Reggie Bush ran for 90 yards on 21 carries, and took a pass from Matt Stafford 77 yards for the score in the 3rd Quarter.  Stafford finished the day 28-for-43, 357 yards with two touchdowns and 1 interception.

Kansas City (1-0) 28, Jacksonville (0-1) 2 - All 30 points in this game was scored by the Kansas City Chiefs.  And that's a weird statistic.  But for some reason, I love scores that have a 2 in it.

Dustin Colquitt put the Jaguars on the board first when his punt for the Chiefs was blocked and went out the end zone for the safety.  But then the Chiefs started scoring the right way, with Alex Smith connecting with Dennis Avery for a 5 yard touchdown pass to give the Chiefs the lead.

Alex Smith would be accountable for 2 touchdown throws, the other a 3 yard pass to Junior Hemingway for his lone reception of the game.  He would complete 21 of his 34 passes for 173 yards.

After the safety, the Jaguars looked flat, as Blaine Gabbert completed only 16 of his 35 passes for 121 yards, and Maurice Jones-Drew only was able to gather 45 yards of rushing offense for the Jaguars.  Overall, it looked like old days could be back in Kansas City with Andy Reid and Alex Smith wearing the Red and White.  And for Jacksonville, they've got a lot of work to do, which won't be easy with a pair of west coast games coming up.

New York Jets (1-0) 18, Tampa Bay (0-1) 17 - The Jets were the only team to get a safety and win the game (Pittsburgh got the safety against Tennessee but lost).

But the play people are talking about is the penalty to Tampa Bay's Lavonte David with just a few seconds left that not only stopped the clock, it also gave the Jets a bonus 15 yards, which made things easier for Nick Folk to boot the 48 yard winning field goal for the victory.

Dallas (1-0) 36, New York Giants (0-1) 31 - The shocking thing about this game was that the Giants were in this game despite 6 turnovers.

Eli Manning's 450 yards kept the Giants in the game, but his 3 interceptions hurt the G-men.  One of those interceptions came in the first play, connecting with a man in silver and blue instead of one of his own.  Luckily for the G-men, the Cowboys were only able to walk away with three points despite three first quarter turnovers.

A scary moment for the Dallas Cowboys came just before the half when it looked like Tony Romo would be out as he was sandwiched between two Giants, but he would later return.

The 6 turnovers are a pause for concern for the Giants, who have to travel to Denver for their Sunday afternoon contest against the Denver Broncos.

Houston (1-0) 31, San Diego 28 - If you went to bed before midnight, you may be surprised to read today that the Houston Texans won.  And if you waited until after halftime to retire to the slumbers, seeing Houston down 28-7 was enough to prompt a good night.

But the Texans came back.  With authority.  The comeback started with Garrett Graham's 7 yard reception to cap a 11 play, 70 yard drive in the 3rd Quarter, and continued with Owen Daniel's 2nd touchdown reception of the game in the 4th Quarter.  The tying play came on a Philip Rivers interception, his lone of the game, as Brian Cushing ran it back 18 yards to the end zone.

The Texans had the ball last, and they made it count.  Randy Bullock's 41 yard field goal with time expiring capped a 9 play drive that took up the remainder 3:53 on the clock, and spoiled the good mood in San Diego as Week 1 drew to a close.

So your turn.  What do you think was the most memorable moment in Week 1?  What are you looking forward to in Week 2?

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