Having the NFL Red Zone Channel gives you the ability to see so much more football than ever before. You get a lot more action and a lot less fluff. As an avid football fan who lives outside the market of his favorite teams, it's like a dream come true. When games are slow and boring, like Sunday's Jags and Titans "slugfest" (as in the bug), you don't have to waste your time with meaningless football.
Here are my observations from watching 20 hours of week 1 NFL football:
4 - Fast starters: Green Bay, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago and Detroit.
The fast starters either won big, won over a very good team or both. Baltimore, Buffalo, and Chicago all won real big over playoff teams from last year. Green Bay and Detroit won close games over two good teams, and looked good doing it.
3 - Objects may not be what they appear: Philadelphia, Houston, New York Jets, Arizona, Washington, San Francisco, Cincinnati and New England
I'm not saying these teams are any worse than the teams listed above them, but don't base season on their week 1 wins. These teams may not be as good as they appear.
The Eagles were able to put up 31 on the Rams but Michael Vick got hit a ton. The o-line needs work or Vick won't last.
Houston played an awful Colts team.
New York defense fought hard but the Cowboys gave the game away. Their offense couldn't run the ball.
Arizona gave up 400 yards to a rookie quarterback and Beanie Wells struggled. Washington played great but I'm not a believer in "sexy Rexy" for 16 games. The Giants had an M.A.S.H. unit on defense.
San Francisco couldn't score in the Red Zone. They got two special teams plays from Teddy Ginn Jr. to help them win. They really were just the better of two bad teams.
Same in Ohio where the Bengals were just a little less worse than the Browns.
New England and Tom Brady put up video game numbers on the Dolphins but Miami was one or two horrific red zone decisions from being in that game. The Pats' defense gave up more than 400 yards passing to Chad Henne. Brady can't throw for 500 every game. If he does they will, but he won't.
2 - Look good losing: Carolina, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans, Miami
Not every team that loses week 1 is a bad team. Some teams got the "L" but looked good doing it.
Carolina was terrible last year because of their lack of quarterback play. If Cam Newton can play like he did Sunday for 12-16 weeks this season the Panthers will really improve. They really need to figure out their running game because DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart are not that good.
Tampa Bay will make the playoffs this year. They're up and coming, they just need to get LaGarrette Blount more than five carries.
I think Minnesota plays in this year's best division. They need to get Adrian Peterson more carries to take pressure off Donovan McNabb. They lost, but played one of the best teams in the NFL and held them to only 24 points. That would have been the lowest scoring win for the Chargers last year.
The Saints were obviously only a yard away from being in the fourth degree. Their offense alone is going to win them games this season but their defense needs to tighten up over the long haul.
Miami has a pretty good defense, although you wouldn't know it from Monday night's game. The surprising thing was the success of Chad Henne and Reggie Bush. The Dolphins coaches made some poor choices but if they can put it all together they may improve on last season. They won't win the division or anything crazy-like, but they improve.
1 - WTH was that?! - Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Jacksonville/Tennessee, Indianapolis, Dallas, Kansas City, Browns and Seattle.
Not every first degree team was awful, in fact there is a winning team on the list but, each team left you say WTH!?
Pittsburgh's match up with Baltimore was supposed to be the game of the weekend. It was anything but. The Steelers turned the ball over seven times. Their defense looked like the Swiss cheese curtain and made Joe Flacco look like an MVP. WTH was that!
Atlanta looked like anything but a powerhouse. Matt Ryan and his high power offense didn't score a touchdown.
The Jacksonville and Tennessee game was quite possibly the worst game of the week up until the fourth quarter. The Titans offense looked awful. Their tackling wasn't much better. They should have lost by 30 but, the Jacksonville coaches decided Maurice Jones-Drew was so good in the first half they wanted to rest him for the rest of the season or something. He dominated the Titans in the first half but barely touched the ball including some key third and short situations. All you could say after they clock Hasselbeck's last throw was WTH was that!?
The Colts stink without Manning.
Dallas blew the game Sunday night against the Jets. They were up seven in the fourth quarter and had third and goal from inside the three. If they would have just ran it they would either have scored or gotten a field goal. They would have been up two scores and the game would have been all but over. Instead, Tony Romo fumbles, they get a punt blocked, and then Romo throws a pick to set up the game winning field goal. Choke!
Although I called it in my Week 1 picks, the Kansas City offense was awful. Their defense got torched by the Bills.
Cleveland and Seattle are just bad football teams right now. Colt McCoy was disappointing and Tavaras Jackson is not an NFL quarterback.
Do fit the molds: San Diego, Oakland, St. Louis, New York Giants, and Denver.
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