Monday, September 08, 2008


Wow, did it feel good to have a full day of NFL Football. All that other stuff I wrote about on Sunday as taking place took a back seat to the football games. That was fun. Some good games, too. Here's my weekly recap:

BEST GAME OF WEEK 1: It might not have been the best game overall, and I certainly didn't watch the whole thing, but I saw the final couple of minutes of the Panthers-Chargers game, and I think it gets the award.

As you saw in my picks, I'm a believer in Carolina this year. I just didn't think they'd come out and win this game, in Week 1, in San Diego, without Steve Smith. But they did. It can only get better for them.

Also, on their final drive, they looked great, but when it got to fourth down, I didn't think they'd get it in the end zone. Just a great pass from Delhomme, a great catch, and a tough loss for the Chargers. No sympathy from me, though...and I'm sure no sympathy from Patriots fans.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF WEEK 1: This disappointment part won't appear every week, but I mentioned Patriots fans, so I had to mention Tom Brady. That's really too bad. I don't wish injury on anyone - let's get that out of the way first. I hope this doesn't come out sounding wrong in writing, but I also don't feel bad for the Patriots or their fans. Brady has seemed invincible for so long that it was incredible to see him limping off the field. I couldn't believe it. And it's really too bad. As I've said many times before, he's hard not to like. I'm sure the Patriots will be fine, and win their share of games without Brady...but they won't win it all. He's just too important to them. And now Patriots fans will get a taste of what it's been like to root for the Jets, with replacement quarterbacks, for much of the past few years.

BEST PERFORMANCE OF WEEK 1: For a team, it's got to be the Falcons, because no one expected what they did. But for an individual player, it's got to be Michael Turner, going for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns as the feature back for those Falcons. Turner was great backing up LaDainian Tomlinson, and you had every reason to believe he was going to put up good numbers for Atlanta. But with their question marks everywhere else, it's fair to have not expected that much that soon. I wonder if they'll keep that up and become that surprise team out of the NFC South that comes out of nowhere to make it deep into the playoffs....

WORST PERFORMANCE OF WEEK 1: The Colts looked pretty sorry Sunday night, huh? I mean, the Bears played pretty well, but the Colts looked like they finally lost that step that you've been expecting them to lose the past couple of years. It could just be rustiness, with Peyton Manning coming back from surgery. But I'm not so sure...that looked like the Colts could be in for a long season.

BEST GAME IN WEEK 2: The Jets-Patriots game was on the schedule for so long looking like a measuring stick game for the Jets - just how good would they be? Now, it's a measuring stick game for Matt Cassel - sure, he beat the Chiefs....but can he win a divisional game?

There are a couple of other games to watch for - next Monday night, with the Eagles against the Cowboys, and Sunday night, where the Browns play the Steelers. The Steelers looked so good, and the Browns looked so bad in Week 1. If the Browns put up another stinker, people will be bailing from that bandwagon in droves.

BEST PERFORMANCE PREDICTED WEEK 2: Perhaps this is wishful thinking from a desperate (after one week) fantasy owner, but based on what I saw from Matt Forte on Sunday night, I think Adrian Peterson will slice up the Colts in Week 2. I'm going to say 150 yards, two scores, and at least one long one - maybe a 75-yarder.

A WORD ON THE JETS: I need to comment on the Jets-Dolphins game. That was the most entertaining Jets game I've seen in at least four years. Even the long stretches where nothing was happening were interesting.

Brett Favre is the reason why. He set the tone by going long for Cotchery early on, made a smart play on the fourth down toss up to the goal line that ended up being a Stuckey touchdown, and didn't make any mistakes.

Even the good though, comes with the feeling that there still might be some "Same Ol' Jets" mixed in...The ending of that game was torturous. While it was hard to be terribly disappointed because Chad Pennington looked so good in leading the Dolphins back, the Jets sat on the lead in typical "Take this game and win it" fashion.

Still, they won. And their chances of getting to 2-0 are looking a lot brighter.

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