Some quick thoughts on the NFL scores from Sunday:
Jets 27, Cowboys 24 – Looks to me like both quarterbacks, Mark Sanchez and Tony Romo, are capable of doing a lot of good and a
whole lot of bad. When is Romo going to win over Cowboys fans? When he stops making huge, game-costing, fourth-quarter gaffes like he did Sunday night. And not a second before. His fumble was one thing; it can at least be explained because of hustle and determination. His interception that led to the Jets’ winning field goal was one of the all-time boneheaded plays.
Cardinals 28, Panthers 21 – Arizona has to be thrilled with the debut of Kevin Kolb at quarterback. But not as thrilled as Carolina, which took a real gamble by making Cam Newton the top overall pick in the April draft. Newton was brilliant.
Chargers 24, Vikings 17 – For the longest time, it appeared San Diego was intent on doing what San Diego always does – start the season slowly. But the Chargers found a late spark behind quarterback Philip Rivers and averted an upset. On the other side, Donovan McNabb was almost non-existent. Could be a tough season for Minnesota, especially considering how well the other three teams in the NFC North played on opening week.
49ers 33, Seahawks 13 – If you’re going to bring in Tavaris Jackson as your quarterback, don’t you at least have to have a solid running game? Seattle rushed for 64 yards in the blowout of the day thanks to three Seahawks turnovers. San Francisco won big, but was hardly impressive.
Redskins 28, Giants 14 – Rex Grossman passed for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns. Rex Grossman did that. One of the most-maligned quarterbacks in NFL history ripped apart the Giants without throwing an interception. Maybe Mike Shanahan really is a quarterback guru.
Bears 30, Falcons 12 – One of the most surprising scores of the opening weekend. Perhaps Atlanta needs to stay cozy inside its dome to be effective. Outdoors at Soldier Field, the Falcons coughed up three interceptions and had trouble stopping the Bears’ passing game. Statistically it was an even game. On the scoreboard, never in doubt.
Bengals 27, Browns 17 – Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton was not bad before leaving the game with an injury. Brad Gradkowski showed again to be a top-notch back-up. And the Bengals pulled off what has to be an upset, considering there are people who didn’t think they would win a game this season. But they have an outstanding running back, Cedric Benson, who had 121 yards and a touchdown. The rest of the team will grow around him.
Eagles 31, Rams 13 – Steven Jackson rolled 47 yards for a touchdown on St. Louis’ first play. He made another run for nine yards. Then he never played again because of a quad injury. The physical Eagles kept knocking out key Rams players. I wonder a little about St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford, who was not effective before injuring a finger on his throwing hand. The Eagles, of course, are the real deal. Not sure about my Rams.
Lions 27, Buccaneers 20 – Detroit might be ready to be something other than the punching bag its been for so long. The Lions have a bunch of offensive weapons and maybe, cross your fingers, young quarterback Matthew Stafford will stay healthy. No fluke here. Detroit, Chicago and Green Bay could give us a lot of entertainment in the NFC North.
Jaguars 16, Titans 14 – An early divisional matchup resulted in an early surprise. There are few recognizable names on the Jacksonville roster, but Maurice Jones-Drew is. And he rushed for 100-plus yards to take the pressure off quarterback Luke McCown, who completed 17 of 24 passes for 175 yards. Nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong, though, with Chris Johnson’s performance for Tennessee. He gained 24 yards on nine carries. I know he hasn’t been in camp long, but the Titans better hope rust is the reason for those numbers. New quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw two interceptions.
Ravens 35, Steelers 7 – We don’t get to talk defense enough in the NFL. Thank goodness for Baltimore, which limited Pittsburgh’s running game to 66 yards and had three interceptions against Ben Roethlisberger. The Ravens have an offense, too. This was a butt-kicking and Baltimore has a bunch of butt-kickers.
Texans 34, Colts 7 – We kind of saw this coming, didn’t we? No Peyton Manning. A gray-bearded (literally) Kerry Collins at quarterback for Indy. And a hungry Houston team that just might live up to expectations in 2011. The Texans should have no trouble winning the AFC South.
Bills 41, Chiefs 7 – So many questions now about Kansas City. It’s difficult to know where to start. I’ll be blogging later today about the Chiefs, so I’ll save most of my comments for then. But this was one game on KC’s schedule that looked like a sure victory. There aren’t many of them. Wow, what a disappointing loss. And the score? Wow.