This is the return of a feature that was done a little bit last year. In the Weekly Recap, we will take a quick look at the games from each week of the NFL season.
So, lets get started with the recaps. And feel free to discuss what you saw in the comments section.Saints - 34. Packers - 42
To open up the NFL season we got a little preview of the offensive explosion that was seen from Quarterbacks over week one. Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees each threw for over 300 yards, and they often had receivers running wide open just making things easy for both of them to sling it all over the field. They were also able to make some incredible throws into tight windows that just embarrassed the defensive backs. The most exciting play was probably rookie Randall Cobb doing a barrel roll to avoid being tackled on the way to a 108 yard kickoff return. The game also had an exciting end with Drew Brees trying to lead the Saints to a touchdown and two point conversion that would tie the game and they managed to get to the one yard line on an untimed down before the final play, a rush by Mark Ingram was stuffed by the Packers to end the game. If you like watching good offenses at work, it was a great start to the NFL Season.
According to the media experts before this game, the Falcons would be a Super Bowl favorite and the Bears would decline after overachieving last season. It did not look that way on Sunday when the Bears Defense kept the new and improved offense led by Matt Ryan from making big plays downfield, and Jay Cutler looked sharp in his first game back from an MCL Tear in the NFC Championship game last season. Shockingly, the Falcons were dominated throughout the game, and their only touchdown came late in the game on an Interception thrown by Cutler that was batted up into the air by a defensive lineman.
If any team made a big statement over this weekend, it was the Ravens and their defense that suffocated the Steelers offense all day long. For the Steelers, they had only seven points on offense, and they turned the ball over seven times. Three of those turnovers were Interceptions thrown by Ben Roethlisberger. Ray Rice wound up with gaping holes to run through on his way to over 100 yards rushing, former Cardinal Anquan Boldin caught a Touchdown early in the first quarter, and Terell Suggs sacked Big Ben three times.
Matt Hasselbeck tried to lead a late comeback after the Jaguars controlled the game for most of the day, but threw a late Interception to cost the Titans the game. Luke McCown, brother of Josh, was able to just manage the game after the surprising release of David Garrard, and Maurice Jones-Drew was able to run for almost 100 yards. After missing the preseason due to a contract holdout, Chris Johnson was also non-existant in the running game carrying the ball nine times for 24 yards. This is something that became more common with CJ2K last season as he appeared to be looking to hit a home run on every play and dancing around in the backfield more often.
Some people expected a decline from the Chiefs after a miserable Preseason filled with injuries and the loss of Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis to the Florida Gators, but did anyone really expect them to struggle this much? Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard man threw four Touchdowns as the Bills dominated the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Matt Cassel threw for only 119 yards while completing 22 of his 36 passes while adding a Touchdown and an Interception for an inept Cheifs offense. The toughest blow for the Cheifs has to be the loss of star Safety Eric Berry to a torn ACL.
The Lions started off a season where they have very high hopes with a solid win over a good team. Often injured but promising QB Matthew Stafford threw three Touchdowns, and Tampa was able to make the game look a little bit closer after being down 14 points with eight minutes left in the game with a touchdown pass from Josh Freeman to Mike Williams. Freeman looked nothing like the guy who was expected to continue his strong play after a great second season going 28 of 43 for 257 yards, a Touchdown and a Pick. Late in the game the Bucs were able to get to midfield with 8 seconds left to tie the game, but their lateral play failed and the Lions held on to win.
In the battle for Ohio, the Browns led for most of the game but Bruce Gradkowski led a late comeback after an injury to Andy Dalton in the first half and the Bengals were able to hang on for a win. Down 13-17, Gradkowski threw a 41 yard Touchdown to rookie A.J. Green for his first career reception and Touchdown and then their defense was able to shut down the Browns offense to seal the win.
The "Dream Team" had a good debut against the Rams, who left the game with a ton of injuries including Sam Bradford, Danny Amendola, and Stephen Jackson. The Rams started off fast with a 47 yard score from Jackson on their first play from scrimmage but he was injured on the play and left after his next carry. Meanwhile Michael Vick threw for 187 yards and ran for 98 yards in a game where the Rams were able to get pressure on him and force him to run for his life all day long. Even with the pressure the Rams were getting on Vick, the Eagles were able to control the game and get the win.
Not much really needs to be said here, the Texans were able to dominate the game with Peyton Manning possibly out for the year for the Colts. Recently un-retired Kerry Collins looked like a guy who just came out of retirement and the Colts offense could not get anything going until late in the fourth quarter where he threw a Touchdown to Reggie Wayne. The Texans were up 34-0 at halftime, and they were able to just run the ball for most of the day to get the win. If this continues for the Colts, they could wind up winning the "Suck for Luck" Sweepstakes
In a game filled with anemic offenses, Ted Ginn returned a kickoff and a punt for a Touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give the 49ers a win to open their season. Prior to that, the game was close with the 49ers up 19-17 after new Seahawks signal caller Tarvaris Jackson threw a touchdown in the comeback attempt after struggling badly for most of the game. Alex Smith, the man the 49ers are incapable of getting rid of, was able to just manage the game only throwing for 124 yards. Ginn's touchdowns each came with under four minutes left in the game.
The Chargers looked sloppy for most of the game, with Phillip Rivers throwing for two scores but adding two Interceptions, and the Chargers gave up a kickoff return touchdown on the opening kickoff to start the game. Meanwhile for the Vikings, Adrian Peterson ran for almost 100 yards and new Quarterback Donovan McNabb completed 7 of 15 passes for only 39 yards. Thirty....... Nine........ Yards. The Vikings also only gained only 26 yards in the second half (including two passing yards by McNabb) as they allowed their 17-7 halftime lead to fall apart. I guess that is why the Cardinals didn't want McNabb eh?
Rex Grossman is known for making some boneheaded turnovers, but it was Eli Manning who struggled in the win for the Redskins completing only half of his passes and throwing an Interception that was returned for a score by rookie Ryan Kerrigan. Meanwhile Grossman seemed to vindicate Mike Shannahan in his decision to start Rexy over John Beck and trade McNabb to the Vikings when he threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in the game. but we all know that Grossman can throw four touchdowns one night and four interceptions the next. Former Cardinal Tim Hightower also ran for 72 yards and a score on 25 carries. The Giants did come into the game with a defense that was decimated by injuries, so that could be a factor in their loss, but maybe the Redskins are for real this year. We will see next week when the Cardinals visit them.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys continued with their tendency to choke away in big games with a fumble inside the Jets two yard line, a punt that was blocked and returned for a score by the Jets, and a horrible interception thrown right to Darelle Revis with a minute left and the game tied that allowed the Jets to kick a game winning field goal. This is especially frustrating for Cowboys fans because Romo was lights out before that throwing two touchdowns and giving the Cowboys a 24-10 lead before the collapse. Meanwhile Mark Sanchez continued to be his inconsistent self throwing for two touchdowns but also throwing an Interception that was returned to the Jets one yard line and going through stretches where he was throwing pinpoint passes to flat out missing everything. After Romo's turnover, the Jets were only able to gain two yards, but it all paid off as Nick Folk kicked a 50 yard field goal. After the Cowboys got the ball back, they tried to go down the field and tie the game, but were unable to, Romo even bobbled a snap and appeared to smile after it. Just another moment where Romo proved that even though he puts up good numbers for Fantasy Football people he melts under pressure.
Some media people mentioned after Cam Newton's 422 yard game against us on Sunday that Tom Brady has never thrown for that many yards in a game before. I guess that made Tom mad because he threw for 517 in a shootout against the Dolphins including a 99 yard pass to Wes Welker. Brady wasn't completely perfect though, his streak of 358 passes without throwing a pick was broken on a play where his pass was batted up into the air and picked off by a Dolphin. Chad Henne got in on the passing clinic with the Dolphins new and more aggressive offense throwing for 416 yards, and combined with Brady's huge day the two Michigan Men combined to throw for 933 yards, an NFL record beating the 927 that Dan Marion and Ken O'Brien accounted for in 1986. People who love to see good defensive play at work shudder at this game as the Patriots accounted for almost 700 yards of total offense.
The Raiders held off a late comeback attempt by the Broncos in a sloppy penalty filled game (25 penalties to be exact) to get the win. After an Interception by Kyle Orton late in the first half, Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski was also able to tie an NFL record with a 63 yard field goal. The biggest story of this game is probably how Kyle Orton struggled, throwing for over 300 yards and a score but completing only 52% of his passes, losing a costly fumble, and throwing a Pick when the Broncos had a good drive going before halftime. In the fourth quarter, the Bronco fans even began chanting the name of Tim Tebow after Orton's fumble in a game where the Raiders got constant pressure on Orton and stuffed the Denver running game where their leading rusher Knowshon Moreno only had 22 yards and at one point Orton was their leading rusher with 13 yards. It appears Tim Tebow or Brady Quinn could wind up starting soon if the Broncos can't turn things around.