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NFL Week 1 Rundown

Week 1 of the 2010 NFL is in the history books.  And while one Sunday won’t make or break a team, there were a handful of ugly games.  Seven teams won games last Sunday scoring 19 points or less.  Both Tennessee and New England rolled up 38 points, the highest point total in Week 1, and outscored the combined final score of eight games! 

So it seems earlier on that defenses are slightly ahead of offenses.  With that in mind, let’s take a look back at the best and worst, the highs and the lows of Week 1.

Game of the Week:  Baltimore vs. New York Jets.  Ravens come away victorious on Monday night, 10-9.   It says September on the calender, but this one had the feel of a bitter, January playoff game.  For non-division rivals, these two teams sure hate each other like rivals and it showed on the field.  For all the talk coming into this season about the Jets and their Super Bowl aspirations, they got an unruly and unkind wake up call courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens.  The offensive numbers weren’t pretty and defense was the name of the game.  This was a street fight, plain and simple, and that’s the Baltimore calling card.   Lost in all the offseason Jets hoopla was the fact that John Harbaugh’s team ain’t bad either.  They showed it in prime time and the Jets couldn’t handle the target on their backs.

Player of the Week:  Texans RB Arian Foster: 33 rushes, 231 yards, 3 TD’s.  For just the second time in 17 meetings and the first since 2006, the Houston Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts, 34-24, on Sunday.  Foster had a huge hand in the win.  And I don’t think he’ll be sneaking up on anyone the rest of the season.  He became the first running back in NFL historyto run for 200 yards or more and score three touchdowns on opening weekends.  Foster’s 231 rushing yards were the most allowed in Colts history.  Fosters:  Texan for Victory!!!

Flop of the WeekSan Francisco 49ers.  They led 6-0 with 6:23 left in the first half.  Then the wheels fell off.  They’ve become the NFC West’s sexy division winner pick and they took it on the chin bigtime.  Seattle scored 31 unanswered points en route to a 31-6 humbling victory over San Francisco.  The 49ers were 1-of-15 on third down.  Yikes!  In the middle quarters, the Seahawks ouscored the 49ers 28-3.  Alex Smith threw 45 times.  They struggled to get Frank Gore going (Gore finished with 38 yards on 17 carries), and had to abandon the running game in the second half.  Gore and tight end Vernon Davis combined for 14 catches and no other 49ers player had more than 3 catches.  Where was Michael Crabtree?  It’s back to the drawing board for San Francisco.

Team of the WeekHouston Texans.  Apologies to Baltimore, Kansas City and Green Bay, but Houston opened the season beating the AFC champions, and beating them with a running game.  Who woulda thought?!  The Texans flipped the script successfully.  The old way of trying to outsling and outgun one of the game’s best in Peyton Manning routinely failed.  This time around, they didn’t rely on Matt Schaub and put it all on his shoulders to go win the game.  Instead, Schaub threw just 17 times while running the football 42 times.  You didn’t hear Dwight Freeney’s name or Roberth Mathis’ name called very often on Sunday, did you?  I don’t think Arian Foster is going to run for 231 yards and 3 scores every time out, but if the Texans are going to be taken seriously and expect to finally challenge Indianapolis in the division, they’ll need to have a serious game.  Maybe they finally found it in Foster.

Letdown of the Week:  Dallas Cowboys.  Boy that sure was ugly from the guys with stars on their helmets.  Granted Mike Shanahan had six months to get ready for this one, but that doesn’t excuse the Cowboys’ out of sorts sloppy play.  It didn’t look like anyone on the Dallas sidelines were on the same page, from the coaches to the players.  I can’t even begin to describe the final play of the first half that resulted in DeAngelo Hall’s defensive backbreaking touchdown to end the half.  I don’t envy Alex Barron.  He was flagged numerous times, the most costly a holding penalty at the end of the game that negated Tony Romo’s game winning pass to Roy Williams.  Marc Columbo became the most revered and appreciated man in Dallas this week.

Road Winner of the Week:  Green Bay.  Going into Philadelphia and winning, let alone on opening day, is never a spring picnic.  A bit of quirky game for Green Bay.  The exacted all their damage in the middle quarters, outscoring the Eagles 27-7 in the 2nd & 3rd quarters.  They didn’t start or finish real well, but they found a way to leave Philly a winner.  If I’m Green Bay, I have to feel somewhat good that Aaron Rodgers threw for just 188 yards, was intercepted twice and took three sacks and they still won.  Sure, the Packers have some things to clean up; after Week 1 who doesn’t?  But this is the kind of games Super Bowl contenders find ways to win.

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