Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NFL: Opening Weekend Heroes & Goats

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-Digger's Daily-

It was a great opening NFL weekend. It began Thursday night with Pittsburgh's dramatic OT win over Tennessee. What followed were games filled with last minute heroics, goats, solid performances by rookies and old vets. A few of my favorite moments from week 1:
My fantasy teams combined to go 4-1. Figures, the lone loss was in a league with friends! Random ESPN league teams won most covincingly.

Denver at Cincinnati - Denver and Chicago swapped QB's during the off season. Denver gave up Cutler to get Orton. Orton was less than impressive during a boring game until his final pass. Trailing 7-6 with just over one minute remaining in regulation.. Orton weak armed a pass down field which was tipped by a Bengals defender into the waiting arms of Brandon Stokley who raced towards the end zone for the game winning 87 yard touchdown. 13-7 Broncos. It was Stokley's only catch of the game. He was also smart enough to take time off of the clock until Bengal defenders finally caught up to him.

Drew Brees (Saints) threw for 6 TD's in a 45-27 Detroit. How many weeks will it take Detroit to win a game this year after 0-16 in 2008? Single season record holder, Dan Marino, predicted Brees would throw for more than 5000 yards this year. Brees picked apart a terrible Lions D for 6 TD's! He'll have a tough test this weekend vs Philadelphia.

Jets fans are loving their new head coach. Ryan had the Jets defense flying all over the field and completely disrupted a potentially explosive Texans attack. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez remained calm in his NFL debut. Nobody should become over hyped after one game. It was a good beginning to New York's newest era of Jets football.

Chicago at Green Bay - Cutler was supposed to resurrect Chicago's underperforming offense. He played miserably. I can't remember the last time I saw such an anemic performance... (until I flipped channels to see Delhomme implode with 5 int's). Chicago had managed to survive four Cutler interceptions until Aaron Rodgers threw a 50 yard TD strike with 1:11 remaining. Devastating news for Bears players and fans.. All Pro LB Brian Urlacher is done for the year. Chicago just slipped a notch.

Goat of the Weekend Award: Leodis McKelvin (Buffalo).... Buffalo had just played a terrific game. They were leading heavily favored New England 24-13 on Monday Night Football. Pats closed the game to 24-19 and kicked off with 2:06 remainiing. They opted to kick deep where a waiting McKelvin stupidly decided to return a kick out of his own end zone. All he had to do was HOLD ONTO THE FOOTBALL. Not only did my goat pick try returning the kick. Noooooooooooooo! This guy felt the necessity to attempt breaking tackles instead of falling harmlessly to the ground. Buffalo would have been able to run out the clock. So what happened? McKelvin fumbled while trying to break a tackle. New England recovered at Buffalo's 21 yard line. QB Brady had been ineffective most of the game until the final minutes. He threw his 2nd TD pass within 66 seconds to snatch victory from defeat, 25-24. Bills must still be stinging from handing away a hard fought win.

Other notables: Pederson (Min) 180 yds, 3 TD; Brett Favre (Min) 1-0 for new Vikes team; Tony Romo (Dal) career high 353 yards; 49ers beat NFC Champion Cardinals 20-16; Hasselback (Sea) is back 25-36, 279, 3 TD.

Week one prediction results 11-5 thanks to last minute losses by Cincinnati & Chicago.

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