We’re adding another new feature to go hand in hand with Friday’s post: a postgame guide to what happened over the weekend. Here’s what you need to know about Week 1 in the NFL:
- Peyton Manning: Peyton’s return to football was nothing short of glorious. Once he was given free reign of the offense and went into his classic no-huddle mode, it was the Peyton of old back in action once again. He led the Broncos to a 31-19 victory over the Steelers.
- RGIII: AKA Robert Griffin the Third. He lit it up for the Redskins – one of the best starts ever for a rookie quarterback. It wasn’t just the fact that the Redskins won against a tough opponent in a volatile environment (Saints at home) and it wasn’t just his performance stats. It was the maturity and intuition with which he played. He made smart decision after smart decision after smart decision – completely uncharacteristic for a rookie quarterback in his first NFL game.
- Alfred Morris: Another stand out Redskins rookie. He looks like a remarkable rookie running back so far. (If you are in a fantasy league and he’s still available: draft him. ASAP.)
- Stephen Hill: As long as we’re talking about rookies who look like they have potential, let’s throw wide receiver Stephen Hill in the mix. He looked great in the Jets season opener.
- Offense? Really?: Three characteristically defensive-minded teams put up 40+ points on offense over the weekend: the Bears, the Jets, and the Ravens.
- Unfortunate Surprise #1: Michael Vick threw 4 picks against the Browns…and the Eagles still won. (Translation: the Browns are just that bad.)
- Unfortunate Surprise #2: I should have known better. I jumped the Bills bandwagon after all of the good press and positive moves they made in the offseason…but after living in Rochester for 8 years I should have known that the Bills never fail to fail. Sorry, Buffalo. I was really rooting for you. But after a 48-28 smackdown loss against the Jets, it looks like the same old, same old, once again.
- Unfortunate Surprise #3: This one was the most troubling for me…the Packers defense. OH, the Packers defense! Where fore art thou, 2010 Super Bowl Champion D?!?! The Packers loss to the 49ers on Sunday was just ugly…there is a lot of work to be done before the Bears come to town for the Thursday night game in 2 days.
- Replacement Ref Grade: C+. Most egregious blunder: giving the Seahawks a 4th time out in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter by mistake.
Last but not least, as a big fan of Mike and Mike in the Morning I have to give a shout out to their new show, Mike and Mike’s Best of the NFL, which debuts at 3pm on ESPN this afternoon. If you miss it the first time you can catch the reair on ESPN2 at 6:30pm. If it’s anything like the morning show, it will be amazing!