Sunday, September 11, 2011

11 Things I Know I Know: Week 1

1. I know I couldn't be prouder to be an American on days like today. The pregame ceremonies across the league were heartfelt. An incredible way to start the season. I love this country.

2. I know the NFC Central race will be the most exciting contest in all of football. Everyone knows about the defending champ Packers. The Lions lived up to the billing as a potential sleeper as they went into Tampa Bay and defeated the Bucs, and the Bears, a team many people -me included - wrote off, dismantled the conference favorite Falcons. Even the Vikings gave the Chargers a scare on the road.

On a related note, I really though Aqib Talib was still in jail. Apparently, he's not as he returned an interception for a touchdown today.

3. I know the most boring race will be held in the AFC South. The Texans are the class of the bunch as exhibited by their slaughter of the Colts today while the Jags-Titans game set organized football back a decade with their sleep-inducing play.

4. I know Fox should have used some discretion when giving us the soundbite of Michael Vick screaming "kill, kill, kill, kill" while changing the play at the line of scrimmage. Sure, it's part of the game, but the guy is trying to rebuilding his image.

Other than that, however, the Eagles have very little to complain about. After falling behind 7-0, they thoroughly and methodically dominated the Rams for three and a half quarters. I was able to watch the majority of this game, and Philly didn't look like they were even firing on all cylinders which is either a great sign for them or a terrible one for the Rams or both.

Speaking of the Rams, they lost four key offensive contributors to injury on Sunday: QB Sam Bradford (appears fine after injuring his hand), WR Danny Amendala (out 10 weeks with a destroyed elbow), OT Jason Smith (sprained ankle), and RB Steven Jackson (week-to-week with a strained quad). Not exactly what they had in mind for Week One.

5. I know Rashard Mendenhall and Hines Ward are lucky to be alive tonight. Haloti Ngata almost beheaded Mendenhall in the backfield while causing a fumble that Ngata also recovered. A few plays later Jarret Johnson absolutely crushed Hines Ward as he came across the middle of the line of scrimmage. (I'm guessing no one in the NFL is losing any sleep over that hit.) Very impressive game for Baltimore today forcing seven turnovers and running all over Pittsburgh.

6. I know that it's going to be a long season in Kansas City, Cleveland, and Seattle. Losing at any point to the Bills, Bengals, and 49ers is unacceptable. Losing by double-digits to each of these teams on Opening Day is just pathetic.

7. I know Cam Newton deserves a ton of credit. Yes, he was throwing against the Little Sisters of Poor defensive backfield, but to put up 422 yards in your NFL debut speaks volumes. Unfortunately, he and the Panthers couldn't spring the upset in Arizona, but number 89 in Carolina just got a lot happier.

8. I know the New York Giants are looking more and more like the New York Mets. Justin Tuck was inactive today, and they've already lost a boatload of defensive starters. Losing on Opening Day is just an extra kick in the teeth. The G-Men play host to the Rams on Monday Night Football in what has to be considered a must-win game. Maybe Rex Grossman wasn't crazy after all when he suggested the Redskins could win the NFC East.

9. I know a lot of people got knocked out of their survivor pools this week by picking the Browns (you deserve your fate if you took Cleveland) and Kansas City and a whole lot more sweated out close games in San Diego and Arizona. God, I love the NFL.

10. I know the Patriots will beat the Dolphins, 36-23. There are a finite number of opportunities that we the betting public will have to wager against Chad Henne. Let's take advantage of them.

11. I know the Raiders will beat the Broncos, 20-19. I will believe the Broncos are good when I see it. Vegas has them as a three-point favorite, but they need to earn my respect before I back them. I'm hoping to see some Tebow on Monday Night too. Touchdown Jesus is good for the game.

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