GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we absorb a bonanza of Week 1 action and await the Bears-Packers new-look NFC North showdown at a jacked to the gills Lambeau Field ...
• One thing that never, ever changes from year to year in pro football: Quarterbacks make the NFL go round. Always have, always will. After months of debate and just four quarters of results, here are a few things we already know about the guys who play the league's glamour position after the Week 1 games ...
Fox benched Delhomme in the second half, after his fifth turnover, and you wonder how the Panthers head coach can possibly run him out there again. I know this much: It's a lucky break for Delhomme that Carolina faces two road games (at Atlanta, at Dallas) and a Week 4 bye before returning to Bank of America Stadium in Week 5 against Washington. Maybe some of the stench of the Panthers' opener and Delhomme's latest debacle will have faded by then.
• More than any other quarterback in the league,
I didn't think Brees would have a real shot at breaking Dan Marino's 1984 record for single-season passing yardage (5,084) this season -- the mark he barely missed last year -- because I presumed an improved Saints defense this season would translate into less need for New Orleans to fill the skies with footballs.
But that assumption may be proved wrong.
While he started rather shakily in a 34-20 win at Cleveland, at the end of the day he was 14 of 21 for an unspectacular 110 yards, without any interceptions or fumbles lost to go with his one scoring pass. Peterson ran wild with 180 yards and three touchdowns, and Harvin in his NFL debut had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown, and 22 yards on a pair of rushes.
That's the idea, Brett. Just dink and dunk your way down the field, and let Peterson do the heavy lifting.
• A fractured rib for
• We were reminded once again that it really doesn't matter who starts for Cleveland at quarterback. Maybe that's the real reason
• It wasn't just talk: The Jets are using the
Sanchez did his job, making plays when they were there for the making, but not trying to do too much. He finished with a solid 272 yards passing, one pretty 30-yard touchdown pass to
• According to the Jets, Sanchez is just the fourth rookie quarterback since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to win a season opener on the road. The others were Buffalo's Joe Ferguson at New England in 1973, Denver's John Elway at Pittsburgh in 1983, and Carolina's Chris Weinke at Minnesota in 2001. If memory serves, neither Weinke or the Panthers won again that season, finishing 1-15.
• Speaking of Flacco, the training wheels have most definitely been taken off in year two, wouldn't you say? The Baltimore QB threw for 307 yards and three scores in that surprisingly tough 38-24 win over the Chiefs, which accounted for the biggest chunk of the Ravens' 501 yards of total offense. Flacco found seven different receivers with at least two of his passes, and spread his three touchdowns around to three Ravens:
• That's about what we expected from Lions rookie
• If you love stats,
• If ever a team deserved a game-changing lucky break, maybe it's the Broncos after the tumultuous offseason and preseason Josh McDaniels and Co. have endured. Still, that was a miracle touchdown for the ages that Denver receiver
Is there some league rule that Denver gets one gift win every season? Betcha
• Easy pick for my frauds of the week. It's the Texans. A perennial chic pick to finally make the playoffs, Houston laid a total egg at home against the Jets, scoring no points on offense, and producing just 11 first downs and 183 total yards. And what is it about
I've been skeptical all along that Houston is headed for a breakthrough year. I'm more dubious than ever after watching the Texans' efforts in Week 1. They richly deserved those late-game boos that rang out throughout Reliant Stadium.
• Second place in my Week 1 fraud alert probably goes to the Bengals, who suckered a lot of people with that hopeful preseason and all that great television in HBO's
• Do you realize that
• Welcome back to the land of the NFL living,
• With No. 2 Colts receiver
• So I don't see Dallas missing
• Steady there,
• Those were snazzy new uniforms for Jacksonville, but unfortunately that was kind of the same old Jaguars offense. There was a decent dose of
• I've liked Lions rookie safety
• Maybe I missed it, but there didn't seem to be any big doings by anyone in the ever-more-popular Wildcat Formation on Sunday. I saw
• Did I hear that right, Texans cornerback
Maybe Smith should wear "Don't get beat, Dunta" on his footwear, because I believe it was Robinson who got roasted by Jets receiver
• Kind of a typical
• Carolina is clueless on offense at the moment, but the Eagles defense looks like it's in good hands with new coordinator,
There are big shoes to fill in Philly, but McDermott is off to a promising start.
• It's too early to call it a changing-of-the-guard-type moment in the NFC West, but I do believe that Seattle and San Francisco winning in Week 1, and the defending NFC champion Cardinals going down to defeat at home against the 49ers, is indicative of where things likely are headed this season for all three teams.
The Cardinals seem out of sync, as if they have yet to grasp how big of a target they now wear on their backs. Teams will give them their best shot this season, and I have my doubts that
San Francisco's 20-16 win at Arizona didn't include the running game component I thought the 49ers were going to feature this year --
• Lot of pressure on Raiders head coach
The winners? They were Denver's McDaniels, the Jets'