Congratulations to those wily NFL marketing vets who successfully managed to stretch out the first week of the regular season over six days. I don't even remember who played last Wednesday night, do you? Oh wait, it was the defending Super Bowl champs, the New York "We are the better New York team so stop talking about the Jets" Giants, who were upended by the Dallas Cowboys. The season opening marathon ended Monday night in Oakland, with a less than riveting win by the Chargers over the Raiders. (I say less than riveting because I, like pretty much the entire East Coast, was in bed well before kickoff.)
In other news, Tom Brady sported a large bandage on his schnoz in his postgame press conference, and laughingly boasted, "I need some scars." Ah yes, now all the makeup artists will have to work extra hard before his next magazine shoot for Uggs. In Cleveland, rookie quarterback Brandon "Don't call me old" Weeden got stuck underneath a ginormous American flag during pregame. That fact that he did not see a field-sized flag coming at him appeared to be foreshadowing to his performance during the game. More on that follows.
Also in week one:
- Should we hand out the super hero outfit now or wait a bit longer? Five rookies started at QB, but only one stood tall with a victory. That lucky dude is Washington's Robert Griffin III, although his performance of 320 passing yards, 2 TDs and 42 rushing yards certainly doesn't qualify as "lucky." He certainly lived up to the preseason hype, but let's not put the proverbial cart before the horse - yet. On the other hand, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson combined for 2 TDs, 11 picks, 2 lost fumbles and 10 sacks. Welcome to the NFL, rookies!
- Since they were shoved down our throats all preseason, I feel the need to mention them here. Apparently, the NY Jets showed up to play on Sunday and absolutely blitzed Buffalo. Did anyone really think Mark Sanchez would throw 3 TDs? And the "hush-hush top secret even though we're going to talk about it on national television before the season" wildcat offense featuring backup QB Tim Tebow finally made its debut. He ran for a handful of yards and apparently is moonlighting on the special teams as well. The Jets have a much tougher test at Pittsburgh next week, so it should be interesting to watch the Jets drama - or maybe lack thereof - unfold.
- Thanks for those fantasy football points - NOT! Were you one of the unfortunate souls with Tennessee's Chris Johnson in your starting lineup last weekend? How about always dependable Patriot Wes Welker or Packer Greg Jennings? Chances are you had one of these fantasy duds instead of the likes of Kevin Ogletree, Stephen Hill or Alfred Morris - some of this week's surprise fantasy stars. Morris could be a shining star in the making, and in most leagues he was one of the top added players since Sunday. If he's still available in your league, you might want to make a play for him - he could add some depth to your bench.
For week 2, I'll be watching to see how Green Bay can bounce back from their home loss to the 49ers when they host Chicago, whether or not Baltimore continues to light up the scoreboard when they visit Philadelphia and if Detroit can be the real deal or just a pretender when they roll in to San Francisco. And for those of you with sleep problems, I recommend tuning in to Arizona-New England or Oakland-Miami.
Until next week, friends, cheers!
Hershberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.