The highlight of this game will be that the NFL rules cost the Lions a hard fought win and not to mention there first road win in 3 years. The Bears were led on offense by Jay Cutler connecting with Matt Forte. Forte ended up with 7 receptions for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. Forte’s 151 receiving yards set an NFL record for the most receiving yards on opening day by a running back. Robbie Gould also added two field goals from 20, and 31 yards out. The Lions on the other end were led by there strong defense. A defense which stone walled the Bears at the goal line 4 times The defense also sacked Cutler 4 times, forced 4 fumbles, and had 1 interceptions. Not only was Calvin Johnson’s non touchdown a heartbreak but that Matthew Stafford has found it he may miss 4-8 weeks with a right shoulder injury. Stafford missed the whole second half when he was blindsides by Julius Peppers for the sack. This of course is a huge blow to the Lions. The Rookie Jahvid Best scored both the Lions touchdowns and ended up with 20 yards on 14 carries. The Bears won a tough game by the score of 19-14.
Al Davis’s super bowl team didn’t fare so well in there first game. Quarterback Jason Campbell who was acquired during the NFL Draft wasn’t to sharp and was no Jim Plunkett. Darren McFadden stood out for the Raiders replacing starting running back Michael Bush who was inactive with a thumb injury. McFadden ran for 95 yards on 18 carries, and had 6 receptions for 55 yards, and 1 touchdown. On the other hand the Titans were very impressive and were led by the one and only Chris Johnson. Johnson had a great game carrying the ball 27 times for 142 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Vince Young also had a great game completing 13 of his 17 passes for 154 yards, and 2 touchdowns. The Titans defense was also very solid allowing 6 points in 3 quarters before the Raiders added a touchdown in the 4th quarter. The D also added 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception to there solid game. The Titans walked all over the Raiders by the score of 38-13.
Quick Recap: One of the surprises of the night was the Texans beating the Colts. This was the Texans 2nd time they ever beat the Colts in 17 games. Led by a monster running game by Arian Foster the Texans were able to run all over the Colts. Foster finished the day with 231 rushing yards on 33 carries, and scored 3 touchdowns. The defense for the Texans wasn’t spectacular but it did get the job done. Peyton Manning played outstanding despite the loss. Manning completed 40 of 57 passes for 433 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Pierre Garcon all under up with 75 receiving yards or more. The huge let down was the Colts defense who once again loss veteran leader Bob Sanders to a torn bicep muscle. Sanders has been plagued with injuries his whole career and has only played 48 games in 7 seasons. The Texans pulled out the shocker by a score of 30-20 over the Colts.
The Dolphins finally beat the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium who they hadn’t beaten there since 2003. They beat the Bills on the road in 2008 but that game was in Toronto. Brandon Marshall had an effective first game as a Dolphin as he hauled in 8 receptions for 53 yards. The R&R Express (Ronnie Brown + Ricky Williams) ran for 127 yards combined, and 1 touchdown. The Dolphins defense led by new defensive coordinator was solid. They stopped Bills C.J Spiller to 6 yards on 7 carries. The defense tallied up 3 sacks, and forced a safety. The Bills were led by Trent Edwards who at times did not look too sharp but he he did not turnover the ball. Edwards finished up completing 18 of 34 for 139 yards, and 1 touchdown. His one lone touchdown came late in the game in the 4th quarter when he hit Roscoe Parrish for a 31 yard touchdown on 4th and 11. The Bills also played pretty well on defense holding the Dolphins to only 15 points. The Dolphins came out on top though by a score of 15-10.
The Patriots looked like a Super Bowl contender defeating the Bengals worse then scores appears. The Bengals were out of it right out of the gate and found themselves down 24-0 before they knew it. Tom Brady was electric completing 25 of 35 passes for 258 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Wes Welker coming off his injury looked really good hauling in 8 receptions for 64 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Tate also stood out for his 184 kick return yards, 1 touchdown as well as hauling in 4 receptions for 36 yards. The defense was powered by solid play by Patrick Chung, Jared Meyo, Gary Guyton as well as other. The Bengals although going down 24-0 made this into a respectable game by scoring most of there points in the 2nd half. They were passing all game which means Carson Palmer had a pretty solid game. Palmer completed 34 of 50 passes for 345 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Chad Ochocinco was Palmers main target hauling in 12 catches for 159 yards, and 1 touchdown. Terrell Owens is his Bengals debut fared well bringing in 7 receptions for 53 yards. Also making there debuts were Jordan Shipley (5 receptions, 82 yards), and Jermaine Gresham (6 receptions, 25 yards, 1 touchdown). The Patriots took this game early but finished by a score of 38-24.
This game was a wild one in terms of turnovers which totaled 9 combined. The Giants although got the job done and avenged there last season blowout loss to the Panthers. The Giants were led by there defense who caused 5 of the 9 total turnovers. The Giants picked off Matt Moore 3 times as well as hurting him late in the game. Deon Grant, Terrell Thomas, and Kenny Phillips all picked off Moore. Osi Umenyiora had 1 sack as well as a forced fumble, and Mathias Kiwanuka had 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. On offense the Giants had one threat and it was Hakeem Nicks. Nicks hauled in 4 receptions for 75 yards, and 3 touchdowns. As for the Panthers they had a pretty good defensive game picking off Eli Manning 3 times, and forcing a fumble on Ahmad Bradshaw. James Anderson, and Charles Godfrey (2 times) both picked off Manning. Rookie Grag Hardy forced the fumble. On offense for the Panthers Steve Smith did well hauling in 5 receptions for 75 yards, and 1 touchdown. The top player I think for the Panthers was the veteran kicker Jon Kasay who was a perfect 3 for 3. Kasay hit field goals from 21, 43, and 52 yards out. The Giants took advantage of there turnovers and won by a score of 31-18.
This was a defensive game with an overtime finish. The Steelers were without Ben Roethlisberger who is serving a 4 game suspension went to Dennis Deixon to lead them. Dixon did well as he completed 18 of 26 passes for 236 yards, and 1 interception. The Steelers defense was solid racking up 2 sacks, 1 interception, and holding Michael Turner to only 42 yards rushing. The star of the game was Rashard Mendenhall who ran for 120 yards on 22 carries, and had 1 touchdown. His lone touchdown was a big one when in overtime he broke out a 50 yard run for a overtime game winning touchdown. The Falcons though coming out on the short end played great defense too but the running game fell short of where it needed to be. Matt Ryan played well completing 27 of 44 passes for 252 yards, and 1 interception. His main target was Roddy White who had a great game hauling in 13 receptions for 111 yards. The Atlanta defense was solid too besides the one blemish in overtime compiling 3 sacks, and 1 interception. The point scorers who will be recognized is both kickers. Falcons Matt Bryant connecting on 3 of 4 including from 23, 39, and 49 yards out. Steelers Jeff Reed was 3 of 5 connecting on 3 of 5 including from 34, 36, and 52 yards out. Mendenhall stole the show and gave the Steelers a victory by a score of 15-9.
The Buccaneers took advantage of the Browns mistakes and made them pay. The Buccaneers were carried by there defense which usually is the best part of the team. The Buccaneers forced 2 fumbles, and intercepted Jake Delhomme 2 times. Barrett Ruud and rookie Gerald Mccoy caused the fumbles. The interceptions came from E.J. Biggers and veteran Ronde Barber who racked up his 38th career interception. On offense Josh Freeman had a pretty good game completing 17 of 28 for 182 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The Browns defense played good with one real blemish. The blemish was letting the Buccaneers score with 8 seconds left in the second quarter. Otherwise they were solid. They forced 1 fumble and intercepted Freeman 1 time. T.J ward forced the fumble, and Mike Adams had the interception. On offense the ground game was the only thing that stood out. Jerome Harrison rushed for 52 yards on 9 carries, and Patrick Hills rushed for 41 yards on 9 carries and scored 1 touchdown. Jake Delhomme went back to his ways by throwing interceptions and also got hurt in the game. Delhomme finished the game completing 20 of 37 passes for 227 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. The Browns chance to seal the deal ended in a fumble that the Buccaneers took advantage of and won by a score of 17-14.
The Jaguars and the Broncos played one of the better games going score for score against each other with the Jaguars sealing the deal at the end. The Jaguars were led on offense by David Garrard, Maurice Jones-Drew, Mike Thomas, and Marcedes Lewis. Garrard was terrific completing 16 of 21 passes for 170 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Jones-Drew didn’t live up to his fantasy football expectations but he fared well rushing for 98 yards on 23 carries. Mike Thomas was Garrard’s favorite target dialing him up 6 times for 89 yards. Marcedes Lewis was the redzone guy hauling in 2 touchdown on his 2 receptions for 31 yards. A good offensive showing from the Jaguars. The defense played tough and Daryl Smith led the charge forcing 1 fumble and adding 1 interception. As for the Broncos though they lost they played rather well. The defense wasn’t too sharp mostly in the redzone. On offense though Kyle Orton, Brandon Lloyd, and Eddie Royal looked impressive. Orton completed 21 of 33 passes for 295 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Lloyd looked really good hauling in 5 receptions for 117 yards while Royal was good too hauling in 8 receptions for 98 yards. The Jaguars scored last to take the lead and win by a score of 24-17.
One of the bigger surprise games was this one. The Seahawks who was written off for having an old quarterback, no run game, bad receivers, and old defense took it to the 49ers. The defense played solid leading the way for this victory. The defense stiffled the 49ers forcing 1 fumble and 2 interceptions. Red Bryant forced the fumble and also added a sack to an impressive day. Jordan Babineaux had 1 of the interception. The other was by Marcus Trufant who brought his back for a 32 yard touchdown. Matt Hasselbeck and Mike Williams played well on offense. Hasselbeck looked back to his old form completed 18 of 23 passes for 170 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Williams who hasn’t played since 2007 played very well hauling in 6 receptions for 64 yards. There is nothing really that great to say about the 49ers who’s defense that I thought was one of the best looked terrible. The only player who stood out for the 49ers was the newest highest paid tight end Vernon Davis. Davis hauled in 8 reception for 73 yards which is a good sign for that huge payday. A shocker here in which the Seahawks put the hurting on the 49ers by a score of 31-6.
The first overall draft pick Sam Bradford didn’t fare as well as he planned in his first NFL game. Bradford was picked off 3 times including 2 by Adrian Wilson, and 1 by Kerry Rhodes. The Cardinals had a bad case of fumbling the ball and coughed it up 4 times which definitely keep the Rams close. Oshiomogho Atogwe, C.J Ah you (best name ever), and Larry Grant (2) all forced the fumbles. The Cardinals actually fumbled 7 times but recovered 3 of them but still is a huge concern. The Rams only fumbled 2 times which was forced by Greg Toler, and Steve Breaston. As you can tell this game was based on turnovers and solid defense both ways. Derek Anderson, and Breaston stood out for the Cardinals. Anderson stood out because he didn’t throw and interception. Breaston hauled in 7 receptions for 132 yards, and also saved the Cardinals when he ran down Clifton Ryan who was about to score before being stripped by Breaston. As for the Rams on offense they were led by Steven Jackson and newly acquired wide receiver Mark Clayton. Jackson rushed for 81 yards on 22 carries. Mark Clayton looked like Bradford’s go to guy as he hauled in 10 receptions for 119 yards. The Cardinals with strong defense held on to beat the Rams by a score of 17-13.
The Packers who are regarded as one of the super bowl contenders played pretty well. They were dominant when Kevin Kolb was out there until he got hurt but then Michael Vick almost led the Eagles back. This throws up a question can they handle a mobile quarterback. When Kolb left the game 7 minutes before halftime. The Packers took care of business early with the help of kicker Mason Crosby who connected on 2 of 2 from 49, and 56 yards out. Greg Jennings played good hauling in 5 receptions for 82 yards, 1 touchdown, and a highlight rell one handed catch. The Packers defense was very solid for the 1st half of play and pretty good the 2nd half. The Packers defense absolutely took it to Kolb early. The defense tallied up 6 sacks, and forced 2 fumbles. Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews forced the fumbles. Matthews was a beast tallying 3 sacks, and the forced fumble. With Kolb out Vick took over and took over the offense. Vick completed 16 of 24 passes for 175 yards, 1 touchdown, and 103 rushing yards. The Defense played alright picking off Rodgers 2 times. Rookie Nate Allen, and Joselio Hanson had the interceptions. Vick got the Eagles back in it but couldn’t make the complete comeback losing by a score of 27-20 to the Packers.
Donovan post Eagles career started off with a bang shocking the Cowboys. The Redskins helped by poor play calling by the Cowboys were able to take advantage of it. On a play where most team would knee the Cowboys didn’t and payed for it. Choice was stripped by DeAngelo Hall who brought it back for 6 as time expired in the 1st half. The Cowboys had many times to win or tie the game. Too many holds kept the Cowboys from recovering. Also David Buehler missed a field goal which would haunt the Cowboys later in the game. Both defenses looked solid but the offense on both was rather sluggish. Tony Romo did well but the ground game if had been called on more would have helped. Romo completed 31 of 47 for 282 yards, and 1 touchdown. His go to guy Miles Austin did great hauling in 10 receptions for 146 yards, and 1 touchdown. For the Redskins McNabb was decent completing 15 of 32 for 171 yards. Chris Cooley and Santana Moss were his go to guys. Cooley hauled in 6 receptions for 80 yards while Moss hauled in 6 receptions for 77 yards. Barron’s hold gives a boost to the Skins by a score of 13-7.
Rex Ryan’s super bowl team wasn’t so super on offense. The defense who lost Kris Jenkins early in the game played well enough to keep to the game close. The Jets just made too many mistakes mostly on Antonio Cromartie and rookie Kyle Wilson who both were penalized and burnt on plays. The Ravens defense was really good and made Shonn Greene as well Mark Sanchez look foolish. They actually got some help from offensive lineman Matt Slauson’s butt. The only one offense to shine was LaDainian Tomlinson who for 62 yards on 11 carries. The new look Ravens offense was pretty sharp with the real playmakers coming from the receiving corps. In his Ravens debut Boldin was nothing short of who Boldin is hauling in 7 receptions for 110 yards. Todd Heap was also great and made ESPN top 10 plays with a nice diving catch. Heap hauled in 6 receptions for 72 yards. The Ravens defense proved to be too much for the Jets offense and took the game by a score of 10-9.
The last of the shockers of the day was the Chiefs taking it to the Chargers. The rain played a big factor in this game and was definitely helpful to the Chiefs. The Chiefs played some solid defense, a flash on special teams, and one flash on offense. The Chiefs were able to stop the Chargers offense a number of times including the last play of the game on their goal line. Derrick Johnson was animal on the field and forced a fumble on Ryan Matthews that set up a Chiefs touchdown. The flash on special teams was the rookie Dexter McCluster who lived up to his position a a OW (Offensive Weapon) and returned a punt return 94 yards for a touchdown. The one flash on offense came from Jamaal Charles who answered the Chargers touchdown with a 56 yard touchdown run. Charles ran for 92 yards on 11 carries, and 1 touchdown. As for the Chargers the sloppy weather hurt them but the defense was really good forcing many 3 and outs. On offense Phillip Rivers played good completing 22 of 39 passes for 298 yards, and 2 touchdowns. His main targets were Legedu Nannee and Antonio Gates. Naanee had a deep fantasy leaguers dream day hauling in 5 receptions for 110 yards, and 1 touchdown. Gates met his exoectation hauling in 5 receptions for 76 yards, and 1 touchdown. A slip by Malcolm Floyd cost the Chargers the possible tie and boosted the Chiefs to victory by a score of 21-14.