NFL, acronym for the No Fun League ….
The NFL season opened up with a flurry of games and the league’s rookies took the field for their baptism of fire . On what was a record day, five quarterbacks drafted in 2012 were on the field of play. The top two picks, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III led their respective teams in their inaugural games in the NFL.
Slide show, for your viewing .
A number of results were not that surprising , while others, in some respects, came right out of nowhere. Peyton Manning returning the NFL after almost eighteen months away from the league, led the Denver Broncos to a heartwarming victory (31-19) over the Pittsburgh Steelers in their regular season opener . Fans at Invesco Field, in Denver, Colorado, had to be pleased with the outcome. And for Manning on his way to the victory , the player connected with DeMaryius Thomas for his 400th touchdown pass and would further add to that tally with his 401st to Jacob Tamme , adding to an already illustrious career for the four-time league MVP . For Ben Roethlisberger and his Steelers’ teammates , this was in essence a game that they would rather forget , on so many levels .
I don’t believe that it would be wrong to suggest, that beyond a reasonable doubt the Buffalo Bills after their lackluster effort against the New York Jets , the franchise might just be the worst teams in the NFL , solely based upon their performance in this game. Given the ineptitude shown by team and the fact that Chan Gailey’s — coaching staff were if anything simply out of their depth in the Bills’ first regular season game .
Now while during the preseason a great deal was justifiably made concerning the ineptitude shown by quarterbacks —- Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, it has to be said that the Jets’ starting signal-caller was simply exemplary in his performance during the game against the Buffalo Bills. For head coach Rex Ryan his coaching staff this result (48-28 victory) bodes well for the Jets and the remainder of their season .
High praise indeed for everything that was and written about 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. The Redskins’ quarterback exemplified everything that many believed he was capable of, as he led the Washington Redskins to an improbable 40-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans , Louisiana , in-front of a sold-out crowd of rabid Saints’ fans. Given the explosiveness of the now famed Saints’ offense , one seriously doubted that the Redskins could have withstood a Drew Brees’ led attack , normally known for its high-powered efficiency . Somehow , the improbable came to be as repeatedly this game ebbed and flowed , with Griffin simply outlasting his counterpart in a thoroughly exciting game.
In what might be seen as a possible precursor to a 2012 NFC championship game , the Green Bay Packers played host to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay , Wisconsin,. The two opposing quarterbacks , Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and Alex Smith of the Niners , simply looked to carry on from where they left off from 2011 . Both of these highly touted players who were part of the 2005 NFL Draft , which saw Smith taken ahead of Rodgers that season . The 49ers’ quarterback in 2011 showed that he was ready to assume control and lead this team. And indeed Alex Smith was able to do that , as Jim Harbaugh saw his players make it all the way to the 2011 postseason but who would fall to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game 20-17 in a highly-competitive match-up . That disappointment did not sit well with Harbaugh and his players , and the organization has been motivated to revamp the roster as well as making several free agency acquisitions this off-season . The addition of Randy Moss , Marion Manningham , and Brandon Jacobs , gives Smith an added arsenal of offensive weaponry that will certainly make the San Francisco 49ers a formidable opponent this season.
This game proved to be as interesting as anticipated , with the Niners’ stifling defense and a passing game that was everything one would it expect it to be . Those defensive players would harass and make the Packers’ offensive line a mere aberration as they made life problematical for Aaron Rodgers’ in the Packers’ home opener in 2012 . San Francisco would secure a 30-22 victory , which sees the team tied atop of the NFC West alongside the Arizona Cardinals (1-0) . And though it is still early days yet , these two teams will meet in their scheduled divisional match-ups in weeks’ eight and seventeen in what is sure to be two very crucial games .
Now while a lot has been made about the first week of the NFL season , with a record five rookie quarterbacks making their starts in the NFL. Who would have thought however , that Cleveland Browns’ rookie Brandon Weeden would have such an awful game on the way to the team’s narrow 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles . In truth , both quarterbacks on display left a great deal to be desired, with their erratic and underwhelming display . There is no denying that Michael Vick is one of the most athletic quarterbacks to have graced the NFL in the past fifteen years but I certainly would not count the player , as a top 5 quarterback in the league ! Vick gave one of the worst performances of his veteran career , having been picked off four times during the Eagles’ game against their AFC — opponent . To read Brandon Weeden’s game statistics against the Eagles reads of mediocrity at its’ very worst . The player’s QB rating , dauntingly disastrous 5.1 and no, that is not a misprint , 5.1, what else can be said ? One doubts that we will ever again witness such a mind-numbing statistic being posted by an NFL quarterback !
Don’t get me wrong, there is some quality football that will be played in the NFL this season , it is just that I am not so sure that we will all bear witness to that materializing within the AFC West ! The biggest selling point within the division is the fact that it now becomes the home of Peyton Manning as a member of the Denver Broncos. The team is likely to be highly favored by the odds-makers in Las Vegas being the divisional champions, as they seek to make a successful defense of that title in 2012. The other residents within the division, the Kansas City Chiefs , Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers will certainly look to overturn that premise . And last night we were given a glimpse of two of those aspirants, as the Raiders played host to the Chargers at the O Coliseum in Oakland, California, Unfortunately for the fans in question , who sought to stay up on the East Coast to witness this farce . It simply was a game , filled with errors , as the Raiders stumbled their way through the game with a plethora of mistakes and missed opportunities . Far be it for me to suggest but Dennis Allen in his rookie season as coach of this team cannot be at all pleased with what he witnessed from his players.
The upheavals made within the Raiders’ organization at the end of last season with the firing of Hu Jackson and the installing of Reggie McKenzie as the general manager , remains a constant reminder as why this franchise has never maintained a semblance of continuity over the past decade. Granted, with the death of Al Davis , and you simply knew that this renowned franchise would be in for a change in direction , with Davis’ son, Mark Davis , assuming the reins of the Raiders. Well, things have not changed for the better , as it appears that a smooth transition has made way for the idiocy of before , as it relates to the play of the team . Lackluster , ill-prepared and no signs of any real leadership from any of the seasoned veterans on the roster , and it is easy to understand the spectacle the franchise has become . Far too often, the butt of so many jokes , while the die-hard fans of the Raiders seek out any sign of positivity that might appear. If last night’s events are anything to go by , then those signs will be few and far between , any type of progress sought . The Raiders’ 22-14 loss mirrored so often what their long-suffering fans witnessed over the course of last season with the team . If Dennis Allen is to seek the improvement sought, then he and his coaching staff will have to address many of the needless mistakes made by his players that laid the foundation for this defeat .
As the season proceeds, undoubtedly the fans will question the veracity of the referees , as week one has not highlighted any major controversies seen from the replacement officials . However, as the impasse remains between the league hierarchy and NFLRA (referees’ union) we are bound to see questionable calls that could prove to be fateful in terms of an outright result to a regular season scheduled game. What we have witnessed is that the officials recruited from the college game has given such a divergence in how these referees interpret the game from their counterparts who usually adjudicate the NFL games .With the overturning of the commissioner’s verdict in the suspension of Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove , Scott Fujita and Jonathan Vilma , with all four player given full clearance to be participants in the opening weekend scheduled games of week one. It now begs the question where does this now place Roger Goodell , as the commissioner of the NFL and the power made available to him as the league’s highest-ranking executive ? If he can be challenged on such an issue, as the scandal that embroiled the New Orleans Saints . Then clearly, at some point concerning in the future there will be a challenge as to how Goodell imposes and renders a verdict concerning an NFL player’s conduct. Fans feel aggrieved by the league’s inaction on so many issues without this idiocy and the predicament that the NFL now finds itself in !
Picture gallery .
Week two will once again a bring us a slew of games that should provide us to a degree with an indication as to the teams’ seasons may well pan out . In comparison at this point last season the results were not too dissimilar , as we saw the league’s stars step up to the plate as their teams set about their tasks.
Picture and slide show details below.
(1) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) watches from the bench in the closing minutes of the Colts’ 41-21 loss to the Chicago Bears in an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Jim Prisching ….
(2) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is pressured by Chicago Bears defensive tackle Matt Toeaina (75) as he releases a pass during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Jim Prisching …
(3) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) scrambles in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert …
(4) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) poses for a photo with filmmaker Spike Lee , center, after an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. The Redskins won 40-32 . AP Photo/Matthew Hinton ….
(5) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is wrapped up by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Larry Foote (50) during the second quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Denver. AP Photo/David Zalubowski …
(6) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning hugs head coach John Fox as he holds his 400th touchdown ball following an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012 in Denver. The Broncos won 31-19 . AP Photo/Joe Mahoney …
(7) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, left, and Tim Tebow celebrate after a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets would go on to defeat the Bills 48-28 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …
(8) San Francisco 49ers’ Alex Smith (11) shakes hands with Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (12) after an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. The 49ers won 30-22 . AP Photo/Mike Roemer ……
(9) FILE – In this Sept. 9, 2012 file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) has the ball knocked from his hand by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole in the first quarter of an NFL football game in Cleveland. Weeden had one of the worst —- debuts in NFL history, a 5.1 rating . Cleveland’s defense forced five turnovers , but couldn’t get the one it needed to stop Michael Vick. It added up to another tough loss , but one that showed some promise for a young team. AP Photo/Mark Duncan …..
(10) San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Dave Tollefson (58) and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (77) during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. The Chargers would go on to defeat their divisional rivals 22-14 . AP Photo/Ben Margot
By clicking on an individual frame you can see the picture in its original formatted size .
NFL pieces within this site
Stats for the 2012 draftees in week 1