|NFL Week 1: Deja Vu|
|Written by Mark Grey|
by MARK GREY
After what seemed like years of waiting, the NFL season was finally underway last weekend. The build up to opening day this year seemed bigger than any other year. There were so many old faces in new places, and some of the game's best players were returning from injuries. Yet, after all the hype and watching 16 NFL games spread out over three days, I couldn’t help but think I had seen this all before.The season kicked off on Thursday night with a match up between the Titans and the Steelers. The game was exactly what you would expect a game to be between two defensive powerhouses with no offenses: a 14-10 game decided by a coin flip and a field goal. I don’t think anyone was looking for much excitement on Thursday night; we were all just happy football was here and the game served as a great appetizer for Sunday.
Once Sunday rolled around, the country was fully ready for football; ready to have so many of these questions answered and to see what was new for 2009. First up were the Chiefs and their offensive struggles and the Ravens defense that gave up less than 200 yards of total offense. Nothing new there. Next up were the Eagles and the Panthers. Jake Welcome came out and turned the ball over 5 times and single-handedly played his team right out of the game. That got me to thinking, “Wow, when was the last time I saw a quarterback turn the ball over 5 times?" Then the answer hit me: the last time the Bengals took the field. In Philadelphia after the game, the talk of the town was what the Eagles were going to do at the quarterback position...hardly a new story in Philly.
This brings us to the Broncos-Bengals game, a game which no one outside of those two cites wanted to see. The result: a boring 12-7 game that produced one exciting play. Luckily for those forced to watch it, it came at the end of the game. The Browns-Vikings game turned into nothing more than the Adrian Peterson show. Again, no surprises there. In Indy, the Jags gave the Colts all they could handle but still came up short, which is what they do every time they play. In New Orleans, Drew Brees put up unbelievable numbers and the Lions were blown out. Neither one of those stories should have shocked anyone.
In New York, the Giants' run game looked solid, Eli did a good job of managing the game, and the defense did a great job of pressuring the quarterback. The Redskins defense played well enough to win, but the offense did very little to help them, and Jason Campbell still had his training wheels on. For both teams, it was pretty much the same story as the last four years. Moving right along, the breaking news in Seattle was that the Rams have no offense.
While there was nothing really wrong with the action Sunday, there just wasn’t anything new and exciting. This left us with two games on Monday night. In the first game, it started off looking like we might have our first big surprise of the season as the Bills pretty much dominated the Patriots. But in the end, the Bills found a way to lose the game, the Patriots found a way to win the game, and Terrell Owens thought he should have gotten the ball more. So the first week of the NFL was coming down to one final game and you know it’s never good when you're looking for the Raiders to provide the upset of the week. The end result of the Chargers game: Jamarcus Russell looked terrible, the Chargers won, and Ladainian Tomlison finished the game on the bench with an injury. For some reason, all of that sounds very familiar.
Just like that, the first week of football was over. All the hype and build up and it felt like I was exactly where I was before the season started. However, the upside is that this Sunday will feel like opening day all over again. After all, this is the NFL where the slogan is, “on any given Sunday.” I guess they meant any given Sunday except last Sunday.