The much needed and highly anticipated Week 1 of the NFL has come and gone, but not before some surprising ups and downs. The week, beginning on Wednesday with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants in the Meadowlands, ended with a doubleheader on Monday Night.
With many teams doing what everyone thought, there were teams and players that made people drop their jaw and caused others to scream and jump with joy. The week welcomed back a soon-to-be hall of famer and also said hello to two rookie quarterbacks. Here are the ups and downs from around the NFL in Week 1:
Romo, Ogletree tame the Champs
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Kevin Ogletree hooked up 8 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns on the night. Ogletree was owned by .04 percent of all fantasy football players entering the year. Romo shut up some of his haters for a week at least with his performance as well, completing 75 percent of his passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns on the night. It was only the third time in Romo’s career that he had at least 75 percent passing for 300 yards and three scores. The only hiccup for him was a lone interception resulting in a field goal. The Cowboys beat the rival Giants on the road 24-17.
Manning leads Broncos to 1-0 start in return
Possibly the most highly anticipated return in football history, new Denver Bronco Peyton Manning shined in his first game back after missing all of last season with a neck injury. Manning threw for a total of 253 yards and two TDs on the night, leading Denver past Pittsburgh at Mile High on Sunday Night Football. He also passed for his 400th career TD, only the third quarterback to do so.
J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!
Sanchez and company stunned America with their performance on Sunday against the Bills, scoring 48 points. Sanchez, along with Tebow, has been the topic of Sportscenter since the end of last season. But, during the preseason, neither quarterback threw for a single touchdown. On Sunday, Sanchez threw for three and 266 yards in the 48-28 win. While this is a positive in Week 1, there is also a negative—we now have to hear about it for another month or two.
Akers ties record, Niners stun Packers
Slated as the game of the day, the 49ers strolled into Lambeau Field on Sunday with something to prove. With a so-so quarterback and a disappointing end to the 2011 season still looming large, the Niners dominated the Packers on the road, beating Green Bay 30-22. But the biggest storyline of the game came off of the foot of kicker David Akers. With the half coming to a close and the Niners just past the midfield mark, head coach Jim Harbaugh sent his kicker in to attempt a 63-yard field goal. Even the Fox announcers were stunned at the situation. After a good snap and hold, the ball was in the air. “He caught all of it,” Joe Buck, Fox Sports announcer said. As the ball traveled 63 yards like a speeding bullet, it hit the crossbar and took a friendly bounce, giving Akers the tie for longest field goal in NFL history. Crazy, right?
Chris Johnson disappoints in opener
If there was a bigger disappointment than Titans running back Chris Johnson, I don’t know who or what it was. Johnson rushed for a terrible total of four yards on 11 carries. For goodness sakes, Peyton Manning had more rushing yards than that if you don’t count the kneeling snaps at the end of the game. Johnson was supposed to be one of the best running backs in the league this season and is owned by many in fantasy football. He scored a measly four points on Sunday. Rough day to be Chris Johnson.
Peterson: The runner of old
Adrian Peterson, once the best running back in the league, returned to the field after being injured last season. After getting the start just a few days after his status was doubtful, Peterson gave the fans and viewers quite a show, rushing for 84 yards on 17 carries and two TDs. It was clear that Peterson was “back” and happy to be there. Fantasy players and Minnesota fans should have fun watching this guy once again.
RG3 has super performance at Superdome in debut
There are two rookie quarterbacks in the league this season that few have not heard of—Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. Taken as the second overall pick last season, RG3 looked like a seasoned vet on the field against the Saints on Sunday. RG3 started his career off right with an 88-yard touchdown in the first half. He ended the day with rookie record performance of 320 yards two TDs and zero interceptions. It was clear that RG3 is here to stay—for a long time.
This game was a part of the ups and downs. After a preseason full of drama, the New Orleans Saints returned with all of its players, including the defensive studs which were once suspended for bounties. But, even with them back, the Saints were nearly no match for the Redskins. The old saying of “Who Dat?” quickly changed to “What the crap?” Not looking for got the Saints early.
Vick gets by, despite throwing 4 interceptions
Michael Vick has battled injuries since rejoining the league fresh out of the joint in 2009. He has battled head, neck and rib injuries, seems like every year since. On Sunday, it was obvious that he was not 100 percent as he threw four interceptions on the day. He did, however, complete 29 of 56 passes for 317 yards and two TDs in the single-point win over the Browns. Hopefully he can stay healthy for the Eagles and coach Andy Reid this season.
With all of the excitement in Week 1, what will Week 2 have in store? The Bears and Packers kick the week off on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Bring on the big hits and touchdown passes.