What I Learned about the NFL

Every week of every season there are upsets and surprises, but I don’t think  I’ve been as wrong as I was in my week 1 picks since 2007, when I thought the Washington Redskins were going to make it to the Superbowl. Now in picking the biggest surprises from the opening week, I’m not going include certain things like Tom Brady passing for 517 yards or the fans in Denver chanting for Tim Tebow while ESPN showed him more often than the actual back-up Brady Quinn.  While those are fun topics of conversation, I’m going to narrow down the list to the five most unexpexted events from the Week 1 matchups.

Now without further adieu, here are the biggest surprises from Week 1 of the NFL:

  • The Chicago Bears are for real. Every year I have doubts about the Bears and most of the time they prove me wrong, and Sunday was no exception. In my preseason picks, I pegged the Falcons at around 11 wins due to what I thought would be the best offense in the NFL. On Sunday Matt Ryan had a QB rating of 76.5 and the offense didn’t manage a single touchdown. Maybe I was wrong about both of these teams.
  • The Chiefs suck and the Bills could actually be good. Last season the Chiefs made the playoffs in not what I would call a fluke of season, but they were exposed in the playoffs by the Ravens. All this made me suspect of what they would accomplish this year, but I never imagined a 41-7 beat down at the hands of the Bills. Now with Eric Berry out I know that things will only be tougher on KC, while I see things on the rise in Buffalo with Ryan Fitzpatrick succeeding with former Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey as his head coach.
  • Cam Newton looks like he will be a successful quarterback in the NFL. While Arizona’s defense is definitely suspect, it was still amazing to see Newton able to pass for a rookie debut record of 422 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for another. He will not keep up that kind of play for the rest of year, but I think that spending the number one overall pick on Newton will end up being a good pick.
  • The Eagles are no dream team. It took injuries to Steven Jackson and Sam Bradford and a ton of dropped passes to allow Philadelphia to finally pull away in what was a extremely close game. Maybe it was the lack of offseason that lead to cohesion issues, but I don’t think the Eagles are going to be able to run away with the NFC East this year.
  • The Redskins made the right decision bringing back Rex Grossman and not Donovan McNabb. Last season I was upset when the Redskins decided to bench McNabb at the end of the season for Grossman. Rex did ok, but when it came time to bring him back I wasn’t sold. Now after a  preseason battle with John Beck that Rex was finally able to win he finally proved his worth in a 300 yard 2 touchdown performance against the New York Giants.
Of course there were little surprises elsewhere around the league (Chad Henne throwing for 400+ yards, the Steelers getting hammered) but to me the above were the biggest ones that will continue as a trend this year, while Henne will never break 350 again and will be benched by the end of the year and the Steelers will recover and once again make the playoffs. 

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