What We Learned in Week 1 of the NFL

September 15, 2009

Everybody (especially in Miami and Tennessee) will tell you that the first week of the NFL season doesn’t mean a thing. It’s nothing more than a chance to test out the new offense, take a look at the rookies, and get the Lions’ first loss out of the way. However, despite the 16 remaining weeks of storylines waiting to unfold, there were a few interesting ones in the first week.

God hates the Buffalo Bills - Every so often, when the big guy upstairs gets tired of hanging out with Tim Tebow, he takes time out to once again crush the spirit of a franchise that stares enviously at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ trophy case. And this Monday, as he did with the Flutie-Johnson battle and four straight Super Bowl losses, God gave the Bills’ nation hope...only to snatch it away at the last minute with a crushing 25-24 nationally-televised loss to a team that considered an 11-5 record (which the Bills haven’t posted in over a decade) a “re-building year” in 2009.

Adrian Peterson may have a future in the NFL
- Sure, the 180 yards and three touchdowns he rushed for were against a Cleveland Browns’ defense that got drafted after the Toronto Argonauts and Marvin Harrison in most fantasy leagues, but the third-year back looked damn near dominant throughout the Vikings’ 34-20 win. Plus, if he can consistently be the center of attention in the twin cities, Brett Favre can shift from “the ass clown who could retire at any minute” and simply become “that elderly gentleman who hands the ball to Peterson.”

Phillip Rivers still needs to be punched in the face - Let’s get this out of the way. Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and could probably beat the baby fat off Jay Cutler if the two ever threw down in the front yard of Cutler’s garbage-covered house in Denver. However, with that being said, when Rivers begins whining, yelling, or giving that Cheshire grin on the sidelines, is there anyone else on the planet (with the exception of Andy Dick) who more deserves a good knock right between the eyes?

The Madden Curse is real - In the first game of the opening week, Madden cover boy Troy Polamalu got injured. Why has this not turned into a Vegas prop bet yet? In which week of the NFL season will the guy on the cover of Madden get hurt, injured or imprisoned? This is easy money!

The NFC East is really good - Even though Tony Romo has seemingly signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Us Weekly, Donovan McNabb is already on the D.L., and Eli Manning’s top receiver is still suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a state correction facility, all four NFC East teams seem ready to make a playoff run. The Cowboys were impressive with a convincing win over the Bucs, the Eagles defense took what was left of Jake Delhomme’s career and took it for a ride in Lance Brigg’s Lamborghini and the Giants’ front seven were back in Super Bowl form. Provided the Redskins hand the Lions their 119th consecutive loss in week two, this division should be the tops in football all year.

Matt Hasselbeck can get Seattle back to the playoffs
- Don’t put too much stock into a win over St. Louis (The Missouri Valley Girl Scouts didn’t), but one thing that became apparent early on was the swagger the Seahawks had with Hasselbeck at the helm.

Mark Sanchez may be a Pro Bowler one day - It’s too early to make any  real assertions about a player with one year of starting experience since high school, but provided he doesn’t use his Eric Estrada-Vinny Chase looks for a series of guest appearances on All My Children, the strong-armed Trojan could be the next Joe Namath (which is great news for the female reporters of the world).

Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images