NFL for Openers and the Biggest Loser
Surprises – Man-O-Man
Cleveland put up a fight on the road in Pittsburgh only losing 30-27.
At home, the Dolphins outscored the Pats 23 to nothing! Their opponent’s third-down efficiency was only 5 out of 17. It was New England’s first loss in an opener since 2003, and marks the first time the Patriots will not be at least tied for the AFC East lead since Week 3 of 2012.
Seattle, after a poor loss to the Oakland Raiders in the last preseason game, won in the second half of opening night. The margin of victory – defeat of the Green Bay Packers – was a stunner 36 to 16.
The Houston Texans ended up in last place last year but won impressively at home over the Washington Redskins (that’s if we can call them an Indian name) 17-6. Robert Griffin III was 29 of 37 but the Redskins had one punt blocked and fumbled twice in the second half.
Finishing undefeated during the preseason and playing at home, I expected a win – not a loss – by the Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati 23, Ballymore 16.
You would have been a big winner last Sunday in the Las Vegas sportsbook if you bet:
The Biggest Scare of Birds
Quarterback Chad Henne (rejected by the Dolphins) had a 17-zip halftime lead on the road. The Philadelphia Eagles started slow but eventually came back at home to double the score on the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17.
San Francisco renewed an old rivalry in Texas against the Dallas Cowboys. Niners win convincingly.
No surprise… Vikings 34, Lambs 6. St. Louis was martyred at home without QB Sam Bradford who is out for the entire year.
In what I call the postmodern black and blue division, the NFC South Division faced off one another. Carolina had all it could handle with its win in Tampa Bay. Without Cam Newton, they had to play QB Derek Anderson.
Atlanta needed overtime at home to defeat New Orleans 37-34. The Saints fumbled after a completed pass and the Falcons scored a field goal. The Falcon’s Matt Ryan threw for a team record 448 yards.
By the way, Buffalo won at home in overtime, too. This was against the Chicago Bears 23-20.
The Biggest Loser
Ray Rice… cut by the Ravens, suspended by the league.