Well, if week one is a sign of things to come over the next four months, we as football fans ought to be in for another exciting season.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos clearly got the season off to a bang with an electric, high octane win over the Super Bowl Champion Ravens.
Following up to the Thursday opening game, here is what unfolded on Sunday:
Patriots 23, Bills 21: A game in which Tom Brady made good use of new receiver Danny Amendola, but had to ultimately depend on a last second field goal to leave Buffalo with the W. Too soon to tell if this is more indicative of the improvements the new regime in Buffalo is bringing about, or the growing pains Tom Brady has to endure as he continues to adjust to a number of new offensive options.
Bears 24, Bengals 21: A nice win for Marc Trestman in his Chicago debut, and another close loss for Cincy. Have to expect that the Bengals will bounce back from the opening loss.
Dolphins 23, Browns 10: New coach, same results. Browns are most definitely still a work in progress, while Tannehill and the Phins are off and running. Still think the new uniforms are no good, but if they keep winning on the field, I doubt anyone in Miami will care.
Lions 34, Vikings 24: This might have been my surprising game of the week. After just one week, I think its safe to say that Matthew Stafford is pretty pleased with the offseason pickup of Reggie Bush, as he was clearly a difference maker in the game. If the Detroit offense can continue to perform at a similar level throughout the season, they will be a dangerous team-especially when you look at the box score and notice that all-world Calvin Johnson was held to under 40 yards. That likely won’t happen often this year.
Colts 21, Raiders 17: Andrew Luck does it again, but the Raiders were a threat to take this one. Most notable from this game was how Andrew Luck, he of just 17 regular season starts, has already lead the Colts on 8 game winning drives. The best is surely yet to come.
Saints 23, Falcons 17: Welcome back Sean Payton. This game was a close one, but the Falcons were served notice that they won’t get to walk to an NFC South crown. And after today’s results, they are now chasing the Saints.
Jets 18, Buccaneers 17: This is my surprise of the day. The Bucs, a team many thought should finally turn the corner and make a push toward the playoffs, did not need to lose this game, not to a team expected to finish last in the AFC East. You know it was a big win for the Jets if it could put Rex Ryan at a loss for words in his post game presser.
Titans 16, Steelers 9: This one was as ugly as the score indicated. Worse than losing to the Titans, however, would be the loss of both Maurkice Pouncey and Larry Foote, both likely out for the year after injuries suffered during the game. While it’s just one game, losing two key players for the season already is not how Mike Tomlin wanted to start this campaign, and it just made things that much harder.
Seahawks 12, Panthers 7: Surprising, but not in a Jets win kind of way. More like, I expected more from Russel Wilson and the Seahawks. At the end of the day, a win is a win, but Seattle fans better hope the team brings it’s A game next week-a clash with division foe San Francisco is up next.
49ers 34, Packers 28: Colin and company are back, and they are picking up right where they left off last year. The Pack looked good, but the 9ers were better. Two of the better teams in the NFC did not disappoint.
Rams 27, Cardinals 24: Another game that came down to a field goal in the waning moments. Both teams played it close and looked much improved.
Chiefs 28, Jaguars 2: An impressive start for the Andy Reid era in Kansas City. A smothering defense and an efficient offense ought to keep the Chiefs in games all year, and in turn keep them in the playoff picture. Tough debut for Gus Bradley.
Cowboys 36, Giants 31: It was ugly for a long time. Then it got interesting, with the Giants driving and within 6 and under 2 minutes to go. The Giants, through the first 58 minutes, had turned the ball over 5 times. In the NFL, it’s pretty hard to turn the ball over that many times and even be close. With 5 turnovers, they still had a shot. With 1:50 to go, Eli threw a Pick 6 for turnover number 6 and the game was over.