Monday, September 8, 2014

NFL - Week One Review

There was a certain trend around the NFL in Week One as several teams blew huge leads and either lost the game or nearly lost as a result of their second half efforts.
The Pittsburgh Steelers held on for a 30-27 home win against the Cleveland Browns on a 41-yard Shaun Suisham field goal as time expired. Pittsburgh had a commanding 27-3 lead at the half before the Browns, behind two rushing touchdowns by running back Isaiah Crowell and a TD pass by QB Brian Hoyer, tied the game in fourth quarter. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 365 yards with a TD pass in the win.
The New England Patriots squandered a ten-point halftime lead and lost at Miami, 33-20 as the Dolphins came out in the second half and smoked the Pats, sacking QB Tom Brady four times, including two by DE Cameron Wake. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill threw two TD passes in the win. It was New England's first season opening loss in eleven years.
The New Orleans Saints led Atlanta by 13 points late in the first half before succumbing in OT, 37-34 as Falcons' kicker Matt Bryant nailed a 52-yard field goal in the extra session to win the game.
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan
Bryant also nailed a 51-yarder to force the OT as time expired after the Saints had gone ahead with just 1:20 left in regulation as RB Mark Ingram scored his second rushing TD of the game.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, passed for 448 yards and three touchdowns in leading the comeback win. Saints QB Drew Brees had 333 yards passing in the loss.
The Denver Broncos nearly squandered their game (they led 31-10 early in the fourth quarter) at home against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, but held on for a 31-24 win behind Peyton Manning (269 passing yards with three TD passes) who connected with tight end Julius Thomas for all three TD passes in the first half. Indy QB Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards with two TD strikes and two interceptions in the loss.
The Jacksonville Jaguars blew a 17-point halftime lead and lost at Philadelphia, 34-17 as the Eagles dominated the second half behind two TD passes from QB Nick Foles and a 49-yard scoring run by Darren Sproles as well as a defensive score off a fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter to ice the game. Jags' QB Chad Henne had two TD passes with wide receiver Allen Hurns (four catches for 110 yards) in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills pulled off the upset of the day as they stunned the host Chicago Bears, 23-20 in overtime as kicker Dan Carpenter made a 27-yard field goal to win it after RB Fred Jackson rumbled 38 yards to set up the winning kick. The Bills rushed for 193 yards in the game and their defense forced three turnovers (fumble and two interceptions) to make the difference in the outcome. Bears QB Jay Cutler passed for 349 yards with two TD and two picks in defeat.
The Tennessee Titans went on the road and pounded the Kansas City Chiefs, 26-10 behind solid defense (four QB sacks and allowing just 245 total yards in offense) and a pair of TD passes from QB Jake Locker and four field goals by former Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop.
San Francisco throttled the host Dallas Cowboys, 28-17 as they built a 28-3 halftime edge behind a pair of scoring passes by 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick to TE Vernon Davis and a defensive score off a fumble return for touchdown just a minute into the game. Cowboys QB Tony Romo was intercepted three times in the loss.
The Cincinnati Bengals won on the road, beating the Baltimore Ravens, 23-16 as kicker Mike Nugent drilled five field goals and QB Andy Dalton hooked up with WR A.J. Green on a 77-yard scoring pass right after Ravens QB Joe Flacco connected with Steve Smith on a 80-yard scoring pass.

And on Monday afternoon, the Ravens released running back Ray Rice, (pictured right) who had been suspended by the NFL for the first two games this season, after a new videotape (from TMZ) surfaced showing him punching and knocking out cold his fiancee'/wife in an elevator. In addition, the NFL has suspended Rice indefinitely following the new taped evidence that prompted the Ravens to terminate Rice's contract effective immediately. 

In other NFL action this weekend . . . . .   The New York Jets won a lack luster game at home, 19-14 over the Oakland Raiders as RB Chris Ivory ran 71 yards for the clinching score . . . . .  The Minnesota Vikings stunned the host St. Louis Rams, 34-6 behind two TD passes from Matt Cassel and 102 yards rushing (on just THREE CARRIES) by Cordarrelle Patterson, who raced 67 yards for a touchdown in the rout . . . . .  Carolina topped the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20-14 as backup Panthers QB Derek Anderson threw for two scores and the defense limited the Bucs to just 264 yards in total offense . . . . .  The Houston Texans won a 17-6 yawner at home against the Washington Redskins, recovering two fumbles and recording three QB sacks. Texans' rookie DE Jadeveon Clowney left the game with a knee injury that could sideline the NFL's top draft pick for anywhere from four to six weeks . . . . .  The Seattle Seahawks opened the season last Thursday night with a  home field thumping of the Green Bay Packers, 36-16 as the defending Super Bowl champions picked up right where they left off by pressuring Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers while the offense was led by running back Marshawn Lynch (110 yards rushing and two TD) and QB Russell Wilson, who threw for two more scores in the rout.


The traditional double header of MNF games for the season opener saw the Detroit Lions pound the visiting New York Giants, 35-14 as QB Matthew Stafford threw for for 346 yards and two touchdowns, both to WR Calvin Johnson, who made seven receptions for 164 yards. Giants QB Eli Manning was intercepted twice in the blowout loss . . . . .  The late game saw the Arizona Cardinals rally behind the play of QB Carson Palmer, who passed for 304 yards and two touchdowns in a 18-17 win over the visiting San Diego Chargers. San Diego QB Philip Rivers passed for 238 yards with a touchdown and interception in the loss. San Diego squandered a 17-6 lead in the fourth quarter.

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