It happens every year. Week One of the NFL season rolls around, and seven months of waiting through the off-season finally come to a halt, and the patience pays off.
However, after a short time of roughly three hours, many teams complete their first hard-fought game, only to have their fate signed, sealed and delivered.
The season is over. Should you be on the winning side, you’re catapulted to the top and are amongst the Super Bowl picks. Lose, and you’re forgotten, but not after you’re berated by the fans and media alike.
Single game performances are enough to warrant you getting cut, traded, or banished from the face of the earth. Or, you could become a MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and Hall of Fame candidate all in one day’s work.
Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the top five overreactions of this first week of NFL Action.
5. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco leave for the locker room early.
Everything these two do is scrutinized for days by the media, and now that they’re on the same team, it could be at an all-time high.
It could be because they make themselves readily available to media coverage and love the attention. Is that unfair to say? Probably not.
Amidst a 24-3 halftime deficit in Sunday’s opening day loss for the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder, both players made their way to the locker room while time was still on the clock.
Carson Palmer threw the ball up for a hail mary, and the ball was caught by rookie Jordan Shipley (who was excited until he realized he was about five yards short of the goalline and time had run out).
Sorry to burst the bubble of every member of the media looking to find a “schism” in Cincinnati, but you’re not going to find it this week.
Chad Ochocinco was sent to the locker room early to receive and IV, which to the best of my knowledge is a legitimate health concern. Meanwhile, Owens made his way to the locker room with what I would assume to be blisters due to, as Marvin Lewis addressed it as, “shoes that only arrived Saturday.
With my experiences, I feel your pain, T.O. Those “new cleat” blisters are a huge pain and killer. These two will be fine all season, and so will the Bengals, but don’t be surprised if stories are fabricated from nothing all season long.
4. Alex Barron cost the Cowboys the win against the Washington Redskins.
We’ve all seen the play by now. Romo drops back, sees the pressure coming, makes the correct move in stepping up, and finds Roy E. Williams in the endzone on a broken play with a few seconds on the clock to tie the game at 13 with a pending extra point representing the winning point.
Not so fast.
As it would turn out, Romo “escaped” that pressure I was talking about due to a hold by none other than Alex Barron. As per NFL rules, an offensive penalty in that situation causes a ten-second run-off, resulting in the end of the game.
Barron is to blame for that loss, right? If you asked some fans that question, you might catch a barrage of curse words with a few “yes’” thrown in there.
What if I were to tell you that the Redskins were unable to score an offensive touchdown, and were outgained by 130 yards of total offense?
This was not Alex Barron’s fault.
The Cowboys were unable to generate consistent offense all night, and simply shot themselves in the foot on far too many occasions to win the game, much-less a divisional game.
Dallas was responsible for 12 penalties resulting in 81 total yards lost. Not to mention a fumble at the end of the half which resulted in the eventual game-winning score.
Not to be discouraged, Dallas fans, this Redskins defense is a force to be reckoned with. London Fletcher is a tackling machine in the middle of that defense, and will help the ‘Skins in becoming one of the top five defenses in the NFL again this season.
Oh, and let’s not forget the genius move by the Washington coaching staff to move rising star, Brian Orakpo, to Barron’s side to “pick on him” if you will.
Marc Columbo could be back next week, but with a history of injuries, if he’s anything short of 100 percent, he should be left out of that game. It could be another long game for Dallas if the Bears take a page out of Washington’s playbook and lines up Julius Peppers out of position over top of Barron.
3. Chiefs will win the AFC West after Monday Night performance.
The Kansas City Chiefs took on the San Diego Chargers in the second game of a opening week Monday Night doubleheader.
Most thought the game would be a blowout in favor of the Chargers, but the Chiefs had a little something to say about that as they won the game 21-14.
And the overreactions ran rampant.
On the surface, the win looks great for the Chiefs, but if you dig a little deeper, you will find that there is more than a lot to be expected if the Chiefs look to improve upon their 4-12 2009 record.
The draft was an exciting one for Chiefs fans as it brought them the likes of future playmakers Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster, who led the team to victory in Week One with outstanding special teams play.
However, that’s where the excitement ends.
Matt Cassell was below average in his second-season as Chiefs’ starter completing only 45 percent of his passes for a measly 68 yards. In fact, outside of a fantastic 56-yard scamper by Jamaal Charles, the entire offense looked sluggish and out of sync.
The Chargers are the more talented team on paper, and most people can see that, but the losses of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil clearly hurt the team. They could be in for a long season should those two hold their word on sitting out the season.
The Chiefs are a very interesting team, with lots of young talent and potential to become a good team, it will be that same young talent that ultimately costs them a few games as the season treads forward.
2. The annual late-season New York Jets collapse has started early in 2010.
This one was a strong candidate for number one, but we’ll get to that one in a few moments.
The Jets had one of the busiest off-seasons this past summer, which has the fans of that “other New York team” excited and thinking Super Bowl.
Things took a slight setback last night, and as is the case with every New York team, they might as well stop playing now because 0-1 is cause for extreme concern.
The way I see it, people have already lost sight that the rest of the NFL teams are also allowed to take in re-shaping their respective teams during the off-season, and the Ravens certainly took advantage.
With the additions of Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh, the Ravens offense suddenly went from middle-of-the-pack to having the potential to being one of the best in the NFL.
Oh, and Baltimore’s defense? They’re pretty good. (Even with Ed Reed beginning on the PUP list.)
So, for Jets fans, and any fan, to cause an uproar over a 10-9 loss in Week One to a legitimate (not a week one overreaction contender) Super Bowl contender is ludicrous.
Admittedly, the Jets offense sputtered out of the gate, and the engine never really got going as they looked very flat. However, that has more to do with the NFL’s best defense than the inefficiencies of the Jets offense. (Not to mention “washed up” L.T. looked very good.)
It’s also gone completely unnoticed that the Jets shutdown one of the most hyped up offenses heading into this season. And when we consider the additions made in Baltimore, you’ve got to be more than impressed with the defense in New York.
The Jets can prove themselves next week when they face-off with division rival, New England. It’s not a must-win, but pretty important. You don’t want to find yourself in a 2-0 to 0-2 hole right off the bat.
On the other hand, the Patriots should be weary of 0-2 starts considering the 2007 Giants found themselves 0-2 before regaining themselves and finding themselves victorious over an 18-0 Patriots team in January. Just saying.
1. The officials cost the Lions the game in Chicago.
I know, I know, we’re all sick of hearing it, but with the amount of exposure it’s gotten, this has got to be the biggest overreaction of the week.
For those of you that haven’t seen it… well, first, I suggest getting out from under your rock, and second, take a look.
Now, theres plenty of questions to be asked about this play, but I’m going to focus on two.
Did Calvin Johnson “drop” the ball? Probably not.
Did it “look” like a touchdown catch? Sure did.
However, by the NFL rules, the refs made the correct ruling as unfortunate and “unfair” as it may be, and to say they cost the Lions the game is flat out wrong. One play never made a game, and never will.
The rule is a bit roughly worded, if you will, and given the scrutiny it’s been under, expect it to be at the very least reviewed by the competition committee this off-season.
But let’s move away from interpreting the rules, and more on how that play was not the reason the Lions lost.
Hidden behind the gigantic wall of media coverage over the catch, or non-catch, by Calvin Johnson is the completely non-existant Lion offense which accrued a putrid 168 yards of offense on Sunday.
Not only were they unable to move the ball, they were responsible for three turnovers, a sure recipe for a loss in any week.
Sure, the Lions lost Matt Stafford early, but the Bears’ four turnovers is what saved the Lions from suffering what would probably be a double-digit loss as they were out-gained by the Bears by 295 yards.
The Lion’s roar was not restored just yet.
Well, there you have it, the biggest overreactions of the young NFL season.
Week Two will soon be here, and normality will be restored to our beloved league as we settle back in to as we’ve seemed to have forgotten is a 16 week season. Enjoy.
Tags: Alex Barron Anquan Boldin Baltimore Ravens Calvin Johnson Chad Ochocinco Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions Dexter McCluster Football Jamaal Charles Javier Arenas Kansas City Chiefs Marcus McNeil Matt Cassell New England Patriots New York Jets NFL San Diego Chargers Terrell Owens TJ Houshmandzadeh Vincent Jackson Washington Redskins