Week one of the NFL season delivered as promised. Exciting comebacks, several games down to the wire, a few referee blunders, and some unnecessary personal foul calls to protect quarterbacks. As we gear up for round two, here’s a look at five of the most intriguing games on the schedule, Chris Berman-isms not included.
Chicago Bears (1-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-1), Thursday 8:20PM
Despite looking like he just snorted a few Xanax bars, Jay Cutler was lights out in week one against Indy, throwing for 333 and a pair of TDs. Chicago rolled the Colts by 20, but the Pack figures to be a much stiffer challenge, especially in Lambeau. The NFL’s oldest rivalry should once again not disappoint on the NFL Network’s opening broadcast of 2012, as Green Bay will be fighting to not double their loss total from last year. A-Rodg had his typical 300 last week in GB’s loss to the ’9ers, but their defense looked like a sieve and the running game was non-existent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1), Sunday 1PM
After a nice divisional win to open the season against Carolina, Bucs’ rookie coach Greg Schiano and his chin takes his Bucs into the Meadowlands this weekend to tangle with Big Blue, who dropped the NFL’s opening game to Dallas last Wednesday. Tampa gutted out the 16-10 win by holding the normally stellar Panther running game to just 10 yards and picking off Cam Newton twice. Look for the G-Men to be refocused after their narrow loss, as no one wants to see Tom Coughlin’s menstruating-looking face if they were to lose two weeks in a row. It will be interesting to see if rookie RB David Wilson gets more carries, as he didn’t touch the ball after fumbling early in week one.
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0), Sunday 1PM
Battle of the Birds in Philly as two of the early season favorites to make some noise square off in an interconference showdown. The Eagles looked very pedestrian last week in Cleveland, but even after four picks, Philly got a late TD drive to clip the Brownies 17-16. Baltimore was the exact opposite on MNF, throttling the Bengals 41-13 behind Joe Flacco and a new look up-tempo attack on offense. Wouldn’t be surprised if both teams regressed to the mean a bit for this one, and we wind up having a good game between a pair of teams that have been playoff regulars over the last decade.
Detroit Lions (1-0) at San Francisco 49ers (1-0), Sunday 8:20PM
The intrigue of this game will be cancelled out by the idiocy of Cris Collinsworth commentating, but San Fran should be rocking, as a pair of NFC playoff teams from last year square off. Detroit sweated out a week one comeback victory in St. Louis, while the 49ers picked up right where they left off last year by dispatching the Packers. If you thought Jim Harbaugh’s post-game handshake with Jim Schwartz last year was intense, it is hard telling what could happen this year if the ’9ers stout run game can propel them to a 2-0 start over a pair of NFC teams that were in the playoffs last season.
Denver Broncos (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (1-0), Monday 8:30PM
These two teams were arguably the most impressive in week one, as ‘The Brain’ was strait surgical in taking care of the Steelers in the second half on Sunday night. Looks like the only thing different about Manning is the color of his jersey. Atlanta’s offense was even more impressive in a road game at Arrowhead as Matt Ryan threw for three TDs and ran for another as the Falcons reeled off 20 unanswered after halftime to turn out the Chiefs. This one will probably come down to which defense can get a few stops and perhaps even a turnover with the Georgia Dome rocking for Monday night.