All Week 1 contests are eventful because we finally get to open our presents. The trick at this stage of the season is to react without overreacting. Let's see if we can toe that line.
The Eagles-Packers game should have been played at Gettysburg for all the on-field carnage. Andy Reid probably has an out by giving Kevin Kolb(notes) a week to heal from his concussion. But he'd lose the team if Kolb was healthy and started the next game. Michael Vick(notes) at quarterback is Andy Reid's worst nightmare. He wants him as a gadget player, not a starter because Vick can't throw. Yes, if he rushes at a 200-yard pace like he did on Sunday, all will be well. But let's see Vick gash a defense that's prepared all week for his running.
It should go without saying that Vick at QB is a nightmare for anyone with DeSean Jackson(notes) shares. But I'll note it anyway for anyone who's forgotten that Vick has never made any wide receiver better (or even good).
Of equal importance is Ryan Grant's(notes) injury, which they say is an ankle. Grant was wearing a boot. It looked like a knee to me, so I'll assume it's a high ankle and put a four-to-six-week timetable on it for the early birds. No need to check for an update before racing to your nearest waiver wire to pick up Brandon Jackson(notes). The problem for Grant owners is that Jackson was always a better fit as a starter for the Packers because he's a much better receiver and at least as good a runner. Here's what McCarthy said earlier this month about Jackson:
The Randy Moss(notes) outburst has to make his owners sick. New England is wishing him ill will, he says. First the contract complaints. Then he loses his team captainship, which probably means he's been loafing all summer. Moss's endings have always been sloppy and New England does not look like it's going to be any different.
That Matt Forte(notes) wheel route was a thing of beauty. It was a classic Mike Martz-Marshall Faulk call. Forte is a great receiver but still a ham-and-egg runner – yet another game under 3.0 yards per carry. But when you're catching for a buck fifty and score twice, who cares? He's always reminded me of another NFC Central back who also was a much better receiver than runner.
Sorry Calvin Johnson(notes) owners. You were robbed along with the Lions. We all know despite the rule book technical mumbo jumbo that his catch was a catch. Just like Tom Brady's(notes) tuck rule play really was a fumble. But it's not the ref's fault. The league has to stop trying to define everything and let the officials just use common sense. Anyone who's played football for five minutes knows that that was a game-wining TD grab.
Want to give Jerome Harrison(notes) a wave of nausea? Whisper, "Peyton Hillis(notes)" in their ears. Despite the late-season run, the Browns coaching staff obviously doesn't believe in Harrison as an every down back.
Brandon Marshall's(notes) yards per catch was gross (6.6 on eight grabs). But his day would have been quite productive had he merely gotten his his hands up on a 30-yard pass that might have resulted in a touchdown. Remember, too, that the Bills were No. 2 in YPA allowed in 2009.
Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) had 13 carries for 55 yards in the second half, which probably means that reports of the demise of his knee (which one, who knows) were greatly exaggerated. Mike Sims-Walker(notes) got shut out by Champ Bailey(notes) while unheralded Mike Thomas(notes) has the productive day (6-for-89)
Terrible job by the Rams having two timeouts on the final drive and not calling one until literally 10 seconds were left and it was first down. Sam Bradford(notes) looked good enough to give Steven Jackson owners hope. Mark Clayton(notes) appeared the No. 1 receiver, but that may be a one-week deal given Clayton's history. A waiver claim isn't going to cost you much though.
The Giants should model themselves after the 2009 Saints and open up the offense so as to play to their strength – Eli Manning(notes) and his cast of wide receivers. New York and Green Bay were the only two teams last year that threw better than average on third down and also better on third down than on other downs. If that's the case, why not play first and second down like you play third? At least do it until the game is basically over and you're in beat-the-clock mode.
We'll opine on Sunday and Monday nights in the comments. So keep checking back.
Michael Salfino writes for the Wall Street Journal and is a regular contributor to Yahoo! Sports.
- Mike Singletary
- Andy Reid