Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday Morning Thoughts: NFL Week One

Oh, Ram!
The St. Louis Rams perhaps shocked everybody outside of their own locker room by defeating the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks in a 34-31 OT thriller. Yes, Seattle was on the road and without perhaps the best safety in all of football in Kam Chancellor, yet this win, for some reason, just rattles excitement for this football club. For about the past 3 years now, we've been hearing many analysts across the country peg the Rams as the club who will finally rise to glory, however nothing amounted. Sam Bradford was always hurt, and the offense couldn't match par with the other side's unit, resulting in less than .500 seasons for the past 3 years Jeff Fisher has been head coach. With one of the league's best defensive units, a healthy Todd Gurley and a upright quarterback in Nick Foles, St. Louis appears ready to contend for a NFC West crown.

Not So Fast, My Friend!
Admittedly, almost everybody (including myself) saw no hope for the San Francisco 49ers this season. With Jim Harbaugh back to school and 20+ players gone for at least the opener, no expert in their right mind would have picked against an improving Minnesota team, with Teddy Bridgewater making strides throwing the ball and welcoming back a well-rested Adrian Peterson. The Colin Kaepernick we've all come to know, hate and love, looks like a completely different quarterback. Carlos Hyde wipes any yearning of Frank Gore off the map, and any defense that can hold Adrian Peterson to 31 yards on double-digit carries deserves some recognition. Maybe not as much potential as St. Louis to make some noise this year, but 49ers faithful do indeed have something to be faithful about. 

Silence of the Manning
Football has always been a family business in the Manning household, yet neither Peyton or Eli Manning took care of business on Sunday. In an ugly 19-13 win against Baltimore, Peyton Manning managed to not lose the game against the Ravens, and show that father time was perhaps catching up with him on more than one occasion. However it was Eli that managed to out-do his brother, having a less-than-stellar game and maybe even costing the Giants a valuable win on Sunday night at Dallas. It's been a great run for the brothers, who've been in the league together since little brother Eli joined in 2004, but as for the Manning duo itself, the down-slope is near, if not apparent as is. 

Super Mariota 
One of the more unappreciated games this past Sunday pitted number one and number two draft picks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota against each other. The hype, for both quarterbacks, have seen it's share of both sides of the scale. In a 42-14 good-ole-fashion-tail-whooping, Marcus Mariota led the way with four touchdown passes (all in the first half) and went 13/16 for 209 yards, being the only quarterback since Fran Tarkenton to throw for four touchdown passes his first game. Mariota looked calm in the pocket and flashed his potential as a duel-threat quarterback in Sunday's win. On the other side of the field, Jameis Winston looked all but ready, making many errors on a 16/33 night with 2 TD's and 2 interceptions. Surely we shouldn't push the panic button just yet (A young Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions his rookie year) but we recognize there is progress to be made in Tampa Bay.

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