They say first impressions are the most important. Well week 1 is in the books and the road to the Super bowl has officially begun. Every team practiced their playbook, studied their game film, did their homework, and went out and fought for 60 minutes (except for maybe the Jaguars) in hopes of getting their first win of the season. Some teams were successful, and some weren’t, but they all made first impressions.
Let’s go team by team and take a look at each team’s “first impression” after week 1.
Buffalo Bills – While E.J. Manual didn’t explode as we all hoped, he didn’t implode either. The same can’t be said for the running game. Still, put up a good fight against arguably one of the best teams in the league and nearly pulled off a shocker. The new coaching staff has a lot to prove but if the Bills eliminate penalties and get a running game going, they could be the Cinderella story of 2014.
New England Patriots – Struggled against a surprising young Bills team, but in classic Patriots fashion, came back to win the game and put the bills away late in the game.
New York Jets – Got their first win of the season over an underrated Tampa team, but let’s be honest here, this team is going nowhere and only won because of a penalty. Expect the Jets to be in the coaching hunt during this off-season.
Miami Dolphins – No running game, but a decent performance by Ryan Tannehill led Miami to a win against Cleveland. The rest of the season is only going to get harder for Miami however, they need to get a running game going if they want to have any success. How much did they pay for Mike Wallace?
Pittsburgh Steelers – Pittsburgh could do nothing against Tennessee’s revamped defense and with injuries mounting during the game, this could be a long season for Steelers fans.
Cleveland Browns – Oye. That’s all I can say about Cleveland. Weeden exploded in the preseason and had a lot of buzz, but when the season began played like…well…played like Brandon Weeden. Cleveland will be in the Jadaveon Clowney race with Jacksonville this year.
Baltimore Ravens – Looked good in the first half, fell apart in the second. Still, they were playing against one of the best teams in the league and I wouldn’t count them out as Super bowl contenders just yet.
Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green is a monster, and that’s about all the positive I can say about Cincinnati. No running game, sloppy defense, almost snuck out a win, but in the end the better team prevailed and dealt the Bengals their first loss of the season.
Houston Texans – Houston refused to lie down and had a brilliant second half coming back from a 28-7 deficit to put the game away. When Houston is firing on all cylinders they’re scary good, they won’t lose many games this year, and they are definitely a Super bowl contender.
Indianapolis Colts – The defense struggled heavily, as did the Offensive line allowing 4 sacks and preventing any form of running game. In the end Luck proved his worth as a number 1 overall pick, and made less mistakes then his Oakland counterpart, and walked away with the win.
Tennessee Titans – Defense looked great in a big win against Pittsburgh. Offense struggled but if the Titans defense can play that well all season, Tennessee might be a contender for a wildcard spot this year, if they can survive Houston and Indianapolis that is.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The only thing worse than the Jaguars in the NFL is the Jaguars new helmets. Blaine Gabbert getting hurt might be the best thing that could have happened to this franchise that refuses to give up on the quarterback.
Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning. That is all.
Oakland Raiders – Raiders offense found life with Pryor under quarterback. Could this be the next QB that no one in the league wanted who finds a home on the Raiders and leads them to greatness in the future? Probably not, it’s still Oakland.
San Diego Chargers – Chargers showed a lot of life against a tough Houston team, another candidate for the Cinderella story of 2014.
Kansas City Chiefs – Not ready to anoint them the comeback team of the year after 1 win, as impressive as it was, it was against the Jaguars.
Washington Redskins – RG3 played well considering what he came back from, but after falling behind so quickly the Redskins had no choice but to constantly air it out. They never got a chance to establish a running game which is key to any Mike Shannahan team. I wouldn’t count Washington out just yet, they were caught off guard by Chip Kelly’s offense and they’re a better team than they showed on Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles – Chip Kelly’s offense is the real deal. There won’t be a lot of defenses that can keep up with a team that calls the play gets up to the line and snaps the ball in under 20 seconds. Although we may see a lot more faked injuries.
New York Giants – Ugly game for manning despite 3 touchdowns to Cruz and another to new tight end Brandon Myers. Giants need to find a running game and fast to bounce back from this divisional loss.
Dallas Cowboys – Dallas’s defense frustrated Eli Manning all night as they forced turnover after turnover. Offense played well minus a few mistakes but after that many turnovers they should have won by more than 5 points.
Chicago Bears – Not exactly the statement the Bears wanted to make in week 1 with new talent and a new coaching staff, but a win is a win. Marshall had a good game as usual, but Forte struggled to get going in his new offense.
Minnesota Vikings – Adrian Peterson looks like an NFL player playing little loop football, as usual. And also as usual Christian Ponder looked like a little looper playing in the NFL. Jerome Simpson might be the guy in Minnesota but I wouldn’t count out a receiver of Greg Jennings just yet. Does everyone remember Kevin Ogeltree in Dallas after week 1 last year?
Green Bay Packers – Rodgers played well as always but the secondary was torn to pieces. The run defense held up against Gore but Kaepernick was too much to handle. As per usual Green bay could get nothing going against the ground.
Detroit Lions – Reggie Bush and former Buffalo Bills practice squadder Joique Bell look like they’re going to have a lot of fun and put up a lot of points in Detroit’s backfield this year. Oh and don’t forget they got a pretty good wide receiver catching passes as well.
Atlanta Falcons – Tough loss to the Saints, but Steven Jackson looked like his former self, and Atlanta will cruise to many victories this year on the way to the playoffs, but Brees owns this rivalry.
New Orleans Saints – Brees is now 7-1 against the Falcons in New Orleans, since teaming up with Sean Peyton. Oh and by the way Sean Peyton is back coaching and the Saints have a defense. Saints are going far this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them and Atlanta fight it out in the playoffs this year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Heartbreaking boneheaded play cause the loss in the opener against the Jets. Schiano won’t let that happen again, and Tampa will rebound. They’re better than they get credit for, and once they can get Doug Martin going, they’re going to look it. Otherwise they’ll end up in the lower half of the pack at the end of the season.
Carolina Panthers – Defense looked strong for most of the game, but offense struggled. 2 fumbles from Deangelo Williams didn’t help. When will Carolina address the glaring hole at running back that’s been there since Williams and Jonathon Steward had their one good year as a duo?
San Francisco 49ers – As good as described. Although Gore struggled to get going against a tough Packer defense, he still kept them honest allowing Kaepernick to tear apart their secondary with new toy Anquan Boldin. This could be a scary good tandem.
Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer was impressive in his first game as the Cardinals signal caller, despite his offensive line. Larry Fitzgerald is poised to have a big year now that he has a quarterback on his team. The defense needs to close up some holes in the secondary big time though especially when it comes to tight ends.
Seattle Seahawks – Defense was stout against Cam Newton, offense struggled most of the game and Lynch never really go going. Luckily for Seattle Russell Wilson came up big with a late 43yd touchdown pass in the game to secure the win.
St Louis Rams – The biggest offseason acquisition may have been Jared Cook. The former Titans tight end was boom or bust with a slew of different sub-par quarterbacks in Tennessee, but is the perfect safety option for Sam Bradford, who has little else after a poor performance from rookie Tavon Austin. Still St. Louis looked good on both sides of the ball getting 4 sacks, and would be a playoff contender in most divisions and will not make life easy for the other teams in what could be the best division in football.