NFL Week One
Making rash generalizations and anchoring our opinions or beliefs in something without a representative example can be dangerous. Look at race relations in this countryâ€”because a black man in Los Angeles shoots someone, all black men shoot people. That kind of thinking is extremely dangerous and can lead to misconceptions. So, in this column, I'll do exactly that. What I learned from Week 1 of the NFL season.
Dallas will have the most potent offense in the league. From Marion Barber to Jason Witten to Terrell Owens to Tony Romo to Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode, the Cowboys have someone in the top five in their position at every position on offense. They showed it against Cleveland. Dallas is one of six teams in the NFCâ€”along with the New Orleans Saints, the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Carolina Panthers and the Green Packersâ€”who could legitimately win the Super Bowl.
The Carolina Panthers will win the NFC South. They rushed for 142 yards against one of the best defenses in the NFL, won at San Diego and did it all without All-Pro wide receiver Steve Smith. The Panthers winning formula, great defense and power running is back.
Without Tom Brady the Patriots will still make it to the playoffs. Why everyone, all of a sudden, is a doubting a coach like Bill Belichick and an organization like New England is beyond me. This is the same team that responded to starter Drew Bledsoe's injury during the 2001 season and ended up wining Super Bowl XXXVI. New starter and former backup quarterback Matt Cassell, though untested, is talented. He's survived in the NFL for four seasonsâ€”more than mostâ€”and backed up two Heisman Trophy winnersâ€”Carson Palmer and Matt Leinartâ€”while at USC.
Michael Turner looked an awful lot like Jamal Anderson in his record-breaking debut with the Atlanta Falcons. In fact, take away quarterback Matt Ryan and this looked like a Michael Vick-led Falcons offense. Everyone knows that Turner had 220 yards rushing and two touchdowns, but what they forget is that backup Jerious Norwood added another 93. I can almost guarantee that when you rush for 300 yards in an NFL game, you're going to win. Of course, it could just be because they were playing the hapless Detroit Lions. The Pistons probably would've given Atlanta a tougher game.
Indianapolis is starting to look old. The crispness, precision, freshness and timing with which Peyton Manning exquisitely runs the Colts' offense rivals the way James Poyser and ?uestlove create masterpieces in the studio. Against an aggressive Bears' defense, Manning looked more like Polow Da Don â€“ jagged, without direction and confused â€“ than Poyser and ?uesto. They might figure it out, but I'm not optimistic after the dud they laid during the first regular season game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
If Donovan McNabb could've ever stay healthy for an entire season, people would talk about Brady, Manning and McNabb, instead of just Brady and Manning when discussing the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. McNabb has averaged 289 yards and 2.3 touchdowns per game, in his last three season openers. Usually though, as he takes more hits his body wears down. Hopefully the Eagles' offensive line takes care of the Campbell's Chunky Soup pitchman and he is able to remind fans and media members of how good he can be.
The NFC West could be the worst division ever â€“ in the history of mankind.
Calvin Johnson needs to get on a real team as quickly as possible. Even though he had solid numbers, one of the most physical gifted players to ever play in the NFL (and that's saying something) is wasting away.
Marvin Lewis won't make it to January as Cincinnati's head coach.