Week One of the 2010 NFL Season is finally in the books. We had boring prime time games, upsets, a rejuvenation in New England, disappointment and controversy.
As always, there were winners and there were losers. Let’s find out who some of the big winners and losers from Week One.
Week One Winners
Tampa Bay, Washington, Jacksonville and Kansas City all won their openers. All four of those teams finished last in their division last year. Those four teams combined for 16 wins last year, seven of them by Jacksonville.
St. Louis and Detroit, who combined for three wins last year, had opportunities to win their games on their final possession (some would argue Detroit actually DID win, but we’ll cover that later). Cleveland and Buffalo also lost close games with plenty of opportunities to win. Between those four teams, they combined to lose by only 16 points.
As we all know, Week One has little significance to how a team will actually finish the year, but all these teams hope that it does.
If I told you that Peyton Manning threw for 433 yards and had three touchdowns a game and LOST, would you believe me? What if I told you in that same game Matt Schaub, who led the NFL in passing yards last season, threw for only 107 yards with one TD and one INT? Unthinkable right?
The last time Peyton Manning threw for over 400 yards in a regular season and lost was on October 31, 2004 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Trent Green and Priest Holmes were starters for that Chiefs team. Yup, it was that long ago.
Despite all of this, Manning and the Colts lost to the Houston Texans on Sunday 34-24. Not quite David over Goliath, but not far from it. It is well known that the Texans have been the Colts ragdoll since the inception of Houston in 2002. Since that season, the Texans had only beaten the mighty Colts once in 16 meetings, that coming on December 24, 2006. David Carr was the winning QB that day.
I don’t think I need to explain any further how big this was for the Texans.
Also: Arian Foster. If you don’t know this name, then you don’t watch football or play fantasy. If you know this name, you probably had to play against him this week in fantasy or wish you had drafted him when you had the chance.
Lucky me (actually not lucky, I’m just smart) I had Mr. Foster on my roster. After the early afternoon games, Foster had racked up 47.5 points for my team. They guy I was playing against had 46 points. Total.
Week One Losers
Seven of last year’s 12 playoff teams lost in Week One, one of which participated in the Super Bowl (Indianapolis). The other five playoff teams from 2009 won by a combined total of 31 points.
Seven teams that I predicted to make the playoffs in my pre-season Power Rankings also lost. Not a good start for many teams that needed to come out of the gate running. As I noted above, Week One means nothing to how the rest of the season will shake out, but there are some teams with high expectation that should start to worry.
NFL Rule Book
By now everyone has seen, heard and complained about the touchdown that was taken away from Calvin Johnson and the Lions, leading them to lose to the Chicago Bears 19-14.
Even though it was the right call, it led to a lot of discussion. I can’t count the number of times I had to listen to people complain about the rule and use examples to how it needs to be changed. I also can’t count how many times the examples people used were wrong.
The Calvin Johnson rule is only used to describe receiving plays occurring inside the end zone. It has nothing to do with a ball carrier bring the ball into the end zone and over the plane. It has nothing to do with a ball that is caught before entering the endzone.
It doesn’t matter if the player who catches the ball in the end zone has established possession, if he falls to the ground and loses possession, it is ruled an incomplete pass. Simple as that.
Does the rule make sense? Not really, but rules are rules. The NFL probably won’t do anything about the ruling. It has already stated that the crew made the right call and no further review of the play was going to occur. They probably won’t change the rule.
Tough luck Lions. Maybe next time.
* – Arian Foster photo credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip via NFL.com