The Red Zone: Week 1 Highlights

Patriots 17, Chiefs 10 – It’s all about Tom Brady probably being out for the season, and the Patriots’ chances riding on that — so much so that it overrode the game itself, where the Chiefs failed at a last second comeback. Now, it’s a question of whether Bill Belichick will stick with Matt Cassel or who he will bring in to take Brady’s place.

Eagles 38, Rams 3 – More notable for Donovan McNabb being good as we’re used to from him, with three TD passes. Here’s how lousy St. Louis is: Philly had three — count ’em — three receivers reach the 100-yard mark for the game.

Cowboys 28, Browns 10 – The Cleveland hangover from the pre-season is still there, and Tony Romo and Marion Barber basically tore it up, so much so that Felix Jones could get into the act late too.

Jets 20, Dolphins 14 – Brett Favre throws two classic Gunslinger TDs (one on fourth down when kicker Mike Nugent twinged his leg) and the New York secondary picks Chad Pennington in the end zone to seal the win.

Bills 34, Seahawks 10 – Two massive special teams plays, a punt return by Roscoe Parrish and a fake punt to a TD pass, help bolster a rout of the NFC West favorite.

Falcons 34, Lions 21 – Is Detroit the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked? If you go down 21-0 to a rookie QB and a first-time starting RB (although a damn good one, that Michael Turner is), you might want to question your philosophy on defense, and maybe even personnel. Trading Shuan Rogers to the Bears seems like a bad idea now, doesn’t it, Matt Millen?

Ravens 17, Bengals 10 – Hoo boy, Cincy stinks. There’s something wrong with your team when you lose to a rookie QB like Joe Flacco who’s only starting because Kyle Boller is on IR and Troy Smith has an illness.

Saints 24, Bucs 20 – NO’s offense vs. TB’s D — and it looked like the Bucs had the best of it until the Saints got cranking late.  Drew Brees got his 300+ passing yards and the winning score to Reggie Bush.

Steelers 38, Texans 17 – Yikes. Three TDs for Willie Parker in a mowdown. I thought Houston’s defense was supposed to be good.

Titans 17, Jaguars 10 – Tennessee’s defense beats Jacksonville’s, and I look like a schmuck for starting LenDale White over Chris Johnson, who took a TD pass from Vince Young before he sprained his ankle.

Panthers 26, Chargers 24 – That’s the good old Norv Turner flailing and facial disappointment we come to know and love. Jake Delhomme tossed a TD pass to his TE in the last few seconds for the win — one somehow coming without Steve Smith.

Cardinals 23, 49ers 13 – I have nothing to say about this game even though it was on the big-screen TV where I was watching.  All I will say is that if there were Niners fans in that bar, they were very, very quiet.

Bears 29, Colts 13 – Essentially, I boil this loss down to Peyton Manning being hurt, missing a crucial member of his offensive line in Jeff Saturday, and having no game snaps with said line. There was rust to shake off and the Bears’ defense took full advantage. Kyle Orton did the basic minimum asked of him, and Matt Forte looked better at RB than anyone had any right to expect.

One Response

  1. I submit that Forte looked very good in preseason, when he was in the game. But the real surprises were the offensive line (who are clearly going to be better at run-blocking than protecting Orton) and the defense awakening from their somnolent August and playing with the kind of intensity Bears fans have a right to expect.

    Also, I don’t think Peyton’s injury really signified, except in terms of how it resulted in a lack of confidence in his OL. The pre-snap defensive adjustments by the linebackers really seemed to throw him off, which is very unusual. If you watched his face in pre-snap, his protection audibles didn’t look like they were coming from a guy who knew what he was looking at and how to stop it; they looked like they were coming from a guy trying to give himself a prayer at staying upright long enough to get the ball off.

    And truth be told, the Colts OL did fine in pass protection (although the Bears stuffed the running game very effectively). They only gave up 2 sacks, and Peyton generally had plenty of time to make his reads. The problem was mostly in his head: he was rushing throws when he didn’t need to, and his accuracy suffered as a result.

    Then again, according to the pre-game announcer spiel, Lovie has beaten the Colts at home both times he played them before, so maybe he’s got Indy mojo the same way he has Lambeau mojo…

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