Home Featured SBM Sports: Reigning in the wildest storylines from Week One in the NFL

SBM Sports: Reigning in the wildest storylines from Week One in the NFL

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There are many things I love about Week One of the NFL season: chicken wings, beer, and rooting for my fantasy teams (went with the name “Buzz Killington” this year) top the list. Even the world’s best chicken wings can’t overcome the one thing I hate most though: the yearly overreaction to what we just witnessed.

Projecting how our favorite teams and players will perform is part of what makes sports so fun to follow. It has given personalities like Skip Bayless a career. Clarity is important, though, so let’s tackle a few media and fan overreactions, and apply a little sanity:

RGIII is going to be a star

For his NFL debut, Robert Griffin III showed glimpses of brilliance. Griffin’s 320 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions are the best numbers ever for a rookie QB in his first start. As a Richmond, VA resident (100% Redskins Country), I have already seen the impact this game has had on fans in the area. I heard it all while watching Griffin lead his team to an unexpected 40-32 win in New Orleans: “RGIII will lead the Redskins to the Super Bowl within two years.” “RGIII could lead the league in passing.” Smh.

To believe these statements ignores some key facts. The Redskins have holes to fill in their defensive secondary and offensive line before they can be taken seriously. Also, the revolving door Coach Mike Shanahan employs at running back makes it hard to count on a reliable starter to take pressure off of Griffin. On that note, Alfred Morris, an unknown before the start of the season, gained 96 yards rushing with two scores. But can Washington really count on him when defenses adjust to Griffin and take away his passing lanes?

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Griffin may turn into a superstar, but there is no way we can tell after one impressive performance.

The Jets have figured it out

Since ESPN decided to set up a studio at the Jets’ training camp, all sports fans have had the chance to see and read about the Jets’ offensive struggles through the preseason. The first-team offense (Tim Tebow included) combined for zero touchdowns in all four preseason games. This included some truly ugly passes:

Just look at that pass again. There is no way you can come back from that after one game.

The Jets beat the Buffalo Bills down this Sunday with six total touchdowns (four from the offense). Mark Sanchez looked like the confident first-round pick that his fans expected. As importantly, he didn’t look out-of-sync while being subbed in and out for Tebow.

In reality, the Jets offense came through against a Bills team that, while improving, showed last season that it could be scored on. A lot. The man running this offense, Tony Sparano, was most recently leading a shipwreck of an offense in Miami. And while the defense made some big plays, it also gave up 169 yards to career-backup CJ Spiller. There are still plenty of questions about this team. For God’s sake, look at Tebow throwing that ball again.

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Peyton Manning is back

The media’s favorite active quarterback (all-time favorite being Brett Favre of course) made a successful return to football with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night. Manning spent long stretches of the game on the bench, but made the most of his opportunities, throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns.

Chris Collinsworth, one of the announcers of the game, spent a lot of time telling his audience about Manning’s arduous return to the game and how close Manning looked to his former self. To his credit, Manning played well, especially running the no-huddle offense.

What Collinsworth spent far less time detailing, however, is that Manning was playing against the same offense that gave up even more yards to Tim Tebow in the playoffs last season. I won’t direct you to the clip above again. Suffice it to say that I had every reason to believe Manning, who does not throw that horribly, would play well against Pittsburgh. In 2012, the legend of the Steelers’ defense is better than the actual guys on the field. I look forward to seeing what Manning does against the Falcons next week.

Pencil the 49ers into the Super Bowl

The San Francisco 49ers, a hot pick for the Super Bowl, made their fans look smart Sunday with an impressive win at the Green Bay Packers. Alex Smith outplayed Aaron Rodgers, the defense looked like it hasn’t missed a step from last year, and Kyle Williams fielded several punts without any fumbles(!!). From top to bottom, the 49ers looked every bit of a Super Bowl contender in this game.

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Before buying tickets for the Big Game in New Orleans, Niner fans should remember the NFL’s history. We learned again last year that you can play your way into Super Bowl contention in Week One, but you absolutely cannot play your way out of it.

Every team, injuries aside, will have a different makeup once the playoffs begin. The Giants lost to the Rex-Grossman-led Redskins by 14 in Week One last season, went 9-7 (with another loss to Washington), then–won the Super Bowl. Truthfully, no one is out of the running for the Super Bowl; which means you can’t put San Francisco in just yet.

Hopefully this counseling session helped you take off your rose-colored glasses. “Fan” is short for “fanatic,” sure, but we are all better off taking our sports with a side of perspective.

What sports predictions have you formed coming out of Week One? Has this post helped you see the light? Let me know below!

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Comment(17)

  1. Nice review of week 1. Peyton back or Reebok back? The Steelers defense also wasn't at full strength and I wonder how he will do when it gets colder in the D. It's a long season and the guy is coming off major surgery, so I agree you need to wait and see.

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  2. RG3 is the TRUTH! As a die-hard redskins fan, we have finally found our holy grail at the QB position. The thing I really like about the kid, he is smart and has a strong arm. So many people said he was an athlete who plays the QB position, but he actually is a QB that happens to be a very good athlete. I think this is going to be a very interesting year considering the replacement reps and how it will really affect the outcomes of some important games. I will agree, the 49ers definitely look good, balanced, and Alex Smith seems to have a great command of the offense. So far, they are looking like the team to beat in the NFC, but it is still a close call (Greenbay, Giants, and Chicago).

    1. I really like the pic as well. Shout out to Google Images!

      Agree that RG3 looks like a good QB who can also run. Big difference from a lot of athletic QB's out there. The holy grail? We'll see, lol. There's no talking a Redskins fan off of that though, try as I might.

      The NFC race should be good. I wish the Giants would just be dominant all year…I'd enjoy them more if they won the Super Bowl at 13-3 instead of 9-7.

  3. A$AP Robby Griffin is going to do big things but like with most stars it depends on health and keeping the right pieces around him. I’m shocked he put up 40 with Target brand receivers.

    The Jets still aren’t that good, the Bills are that bad.

    Peyton is back.

    I’m sticking with my Chicago pick, they look like the Niners with a better QB

    Other notes

    The Patriots are as good as advertised

    Andy Reid seems more focused on trying to keep Vick’s stock high rather than his own.

    I still can’t trust the Falcons

    1. I can't believe Reid called 56 passes in a close game against the Browns. Is he the last person on Earth to realize LeSean McCoy is a star? They have weapons at receiver, but everyone (The Buzz Killington fantasy squad included) would be better off if they got McCoy going. It is like Reid has a vested interest in seeing Vick succeed. Has to be super frustrating for Eagles fans.

  4. RG3 played well against a team that was missing the captain on defense and the head coach. Saints defense isn't that great and he has a great running game in Washington. For all we know he could only be Matt Ryan good (not a star but Ryan's solid and had the highest QBR after week 1). So I agree with most of what you said.

    The Jets played the Bills, lets wait until they play against a Pro Bowl QB. The real story of that game is the coming out party for Steven Hill. With him added to the WR core in NY it gives Sanchez more than one target to pass to.

    The Broncos are the real deal, but have a tough schedule, if they're healthy come playoff time they can really make a serious push. The Steelers aren't finished, check the amount of guys they had injured or playing hurt in that game.

    The Packers are asking Rodgers to do way too much, their defense has holes in it.

    Flacco played amazing last night, maybe this is the year that he becomes an elite passer.

    Will Steven Ridley be that good in the running game each night for NE? If he is those guys are super bowl bound, if he doesn't they're probably still super bowl bound lol. That team is strong, plus those rookies played really well on Sunday that they drafted. Jones and Hightower got right to work!

    I liked Russel Wilson and Andrew Luck as well, they just don't have any talent to throw to.

    1. Ridley, Jones, and Hightower definitely lived up to the hype. Made my Super Bowl prediction look good. If they can add Welker into the mix, I don't see how they can be stopped.

  5. "I liked Russel Wilson and Andrew Luck as well, they just don't have any talent to throw to."

    The inverse is true for Fitz. Even though he's chosen to stay stuck there w/out a legit QB, it's disappointing to watch him waste away his good years in AZ.

    49ers are definitely the most complete team in the NFC right now. Adding Moss and Manningham has made them a championship game-bound team. (this is coming from a staunch #bluenation fan)

    I agree Flacco looked very good last night. If he keeps playing like that, Torrey Smith should have another 7TD season (or more)

    I can't even comment on RG3 yet because I sat him and played Cam. Still sick!

    1. #FantasyStruggle, lol. I know the feeling!

      I wonder if this no-huddle has shown us a new Flacco. Had the Ravens fans I know going crazy.

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  7. Am I the only one who thought that Peyton's passes were a little shaky? Maybe I'm making too big a thing of this but those spirals were not tight. Makes me question where he's at physically – not sure I'm ready to proclaim that "Peyton is back!" quite yet..

    Redskins @ St. Louis will tell a lot about RG3. That's a game that the Redskins seem to lose pretty much every year. If he goes in there and they win by a couple TDs, I might be willing to start sipping the kool aid.

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