Adelaide key forward, and American sports aficionado, Josh Jenkins wraps up the opening week of the NFL season.
The shocking situation involving Baltimore’s Ray Rice was the biggest story to come out of the NFL this week, but on the field fans were treated to a magnificent opening weekend of NFL football. The superstars of the league shone brightest and the game we love was back, bigger and better than ever!
As is tradition on most occasions, the reigning Superbowl champions opened the season at home.
Green Bay – with a rejuvenated Aaron Rodgers at the helm – rolled into Seattle but were no match for the Seahawks as they put forth a commanding offensive and defensive performance to secure a 36-16 victory.
The Legion of Boom did its thing for the Seahawks but the offence – led by QB Russell Wilson – was able to put up points at will with running back Marshawn Lynch racking up 110 yards and two typically powerful touchdowns.
Opening the season at Seattle’s electric home ground was the perfect way to begin the season and Century Link Field and its fanatical ’12th Man’ supporters were in full voice from the outset.
— theScore (@theScore) September 5, 2014
At 1pm Sunday (US time) there were ten NFL matches in progress and the season was well and truly alive.
Buffalo upset the highly fancied Chicago Bears in overtime 23-20 and to magnify the Bears defeat was the hamstring injury of star receiver Alshon Jeffery.
The NFL debut of No.1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney was abruptly ended when the former South Carolina defensive end damaged his knee.
The injury soured Houston’s dominant 17-6 win over a disappointing Robert Griffin III and his Washington Redskins.
Cincinnati defeated its divisional rival Baltimore thanks to a 77-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to All-Pro receiver AJ Green.
‘Sunday Night Football looked like becoming a blowout as Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took a 24-7 lead before Manning’s replacement in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck, put the Colts back into contention.’
2013 was a great season for Kansas City but 2014 began with a hiccup as Tennessee took a convincing 26-10 triumph.
Another upset occurred on South Beach as Miami took down perennial powerhouses, New England.
The 33-20 scoreline was a surprise as the Dolphins dominated the second half, scoring 23 points to none.
Cleveland rallied from 24 points down to draw level at 27-all against Pittsburgh only for the Steelers to manage a last-minute field goal to steal the win from the jaws of defeat.
Quarterback Geno Smith helped his New York Jets score points in every quarter to hand his side a solid 19-14 win.
In Jacksonville, it was Philadelphia who surprisingly fell behind 17-nil only to put up 34 unanswered points to head home on top 34-17 against the Jaguars.
With St. Louis losing QB Sam Bradford to another torn ACL on the eve of the season, the Rams struggled mightily, going down 34-6 against the lowly Minnesota Vikings.
In the blockbuster match of the afternoon, Southern rivals New Orleans and Atlanta met at the Georgia Dome and the match met everyone’s expectations – and then some!
The Falcons rallied from 20-10 down at halftime to steal the win on a Matt Bryant field goal in overtime.
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan threw for a franchise-record 448 yards to go along with three touchdowns in a masterful performance.
In the twilight matches, Carolina fought for a courageous 20-14 win without superstar QB Cam Newton as he was held out of the match with a rib injury suffered late in the pre-season.
At ‘Jerryworld’ in Dallas, the Cowboys gave up 21points in the opening quarter and could never recover, going down 28-17 to San Francisco.
— NFL (@nfl) September 10, 2014
Sunday Night Football looked like becoming a blowout as Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took a 24-7 lead before Manning’s replacement in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck, put the Colts back into contention.
Luck led his team to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter but Manning steadied the ship and Denver escaped with a week one victory, 31-24.
As Rice’s indefinite suspension was announced to the media, Detroit and the New York Giants took to the field for their season-opener. Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson connected twice in the first quarter, ending in two touchdowns.
Johnson – nicknamed Megatron – finished the game with seven catches, 164 yards and two scores to lead the Lions to a 35-14 win over a hapless Giants outfit.
In the nightcap, Arizona and San Diego played out a thriller with both teams spending time in the lead before the home team Cardinals took back the lead with 2:25 to go in the final quarter, securing a 18-17 win.
There’s nothing quite like the return of the NFL season. Let’s just hope weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5 are just as good – if not better!
Photo via Flickr – Mike Morris