NFL Bandwagons: Week 1

The Steelers might not be the best team in the AFC. Or even the AFC North. Bandwagon time! (Photo Copyright © ShoreShot Photography 2008)

What a bizarre first weekend of NFL Football. It made just about as much sense as Miss Teen South Carolina. Seriously? I thought the Steelers always beat the Ravens. Aren’t the Bengals supposed to be the worst team in the AFC? When did the Bills become a team to be taken seriously? And did Jay Cutler actually throw 68% of his passes to HIS OWN players?

NFL fans, including those who write about it for a living (which doesn’t count me, yet) are so quick to react to what happens in a week of play. If a team or player has one great game, everyone starts talking them up. If a team or player has one bad game, they’re done for.

So to help these people out, every week I’ll will write up a guide to whose bandwagon should be joined, and whose should be deserted.

Move over, this bandwagon is getting full!

Cam Newton. Boom! Eat it Merril Hoge! My pick for Offensive ROY just went HAM and chucked for a debut record 422 yards. Okay I know they still lost and he’s going to have some really bad games too, but seriously it’s

Cam Newton is trying to prove he's the real deal. (AP photo/MattYork)

his first game ever. Do you know what 21/37 for 302 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions is? Peyton Manning’s debut stats.

Buffalo Bills. They made the Chiefs look like a silly little high school team. The Chiefs fearsome rushing attack managed only 108 yards. Matt Cassel was held to 119 passing yards. Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mr. Wonderlic, tossed 4 TD’s and the only turnover the Bills had was a pick thrown by wildcat quarterback Brad Smith. Fred Jackson, who I should have included on my AFC Players to Watch, rushed for 112 yards on 20 carries. Stevie Johnson quit being mad at God long enough to make a great catch. Could the Bills make some noise in the AFC this year?

Baltimore Ravens. That is how you punch an NFL team in the face. I don’t think the Ravens or their fans thought for a minute they were going to lose that game. The crowd was raucous from pregame until the final whistle. Joe Flacco and the passing game attacked the Steelers defense and kept them on their heels. Ray Rice looked like he was running against Big East defenders again. And Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the two greatest defenders in the past decade (well, at least the scariest) looked to be in their prime again. Maybe the Steelers aren’t the best team in that division.

Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. As previously stated, Cutler completed 68% of his passes. Matt Forte looked like 2008 Matt Forte. The defense continued to be solid as ever, making a very good Falcons offense look kind of confused. Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher sure don’t look like they’re in their 30’s. By the way, Matt Ryan, why did you think you could outrun Mr. Peppers to the sideline? Throw the ball away.

Okay, should we be nervous about this?

San Diego Chargers– Okay I know they won, but they still let Percy Harvin run back the opening kick off for a touchdown. That was the only thing that kept them from winning that division last year and they were supposed to have it fixed. They also lost kicker Nate Kaeding, the most accurate in the game, for the season. And perhaps worst of all they barely beat a team whose quarterback threw for 39 yards. Still, they won, and you’re safe on this bandwagon for now.

Atlanta Falcons– Michael turner was about the only bright spot in that game (100 yards rushing on 10 attempts). However, Matt Ryan looked awful and the defense had trouble containing Forte and defending against the pass. Still I’ll give them a break because they ran into a very underrated Bears team at home, and lots of teams would lose that game.

Pittsburgh Steelers– They played about as badly as a team can, but this team is still my Super Bowl pick and you shouldn’t be afraid to pick them either. I’m going to chalk this loss up to the Ravens playing perfect football and Big Ben just not looking like himself.

This is more like a bandwagontank.

You guys have good reason to be smiling. (yahoo sports image)

New England Patriots– I know it’s the Dolphins, and a key cornerback was out, but any time an offense can throw for 80 million yards or whatever it was, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Albert Haynesworth looked good, too. He and Wilfork were so good in fact, that when the Dolphins were at 4th and goal from the one late in the game they didn’t even bother trying to hand it to Reggie Bush because they knew they would get stuffed. They were forced to try a tricky pass that Henne missed (again) and that was basically the end of the game. What kind of scares me though is I saw him shove a guy in the helmet after the play was over, and we all remember the Gurode “stomp.” He has to make sure he stays out of trouble. Enough about Haynesworth, the Patriots are as good as advertised.

Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles– LeSean McCoy (are there any other players with 4 capital letters in their name?) and DeSean Jackson both played well, and Michael Vick was running like he was 23 again. As long as Vick stays healthy, this team is going to be as tough as anyone.

Green Bay Packers– The Packers have not had a good return man for a really long time. I think they found one. Cobb is certain to be a premier return man for a long time in this league. More importantly, the offense looked very good. Ryan Grant looked a little slow, but James Starks picked up any slack. They allowed a lot of points, but remember that they played what is probably one of the three best offenses in football. This team is going places.

All this wagon needed was a little proof.

Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions– The preseason sleeper proved to be the real deal. As long as Matthew Stafford stays healthy they will be a tough team to beat all season. Just remember though, this is the Lions, and you never know when this wagon could break down.

Houston Texans– Not much is really needed to be said other than 34-7. Even without Foster they dismantled the Colts. The division is theirs to lose.

Abandon ship/wagon.

Minnesota Vikings– 39 yards. 39 yards is all I need to say. But in case that isn’t good enough for you, Adrian Peterson only carried the ball 16 times. Let the man run, please?

Miami Dolphins– I know Chad Henne threw for 416 yards but I saw him miss Brandon Marshall way too many times. Reggie Bush apparently doesn’t know which direction the end zone is. And I almost forgot, they allowed 517 passing yards.

Any other band wagons I should know about? Comment, like, SUBSCRIBE!

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2 thoughts on “NFL Bandwagons: Week 1

  1. Pingback: NFL Bandwagons: Week 2 « sneakygoodsportsblog

  2. Pingback: Allen Iverson, Randy Moss, 2Pac, and the Meaning of Greatness « sneakygoodsportsblog

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