Opening Weekend NFL Coverage

Erin Ennis

What teams scored big on the opening weekend of the NFL? While some thrived under the spotlight and emerged from unexciting pre-season games others showed a lack of diversity, strength, and potential. The best and the worst teamed up for one of the most unusual and exciting opening weekends in NFL history.

The Philadelphia Eagles faced off against the Carolina Panthers, and the birds came out on top with a 38 to 10 victory. The Eagles forced seven turnovers and rallied on defense in the wake of losing Brian Dawkins and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson over the off season. Jake Delhomme, Carolina’s normally on-par QB, threw three interceptions and was pulled from the game in the third quarter for his lackluster performance. The only drawback of the game came from Donovan McNabb’s rib injury in the second half, which leaves the Eagles in a perilous spot for next week’s matchup.

In a completely surprising move, the Denver Broncos rallied in the last 38 seconds of their game to beat the Bengals 12 to 7. The 87 yard touchdown reception by WR Brandon Stokley was probably the most noteworthy moment of the entire opening day of play. Stokley made sure to run across the field, not straight down the sideline, to use up the last of the precious time. Carson Palmer was unable to rally the Bengals back in a hail-mary moment at the end of the game.

A favorite for some New Englanders, the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins 23-17, although neither team seemed really up to par. Giants DE Osi Umenyiora played his first game since Super Bowl XLII and scored a touchdown off a strip. Steve Smith’s ability to stop a Redskins’ onside kick attempt also put this game to rest. However, both teams will need to step it up next week to show real promise in the NFC.

Finally, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears faced off in the 8 oclock game, and a surprisingly weak Cutler made his debut as the 2009 Bear’s QB. He threw four interceptions and allowed the Packers to get underneath his skin. The loss of Brian Urlacher, two sacks, and an inability to move the ball downfield without turnovers proved to be the end for the Bears in the 15 to 21 loss. Hopefully, this powerful NFC steps it up next week as they move on to face the Steelers.
Other big games this week came from the Dallas Cowboys, the Indianapolis Colts, and the New York Jets. Tune in next week!