Hurley Sweeps Side & Total On Monday!
Ravens (+1.5) Jets 10-9 WON!
(Under 36.5) WON!
After an 11-5 MNF performance in '09 we're off to a 2-0 start in '10!
Lots of NFL Week #1 storylines abound and we'll get to a bunch of ‘em plus there's College Football News/Notes from 'Monster Saturday' but first this ultra-important reminder:
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Now, let's get you started with a pair of NFL Monday Night Football Previews for tonight's games:
NFL WEEK #1 IN REVIEW
Let's get a few loose ends cleared up here:
NFL Week #1 Betting Favorites are 7-5-2 against the odds while heading into Monday's action (pushes in New Orleans and Tampa Bay, in case you were wondering) and note that nine of the league's first 14 games wound up being decided by a touchdown or less.
Also, coaches with their new teams -- see Washington's Mike Shanahan, Seattle's Pete Carroll and Buffalo's Chan Gailey -- managed to win two of the three games with the Bills unable to give their new boss a 'W' while New England and Tennessee tied for most points in a Week #1 game with 38 apiece and we'll touch on the Patriots' big win against Cincinnati in a moment but let's start off the Week #1 in Review with the defending conference champions that didn't win their opener:
HOUSTON 34, INDIANAPOLIS 24 -- It's no sin to lose your season-opening game even if you played in the most recent Super Bowl but it's hard to think that this was just any ordinary loss for the Indy Colts:
Consider that the rush defense was shoved around to the tune of 257 yards by a Houston club that didn't exactly enter this season with mucho confidence in the ground game (no matter what they might have said publicly in recent days) and then toss into the mix that both S Bob Sanders and WR Anthony Gonzalez were hurt and may miss time and things are looking bleak in a hurry for the defending AFC champions.
Indianapolis never could put the wraps on Texans' RB Arian Foster (team-record 231 rushing yards and 3 TDs) and so much of that terrific stat line by Colts' QB Peyton Manning (433 yards passing and 3 scores) was really nothing more than fancy window dressing as Houston never trailed and sported double-digit leads for much of the second half.
All summer long a theme surrounding the Texans' ground game was its penchant for fumbling but did you know that Houston registered 42 carries -- and didn't commit a single lost fumble!
No time for the Colts to feel sorry for themselves -- remember this was only the second time Houston beat ‘em in 17 lifetime matchups -- as they have the 'Manning Bowl' on deck this Sunday night and you can sort through your NFL history books and you won't find many teams that start a season 0-2 and then make it to the Super Bowl.
WASHINGTON 13, DALLAS 7 -- Folks, we don't blame you if you closed your eyes a few times last night: This prime-timer was tough to watch as the Cowboys were flagged for 12 penalties worth 91 yards and merely self-destructed at the end of the first half and at game's end.
No question that the one gentleman that somehow was spared the criticisms of NBC broadcasters Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth was Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett -- he inexplicably tried way too hard to get rookie WR Dez Bryant involved after back-to-back-to-back game-opening first downs without the kid's contributions plus you shouldn't lose a game when averaging 4.7 yards a rush (see 22 carries for 103 yards) -- patched-up offensive line or not!
The Redskins converted a mere 3-of-13 third-down plays and even a slimmer QB Donovan McNabb (just 15-of-32 passing) couldn't really get the Shanahan-coached offense in gear and that has to be a major source of concern heading into Sunday's Week #2 clash at home versus Houston.
NEW ENGLAND 38, CINCINNATI 24 -- Let the Bengals' self-centered wide receivers do those silly reality shows: The Patriots prefer to live in the reality of QB Tom Brady's world.
Just 72 hours (or so) following a scary car crash, there was Brady calmly steering the Pats into the end zone on touchdown drives of 72 and 80 yards in the first half while setting the proper tone and it didn't matter that some of the aerials didn't click (see two drops by RB Kevin Faulk and even a drop by slot WR Wes Welker) -- the Pats sent out a loud message that they ain't exactly going anywhere plus the new-look defense/special teams showed amazing speed and so maybe any/all media folks that wrote New England off prior to the start of the season might wish to take back their words.
In the end, Brady posted terrific stats (25-of-35 for 258 yards with three TDs) -- while Cincinnati WR Terrell Owens posted a dopey post-game tweet ... pul-leeeze!
P.S., the Patriots also scored a pair of non-offensive TDs -- LB Gary Guyton rumbled 59 yards with a Carson Palmer INT for a score and Brandon Tate dashed 97 yards for a score with the opening kick of the second half (and hats off to CBS' Phil Simms who pointed out early on that New England's improved team speed would show at some point in special teams play).
COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S SATURDAY RE-CAPS
Okay, so none of those 'Monster Saturday' powerhouse teams actually lost -- not Alabama, not Ohio State, not Florida, not Oklahoma and not Oregon.
But here's a few words on some of the 'real winners':
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier had grown really weary of losing close games to archrival Georgia but that all ended with the Gamecocks' 17-6 win/cover against the 3-point under-Dawgs last Saturday. It was a costly fumble inside the three-yard line by Georgia RB Washuan Ealey with the Dawgs down 14-6 in the third quarter that proved to be the key play in this SEC clash but isn't it somewhat ironic that South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore carried the ball 37 times (for 182 yards and two TDs) -- the most a running back has ever carried for a Spurrier-coached team in his illustrious coaching career ...
Then there's the kids from James Madison -- a honest-to-goodness 31-point underdog for its game at Virginia Tech -- and it's not every day we get to write about some dude named QB Drew Dudzik who ran for two TDs and threw another score in a shocking 21-16 win in Blacksburg. Let everyone else chastise V-Tech for falling flat on its facemasks:
How about some 'love' for a JMU team that didn't commit a single turnover (the Hokies, on the other hand, lost two fumbles and had a pass intercepted) and ended the game by drawing a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a last-second punt?
Folks, we've got all year to chat about Alabama, Ohio State, etc. but it's not often that one of the sport's 'little guys' makes such a big racket...
Player of the Weekend: Who else but Michigan QB Dennard Robinson who rushed for 258 yards with two scores and threw for 244 yards and a 'touch' in a thrilling 28-24 win at Notre Dame -- don't look now but he would have to be right there at the top of our Jim Sez Heisman Trophy list.
Honorable Mention: Hawaii kicker Scott Enos who sank Army with a 31-yard FG with seven seconds left in a 31-28 win at West Point. Now that gazillion mile trip to upstate New York was worth it, right fellas?
NOTE: Catch our Jim Sez Mid-Week Report next as we get you College Football Thursday/Friday Previews plus more NFL News & Notes.
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