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Muscle Sport Magazine

NFL Week 1 Recap and Analysis – The Usual Upsets

PACKERS – 42, Saints – 34

As expected, the defending Super Bowl champions came out of the box strong and won the league Thursday night opener. Aaron Rodgers outgunned Drew Brees in a contest that seemed a one-way affair until New Orleans mounted a comeback. Both teams should be right in the mix for the NFC representative when it’s all said and done.

RAVENS – 35, Steelers – 7

What was expected to be game of the weekend ended up being a dud. Seven Pittsburgh turnovers was the story and we will have to wait for the rematch in this great divisional rivalry to see if it was a fluke or not.

BEARS – 30, Falcons – 12

Two playoff teams faced off at Soldier Field and linebacker Brian Urlacher was the difference maker for Chicago with an interception and fumble recovery for a touchdown. Julius Peppers had two sacks and Jay Cutler threw for over 300 yards and two scores. This may be an important tie breaker down the road for the Bears.

Bengals – 27, BROWNS – 17

Everyone – including us – had Cincy left for dead before the season even started. But they didn’t seem to care and took care of their interstate and division rival. Rookie starting QB Andy Dalton went out with an injury and the Bengals were able to get the W with back-up Bruce Gradkowski throwing a 41-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green with just over four minutes remaining.

TEXANS – 34, Colts – 7

All of the attention has been on Peyton Manning’s absence and Houston exposed that weakness by holding replacement Kerry Collins to under 200 yards passing. Ben Tate rushed for 116 yards and a score as Arian Foster’s sat out with an injury. With only three weeks to learn the offense, Collins should see better days ahead.

JAGUARS – 16, Titans – 14

A surprise move looks as if it may pay off as Luke McCown (named the starter last week after Jacksonville released David Garrard) was efficient (17 for 24, 175 yards) and didn’t make any mistakes. On the Tennessee side, holdout running back Chris Johnson had a quiet day with only 24 yards on nine carries.

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Bills – 41, CHIEFS – 7

A bit of a surprise here with Kansas City (a division winner a year ago) getting trounced by an also-ran on their home turf. Ryan Fitzpatrick lit it up with four touchdown throws. No, Buffalo is not this good and KayCee not this bad.

Eagles – 31, RAMS – 13

Philly came out roaring and never looked back in a convincing win at St. Louis. Michael Vick looked every bit the superstar he’s paid to be with two touchdown passes and 98 yards on the ground.

Lions – 27, BUCS – 20

Matt Stafford went 24-for-33 for 305 yards and a touchdown as Detroit picked up right where they left off last season to make it five consecutive regular season wins. Calvin Johnson caught two of those scoring passes and the final score was not a good indication of this contest, which was controlled by Detroit.

CARDINALS – 28, Panthers – 21

Number one overall pick Cam Newton had a huge day (24-for-37, 422 yards, two touchdowns) but Kevin Kolb fared better by leading his new team to a win. The former Eagles back-up eclipsed 300 yards in the air and threw for two scores of his own as Arizona came back to beat the pesky new-look Panthers.

CHARGERS – 24, Vikings – 17

A ten-point Minnesota halftime lead was wiped out by a strong second half by the Chargers, with fullback Nate Tolbert’s third touchdown of the day the finishing touch on the comeback. In his Minnesota debut, Donovan McNabb was awful with only 39 yards passing.

49ERS – 33, Seahawks – 17

Ted Ginn, Jr. starred with two special teams returns for scores as San Francisco took care of the new-look Seahawks at home. David Akers added four field goals to help make Jim Harbaugh a winner in his pro head coaching debut.

REDSKINS – 28, Giants – 14

A stingy Washington defense held New York scoreless in the second half and Rex Grossman looked like a Super Bowl quarterback again with two touchdowns and over 300 yards passing. It was Grossman’s first opening day start since he led the Bears to Super Bowl XLI.

JETS – 27, Cowboys – 24

This game had so many side stories we don’t know where to begin. The pre-game ceremony for 9-11 was touching and the home team gave their fans a reason to smile when it was all said and done. The Jets may be called lucky, but you have to be good to make your own breaks and then take advantage of them.

Patriots – 38, DOLPHINS – 24

Tom Brady – 517 yards passing. That is all you need to know.

Raiders – 23, BRONCOS- 20

Sebastian Janikowski is the third kicker in NFL history to make a 63-yard field goal and it was the difference maker in the latest installment of this long-time AFC West rivalry. Although the fans in Denver were chanting Tim Tebow’s name, Kyle Orton quietly threw for over 300 yards and a touchdown.

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