Week one of the NFL season is almost in the books and there already is a lot to take away from this week. We've had some pleasant surprises and some less than stellar performances, so here is my week one winners and losers.
- Robert Griffin III
Out of the five rookie starting quarterbacks, only RGIII was the one who performed rather well.
Griffin picked apart the Saints defense throwing for 320 yards and two touchdowns. It was even more impressive considering the Saints got some of the people back from the "Bountygate" suspension.
He made it look pretty easy on Sunday, he was the only rookie quarterback that seemed to have any poise and if he plays like this for the rest of the season, the 'Skins are going to be in great shape
- Patriots Revamped Defense
Going into the season the question about the Patriots was going to be their defense. Well, after their performance against the Titans, I think Pats fans should be happy with what they got.
First round draft picks Chandler Jones and Donta Hightower have already made a difference with Jones picking up a sack and forced fumble and Hightower running that same fumble in for a touchdown.
An even bigger surprise was rookie Tavon Wilson. Wilson, a second rounder from Illinois, made an impact in the secondary with two pass deflections and one interception.
The one thing that held back the Pats last season was their defense, now it appears pretty strong and I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots make the Super Bowl again this season.
- The Dallas Cowboys
Dallas needed to step it up this year or else things are going to be changed and Dallas answered to that call with a huge victory against the New York Giants on opening night.
Tony Romo was spectacular going 22-29, 307 yards, and three touchdowns. The only exception was a pesky interception to Michael Boley.
Dallas got help from a surprising player in Kevin Ogletree. Ogletree had the game of his life with eight receptions, 114 yards receiving, and two touchdowns.
After Dallas' performance, the NFC East looks a whole lot tighter.
- Alex Smith
After last season, people were wondering if Alex Smith's 2011 season was just a fluke. Smith proved that it wasn't after a great performance against the vaunted Green Bay Packers.
Smith was nearly perfect against the Pack, going 20-26, only 211 yards, and two touchdowns. He may not have thrown for many yards, but he was solid enough and picked up a huge victory.
Smith is finally in a good system for him and Jim Harbaugh knows quarterbacks. Smith is no fluke and will again have a good year for the Niners.
- The Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles many expected to compete for the NFC East crown this year, but after its near upset against the hapless Cleveland Browns, I don't see it happening.
Vick was downright dreadful throwing four picks including a pick six in the fourth. The only reason the Eagles won was because of an even worse performance by Browns rookie Brandon Weeden.
If the Eagles want to compete, they need to find a quarterback other than Michael Vick. Vick appears to be the problem in Philly. He is an erratic quarterback and tries too hard to make anything happen from a busted play. Sometimes taking the sack is better than running out of the pocket and losing more yards.
- The Buffalo Bills
Another team many thought was going to breakthrough and make the playoffs came out of the gates with a thud.
The Buffalo Bills were absolutely destroyed by a New York Jets team where many have questioned their offense.
The only reason I can think of the Jets putting up so many points, is that the Bills focused too much on the Wildcat offense during practice. The Jets hardly used it and Tebow was a non-factor in this game. Rex Ryan got into Chan Gailey's head and the Jets were able to roll to an easy victory.
- Replacement Refs
I never thought I'd say this but I want the refs to come back.
The replacement refs in the Arizona-Seattle game almost cost the game for the Cardinals. Late in the fourth, the Seahawks called a fourth timeout. Problem is teams only get three.
The refs explained that because a Seahawk got injured on an incomplete pass, an injury timeout was not charged because the clock had stopped.
Except, the Seahawks should have been charged for the timeout regardless of clock stoppage or not. Its like saying you can't call a timeout because the clock is stopped anyways. You can still call a timeout regardless.
I find it disconcerting that I know the rules better than these replacement "referees". The Cardinals held on to win the game with a goal line stand against rookie Russell Wilson and his Seahawk offense.
Also, at the end of the Rams-Lions game, a referee tried to stop a fake fight between former teammates Courtland Finnegan and Stephen Tulloch. Finnegan and Tulloch were just horsing around with smiles on their face when a ref went over and tried to break up the "fight".
Please, NFL get a deal done with the referees soon. Very soon.
- Brandon Weeden
I know that Weeden is a rookie, but hi splay on Sunday was downright awful.
His Browns had a shot at an unfathomable upset against the Eagles. The Browns were up late against the Eagles after a D'Qwell Jackson pick six, but on the very next drive, Weeden threw his fourth an final pick on the very first play. Vick an the Eagles took a knee and ended any shot at a Browns upset.
He just seemed to lack an athleticism at all and the defense was able to tell how predictable he was and stopped him from doing anything.
I wouldn't be surprised if Colt McCoy becomes the starter again in the near future.