NFL Week One produces shockers and stars

NFL Week One produces shockers and stars

Now that the first week of the 2011 National Football League season is behind us, it’s worth looking at how the players and teams performed. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be able to tell which teams got lucky and which ones actually have what it takes to finish with a respectable season … or even a Super Bowl appearance.

I like to give credit where credit is due, so here are my offensive and defensive players of the week.

My first offensive player of the week is Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton. Newton stood out this week (which I hate to say because I don’t believe in what he did at college) because he broke the record for the most passing yards in one game by a rookie in his first start (422 over the previous record of 346 by Otto Graham), plus threw for two touchdowns. Newton also rushed for 18 yards and a touchdown.

My second offensive player of the week is the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady. He showed me Monday night against the Miami Dolphins that he still has some gas left in the tank by throwing for 517 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown pass to pro-bowl candidate wide receiver Wes Welker.

And my final offensive player of the week is Oakland Raiders’ kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who kicked a record-tying 63-yard field goal in the second Monday night double-header as time expired in the first half.

As for my defensive players of the week, the first nod goes to Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher for a 12-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and an interception against Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons. And my other defensive player of the week is Ed Reed from the Baltimore Ravens for picking off the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger twice in one game.                                            

The Indianapolis Colts proved that they can’t win without their all-pro quarterback Peyton Manning. I won’t be surprised to see the Colts look for a quarterback in free agency the next few weeks, because Kerry Collins is a good quarterback, but he just doesn’t work in Indy’s offense.

And as you may have heard by now, Cam Newton has broken the all-time passing yards for a rookie quarterback in his first game. That game doesn’t completely change my mind about him (for what he did in college), but if he has a couple more games like that, I am sure he’ll be on my Fantasy Football roster by the end of the year.

There were a lot of surprise upsets in this first week of NFL football, and the biggest one was the Buffalo Bills stomping the Kansas City Chiefs, 42-7. So I know that I didn’t have a good week last week, only going 10-6 in my picks. But this week I’m going to go 16-0 with the following picks. Again, the winners are marked in green.

Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills

Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans

Kansas City Chiefs @ Detroit Lions

Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts

Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver Broncos

San Diego Chargers @ New England Patriots

Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons

St. Louis Rams @ New York Giants