The Water Cooler Quarterbacks watched a lot of football on opening day. As with our discussion last week, a wide variety of topics came up and it was virtually impossible to narrow it down to just a single topic. So here are a few things we took away from Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season.
#0.5 - The Broncos need to take a long hard look at themselves after letting Indy back into the game
#1 - The Cowboys are who their fans thought they were
Cowboys were ranked 32nd in a recent poll based on "fan sentiment" which we can take to mean the degree of confidence a fan base has regarding the chances of their team. The "Boys" were 11-point losers despite gaining 63 more total yards, have 7 more first downs and amassing 63 more passing yards than the 49ers. Four turnovers beat all of that.
#2 - Maurice Jones-Drew should not give up his running back job
#3 - Chances are punter Spencer Lanning will never try to tackle a runner again
This could have been a horrible tragedy. By the same token, the returner (Antonio Brown) DID make an effort to hurdle Lanning. If you missed the video, you can find it here.
#4 - Percy Harvin makes a good Seattle team even better
Seven catches on seven targets for 59 yards plus four rushes for 41 yards. That equals eleven touches for 100 yards, or 9.1 yards per touch.
#5 - The Chiefs are picking up right where they left off in 2013
Remember when Kansas City was 9-0? Neither do we. They have now lost three straight regular season games (with a post season loss squeezed in). That makes a streak of losing six of their last eight regular season games and seven of their last nine, if you include the playoff loss. Add in getting man-handled at home, and Kansas City finds itself with a huge uphill battle.
#6 - Wonder if the Broncos are regretting parting ways with Knowshon Moreno
Moreno's 24-carry, 134-yard, 1 touchdown effort in Miami's opening is raising some eyebrows. Then again, the game was played against the Patriots whom Moreno torched for 224 rushing yards in Denver's 2013 loss to New England.
#7 - Johnny Football is going to have to wait
Brian Hoyer did a good job in leading the Browns back from a 24-point deficit to tie Pittsburgh in the fourth quarter. Chances are he'll hold the job for a while yet.
#8 - The Tampa Bay defense made a backup quarterback look good
The Bucs' defense allowed Derek Anderson -- a quarterback who had not started since 2010 and had thrown just four passes in the last two seasons -- complete 70.6% of his passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns.
#9 - The Rams are missing Sam Bradford
Quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Austin Davis combined for 24 completions out of 36 attempts, 273 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Add in an offense that produced just 72 rushing yards and a defense that gave up 102 rushing yards to a wide receiver . . . well, it speaks for itself.
#10 - Yellow snow is still falling, but not as fast
Fans were outraged by the fact that NFL officials were throwing an average of around 19 flags per game during the preseason. This gave rise to fears that games would drag on for hours due to laundry hitting the turf. Interestingly enough, though the officials threw an average of nearly 19 flags per game during the preseason, they only threw an average of nearly 14 flags per game during Week 1 -- for comparison, this is still about 1 more flag per game than was thrown on average during the 2013 regular season.
#11 - Roger Goodell is screwed
Had he hammered Rice after the police declined to charge him with a crime, many would have been decrying the way that the commissioner had violated due process. Now critics are claiming that he had either seen the video or not asked for it. He states that he asked law enforcement officials for relevant evidence and the TMZ video was not given as part of that. If the police had that video why was it not acted on and charges filed? Reality is, Goodell-haters will continue to hate and look for reasons to bring him down. Goodell-lovers will continue to defend him.
#12 - The Broncos are the only AFC West team with a win
The Patriots are the only AFC East team with a loss. Just sayin'.
#13 - Peyton's younger brother is who we expected him to be
Eli is now 4-6 in opening games for his career and has lost the last four season openers. To be fair, he DID win a Super Bowl in the first of those four seasons, but his team has never topped 9-7-0 when opening with a loss during that span. Add in that he only made the playoffs during that Super Bowl season and the prospects do not look good.
#14 - Philip Rivers couldn't save San Diego
The Chargers trailed 6-3 at half but jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the third. After Arizona cut the lead to 17-12, Rivers went only completed one pass in the next drive, was bailed out of an interception by a defensive penalty and fumbled the ball (though he recovered it) to kill the drive. After the Cardinals took an 18-17 lead with 2:25 left, he followed two completions for 20 yards with three straight incompletions to turn the ball over on downs.