Opening week of the 2010 NFL season has come and gone and it included everything a football fan has come to expect from the National Football League. There were controversial plays, upsets, teams that had trouble getting their offenses going, teams that had their defenses picked apart, and teams that started the season out right on track and ready to play.
Let’s take a look back at all the games played in week one of the 2010 NFL season.
The Saints defeated the Vikings in one of the most anticipated games of week one. Drew Brees marched his team down the field for an easy score on their first possession of the game and it looked like it would be a route, but both defenses tightened up from there on out. In the end, the Saints defense was a little too much for an aging Brett Favre and a Vikings team missing wide receiver Sidney Rice.
The Dolphins won a low scoring contest, and did so by scoring nearly every way possible, including a touchdown, extra point, field goal, and safety. Both offenses were somewhat ineffective as neither starting quarterback, Chad Henne for the Dolphins and Trent Edwards for the Bills, were able to break the 200 yard mark in passing. Neither team had a 100 yard rusher either.
The Bears and Lions have played a number of times over the years and they kicked off the 2010 season together. This was a tough battle that ended with a controversial play as the Lions thought they’d scored a go ahead touchdown but the referee’s saw it differently. Jay Cutler of the Bears also starts the season off with a 300 yard game.
The Titans jumped out to a 24-6 halftime lead and never looked back. Chris Johnson had his way with the Oakland defense as he put up 142 yards rushing. Oakland’s Darren McFadden didn’t do too badly himself either as he had 150 combined yards. The Titans added two second half touchdowns and the Raiders scored one in the fourth quarter.
The New England Patriots were in complete control of their week one matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, even being ahead 24-3 at halftime. The Bengals did get some offense going in the second half, but by then it was too little too late. Carson Palmer finished the day with 345 passing yards and the other big star of the day was Chad Ochocinco who racked up 159 yards receiving.
Eli Manning hooked up with Hakeem Nicks for three touchdowns, yes three touchdowns, including one each in the first, second, and third quarters. The duo took the fourth quarter off, with New York getting a rushing touchdown from Ahmad Bradshaw. The Panthers got three field goals from the ageless John Kasay and a touchdown pass from the great Steve Smith.
All eyes were on Pittsburgh as they started the season without two time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. His replacement, Dennis Dixon, finished with a very respectable 18 completions on 26 attempts for 236 yards. This was a real defensive battle as neither team’s offenses could get started. At the end of the fourth quarter it was 9-9 and the game ended on a 50 yard touchdown run in overtime by Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall.
Both the Buccaneers and the Browns started the game off scoring points and the 14-10 halftime score made it appear that each team was being at least somewhat successful. The Bucs would shutout the Browns in the second half and would score a late fourth quarter touchdown of their own to take the lead and the win.
Last season saw the Denver Broncos start out 6-0, but this season it didn’t take too long for the team to lodge it’s first loss. This was a very even game that saw Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars miss a 100 yard game by two yards and Denver’s Kyle Orton missing a 300 yard game by five yards. In the end, the Jaguars fourth quarter score put them over the top.
In what was one of the biggest upsets of the day, Matt Schaub who was the leading passer in the NFL last season, hardly had to throw the ball at all. Schaub would finish with just 107 yards passing while Peyton Manning would rack up 433. The difference though was the 231 yards rushing and three touchdowns put up by second year running back Arian Foster of the Texans.
In a quarterback duel between the number one overall draft pick from 2010, Sam Bradford and Derek Anderson who wasn’t named the starting quarterback until a short time ago, the Cardinals would come out on top thanks to a fourth quarter touchdown reception by Larry Fitzgerald from Anderson. Both teams had four turnovers in a game that both coaches probably wished was played a little better.
The Packers and Eagles battled in a much looked forward to contest that featured a great game by Clay Matthews and the Packers defense and an injury to Eagles starting quarterback Kevin Kolb that saw Michael Vick come in for some significant playing time. The Eagles mounted a comeback, but it wasn’t enough.
Pete Carroll’s first game as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks was a massive success as his team was in control nearly all game long and was never threatened after the first quarter. The Seahawks defense held 49ers running back to 38 yards on 17 carries which was a large part in stopping them from doing what they wanted to do.
In a game that was marred by a serious amount of penalties and mistakes on Dallas’ side of the ball, the Redskins ended up holding off a late charge by the Cowboys and giving new quarterback Donovan McNabb his first win in a Washington uniform.
In a game that lacked a lot of offense, not surprisingly from the Jets who are not known as a high scoring team, but somewhat surprising from the Ravens who have a good running game and three very accomplished wide receivers, it came down to the last play of the game. The Jets defense stymied the Ravens all night long and the Jets offense stymied itself. LaDainian Tomlinson averaged over five yards a carry on his 11 touches for his new team and wide receiver Anquan Boldin racked up 110 yards receiving for his new team the Ravens. In the end, the Jets turned it over on downs, unable to get a key first down, and the Ravens simply ran the clock out for the one point victory.
The Chiefs were victorious in a Monday Night Football game that was at least statistically dominated by the Chargers. Philip Rivers finished the day just two yards short of a 300 yard game and the Chargers had more first downs, total yards, and time of possession than their opponents. The pesky Chiefs wouldn’t be put away and scored two of their three touchdowns on long plays, the first a 56 yard run by Jamaal Charles and the third a 94 yard punt return for a score by Dexter McCluster.