The weather delay might have been the reason that Peyton Manning got off to a slow start but once he got going, there simply wasn’t a way to stop his barrage of TD passes. I predicted yesterday that the Ravens, despite being significant underdogs, would be able to keep it close for the entire game. And for a half, it certainly looked that way. The Ravens were pretty effective in containing Manning’s targets to keep the damage minimal and went into the locker room up by a field goal but that all changed during the 3rd quarter. Manning began to find his receivers, especially Wes Welker in the 3rd and from there it was a night of historic proportions. Manning’s 7 TD night ties the NFL record for most in a single game as he led the Broncos to the first victory of this season. It’s been 44 years since a QB last did what Manning did last night. So big ups to him and anyone who has him as their fantasy QB. Yes, that includes myself so thank you Peyton Manning. And for the Ravens it was simply a combination of their offense not having enough balance (lack of touches for Rice) and their inability to contain Manning’s pass attack. It was the worst loss on the opening game by the defending Super Bowl champion. Back to the drawing board for Baltimore.
While that was a great appetizer for this weekend, it’s certainly time for the main course that comes in about 48 hours. There are some great games on Sunday. Aside from the Cowboys-Giants game come prime time, the games i’m looking forward to the most are the Bengals at Bears, Falcons at Saints and of course the Packers in San Francisco to take on Bryan’s 49ers. I’m slightly on the Bengals bandwagon. I don’t think they’ll reach 12 or 13 wins but I really feel that they can win their division. I also want to see the launch of the Bears’ annual hot start. Falcons at Saints just has so much potential for a high-octane, classic shootout. As far as the Packer-49ers game does, well, much doesn’t need to be said. Two of the best teams in the conference going at it early after their playoff game last season in which the Niners and Kaepernick dominated Green Bay. The revenge factor will definitely be in play. I’m also really interested to see how the 49ers offense will deal with the Crabtree loss and how well other teams have adjusted to the read-option. Games to avoid on Sunday? Well, anything involving the Jets, Raiders or Jaguars is a safe bet to stay away from. Luckily there are enough good early games to help us with that.
As far as the Cowboys go, i’m more optimistic than most. Most people are predicting another 8-8 season for my Boys but I think this season will be different a i’m looking at a division title with a 10-6 record. It remains to be seen that things will change but beating the Giants in Cowboys Stadium (what’s at&t?) on a Sunday night game is the way to start a season of success. Happy football season everyone! Enjoy the games.