http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/311425

Op-Ed: Recap of Week One in the NFL

Posted Sep 12, 2011 by Shawn McLeish
Every week, there are dozens of stories to come out of the NFL. Here's some thoughts on a few of them and one about September baseball.
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flickr/ jonathan_moreau
* Baltimore D...WOW!! The Ravens' 35-7 drubbing of the Pittsburgh Steelers was very impressive. The marquee match-up of Week One in the AFC wasn't the black-and-blue affair many thought it would be, but it did answer some questions about the Ravens inability to handle the Steelers. A statement was made by Haloti Ngata and Ray Lewis. Ngata was dominant and Lewis was his usual self, leading a defence that created seven turnovers, including two early in the second half that turned the game into a laugher.
* Can't help but think the first game of this NFL season will be replayed on the penultimate weekend to determine the NFC champion. Can't help but think Green Bay will beat New Orleans then, too.
* For the 17th year in a row, news broke about an NFL team moving to Los Angeles. Stay tuned...but don't hold your breath.
* The Detroit Lions, with good reason, are excited by their prospects this season and beyond. Their front office must shudder though when they think about Larry Fitzgerald's 8-year/$120 million contract. Calvin Johnson is far beyond Fitzgerald's talent and will need to be paid accordingly...sooner rather than later.
* Enjoy watching rookie Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals return punts while you can. He's far too talented as a defensive back to be placed in this punishing role for long, but he's special to watch for now.
* Sure hope the folks at Apple fare better without Steve Jobs than the Indianapolis Colts look without Peyton Manning. The economy is in rough enough shape already.
* In a related point, the Colts have officially entered the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes. The San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins still have the inside track though.
* Why is it that several quarterbacks with gaudy statistics are criticized for a lack of playoff success yet Mark Sanchez, author of an NFL-record 4 road playoff wins, is constantly criticized for his lack of gaudy statistics??
* This week in Wildly Optimistic Predictions
- Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick will win the NFL MVP, shattering Tom Brady's record of 50 TD passes. (The choice would be Michael Vick, but Desean Jackson is on pace to drop 32 TD passes this season. That will hurt Vick's numbers.)
- Carolina's Cam Newton will be the greatest dual-threat QB ever and essentially "change the way the game is played."
- Beanie Wells has solidified Arizona's ground game.
- Troy Polamalu will play every game until his new contract runs out after the 2014 season.
* In non-NFL news, Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia had a pinch-hit walk-off single Saturday. Teammates immediately mobbed him, throwing punches with some attempting to pull his jersey over his head like an NHL fighter. In Arencibia's post-game interview, he leaned on a hockey stick (where that came from is anyone's guess!?!) and used several hockey metaphors. It's refreshing for an athlete in the dog days to come up with some new way to celebrate a meaningless win.
* Would say that these musings have been satisfying to write...but John Harbaugh hates that word!