2013 NFL Season Week One Observations

By Paul Grossinger

Week 1 is in the books.  Football has begun!

For Jews, Rosh Hashanah and NFL Football often come right at the same time, giving us an exciting religious and sporty start to the New Year.  2013 was no exception with an exciting first week that changed perceptions and will cause fans to draw indefensible conclusions that we regret by Week 3.

Some highlights:

1) The New York Jets win their first game

Tagged as a mess with a lame duck head coach, the Jets came out swinging against the Buccaneers.  Sure, it was a sloppy, tight win that came off a terrible roughing the passer call with seconds remaining but it felt a bit like their tight 2009 wins and was a nostalgic step in the right direction for the Jets.

2) Chicago impresses with its offense

The Bears started 7-1 last year and looked like Super Bowl contenders so we are not talking about the Jaguars.  But, even amidst last year's exciting start, the offense always looked poor – Jay Cutler would try to throw to Brandon Marshall and, failing that, get sacked.  This year, Chicago earned a tough comeback win against the Bengals with – no surprise – great defense and – big surprise – timely plays from a well-coached offense.  The big lesson here is that if – and it is a big if – Chicago can summon up a top-15 offense to go with the defense they had last season and in Week 1, the Bears will be scary good.

3) The Patriots look like they may have finally overreached

Bill Belichick is a coaching genius.  But, when you jettison Wes Welker and his six straight 100+ catch seasons, lose Aaron Hernandez to alleged murder, and trade or cut leaders like Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, Deion Branch, and others over the years, do you eventually not have enough exciting talent and tough leadership to go all the way.  The Patriots look like they may be staring down that black hole.

2013 NFL Season Week One Observations
Sep 8, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA: Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (95) sacks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Patriots beat the Bills 23 to 21. Photo courtesy by Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports.

4) The Chiefs are for real with Andy Reid

Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars are terrible.  But the Chiefs were in line for big improvement this year, looked good in training camp, and showed it in Week 1.  This is a team that had a broad base of talent in 2012 and improved significantly at the head coach, quarterback, and tackle spots, which are the three most vital elements of a successful NFL team.

5) Bill Simmons is back to writing columns

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up on my reading with Bill Simmons' AFC and NFC Power Polls on Grantland.  That came on the heels of a timely summer mailbag.  Fantastic to see one of the all-time greats get back to what he does best – writing and making us laugh.

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