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Winners and Losers of NFL Week One

Winners

Buffalo Bills Fans

photo via nextimpulsesports.com
photo via nextimpulsesports.com

Wow, it has been a long time since these guys got mentioned under the “winners” section. But man, do they have a lot to look forward to. With E.J. Manuel finally showing up to play football and their running back committee destroying the Bears D, these guys need to be excited for this season. Just look at these numbers:

Fred Jackson: 61 yards off of 7 carries

Anthony Dixon: 5 carries for 60 yards

C.J. Spiller: 13 carries for 53 yards

These guys really showed up against a poor Bears D, and E. J. Manuel did his best Florida State throwback to lead the Bills to a thrilling victory. Imagine what the bars in Buffalo looked like during this game.

The Bills may have got a W, but their fans got so much more than that: hope.

Brian Hoyer

photo via sportsrants.com
photo via sportsrants.com

You may think, “What the hell? The Browns lost?”.

Sure, but anyone watching the game knows that that is the closest thing to a win the league has seen that wasn’t. After being down by over 20 points, the Browns, with Hoyer at the helm climbed back, and ended up losing at the last second.

Hoyer threw for 230, a touchdown, and a QBR of 94.8, while connecting well with new weapon Andrew Hawkins for 8 of his 19 completions. He was extremely efficient and a true leader for this young Browns offense.

It is safe to say that Johnny Manziel won’t be breathing down his neck for the next few weeks at least.

Ron Rivera

Rivera took a huge leap of faith in week one, opting to go with longtime backup Derek Anderson at QB versus the improved Tampa Bay Bucs. But man, did it pay off for him.

Anderson posted a near perfect game, with over 200 yards passing, two TDs, and a QB rating over 108. Even the strongest Anderson supporters didn’t expect this kind of production from the recently extended gunslinger.

Rivera and his new defense and revamped receiver core came out and surprised many doubters, and he walked away from week one looking as smooth as ever.

Miami Dolphins Running Backs

Both Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller had awesome games for the Dolphins, who upset the Patriots by scoring 23 unanswered points. Moreno contributed 134 yards and a TD to the cause, while his fellow committee member posted 59 yards on the ground. Both had over 5.o YPC averages.

Miller also caught 4 passes for 19 yards, which was a nice check down for the struggling Ryan Tannehill.

Both guys helped this offense run smoothly and punish the New England defense, which let up 33 points to their division rival. Fantasy owners need to hop on these guys ASAP if they are available.

Legion of Boom

Photo via www.thenewstribune.com
Photo via http://www.thenewstribune.com

Seattle came into week one and told everyone explicitly that they are the Super Bowl favorites this season. How did they do that?

By shutting down Aaron Rodgers and co., holding the explosive Green Bay offense to just 16 points. Hell, Richard Sherman’s man was never even thrown to.

This defense is in discussion for best defense of all time, and they threw themselves into the real debate with this performance.

Every NFL Fan

Wow.

What a week of football.

From fumbles punted, to shoes flying, to gladiator violence, to everything in between, no one saw this week’s craziness coming.

I mean, New Orleans losing to Atlanta in OT? Or Buffalo beating in Chitown, also in OT? What about the Dolphins beating the favorite Pats by 13?

Nobody saw it coming, but everyone expected this crazy fun, crazy entertaining weekend of football.

 

 

Losers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs were a huge disappointment their fans, the league, and themselves in week one. Doug Martin let fantasy owners down (understatement), Josh McCown proved he was ridiculously overpaid this offseason, and the defense looked less than stellar, something that many thought was sure to change.

Whether it was McClown tossing ill advised lobs or the secondary allowing Derek Anderson to look like a artist, the Bucs have some fixing to do this week before their week 2 showdown with the lowly Rams.

Jay Cutler

As MVP chants reigned down on him from Michael Irvin in pregame hype talk, Cutler must have forgot what it takes to justify those predictions. Losing to the Bills is one way to fail.

Sure, he threw for 349 and two touchdowns, but it took him nearly 50 (49) pass attempts to reach that. The stats aren’t really the problem with his game though. It is one simple thing.

MVP candidates don’t lose games. They especially don’t lose to the former bottomfeeder Buffalo Bills. Cutler needs to swing his team in the right direction for week 2 if he wants Irvin to stand true to his prediction.

Bernard Pierce

Posting negative fantasy points is never a good thing. Pierce had an opportunity to shine with Ray Rice slotted to miss the first two games of the season (more on that later), but failed. Epicly.

Justin Forsett basically stole the starting job away from Pierce in-game, posting 70 yards and a TD.

Pierce was a big loser and made a lot of his fantasy owners losers as well. Fortunately for Pierce, it is just him and Forsett in the Baltimore backfield from here on out.

Dallas Cowboys

This is new huh?

No, it isn’t. The Cowboys are the worst NFL franchise when it comes to playing football. Yep, worse than the Jags, the Vikings, and any other team you may consider bad at football. Because Dallas wins at one thing, and that is being the loser.

As you can tell, I am not a Cowboy fan. Nor am I a Tony Romo fan. Speaking of him, whatta game!?

His three interceptions were so exciting. His countless missed throws were entertaining too.

The Cowboys were actually a surprise pick to upset the Niners this week, but that just gave a false sense of hope to Dallas fans everywhere (if there are any left).

Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens

AP Photo / Patrick Semansky
AP Photo / Patrick Semansky

This story is one that is sure to get a lot of coverage over the next few days and weeks, so we will just touch on it here.

The NFL suffered a major PR loss here, the Ravens lost their star RB, and Ray Rice may have lost his career. I would say all three were huge losers here.

With Rice’s contract being terminated and his playing rights being suspended indefinitely, Rice has a long year of looking back and what he should (and shouldn’t) have done, while the Ravens are going to need some serious help on offense.

 

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