Totally Biased NFL Tidbits: Peyton Manning’s Triumphant Return and RGIII’s Dazzling Debut Highlight Week One

Our resident NFL writer Travis Rand takes an in-depth look at all of the action during Week One. Featuring Power Rankings, fantasy studs, the Play of the Week, and more!

A whopping 616 days separated Peyton Manning’s 399th and 400th touchdown pass, but something tells me it wasn’t any less sweet than Manning expected. 

A simple slant pass to Demaryius Thomas resulted in a 71 yard touchdown for the magic number. Just one of many calculated throws from Manning on Sunday night.

Thomas has made a habit of breaking Steeler’s fans hearts. I like him already.

Following a successful and rather clean departure from the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning didn’t appear to miss a beat during Sunday night’s mechanical dismemberment of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. A defense that usually gives opposing quarterbacks nightmares for days, if not weeks. 

Following a huge Tracy Porter interception that he brought back to the house, the Broncos collected their first win of the season with a somewhat surprising 31-19 final score.

This season will be a big one for the Broncos, as they finally have a very good shot at competing for a division title, and possibly even a Lombardi Trophy. Every facet of the team was clicking, with Eric Decker, Jacob Tamme, and Thomas combining for 207 of the Broncos 253 yards, and Von Miller doing big damage on defense.

Will the Orange and Blue be lucky enough to make a serious push at a championship? Not if the Texans, Patriots, Steelers, or Ravens have anything to say about it. Except, if Peyton is Peyton, they might get a chance to speak.

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Before Peyton was spinning a gem in Denver, Robert Griffin III was putting on a clinic  in New Orleans. The Baylor University alum torched the Saints secondary to the tune of 320 yards, and 2 touchdowns, to go along with a sparkling QBR of 92.3, good for 4th in the league.

For the first time in years, Brees was outdone at home. By a rookie no less.

What’s more impressive, though? RG3’s first NFL touchdown, an 88 yard pass to Pierre Garcon, or the fact that Garcon was injured on the play, and Griffin still played a fantastic game? I vote for the latter.

Something else that will go very unnoticed however is how perfect the play calling was today by the Redskins coaching staff. They only averaged three and a half yards per carry, but they controlled the clock, and kept pressure off of Griffin by calling a crazy 44 runs. Masterful.

Can Griffin keep it up all season? I certainly think so. He is going to make an already crowded division even more tight. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a rookie look so comfortable in the pocket, and yes, that includes Cam Newton. Griffin is the real deal… Let’s just see him keep it up.

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NFL Power Rankings: Top 5, Bottom 5

What will become a staple of my Totally Biased Tidbits article, the power rankings are generally a good idea of who remains the favorites to make a run at a championship. Just because the Packers lost to the 49’ers doesn’t mean they fall to 16th or 17th. The power rankings take all games into account, as well as the rest of the season. They are very different from “standings”.

1. San Francisco 49’ers – 1-0 – Last Week: Not Ranked
The Niners played an incredible game at Lambeau. This is where every bitter Packers fan says something about how the Packers “beat themselves”. No. No you didn’t. The ferocious San Francisco defense actually beat you. Quite handedly by Green Bay standards, too. If Alex Smith and the offense can really click, San Fran will have a phenomenal squad this season.

2. New England Patriots 1-0 – Last Week: NR
The Burgundy and Gold edged out the Patriots for the top spot, but only because the Pats played a much more inferior opponent. The Pats defense certainly looks improved, albeit slightly. This team is headed for the playoffs regardless, thanks to a division that looks extremely… how to put this… pattycake? Yeah… pattycake!

Should the Saints and Panthers continue to fluster, the Falcons could capture the NFC South crown.

3. Atlanta Falcons – 1-0 – Last Week: NR

As I’ve said before, experts around the league have been touting the Falcons as a potential NFC dark horse, and boy did they play the role to perfection in Kansas City on Sunday. Matt Ryan finished with just a tick under 300 passing yards, connected with Julio Jones for two scores, and even ran one in himself. The Dirty Bird could be back. Maybe.

4. Denver Broncos – 1-0 – Last Week: NR
Anything I could say about the Bronco’s has already been said, but just to drive the point home: This team is GOING to contend in the AFC this year. Sometime it is that simple.

5. Green Bay Packers – 0-1 – Last Week: NR
Before anyone questions whether or not Aaron Rodgers will be able to successfully lead this team to the promise land, I’ll direct you to his 303 passing yards, and his 68% completion percentage. Only four teams passed for over 300 yards on this defense last season, and none of them managed A-Rod’s comp. percentage. Moral of the story? Green Bay’s defense is as atrocious as last year.

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28: Jacksonville Jaguars – 0-1 – LW: NR
You know what Jaguars fans do when they win the Superbowl? Turn off the XBOX and go outside. BAM. In all seriousness, the Jags almost left the Metrodome with a win. And then they remembered they’re the Jaguars, and they’re not supposed to win. Look on the bright side Jacksonville faithful [they have fans, right?], your owner has the best mustache in the NFL.

29: Cleveland Browns – 0-1 – LW: NR
How about Browns fans, how about when they win the Superbowl? Wake up. 

… Move on reader, not apologizing for that one.

30: Tennessee Titans – 0-1 – LW: NR
The Titans had the unfortunate pleasure of running into the buzz saw that is the New England Patriots. Hey, what can ya do, gotta play the schedule they give ya right?… RIGHT?!

31: Buffalo Bills – 0-1 – LW: NR
Many expected the Bills to be completely capable of going to MetLife Stadium and stealing one from the Jets. Then they took the field.

The Bills got some even worse news on Monday, finding out that Fred Jackson will be sidelined for at least a month with a leg injury. As if that’s not bad enough, David Nelson left the game with an injury after cutting and collapsing. So, naturally, he’ll miss the entire season. Man oh man, the life of a Bills fan.

32: Miami Dolphins – 0-1 – LW: NR
I mean… Wow. That was just… ugly. Solid six minutes by the Dolphins to close out the first half. Just so we’re clear, this was the culmination of Foster’s 14 yd TD run, Ryan Tannehill answering with an interception on his first play of the next drive, Daniel Thomas fumbling with 35 seconds left [after another Foster TD of course], and a crazy Andre Johnson catch.

Totally Biased’s “Holy-Crap-man-what-a-play-No-seriously,-put-down-the-wings-and-check-this-OUT” Play of the Day
If that’s not a great segue, I really don’t know what is.

There were more than a few crazy good plays during the opening weekend, but my official winner would have to be Andre Johnson’s 14-yd circus catch for a touchdown to close out the first half.

Johnson had a great game against a Dolphins who were without Vontae Davis, who was traded to the Colts on August 26th. The final line for Johnson was something Texans fans have known to expect: 8 receptions, 119 yards, and one [crazy] touchdown.

Fantasy Football Corner: Three Up and Three Down
I’ve got to show some love to the millions of fantasy football fans out there and here’s the perfect way to do so. In the Fantasy Football Corner, I’ll be taking a look a three players who played well enough to improve their stock for next week, and three players who you might have to think twice about putting in your lineup.

The Week One Studs

Have the Patriots found a new weapon? I think so.

3. Alfred Morris, Redskins, RB28 carries, 96 yards, 2 TD’s
Alfred Morris will without a doubt be the most added RB in fantasy leagues tomorrow morning, due in part to his measly 18% owned percentage in ESPN standard leagues. The Redskins pounded the Saints with plenty of carries, and Morris by far saw the lions share of them. But you know how the running back carousel goes in Washington… Next week someone else could from D.C. could be in this same slot.

2. Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys, WR 8 receptions, 114 yards, 2 TD’s
Even though Oglestree’s breakout performance came almost a week ago, which is pretty much a lifetime in fantasy football, we can’t forget about him when it comes to “waiver Wednesday”. He torched the Giants secondary multiple times, and most importantly, found the endzone twice.

1. Stevan Ridley, Patriots, RB21 carries, 125 yards, 1 TD
Even though Ridley is already owned in 100% of ESPN standard leagues, he still merit’s the top spot for me. My personal opinion, which is treated like the Bible around here, is that Ridley has more staying power than Morris and Ogletree. Like I said, one mistake by Morris and he’s in Shanahan’s doghouse. Ogletree? Suppose Jason Witten gets healthy and Ogletree’s 11 targets become seven? Does he still have as big of an impact? Won’t happen with Ridley though, and I fully expect him to be a solid RB2 this season.

Week One Duds

3. Stevie Johnson, Bills, WR – 4 catches, 55 yards, 1 TD

Being a successful fantasy football writer, and player for that matter, is the ability to capitalize on some risky calls, and here’s my first of the season. I’m not sure how I feel about Johnson the rest of the way. Johnson’s counterpart David Nelson tore his ACL on Sunday, and he was coming off a successful 2011 campaign where he finished with a slash line of 60-658-5. Fred Jackson also suffered an apparent leg injury, and will be out for a month. It’s plausible to think that Fitzpatrick and Johnson will pick up the slack, I just don’t see it happening. With an 11 point outing, if your able to package Johnson with another player to land someone like Stephen Hill, Kenny Britt, Reggie Wayne, or Miles Austin, just to name a few, then I’d pull the trigger.

2. David Wilson, Giants, RB – 2 carries, 4 yards, 1 fumble lost

This is pretty darn simple. Get Wilson out of your lineup until he goes at least five carries without coughing up the rock. He’s in Coughlin’s doghouse, so follow suit and throw him in yours.

1. Chris Johnson, Titans, RB – 11 carries, 4 yards – 6 catches, 47 yards

Coming off a disappointing 2011 campaign, the last thing that CJ owners wanted to see was the complete and total goose egg that he laid against the Pats on Sunday. I’m not sure if it’s an offensive line issue, or maybe the lack of a consistent quarterback [which, the Titans actually had this week], but CJ needs to get it together. If you drafted Johnson with your first or second round pick, don’t make the mistakes that owners made last year. If you need to take a little less value in a trade to break even, don’t hesitate.

Five Observations From Around the NFL

5. Instant Replay Button
Not so much an observation but more of some advice. Do you have Time Warner Cable? Who am I kidding, of course ya do! There’s a button right above the rewind button that looks like a uncompleted circle with an arrow. This button is what we at TB have begun to call the “Manual Instant Replay”. With one press of this button, your TV rewinds about 7 seconds.

One. Press.

So next time, instead of trying to hit rewind, stuff your face with wings, and hit the play button all within a few second, just relax and use the MIR button. It’s extremely underrated. It’s like… the Kevin Ogletree of remote buttons. You’ll thank me later.

Gronkowski had a pretty Gronkowski-esque game on Sunday. Aka, awesome.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers take home the “Most Boring Team of Week One” award
Dead serious question. How do fans watch this team play football?

Instruct me, I mean, maybe I’m doing something wrong. Justin and I watched this game together and we we’re actually rooting for the Broncos to get the ball back just so we could watch Peyton work  magic instead of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer alternating three yard draw plays. 

3. Elite TE’s pick up where they left off
Looks like we might be in for “Year of the Tight End, Pt 2”. The Fantastic Five [Gronkowski, Hernandez, Graham, Davis, Gates] combined for 25 catches, 290 yards, and four trips into the endzone. Jermichael Finley even played moderately well, which means we really might be in for something special. If he has finally unlocked his true potential, and stops dropping balls at a laughable rate, the Fantastic Five might become the Super Six.

2. Joe Haden and Patrick Peterson are quickly becoming elite

If you get a chance to watch these two guys take the field against some of the game’s best receivers, you won’t be disappointed. Unless of course, there playing your favorite team. Haden is out for the next four games serving a suspension for a positive drug test, and the impact will certainly be felt on the Browns defense, after he picked off Vick and returned it 50 yards, to go along with 6 tackles and a pass deflection.

Peterson on the other hand, can really go nowhere but down. Pro Football Reference, a website specializing in only the deepest of stats, created a formula to measure a players approximate value. The highest non-QB last year was Patrick Peterson. Betcha didn’t see that one coming.

1. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are too, in case nobody noticed

The top two gunslingers selected in the 2008 draft didn’t disappoint on opening weekend. Matt Ryan absolutely ravaged the Chiefs secondary, finishing with 299 yards and four total scores.

Meanwhile, Joe Flacco looked like Joe Montana on Monday Night Football.

In other news, that sentence immediately jumped to #1 on my “Things I Thought I’d Never Type”.

In all honesty though, if these two signal callers can continue to play like they did this week, they both could find themselves digging deep into the postseason. 

Can Joe Flacco actually lead the Ravens to the promise land? If so, the AFC favorite, the Texans and Patriots, might have some competition.

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Well, that about does it. You can expect Totally Biased to keep you totally up to date with everything football related during the NFL season. Be sure to check out our game picks, released every Friday, and our New England Patriots and New York Giants recaps, posted on Monday’s. Thanks for reading, and be sure to rate and comment!

Comments
2 Responses to “Totally Biased NFL Tidbits: Peyton Manning’s Triumphant Return and RGIII’s Dazzling Debut Highlight Week One”
  1. callmemistress says:

    I’m just hoping RG3 will finally get everyone to stop talking about fucking Tebow!

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