Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a big win against divisional rival Giants, putting up 45 points. After a slow start (4-9 in 1st quarter), Romo rebounded to go 15-24 for 345 yards and 4 TDs. His 23 yards/completion is a new NFL record. His third down passing was 7-9 for 143 yards and 2 TDs – a perfect 158.3 QB rating. Not to mention Romo’s last play from 2006 was the famous fumbled snap in Seattle to end their season.
While they didn’t win, Eli Manning showed his grit and leadership ability – scoring points to get back in the game against Dallas. The news of Tiki Barber had filled the New York media since the announcement, but Manning took the reigns and moved the offense effectively (312 yards, 4 TDs).
The Indy Defense made a huge statement, holding the Saints offense without a TD Thursday night. They were missing 2006 starters Booger Macfarlane, Cato June and both starting corners. They showed the playoff performances in 2006 were more indicative of their skill than the 2006 regular season.
Randy Moss was a wild card pick-up by New England this off-season and he paid off big in week 1. Moss was everything the Patriots have been missing over the years with Tom Brady. Moss made the deep catch and was a consistent threat, opening up the shorter routes for Wes Welker and company.
Jason Elam made the hardest play for a kicker – and that’s not making a tackle on a kick-off return. After missing two field goals in the second half, Elam redeemed himself by nailing a 42-yard kick in the closing seconds. Denver was without a timeout, so the formation ran out and hurried got ready to make a field goal attempt. When Elam hit his last step to get ready, he moved forward for the kick. The field goal won the game 15-14 in Buffalo.
Matt Schaub made an impressive first statement about his ability to run an offense (without being in Vick’s shadow). While the Chiefs may not be the best team this year, Schaub showed good vision, accuracy and a chemistry with #1 target Andre Johnson.
Ben Roethlisberger needed a great game to put his sub-par 2006 performance behind him. Week 1 against Cleveland should put it well into his rear-view mirror. 4 TDs and a 114 passer rating will definitely do the trick in a 34-7 drubbing of the Browns.
Calvin Johnson lived up to the hype in his first game that counted. Other than looking like a man among boys in the secondary, Johnson caught 4 balls for 70 yards and a TD. There will be more to come…
While we expect greatness from Peyton Manning every single game, he showed his great poise against the Saints. After going 8-17 for 101 yards in the first half, leading to a 10-10 tie, Manning led the Colts to 31 unanswered points in the 2nd, going 10-13 for 187 yards and 2 TDs.
Adrian Peterson showed why he is the clear-cut option for rookie of the year. Peterson, even playing against Atlanta, showed his strength, speed and even his catching ability (hello, 60-yard screen pass) in a 24-3 win in the Metrodome.