Opening week of the 2010 NFL season has come and gone and included everything a football fan expects from the National Football League. There were controversial plays, surprises, teams that had problems
getting their offenses going, teams that had their defenses shredded, and teams that started the season on the right track and ready to play.
Let’s take a look at all the games played in the first week of the 2010 NFL season.
New Orleans Saints 14 – Minnesota Vikings 9
The Saints defeated the Vikings in one of the most anticipated games of the first week. Drew Brees marched his team down the field to score easily on his first possession of the game and it looked like it would be a route, but both defenses stiffened from there. In the end, the Saints’ defense was too much for an aging Brett Favre and a Vikings team without wide receiver Sidney Rice.
Miami Dolphins 15 – Buffalo Bills 10
The Dolphins won a low-scoring contest, and they did it by scoring in almost every way possible, including a touchdown, an extra point, a field goal, and a safety. Both offenses were somewhat ineffective as neither of the starting quarterbacks, Chad Henne for the Dolphins and Trent Edwards for the Bills, were able to break the 200-yard passing mark. Neither team had a 100-yard rusher either.
Chicago Bears 19 – Detroit Lions 14
The Bears and Lions have played multiple times over the years and started the 2010 season together. This was a tough battle that ended with a controversial play as the Lions thought they had scored a go-ahead touchdown, but the referee saw it otherwise. The Bears’ Jay Cutler also begins the season with a 300-yard game.
Tennessee Titans 38 – Oakland Raiders 13
The Titans took a 24-6 halftime lead and never looked back. Chris Johnson had his way with Oakland’s defense by racking up 142 rushing yards. Oakland’s Darren McFadden didn’t fare too bad either, as he had a combined 150 yards. The Titans added two touchdowns in the second half, and the Raiders scored one in the fourth quarter.
New England Patriots 38 – Cincinnati Bengals 24
The New England Patriots were in complete control of their week one matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, even leading 24-3 at halftime. The Bengals had some offense in the second half, but by then it was too late. Carson Palmer finished the day with 345 passing yards and the other big star of the day was Chad Ochocinco who had 159 receiving yards.
New York Giants 31 – Carolina Panthers 18
Eli Manning connected with Hakeem Nicks for three touchdowns, yes three touchdowns, including one in the first, second and third quarters. The duo took the fourth quarter bye, with New York receiving a rushing touchdown run from Ahmad Bradshaw. The Panthers got three field goals from the perennial John Kasay and a touchdown pass from the great Steve Smith.
Pittsburgh Steelers 15 – Atlanta Falcons 9
All eyes were on Pittsburgh as they began the season without two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. His replacement, Dennis Dixon, finished with a very respectable 18-of-26 completions for 236 yards. This was a true defensive battle as neither team’s offenses were able to get started. By the end of the fourth quarter things were 9-9 and the game ended with a 50-yard touchdown run in overtime by Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 – Cleveland Browns 14
Both the Buccaneers and Browns started the game scoring points and the halftime score of 14-10 made it look like each team was having at least some success. The Bucs would shutout the Browns in the second half and score a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to take the lead and win.
Jacksonville Jaguars 24 – Denver Broncos 17
Last season, the Denver Broncos started 6-0, but this season it didn’t take long for the team to suffer their first loss. This was a very close game with the Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew missing a 100-yard game by two yards and Denver’s Kyle Orton missing a 300-yard game by five yards. In the end, the Jaguars’ fourth quarter score put them on top.
Houston Texans 34 – Indianapolis Colts 24
In what was one of the biggest upsets of the day, Matt Schaub, who was the leading passer in the NFL last season, barely had to throw the ball. Schaub would finish with just 107 passing yards while Peyton Manning would have 433. The difference, however, was Texans second-year running back Arian Foster’s 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Arizona Cardinals 17 – St. Louis Rams 13
In a quarterback duel between the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Sam Bradford and Derek Anderson, who wasn’t named the starting quarterback until recently, the Cardinals would come out on top thanks to a fourth-quarter touchdown reception by Anderson’s Larry Fitzgerald. Both teams had four turnovers in a game that both coaches probably wished played a little better.
Green Bay Packers 27 – Philadelphia Eagles 20
The Packers and Eagles struggled in a highly anticipated contest that featured great play by Clay Matthews and the Packers’ defense and an injury to Eagles starting quarterback Kevin Kolb that saw Michael Vick come on for significant playing time. The Eagles mounted a comeback, but it wasn’t enough.
Seattle Seahawks 31 – San Francisco 49ers 6
Pete Carroll’s first game as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks was a great success as his team was in control for most of the game and was never threatened after the first quarter. The Seahawks defense kept the 49ers rushing to 38 yards on 17 carries, which was a big part of keeping them from doing what they wanted to do.
Washington Redskins 13 – Dallas Cowboys 7
In a game that was marred by a slew of penalties and errors on Dallas’ side of the ball, the Redskins ended up holding off a late charge by the Cowboys and giving new quarterback Donovan McNabb his first win in a Washington uniform.
Baltimore Ravens 10 – New York Jets 9
In a game that lacked much offense, not surprising from the Jets who aren’t known as a high scoring team, but somewhat surprising from the Ravens who have a good running game and three very accomplished wide receivers, it all came down to the last play of the game. The Jets defense blocked the Ravens all night and the Jets offense blocked itself. LaDainian Tomlinson averaged more than five yards per carry on her 11 touches for his new team and wide receiver Anquan Boldin had 110 receiving yards for his new team, the Ravens. Ultimately, the Jets came around on downs, unable to get a key first down, and the Ravens simply ran out the clock for the one-point win.
Kansas City Chiefs 21 – San Diego Chargers 14
The Chiefs were victorious in a Monday Night Football game that, statistically at least, was dominated by the Chargers. Philip Rivers finished the day just two yards shy of a 300-yard game and the Chargers had more first downs, total yards, and time of possession than their opponents. The Pesky Chiefs would not let themselves be boxed in and scored two of their three touchdowns on long plays, the first a 56-yard run by Jamaal Charles and the third a 94-yard punt return for a score by Dexter McCluster.