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The Guru's NFL Report: Opening Night

A few of you may remember that back in my college days, I used to write a regular column for the sports section of the campus newspaper. Well, now that I've got another place to write, I've decided to bring that back, with recaps and observations from each week's NFL games. With the kickoff special having already come last night, let's start there!

Fish Out of Water

After all these long months without professional football, we were finally able to get an interesting matchup of the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the revamped Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, the game was not nearly as interesting live as it was on paper.

The Steelers, even minus Ben Roethlisberger, showed that they are back to contend for their division title with the Bengals. However, their defense didn't look as good as it did at most times last year. They held Miami's running game to practically nothing, but still let the Dolphins move it through the air. It does look like they're going to miss Kimo von Oelhoffen and his pass rush on the defensive line though.

The Dolphins definately looked the part of a pretender rather than a contender last night. An anemic run game and poor decision-making by newly acquired QB Daunte Culpepper were ultimately the undoing of the Dolphins. However, they also showed that they are undermanned on the offensive line and in the secondary. I really only saw two bright spots for the Fins yesterday, Wes Welker and Jason Taylor. Not a good sign for the rest of the season.

This Weekend's 5 Guarantees

  1. New England over Buffalo – Bills still have a long ways to go in putting together a solid team.
  2. St. Louis over Denver – A lot of people are still high on this Broncos team after last year, but St. Louis has a lot going for it as well.
  3. Reggie Bush Under 100 yds From LOS – Always a hard task when your not even the starter, but he's also facing a decent Cleveland team. Will Crennel use veteran LB Willie McGinest to implement the "Faulk Plan" from SB 36?
  4. Jacksonville over Dallas – For some reason, people always forget about this tallented Jags squad. They should keep the Cowboys air attack in check.
  5. San Francisco will outrush Arizona – All the hype in Arizona has been about bringing in Edgerrin James, but Dennis Green has never shown the ability to utilize a good back. Frank Gore will be a workhorse for the 49ers on the other side of the ball.

Final Thought

I'd expect to see more 100yd receivers over this first weekend than 100yd rushers. There's a lot of platooning going on this year in the backfields, so that will keep a lot of RBs from reaching the century mark.

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