Authored by Christopher Reina - 13th September, 2010 - 1:19 am
With Week 1 in the books, each NFL team is represented below, marked by a not-so-subtle nod to the general managers we focus so much of our site's attention towards and our namesake.
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The Ted Thompson
? Michael Hunt of the Journal Sentinel: "Though it was a complete reversal of what was expected from the Packers, (Aaron) Rodgers will take his uncharacteristic 19 of 31 and two interceptions and move on in the knowledge that he might not always need his A-game for the Packers to win this season..
"I played terrible," said Rodgers. "I missed a lot of throws I make in my sleep. Personally, I made too many dumb mistakes and didn't play as well as I'm capable of playing.
"It's got to get better. That's the good thing." "
The Jerry Angelo
? Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune: "Matt Forte had the game-winning touchdown and 201 total yards from scrimmage Sunday ? becoming only the fourth Bear to reach 200 yards from scrimmage in a game. But the Bears running back was more concerned about the three times he failed to get into the end zone on first-and-goal from the Lions' 1 in the fourth quarter."
The Martin Mayhew
? Sean Yuille of Pride Of Detroit: "The defense was a bright spot, playing with a bend but don't break attitude that was fairly effective up until the very end of the game. The D forced four turnovers, allowing them to get away with giving up 463 total yards. The secondary provided some concern for sure (as evidenced by Jay Cutler passing for 362 yards), but the defensive line played extremely well, especially when the Lions made a goal line stand in the fourth quarter to hang onto the lead for a few more minutes."
The Rick Spielman
? Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune: "Quarterback Brett Favre attempted to take the blame for the fact that none of his wide receivers had more than one catch saying he wasn't sharp enough on some passes. But there was little doubt Favre missed the presence of the 6-4 Sidney Rice, who turned into the quarterback's favorite target last season as he had 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.
Vincent Jackson would be the most attractive of any available receiver because he would give Favre a Rice-like presence."
The Jerry Jones
? Star-Telegram: "(Miles Austin), who received a $54 million contract last week, caught 10 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. His longest reception of 30 yards came in the final minute.
The Jerry Reese
? Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News: "The offense, which couldn't generate anything against the Panthers last Dec. 27, got the three big scores from the Manning-Nicks connection. And the defense, which was shredded for 247 rushing yards in that game, held the Panthers' ground attack to just 89.
It came at Panthers quarterback Matt Moore in waves in the second half, sacking him four times. And new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell's "read and react" coverage scheme produced three game-saving, end-zone interceptions."
The Howie Roseman
? Jason Of Bleeding Green Nation: "The good has to start with Michael Vick, who finished the game with a 101.9 QB rating and ran for 103 yards. He looked as good as he ever has running the ball and his throws were good and bad, but good enough to move the team with 175 yards through the air. He turned a blowout in the third quarter to a game where they were driving for a tying score in the fourth quarter. If he has to start next week, I think people will be much more confident in him after this game than they were after the preseason."
The Bruce Allen
? Jason Reid of the Washington Post: "Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth said Sunday night he was not distracted by reports that the team was considering a trade for him.
In the locker room following the Redskins' 13-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Haynesworth responded with a one-word answer, "no," when asked if the trade talk affected him. Asked if he would like to be traded, Haynesworth avoided making any controversial comments.
"It's not my decision," he said. "I'm just a player." "
The Jed York
? David White of the San Francisco Chronicle: "The 49ers were ferocious in the first quarter, leaving Seattle a 9-yard mess. Then, they lost their composure with coverage penalties, missed tackles and blown assignments, negating some good work against the run. The same aggressiveness that let cornerback Nate Clements pick off the first play of the game got the Niners to bite on Matt Hasselbeck pump fakes all day. Remember all the preseason blitzing? There was virtually none of that against a Seahawks team with an older quarterback playing behind a shuffled offensive line of journeymen."
The John Schneider
? Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times: "The man of a million catchphrases (Pete Carroll) ? Always Compete, Earn Everything, Win Forever ? proved he's about more than just peppy talk Sunday. He guided the Seahawks to a 31-6 victory over San Francisco that was more complicated than the final margin. Their fight and defiance illuminated that scoreboard. The Seahawks won because they didn't quit after a horrible start; because the defense held up against every first-half challenge from the 49ers; because they were more versatile, determined and focused. In short, they showed a headstrong, competitive spirit that didn't exist at the end of last season."
The Billy Devaney
? Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "The St. Louis Rams certainly weren't shy about showing off rookie Sam Bradford's arm. He unleashed 55 passes, completing 32 for 253 yards and a TD, with three interceptions. Two of the "picks" came late, as the Rams pressed to regain the lead. The Cardinals blitzed heavily and showed Bradford a lot of looks. He maintained his composure throughout. A decent debut."
The Rod Graves
? Kurt Somers of The Arizona Republic: "The Cardinals fumbled seven times, and lost four, including two deep in Rams territory. They committed 10 penalties, and quarterback Derek Anderson completed barely 50 percent of his passes (22 of 41). But on a team full of new faces, a couple of familiar ones made timely plays that gave the Cardinals their eighth consecutive victory over the Rams."
The Mickey Loomis
? Andrew Juge of Canal Street Chronicles: "Just two tackles and a defended pass for (Malcolm) Jenkins. He played pretty deep a lot of times and was more of a safety valve "don't get beat deep" guy than anything else. He didn't really get that involved in run defense or in the passing game, as Favre never really tested him vertically. At some point, with his speed being a question mark coming out of college, you figure someone will try to test that. He did lay some serious wood on Percy Harvin at one point, though. If that dude has migraine issues, Jenkins did nothing to help them with that hit. He also intercepted a Favre pass down the sideline but couldn't keep his feet in bounds. I thought it was promising but not amazing."
The Thomas Dimitroff
? D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "The Falcons' revamped defense, with five new starters, kept the Steelers out of the end zone until the overtime run. They came up with a turnover, stops on third down and even three sacks to put the team in position to win. It wasn't enough."
The Marty Hurney
? Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer: "It looked too much like last season. Jake Delhomme opened 2009 by throwing four interceptions against Philadelphia.
His replacement at quarterback, Matt Moore, opened 2010 Sunday by throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble against the New York Giants Here's what was evident, yet again: When the Carolina Panthers play their football, they're fine.
But the Giants scored on their first three possessions of the second half, which meant Carolina had to abandon Panther football and move via the forward pass."
The Mark Dominik
? Bucs Nation: "The game started off with a 33 yard drive but the offense soon stalled for much of the first half with the exception of a beautiful scramble by Josh Freeman in which a block by Mike Williams spurred him for 30+ yards. I thought Freeman had one or two nice throws, but was wildly inaccurate. Under-threw some open receiver, lofted some balls well past deep men and badly over-threw a ball to Spurlock that was picked off."
The Al Davis
? Silver & Black Pride: "Chris Johnson had 142 yards, but he only had 66 yards on 26 carries if you take away that 76-yard touchdown run. Javon Ringer and Vince Young had their way when they wanted to, though, despite Johnson really being bottled up by an improved run defense."
The A.J. Smith
? Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune: "The Chargers' window of opportunity has closed/is closing, but ...
Whatever people, far and wide, say about the Chargers these days it seems to begin with some reason the stunted AFC West dynasty is crumbling and end with a caveat:
"... but as long as they have the great quarterback they'll be OK."
Rivers, entering his fifth season as the Chargers? starting quarterback, coming off arguably his best season, is as comfortable and in control as he's ever been. He has certainly felt and exuded those traits before, he just simply keeps getting better."
The Scott Pioli
? Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star: "The Chiefs asked the NFL to have this game played during prime time and the league complied, though kickoff is at the awkward time of 9:15 p.m. The Chiefs wanted to show off not only their refurbished stadium but also a team they believe is ready to be competitive again after three of the darkest seasons in franchise history."
The Brian Xanders
? Lindsay H. Jones of the Denver Post: "The Broncos' 24-17 loss to the Jaguars Sunday revealed a group that can light up a stat sheet, as it did Sunday against the Jaguars, yet one that - so far - lacks the one clutch, go-to player.
In the Broncos' first game without two-time Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall, eight players caught passes from quarterback Kyle Orton. The team's three starting wide receivers combined for 249 receiving yards, led by Brandon Lloyd, who had five catches for 117 yards."
The Mike Tannenbaum
? Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News: "Rex Ryan dismissed Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's comments that he learned a lot about the Jets' schemes by watching episodes of "Hard Knocks".
"What are you going to learn?" Ryan asked. "You guys saw it. What did you get out of it?"
Ryan, the Ravens' former defensive coordinator, laughed off concerns that his open-door approach to the reality cameras could have compromised his team's Week 1 game plan.
"I was like, well you got the playbook sitting right there," Ryan said, referring to the fact that his former team's sets are similar to the ones he ran while defensive coordinator in Baltimore. "There might be something in the playbook that's more revealing than Hard Knocks."
The Bill Belichick
? Richard Hill of Pats Pulpit: "The defensive front seven held Cedric Benson to a 2.9 yards/carry and definitely held up their end of the bargain. However, the main worry was how the Bengals would attack and succeed against the Patriots RDE position- and the Bengals definitely attacked that side of the defense. All of Benson's big gains were to that side, which means the Patriots need to improve the RDE position against the run. Mike Wright does a fantastic job against the pass, but he's a one gap defensive end and isn't much help against the run."
The Buddy Nix
? Allen Wilson of The Buffalo News: "There will be better days for (C.J.) Spiller, who was held to 6 yards rushing on seven carries and a mere 8 yards on four receptions. He also had one kickoff return for 11 yards in the Bills' 15-10 loss.
Spiller's performance bore no resemblance to his work in the preseason, when he electrified the Bills' offense with big plays. There weren't opportunities to show off the dazzling speed and elusiveness that he displayed in the exhibitions.
His day epitomized the struggles of the entire offense, particularly the running game, which gained just 50 yards and averaged less than 3 yards a carry.
"It was tough out there," said Spiller, the ninth overall pick in the April draft. "We just have to go back and look at the film to see what it was. [The Dolphins] did a great job of making good tackles and making the plays. We just weren't able to make enough." "
The Jeff Ireland
? The Phinsider: "Mike Nolan's defense sure looks good - and nothing like what we saw in the preseason. Cameron Wake was a force rushing the passer (and was constantly held by Buffalo's line). Karlos Dansby is going to be a big play-maker on this defense. He was all over - covering, defending the run, and rushing the passer. If not for a miscommunication in Miami's secondary (or just terrible recognition from Tyrone Culver), the Bills only put up three points."
The Ozzie Newsome
? Jamison Hensley of The Baltimore Sun: "Based on how the players are talking, the Ravens plan to take some trips to Revis Island. That's the area of the field covered by Darrelle Revis, one of the top NFL cornerbacks.
"We don't feel like we have to shy away from anybody," Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin said. "As an offense, we're going to do what we do best, and that's just go out and play football." "
The Kevin Colbert
? Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The play is called "22 Double," one of the Steelers' bread-and-butter running plays, and (Rashard) Mendenhall hit it just the way it is designed -- for a 50-yard walk-off touchdown on the Steelers' first play of overtime. Mendenhall ran behind blocks by WR Hines Ward on S Thomas DeCoud and TE David Johnson on OLB Mike Peterson and beat S Erik Coleman down the sideline. "You get one-on-one with a defensive back, you want to win those," said Mendenhall, who finished with a game-high 120 yards on 22 carries."
The Tom Heckert
? Tony Grossi of The Plain Dealer: "Early on, they displayed a nice, unpredictable assortment of run, pass, gimmick. Jake Delhomme connected with seven different receivers ? but had two costly interceptions. After the Peyton Hillis fumble at Tampa?s 15, which occurred with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, they made only one play longer than 10 yards. Receivers became non-existent, like last year. Bottom line: Three turnovers will not cut it."
The Mike Brown
? Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer: "Sunday?s biggest disappointment was the defense. With no pass rush, Tom Brady had all day to throw and picked them apart. Brady finished 25 of 35 for 258 yards with three touchdowns ? two to Wes Welker to put them up 17-0 with a Stephen Gostkowski 32-yard field goal coming in the middle. Brady completed the Patriots? scoring with a 1-yard toss to Rob Gronkowski to put them up 38-17 midway through the fourth.
New England scored on four of its first six drives. Had it not been for two Gostkowski misses, it would have been 30-3 at halftime.
For Mike Zimmer?s unit, which did finish fifth last year, it was an all-around systemic crash ? lack of pressure, missed tackles and breakdowns in coverage."
The Chris Polian
? Stampede Blue: "The Colts put recovering players Jeff Saturday and Charlie Johnson in the game, potentially risking an injury setback to try to win this game. Not only did they show a diminished ability to protect the team's greatest asset, but they put more wear and tear on these critical players, AND they lost. Now they will have to play the next game (and the next, and the next) without the luxury of resting these players for recovery purposes. It's like unplugging your laptop with 80% battery and hoping you can make it through the rest of the week without another charge. I expect that we'll see CJ and Saturday sitting out practices this week, costing them even more time to gel with the other players on the line, perpetuating the issue."
The Gene Smith
? Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country: "David Garrard had an excellent game. He wasn't asked to do a lot in the passing game, throwing the football only 21 times, but he came up big on key plays. His first touchdown lead tight end Marcedes Lewis perfectly and let Lewis get the ball in stride to run for the touchdown. His next touchdown pass was underthrown a bit, but Lewis was still able to pluck the ball off the helmet of the defender and box him out for his second touchdown. Garrard's third touchdown pass of the day was a laser from 21-yards out to Kassim Osgood, who did a great job of boxing out Broncos safety Brian Dawkins and hauling in the touchdown.
As I said, Garrard wasn't asked to put the team on his shoulders, but he made plays when it mattered and the plays he did make were big. Not only that, but the offensive line showed up big."
The Mike Reinfeldt
? Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean: "Every unit contributed something to the romp ? from quarterback Vince Young and the passing game, to a swarming, penetrating, physical defense, to a special teams unit that had the Raiders backed up all afternoon.
?We just wanted to start fast and play Titan football ? run the ball, control the clock, beat up on the defense and play great defense,? fullback Ahmard Hall said. ?And that is what happened. And that is a formula for us to win a lot of ball games.
?You can?t be one-dimensional. You can?t win like that in this league. Everyone has to do this and I think we showed we?re capable of doing that.??
The message the Titans hope they relayed to the rest of the league is that they are a much different team than the one that started the 2009 season by going 0-6."
The Rick Smith
? John McClain of the Houston Chronicle: "(Arian) Foster, the second-year running back who says he plays with a chip on each shoulder because he wasn?t drafted, carried 33 times for 231 yards and three touchdowns..
Gary Kubiak presented the game ball to Foster, who made a speech thanking his blockers, then tossed it to his offensive line.
?I can?t say enough about those guys,? Foster said. ?You wear the defense down, and it?s a test of wills.?
Tackles Eric Winston and Duane Brown, center Chris Myers, left guard Wade Smith and alternating right guards Antoine Caldwell and Mike Brisiel should take a bow for the most impressive blocking performance in team history.