The NFL Surprises


The NFL Surprises

by Amy Lignor


Much like that last day of school when you’re looking out the window at the sunshine, knowing that when the bell rings you will be out of there and not have to deal with class for the next two months – that was the feeling on Thursday night when the NFL kicked off their season.

ESPN, Lombardi trophy, Patriots, Brady, Coach Belichick, QB Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Cowboys, NFL, SeahawksYou could literally hear that sigh of relief from fans everywhere. Although that noise could have been the huge “BOO” that Roger Goodell received from the Patriots fans. But after sitting through a truly boring parade of games in other sports this summer, having the gridiron return seems to be a blessing. Even the faces on ESPN, who try hard to keep up their spirit after the Lombardi trophy is given out, but still look completely defeated as they call games that are not nearly as interesting, wore smiles on Thursday morning. Best part? The game did not turn out to be another Patriots rout; looks like forty-year-old Brady and his mega-team are not going to be the “best of the best” this year. At least, not yet.


Yes, the game began much like last year ended. Brady came out, marched the Pats down to the end zone, and scored a TD. James White, the man who should have been named the Super Bowl MVP last year (but was not), once again started to move like the wind. Tight end, Gronk, however, looked like he was covered in cobwebs, not able to come down with the football in hand at first. He even got a touchdown call reversed, which made the Patriots fans more than a little upset.


But really, when you talk about this game, it wasn’t about the Patriots. The Patriots will be fine this year. Coach Belichick, most likely, even had a part of him who wanted to lose the game so his team didn’t start believing the yapping going on everywhere about how they could not be defeated. Belichick likes reality, and the Patriots were served just that on a plate by the Chiefs who ended up winning 42 to 27.


There were two stars of this game. QB Alex Smith of the Chiefs was basically told that he was a good team manager. That doesn’t sound like a slap in the face, but it is. He was told that he could “place” his teammates where they would do the best on the field, but if you needed a QB who could have a shootout against another QB, then he was not your guy. They even have a back-up at the ready who is supposedly better than Alex. So what does old Alex do? In the second half of the game, he dropped the “manager” label and did turn into the gunslinger that people swore he could not be, throwing down the field again and again to score three TD’s in the 4th quarter.


The second player to be talked about is Kareem Hunt. A rookie running back fresh out of college, Kareem has not dropped the ball in 856 carries. First Chiefs carry on Thursday night resulted in a fumble. “Welcome to the NFL, Kareem.” Thing was, this newbie did not fold under the pressure. In fact, he came back out and ended up playing like an MVP, gaining 239 yards from scrimmage, more than any player in NFL history since the 1970 merger. This boy has been touted by experts as being a future star. Looks like they may just be right about that.


This Sunday delivers some of the fiercest competitions seen in a while. With the Cowboys playing the Giants Sunday night and the Packers playing the well-hated Seattle Seahawks in the afternoon, there will be some true rivalries that make the skin tingle. When everything is said and done and the scores are posted, it’s doubtful that a Patriots loss will be the only “surprising” thing that comes out of Week 1.


The only thing left to say? Thank the gods…the NFL is back!


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