NFL Week One: What We Learned

The Jets and Bills may be better than you think, the Broncos and Saints could be Super Bowl contenders


Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season offered anything but your typical gridiron action. Surprising wins by the Jets and Saints got people talking, and the sheer dominance of the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs got fans talking, too - about the playoffs.

Here's what else we learned:

The 49ers are tough: Colin Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three TDs and the recently acquired Anquan Boldin nabbed 13 catches for a monster 208 yards in a stunning 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers. A series of punches were thrown at one point between Packers LB Clay Matthews and Joe Staley that solidifed the game's ferocity. Although Aaron Rodgers had his moments against a suspect 49ers secondary with three TDs of his own, the 49ers aggressive run-stopping (Eddie Lacy was held to 41 yards on 14 carries) makes you think their secondary will have better days as the season continues.

The Jets aren't half bad: Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith went 24-for-38 with 256 passing yards and a touchdown in his debut, and added a team-leading 47 yards on the ground to cap off a 18-17 come from behind victory. Recently acquired TE Kellen Winslow added seven catches and a TD. Gang Green's defense also limited Bucs star RB Doug Martin to just 65 yards rushing. Ironically, the play of the game occurred when Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David pushed Smith out of bounds after a 10-yard run and got called for a personal foul. The 15-yard penalty allowed Jets kicker Nick Folk to nail a 48-yard FG for the win.

The Jaguars aren't half good: After a 28-2 drubbing at the hands of the Alex Smith-powered Kansas City Chiefs in the season opener, the Jaguars and their abysmal offense have to wonder what the rest of the season is going to be like.

E.J. Manuel makes the Bills entertaining: The Patriots broke more than a sweat against the upstart Bills, mainly due to a poised debut from rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel and 136 yards on the ground from Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Although he only threw for 150 yards, Manuel more than held his own against Tom Brady with a 18-for-27, two-TD performance.

Peyton Manning is still a beast: With seven touchdown passes and the recently acquired Wes Welker by his side, the Broncos made mincemeat of the Super Bowl Champion Ravens to fuel early playoff talk.

Victor Cruz's heel injury is history: Giants fans and fantasy football buffs wondered what his status for Week 1 would be after he suffered a heel injury in New York's second preseason game. How does the enigmatic wide-out respond to the controversy? With a three-touchdown performance against arch-rival Dallas Cowboys.

Reggie Bush roars in first game with Lions: Detroit hasn't had a running back like Bush since the days of Barry Sanders. With 90 yards rushing, 101 receiving and a TD, Detroit may surprise a few people this season.

The Saints are back: With Sean Payton back as head coach after a one-year suspension, the revitalized Saints got a typical 357-yard, two TD performance from QB Drew Brees and a six-catch game from all-purpose wunderkind Darren Sproles. The defense, under new coordinator Rob Ryan, kept the explosive Falcons offense scoreless in the fourth quarter for a surprising 23-17 win.

No sophomore slump for QBs: Seattle's Russell Wilson had a touchdown to go with 320 yards passing to lead the Seahawks past the Panthers in a defensive gem, while the Colts' Andrew Luck went 18-for-23 with three TDs to beat the Raiders. Can fellow second-year QB Robert Griffin III have the same success on Monday for the Redskins against the Eagles?

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