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The Hudsucker Presents NFL Weekly: Let The Games Begin

This year our writers are teaming up to bring you weekly football coverage! Each week, a few of our writers will be sharing their thoughts and highlights from games they’ve watched. Who were the winners this week? Who remains undefeated? Which team will come out victorious at the end of the 2013-2014 season?    

It’s officially here! NFL football is back and Week 1 of the 2013 season not only marks the return of pro football, but the return of our favorite teams and players. This week our writers, Chris Hill, Tania Hussain and Andrew Rogers share some highlights from their favorite games of the week. Do you agree with them?

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

Image Credit: AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Broncos, 49-27


What a great night for Peyton Manning! He tossed 7 TDs and won the game over defending Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens. He threw 3 TDs passes in the third quarter alone, turning the 17-14 deficit into a 35-17 lead. That was a really fun quarter to watch Manning excel in. He’s also made quarterback history too, being the sixth QB to throw 7 TDs in a game; the first since Joe Kapp, former CFL and Minnesota Vikings QB in 1969. The Broncos’ slot receiver, Wes Welker helped Manning out a ton, as did TE Julius Thomas who is proving to be a valuable asset, grabbing four catches for 97 yards and two TDs in the first half.

Ravens made a ton of mistakes in the first three quarters and may need to remodel their defense now. For Super Bowl champs, they didn’t seem like they had that attitude and idea when on the field. That or maybe they need Ray Lewis?


Who needs defense when you can throw 7 touchdowns against the defending champions? By the way, Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin looks well worth the money.

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts:

Image Credit: AP Photo

Colts, 21-17


Andrew Luck is arguably the best young QB in the NFL and he’s an essential key to the Colts moving forward. He started fast, played efficiently and delivered a late-game victory, accounting for 3 TDs, 2 passing and 1 rushing. The OL and TE need to protect Luck better though. He was on his back way too much in this game and considering Indy brought in two new offensive linemen to watch him, they need to do better with that. The score, 21-17 Colts was too close for comfort and with Chuck Pagano having a 8-1 home record since coaching last season, the Colts need to excel, a thought even Jim Irsay would agree with me on.

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers:

Image Credit: Don McPeak/USA Today

Titans, 16-9


Not a great game for the Steelers. They were scoreless for 58 minutes with zero turnovers. That was pretty sad to watch. It was also really sad to watch Center Maurkice Pouncey being run into by his own Steelers LB Larry Foote, and suffering a serious knee injury (both of whom are officially out and might be for the whole season). That just looked extremely careless. The Titans looked like the tougher team, mentally and physically. They took full advantage of the Steelers stagnant offense.

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Image Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Saints, 23-17


I am going to reserve judgement on the Saints D until they play an actual professional offensive line–Falcons O line is terrible! We need to put a revolving door up. Roddy, please get better soon. At least the defense held strong against Brees. He’s looking like he will definitely be benefiting come Payton being back.


As I’ve already stated in the pre-season review of all 32 teams with fellow writer Chris, I love football and opening weekend, for me, is like Thanksgiving before Christmas (the Super Bowl) – all the excitement has started building and there’s so much to see and do. Unfortunately, with so many games on at once, you have to pick and choose sometimes and I, obviously, picked my division’s epic rivalry between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons.

Out here in Halifax, we only get the Patriots games because we’re so close to Boston, so everyone either loves or hates the Pats. My whole family loves them and I, needless to say, can’t stand them but football is football, right? I don’t let my biases sway me, which is why Matt Ryan, the quarterback for Atlanta is on my fantasy team this week. His presence made the game all the more exciting for me. Moreover, I had a few of the Saints key players (Sproles, Graham and Colston) on my squad. So either way, this was going to be a landmark game for me. I found a live stream of it online, then sat in my basement, knees to my chest, Brees jersey on, and Bud in hand, holding my breath.

The Saints were down early, with Atlanta making more connections on their drives and taking a 10-0 lead, but Brees and the O-line weren’t about to start their post-bounty scandal comeback season with Coach Sean Payton on a low note, so they quickly caught up and took the lead.

In the second half of the game, the two teams were going back and forth, the lead changing with every drive. As the clock wound down, it was 20-17 and Payton made a smart move and played it safe, kicking a field goal to make it 23-17 and force the Falcons to score a touchdown if they wanted the win.

But never underestimate the speed of the Ryan and his receiving core, especially Julio Jones and Harry Douglas. Up until that point, Ryan had been sacked quite a bit, but a fire was lit under them and they moved down the field so fast I barely had time to catch my breath. I was on pins and needles when they got to the end zone and had two shots at scoring that touchdown, but in the end, Rob Ryan (the ex-Dallas, now Saints defensive coordinator) helped the Saints last-place defense last season show some new vigour and keep the “Dirty Birds” at bay, locking up the game and their first win of the season. I’m sure my screams in that moment told the whole house that my team had done it and that maybe, just maybe, they were back with a vengeance (and a better defense) this season.

We’ll see if they can do it again when they take on yet another divisional rival this week: Tampa Bay as Atlanta welcome the St. Louis Rams to the Georgia Dome to try and pick up their first win of the season.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers: 

Image Credit: John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated

49ers, 34-28


The Kap looks ridiculous! I take back everything I said about the passing game being okay…this team will score a lot of points. I do feel bad for Aaron Rodgers though. He played well, as did Randall Cobb and the rest of the WRs. But Kap looks like he will be hard to scheme against.


This was a great game! Watching Rodgers and Kaepernick fight it out is exciting! Kaepernick threw a ridiculous 412 yards, hitting a new career high with 3 TDs. That guy is insane! He threw 13 completions to new WR Anquan Boldin, who made an impressive debut.

Rodgers did well, throwing for 333 yards with 3 TDs. I think the Packers are going to be okay though after this one game. I don’t see any immediate need to worry for them. Rodgers is amazing and rookie RB Eddie Lacy is their best ground asset in years.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants:

Image Credit: AP/Getty Images

Cowboys, 36-31


Wow! How did the Giants turn the ball over 6 times? How did Dallas not blow them out? How is David Wilson going to ever play in NY again? How is Jason Witten THAT open?! This game left me with more questions than answers for both teams.

* * * * *

Week 1 was off to a good start but what will Week 2 look like? Perhaps more shuffling in the rosters and clarity regarding the top teams for the season to officially pick up? What games did you watch? What did you enjoy seeing? Let us know what you thought of the first week of NFL by sounding off in the comments below.

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