The Weather Report

The first week of the NFL season did not disappoint.

There were a lot of unknowns going in, chief among those Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense that may or may not have been more Wizard of Oz than a paragon of touchdown-scoring wonder. From the first moment Vick zipped a pass over the middle, we were witness to an offense that might turn out to be the one of the most compelling of the season. RGIII, he of the Washington Redskins savior moniker, looked rusty throughout the first half—not really looking like the frenetic dynamo that we had come to expect until the second half.

The Raiders were the Raiders, failing to pull the trigger on a win against the Colts. Upside: Terrelle Pryor is not using a walker like a certain immobile quarterback who has retired to the desert. Downside: They are still the Raiders, and lost despite a fair-to-middling outing by a rookie quarterback.

Tom Brady carried a faceless receiving core, complete with a broken Wes Welker clone. The Lions managed to top an overrated Vikings squad, though once more Suh stole the headlines with another fine that would make most blue-collar workers—especially those among their rabid and loyal fan base—cry out in horror.

Talking about someone beating the Browns is akin to asking whether or not there will be an extra police presence during Halloween. Rex Ryan and the Jets were handed a win in one of many boneheaded plays from defenses around the league. Richard Sherman jawed at offensive players; Andy Reid and Alex Smith beat-up on the Jaguars. Jerry Jones’ photos of hanging out with Hulk Hogan and LeBron James overshadowed an ugly win over the hapless Giants in the first of many nearly unwatchable divisional games in the NFC East.

Ben Roethlisberger endured an ugly game against a rejuvenated Titans team that might surprise a few folks; who knows, Chris Johnson might actually be a relevant running back once more. Jay Cutler didn’t yell at his offensive line this time around, but be prepared for it once the Bears start dropping some games. Drew Brees and the Saints reminded us how dangerous they can be, embarrassing a Falcons team that were preseason Super Bowl favorites.

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned the reigning Super Bowl champs, and a 49ers team that is looking for payback after the technologically-challenged championship game a little more than six months ago. Peyton Manning turned in a record-breaking game (literally) and made fantasy owners around the country squeal with joy, if they were smart enough to start him on Week One. The Broncos put on a clinic, mopping up a decimated and rebuilding Ravens team that saw this as a statement game. The statement was simple: The Broncos are ridiculous, and Manning is on the fast track for another league MVP.

Oh yeah, and the 49ers won.

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Dan O’Brien wrote more than a dozen novels (all before the age of 30), including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. He currently teaches psychology at CSU, Chico. You can learn more about Amalgam by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com.