Editorial: NFL kicks off

After a seven-month wait, the NFL is up and running

It is finally upon us. After a long summer of practices, training camp, and the preseason, week one of the NFL regular season arrived.

The Green Bay Packers and defending Superbowl champion Seattle Seahawks kicked things off Thursday night, and the rest of the NFL’s thirty-two teams got into the action Sunday and Monday night.

Here are some of the key storylines from the action thus far.

Defending champs look strong

Packers-Seahawks should have been a brilliant chess match featuring the Packers prolific offense against the Seahawks Superbowl-
winning defense.

But that was far from the case.

The defending champion Seahawks dominated the Packers, winning 36-16. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Russell Wilson added two touchdown passes in an excellent offensive performance.

While the Seattle offense may have stolen the show, the Seahawks defense was very good as well, limiting Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to just 189 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception.

If the Seahawks continue to play this well offensively, they could be looking at another strong Superbowl run
this season.

Atlanta wins thrilling NFC South matchup

Two of the NFL’s more prolific offenses faced off Sunday afternoon in Atlanta, and what an offensive showdown this game was. The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints combined for a whopping 71 points in a thriller that ended in overtime.

Matt Ryan’s Falcons hosted Drew Brees’ Saints. Brees had a good day, throwing for 333 yards and a score, but it was Ryan who stole the spotlight. Ryan threw for a franchise-record 448 yards and three touchdowns.

After the Saints opened up an early lead, the Falcons fought back and Falcons kicker Matt Bryant nailed a 51-yard field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime.

In overtime, Bryant again worked his magic, kicking a 52-yard field goal, which won the game for Atlanta, 37-34.

Although the Falcons got the win, both teams flashed on Sunday. Both the Saints and Falcons are teams to watch this season, if only for the explosive potential of
their offenses.

Romo struggles against San Francisco

All preseason long, the San Francisco 49ers defense suffered hits from all sides. With an unfortunate mix of injuries, suspensions and legal troubles, nothing was going right for San Francisco’s defensive unit. But the 49ers defense responded in a strong way against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday evening.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looked like the Romo critics love to hate, throwing three interceptions that can only be characterized as
poor decisions.

The Cowboys trailed 28-3 at halftime, making the 28-17 final score quite deceiving. Dallas looks like a team in trouble this season.

J.J. Watt is an unstoppable force

The Houston Texans game against the Washington Redskins was solidly unspectacular, but Texans defensive end J.J. Watt’s performance was quite the opposite.

Watt had a sensational game, notching a sack, a fumble recovery, a pass deflection, a blocked extra point and an incredible seven
quarterback hits.

Houston won the game, 17-6, and Watt deserves a lot of the credit. The man is a monster, and he has placed himself at the top of the list of contenders for defensive player of the year.

After a seemingly endless summer of waiting, football is back. Some teams, like the defending champion Seahawks, look like they picked right up where they left off. Other teams look like they need to take things back to the drawing board. We are looking at you, Cowboys.

Regardless, the first week of long-awaited NFL action is in the books. Here is to hoping the other 16 weeks of NFL action prove to be just as exciting as this one.

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