The great thing about the beginning of the National Football League season which really is different than most other sports is that by and large, each fan base thinks it has a shot to make the playoffs. In the NFL, making it to the playoffs is the number one goal. Once in the tournament, anything can happen.
Then come the moments after that first game ends.
If you’re in New York today, you’re wondering how you’re Giants could turn the ball over six times and still have a chance to beat Dallas before ultimately falling to the Cowboys. On the other side of MetLife Stadium, New York Jets’ fans were prepared for one of the worst seasons in their history. It still could happen, but for one day, the Jets behind rookie quarterback Geno Smith knocked off the favored Buccaneers to go 1-0.
If you are in any city in the AFC North today you have one bit of good news. Your team is tied for first place. The bad news is that your team is also tied for last place as all four teams are 0-1. Baltimore and Cincinnati at the very least looked respectable at times while Cleveland and Pittsburgh are now vying with Jacksonville for the worst opening day performance.
Not only did the Steelers drop the opener at home to Tennessee but they also lost three players to season-ending injuries. Terrible Towels are still wiping away tears of a season that had much more promise than this.
If you’re in Green Bay today you’re wondering if anything has changed about your defense. In last season’s playoffs, the Packers were torched by the feet of San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick. On Sunday, Kaepernick let his arm do the talking as he threw for 412 yards en route to 34 points in the win. The Green Bay offense behind a big game from Aaron Rodgers kept them in it until the end but it had to be déjà vu for Packers’ fans.
If you’re in Detroit today then you have to be as giddy as a kid in a candy store. Your defense gives up a 77-yard touchdown run to Adrian Peterson on the first play of the game but the team rebounded for a ten-point win. Lions’ fans aren’t exactly used to being 1-0 right now. If they’re giddy over the win imagine the excitement over Reggie Bush’s big day.
Maybe you’re in Seattle today where your Seahawks are a prohibitive favorite to go to the Super Bowl. Your team is 1-0 but your running game was left non-existent and it took a late touchdown pass to win over Carolina. Are you concerned or are you just glad you got a win on the road?
Are you in Arizona today? So much excitement surrounds your team with a new head coach and a quarterback that can actually deliver the ball to your all-pro wide receiver. Your defense is young and athletic and creates turnovers too. Unfortunately, the Cards blew a lead in the fourth quarter and lost to St.Louis by three.
Another great thing about the NFL season is that all of this can be forgotten over the course of one game in week two. A team that lost in week one can even the record and feel good doing so while a team that is 1-0 can easily be brought back to Earth with a loss. The two other options of course are that some teams will go 2-0 while some will go 0-2. Fans in those cities a week from today will have significantly different feelings than they have today.
Such is life in the NFL.