The 2012 season is out of the gates and charging hard into the Fall. As anticipated the first week of NFL action brought much excitement and enjoyment as America’s number 1 sport began its new season. There were many potential story lines heading into week 1. Here are 2centsworthofsports.com’s Top 3 stories that developed on Sunday.
RG 3 Impresses In Rookie Debut
Robert Griffin III made his highly anticipated debut on Sunday in New Orleans against the Saints. Much like Cam Newton in his rookie season last year, RG3 rose to the occasion. Griffin lead the Redskins to a win over the Saints by a score of 40-32. More impressive than the victory were Griffin’s stats. Griffin was 19-26 with 320 yards passing, 42 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Griffin completed his first 7 passes for over 123 yards. The most exciting play came in the 1st quarter when Griffin connected with Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon for an 88 yard touchdown pass. That TD pass would be Griffins first in the NFL and is a hell of a way to start a career. A statement was made on Sunday, Griffin is as good as we thought he would be and he makes the Redskins a legitimate threat.
Peyton Manning Showed No Signs Of Rust In His Broncos Debut
One of the first major NFL stories of the past off season was where would Peyton Manning land in free agency. The answer was Denver but that left a question remaining, how would he perform? Manning sat out the entire 2011 season after having undergone neck surgery. On Sunday night in Prime Time, Manning and the Broncos hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manning was back to his usual form going 19-26 with 253 yards passing and 2 touchdown passes. The Broncos beat the Steelers 31-19 in the first game of the season. Manning showed how ready he was to be back in football. It is safe to say he will continue to be one of the best QB’s in the league this season.
#1 Pick Andrew Luck Has A Rough Debut In Chicago
The first overall pick in April’s Draft, Andrew Luck took to the field with his Colts to face the Chicago Bears. Luck came out of college with the same expectations that he is NFL ready. He may very well be but Sunday did not treat Luck very well. The Colts were defeated by the Bears by a score of 41-21. Luck was 25-43 passing with 309 yards passing, 9 yards rushing, 1 touchdown and threw for 3 interceptions. The Bears defense was too much for the Colts line who just did not give Luck enough time to be comfortable. Luck’s 3 interceptions show he was not mentally ready for this game. However his other stats look promising. The problem for Luck this season will be that the Colts have not provided him with the best supporting cast. Week 2 will be a good opportunity to see how Luck can recover from a tough loss and move forward.
After a long spring and summer America’s top sports league is back. The sometimes boring and monotonous training camps of July and August are complete. It is finally time to get the season under way on the greatest day of the week, Sunday.
There are many story lines to pay attention to this year. Will the young rookie Andrew Luck and RG3 QB’s shine and have a season the likes of Cam Newton last season? Will Peyton Manning return to his old form with the Broncos after sitting out the entire 2011 season? Can the teams like the 49ers and Texans continue the strong play they had last season? There are many more storylines that will follow as the season rages on through the Fall and into the Winter.
There is something about this season and this time of the year that just makes football fans a little happier. For many of us it bring back memories of growing up watching football with our families. Your home town team that you love so much no matter how horrible they are every year. For others it’s the nostalgia of playing the game while in grade school or high school. Then there are the fantasy football nuts that just can’t wait to show all of their friends how much more they know about the game and managing their own team. Whatever you reason is for getting excited about the upcoming season it a valid one.
Football has been around for many years and will be an American favorite for a lot more to come. It is engrained in our make up as people and as a country. We as Americans love physicality and proving who the better man or better men really are. In every game every Sunday we get to see just that, who is better on this day. So let the gatherings of friends and the barbeques continue into the winter cause football is back.
College football is back! No longer do we have to wait for the moments and feel of one of the greatest sports seasons around. From now until the Winter we will be able to see the triumphs and heartbreaks that are what college football is all about. We will also get a peek at the future of professional football. Week 1 of college football is in the books, so let’s take a look at some of the major stories from the opening weekend.
BAMA Blows Out Michigan, Sights Set On A Repeat Championship
The most anticipated match up of week 1 was with out a doubt the defending Champions Alabama versus Michigan. Alabama came into this game ranked number 2 while Michigan was ranked number 8. The Tide pounded the Wolverines 41-14. Michigan’s Denard Robinson was expected to make a big impact in this game but came up short. Robinson had only 200 yards passing and was 11-26 in passing. Robinson’s only bright moment came when he threw a 71 yard pass before halftime that led to a 6-yard touchdown run for the QB. Bama’s defense was just too much for Michigan. The Tide will roll into the rest of the season hunting their next title. After Saturday night anyone who thinks they are not likely to repeat is just fooling themselves.
Penn State Continues To Feel The Blues
Penn State played Ohio on Saturday in a game that any other year would have been a blowout win for The Nittany Lions. This year was much different, Ohio won by a score of 24-14. This Penn State team is one that is trying to start its recovery from the penalties laid down by the NCAA in the wake of the Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. The team has been deprived of many talented players that were allowed to leave and play for other schools just weeks before the start of the season. Penn State did have an 11 point lead going into half time, but never scored another point for the remainder of the game. The home crowd was behind the Nittany Lions but it just wasn’t enough. This game could be a glimpse of how disappointing the 2012 season will be for the once mighty Penn State Football team.
West Virginia’s Geno Smith Shows He Is A Heisman Candidate
The West Virginia Mountaineers destroyed in state rival Marshall 69-34 on Saturday. The Mountaineers QB Geno Smith can take a lot of the credit for the win. Smith threw for 323 yards and had 4 touchdowns. The defense of Marshall could not contain the talent and aggressiveness of the Mountaineers. West Virginia had 655 yards on the offensive side, more than any other game last season. Ranked number 11 going into week one, the Mountaineers are going to move up as the weeks go on. They are a solid team with a great QB. Smith made himself the standout Heisman candidate this weekend and if he keeps up the incredible play will be in New York for the Ceremony in December.
The Pirates have been changing the perception of their team this year. After years of dwelling in the cellar of the National Leagues Central Division they seem to have turned things around. The team currently holds a record of 51 wins and 40 loses and are tied for first in the division with the Cincinnati Reds. Both teams hold a 5 game advantage over the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Superb pitching has a lot to do with their success but beyond the pitching is the incredible play of Andrew McCutchen.
The Pirates Andrew McCutchen is having an MVP caliber season heading into August.
McCutchen is having a great year and has shown himself to be the team leader. He has the best batting average in both leagues batting .369 after 87 games played. He also has 22 home runs, 65 RBI’s, 65 runs and 14 stolen bases. Producing many walk off game winners and with the lowly Pirates not looking so low combined with his stats shows that he is in the running and possibly the lead to win the National League MVP trophy this year.
McCutchen was drafted by the Pirate in the 1st round of the 2005 draft with the 11th overall pick. He is in prime position to turn this franchise around for good and be recognized as one of the best baseball players around. He has added excitement to a team that had nothing to get excited about since Barry Bonds left after the 1992 season. He has had a few good seasons already but none as dominant as he has been this season. The fact that the Pirates are in 1st place in late July is amazing in its own right. The city of Pittsburgh could be transferred from a football city into to a baseball city in just a matter of a couple more years.
The Pirates have a lot to prove still. Can they make the playoffs for the first time since the early 90′s? Can they advance in the playoffs? Can they continue to be a good team year in and year out? All of those questions ride on the play of McCutchen. If McCutchen continues this run he will be the N.L. batting champion and should be the N.L. MVP. Recognition of that level would be incredible for the Pirates franchise. So if you have not been following this player or this team its time to open your eyes and believe what you are seeing, its true the Pirates are for real and they have one of baseballs best rising stars.