The NFL wrapped up Week 1 with a Monday Night Football double-header. I enjoy the extra football, I do not enjoy the extra Chris Berman. Thankfully though, that is finished, and we move ahead to regularly scheduled football.
The San Francisco 49ers head into Week 2 with a 1-0 record following their 28-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers will face the Chicago Bears in Week 2 Sunday Night Football. The Bears were stunned by the Buffalo Bills 23-20 in overtime. The Bears were undone by a struggling defense, and inconsistent offense. The Bears defense was a question mark heading into the season, and the early answers do not look good. They were shredded on the ground in particular, with the Bills gaining 193 yards on 33 carries (5.8 yards per carry). The 49ers went into 3-WR sets quite a bit against the Cowboys, but maybe we see more heavy stuff against the Bears.
NFC West off to a good start
We cannot make a lot of grand conclusions following Week 1, but we can start to at least infer a few things. The NFC West might be separated into three tiers. The 49ers and Seahawks share the top half, the Cardinals are a spot below, and the Rams are looking like potential cellar dwellars.
The Rams were absolutely blasted at home by the Minnesota Vikings. I really was shocked by how bad the Rams looked. I realize they lost their starting quarterback, and Brian Schottenheimer is a bad offensive coordinator. But I really thought that defense would keep them in this thing. Instead Cordarrelle Patterson had his way with them, and the defense buckled under the pressure of the awful offensive performance.
The Arizona Cardinals seemed ready to take the loss on Monday Night Football, but they somehow got it together. They led 6-3 heading into the third quarter, before giving up a pair of touchdowns to the Chargers. However, Arizona managed a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to claim the 18-17 win. Their win gave the NFC West a 3-1 performance through Week 1.
Same NFC East
That was a pretty brutal weekend for the NFC East, as the division opened the season at 1-3. That Philadelphia Eagles game were the only team to get a win, and even that wasn't pretty. The Eagles found themselves trailing the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-0 at the half, but bounced back with 34 unanswered points to get the win. My guess is they simply were caught off guard by a Jaguars squad that should be improved this season. I expect the Eagles to be back in shape in time for Week 4, but they have to clean some things up.
The 49ers get to face the New York Giants in Week 11, and at the moment, things are not looking good for the Giants. They started ugly, but seemed to get somewhat in gearing the second quarter. And then the wheels more or less fell off. If they'd played a better team than the Lions, that 35-14 loss would have been much worse. The Giants are not going to be good this year.
AFC West, remains to be seen
The 49ers get the four AFC West opponents, and a year after a strong season, the division is off to a questionable start. The Broncos got the only win for the division. They jumped out to a 24-0 lead on the Indianapolis Colts, and then almost blew it in the fourth quarter.
Most notably though, the Chiefs could be in for a looooong season. The 49ers host the Chiefs in Week 5, and while they could very well turn things around, the injuries and regression might bite this team badly. The Chiefs three games leading up to that one are road games at Denver and Miami, and a home game against New England. They could grab a win or two from that, but the odds are pretty good they head into Levi's Stadium at 0-4.