As anyone can tell by the lack of activity across campus and the shouts of both joy and frustration booming from dorm rooms this weekend, “FOOTBALL IS BACK!”
Students all across campus are overjoyed at the opportunity to root and cheer for their favorite team’s impending victories and losses all in the hopes of reaching the ultimate plateau in professional sports– a Super Bowl victory. For some teams, this dream isn’t too far off base, but for other teams, it would take a couple “Hail Mary’s”, and while we’re at it, the blessings of a few extra Holy Saints, to make it happen this year. Nevertheless, football fans all across campus, and all across the nation, are raving about the start of this new NFL season, and most fans have more than one reason for their excitement.
This NFL offseason was filled with even more drama and media coverage than in previous years. However, this year was the year of “Deflate Gate”, which is the term coined by media press covering the story that tells a small part of the scandal that occurred last season involving the New England Patriots allegedly using tampered-with footballs during games. The scandal led to Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, being suspended for the first four games of the NFL season. Yet, when the case was taken to Federal Court on September 3, 2015 Federal Judge Richard M. Berman, overturned the NFL’s ruling due to the lack of due process. To the relief and joy of many Patriots fans and the disappointment an chagrin of many of his critics, Tom Brady started the NFL season in 2015 with a victory versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, defeating the Steelers with a score of 28-21.
This summer was filled with a lot of teams picking up new pieces and moving others around to fit their mold. Now the time has come to see whether or not the moves that these teams have made and the strategies they so thoroughly bought into will endure the rigors of a sixteen game season.
After weeks one and two, here are the scores from select matchups and a look at which teams are meeting expectations, and which teams might want to revisit the drawing board:
New England Patriots- 28
Pittsburgh Steelers- 21
Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns, three to his prize target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, as the Patriots easily defeated the Steelers on Thursday to kickoff the NFL season.
Cincinnati Bengals- 33
Oakland Raiders- 13
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 269 yards and running back Jeremy Hill ran for two scores as the Bengals routed the Raiders in this easy victory.
Tennessee Titans- 42
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 14
NFL Draft lottery pick Jameis Winston was less than impressive in his first career NFL game losing heavy handedly to the Tennessee Titans, who had another rookie QB, Oregon star Marcus Mariota in the starting spot.
New York Giants- 26
Dallas Cowboys- 27
With a miraculous last minute drive, capped off by a Tony Romo touchdown pass, the Dallas Cowboys pulled off a stunning win vs. the Giants in their home opener.
Philadelphia Eagles- 24
Atlanta Falcons- 26
Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones accumulated an impressive 141 receiving yards and quarterback Matt Ryan, despite 2 interceptions, was able to rally his team to defeat a heavily talented Eagles team, who allowed a 17 point comeback.
Minnesota Vikings- 3
San Francisco 49ers- 20
In one of the sloppier games of the first week, 49ers running back Carlos Hyde made one of the nicest plays of the week spinning away from defenders and entering the end zone untouched late in the first half to help the 49ers on their way to a win over an uneasy Vikings squad.
Baltimore Ravens- 33
Oakland Raiders- 37
Derek Carr threw a 12 yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts with 26 seconds left to finish off the Ravens in Carr’s most productive game as an NFL quarterback.
Miami Dolphins- 20
Jacksonville Jaguars- 23
1st year kicker Jason Meyers hit a field goal with 40 seconds left in the game to put the Jaguars up over the Dolphins in this Florida-centered nail biter.
Dallas Cowboys- 20
Philadelphia Eagles- 10
Star quarterback Tony Romo now joins star wide out Dez Bryant on the injured reserve list after a collarbone injury takes him out of the game. Despite losing their main offensive threat, the Cowboys managed to hold a strong grip on the game and defeat the lackadaisical Eagles team.
Seattle Seahawks- 17
Green Bay Packers- 27
In a rematch of last years NFC Championship game, the Packers reversed the outcome from last years game and came out victorious, holding the offensive powerhouse Seahawks to 17 points.
With classes in full swing and the NFL beginning a new season, Vanguard students can take solace in the fact that even though summer has officially ended, there is a sense of normalcy returning to their lives. Fall is back and football is on.