Chris Johnson opened his professional career in style.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's Monday afternoon, so the first week isn't even finished yet, but the list of players who disappointed their fantasy owners is a lot longer than those who were pleasant surprises.
But lets start with the good, before diving into the quagmire.
Michael Turner was beyond good, although we must temper our glee with the fact that they were playing the Detroit Lions defense. Before the season began, I wrote an article which claimed that Turner's free-agent march to Atlanta reminded me of Lamont Jordan's largely unsuccessful campaign in Oakland. But if the first week is any indication, that assumption is false.
Turner abused the Lions run defense for 220 yards and two scores. Jerious Norwood also added 93 yards and a touchdown as the Falcons shredded the Lions for 318 rushing yards and 474 total yards.
Turner and Atlanta play Tampa Bay in Week 2. I'll be a very interested in seeing how Turner, Norwood and rookie quarterback Matt Ryan do.
While I wasn't on the Turner bandwagon, I was a huge Chris Johnson fan entering the season. The Tennessee rookie running back opened his professional career in style posting 93 yards on the ground and another 34 yards through the air including a touchdown. It looks like LenDale White (thunder) and the speedy Johnson (lightning) will be a lethal combination. And with Vince Young suffering a knee injury, the Titans will likely have to rely on the pair in the upcoming weeks.
Matt Forte was another rookie who was touted in summer camps, but the display he put on against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night far exceeded what could have been expected in his first pro game. His 141 total yards and a revived Bears defense took it to the Colts for a 29-13 victory.
Willie Parker collected 138 yards rushing and three scored. Rashard who?
Now on to the not-so-nice results.
The Cincinnati Bengals offense. Carson Palmer, Chris Perry, Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh were horrible, there is no other way to put it. And that was against a Ravens defense that was supposed to be "middle-of-the- pack." Well...either we just saw the rebirth of the 2000 Baltimore Super Bowl winning defense or there is something wrong with the Bengals offense. We should know more next week when Palmer & Co. go up against the tough Tennessee squad.
Drew Brees threw for 324 yards and Marques Colston only gets 26 of them? Ok, don't panic. Colston got off to a slow start in 2007 and finished strong.
Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson and Torry Holt. Just like the Bengals offense, the Rams looked ugly. Are the Eagles that good or the Rams that bad? Holt couldn't find any open space and for some reason seemed to be on the sidelines a lot. It doesn't get any better for the St. Louis offensive line - they meet the New York Giants next.
I think Jackson will still have a solid season, but I'm "selling short" on Holt and Bulger.
Perhaps rumors that Hines Ward had been supplanted by Santonio Holmes as the No.1 Steelers wideout was premature. Or maybe the Texans' defense saw all the stories and double-teamed Holmes. Holmes disappointed his owners in Week 1, but I'm not worried.
Braylon Edwards, how many balls can you drop in one game?
Edwards was second to Brandon Marshall in "most dropped passes" in 2007 (12) and he might already be halfway to that total. The entire Cleveland Browns offense was "off" in the opener against the Cowboys, but I'm still expecting good things from them this year. Maybe not next week when the play a divisional game against the tough Pittsburgh Steelers, but don't panic yet.
Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor were supposed to be the best one-two punch in the NFL, but they didn't show it in Week 1.