NFL

MOORE: Wannstedt already feeling the heat

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David Moore

David Moore has been the senior football writer for FOX Sports since Aug. 2005. He appears weekly on the FSN Baseball Report and MLB on FOX. One more line lorem ipsum dolor sit amet e pluribus unum.

 
   
 
David Moore reviews Week 1 in the NFL

The heat is on ...

Miami's Dave Wannstedt. The have a history of starting fast and fading late. Wannstedt responded by easing off on the hitting he required of his team in training camp. The players responded by losing to Houston. You have to wonder if Wannstedt and his staff sacrificed their early-season edge — the had won 17 consecutive games at home in the first month of the season — in the hopes of obtaining an advantage in the stretch that may never materialize. You also have to wonder why Wannstedt decided to go for two after his team took a 20-15 lead early in the fourth quarter. The pass failed, and the finished with two field goals to win by a point. Teams with Super Bowl aspirations are not supposed to start this way, especially with tough division games against the New York and Buffalo next on the schedule. And remember, the last coach to lose a season opener to the was Dave Campo. Look what happened to him. Chicago's Dick Jauron. He wasn't on solid ground going into the season. A 49-7 loss to San Francisco — the worst loss in nearly 25 years — did nothing to improve his standing in the eyes of general manager Jerry Angelo and ownership. Jauron is a genuinely nice man and a solid coach. But his team has now lost 15 of its last 17 games. St. Louis' . We learned after the game that Warner had suffered a concussion and was admitted to the hospital for observation. Once he returns to St. Louis he will find breathing down his neck. Warner fumbled six times (losing three), was sacked six times and threw an interception in a 23-13 loss to the New York . The are no longer dominant enough to turn the ball over this many times and remain competitive. Coach Mike Martz doesn't want a quarterback controversy on his hands, but it looks like he's going to have one sooner rather than later. Cincinnati's . Head coach Marvin Lewis hasn't been around long enough to feel the heat. That means Kitna, with No. 1 pick sitting behind him on the depth chart, will. Kitna had two passes intercepted — one that was returned for a touchdown — and lost a fumble in the team's opening day loss to Denver. Kitna didn't lead the to a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter when his team was already down by 27 points. Kitna doesn't have many more of these games left until he gives way to Palmer.

What we learned on Sunday

  • Buffalo's defense has gone from bad to good after a shrewd off-season by general manager Tom Donahoe. Free agent defensive tackle returned an interception for a touchdown, linebacker (acquired in a trade) had two interceptions and safety had a sack and tipped a pass that led to an interception in the shutout.
  • Kansas City also showed off its revamped defense in a 27-14 win over San Diego. A defense that ranked 24th last season against the run held the to 34 yards on 13 carries while free agent defensive end burst on the scene with three sacks. The and didn't make the playoffs last season because their defenses wouldn't let them. That may have changed.
  • A few days before the season opener, Denver's said the organization had put a lot of eggs in 's basket and he hoped the quarterback didn't trip on his way to the market. Plummer did trip Sunday — 12-of-25 for 115 yards and three interceptions — but didn't break anything because running back wouldn't let him.
  • Detroit's and Houston's , the second and third players taken in the draft, had good days. But Arizona's had a great one. The third round pick emerged from the inexperienced receiver rotation to catch 10 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. It was the most yards ever for a rookie receiver in his debut and marked the first time since 1963 that the franchise has had a receiver go over 200 yards in a game. Not bad for someone who spent part of his college career as a quarterback and only started as a receiver in 23 games.
  • Green Bay's opened the season the way he has ended the last two, with multiple interceptions and bad decisions. A lesser quarterback would have been flogged in public by now. Favre has built up too much good will with his performance through the years for that to happen. Yet. But he's had enough breakdowns in big games the last several years to make you wonder if the are legitimate contenders in the NFC.
  • Those who wrote off Atlanta once went down underestimated the team's speed at running back, receiver and tight end and 's ability to manage a game.
  • The have a new coach in Bill Parcells, but Sunday's loss to the reminded everyone that they still have many of the same players that went 5-11 in each of the last three seasons.
  • Top five teams
    1. Tampa Bay (0-0): The defending champions deserve this respect even though the league forces them to open on the road.
    2. Buffalo (1-0): Maybe New England has another Pro Bowl player it wants to drop onto the roster this week.
    3. New York (1-0): Pounded the Greatest Show on Turf into the turf.
    4. Kansas City (1-0): The high Priest is back and all is well.
    5. Houston (1-0): The don't really belong here. But it's the only chance we'll have all season to mention them in this spot.
    Bottom five teams
    28. New England (0-1): That's what the get for releasing five days before the opener.
    29. Cincinnati (0-1): Nice pants but same old team.
    30. New Orleans (0-1): Bad defense we understand, but scraping together only 10 points against Seattle?
    31. Miami (0-1): No sacks against a Houston team that allowed a league-record 76 last season? , where are you?
    32. Chicago (0-1): is the same quarterback he was in Pittsburgh, but with worse players around him.
    Tonight's game
    Tampa Bay at Philadelphia:
    In the words of one of our generation's greatest philosophers, it's déjà vu all over again.

    Tampa Bay and Philadelphia open the season eight months after facing each other in the NFC Championship Game. The stakes aren't as high this time around. Still, the would like to extract a measure of revenge for the 27-10 loss that prevented them from reaching the Super Bowl.

    Philadelphia quarterback is healthier than the last time these teams played and is at his best in the spotlight; the quarterback is 7-0 in prime time games. It's no mystery how the win games. Tampa Bay allowed an average of 12.2 points a game last season and has the defensive speed to pinch and contain McNabb in the pocket.

    Monday night's game will be more competitive than the one in January, but the Bucs won't be as pleased with the outcome. Philadelphia 21, Tampa Bay 17.


  • Buccaneers-Eagles GameTrax
  • Guilty as charged
    (Sunday's most penalized teams)
    Rk Team No. Yards
    1. Oakland 12 173
    2. Pittsburgh 9 138
    3. N.E. 12 121
    4. Buffalo 10 119
    5. New Orleans 11 114
  • Complete NFL stats
  • Five worst injuries
    (Saints): Dislocated right wrist
    (Packers): Neck injury, taken to hospital
    (Packers): Injured right ankle and right knee
    Sam Madison (Dolphins): Injured left ankle
    (Titans): Knee sprain
  • Video




  • Fantasy focus
    The opening Sunday of the NFL season always is a blur of action that includes plenty of drama and surprises. For fantasy football fans, the fun is perhaps even more intense. After poring over rankings and statistics for months and partaking in three-hour drafts, it's finally time to start seeing how we did as general managers. Check out our game by game recaps.

    Check out how your team did
    Player updates, injury alerts and all the insider analysis you'll need to help you win your fantasy football league.

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    Spoken words
  • "One of their players said, 'I'll see you after today's practice.' That was their thinking - they were looking at us like this was just a little practice."
    — Houston receiver , on the .
  • "It feels good. But it feels good in a positive way, not in a personal vendetta way. I could be sitting up here and throwing out names and sticking it to them, but they know."
    — Buffalo safety , on beating his former team.
  • "I think since my rookie year, the excitement we had in the locker room is something I'll never forget. And what happened on the field I'll never forget. It's what drives me to come here and do good."
    — Minnesota receiver , on coming to Lambeau Field and winning.
  • Tagged: Falcons, Bills, Bears, Bengals, Cowboys, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Giants, Jets, Eagles, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers, Texans, Michael Vick, Jon Kitna, Takeo Spikes, Brett Favre, Vonnie Holliday, Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger, Jason Taylor, Randy Moss, Lawyer Milloy, Donovan McNabb, Kordell Stewart, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jabar Gaffney, Clinton Portis, Anquan Boldin, Carson Palmer, Charles Rogers, Andre Johnson

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