Hey guys...guess what? MMCNY is back! Its been awhile. You all are looking great. We should get together and do lunch.
Prior to the game (and season!) starting, I said to Cotter that we couldn't afford to start slow. One Roethlisberger pick, one slacking defense and the season already would have been in trouble. I wanted to see an efficient offense, a steady O-line and smothering defense early and often. On the whole (tee hee), I was thoroughly impressed.
No one made the mistake, other than Matt Schaub and his fellow Texans.
I'm wicked hoarse, mostly from the sick atmosphere at Texas Arizona, so I'll be coming at you with my quiet-time voice. I predicted a 35-14 win, but Doug went ahead and hit the nail on the head with the appropriate 38-17 prediction less than an hour before the game started! Can I get some lottery numbers, man?
So, I'm glad MMCNY is back (here's the ratings breakdown, if you're new to the concept). It'll shift the MPotD til later in the day following Steelers games, but you'll adjust. Let's dive in:
Ben. Yes. That is how you open the season. In only 3/4 of the game, Roethlisberger put up pre-'07-type numbers. 13-14 for 137 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 147! He didn't force the ball anywhere, really, and was methodical with completion after completion. The Texans didn't want to get beat deep, so Ben took what was given...which is a good sign this early in the season. I felt pretty comfortable with all of Ben's passes, and he didn't let me down at all. A perfect 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets for the Large one.
Byron. Didn't do anything to ease my mind about the lack of Chuck Batch on the sidelines, but he also didn't make any massive mistakes. He handed off a bunch, which is easy to do with a huge lead, but went 0-4 when asked to chuck the rock. And he was chucking it. 2 of 5 motorcycle helmets, but to be fair, he wasn't expected to really do anything.
Willie. Yes. That is how you...pad my fantasy stats. Bill validated my first-round selection of the once-allergic-to-touchdowns-Parker. He continued his recent streak of huge opening-day games, topping 100 yards for the fourth straight season debut. At some point in our preview show or outtakes, we pleaded to Bill for a score. Trading a few fumbles a year for several more touchdowns will vault Willie from a decent, 1,200-yard back to a possible All-Pro. He's really that good. One helmet for each touchdown, one for going over 100 yards and another for not fumbling, and Fast Bill collects 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets in the opener.
D. They're going to get another perfect...so, um...spoiler alert? Silverback proved last year was no fluke as he played like he was on meth again. 3 sacks!? Yikes. The man is a force, and coupled with LaMarr Woodley, provides a formidable challenge to opposing offenses. Wood got in on the sack fest, Farrior pitched in, Nick Eason played a surprisingly good game, and Troy was flying around like pre-injuries Troy. 5 of 5 helmets.
Hines. Looked young all game. Even with the move to a younger WR corps, Hines showed why he still Hines Ward and should be respected as such. Those two touchdowns were critical, and really buried the Texans earlier than they probably expected. 4 of 5 helmets for the 76 yards.
San Antonio. Not really a great game, but someone is going to suffer when everyone else is killing it. I woulda liked a few more catches, but I guess he did as much as he could with what he was given. Only two catches, but a 9.5 yard average, and he converted a big third down. 3 of 5 helmets, and I expect a bigger game in the near future.
Fresh meat next week in the Cleveland Browns. Don't call me, I'll call you.