Last Thursday seems eons ago.
While it wasn't, the gap between one game being on, and fourteen is colossal.
Even with my sometimes subtle, sometimes not, Bills fan biased lens, I can see that yesterday, Sunday, was the true opener for the National Football League.
God damnit, I can't help it...no one circles those Week 1, in the Super Bowl Champ's House, as they lower a banner, and we proceed to smack the silicone out of that plastic fan base quite like the Buffalo Bills.
That will be the only chance I get at celebrating my team's Week 1 accomplishment. Week 1 only happens...well, it only happens once.
By now you know The Encyclopedia is a regimented individual. Greatness is rarely spawned spontaneously. I'd love to say I fall into that impromptu category of success. But I don't.
I typically have the foundation of what I'm planning on writing about by Thursday, this week was no different.
But then Week 1 happened, and I had to call an audible.
When there are numbers on the board, the numbers don't lie. Again, I'm not a math guy, but this is the only opportunity for the entirety of the NFL season to discuss each team's new beginnings...for better, or for worse.
Bears 19 - 49ers 10
I'm partial to the Chicago Bears. First off, they have the nicest uniforms in the NFC, some of which you can find, here. Secondly, Chicago is a beautiful city, and plays character to my favorite childhood movies, all of which were directed by the late great John Hughes. The Bears deserve a winner, and if they can't get their hands on a Super Bowl, Division Title, or Wild Card Birth, at least they'll always have Week 1 of the 2022 season.
There is no making sense of the Kyle Shanahan 49ers. Between his fox racing flat brims, and his inability to win when it truly, really matters, San Fran is destined for a 9-8 or 10-7 regular season. They need a steady quarterback that can make plays...just like every single team in the league.
Steelers 23 - Bengals 20
This game wasn't drunk, it was smoking Delta-10 while listening to a Joe Rogan podcast about UFO's and other-world galaxies.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football organization. You will have to kill them, and then double tab, two to the head, one to the sternum to ensure they're deceased.
And even then...the black air force ones will resurrect this team.
As for the Bengals. Call it a Super Bowl hangover if you want, but they look lethargic.
It'll be difficult for Cinci to make the playoffs with 5 turnovers a game. They should pay heed to the fact they're the Bengals, and not the reality that they won the AFC last year. Stay Humble.
Colts 20 - Texans 20
The AFC South is not real. It exists in a vacuum. I haven't hit the aforementioned Delta-10, but this division, never ceases to amaze, or should I say disappoint.
This game meant nothing. Indianapolis and Houston will amount to diddly-poo come the postseason...a hard truth in a contest that couldn't be determined.
Saints 27 - Falcons 20
Jameis is back. New Orleans overcame a 16-point 4th quarter deficit to eat a dub. They deserved this win. There's something about the NFC South and playing inside a dome that suits chaos. Who Dat? No one knows. This team could win the division, or end up 6-11, losing 3-4 games by 1 score or less.
Kyle Shanahan was mentioned earlier, if you watch sports you know what I'm getting at. Thankfully for the Georgia faithful the Braves won the World Series last year, and those Dawgs bout to get another Natty.
Eagles 38 - Lions 35
The NFC East is typically not clean. However, the Philadelphia Eagles could be an outlier. With a quarterback that has a proven track record of winning, and a loaded roster, the sky's the limit, and the birds could fly high.
America's lovable underdog, Ford Field was rocking early and often yesterday. There was a single, solitary issue...closing out a winnable game. It's not a Dan Campbell thing, it's not a players' thing, we are teetering on a, it's a cursed thing...we're pulling for you Detroit.
Patriots 7 - Dolphins 20
The Mike McDaniel era in Miami is up and running. In a week full of unknowns, the AFC East is crystal clear, the fish are the second best team in the division. It was also cool seeing Frank do the Waddle in Hard Rock Stadium.
The Pats are broken, and it pleases me. I spent nearly half my life watching them dominate my team. I have no sympathy for the hoody and his "offensive coordinator."
Ravens 24 - Jets 9
If Lamar is gonna throw for 3 touchdowns, and scramble whenever he wants, Baltimore will surely be in the mix when the weather turns. The Ravens only suffer serious injury woes though, no Raven has ever just sprained their ankle. Ja’Wuan James tore his achilles, and Kyle Fuller's knee injury was so horrible, CBS wouldn't show the replay.
When Zach Wilson had knee surgery, the Jets flight was delayed once again. But lets be honest, even if Wilson was playing for the green team from New Jersey, they weren't gonna take off this year.
Giants 21 - Titans 20
The blue team from New Jersey faired well better than their MetLife co-tenants. Viewing Brian Daboll scheme up some exotic play calls for Danny Jones & Saquon Barkley gave me tremendous pride. Like when your little brother can finally make a shot on a 10 foot hoop, or when your little sister figured out how to ride a 2 wheeler.
Dear Titans fans, your uniforms are horrific, it's delightful to see you lose. It's not personal...it's just business, and also personal.
Jaguars 22 - Commanders 28
As stated earlier, the NFC East is indecent. The division functions like the noon Big-10 game on steroids. You turn on the TV and Purdue has punted to Indiana 15 times in a thrilling 9-3 no touchdown game. At one point the Commies held a 14-12 lead, then Jacksonville went up 15-14...these two teams are hilarious.
The only thing funnier than the NFC East itself, was this NFC East vs. AFC South matchup.
Browns 26 - Panthers 24
People forget, the Browns have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. When a blunt force object meets a very movable object in Carolina, typically the blunt force one comes out on top.
The revenge game didn't happen for Baker. Using the eye test, he looks like a mediocre quarterback on a mediocre team.
Chiefs 44 - Cardinals 21
Speaking of Oklahoma QB's, I'm not sure how much money the Cardinals gave Kyler Murray, but they may want to try and recoup some of those funds. The Chiefs are a wagon. I was really hoping they wouldn't be with Hill in Miami, but as long as they have 15 under center, or in shot gun, or in any formation he wants, they're elite.
Packers 7 - Vikings 23
I roasted Kirk Cousins a couple weeks ago due to his average play, and grilling techniques. However, the purple people eaters feasted on the cheese-heads yesterday. Minnesota has weapons all over the field, and U.S. Bank Stadium looks awesome.
Za'Darius Smith owning number 12 was a microcosm of this game. Rodgers staring into the eyes of his former teammates', that he desperately needed on his side this year.
Raiders 19 - Chargers 24
The second game at SoFi stadium this week saw two frisky AFC West teams go to battle. Neither one of these teams play non-entertaining games. Kansas City may be the cream of the crop in this division, but these two teams are no slouches themselves.
If Derek Carr and their defense can raise their level ever so slightly, the Raiders could make some postseason noise.
Bucs 19 - Cowboys 3
Year 23 for TB12. This guy just doesn't stop, he is relentless. As I've said before, after being haunted by him for two decades, it's nice to see him outside of the AFC East.
The Cowboys are a dumpster fire, but how can't you feel for Dak Prescott? Just because someone is rich and famous doesn't mean they're undeserving of empathy.
Broncos 24 - Seahawks 13
That's 30 teams covered, and two more to go. They'll kick-off tonight as Russell Wilson returns to Lumen Field on the other side of the ball. The majority of the country will be rooting for Seattle, but the Broncos will have too much to offer, and ultimately the superior quarterback.
The bye weeks don't start until Week 6, so this won't be the last time all 32 teams play in one week, but again, it's the first.
For some there are dreams to dream, and hopes to hope. For others there is only misery and darkness.
Like most fans, I've experienced both...this year I'm counting on the dreams to turn into a reality...for one team, one time.