Four biggest improvements in NFL Week 1
So do you still think that Eva Longoria is a distraction for Mark Sanchez?
Jets 48, Bills 28. Pat yourself on the back if you saw that one coming because you’re in a class of one.
An offense that was 25th overall last season (and 21st in passing) showed it can move the chains and taught us once again that what happens in exhibitions (three-plus games without a TD) is worthless.
On an ultimate sugar high, Jets backers are on their team this Sunday at Pittsburgh (-6.5) by a healthy margin in early wagering. The Jets have now won two in a row, beating both the Bills and taking the New York newspaper tabloid back pages away from the Giants.
Here are three other teams who showed major improvements from last year in Week 1:
Joe Flacco has been saying all winter that he’s one of the best QBs in the league. After Monday’s 44-13 slapdown of the schizophrenic Bengals, we can stop snickering for at least a week.
The Ravens offense can’t hang with the Green Bay and New England, but if Baltimore can move from the middle of the pack (15th last year) into the top third, it will take pressure off an aging defense.
Early bettors have flocked to the Ravens, who actually get a point when they take on the Eagles in Philadelphia Sunday.
Dallas could always get after the quarterback and the win over the Giants Thursday showed how improved their secondary is compared to last year, when they hemorrhaged big plays at the worst possible moments. The cornerback tandem of high-priced Brandon Carr and rookie Morris Claiborne proved to be worth all the offseason effort.
There are a few caution signals – safety Gerald Sensabaugh is hurting (concussion symptoms) and D-lineman Jay Ratliff is banged up. But early bettors are undeterred. Money is flooding in on the Boys, who give three points at Seattle Sunday.
New England’s defense
Something had to be done after your crappy (31st overall) defense costs you a Super Bowl for the second time in five years. So Bill Belichick basically spent a ton of draft picks, moved up in the first round and grabbed studs DE Chandler Jones and LB Don’t’a Hightower. Both of them, plus rookie DB Tavon Wilson, had impacts in the Pats’ domination of the Titans in Week 1.
An improved defense is a frightening thought for an AFC in which traditional powers are getting older (Baltimore, Pittsburgh) or are in transition (Indianapolis). The Pats give 13.5 big ones to Arizona in Foxboro Sunday and most bettors think that’s not enough.