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NFL Week 1 Fallout

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Here we are at the end of Week 1 of the NFL season, and we learned several things.

Things learned the first: special teams are essential to win the game.

In the Denver-Buffalo game with 14 seconds left in regulation and no times out left, the Broncos offense rushed off the field and the kicking unit came in. By the time the holder got the ball, there was only one second left in the game. Bronco kicker Jason Elam erased his past two transgressions (missed field goals) to kick the game winning 42-yard field goal. There was no margin of error for the Broncos, and because of the perfect execution the Broncos won the game 15-14.

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That was the good, here’s the ugly. In the Philadelphia-Green Bay game, the Eagles had two fumbled punt returns: one in the first quarter that was recovered in the end zone for a Packer touchdown, and one with less than a minute remaining in the game that set up the game winning field goal for the Packers. Those two fumbles cost the Eagles the game 16-13.

Things learned the second: make sure you are fundamentally sound.

Everyone knows football is a violent sport. Despite all the precautions taken to keep players safe, the nature of the sport causes many injuries. None were more severe this week than the injury to Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett.

On the second half opening kick off, Everett made a helmet-to-helmet tackle of Denver’s Domenik Hixon. Everett fell to the ground unable to move. After being taken to the emergency room it was confirmed he suffered a fractured dislocation of the cervical spine. Basically his neck broke.

I haven’t seen the hit nor do I want to see it, so I can’t say for sure if he meant to tackle head first. But one of the first lessons of Tackling 101 is always lead with your shoulders not your head. Nevertheless it’s still very sad, and I hope he makes a full recovery.

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But there was a whole rash of injuries in Week 1 of the season. Taking a look at this injury list, and it’s just shocking the number of injuries incurred. I don’t know what to account it to, but let’s hope it’s not this bad this season.