Week 1: Studs & Duds
Drew Brees: Brees was sensational in 2008. He apparently didn't lose his mojo during the offseason. Brees tied a Saints record with six touchdown passes and threw for 358 yards as New Orleans beat the Lions 45-27. Two of Brees' touchdown passes went to Jeremy Shockey, who hadn't scored since being traded from the New York Giants to New Orleans last season.
Adrian Peterson: All eyes were on Brett Favre, but Peterson ended up playing the starring role in Minnesota's 34-20 victory at Cleveland. Despite being held to 25 rushing yards in the first half, Peterson finished with 180 yards on 25 carries. Peterson scored on a pair of 1-yard plunges and capped his day with an electrifying 64-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Tony Romo: Romo threw for a career-high 353 yards and three long touchdowns Sunday, helping the Cowboys begin the post-Terrell Owens era with a 34-21 victory at Tampa Bay. Romo's day was highlighted by an 80-yard TD pass to Patrick Crayton in the fourth quarter. It was the longest pass play of Romo's career.
The Jets' defense: It appears head coach Rex Ryan is already working wonders with the Jets' D. In their first game under Ryan, the former Ravens defensive coordinator, the Jets limited Houston's high-powered offense to 183 total yards in a 24-7 victory. Houston's offense moved past midfield just once in the first three quarters. Steve Slaton was held to 17 yards rushing and Andre Johnson had just 35 yards receiving.
The Colts' defense: The Colts spent much of the offseason trying to fix their defense. It appears they've made significant gains. Playing without hard-hitting safety Bob Sanders, the Colts made two critical fourth-quarter stops (one on a two-point conversion, the other on a late drive) to preserve a 14-12 victory over the Jaguars. Indy held Jacksonville QB David Garrard to 122 yards passing.
Jake Delhomme: Dreadful. Humiliating. Forgettable. Delhomme's Week 1 performance was all three. Playing his first meaningful game since committing six turnovers against Arizona in last season's playoffs, Delhomme committed five turnovers in Carolina's 38-10 loss to the Eagles. Delhomme was 7-for-17 for 73 yards with four interceptions and a lost fumble before being benched in the third quarter.
Larry Johnson: Running backs generally have a tough time against the Ravens' defense. Johnson, the last player to run for 100 yards against the Ravens (December 2006), was no exception on Sunday. Johnson finished with 20 yards on 11 carries in Kansas City's 38-24 loss. The Chiefs rushed for only 29 yards total.
Jay Cutler: Cutler nearly fumbled his first snap Sunday night. His Bears regular-season debut didn't get much better after that. Cutler threw for 277 yards, but he also had a career-high four interceptions in Chicago's 21-15 loss at Green Bay.
The Dolphins' offense: Miami, which gave the ball away an NFL-low 13 times in 2008, committed four turnovers and didn't score until late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 19-7 loss in Atlanta. Dolphins QB Chad Pennington (176 yards passing) had an interception and a fumble, and tight end Anthony Fasano had two fumbles.
The Buccaneers' defense: For years, defense was a source of pride for the Bucs. On Sunday, the defense's play was a glaring sore spot. The Bucs surrendered 462 yards (344 passing, 118 rushing) of offense to the Cowboys, including touchdown passes of 80, 66 and 42 yards.