NFL Roundtable: Week 1 | Football | CBC Sports

NFL Round TableNFL Roundtable: Week 1

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | 06:19 PM

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Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins stunned the New Orleans Saints in a 40-32 victory in Week 1. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins stunned the New Orleans Saints in a 40-32 victory in Week 1. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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In CBCSports.ca's Week 1 chatter, our guys discuss RG3's spectacular debut, the replacement officials, Peyton Manning's neck, and the impressive way San Francisco manhandled Green Bay.
In CBCSports.ca's Week 1 chatter, our guys discuss RG3's spectacular debut, the replacement officials, Peyton Manning's neck, and the impressive way San Francisco manhandled Green Bay.

Follow our panelists on Twitter: @tcare66 @JasonD79 @iorfida.

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III had a dream start to his career, throwing for 320 yards and 2 TDs in an upset win over the New Orleans Saints. Is a star born in Washington?

Tony Care: I realize we live in an age where overreaction is a common theme but let's step back and put things is the proper perspective. RG3 was spectacular against the Saints, there's no doubt about that. His accuracy, arm strength, composure and athleticism were on full display. However, he was facing one of the worst statistical defences from last year - a unit that appears to be heading on the same course. I want to see Griffin playing at this level against tough defences - like the six meetings he'll have against the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants - before I'm ready to call him a star. I believe he'll become one soon enough. He'll just need to work for it for longer than one game.

Jason Davidson: Looks like the Redskins have something to build on with RG3. He showed a lot of poise at the Superdome but we have to tip our hats to his offensive line as well for giving him time in the pocket. What also impressed me was that he didn't get excessive with regards to running with the football, something he excels at. The Redskins haven't made any noise in the NFL for about five years now and with RG3 under centre, this team has the potential to return to the post-season. Maybe not this season but in the very near future. Let's just hope that one of his primary targets on Sunday, big money off-season free-agent signing Pierre Garcon, isn't out for the long term with a foot injury. X-rays proved negative.

Chris Iorfida: Griffin III looked great and this season may also lead to (another?) re-assessment of Mike Shanahan and his son. They have some clay to work with finally, and they set up the young gun beautifully early with high percentage plays. But it must be said that the defence and special teams also rally helped out the rookie. The next three drives started between the 32 and the 48. That helps a lot. Also, if he continues to succeed, can we call him an All-American quarterback. I'll let others decide if he's handsome, but he's damned articulate and used the term "Debbie Downer" in his post-game remarks. Don't remember the context, and don't much care.

What are your impressions of the replacement referees after Week 1 of the season?

Jason Davidson: Well I don't think Jim Harbaugh is a big fan, that's for sure. I envy these officials taking on such an arduous task but I don't think they are ready to make the calls at this level. For instance, that Randall Cobb punt return TD in the 49ers-Packers game should not have counted. They should not have picked up the flag after Terrell Manning clearly blocked Anthony Dixon in the back. That's the play that stood out for me. That and the extra timeout the Seattle Seahawks got late in their game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Tony Care: Jason touched on the points I wanted to address so I'll be a little more general. The consensus after the Cowboys-Giants opener was that the replacement refs did a good job. What some may not know was that the NFL handpicked the best officials from that pool. With 13 games on Sunday it was inevitable that weaker officials would be taking the field. Sure enough the mistake in the Seattle game stemmed from an official not understanding the rule about automatically charging a team a timeout when a player is injured in the last two minutes of a game. The replacements refs dodged a bullet in both Arizona and Green Bay but I'm sensing a team will get jobbed in due time if things don't get worked out with the regular officials. By the way, the vision of Jim Harbaugh literally frothing at the mouth after a missed call was priceless.

Peyton Manning had a successful debut in Denver as he guided the Broncos to a victory over the always tough Pittsburgh Steelers. Can we finally put to rest any lingering concerns regarding his surgically repaired neck?

Chris Iorfida: No, we can't put questions about Peyton aside. He took one hard shot that I recall early and then the no-huddle, among other things, helped him avoid subsequent hits. Can he no-huddle all season? It was an impressive performance and my gut pick is that he's going to play all or a large percentage of the games this season, but I need a few more games to feel confident in that assessment.

Tony Care: The Steelers banged him around early and Peyton withstood the punishment. I only see him getting stronger from here. He made some great sidelines throws with zip and vintage Manning accuracy. As the Broncos went no-huddle, Manning was in total command of the offence, delivering when his team needed him most. I'd be surprised if you hear any more about Manning's neck issues after Week 2.

Jason Davidson: Former Indianapolis Colts President Bill Polian may very well be eating his words for saying Manning would need half a season to adapt to his new surroundings but he looked strong against a team that likes to blitz often. 19 of 26 for 253 yards, a pair of touchdowns and a 129.2 passer rating. The AFC West is wide open and the Broncos have the best QB in the division, not someone who they hope will manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the fourth quarter, which was the case last season. Another positive for Manning was that despite being sacked twice, he got up each time without difficulty.

The San Francisco 49ers went to Lambeau Field and handed the Green Bay Packers a humbling loss. What was the most impressive part of their win?

Chris Iorfida: Just about everything! It was Dec. 2010 that the Pack stomped the Niners 34-10 at the same venue. I expected the Niners to stop Green Bay's limited run game, even with the addition of Cedric Benson. And I totally perked up the two times I saw Randall Cobb play on TV while he was at Kentucky and was peeved he got picked by the Pack (the offensively rich get richer!). But if Cobb is leading the team in receptions, in my limited football knowledge, that signals to me that the 49ers did as good as can be expected containing Green Bay's other deep threats. Everybody figured San Francisco's defence to be strong again, but of the three levels, it was the secondary that figured to be must under scrutiny.

Jason Davidson: The 49ers showed that they're ready to build on last season's run to the NFC championship game and that they may now consider themselves among the elite. Their defence, as far as I'm concerned, is the best in the entire league. They kept Aaron Rodgers and company in check. On the other side of the ball, they got clutch performances from Alex Smith and Frank Gore. One of Smith's TD passes went to a familiar foe at Lambeau Field, veteran wideout Randy Moss. He was more subdued in his celebration this time around. San Fran also had some luck on its side as well, as David Akers joined the 63-yard field goal club thanks to a fortuitous bounce off the crossbar at the end of the first half.

Tony Care: To me that defensive effort the 49ers displayed was truly awesome. They didn't just stop Green Bay throughout the game, they dominated the most explosive offence in the NFL. San Francisco returned all 11 players from last year and put to rest any doubt about whether this unit could sustain a high level of excellence for more than one year. Aaron Rodgers was never allowed to feel comfortable in the pocket. The 49ers front seven limited the amount of times Rodgers could role out and make one of his pin-point throws. Some have said this defence brings back images of the 2000 Ravens. I don't know about that, but San Fran's unit is a good as I've seen in the last 10 years.

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