The 2009 NFL regular season got underway on Sunday, and I'll be completely honest - the fact that I have to wait another day for real Buffalo Bills football was unexpectedly irritating. We're now just a hair over a day away from the Bills' Monday Night Football opener in New England; no matter the outcome, however, the Bills have already gotten a degree of help in the division.
Miami got their season off on the wrong foot, dropping a 19-7 road loss in Atlanta that wasn't as close as the score indicated. Even though the Dolphins accomplished the difficult task of shutting down star RB Michael Turner (22 carries, 65 yards), their offensive struggles kept them from competing. Chad Pennington threw an interception, lost a fumble and was sacked four times, and TE Anthony Fasano lost an additional two fumbles as the Dolphins - so good in turnover ratio a year ago - start the year -4 in that department.
The Jets were everything that new head coach Rex Ryan advertised them as today - tough and aggressive defensively, and tough and creative offensively. Prepare yourselves to hear plenty about rookie QB Mark Sanchez in the next week from media bigwigs, as his NFL debut was impressive. But he will, unfortunately, be made out to be something more than a still-green rookie. Just a heads up. The Jets do, however, have the look of a team that can compete with most any team in the league because of their trench play and their mentality. They're a good football team.
Come tomorrow evening, two AFC East teams will have started their seasons with a win. Time will tell if it's the Patriots or the Bills that join the Jets atop the division.