NFL Week 1 Analysis: Cardinals/Seahawks, NFC West, A Potpourri Of The Rest Of The League On 'The Morning After'

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Kevin Kolb #4 and running back Anthony Sherman #35 of the Arizona Cardinals run over to celebrate the final turnover with linebacker Sam Acho #94 (L) during the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Seahawks 20-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bryan Gibberman looks back at Sunday games with the benefit of hindsight.

With the Arizona Cardinals 20-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, the Cards have now won eight of their last nine games decided by seven points or less.

What you saw on Sunday, rinse, lather and repeat if you will be watching Arizona every weekend this fall.

Low scoring, physical football, with a play or two deciding the game.

As Al Pacino told us in Any Given Sunday "Life's a game of inches, so is football. Because in either the game of life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast you don't quite catch it".

The above speech came to my head when the game deciding pass when through Braylon Edwards' finger tips on fourth and goal late in the fourth quarter.

There is going to come a time when the game of inches doesn't fall the Cardinals way as it has in their past 10 games dating back to last season.

Averaging 2.2 yards per carry is not going to cut it.

Turning the ball over twice a game is not going to cut it.

Having two pass interferences penalties to help the Seahawks move down the field on their final drive and almost steal the game is not going to cut it.

Back-up quarterback Kevin Kolb came in and did what made this year's starter John Skelton the favorite for the job.

The Cardinals defense balled out, kept the game close, and Kolb made enough plays on his one drive in relief of the injured Skelton to steal the victory.

Arizona deserves credit for pulling out the win in their season opener against a division rival and a solid football team.

They made Russell Wilson look ordinary after he looked incredible in the preseason. Marshawn Lynch was held to 85 yards on 21 carries. Last year when Lynch had 20 carries or more he rushed for 100 yards six out of eight games.

There are positives to take from the Week 1 victory, but not quite enough positives to get too excited.

Western Hemisphere...A look around the NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

I really need to stop doubting the 49ers as they continually make me look stupid. One of the two most impressive wins during Week 1 defeating the Green Bay Packers 30-22. Alex Smith picked up right where he left off last season going 20-26 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. San Francisco won the turnover battle 1-0 against the Pack.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams fell to the Detroit Lions 27-23 on Matt Stafford's touchdown pass to Kevin Smith with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter. St. Louis gave this game away. They intercepted Stafford three times, one Cortland Finnegan returned for a touchdown, but the other two the Rams were only able to turn into two field goals. When you're playing an offensive powerhouse like Detroit, turnovers need to be turned into seven points. St. Louis' offensive line was brutal allowing three sacks and they only rushed for 2.9 yards per carry.

Extra Points

  1. In the New Orleans Saints last two games they have let up 40 and 36 points. For them to have any chance at winning the NFC South their defense needs to figure something out and quick. New Orleans just struggled against a dual threat quarterback in Robert Griffin III and they have to deal with another one next week in Cam Newton.
  1. Besides the 49ers victory over the Packers the other win that caught my eye the most was the Denver Broncos taking care of the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19. Peyton Manning looked like Peyton Manning. I talked about this when I picked the Broncos over, but Von Miller is going to be a problem. He had two sacks on the final Steelers possession when he knew Ben Roethlisberger was dropping back to pass. It's not fair for opposing teams if Miller is able to pass rush without any threat of the run.
  1. Michael Vick threw 56 passes and LeSean McCoy ran the ball 20 times for the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that never saw either team lead by more than seven. It's an annual tradition for Andy Reid to fall in love with the pass and forget about the run for a couple of games a year. It happened once already and it will probably happen again before the season ends.
  1. A look at the Patriots weapons targets from Tom Brady. Brandon Lloyd eight targets, Aaron Hernandez seven targets, Rob Gronkowski six targets and Wes Welker five targets. This is for the fantasy football readers. It's too early to completely write Welker off, but it's definitely a situation that needs to be monitored. He might be fourth on the totem pole for Brady this season and that's not counting the improved running game featuring Steven Ridley.
  1. My Super Bowl and MVP pick, the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan got off to a terrific start.
  1. Robert Griffin III lived up to the hype outdueling Drew Brees in the Superdome. Griffin looked like the veteran committing no turnovers, while Brees threw two interceptions. Mike Shanahan might have found his workhorse back with Alfred Morris picking up 96 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns. Evan Royster and Roy Helu only had two carries apiece.
  1. The New York Jets scored 34 offensive points against the Buffalo Bills. Kudos to anyone and everyone who made a big deal about the first team offense not scoring a touchdown in the preseason. J E T S JETS JETS JETS (Sorry had to).

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