It's a new season, and it's time for my thoughts about what I saw in Week 1 from around the National Football League.
* As the old saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." This statement pretty much describes the New England Patriots to a "T". Tom Brady and Bill Belichick carved up the Titans on Sunday and proved that they're still at the top of the pack (even against a young team like Tennessee) and Oakland giving away yards like a neighbor gives out candy by the handful to kids on Halloween. While Brady went 23 of 31 for 236 yds and two scores, the offensive firepower surrounding no.12 proved to be too much for the Titans' D to handle: TE's Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Henandez combined for 119 yards over 12 catches, Brandon Lloyd made an impressionable appearance with 5 touches and 69 yards and Stevan Ridley had a monster afternoon, racking up 21 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. In short: this is the Patriots team we all remember.
*As good as the Pats looked beating up a relatively young Tennessee Titans football team, Joe Flacco, the new no-huddle offense, and Baltimore's ever-terrific defense looked downright scary against the Bengals, who, coming off making a post-season appearance last year, just didn't stand a chance on Monday night. For months, Baltimore's been pounding home the opinion that Flacco is a top-tier quarterback, in the same breath as Eli, Brees, Rodgers and Brady. Personally, I don't think he's there quite yet, but Monday night's did impress greatly: 21 of 29 passing, 299 yds, and two TD's, all with their hyped no-huddle offense. Along with their always sturdy Defense, the Ravens, along with the Texans, well be the teams to beat in the AFC.