The New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints, the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers all lost their opening games of the 2012 NFL Season. It doesn’t really matter, because the last five different teams to win the Super Bowl opened with a loss.
By that logic, the Panthers, Rams, Bills, Dolphins, Bengals, Browns, Titans, Colts, Jags, Chiefs and Raiders are all still in the picture, but we are trying to be serious here. The Giants are the Super Bowl champions and were a couple of Victor Cruz dropped passes away from beating the Cowboys. The Packers need to find a running game; The Seahawks need their quarterback to stop playing like a rookie, while the Steelers and the Saints have protection problems. But all of them have playoff aspirations and more than that, far from shutdown because of an opening loss.
The Giants won the Super Bowl last year, but started the year with one of their two losses to the Washington Redskins, losing 14-28 in FedEx field to a team that finished last in the NFC East. It’s not about getting hot; It’s about getting hot at the right time. This year, they suffered from another NFC East opponent, losing at home to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Green Bay Packers showed the same kind of problems they had against the New York Giants in the playoffs last year – No running game and a suspect defense, allowing Frank Gore to chew up yardage and the clock while hardly disrupting Alex Smith, while the defense held up Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to only 45 yards on the ground.
The New Orelans Saints lost at home as well, experiencing the latest rookie sensation phenomenon known as RG III, while Drew Brees couldn’t get decent looks above the outstretched arms of the excellent Redskins defensive line, who was in Bress’ face and passing lanes all night.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had the same problem they had last season – protecting Ben Roethlisberger, who was sacked five times in the Steelers’ 31-19 loss in Denver to the comeback kid Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
The Indianapolis Colts? Andrew Luck didn’t have the kind of debut RG3 was having, but there’s plenty to believe in. Just not this season, and probably not the next one as well.