Rugby World Cup
This Week's Issue
Life of Reilly
SI for Women
CNN/SI - TV
Golf Pro Shop
MLB Gear Store
NFL Gear Store
SI FOR KIDS
Critical first step
NFL's Week 1 separates pretenders from contenders
Posted: Wednesday September 08, 1999 04:57 PM
By John Donovan, CNN/SI
This is what no one wants in Week 1 of the new NFL season. No one wants an opener like Philadelphia had last season, when the Seattle Seahawks came into Veterans Stadium on the first week of the new season and blew out the Eagles, 38-0.
Wrong foot to get off on.
Opening Weekend in the NFL is more than a tone-setting thing. In Week 1, you can pretty much start to see who might be around post-season, and who might be best served to start planning for the ’00 season. Case in point: 1998’s first-game losers included Washington, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago and Carolina. Not a Super Bowl candidate in the bunch.
Here’s one way to look at the importance of Opening Weekend. In Week 1 last year, there were 15 losers. Of those, only four made it to the playoffs.
Here’s another way: Twelve teams make the playoffs every year. Last year, those 12 went 8-4 in their openers. And, of the four playoff-bound teams that lost in Week 1, three lost to a team that eventually made the postseason. The only team that made the playoffs that lost to a non-playoff-bound team in Week 1: Buffalo, which inexplicably dropped a 16-14 decision to San Diego.
What’s it all mean? Well, a win in Week 1 doesn’t guarantee a team a spot in the playoffs, of course. But it sure makes it a lot easier to get there.
On to the inaugural ’99 Glance, which may not have the answer to the burning question in everyone’s mind -- “Has anyone seen the Eagles’ offense?” –- but it does offer up a few other unanswerables:
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.