Week 1 of the NFL is basically behind us, and if it's an example of things to come, then expect a ton of high scoring affairs. Outside of the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins (each scored 10), no team scored below 13 while the 20 point barrier was crossed by 19 different squads. This is great news if you are a fan of action, or fantasy football, and bad news if you are a fan of beat them up, grind it out, low scoring games.
Between the tightening of the rules on defenses and the replacement refs, expect the trend of high scoring games to continue onto the next few weeks before injuries and defenses catch up to these high fliers.
Below are a few of the more notable events from this weekend followed by a look ahead at the upcoming week of sports.
Brand New Team, Same Old Peyton Manning.
Peyton Manning took the field on Sunday night for meaningful snaps for the first time in over a year and after a rough first quarter, he looked like the Hall of Fame guy he's going to be. Greatness trumps all and whether he's wearing a Broncos jersey or a Colts one, the older Manning brother is simply great. Overall, Manning and his Broncos looked solid in besting a Steelers team beat up by injuries, and it looks like Denver is definitely in contention in the AFC West.
Arkansas Razorbacks Gets Spanked
One of the biggest early season games in college football this year was supposed to be the upcoming Alabama/Arkansas game this weekend. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks screwed the pooch on that by stunningly losing 34-31 in overtime to Louisiana-Monroe. The loss not only dropped Arkansas from the top 10 in the polls, it dropped them completely out of the top 25, making their fall the second biggest ever in college football history. Michigan owns that dubious record when they started No. 5 in 2007 only to lose to Appalachian State in week 1, dropping them out.
Serena Williams OWNS The U.S. Open…and Women's Tennis
Serena Williams, perhaps the best known female athlete in the world, won her fourth US Open on Sunday to continue a recent run of dominance that has the tennis world on it's heals. Back in late May, Serena suffered her only first-round exit in 49 career major tournaments. Since then, she has went 26-1, winning Wimbledon, the London Olympics and now the US Open.
Replacement Refs Survive Sunday…Barely.
One week into the replacement ref era of the NFL and it's vastly clear that the NFL needs to get its regulars back on the field. While there were no 'OMG' ref moments that stole headlines from the games, there was enough head slapping calls that could have been avoided. Between giving the Seattle Seahawks an extra timeout, clearly missing calls and not being aware of some of the simpler rules, there were enough negatives here that the league needs to get a deal done pronto with the regulars. Teams have enough of a headache to deal with on-game day without worrying about how bad the officiating is going to be.
Oh, wait, they probably do that anyway.
(NFL) Cincinnatti Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (Monday 7 pm ESPN)
With the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns both losing on Sunday, the winner of this game will have sole, early possession of the AFC North. A win here for the Bengals would go a large way in showing that their 2011 season was legit.
(NFL) San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (Monday 10:15 pm ESPN)
The Denver Broncos set the bar for the AFC West with their win on Sunday night; now it's up to one of these two teams to step up and show they can keep pace. Both the Raiders and Chargers have the talent to make noise in the AFC, so this game is sure to be a slobberknocker.
(MLB) New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox (Wednesday, 7 pm ESPN)
The Boston Red Sox may be having a disappointing season but that still doesn't take away from the bitterness of this rivalry with the New York Yankees. When these two teams clash, everyone steps up and takes notice.
(NFL) Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (Thursday, 8:20 pm NFL Network)
After winning the Super Bowl and then having a dominant 2011 season, the Green Bay Packers now find themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to prove themselves after a week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In the loss, their team looked decidedly one dimensional and if they are going to buck that label, then it needs to start with the Chicago Bears. Of course, that's easier said than done.
(NCAAFB) No. 20 Notre Dame at No. 10 Michigan State (Saturday, 8 pm abc)
Notre Dame is looking to do anything to make it back into national prominence and into the BCS talk. They practically reek of desperation on the topic! If they are to be taken seriously, then they need to win the tough games. This Saturday night affair against Michigan State is exactly the type of win they need.
(NFL) NY Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 4:25 pm)
The Jets offense came alive in week 1 after looking dismal all preseason. However, that was against the Buffalo Bills. This week, the circus show will get a better test as they face a seriously cheesed Steelers team looking to rebound from a disappointing week 1.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.