Around the NFL: Week 1 Keys, Quotes

We review the first week of the NFL season, beginning by going back to Thursday at Lambeau Field, where the Packers beat the Saints behind a dazzling debut by Randall Cobb.


Key: As much as Aaron Rodgers was unstoppable throwing the football at the start of the game with touchdowns in each of the Packers' first three series, dynamic rookie Randall Cobb was as big of a difference maker. Cobb had an impressive 32-yard catch-and-run touchdown to put Green Bay ahead 21-7 late in the first quarter. The versatile second-round draft pick later tied an NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to give the Packers some breathing room at 35-20 in the third quarter.

Saints said: "It's a little bit of a cat-and-mouse game. We got to him early (with pressure), but he's got a quick release, and he's got a handful of targets, obviously, starting with the tight ends and receivers. He's probably one of the top quarterbacks in our league under pressure." - Sean Payton, coach on Rodgers

Packers said: "You've got to be excited about Randall (Cobb). He's shown that from the first day of training camp, his ability. ... When other players talk about a player having a chance to be special, he is one of those guys." -- Coach Mike McCarthy.


Key: Chicago's defense set the tone, pressuring Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan with five sacks and forcing three turnovers. But what made all that matter was that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, beginning his second year in the Mike Martz offense, was efficient and the offensive line held up well. The Bears scored points on five of their first seven possessions, forcing the Falcons away from their ground game.

Falcons said: "We had three costly turnovers, one of them returned for a touchdown. It's not the way we wanted to start, but it's just the start of the season." -- Coach Mike Smith.

Bears said: "We talk a lot about taking the ball away. It's not a good defensive game for us unless we can take the ball away. They weren't turning it over. We were taking it away, and we just have to keep that going." -- Coach Lovie Smith.


Key: Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played like a No. 1 overall pick. After missing much of 2010, Stafford passed for 305 yards and three touchdowns, including scoring strikes to Calvin Johnson of 36- and 1-yard.

Lions said: "The guys up front did a good job keeping me clean all day. When they do that, the sky is the limit for this offense. We have so much talent on the field. We can spread teams out or condense them down on the ball." - QB Matthew Stafford

Bucs said: "He's a quarterback who can read and make all the throws. Especially having Calvin Johnson outside gives him a nice little boost." - LB Geno Hayes


Key: Chargers coach Norv Turner said Mike Scifres sticks mostly to punting in practice and his field-goal range was an unknown until he booted a few at halftime. The 40-yarder he made Sunday was his limit, Turner said. The Chargers signed Scifres to a $20 million contract extension last week. "He earned every bit of the money he got," Tolbert said.

Chargers said: "My faithful Twitter followers, they brought it to my attention. I was like, 'I just don't believe that.' I didn't believe it. So we came in the meeting room the next day, and coach played the clip. He didn't even tell us he was going to play it. I was like, '200 and a W, huh?' Come on man, that's the greatest disrespect you can put to our defense. Great disrespect. That's how we felt. We felt really disrespected. That's why we had such attention to detail. I know I got some dogs in front and they went hunting today." Linebacker Takeo Spikes on Vikings RB Adrian Peterson predicting he would rush for 200 yards.

Vikings said: "Big plays are fun to make and we'd be sitting here laughing about it, but instead we're going to talk about how we didn't do enough to win." -- Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.


Key: The Texans exploited the absence of Colts QB Peyton Manning, nearly blanking the visiting Colts, 34-7. While the new-look Texans defense shut out the Colts for the first three quarters, the offense helped set a franchise record with 34 first-half points.

Texans said: "They put two balls on the ground, and we really rallied to the ball and turned those into touchdowns." -- Coach Gary Kubiak.

Colts said: "I think today was just a performance issue. They out-executed us, plain and simple. I think our guys turned it around and got some momentum in the second half, but not nearly enough. We just never got on track." -- Coach Jim Caldwell.


Key: The Bills' defense shut down the Chiefs' running game. They allowed just 108 rushing yards in the game and only 28 yards in the second half, bottling up RBs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Charles had a 22-yard run, and RB Dexter McCluster had a 23-yard gain. The rest of the time the Bills controlled the line of scrimmage and the offense hummed as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tossed four touchdown passes.

Chiefs said: "They wanted it more than we did; it's as simple as that. That's how they came out and played and we didn't rise up and match their intensity. They deserved to win. We didn't." -- DE Wallace Gilberry.

Bills said: "I think our guys are taking a lot of pride in being a good run defense right now. We've emphasized it, we've made a big deal about it and I thought we went out there and played good run defense today." -- Coach Chan Gailey.


Key: The Eagles rescued two scoring drives with long third-down conversions and finished the game with eight third-down conversions in 11 attempts. QB Mike Vick was dangerous as a runner and passer, totaling 285 yards (98 rushing) and escaping numerous sacks.

Eagles said: "As the game went on, it looked like we were getting better ... We weren't taking steps back, we were taking steps forward." -- Eagles coach Andy Reid

Rams said: "You don't sulk and feel bad for yourself. You change it with hard work during the week." -- Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis.


Key: The Ravens held Pittsburgh's aggressive defense without a takeaway, making Baltimore's turnover ratio a robust plus-7 after one game. Their turnover ratio for the entire 2010 season was plus-7.

Ravens said: "We know it's Week One, it's not the playoffs, but that playoff taste (from last year), now that's over. Now, the playoff taste is through." -- RB Ray Rice

Steelers said: "It's incredibly humbling, which, obviously, we needed at this point. It'll be interesting to see how we persevere." -- Troy Polamalu, safety


KEY: Bengals RB Cedric Benson usually has his way with the Browns and he did again Sunday, rushing for 121 yards on 25 carries and preventing QBs Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski from having to carry the offense.

Browns said: "The mistakes fall on everybody. I made a lot of mistakes and those need to be accounted for." - Running back Peyton Hillis

Bengals said: "We got to the line and snapped the ball pretty quickly." - Bengals quarterback Bruce Gradkowski on the winning touchdown pass.


Key: The game featured two of the top running backs in the league in Tennessee's Chris Johnson and Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew. Johnson was limited to just 24 yards on nine carries and didn't carry the ball at all in the second and third quarters. Jones-Drew averaged better than 4 yards per carry with 97 total yards on 24 attempts.

Titans said: "There's nothing typical about Jones-Drew. He's a hard guy to tackle who runs down hill, a low center of gravity. He's just a guy you have to gang-tackle, it's hard to get him down one-on-one." -- CB Jason McCourty

Jaguars said: "I think our D-line did a great job. We controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game and that's what allowed us to play well against the run." LB Paul Posluszny.


Key: Despite allowing 422 passing yards to rookie quarterback Cam Newton, the Cardinals' defense rose to the occasion late in the fourth quarter when Newton had the Panthers deep in Arizona territory. The Cardinals got a good pass rush on Newton during three pass attempts that fell incomplete and then linebacker Paris Lennon made a huge tackle to bring down running back Mike Goodson after he caught a 4-yard pass, one yard shy of a first down at the Arizona 2.

Cardinals said: "Everybody is excited. It was a hard-fought battle. We were down 21-14 and everybody made sure they stayed together and believed we could still win. All we had to do was go out there on defense and get a couple stops. The punt return from Patrick Peterson was huge. Before the game I told him, 'Man, you have to get me one.' He said, 'I'll get you one.' He made that play and it was huge." - Defensive end Calais Campbell on the emotions in the locker room after the victory.

Panthers said: "We were half a yard short, unfortunately. It was a well-designed, well-called play. If Goodson can make that little move there and get inside, he has a good chance to score a touchdown or at worst, have a chance to get a first down. Again, it was a terrific tackle. You have to give their linebacker credit for making a play because Goodson is an elusive football player with a tremendous amount of burst and speed." - Panthers head coach Ron Rivera on Mike Goodson's 4-yard reception and subsequent tackle by Arizona's Paris Lenon on fourth down at the Cardinals' 2-yard line.


Key: In what was a typically tight game between the rivals until Jabar Gaffney's 4-yard touchdown catch with 5:04 remaining, the Giants were just 1-of-10 on third downs, including 0-for-6 in the second half.

Redskins said: "I know it means so much to Rex (Grossman). He deserved to play so well today. I'm so happy for him." -- TE Chris Cooley.

Giants said: "You seen who was out there. We don't have our whole team. In the end, it didn't matter. They played better than us. They beat us." -- RB Ahmad Bradshaw.


Key: Ted Ginn's special teams play -- he scored two return touchdowns in the span of 59 seconds in the fourth quarter. It was the first time in 49ers history that they've had touchdowns on a kickoff and punt return in the same game.

Seahawks said: "We made enough mistakes to give away a football game. And we did." -- Coach Pete Carroll.

49ers said: "They always say you want to do it on the offense on the defensive side (to win games) but to do it for special teams, it's always great." -- Ted Ginn

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