The Patriots' Stevan Ridley rushed for 125 yards and 1 TD in the Patriot's regular-season opener against the Tenessee Titans at Nashville, TN on Sunday. ESPN Boston photo
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- After a 1-3 preaseason, the 2012 regular season started up for the New England Patriots in Nashville in fine form on Sunday. The Titans led early in this one, getting out to an 3-0 lead before the Patriots came storming back to take a 21-3 halftime lead, capping off their first half with a Brady to Gronkowski TD pass right at the 2 minute warning.
Showing hardly any signs of slowing down, Tom Brady passed for more than 200 yards although he was sacked in the 2nd quarter by Titans DE Kamerion Wimbley, who may or may not have broken Brady's nose [the quarterback was seen with a bandage on his nose in the 2nd half and postgame but it was reportedly gone by Monday afternoon- NANESB!]. Brady completed TD passes to Rob Gronkowsi and Aaron Hernandez in the first half while LB Dont'a Hightower managed to recover a fumble after DE Chandler Jones sacked Titans QB Jake Locker deep in Tennesse's own end and run it back for paydirt.
While the Titans would score thanks to a 29 yard TD pass from Locker to Washington on their first possession of the second half to make it 21-10, that would be as close as they would get as the Patriots began to pull away in the second half after starting on the Titans side of the field and capping off the drive with a Ridley TD to make it 28-10. The Titans and Pats would trade field goals in the 4th and New England goes on to win their season opener by a 34-13 final.
Tom Brady went 23-31 with 236 yards and two TD passes while Ridley rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. This weekend, the Patriots will kick off the 2012 season at Gillette stadium against the Arizona Cardinals. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM ET.
ELSEWHERE IN THE NFL- The season is a little over a week old, with kickoff taking place on September 5th with the New York Giants losing to the Dallas Cowboys by a 24-17 final at E. Rutherford, NJ on September 5th.
Perhaps the most noteworthy was Robert Griffin III's regular-season NFL debut on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Griffin went 19-26 and more than 320 yards at the Superdome in the Big Easy, holding off the Saints by a 40-32 final.
Sunday night also marked Peyton Manning's debut as a Denver Bronco. The high mountain air in Denver apparently did little to slow down the elder Manning brother as he pretty much dismantled the Steelers D going 19-26 with 253 yards as the Broncos cruised to a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh.
Former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell passed away on September 6th at the age of 87. Modell had gained infamy in the late 1990s for moving the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore after a protracted battle with the city of Cleveland over the stadium. The Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999 as an expansion team and ended up in the same division as the Ravens. In 2004, Modell sold most of his share in the Ravens to Maryland businessman Steve Biscotti.
NCAA FOOTBALL- After losing in a 41-32 track meet to the University of Miami Hurricanes at Chestnut Hill over Labor Day weekend, the Eagles played host to the Maine Black Bears.
Despite looking not particularly sharp with some fumbles in the early going and the Black Bears getting out to an early lead, the Eagles cruised to a 34-3 rout of Maine on Saturday. Eagles QB Chase Rettig went 16-32 with 219 yards, 3 TDs and no interceptions. The win beings BC's record to 1-1.
On Saturday, Boston College will travel to Chicago to take on the Northwest Wildcats who are currently undefeated. Kickoff is set for 3:30 ET.
ELSEWHERE IN NCAA FOOTBALL- The UMASS Minutemen made their 'home' debut at Gilette stadium in Foxbourough, MA [on the opposite end of the state from their main Ahmerst, MA campus- NANESB!] against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday.
Indiana quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the 1st with a rushing TD from QB Tre Robertson. Although UMass responded with a sustained drive and rushing TD from quarterback Mike Wegzyn, the point after attempt was no good making it a 7-6 game. That would be as close as the Minutemen got as the Hoosiers rolled to an easy 45-6 over the MAC's newest team- this comes despite Tre Robinson having to be carted off the field early in the second quarter with a broken leg.
The Minutemen have an even steeper challenge before them this Saturday as they travel to the Big House in Ann Arbor to take on Michicgan [If this were a hockey game, I'd give Massachusetts even odds against Michigan- NANESB]- this is the second straight week UMass will face a Big Ten opponent
UCONN HUSKIES- The Huskies now sport a 1-1 record after coming up short in a low-scoring game at East Hartford against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. RB Lyle McCombs scored the Huskies lone touchdown fairly late in the game in the Wolfpack's 10-7 road win. On Saturday the Huskies will head to College Park, MD for their first road game of the season- taking on the Maryland Terrapins at 12:30 PM ET.