Why league shouldn't panic over scoring
September, 15, 2010
The 36.6 points-per-game average in Week 1 (585 points) was the fifth-lowest Week 1 scoring average since 1992, but there is no reason for the league to panic. Defenses are ahead of offenses coming out of training camp and the preseason. Last year, for example, the season started with games averaging 40.6 points per game. In 2007, the first week produced only 38 points a game. The average by the end of that season was 43.4, almost a touchdown a game more than the start. The low-scoring first week produced 11 games decided by seven points or less, a record opening week in that category. Holding penalties in Week 1: Cowboys right tackle Alex Barron can be blamed for a lot of things, but he can't be blamed for the increased number of holding penalties. With the umpire now in the offensive backfield, umpires called 43 holding penalties in Week 1. The 2.69 per-game figure tops the 1.84 number called by umpires last season. Barron was called for three holding penalties in Sunday's 13-7 loss to the Redskins, including one that cost Dallas a TD that could have won the game. Packers' short-handed defense: For those in Philadelphia trying to create a quarterback controversy, it should be noted the Packers had only four active defensive linemen during Sunday's win over the Eagles and one, Justin Harrell, suffered a knee injury during the game and subsequently lost for the season, leaving them three linemen to chase Michael Vick in the second half. The Packers operated their defense in a nickel package that featured only two defensive linemen most of the game. After the Packers built a big lead, Vick replaced an injured Kevin Kolb and ran around making play after play. The surviving Packers defensive linemen were exhausted by the end of the game, which gave Vick more chances to make plays. Look for Vick: You'd have to figure Vick should get the start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday even though Andy Reid still has Kevin Kolb as the starter. Kolb won't be cleared to practice until Friday. With only three NFL starts, Kolb isn't experienced enough to go through a week without much practice and run an offense. What makes it even more difficult is that he hasn't generated a touchdown drive in the preseason or the regular season as the quarterback. If Vick runs the first team all week, he has the best chance to play.