With 9/11 commemoration in the backdrop everywhere, what was the on-field story of Sunday?
Go F--- Yourselves.
"Go F--- Yourselves," Part 1: For its combination of backstory and (if you ask the "experts") improbability, it had to be Cam Newton's record-setting debut, which doubled as one of the great "Go F--- Yourselves" performances in NFL history.
"Go F--- Yourselves," Part 2: Texans wax the Colts, who had been a perennial nemesis. It was cathartic, but unless Houston wins the division, it was superficial. We knew Indy would suck without Peyton Manning, but they got eviscerated. We're one step closer to the league eventually naming the MVP trophy for Peyton Manning. After today, I'm not sure anyone would argue.
"Go F--- Yourselves," Part 3: With every forced turnover, the Ravens gleefully rubbed the Steelers' nose in today's thrashing. It doesn't make up for Baltimore's loss to Pittsburgh in the playoffs last year -- only a 2011 playoff exorcism will make up for that -- but it had to have felt good to give that kind of a beat-down to the reigning conference champs (and division rival).
Checking in on the "Dream Team": 1-0. Should that be all that matters? (How about Michael Vick nearly claiming the "double-triple" -- triple-digits in passing and rushing yards (only a couple end-of-game kneels kept him from cracking 100 rushing).
News from other bandwagons: Wow, the Falcons looked terrible. That's gotta be one of the more vicious SI jinxes (they were the mag's preseason pick to win the Super Bowl) in a while.
QB Matt Stafford: Elite.
RB Ben Tate: Arian who?
WR Steve Smith: He's back!
TE Scott Chandler: Still available?(!)
Dud of the Day: Donovan McNabb. (Runner-up: Chris Johnson)
You have to wonder if...: Jim Harbaugh felt bittersweet about today's win, which may have eliminated the 49ers from contention for Andrew Luck.
Unlikely Hero of the Day: Rex Grossman, who would like a word with the haters.
All in all, more than enough interesting storylines to get things off to a fascinating start.