After months of anticipation, the first week of the 2014 NFL season is finally in the books. From Thursday to Monday football fans were given some of the best games they could have asked for, loaded with big hits, electrifying touchdowns, breakout fantasy stars, and no shortage of drama.
Arguably the best match-up on paper and most anticipated game of week 1, kicked off the season on Thursday night. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks and their Legion of Boom defense, headlined by Earl Thomas, shut down former MVP Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers team in a commanding 36-16 victory. In another thrilling match-up that featured NFC South rivals, Matt Ryan threw for an incredible 448 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Atlanta Falcons to an overtime victory against the New Orleans Saints. 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson was up to his usual tricks as he ruled the backfield in a Minnesota Vikings blowout over the St. Louis Rams. On the west coast, the San Francisco 49ers played a flawless game on both sides of the ball as they beat the Dallas Cowboys 28-17. Young 49ers sensation Colin Kaepernick finished off the game with two passing touchdowns and an impressive 125.5 quarterback rating. In the season’s first Monday night match-up, Detroit’s Calvin “Megatron” Johnson completely dominated the field as he reeled in two touchdown passes from Matt Stafford in a 35-14 romping of the New York Giants.
The AFC also had their fair share of heart-stopping games to set the tone for the 2014 season. In South Florida, Knowshon Moreno helped Miami to a come from behind victory against a heavily favored New England Patriots squad. Although there was no Johnny Football appearance, the Browns versus Steelers match-up was still a must-watch spectacle. Ben Roethlisberger controlled Pittsburgh’s aerial attack with 365 passing yards and led his team to a three-point victory over Cleveland. In a game featuring two of the league’s notoriously stingy defenses, Giovani Bernard and the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens in a 23-16 victory. Some of the games biggest stars aligned in the Mile High City for a Sunday night battle between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. Despite a resilient effort from Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, the legendary Peyton Manning connected with Julius Thomas too many times in the end zone for Indianapolis to complete a comeback. Denver’s MVP quarterback capped off the night with 269 passing yards, three touchdowns, and a quality victory against one of the AFC’s toughest teams.
With just one weekend of the NFL season complete, the competition is just beginning to heat up. As the Seahawks look to defend the Super Bowl title and all other 31 teams vie to steal their crown, each week of NFL match-ups is bound to be more exciting than the last. Be sure to check back for weekly updates and with football’s official return, there is no finer way to celebrate than with a piece from our selection of authentic NFL memorabilia.