NFL's Week 1 results chart course for rest of season! (Or not)

If 2012's Week 1 trends had held up, Adrian Peterson would have been just average, and the Super Bowl might have featured Arizona and the New York Jets.

Denver is unstoppable.

Baltimore is toast.

San Diego chokes. So do Washington and the New York Giants.

Detroit and Kansas City have finally turned the corner.

It's so tempting to look at what happened in Week 1 of the NFL season and extrapolate the way the rest of the fall will unfold. We do it every year, forever forgetting that the snapshot we get in the first couple of weeks of the regular season is almost always deceiving.

Let's look back at some of what we gathered from the first two weeks of the 2012 season, and how our initial impressions weren't always on target:

•Watch out, single-season sack record. Green Bay's Clay Matthews had a combined six sacks in the first two games. (He would have just one more multi-sack game, collecting two against Chicago in Week 9. He finished with 13.)

•In a Week 2 loss to Atlanta, three Peyton Manning passes were picked off in the first quarter. The Denver Broncos overpaid for him, and his decline was going to be sad to watch. (Manning finished the season with 37 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, an AFC-best passer rating of 105.8, and was edged out for most valuable player by Adrian Peterson.)

•Peterson, coming off reconstructive knee surgery, had a decent start to 2012. He had 84 yards against Jacksonville and 60 against Indianapolis. He would have a respectable season. (He ended up nine yards short of breaking the single-season rushing mark, finishing with 2,097.)

•The New York Jets were on fire, setting a franchise record for points in an opener in a 48-28 thumping of Buffalo. Mark Sanchez threw for three touchdowns, and his team also rolled out the "Tebowcat," with Tim Tebow lining up variously at quarterback and receiver, and even recovering an onside kick. (Sanchez finished the season with 13 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Tebow, a non-factor, was shown the door.)

•Chicago opened the season with a 41-21 victory over Indianapolis, intercepting three passes by No. 1 pick Andrew Luck. "The Bears offense is something to be seriously reckoned with," trumpeted one popular website. (Chicago finished 28th in total yards. Indianapolis finished 10th, made the playoffs, and Luck was a finalist for offensive rookie of the year.)

•Arizona beat Seattle in the opener — quarterback Kevin Kolb outplayed Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson — and the Cardinals were off to a great start. They would win their first four games ... and lose 11 of their next 12.

So, after throwing seven touchdown passes in the opener, is Manning off to a record-setting season?

Are the Chargers once again going to be unable to slam the door on teams, despite the regime change in San Diego?

Can Dallas — which beat the Giants in last season's opener, then did so again last Sunday — finally make good on the promise it showed?

We simply don't know, and if we use Week 1 as a road map, we just may wind up in the middle of nowhere.

Watch for...

Five things that have yet to happen:

1. Jay Cutler hasn't been sacked. Cincinnati couldn't get to Chicago's quarterback last Sunday. In his last two full seasons (15 games each), Cutler was sacked 90 times.

2. Jacksonville hasn't scored a touchdown. In their 28-2 home loss to Kansas City in an opener, the Jaguars didn't move the football past the 50 until the fourth quarter.



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