"This certainly hasn't been the start we'd envisioned," said coach Rod Marinelli
regarding Detroit's five previous losses. "but this win is the beginning of a whole new season. As far as I'm concerned, we're 1-0 and starting fresh. Seriously, can we do that? That would be awesome if someone could go in and tinker with the standings."
Panthers 23, Ravens 21
could only watch from the sidelines as his team dropped a second straight game. The Baltimore quarterback suffered a concussion in the first quarter, allowing the Ravens to blame back up Kyle Boller
for the loss. "If we'd had McNair and his 67.0 QB rating in there, we might have had a shot," grumbled linebacker Ray Lewis. "Instead we had to rely on the young guy with the strongest arm in the league for whom we never got any kind of receiving help when he was a starter but still acted as though it was some big shocker when he didn't do very well."
Boller engineered an impressive comeback attempt, but Carolina wrapped up the victory with a 72-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith
on the first play following Boller's first of two fourth quarter touchdowns. "When something like that happens, the blame falls squarely on the defensive backs," admitted Ravens safety Ed Reed
. "I have to say we probably would have defended that pass if we weren't so distracted and crestfallen by the fact Kyle Boller was our quarterback. I'm not blaming Kyle for the loss, just saying if he hadn't been in there we probably would have won."
Buccaneers 14, Bengals 13
Tampa Bay bounced back from a heartrending last minute loss to New Orleans last weekend to deliver a heartrending last minute loss to Cincinnati on Michael Clayton
's lunging touchdown catch on fourth down that just grazed the goal line. Clayton was initially declared down, causing the Bengals to celebrate, but the play was overturned and called a touchdown upon further review. "It was a matter of less than an inch," sniffled referee
as he wiped away a tear. "To see that guy stretching out like that... never giving up... they were just like that little choo-choo train going 'I think I can, I think I can.' I had to give them the win no matter what the rules say."
The loss left Bengals fans in a clinical state of denial, unable to acknowledge the game was even being played. "I don't get these Volkswagen commercials," said one man whose face was painted orange with black stripes. "Is there really that much demand for a car that you can plug your electric guitar into? Oh, look, Jon Lovitz talking about Subway!"
Cowboys 34, Texans 6
Just for a change of pace, Terrell Owens
made headlines for doing something on the field instead of off it. Scoring three touchdowns, the Dallas receiver put himself in the media spotlight just days after head coach Bill Parcells
declared he was done talking about Owens. In response to the monstrous performance, Parcells faked a coronary to avoid speaking to the press... at least, we hope he was faking.
Considering he has overcome a preseason hamstring injury, a broken hand, a failed suicide attempt, fines for being late to practice, and mean-spirited chants from Philadelphia fans intent on hurting his feelings, Owens declared himself in line for "comeback player of the year" honors. Barring that, he requested a Lifetime Movie of the Week deal.