Photo Essays  

 

Published: Sept. 3, 2014 at 06:33 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 4, 2014 at 09:17 a.m.

Kickoff Game Do-Overs

The kickoff of the 2014 season is here and while most are looking ahead, first let's look back at some of the notable season openers of the past. Usually Week 1 brings its own unique storylines that set off a chain of events that can define a season or a career. We looked at a few and with the help of Strat-O-Matic decided to replay a few. Everybody deserves a do-over every once in awhile. So here's that opportunity.

5 Photos Total

  • Peyton Manning stole all of Baltimore's joy by tying an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a 49-27 romp. That started a title defense that eventually landed with a thud. Certainly, Baltimore would have like to press the reset button on this one. 

In the replay, things started well for the Ravens. Thanks to a Ray Rice scoring run and a Terrell Suggs pick six, Baltimore ran off to a 20-7 halftime lead. Then Peyton Manning went to work. The Broncos quarterback led his team to four straight scoring drives as Denver posted 24 unanswered points. Baltimore rallied for a late touchdown and two-point conversion, but it was too little too late as the Broncos held on for a 31-28 victory. 5

    Eric Bakke/Associated Press

    Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos - September 5, 2013

    Peyton Manning stole all of Baltimore's joy by tying an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a 49-27 romp. That started a title defense that eventually landed with a thud. Certainly, Baltimore would have like to press the reset button on this one. In the replay, things started well for the Ravens. Thanks to a Ray Rice scoring run and a Terrell Suggs pick six, Baltimore ran off to a 20-7 halftime lead. Then Peyton Manning went to work. The Broncos quarterback led his team to four straight scoring drives as Denver posted 24 unanswered points. Baltimore rallied for a late touchdown and two-point conversion, but it was too little too late as the Broncos held on for a 31-28 victory.

  • The Detroit Lions lived in infamy as the first and only team to complete an 0-16 season. One could possibly trace it back to Week 1 of that season when the Atlanta Falcons raced out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Let's give the Lions a rewind and see if they can keep from falling on their faces out of the starting block.

Did things get better for the Lions? Not really. Instead of going up 21-0, the Falcons had to settle for a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Lions did have a glimmer of hope heading into the locker room at haltime, though. Dan Orlovsky tossed a pair of touchdown passes to draw Detroit within four at 21-17. Things were even brighter for the Lions near the end of the third quarter when Orlovsky connected with Calvin Johnson on a 37-yard scoring strike to give Detroit a 26-24 lead. 4

    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons - September 7, 2008

    The Detroit Lions lived in infamy as the first and only team to complete an 0-16 season. One could possibly trace it back to Week 1 of that season when the Atlanta Falcons raced out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Let's give the Lions a rewind and see if they can keep from falling on their faces out of the starting block. Did things get better for the Lions? Not really. Instead of going up 21-0, the Falcons had to settle for a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Lions did have a glimmer of hope heading into the locker room at haltime, though. Dan Orlovsky tossed a pair of touchdown passes to draw Detroit within four at 21-17. Things were even brighter for the Lions near the end of the third quarter when Orlovsky connected with Calvin Johnson on a 37-yard scoring strike to give Detroit a 26-24 lead.

  • The Dallas Cowboys went to Houston to take on the newly-minted Texans in the first regular season game in the city since the Oilers left after the 1996 season. It was David (Carr) over Goliath with the Cowboys falling at the hands of the No. 1 overall pick. It's a whiff that Jerry Jones surely would like to have back. We'll give Dallas another shot and see if they can get it right a second time.

It didn't start very well for the Cowboys. Chad Hutchinson was sacked in the end zone. In the second quarter, Houston's offense went to work ... sort of. It wasn't pretty, but touchdown runs by James Allen and David Carr helped propel the Texans to a 19-0 lead. The second half turned out to be the complete opposite as Dallas dominated. Kris Brown's 30-yard field goal late in the third quarter pushed Houston to a 22-14 lead. It was also the last time they would score in the game. 3

    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans - September 8, 2002

    The Dallas Cowboys went to Houston to take on the newly-minted Texans in the first regular season game in the city since the Oilers left after the 1996 season. It was David (Carr) over Goliath with the Cowboys falling at the hands of the No. 1 overall pick. It's a whiff that Jerry Jones surely would like to have back. We'll give Dallas another shot and see if they can get it right a second time. It didn't start very well for the Cowboys. Chad Hutchinson was sacked in the end zone. In the second quarter, Houston's offense went to work ... sort of. It wasn't pretty, but touchdown runs by James Allen and David Carr helped propel the Texans to a 19-0 lead. The second half turned out to be the complete opposite as Dallas dominated. Kris Brown's 30-yard field goal late in the third quarter pushed Houston to a 22-14 lead. It was also the last time they would score in the game.

  • Four years after losing their team to Baltimore, the city of Cleveland welcomed the Browns back to the shores of Lake Erie with that year's No. 1 overall pick, Tim Couch. The Browns' longtime nemesis, the Pittsburg Steelers, offered a rude welcome back to the NFL with a 43-0 pasting. Cleveland fans deserve a little bit of happiness. Let's try to give them some. 

As it turns out, the Couch was no match for Jerome Bettis.  Pittsburgh's burly running back ran over, around and through the Browns beleaguered defense to the tune of 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a game dominated by the Steelers. After Irv Smith gave the Browns an early 7-0 lead on a short touchdown catch from Couch, Pittsburgh answered with the next 17 points to take a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter. Then the pattern repeated itself. Couch connected with Smith on a one-yard scoring pass to pull Cleveland to within three. The Steelers once again answered with 17 straight points to close out a 34-14 win. 2

    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns - September 12, 1999

    Four years after losing their team to Baltimore, the city of Cleveland welcomed the Browns back to the shores of Lake Erie with that year's No. 1 overall pick, Tim Couch. The Browns' longtime nemesis, the Pittsburg Steelers, offered a rude welcome back to the NFL with a 43-0 pasting. Cleveland fans deserve a little bit of happiness. Let's try to give them some. As it turns out, the Couch was no match for Jerome Bettis. Pittsburgh's burly running back ran over, around and through the Browns beleaguered defense to the tune of 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a game dominated by the Steelers. After Irv Smith gave the Browns an early 7-0 lead on a short touchdown catch from Couch, Pittsburgh answered with the next 17 points to take a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter. Then the pattern repeated itself. Couch connected with Smith on a one-yard scoring pass to pull Cleveland to within three. The Steelers once again answered with 17 straight points to close out a 34-14 win.

  • Before there was Peyton Manning, there was Jeff George. The Colts opened the QB's rookie season with the high-powered Bills and were summarily thumped. It only got worse from there for George and the Colts. But what if George had a better start to his career? Maybe things would have turned out differently.

Upon further replay, it was a mixed bag for Jeff George and the Colts. The young quarterback struggled against the Bills. Jim Kelly and the Buffalo offense had its way with the Colts in the first half, taking a 17-6 lead into the locker room. It was a slightly different story in the second half. Midway through the third quarter, George showed off the cannon and hit Jessie Hester on a 42-yard touchdown strike to slice into the Bills' lead. From there, Indy's running game took over. Albert Bentley gave the Colts the lead with a 2-yard scoring plunge, and Eric Dickerson salted the game away with a 4-yard touchdown run to seal a 26-17 win. 1

    Four Seam Images/Associated Press

    Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills - September 9, 1990

    Before there was Peyton Manning, there was Jeff George. The Colts opened the QB's rookie season with the high-powered Bills and were summarily thumped. It only got worse from there for George and the Colts. But what if George had a better start to his career? Maybe things would have turned out differently. Upon further replay, it was a mixed bag for Jeff George and the Colts. The young quarterback struggled against the Bills. Jim Kelly and the Buffalo offense had its way with the Colts in the first half, taking a 17-6 lead into the locker room. It was a slightly different story in the second half. Midway through the third quarter, George showed off the cannon and hit Jessie Hester on a 42-yard touchdown strike to slice into the Bills' lead. From there, Indy's running game took over. Albert Bentley gave the Colts the lead with a 2-yard scoring plunge, and Eric Dickerson salted the game away with a 4-yard touchdown run to seal a 26-17 win.