You beautiful, delicious, intoxicating devil.
After waiting -- seemingly forever -- for the 2014 NFL campaign to begin, the opening Sunday was simply sensational. The window at the end of the early batch of games was pulsating, with a bevy of gripping finishes.
All in all, it was a day filled with shockers, jaw-dropping moments and some genuine drama. It's a new season in the NFL, but the same old mantra applies: Expect the unexpected.
With that in mind, here are our biggest surprises from a fantastic first Sunday, Schein Nine style:
1) Derek Anderson beats the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.
You gotta love sports.
Anderson, four years removed from his last NFL start, somehow rocked steady and got the football to promising rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who is an absolute beast with great hands and physical prowess.
2) Patriots "didn't do anything well enough" against Dolphins.
The statement in quotes comes directly from Bill Belichick's postgame news conference. It's actually an assertion he made three times, the latter two in describing the Patriots' inept play during the second half, which was brutal indeed. The Pats simply were outclassed in the final 30 minutes. The supposedly revamped defense couldn't tackle. Darrelle Revis didn't look rejuvenated, starting his Patriots career a far cry from the star corner we saw before he tore his ACL in 2012. And following last month's questionable Logan Mankins trade, the offensive line couldn't block for Tom Brady.
For New England, its the first season-opening loss since back in 2003, which occurred days after the Pats abruptly cut Lawyer Milloy.
3) "Saint Doug" gets needed win in Chicago.
Not so fast.
Manuel looked like a legit quarterback, 30-something running back Fred Jackson only seemed to gain strength as the game rolled on and Buffalo's defense made plays.
Marrone's future remains uncertain, with new ownership coming down the pike. That's not fair. Marrone can coach. Getting his team to beat a more talented Bears team -- in Chicago -- proves it.
4) Remember the Titans.
Apparently, I forgot.
My guy Alex Smith had his worst game in years with three picks. When I talked to John Dorsey last week on my SiriusXM Radio show, "Schein on Sports," the Chiefs general manager spotlighted the youth on the offensive line. This proved to be a foreboding discussion, as second-year offensive tackle (and 2013 No. 1 overall pick) Eric Fisher looked a fish out of water. And the Kansas City offense, as a whole, looked totally lost. The Chiefs clearly missed suspended receiver Dwayne Bowe.
In the preseason, I saw Tennessee as the last-place team in the AFC South. This was a heck of a win.
5) Ice, ice baby.
A "huge win" -- in Week 1 of the season ... Hyperbole?
After last year's 4-12 flop, Atlanta needed a start like this at home, knocking off the widespread favorite in the NFC South.
Matt Ryan was, in my opinion, the best player in the NFL in Week 1. The Falcons QB completed 31 of his 43 passes for a team-record 448 yards, hurling three touchdown strikes against zero interceptions. But this performance went beyond raw statistics; Ryan outplayed Drew Brees and befuddled Rob Ryan's talented defense. Truly impressive stuff.
6) Brian Hoyer shows moxie.
But there's no need for Big Ben's last-minute heroics if the Cleveland Browns don't admirably come all the way back from a 27-3 halftime deficit. And the comeback was led by Brian Hoyer, the man who beat out media darling Johnny Manziel for the starting job. I've called Hoyer a backup, but I have no problem giving credit where credit's due. He did a fine job playing steady football on the road, deftly directing the Browns to four scores in their first four drives of the second half to tie the game at 27 apiece.
7) Chad Henne to Allen Hurns.
Jacksonville's stopgap quarterback -- filling the role until rookie Blake Bortles is deemed ready -- hooked up with the undrafted free-agent receiver for a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. At halftime, the Jaguars led the host Eagles 17-0 -- a score that had folks scratching their heads nationwide.
8) Game plan for Joe Flacco is completely wacko.
Gary Kubiak didn't exactly dazzle in his first game as Baltimore's play caller. The Ravens didn't score in the first half, eventually losing 23-16 at home to the division-rival Bengals.
In the postgame, Flacco accurately summed up the first offensive performance of the Kubiak era: "We just played about as bad as you can, in terms of just simple fundamental things -- throwing, catching, running routes, staying up, just running the ball, couple mental busts." Yup, poor effort across the board.
9) Don't sleep on the Vikings.
Congrats to Mike Zimmer on getting his first career win as an NFL head coach. He should've been a head coach in this league a long time ago.
Zimmer is a defensive guru, so it was no surprise seeing his Vikings D suffocate a Rams offense that lacked a legit quarterback. But it was surprising -- even for someone like me, who pumped up this Minnesota offense in August -- how well Matt Cassel and Co. clicked on the road against the Rams' defense.
Cassel, the 32-year-old veteran many believe is just keeping the seat warm for rookie Teddy Bridgewater, was an efficient 17-for-25 passing with two touchdowns and a 113.7 quarterback rating. Cordarrelle Patterson showed off his game-breaking ability, particularly on a breathtaking 67-yard touchdown run. Greg Jennings had a mesmerizing touchdown of his own. Adrian Peterson was Adrian Peterson.