With the Dallas Cowboys off Sunday, I had an opportunity to watch bits and pieces of several NFL games. Observations on some Okies from Sunday’s Week 1 games:
Adrian Peterson: Some questioned whether it was wise to play Peterson in the opener since he suffered a torn ACL late in the season. Peterson showed why he’s unique. Still not 100 percent, Peterson still made a huge impact in the Vikings’ win. A month from now Peterson once again could be a beast.
Wes Welker: A rare sub-par stat outing (three catches, 14 yards). The Patriots have so many weapons there will be games like this. But Welker remains one of Tom Brady top targets in an offense that should compile huge stats. Welker plays in an offense that literally will be a pick-your-poison dilemma for defenses every time Brady drops back to pass.
Brandon Pettigrew: The Oklahoma State product is emerging as an upper tier tight end, one of many options for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Pettigrew can run over defenders and slide around them to get open. Pettigrew has evolved into a difference-maker.
Sam Bradford: Making progress his third season, the former Heisman winner made enough plays the Rams were on the brink of posting a noteworthy road upset at Detroit. St. Louis didn’t close it out but it was an encouraging start for the Rams in coach Jeff Fisher’s debut.
Kevin Williams: The six-time Pro Bowler is on the backside of his career but remains a disruptive force in the trenches. The Vikings most likely aren’t a playoff threat but Williams will provide show-youngsters-how-its-done leadership.
Gerald McCoy: Sidelined several games his first two seasons, McCoy can develop into a Pro Bowl caliber defensive tackle. McCoy still has a lot to prove, especially durability-wise. But McCoy has the talent to be an anchor in a Tampa Bay defense that had a solid showing in an upset win over Carolina’s Cam Newton.
Kendall Hunter: Mr. dependable as Frank Gore’s understudy. Hunter does all the right things. He can dart for move-the-chains runs and is a receiving threat. A change-of-pace back, Hunter should play meaningful snaps in Jim Harbaugh’s underrated offense.
Perrish Cox: San Francisco probably has the NFL’s best defense. After a year layoff, Perrish Cox will play a key role in the 49ers nickel package but once again showed why it’s pivotal for Cox to contain his emotions.
Brandon Weeden: The rookie quarterback had an inauspicious debut. Four interceptions and a dreadful quarterback rating were a forgettable start. The Browns defense played well enough to upset Philadelphia but Weeden and the Cleveland offense didn’t contribute enough. Some of Weeden’s decisions were puzzling.
Antonio Smith: Recording a half of sack and a quarterback hit, Smith plays on a Houston defense that could be among the top units in the AFC, one reason why some say the Texans are a viable Super Bowl contender.
Russell Okung: The No. 4 overall pick three years ago had a couple of false start penalties and limped off the field. Okung needs to stay healthy to eventually reach his potential.
Ryan Broyles: He won’t see the field much as long as the Lions top three receivers stay healthy.