Studs and Duds, Week 1

by | September 9, 2012 at 10:06 PM | NFL, Sports

By Jordan Raanan, Xfinity.com NFL Columnist

We’re going to do this every week and after every primetime game. You vote via Twitter or on Facebook for a stud and a dud. The winner (or loser) will be revealed the following morning in this space.

So get involved. Give some praise or direct some blame. And if you’re comment impresses enough, it might even get published in that week’s Stud or Dud piece.

I’ll also be choosing a stud and dud. Of course, you’ll do a better job. You almost always do. That’s why I’m calling for your help.

Anyway, here goes for the first Sunday of the NFL season.

The People’s Stud
Robert Griffin III (Redskins) — How is this for living up to the hype? RGIII did something no other quarterback in NFL history had done in his debut when he threw for over 300 yards and two touchdown passes with no interceptions. Johnny Unitas, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Cam Newton didn’t get it done before. And No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck (3 INTs) didn’t do it on Sunday. RGIII did. He completed 19-of-26 passes for 320 yards and 2 scores. And most importantly, he led the Redskins to an upset over Drew Brees and the Saints. Yes, RGIII won on the road … in a dome … in his NFL debut, making countless big plays every time New Orleans crept within striking distance. Truly a studly debut.

Raanan’s Stud
Kevin Kolb (Cardinals) — It hadn’t been a good first year in Arizona for the embattled quarterback … until now. After a dreadful preseason where he lost the starting job to John Skelton, Kolb came off the bench in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Seahawks when Skelton badly injured his ankle. All Kolb did was complete 6-of-8 passes for 66 yards as the Cards marched down the field for the game-winning drive. He hit Andre Roberts for a six-yard touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone with just 4:59 left. It was a nice piece of personal redemption for the $65-million man.

The People’s Dud
Chris Johnson (Titans) — The former NFL rushing champ finished with four yards on 11 carries. Four yards, 11 carries. It’s so putrid it’s worth repeating. That’s .36 yards per carry in a loss against a Patriots defense that was a mediocre 17th against the run last season. Johnson had two carries for minus-five yards in the second half. With second-year quarterback Jake Locker starting, the Titans needed more from CJ2K, who now needs 1,996 yards in Tennessee’s next 15 games to keep the moniker.

Raanan’s Dud
Mario Williams (Bills) — Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez didn’t get sacked. He barely got pressured. If his uniform was dirty it probably came from celebrating one of his three touchdown passes. Where was Williams, the Bills’ big offseason acquisition? He matched up against the Jets’ weak link, their right tackle, where the unproven Austin Howard manned the position. Still, I had to check the official stat sheet just to make sure Williams played. Sure enough, he was there. Williams made one tackle and didn’t get a single pressure on the Jets’ sometimes skittish QB. Oh yeah, he whined and complained after the game too.

Jordan Raanan has covered the NFL since 2005. Follow him on Twitter @JordanRaanan, Facebook or email him at jraanan@hotmail.com.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.