Sunday morning, the sound of crackling bacon and the smell of coffee brewing accompany the tones of the NFL Today pregame show.  A smile glued to my face, I am incapable of any other expression and it isn’t because the bacon and eggs are almost ready.  This Sunday morning is a little more exciting than the others, that’s because it is the best day of the year.

As far as unofficial holidays go, the first Sunday of the NFL season is at the top of the list.  Better than Maddenoliday, MLB Opening Day, Festivus, Transfer Deadline Day, and certainly Black Friday, NFL Opening Day provides fans with almost 12 hours of constant excitement and entertainment.  Right from the opening kickoff fans can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of football, if you throw in the responsibilities of tracking your fantasy teams and pick-em selections, the opening day can get a little hectic after 9 months of waiting.

After a hearty breakfast, I settled into watch the afternoon’s slate of games, something that has been made infinitely more enjoyable over the past couple seasons thanks to array of tools consisting of, streams of every NFL game, ESPN Fantasy Tracker, Twitter, Facebook, and the Pro Football Radio Live app meaning you never have to miss a second of the games you want to catch.  To be honest, if you are near a computer with internet access, there is no longer an excuse not to see every minute of any game that you want to see. There is no greater time to be a football fan than right now. 

Yesterday we saw the Jets offense explode for 48 points after the starting unit failed to score a single touchdown during preseason.  Robert Griffin III stunned the Saints in the Super Dome, already showing some of the magic that the Redskins sought when they traded 3 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick in order to draft him.  Finally, the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to earn a win against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers after losing their final 10 games of last season.

Much to the chagrin of the city of Pittsburgh, Peyton Manning returned to the NFL barely missing a beat.  The Sunday night game nearly had the full attention of the city, with Darren Rovell estimating that 70% of all televisions in the city were tuned to the matchup in Denver.  The City of Champions has an unparalleled commitment to the Steelers, but their team was let down after giving up scores on three consecutive drives of 80 yards or more.  This uncharacteristically lax defense can be attributed to many factors including the Peyton Manning no-huddle offense, the absence of Ryan Clark and James Harrison, or possibly the altitude of Mile High.  The Steelers loss has the city feeling somber this morning, unsure if it is because of the Steelers loss or lack of sleep. 

Stuff Worth Seeing:

Trent Richardson was held in check for most of the game by the Eagles defense, but he did deliver this devastating truck stick to Kurt Coleman:

David Akers tied an NFL record long 63 yard field goal with this effort late in the first half against Green Bay:

Peyton Manning's 400th NFL TD Pass:

Depending on how your weekend went, you might be combing through the waiver wire looking for a few new additions going in to Week 2. To give you some help, I’ll throw out three players that should be available on your league’s waiver wire after Week 1.

Stephen Hill – WR – NYJ – Hill snagged two TD receptions on Sunday afternoon in his first NFL game against the Bills.  While he will probably not continue this blistering pace, Mark Sanchez needs a big possession receiver to replace the red zone production of Plaxico Burress from last season, so far Hill looks the be the man to fill that void. 

Alfred Morris – RB – WAS – The running back situation in Washington has been a giant question mark throughout preseason, but on opening day Morris stood out ahead of the rest of the pack. Going undrafted in most leagues, Morris should be available in most leagues.  If his 28 carries on opening day are any indication, Morris is certainly worth the waiver wire pickup as he looks to be the workhorse back in Washington.

Mark Sanchez – QB – NYJ – The oft maligned Jets quarterback had a field day against the Buffalo Bills defense. While you probably don’t want to make him your starter for his Week 2 matchup against the Steelers, he would make for a competent backup if you play the matchups the right way.  Going undrafted in most leagues, with his backup Tim Tebow drafting considerably higher, Sanchez is definitely an option in deep QB leagues. 

While these pickups are not sure starters every week, if you play the matchups correctly, they could be great value going forward into the heart of your regular season schedule.

It was a good weekend for Sweatpants Picks, going 4-0 so far, with only the Chargers -1 keeping me from a perfect week.  Should be some exciting Monday night football with Bengals vs. Ravens and Chargers vs. Raiders on the ticket for tonight.