Photo courtesy John Geliebter/USA Today Sports

Photo courtesy John Geliebter/USA Today Sports

Sundays in the summer and spring are always interesting. The day is full of possibilities. Do we go to a barbecue? Do we catch a matinee movie? Maybe we go to a baseball game?

Actually, Sundays in the summer and spring suck.

Like any NFL fan, I have been waiting — dreaming, even — of the football Sundays where the day is already jam-packed with nothingness. What am I doing for lunch? Watching theĀ  pregame shows, obviously. Am I free in the afternoon? With two sets of afternoon kickoff times, I don’t think so. Sunday supper? In front of the TV, without a doubt.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, football is FINALLY back.

And Week 1 is always particularly interesting because we never know what to expect. Yes, the Saints have their coach back, but how does that really affect them? Are they once again the team to beat in the NFC South? The Bills got some nice pieces in the offseason, but how much closer are they to the Patriots? And if the answer is ‘not at all’, does it even matter?

The questions are endless, and we spend 17 weeks and probably even some more time looking for the answers. Still, we got some of them right away. Here is what we learned this week in professional football.

Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports

Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports

There is a Flipside to Seattle’s Home Prowess

Anyone who coined the Seahawks as the Super Bowl favorites from the NFC must’ve felt queasy Sunday afternoon. The Carolina Panthers, accepted by most to be nothing more than a middling club this season, threatened to steal a win from Seattle all game.

So should expectations be lowered? Well, it depends. If Seattle is at home, they should always be handicapped as the favorites no matter what the situation. However, away from Washington state, we have to remember that this team is much, much more vulnerable.

Lost in all the dreamy talk of Russell Wilson and the mighty defense is the dirty little truth that this team went 3-5 on the road last year. Are they a game or two better in 2013? Then they’re still a .500 ball club outside of Seattle. Keep that in mind when evaluating this teams regular and postseason prospects.

Chip’s Offense is Fun to Watch but not Exactly a Game Changer

Did you catch how fast Chip Kelly’s new Eagles offense is? It was hard to miss with ESPN commentators Mike Tirico and John Gruden bringing it up every other play. There was even a graphic with a sports car so you knew they were fast. Did you catch the metaphor there? It was really subtle, but I was smart enough to get it.

Sheesh, and I thought Chris Berman was annoying.

Either way, like most things fast, the Eagles burst out of the gate and then didn’t have the stamina to go the distance. By the end, they didn’t even run the most offensive plays of the week (that honor belongs to the Patriots) and four teams, including one in their division, scored more points. If Chip Kelly’s offense is supposedly nothing we’ve ever seen before why do the numbers say otherwise?

Here’s what we can say: the Eagles offense is much improved. Top 5? Sure, at least in Week 1. But we’ve seen trendy offenses come and go before. Remember when the Wildcat was going to revolutionize the league? Did it? No, because defenses figured it out. And sooner or later, defenses are going to figure out how to play against Philadelphia’s spread attack.

Just because the inept Redskins defense couldn’t stop you doesn’t make you unstoppable. That’s something this team will learn as teams amass game film on them.

Photo courtesy LM Otero/AP

LM Otero/AP

Don’t Buy Too Much into Dallas’ Win

People who looked at me sideways when I said Dallas is going to be the worst team in the NFC East this year probably were looking for me to stick my foot in my mouth Sunday night.

Keep looking.

Put this into perspective: the Giants committed more turnovers than they have in 25 years. Two and a half decades. They weren’t bad, they were abysmal. And even with that impressively high level of low play, the Cowboys still had to squeak out a win.

Are the next 13 teams (because they still play the Redskins and Eagles twice, duh) they play also going to be historically bad? That historically bad?

If you think so, you probably also thought Tony Romo deserved the contract he got in the offseason.

Jacksonville has the First Pick of the 2014 Draft

Book it right now. When it comes to this team, Dennis Green said it best: they are who we thought they were. This is the worst franchise in the NFL. They made the Chiefs, a 2-14 team just one season ago that fired their head coach, look like the Andy Reid team that went to the Super Bowl. THAT is how bad this team is.

And it’s just not limited to the quarterback play. Yes, Blaine Gabbert is awful and, yes, the team screwed the pooch big time on that pick and, yes, Chad Henne should start next week, but if this team just had no quarterback, they could still scrounge together 4 or 5 wins a season.

I personally penciled the Jaguars in to win just one game in 2013 and, after watching that drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs, I’m starting to think such a prediction was ludicrous. What did we learn about Jacksonville in Week 1? Simply put, it’s going to be a very long season.

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When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch for NFL updates and other shenanigans!