NFL Shows Why It is King Of Sports Landscape

By Matt Lombardo
Cary Edmondson – USA TODAY Sports

Apologies to MLB, but the NFL has become America’s pastime.

There is just something about the first Sunday of the NFL calendar that fills this nation with eagerness and excitement. Week 1 of the 2013 regular season has certainly set the bar high for the rest of the year. There were standout performances that had viewers glued to their television screens, smartphones and Twitter and not just because of the fantasy football implications.

By the time the Dallas Cowboys clipped Eli Manning and the New York Giants 34-31 in Sunday Night Football at AT&T Stadium, 12 of the 14 games played in Week 1 were decided by two scores or fewer. It is that kind of parity that makes this game great.

Every play game matters, and Sundays like this one proved that every play has significance whether you are a rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs team or a San Francisco 49ers squad looking to travel the winding road of a Super Bowl loser’s trek back to the big dance.

Ageless wonders Anquan Boldin (13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown) and Reggie Wayne (eight catches 96 yards and a touchdown) showed no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Two rookie quarterbacks — Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel — were impressive in their debuts for the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.

All of this happened after Peyton Manning set a record with seven touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.

Even with a thrilling first Sunday in the books, there is still plenty of intrigue remaining in Week 1 as perhaps the most scrutinized team in the league, Chip Kelly‘s Philadelphia Eagles, kick their season off against a returning Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins tonight at 6:55 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, Phillip Rivers looks to cap off the weekend by proving to critics he is far from finished as the San Diego Chargers take on the Houston Texans.

Welcome back, football. If Week 1 is any indication, your perch atop the sports mountaintop is safe and sound.

 Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter.

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