The NFL debuted its 2012 season on Wednesday night, and on Sunday, America's new favorite pastime got into its full swing.
On Wednesday night, in the official debut, the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants in New York, to deliver Dallas a somewhat reassuring, definitely vindictive, start to the season. The Giants, of course, knocked Dallas out of the 2011 NFL Playoffs, and are one of the teams favored to win the Super Bowl this year - a feat they accomplished last year in Super Bowl XLV.
The Giants may say it's only one game, and it certainly was, but Tony Romo seems destined for a truly breakout year, and the Cowboys seem ready for the first half of the season in a way that some of their fans have complained they weren't in the past.
Beyond the ramifications of one game, however intriguing those shock waves prove to be five months from now, the weekend saw the majority of the action. The penalty-riddled Saints took the field against the new-look Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III showed the world that his greatness will not be contained to collegiate competition.
Meanwhile, Albuquerque's other favorite team to root for, the Denver Broncos, had their own offseason moves validated when Peyton Manning took the field at Sports Authority Field and threw his 400th touchdown in a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. After the spectacle of Tebowmania engulfed not only Denver - and Broncos fans - but most of the nation, there was considerable skepticism at the idea of trading him. However, John Elway made the decision to go in another direction and even if his decision was difficult at the time, it certainly seems validated now.
Meanwhile, Tebow's new home of New York triumphed easily over the Buffalo Bills with Mark Sanchez squarely handling the quarterback position. Tebow was, in fact, used during the game, but ended with a mere five rushes, for 11 yards.
The San Francisco 49ers upset the Green bay Packers and the red-headed stepchild of Albuquerque's fandom - closer than Dallas, certainly, but perpetually less popular than both the Cowboys and the Broncos - managed to complete the trifecta: The Arizona Cardinals took their first game over the visiting Seattle Seahawks in one of the weekend's closest low-scoring games.
The opening weekend closed out in Baltimore, with the Cincinnati Bengals getting blown out by the home team Ravens, and Oakland, where the Raiders lost against the San Diego Chargers.