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If the NFL Opening Week Were Like the Weekend Box Office …

Your NFL team has only been in release one week, but what are the results?

nfl logoFootball games are a lot like big Hollywood productions. They’re both huge spectacles designed to entertain both cost more money to put together than a modern battleship. And, yeah, there’s hype and expectations and even trash talking between online fans. But the proof is in the box-office returns and critical reception. Your NFL team has only been in release one week, but what are the results?

Blockbuster

Green Bay: The sexy pick for the Super Bowl lived up to the Hype. But injury to running back Ryan Grant has fans worried is this "Avatar" or "Twilight: Eclipse."

New Orleans: Sequel-itis in the NFL! Just like "Iron Man 2" this team picked up where it left off last season. But will it duplicate the original’s success? Wait next week.

New England: Tom Brady and Randy Moss lead an all star offense the same way Stallone led the Expendables and the early results are awesome.

Tennessee: Like J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek," we knew the Titans were going to be good this year but we didn’t expect it to be this good.

Houston: The Texans franchise started out in the dumps like the first Harry Potter films. But they’ve gotten increasingly better. Now I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

Surprise Hit

Seattle: Like "District 9" no one could have predicted this team would look half this good. Can’t wait to see the follow up.

Arizona: Okay, so winning against the Rams is like winning the box office in the third week in January with $9 million. A win is still a win.

Kansas City: Sort of like a Will Ferrell comedy. There’s a lot to criticize and maybe it only has a few funny jokes, but those few bits are just brilliant and more than enough to please a sell out crowd.

Pittsburgh: You replace the leading man. This sequel should bomb. It’s just like "Speed 2," er, wait, come to think of it this shouldn’t have worked at all.

Baltimore: Not a bad opening. But Ravens fans will have to wait to see if this team has legs. Sort of like Arizona. Is it a success because the competition wasn’t there? Are you "Zombieland" or "The Coven?"

NY Giants: If this team is like anything it’s the second Bourne movie. There was a lot of negative buzz going in but when it finally debuted it was beautifully brutal and cleaned up.

Chicago: Early Shyamalan movie this one. The box office was good but the ending had audiences going WTF!

Tampa Bay: A bit of a horror movie like the Saw series. That win was ugly as heck but it still counts.

Jacksonville: Ever notice sometimes a movie will win the box office for that week but all anyone talks about is the one that placed second or lower? That’s sort of the Jaguars right now. They won but all anyone cares about is Broncos rookie QB Tim Tebow.

Washington: Just like Bruce Willis, Donovan McNabb keeps coming back for more. He’s been in hits and bombs. This week it was a hit although just barely.

Miami: Okay this one really isn’t a surprise. The Dolphins should have won just like a Kevin James comedy should make a bundle it’s opening week. Nothing fancy, nothing flashy. Just cash the check.

Performing Down to Expectations

Cleveland: If Tampa Bay was the Saw franchise, the Browns were the Nightmare on Elm Street remake. A lot of hype and big names, but everyone knew it was going to end up disappointing.

Broncos: These were like that old exploitation film that could only afford a brief cameo from the big star they hype in their promos. The draw here was Tim Tebow, all two carries and two yards of him.

St. Louis: The Rams are like "Resident Evil: Afterlife." I can say this is the best incarnation of this franchise in years. That makes it the tallest midget in the room.

Oakland: Some people keep trying but like Uwe Boll you’d wish they’d stop. Al Davis is quickly becoming the Uwe Boll of the NFL.

Buffalo: I feel almost sadistic picking on this franchise. It’s like Ang Lee’s "Hulk." You get a sense that everyone tried but you’re left going “What the Hell?”

Carolina: This team had the intention of being good but somehow the result was "The Room." I can just hear coach John Fox yelling, “You’re tearing me apart!”

Detroit: This one is "Scott Pilgrim." Did a lot of things right, got great reviews. But when it came time to deliver something just went wrong.

Major Disappointments

Cincinnati: It’s one thing when you expect to stink. When you’ve got high expectations and don’t deliver then there’s a problem. This one is like "Piranha 3D." You have Ochocinco and TO as your receivers. That’s like having Kelly Brook and Riley Steele doing a naked underwater ballet! Who can resist that? The Patriots for starters.

Philadelphia: You know those movies where the behind the scenes stories are way more interesting than the actual movie like "Terminator: Salvation"? That’s the Eagles in a nutshell. All anyone can talk about is the QB controversy brewing. They better start talking about their shoddy defense and pass protection.

San Diego: The Chargers are the classic underperforming franchise. The $200 million gross bomb. Like the Peter Jackson King Kong you know they’ll do okay but they needed to do better than okay.

Atlanta: Matt Ryan is reminding me of Josh Duhamel or Jennifer Garner. Yeah they were great on the small set, but when are they going to break out in movies? For crying out loud how long ago was Las Vegas?

San Francisco: One of those franchise non starters like "Master and Commander." This was supposed to be the year they stepped forward. Like the Aubrey novels their potential remains untapped.

Minnesota: One of the reasons the "Nightmare on Elm Street" remake bombed was because “teen” Rooney Mara (who incidentally is the granddaughter of Giants owner Wellington Mara) looked more like a recent college graduate. The same way Brett Favre looked like a 41 year old quarterback against the Saints.

Indianapolis: Here we get into the real disappointments, the "Matrix" sequel and "Star Wars" prequel level of disappointment. There’s fail and then there’s FAIL. This was like killing Kirk in "Generations." You only have to do one thing if you’re the Colts, protect Peyton Manning. And they didn’t do it!

Dallas: Then there’s the Cowboys who ought to have Red Letter Media review their game against the Redskins. I’d love to hear Mr. Plinkett look at the lateral in the final seconds of the half that turned into the only touchdown of the game for Washington. “That don’t make no sense.”

New York Jets: Talk about blowing your premier. This is "Prince of Persia" level fail. Millions spent on talent and even more on hype and advertising. They flogged themselves on HBO all summer long. That offense was so poor they look in danger of going 4 and 12. By far the biggest disappointment of the first week.

 

Michael Lee is a novel writer, blogger and freelance journalist living in L.A. He's been a judge for the prestigious PAGE Awards and blogs about his two biggest passions, screenwriting and food, at Screenwriting Foxhole and To Cook and Eat in L.A., respectively. Lee is also a co-author of "The Insider's Guide to Screenwriting" and has just published his first novel, "My Frankenstein."

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