Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/14/12

After week one of the NFL, it’s easy to overreact. All we know about the NFL season happened on Sunday, and opinions are running through our heads faster than Usain Bolt being chased by a cheetah. It’s easy to get carried away in what our eyes saw on Sunday, even if it contradicts everything we’ve believed since February. Everyone’s guilty of it, some more than others. But to a certain extent, we all believe–or fear–what happened on Sunday will be a microcosm of the entire season.

And while we can’t overreact to one week of performance—Mark Sanchez didn’t suddenly turn into Joe Montana and RGIII is not likely Cam Newton 2.0—there are some things we can take from the NFL’s first Sunday. Here are four things we learned about the NFC South after one week, in no particular order:

1). The Saints defense is a major liability. After years of simply having an adequate enough defense to let Drew Brees win games with his arm, the Saints’ defensive ineptness might have finally gone over the edge. After winning the Bounty Appeal, which effectively reinstated their suspended defensive players, the team allowed a rookie quarterback and running back to shred them in their first games to the tune of 40 points. RGIII was flawless, throwing for 320 yards and 2 touchdown, while fellow rookie rusher Alfred Morris totaled over 90 yards and two scores of his own. The redskins might be an underrated offense, but the Saints looked completely lost, giving up big play after big play. The defense will get linebacker Jonathan Vilma back sometime after week 6, but it might just be too late to save this dreadful unit.

2). Cam Newton can’t do it all. Cam might do the superman pose after he scores, but Superman, he is not. The Panthers seemed to be star-struck on Sunday, mostly waiting and watching Cam, hoping he would make one of his patented incredible plays to get them back into the game. Instead, what they saw were constant miscues and Cam running for his life after nearly every drop back. Poised for a big game with Jonathan Stewart on the sidelines, DeAngelo Williams was beyond a nonfactor, rushing for negative yards. The offensive line was getting bullied more than Steve Urkel. The defense couldn’t get any critical stops. The team appeared to crumble under the expectations set by Cam’s talent and Kalil’s guarantee. If the Panthers don’t find a way to help out their quarterback, a sophomore slump could be coming.

3). The Falcons have uncovered a gem. After trading up in last year’s draft to pick wide receiver Julio Jones, the reviews were mixed as to what Jones could be at the next level. Some said he was simply an athletic freak, years away from developing into a serviceable NFL receiver. Others said he was an uncoverable speedster who could be an elite deep threat immediately. I think we found our answer. Jones went off on Sunday, catching 6 balls for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. Coupling Sunday with his impressive final few games of last season, Jones looks like he could be the most talented receiver in the league by season’s end. Matt Ryan could be on the verge of a breakout year throwing to Jones and fellow elite receiver, Roddy White.

4). This division is up for grabs. The NFC South appears to be turning into what the NFC East has been for years, all above average teams with no elite teams. Every team in this division has clear strengths, but each has at least one glaring weakness. The teams will beat up on each other the entire year, likely resulting in the division crown being decided after week 15. For fans, it should be a fun, and frustrating, season across the board.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

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