Sharing some thoughts this morning on the NFL season getting underway (Cowboys 24, Giants 17) as the Patriots continue preparations for Sunday's opener in Tennessee:
1. Great to have football back. Watching last night's game, the first Patriots-based thought that came to mind was how Bill Belichick would probably use the game as a teaching point for his players today, knowing they were probably all watching. The main lesson: How turnovers and red-zone defense can swing a game. Thought the key points in the game were the lost first-quarter fumble by rookie running back David Wilson (took momentum away from Giants) and the Cowboys' red-zone hold after Tony Romo's second-quarter interception that was returned to the 2-yard line.
2. Most surprising aspect of last night's game: replacement officials aced the assignment. Along those lines, Jerry Frump is the referee assigned to Sunday's Patriots-Titans game. Frump worked the Patriots' second preseason game, against the Eagles.
3. Early forecast for Sunday's Patriots-Titans game -- 77 degrees, moderate humidity, no chance of precipitation (Weather.com). No doubt, the Titans were hoping for higher temps.
4. Bill Belichick's trust in Josh McDaniels is evident in some of the team's recent personnel moves, specifically trading for receiver Greg Salas and signing tight end Michael Hoomanawanui. To a lesser degree, his familiarity with Brandon Lloyd was also a factor in that transaction. Big believer in McDaniels as an offensive coach, but when it comes to personnel, his track record isn't as solid. Interested to see how this all shakes out.
5. Tough start to the NFL opener for Cowboys right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, who played his college ball here in New England at Bentley (Waltham, Mass.), as he was beaten by Rocky Bernard for a first-quarter sack. NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth had some trouble correctly pronouncing Bernadeau's name on the play. Tough start aside, hard not to feel good for a local product who beat the odds to earn his spot.
6. Agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents a handful of Patriots and is one of the most high-profile agents in the business, is the subject of a detailed investigation by Yahoo! Sports (link here). The headline of the piece written by Rand Getlin and Jason Cole: "Prominent NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus scrutinized for relationship with former financial adviser." Patriots players represented by Rosenhaus include Will Allen (IR), Marcus Forston, Rob Gronkowski, Lex Hilliard, Visanthe Shiancoe, Brandon Spikes and Donald Thomas.