Ray Rice wearing Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3

Ray Rice ran all over the vaunted Pittsburgh defense in the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3.

words // Brandon Richard

While we were all excited about the first Sunday of the 2011 NFL season, the bigger issue at hand was remembering the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, 2001, when the United States of America fell under attack to terrorists and extremists. That fall, the NFL played a pivotal role in helping the country get back on its feet, providing entertainment that allowed those impacted by the devastation to focus their attention elsewhere for a couple of hours. In a lot of ways, that was still the case on Sunday, when every team in the league honored the victims and heroes of 9/11 with special ceremonies, field logos and gear. Just like the scene a decade ago, we were able to enjoy some hard-hitting gridiron action, but we will never forget.

Along with intense emotion, opening day brought with it a few surprises. Nobody was shocked to see the Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, but a 35-7 exposing of the great Steelers defense is a cause for concern in the Steel City. The defending NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons were also the victims of a Week 1 beatdown courtesy of Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears. In Houston, the Texans showed that Peyton Manning may in fact be the league’s Most Valuable Player without taking a snap. After dominating the AFC South division rivalry over the years, the Indianapolis Colts found themselves on the wrong end of a 34-7 blowout.

Perhaps the most shocking result of the day happened in Kansas City, where the Buffalo Bills’ offense exploded for a 41-7 embarrassment of the reigning AFC West Champion Chiefs. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tossed four touchdowns on the day, racking up 208 yards and a 133.0 QB Rating. Receivers Steve Johnson, David Nelson and Scott Chandler all recorded 60+ yards on the day, while running back Fred Jackson ran through the Chiefs for 112 yards.

Let’s take a look at some of the football cleats worn on the field for these surprising Week 1 results. Also be sure to check back Wednesday, when we’ll be taking a look at some of the gear that hit the field during the second half of the Week 1 NFL schedule.

NFL Watch: Players Honor 9/11 Heroes on Kickoff Day

Greg Jennings wearing Nike Super SpeedGreg Jennings takes it to the house in his Nike Super Speed PE.

Lance Briggs wearing Reebok NFL Viz UForm ElectrifyA close look at Lance Briggs’ 9/11 commemorative NFL Viz U-Form Electrify Reebok football cleats.

AJ Green wearing Nike Zoom Alpha TalonAJ Green hauls in his first touchdown reception in the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon.

CJ Spiller wearing adidas adiZero 5-StarC.J. Spiller rushes for a touchdown in mismatched red and blue colorways of the adidas adiZero 5-Star.

Michael Vick wearing Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3Michael Vick got the “Dream Team” off on the right foot in the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3.

Matthew Stafford wearing the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon FlyMatthew Stafford scrambles in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly.

Maurice Jones-Drew wearing Reebok NFL Viz U-Form ElectrifyMaurice Jones-Drew celebrates a touchdown in 9/11 NFL Viz U-Form Electrify Reebok football cleats and commemorative Reebok football gloves.

Brendon Ayanbadejo wearing 9/11 Under Armour Nitro III LowBaltimore’s Brendon Ayanbadejo wears custom 9/11 commemorative Under Armour Nitro III Low cleats.

Andre Johnson wearing Jordan Football CleatsAndre Johnson makes a touchdown grab in Jordan football cleats.

images via ESPN