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NFL Europe: Week 1 Recap


McBrien and the Fire had a rough time in Amsterdam.

The 2005 NFL Europe season got underway Saturday, with Packers allocates in action in all three games across the continent.

Week 1's action saw the home teams prevail in all three contests, with the Amsterdam Admirals topping the Rhein Fire 24-14, defending World Bowl champions Berlin Thunder cruising past the Frankfurt Galaxy 30-7, and in the game of the weekend, the Cologne Centurions held off the Hamburg Sea Devils 24-23 in Hamburg's first game as a member of the league.

The results meant that 10 of the 11 Packers who took part in the games came up on the short end of the stick, but that isn't to say those players didn't have good showings.

For Hamburg, punter B.J. Sander had a good game in his dual role as the Sea Devils' punter and holder. The former Ray Guy Award winner punted three times Saturday for an average of 44.3 yards per kick. None of his punts were returned, giving him a net average of 44.3 as well, and one of his kicks was mishandled by the returner and recovered by the coverage team. Sander was also the holder for kicker Todd France's league-record five field goals on the day.

Sea Devil linebackers Nick McNeil and Shawn Morgan also contributed to the effort, both on defense and special teams. McNeil made one tackle on defense and another on special teams and also had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the evening. Shawn Morgan made two tackles on defense and added a pass defense and an additional stop on special teams.

In Amsterdam, linebacker John Garrett was the lone Packers allocate to experience victory as he played as a reserve for the Admirals.

For the visiting Fire, quarterback Scott McBrien had mixed results as he participated in a QB tandem with Andy Hall of the Philadelphia Eagles. McBrien played in the second and fourth quarters for Rhein and led his team to their only touchdown of the day, as he hit Cedric James for a 13-yard score in the fourth before converting the two-point conversion pass to round out the day's scoring.

McBrien finished the contest having completed 8 of 16 passes for 89 yards with the touchdown and an earlier interception. Steve Morley started at left tackle for the Fire, and defensive tackle Doug Sims made one tackle on the day.

Chris Day, a cornerback who just last year converted from wide receiver, proved that he still knows what to do with the football in his hands as he averaged 27.3 yards on four kickoff returns for the Fire, including a 48-yard runback that set up the Rhein touchdown.

In Frankfurt's defeat in Berlin, the three Packers players all made solid contributions for the Galaxy. The visitors' offense featured two Packers starting at receiver, with Jamal Jones leading the way with four receptions for 38 yards. Sam Breeden made one catch on the game, a 34-yarder that led to a Frankfurt touchdown.

On the defensive side for the Galaxy, defensive end Seante Williams had an outstanding NFL Europe debut, tallying five tackles and intercepting a screen pass by Berlin quarterback Chris Finlen.

G Joe Hayes (Berlin), WR Kelvin Kight (Amsterdam), S Chonn Lacey (Frankfurt), G Joe Quinn (Rhein), WR Mike Marker (Cologne), and S Wendell Williams (Cologne) all missed their teams' games over the opening weekend due to injury.

Week 2 will feature a trio of games matching winners from Saturday against teams looking for their first victory of the season, with two of the games available on television in the United States.

The Amsterdam Admirals will visit Frankfurt Galaxy in a Saturday game to be shown on DirecTV. Sunday will see the Rhein Fire play their first game in their new home, Düsseldorf's LTU Arena, as they play host to their geographic rivals, the Cologne Centurions Sunday in a game that will be screened on NFL Network. The Hamburg Sea Devils will travel to Berlin to take on the Thunder to round out the action on Sunday.

For more on NFL Europe, click here.

Week 1 Results

Berlin 30, Frankfurt 7 (Attendance: 16,199)

Cologne 24, Hamburg 23

Amsterdam 24, Rhein 14 (Attendance: 10,234)

Week 2 Schedule

Saturday, April 9

Amsterdam at Frankfurt 12:00 PM (CDT)

Sunday, April 10

Cologne at Rhein 9:00 AM (CDT)

Hamburg at Berlin 9:00 AM (CDT)

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