News and notes from Week 1 of the NFL


KICKING THINGS OFF: A look at some notes from across the league on Kickoff Weekend 2017:

  • The DALLAS COWBOYS defeated the New York Giants 19-3 on Sunday Night Football and the DENVER BRONCOS beat the Los Angeles Chargers, 24-21 on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys and Broncos both improved to 38-19-1 (.667*) on Kickoff Weekend, tied for the top mark in the NFL. *Note: Ties for both teams occurred prior to 1972 and do not count in winning percentage.

    The Broncos have won six consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest active streak in the NFL.

  • The GREEN BAY PACKERS defeated the Seattle Seahawks 17-9 on Kickoff Weekend at Lambeau Field. The Packers have won their past five home openers and have an NFL-best 55 wins on Kickoff Weekend.
  • Denver’s VANCE JOSEPH (24-21 vs. Los Angeles Chargers), Buffalo’s SEAN MC DERMOTT (21-12 vs. New York Jets), and the Los Angeles Rams’ SEAN MC VAY (46-9 vs. Indianapolis) all won in their Kickoff Weekend debuts.

    The Rams’ 46 points under McVay marked the third-highest total in a head coach’s debut since 1933, trailing only the debuts of BOB SNYDER with the 1947 Los Angeles Rams (48-7 win at Pittsburgh) and BUD CARSON with the 1989 Cleveland Browns (51-0 win at Pittsburgh).

  • New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 267 yards in the Patriots’ Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. Brady (4,075) joined PEYTON MANNING (4,736) and DREW BREES (4,597) as the third quarterback with at least 4,000 career passing yards in season-opening games.
  • New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 291 yards with one touchdown for a 104.7 rating in the Saints’ 29-19 loss at Minnesota on Monday Night Football. Brees, who has 34 career touchdown passes on Kickoff Weekend, tied PEYTON MANNING (34) for the most career touchdown passes in season-opening games.
  • Cleveland rookie quarterback DE SHONE KIZER made his first-career start against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Kickoff Weekend. At least one rookie quarterback has started in Week 1 in 10 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

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PROLIFIC PASSERSMinnesota quarterback SAM BRADFORD completed 27 of 32 passes (84.4 percent) for 346 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 143.0 passer rating in the Vikings’ 29-19 victory over New Orleans on Monday Night Football. Kansas City quarterback ALEX SMITH passed for 368 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions on 28 of 35 passing (80.0 percent) in the Chiefs’ 42-27 win against New England in Foxborough on Thursdaynight.

Bradford and Smith are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to complete 80 percent of their passes with at least 325 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a season-opening game.

Sam Bradford Minnesota 27 32 84.4 346 3 0 143.0
Alex Smith Kansas City 28 35 80.0 368 4 0 148.6

Smith, who led the Chiefs to a victory over the Super Bowl LI Champion Patriots, is the first quarterback in league history with at least 350 passing yards, four touchdowns, a completion percentage of 80 or higher and no interceptions against the defending Super Bowl champion.

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ROOKIES ROCKET OUT OF GATESThree rookie running backs – Kansas City’s KAREEM HUNT (148 rushing yards), Minnesota’s DALVIN COOK (127) and Jacksonville’s LEONARD FOURNETTE (100) – each rushed for at least 100 yards in their NFL debuts on Kickoff Weekend.

Hunt, Cook and Fournette are the first trio of rookie running backs with at least 100 rushing yards in Week 1 since OTTIS ANDERSON (193 rushing yards), WILLIAM ANDREWS (167) and JERRY ECKWOOD (121) in 1979.

2017   1979
Kareem Hunt Kansas City 148   Ottis Anderson St. Louis Cardinals 193
Dalvin Cook Minnesota 127   William Andrews Atlanta 167
Leonard Fournette Jacksonville 100   Jerry Eckwood Tampa Bay 121

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FAST-RISING FALCON: Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES had four catches for 66 yards in the Falcons’ 23-17 win at Chicago on Kickoff Weekend.

Jones, who has 501 career receptions, reached 500 catches in his 80th career game, tying ANQUAN BOLDIN for the fewest games to reach the milestone in NFL history.

The players to reach 500 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

Julio Jones Atlanta 80
Anquan Boldin Arizona 80
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 84
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 87
Andre Johnson Houston 88

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COWBOY CORNERSTONE: Dallas tight end JASON WITTEN had seven catches for 59 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 19-3 win against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Witten, who has 11,947 career receiving yards in 15 seasons with the Cowboys, passed Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (11,904) for the most career receiving yards in franchise history.

The players with the most receiving yards in Dallas Cowboys history:

Jason Witten 2003-2017 11,947*
Michael Irvin^ 1988-1999 11,904
Tony Hill 1977-1986 7,988
Drew Pearson 1973-1983 7,822
Bob Hayes^ 1965-1974 7,295

^Pro Football Hall of Famer


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BIG-PLAY BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN had 11 catches for 182 receiving yards in the Steelers’ 21-18 victory at Cleveland on Kickoff Weekend. His 182 receiving yards are the third-most on Kickoff Weekend in the past 10 seasons.

Brown has six career games with at least eight catches and 180 receiving yards, tied for the third-most in NFL history.

The players with the most career games with at least eight receptions and 180 receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce St. Louis Rams 7  
Charley Hennigan Houston Oilers 7  
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers 6*  
Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 6  
Andre Johnson Houston Texans 6  

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

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IRON-MANNING: New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING passed for 220 yards in the Giants’ Week 1 loss to the Cowboys.

Manning, who made his first career start for the Giants on November 21, 2004 against Atlanta, is the third quarterback in NFL history to start at least 200 consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (297) and PEYTON MANNING (208).

The most consecutive games started by a quarterback in NFL history:

Brett Favre^ Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota 1992-2010 297  
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1998-2010 208  
Eli Manning New York Giants 2004-present 200*  
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers 2006-present 177*  
Joe Flacco Baltimore 2008-2015 122  
*Active streak

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

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