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‘NFL’ Articles

A look back at Week 1, KICKOFF WEEKEND in 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) joinedPEYTON 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.

– NFL –

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Minnesota 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 Thursday night.

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.

– NFL –

ROOKIES ROCKET OUT OF GATES: Three rookie running backs – Kansas City’s KAREEM HUNT (148 rushing yards), Minnesota’sDALVIN 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


– NFL –

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

– NFL –

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


– NFL –

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

– NFL –

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



NFL Week 2 kickoffs with Houston visiting Cincinnati Thursday Night Feature Game




September 14, 2017


Week 2 begins on Thursday night (8:25 PM ET, NFLN) as the Cincinnati Bengals host the Houston Texans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Texans and Bengals meet for the fourth consecutive season and the 10th time in series history, with Houston holding a 5-4 advantage. In the last meeting, Houston running back ALFRED BLUE rushed for a 24-yard fourth-quarter touchdown to give the Texans a 12-10 victory over Cincinnati. In Week 1, Houston rookie quarterback DESHAUN WATSON made his NFL debut, passing for 102 yards, including a touchdown to wide receiver DE ANDRE HOPKINS in a 29-7 loss to Jacksonville. Texans defensive end J.J. WATT has 76 sacks since entering the league in 2011, the most in the NFL over that span. The Bengals, who look to rebound following a Week 1 loss to Baltimore, are led by defensive tackle GENO ATKINS, who ranks first among NFL defensive tackles with 53 sacks since 2010, and wide receiver A.J. GREEN, who is one of only two players (RANDY MOSS) in league history with at least 950 receiving yards in each of his first six seasons.





Top 7 statistical highlights from Week 1 Sunday in the NFL



A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 10, the first week of the 2017 season.


  • Atlanta tight end AUSTIN HOOPER had two catches for 128 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown reception in the Falcons’ 23-17 win at Chicago. Hooper’s 88-yard touchdown is the longest TD catch by a tight end in a season opener in NFL history.


  • Los Angeles Rams cornerback TRUMAINE JOHNSON and safety LAMARCUS JOYNER each had an interception-return touchdown and defensive end MORGAN FOX recorded a safety in the team’s 46-9 win over Indianapolis.


The RAMS are the first team in NFL history to record two interception-return touchdowns and a safety in a season opener.


The Rams’ two interception-return touchdowns are tied for the most ever in a season opener and Los Angeles is the first team to accomplish the feat on Kickoff Weekend since the 2007 Minnesota Vikings(September 9, 2007 vs. Atlanta).


  • The Jacksonville Jaguars, led by defensive ends CALAIS CAMPBELL (four sacks) and DANTE FOWLER, JR. (one sack, 53-yard fumble-return touchdown), defeated Houston 29-7 at NRG Stadium.


The JAGUARS, who had 10 sacks and a defensive touchdown in the contest, are the second team in NFL history with at least 10 sacks and a defensive touchdown in a season-opening game. The Los Angeles Raiders recorded 10 sacks and had a 76-yard interception-return touchdown in the team’s 31-0 victory against the New York Jets on September 8, 1985.


  • Detroit quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 292 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 113.1 passer rating in the Lions’ 35-23 win over Arizona. Stafford, who led the Lions back from a 17-15 fourth-quarter deficit, has 27 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since 2011, the most such drives by a quarterback in the NFL over the span.


Last year, the Lions won eight games when trailing in the fourth quarter, the most by a team in a single season in NFL history.


  • Cleveland rookie quarterback DE SHONE KIZER passed for 222 yards with a touchdown and rushed for a TD against Pittsburgh in his first career start. Kizer’s start marks the 10th consecutive season a rookie quarterback has started on Kickoff Weekend, the longest streak since at least 1950.


  • Pittsburgh rookie linebacker T.J. WATT had two sacks and an interception in the Steelers’ 21-18 win at Cleveland. Watt is the first player to record at least two sacks and an interception in an NFL debut on Kickoff Weekend since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
  • Oakland kicker GIORGIO TAVECCHIO converted all four of his field-goal attempts in the Raiders’ 26-16 victory at Tennessee. Tavecchio, who connected on two 52-yard field goals in the contest, is the first player in league history to make two field goals of at least 50 yards in his NFL debut. He also joins SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI as the only players in team history to convert multiple 50-yard field goals in a single game.




Journeyman PK Josh Brown suspended 6 games by NFL for violating Personal Conduct Policy

The NFL notified Josh Brown that he will be suspended for the first six games of the 2017 NFL season for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

In August 2016, Brown was suspended for the first game of the 2016 season after an investigation into an incident on May 22, 2015 with his then wife.

Josh Brown (courtesy NY Giants)

In October 2016, the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office announced publicly that it had closed its investigation in connection with the 2015 incident. As part of its report, however, the Sheriff’s Office released a volume of documents from its investigation. These documents, which previously had been withheld from the public and the NFL, contained information regarding a series of other incidents separate from the May 2015 incident.

The league then placed Brown on the Commissioner Exempt list and initiated an investigation into those incidents. Following a comprehensive investigation, which included a review of the documents and interviews with Brown and several other people, the league concluded there was a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy that warranted a six-game suspension.

Brown was advised of this determination and elected to accept the discipline and begin serving the suspension immediately.




NFL Kickoff Weekend is upon us! What to look for



SUPER STARTERS: History indicates that the best way for a team to start its drive toward a Super Bowl championship is to win in Week 1.

The 51 Super Bowl winners have a 41-9-1 record in the Kickoff Weekend games of their title seasons. The Super Bowl LI champion NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, who host Kansas City in the season opener on Thursday night (8:30 PM ET, NBC), have won their past eight home openers played on Kickoff Weekend and 12 of their past 13 overall in Week 1.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are

victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game:

  • Of the 570 teams which won openers…297 went to the playoffs (179 won division titles).
  • Of the 571 teams which lost openers…137 went to the playoffs (79 won division titles).

    Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.

    In 2016, nine of the 12 playoff teams – Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New England, the New York Giants, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Seattle – were victorious on Kickoff Weekend.

    – NFL –

    STRONG OUT OF THE GATE: Over the past 10 years, six teams – New England (.758), Denver (.706), Dallas (.676), Green Bay (.676), Baltimore (.647) and Arizona (.618) – have a winning percentage of at least .600 through the season’s first month. Those six clubs have combined for 37 playoff berths and nine Super Bowl appearances – including five Super Bowl championships – during the span.

    On Thursday night, the Patriots, who have an NFL-best 25-8 record in the month of September since 2007, host the Kansas City Chiefs (8:30 PM ET, NBC). The Broncos (24-10, .706), who own the second-highest opening-month winning percentage in the NFL over the past 10 seasons, host the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC West showdown in the second game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader (10:20 PM ET, ESPN).

    The teams with the best opening month records over the past 10 seasons (2007-16):

New England 25 8 .758 9 4 2
Denver 24 10 .706 5 2 1
Dallas 23 11 .676 4 0 0
Green Bay 23 11 .676 9 1 1
Baltimore 22 12 .647 6 1 1
Arizona 21 13 .618 4 1 0

– NFL –

OUT OF THE BLOCKS: The DALLAS COWBOYS host the NEW YORK GIANTS on Sunday Night Football (8:30 PM ET, NBC), as the two NFC East rivals meet on Kickoff Weekend for the fourth time in the past five seasons. The contest will feature two of the NFL’s most successful teams in season openers. The Cowboys’ .661 winning percentage (37-19-1) is tied with Denver for the highest of any team in NFL history, while the Giants have the third-most wins on Kickoff Weekend (50).

The teams with the best winning percentage on Kickoff Weekend:


Dallas Cowboys 37-19-1 .661
Denver Broncos 37-19-1 .661
Houston Texans 9-6-0 .600
Chicago Bears 54-38-5 .587
Green Bay Packers 54-39-3 .581
New York Giants 50-37-5 .575
Note: Ties prior to 1972 did not count in winning percentage.


The teams with the most wins on Kickoff Weekend:


Chicago Bears 54
Green Bay Packers 54
New York Giants 50
Detroit Lions 47
Pittsburgh Steelers 42

– NFL –

STARTING STREAKS: Some clubs have excelled in openers. Below is a sampling of notable active NFL Kickoff milestones and streaks:

  • The CHICAGO BEARS, who host Atlanta to open their 2017 campaign, have the most wins (65) all-time in home openers.
  • The DALLAS COWBOYS, who welcome the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, have 32 wins in home openers since 1970, the most in the NFC.
  • The DENVER BRONCOS, who host the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, have posted a 43-13-1 (.768) record in home openers, the top mark in the NFL. Denver has won 23 of its past 26 home openers.
  • The GREEN BAY PACKERS, who welcome Seattle on Kickoff Weekend, have won their past four home openers. The Packers are tied with the Bears for the most wins (54) on Kickoff Weekend.
  • The HOUSTON TEXANS, who host Jacksonville on Kickoff Weekend, have won six of their past seven home openers.
  • The SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, who host Carolina on Kickoff Weekend, have the NFL’s longest active winning streak (six) on Kickoff Weekend.

– NFL –

START ME UP: Some players have excelled in openers. Below is a sampling of notable individual performances on NFL Kickoff Weekend:

  • New England quarterback TOM BRADY has 3,808 passing yards in 14 career Week 1 games and needs 192 yards to join PEYTON MANNING(4,736) and DREW BREES (4,306) as the third QB with at least 4,000 career passing yards in season-opening games. Brees (33 touchdown passes) and Brady (31) can surpass Manning (34) for the most career touchdown passes in season openers.
  • New Orleans running back ADRIAN PETERSON has 885 rushing yards in 10 career season-opening games and needs 115 yards to become the fifth player with at least 1,000 rushing yards in season-opening games. The four players to accomplish the feat are EMMITT SMITH (1,247), WALTER PAYTON (1,067), EDGERRIN JAMES (1,062) and JIM BROWN (1,043). Smith, Payton and Brown are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD has 918 receiving yards and eight touchdown receptions in 13 career season-opening games and needs 82 yards to become the fifth player with at least 1,000 career receiving yards and eight touchdown catches in season-opening games, joining JERRY RICE (1,385 yards, nine TDs), ANDRE REED (1,225, 10), RANDY MOSS (1,194, 10) and DON MAYNARD (1,025, nine). Rice, Reed and Maynard are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

– NFL –

MR. 300: Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS has 297 touchdown passes with 72 interceptions in 12 career seasons. With three touchdown passes against Seattle on Sunday, Rodgers would become the 11th quarterback in NFL history with 300 career touchdowns passes and the first quarterback in league history to reach 300 career passing touchdowns with fewer than 100 interceptions.

The quarterbacks who reached 300 career touchdown passes with the fewest interceptions:


Tom Brady New England Patriots 115
Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers 142
Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts 152
Drew Brees San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints 153
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers 160
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers 72*
*Has 297 career touchdowns passes entering Week 1

– NFL –

START ’EM EARLY: Cleveland rookie quarterback DE SHONE KIZER, a second-round pick (No. 52 overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft, is expected to make his first career start against Pittsburgh on Sunday. With a start by Kizer on Sunday, at least one rookie quarterback will have started in Week 1 in 10 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

The rookie quarterbacks to start in Week 1 since 2008:


2008 Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens 11-5
2008 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons 11-5
2009 Mark Sanchez New York Jets 8-7
2009 Matthew Stafford* Detroit Lions 2-8
2010 Sam Bradford* St. Louis Rams 7-9
2011 Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals 9-7
2011 Cam Newton* Carolina Panthers 6-10
2012 Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins 9-6
2012 Andrew Luck* Indianapolis Colts 11-5
2012 Ryan Tannehill Miami Dolphins 7-9
2012 Brandon Weeden Cleveland Browns 5-10
2012 Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks 11-5
2013 EJ Manuel Buffalo Bills 4-6
2013 Geno Smith New York Jets 8-8
2014 Derek Carr Oakland Raiders 3-13
2015 Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans 3-13
2015 Jameis Winston* Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10
2016 Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys 13-3
2016 Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles 7-9
2017 DeShone Kizer^ Cleveland Browns 0-0
^Expected to start in Week 1
*No. 1 Overall Pick      




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