10 stats that defined Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season
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Lamar Jackson

10 stats that defined Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season

Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season has come and gone. Rather than overreacting to every teams’ first taste of game action, let’s unpack an uneven opening weekend — which saw seven contests decided by at least 14 points. Here are the 10 statistics that encapsulated the first week of the NFL year, the league’s 100th season.

1. Baltimore’s 59 points

The Baltimore Ravens, founded in 1996, set a franchise record by scoring 59 points in their shellacking of the lowly Dolphins. They scored 42 points before halftime, setting an NFL record for most points in the first half of a regular-season opener. The Ravens amassed 643 total yards, the most in franchise history.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson finished with a perfect 158.3 passer rating, completing 17-of-20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns. He guided the Ravens to touchdowns on each of their first four possessions. Jackson became the first-ever Ravens quarterback to register a perfect passer rating.

2. Marquise Brown’s 148 yards, 2 TDs

Rookie wideout Marquise Brown began his career with a bang. Brown reeled in four passes for 148 yards and two scores. Brown caught TDs of 47 and 83 yards, the first time a player registered two 40+ yard scoring receptions in his pro debut.

Remarkably, Brown achieved those tremendous numbers despite logging just 12 snaps on offense.

3. Dak Prescott’s perfect 158.3 passer rating

Dak Prescott also posted a perfect passer rating, totaling 405 passing yards with four TDs. Prescott, who is closing in on a new contract with Dallas, demonstrated his worth on Sunday by completing 25-of-32 attempts to seven different pass catchers. He fired touchdowns to Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Blake Jarwin and Jason Witten in the Dallas Cowboys’ smackdown of the rival New York Giants.

Witten came out of retirement after one year in the “Monday Night Football” booth, returning for a Cowboys team-record 16th season. His touchdown was the 69th of his legendary career.

4. San Francisco’s 2 pick-sixes

The San Francisco 49ers mustered only two interceptions in 2018. They already surpassed that measly total in game 1 of the 2019 campaign, intercepting Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston three times and returning two of those picks for touchdowns.

Richard Sherman picked off an errant Winston pass in the second quarter and ran it back to the house. Sherman’s interception was the 33rd of his career and his first with San Francisco.

Ahkello Witherspoon put the game of reach with a pick-six late in the fourth quarter on a failed screen pass from Winston.

5. Sammy Watkins explodes for career-best 198 yards, 3 TDs

Sammy Watkins had a career afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He recorded nine receptions with career-bests in receiving yards (198) and touchdowns (3).

Fellow Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill left the contest early with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss the next couple of weeks. Hill’s injury thrusts Watkins into the No. 1 receiver role for the Chiefs, who dropped 40 points on the host Jaguars.

6. T.J. Hockenson’s historic 131-yard pro debut

The Detroit Lions drafted tight end T.J. Hockenson with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Hockenson, the highest-drafted player at his position since Vernon Davis in 2006, brought in six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Hockenson’s 131 receiving yards are the most by a tight end in his professional debut in NFL history. Furthermore, Hockenson is the first Lions player to exceed 100 receiving yards in his debut since 1968.

7. Vikings’ 38-10 Run-Pass Ratio

The Minnesota Vikings steamrolled the Atlanta Falcons behind a dominant defensive effort and a firm commitment to the rushing attack.  The Vikings intercepted Matt Ryan twice, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt.

On offense, the Vikings ran the ball on nearly 80% (38/48) of their plays. Kirk Cousins had career lows in pass attempts (10), completions (eight) and passing yards (98). Still, he managed to hit Adam Thielen on a 23-yard touchdown strike and added a 1-yard rushing touchdown. Dalvin Cook spearheaded the offense, rushing for 111 yards and two TDs in the 28-12 victory.

8. DeSean Jackson collects two 50+ yard TDs, 154 receiving yards in Eagles return

DeSean Jackson played spectacular in his first game in an Eagles uniform since 2013 . He hauled in two long touchdown receptions from QB Carson Wentz–from 51 and 53 yards away–helping the Philadelphia Eagles overcome a 17-point deficit in an eventual 32-27 win over the Redskins.

Jackson’s 51-yard TD got the Eagles on the board in the second quarter, while his 53-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter put the Eagles ahead for good.

Jackson has 31 career TDs of at least 50 yards, placing him second on the NFL’s all-time list, trailing only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (36).

9. Austin Ekeler’s 154 yards from scrimmage and 3 TDs, including OT game-winner

Los Angeles Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon is holding out in hopes of landing a new, lucrative contract. The Chargers’ offense, however, didn’t miss a beat without him on Sunday, particularly in the rushing attack.

Third-year halfback Austin Ekeler, pressed into the starting duties, accumulated a career-best 154 yards from scrimmage. He also scored three touchdowns, including the walk-off winner on a 7-yard run with 5:01 remaining in overtime.

Ekeler caught six passes for 96 yards and two TDs. The undrafted tailback carried 12 times for 58 yards and a score in the 30-24 victory over the Colts.

The Chargers are 5-0 in the past two seasons when Gordon does not play.

10. Baker Mayfield’s 3 interceptions, Browns’ 18 penalties

The Cleveland Browns have not won their season-opener since 2004. Despite being favored by 5.5 points, the Browns were routed 43-13 by the visiting Tennessee Titans.

Baker Mayfield tied a career-worst mark with three interceptions in his most lopsided defeat since high school.

The Browns committed 18 penalties—their most since 1951—for a whopping 182 yards.