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.
Lamar Jackson is the first player with at least 5 passing TDs in a season opener since Peyton Manning (2013). pic.twitter.com/J0CslLxJN2
— ESPN (@espn) September 8, 2019
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.
— The Game Haus Sports (@TGHSports) September 8, 2019
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.
Welcome back to the NFL Jason Witten!
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) September 8, 2019
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.
New year, same Jameis Winston
Richard Sherman pick six! pic.twitter.com/1tfGDIqmBW
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) September 8, 2019
Ahkello Witherspoon put the game of reach with a pick-six late in the fourth quarter on a failed screen pass from Winston.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 8, 2019
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.
— NFL (@NFL) September 8, 2019
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.
Here is TJ Hockenson’s first career NFL touchdown.
The Lions rookie is a beast. pic.twitter.com/nG7W7UISPm
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 8, 2019
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.
Dalvin Cook joins Adrian Peterson as the only Vikings players to rush for 100 YDs and 2 TDs in the team's season opener. pic.twitter.com/2onq87dbKZ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 8, 2019
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.
DeSean Jackson’s last TD with Eagles was December 15, 2013 at Minnesota
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 8, 2019
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).
Most career TDs of 50+ yards in NFL history:
1. Jerry Rice, 36
2. DeSean Jackson, 31
3. Randy Moss, 29
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) September 9, 2019
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.
Austin Ekeler walk-off TD in overtime 🏈
— PFF (@PFF) September 8, 2019
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.
Austin Ekeler became the first undrafted player to record at least 150 scrimmage yards, two receiving TDs and a rushing TD in a single game since Dan Reeves (156/2/2) accomplished the feat with the Cowboys in 1967.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) September 9, 2019
The Chargers are 5-0 in the past two seasons when Gordon does not play.
10. Baker Mayfield’s 3 interceptions, Browns’ 18 penalties
Baker Mayfield tied a career-worst mark with three interceptions in his most lopsided defeat since high school.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 8, 2019
The Browns committed 18 penalties—their most since 1951—for a whopping 182 yards.