There were plenty of highlights from NFL Kickoff Weekend leading to Sunday night’s game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.
But the list of seven accomplishment released by the league are remarkable.
Here’s a look at what stood out from the contests played on Thursday night and Sunday’s afternoon games.
There have been only three 10-plus catch, 200-plus yard receiving performances on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history. And following a 13-catch, 208-yard performance on Sunday against the Packers, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin has two of them.
Boldin’s first came in his 2003 NFL debut with the Arizona Cardinals when he totaled 10 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns. The only other player with such a game on Kickoff Weekend is Dallas’ Frank Clarke, who turned in a 10-catch, 241-yard and three touchdowns performance on Sept. 16, 1962.
Five quarterbacks recorded 350-plus yards passing performances leading into the Sunday night game. The number marks the most ever on NFL Kickoff Weekend. Headlining the list is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (462) and he’s joined by San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick (412), Baltimore’s Joe Flacco (362), New Orleans’ Drew Brees (357) and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, also with 357.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady improved to 11-1 (.917) in season openers following the Patriots’23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills. Brady holds the best record among quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era, according to an NFL release.
And with Sunday’s win, the Patriots have extended their winning streak on Kickoff Weekend to 10, a mark tied as the third-longest streak in league history with the Detroit Lions/Portsmouth Spartans (1930-39).
It’s truly a Brees
Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ 357 yards passing during Sunday’s 23-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons is sixth straight 300-yard passing game. He’s now tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (1998), Kurt Warner (2000) and Rich Gannon (2002) for the second-longest streak in league history. And for anybody who may have forgotten, Brees already owns the NFL record with nine straight 300-yard passing games, a milestone he hit in 2011-12.
Talk about Luck
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck scored the game-winning touchdown against the Oakland Raiders with 5:20 left on the clock. The second-year pro has now led the Colts to eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since entering the league, the most through a quarterback’s first 17 games that began his career since the 1970 merger.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a 78-yard touchdown run and Detroit Lions rusher Reggie Bush had a 77-yard touchdown reception in the Lions’ 34-24 win over Minnesota. That marked the first time since 1971 when opposing players had 75-plus yard scrimmage touchdowns on Kickoff Weekend when Dallas’ Bob Hayes and Buffalo’s Marlin Briscoe accomplished the feat.
New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith threw for 256 yards and a touchdown in the Jets’ 18-17 win over Tampa Bay. The rookie out of West Virginia is the first rookie quarterback drafted in the second round or later to pass for at least 250 yards and win on Kickoff Weekend since the 1970 merger.