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Around the NFL: A Look Back at Kickoff Weekend
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11 Sep 2018 01:12 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. (Image Source: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Around the NFL Week 1:

Points!

The Tampa Bay Bucs and New Orleans Saints combined for 88 points, which is the most scored in a NFL Kickoff Weekend game, breaking the mark of 87 points scored by the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins in 1947.

In victory (48-40), Tampa quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns (no INTs) with a rushing touchdown to join Washington’s Mark Rypien as the only players with 400 passing yards, four touchdown passes, no picks, and a rushing score in a game.

Two of Fitzpatrick’s touchdowns were hauled in by DeSean Jackson who had 146 receiving yards, including a 58-yard scoring strike. D-Jax now has 27 career touchdowns of 50-plus yards, tied for the third most with Lance Alworth and Terrell Owens, behind Jerry Rice (36) and Randy Moss (29). All four are Hall of Famers.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees had a strong game as well with three touchdown passes to give him 37 on season openers, an NFL record. Wide out Michael Thomas set a new career high and an NFL Kickoff Weekend record with 16 catches against the Bucs for 180 yards (1 TD).

Milestones

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown to go with 70 receiving yards in their 24-6 win over Arizona. He’s rushed for 12,372 yards and 100 scores on the ground in his career, just the seventh player in the history of the NFL with at least 12,000 rushing yards and 100-plus rushing TDs. He also moved ahead of Marshall Faulk into 10th place on the all-time rushing list.

All-Purpose Star

The Kansas City Chiefs put up 38 points in their 10-point win over the San Diego Chargers behind a strong all-around performance from Tyreek Hill, who caught seven passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. His 58-yard scoring grab was his second-longest touchdown of Week 1, as Hill returned a punt 91 yards all the way to pay dirt. He’s the third player ever with a 50-yard TD catch and 90-yard punt return TD in a game. His 13 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards through through 32 games ties Hill with Gale Sayers and Devin Hester for the most scores of 50-plus yards in a player’s first 35 games.

Week 1 Hall of Famer

Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 76 receiving yards against Washington to join Jerry Rice, Andre Reed, Randy Moss, and Don Maynard as the only players with 1,000 career receiving yards on Kickoff Weekend. Fitzgerald also moved ahead of Tony Gonzalez with his 212th-straight game with a reception, the second-longest streak in NFL history behind Jerry Rice (274).

Rookie Watch

Cornerback Denzel Ward of the Cleveland Browns intercepted two passes in their 21-21 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 21 years, 134 days old, Ward became the fourth-youngest player in the history of the NFL to record multiple interceptions. He’s also the first rookie with more than one pick in a season opener since 1984.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.

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