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NFL: A Look Back at Week 1
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13 Sep 2017 02:15 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford drops back to pass. (Image Source: Getty Images)

Around the NFL, Week 1:

Top Passers

Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith started Kickoff Weekend and Sam Bradford of the Minnesota Vikings helped close it out with prolific passing efforts.

In Minnesota’s 29-19 Monday Night Football win over the New Orleans Saints Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes (84.4 percent) for 346 yards and three touchdowns (no INTs). In the season’s first game, Smith led the Chiefs to an upset of the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots on Thursday night. He connected on four touchdown passes and threw for 368 yards (no INTs) while completing 80 percent of his passes (28 of 35).

With their performances, Smith and Bradford became the first quarterbacks in NFL history to complete at least 80 percent of their passes, with 325-plus passing yards, three touchdowns or more, and no interceptions in Week 1.

Rookie Watch

It was a big week for rookie runners, as three of Week 1’s leading rushers were making their NFL debuts. Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt led the way with 148 yards, Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook is right behind him with 127 yards, and Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette rounded out the top five with 100 yards. All three helped their teams start the season 1-0. The last time three rookies topped the century mark on the ground was 1979 when Ottis Anderson, William Andrews, and Jerry Eckwood did so.

The Pass Catchers

The Pittsburgh Steelers eked out a 21-18 win over the Cleveland Browns, thanks to an amazing effort by wide receiver Antonio Brown, who went off for 182 yards on 11 receptions. It was the third-most receiving yards on Kickoff Weekend over the past decade. With six career games of eight-plus catches and at least 180 receiving yards, Brown is tied for the third-most such games in NFL history, one behind Isaac Bruce and Charley Hennigan.

On Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys took care of the New York Giants 19-3 and in their victory tight end Jason Witten caught seven passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. With those 59 receiving yards Witten passed Hall of Fame wide out Michael Irvin (11,904 yards) for the most in franchise history. The tight end now has 11,947 receiving yards in his career.

Atlanta’s Julio Jones caught four passes for 66 yards, as the Falcons beat the Chicago Bears 23-17. He now has 501 career receptions and tied Anquan Boldin for the fewest games (80) to reach the 500-catch plateau.

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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