As the dust settles on yesterdays NFL kickoff games, we saw moments that ranged from nail-biting finishes to history-in-the-making performances. Here’s a recap of seven monumental highlights from the weekend:
- Close Calls & Comebacks:
In a thrilling start to the 2023 season, seven games hung in the balance, being decided by just one score or less. Dramatically, Detroit, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Miami, and Washington all managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, coming from behind in the fourth quarter. What’s more? Eight teams that didn’t taste the postseason last year won this weekend, and an impressive nine teams clinched victories on the road.
- Miami’s Dynamic Duo:
Miami Dolphins’ quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, put on an aerial show, passing for a whopping 466 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Tyreek Hill was on the other end of many of those passes, with 11 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Both Tagovailoa and Hill etched their names in the NFL record books with these performances.
- San Francisco’s Star:
49ers quarterback, Brock Purdy, not only secured a win against Pittsburgh with a score of 30-7 but also made history. He’s the first quarterback to win his initial six career starts, each time throwing at least two touchdown passes and maintaining a passer rating of 95 or higher.
- Rams’ Rousing Start:
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback, threw for 334 yards, while rookie sensation, Puka Nacua, made a splash in his NFL debut with 10 receptions and 119 yards.
- Rookies Stepping Up:
The 2023 season began with three rookie quarterbacks making their debut. Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson all took the field on Kickoff Weekend. Richardson, aged just 21, became the youngest in the Super Bowl era to both pass and rush for a touchdown in a single game.
- Minnesota’s Marvel:
Justin Jefferson, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, continued to prove why he’s one of the best in the game. He now stands as the quickest player in NFL history to have 25 games with at least 100 receiving yards.
- Defensive Dominance:
It’s not all about the offence! Jacksonville’s Josh Allen, San Francisco’s Drake Jackson, and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt each demonstrated their prowess with three sacks. This feat made 2023 only the second season since 1990 to witness three or more players recording at least three sacks in the first week.
- Cincinnati’s Ja’Marr Chase surpassed NFL legend Randy Moss in career receiving yards in just his 30th game.
- Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers’ running back, showcased his versatility, accumulating 164 scrimmage yards.
- David Ojabo, in just his third game as a pro, recorded both a sack and a forced fumble for Baltimore, marking a remarkable start to his career.
The 2023 season is off to an exhilarating start, and if this weekend is anything to go by, fans are in for an unforgettable year of football!