NFL Research offers the best nuggets from each week of games in the NFL. Here are the most eye-popping statistical accomplishments from Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.
1) Tua Tagovailoa’s season-opening performance puts him among NFL elites
Tagovailoa made waves in Week 1, throwing for 466 yards and three touchdowns in an electrifying showing against the Chargers.
As far as season-opening performances go, Tagovailoa’s passing total puts him on an impressive list of sure-fire Hall of Famers. His 466 passing yards are the third-most in a Week 1 game in the Super Bowl era, bested only by Tom Brady’s 517-yard performance against the Dolphins in 2011 and Miami legend Dan Marino’s 473-yard total from 1994 against the Patriots. Fourth place on that list does not include the Dolphins, as that belongs to Peyton Manning’s 462 yards in 2013 against the then-reigning Super Bowl champion Ravens.
Tagovailoa’s yardage is also the most in a game against the Chargers in NFL history, besting Gus Frerotte’s 462-yard performance in Week 12, 2000.
This was not the first time Tagovailoa has put together a stunning performance in a road win. In Week 2 of last season he threw for a career-high 469 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-38 win in Baltimore.
Tagovailoa’s two road wins with 450-plus pass yards are tied for the most since 1950 (tied with Brady, Joe Montana and Boomer Esiason).
2) Tyreek Hill breaks record for most games with 200-plus yards and multiple TDs
Hill was the main beneficiary of Tagovailoa’s Week 1 dominance, posting an impressive 11 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
This was the third game of Hill’s career in which he recorded at least 200 receiving yards and multiple receiving touchdowns, breaking a tie with Jerry Rice (and eight others) for the most such games in a career since 1950.
Hill’s 215 receiving yards against the Chargers are the second most in a Week 1 game in the Super Bowl era, just two yards shy of Anquan Boldin’s record 217 yards that he put up in his 2003 opener against the Lions.
The Dolphins’ lead wideout is no stranger to starting the season strong — in his career he has averaged 109.9 receiving yards in Week 1, the most since 1970 (among players with at least three career Week 1 appearances).
3) Justin Jefferson first since 1980s to have 150-plus receiving yards in consecutive openers
Speaking of star wide receivers who are used to putting on a show in Week 1, Jefferson added another notch to his WR1 belt on Sunday. For the second straight year, Jefferson eclipsed 150 receiving yards in the Vikings’ season opener. He’s the first player with 150-plus receiving yards in consecutive season openers since Louis Lipps did it with the Steelers in 1984 and 1985.
Sunday was Jefferson’s ninth career game with 150-plus receiving yards, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Randy Moss for the most such games in a career prior to turning 25 years old. Jefferson’s 25th birthday isn’t until June 16, so he should have a full season to pad that lead.
4) Notable rookie quarterbacks have strong performances
Rookie Anthony Richardson showcased some of his promising talent as he made his NFL debut with the Colts in Week 1. Richardson, who was the first rookie Week 1 starter for the Colts since Andrew Luck in 2012, kept Indianapolis competitive against the reigning division champion Jaguars.
Richardson finished the game with 223 pass yards, a passing touchdown, 40 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. The 2023 fourth-overall pick became the third player drafted in the top-five in the Common Draft era to throw and rush for a touchdown in his NFL debut — joining Cam Newton (first overall pick in 2011) and Archie Manning (second overall pick in 1971).
Richardson (21 years and 111 days old on Sunday) also became the youngest player in the Super Bowl era to throw for a touchdown and rush for a touchdown in the same game.
Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud also made history this week, despite his team falling 25-9 to the Ravens.
The second overall pick in the 2023 draft started off his NFL career with a self-assist, catching his own first career pass attempt after it was tipped at the line. Stroud is the first player in the play-by-play era (since 1991) to catch his first pass attempt.
He and Hall of Famer Brett Favre are the only players since 1991 to be the recipient of their first completion.
Stroud went on to complete 28 of his 44 pass attempts and avoided throwing an interception.
Since 1970, the only other quarterbacks with 25-plus completions and zero interceptions in their NFL debut were Mac Jones in 2021 and Dak Prescott in 2016. Jones and Prescott both had promising rookie campaigns as each led their team to double-digit wins and were selected to the Pro Bowl that season. The Texans and Stroud would happily sign up for a similar season.
5) Eight combined field goals in TEN-NO kick off the season
While it may not have been the most exciting showing for kicking-game casuals, us real placekicker aficionados were treated to a spectacular game in the Titans and Saints’ Week 1 matchup.
Only one touchdown was scored (a Rashid Shaheed catch), but there were eight(!) combined field goals in this game. That is an all-time record in a Week 1 game.
Journeyman kicker Nick Folk went five-for-five in his Titans debut, and rookie Blake Grupe knocked in three field goals in his NFL debut as the Saints squeaked out a 16-15 win in their home opener.
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