10 interesting stats and facts from Week 1 of the NFL

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Week 1 of the NFL has concluded with 16 teams undefeated and 16 teams still searching for their first win.

In the process of the Week 1 results, a lot of history was made. Some of it good, some of it bad and some of it very interesting. We’ll try to mix it all in with 10 stats or facts we found noteworthy. So let’s just get right into it.

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Saquon Barkley’s tough night

Giants running back Saquon Barkley finished with a bizarre stat line against the Steelers. Barkley ran 15 times for a total of six yards with a long of seven. He couldn’t find any running room as he finished the game with eight carries that went for negative yards.

To top it all off, Barkley was out-rushed this week by Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and George Kittle (who all had  yards each). 

Stephen Gostkowski drops on all-time list

Stephen Gostkowski was a legend of a kicker for 14 years in New England. But he struggled last season, missing four extra points and one field goal in four games. He was then placed on injured reserve and ultimately released from the team.

The Titans brought him in this offseason hoping to recreate the magic of his glory days, but it went awry in Week 1. Gostkowski went 0 for 3 on field goal attempts before ultimately nailing the game-winner (he also missed an extra point). That lone bad night dropped him significantly in the all-time most accurate kicker list.

Giants end drive in disaster

One final stat from the Monday night games. 

The Giants got control of the ball with the second possession of the second half, and held on to it for a very long time. New York ran 19 plays, taking up nearly  minutes of game clock. The Giants drove the ball all the way downfield to the 4-yard line, where Daniel Jones threw an interception, ending the drive. This drive was a blessing for the Steelers, who were able to hold on to their lead as the Giants just drained the clock themselves.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick passes Hall of Famers

Ryan Fitzpatrick moved up the all-time career passing leaders list, passing Hall of Famers Y.A. Tittle and Troy Aikman. He’s just 47 yards away from passing another Hall of Famer in Steve Young. He’s the highest quarterback on the list to play for eight different teams, which just speaks to his remarkable journeyman career.

If Fitzpatrick throws for the same amount of yards this season as he did last season, he’ll finish the year as the 27th all-time leader in passing yards.

(SN/Getty)

Garnder Minshew makes history

Who needs to Tank For Trevor when you can Make Do With Minshew?

The Jaguars’ quarterback completed all but one of his 20 pass attempts as he finished with 173 yards and three touchdowns. He even added an extra 19 yards on the ground. 

Kyler Murray knows how to protect himself

One of the complaints you hear about quarterbacks who scramble is that they won’t be able to keep up that style of play for long. But if the quarterbacks are smart about it, they’ll use the best practices available to avoid taking too many hits. And that’s exactly what Kyler Murray did in Week 1.

Maybe the Lions gave up too soon

The Lions moved on from Jim Caldwell after back-to-back 9-7 seasons. They replaced him with Matt Patricia who has won  games total in the two seasons (and one game) since he took over.

His coaching ability was called into question after Sunday’s loss to the Bears as the Lions blew a 23-6 lead in the fourth quarter. In 2019, Patricia’s Lions blew seven fourth-quarter leads and he started the 2020 season with another one. When asked whether there was something “that isn’t happening enough in the fourth quarter,” Patricia was quick to deflect.

“Yeah, I don’t think so,” Patricia said. “I think I got probably one of the biggest plays in the fourth quarter in the history of the NFL.”

Baker Mayfield and the Browns make odd history

Baker Mayfield has had four different head coaches within the first 30 games of his career despite playing for the same team. This one isn’t fully Mayfield’s fault, but it’s interesting nonetheless. It’s tough for any quarterback to get going when he’s got a revolving door of coaches.

Frank Gore is still going strong

Frank Gore is with the New York Jets now, and he made history Sunday with his brief appearance. Gore has now passed Emmitt Smith for the most regular season games played by an NFL running back in league history, with 227 games.

The lifespan for an NFL running back is typically much shorter than other positions. So for Gore to set this record means he’s had to overcome incredible odds. He’s been playing so long that his son, Frank Gore Jr., made his collegiate debut earlier this month for Southern Miss.

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Black quarterbacks get an opportunity

A lot of the comments on our Facebook page questioned why it was a big deal that an NFL-record 10 Black quarterbacks started games in Week 1. It’s a big deal because for a long time, Black athletes were denied an opportunity to play the quarterback position. They were often asked to change positions, or simply not viewed as quarterbacks because team owners didn’t want them as the face of the franchise.

“It was an unwritten rule that the reason Blacks weren’t playing quarterback was because we weren’t smart enough,” former NFL QB James Harris told Newsday. “We couldn’t lead. There was some concern about character. Throughout the country, there was that issue. We just didn’t have Blacks getting the opportunity to excel.”

Now, Black quarterbacks are given an opporunity. And they have excelled. The 10 Black quarterbacks who started went a combined 7-3 (Teddy Bridgewater, Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson lost).