NFL Week 1: A Look at the Record-Breaking Offensive Week It Was
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
It’s the NFL story of the first week. Offenses ran wild and put up fantastic and jaw-dropping numbers.
After the lockout, fans and commentators speculated that without a full offseason, offenses might struggle to find their rhythm. After the demonstrations over the past five days, this is clearly not true.
How crazy were offenses on the opening weekend of 2011? Let’s take a look…
Offensive Yards by Winning Teams
The Lions totaled the 2nd most offensive yards in Week One.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
In the opening week of 2010, winning teams generated 5,108 yards of total offense. This year, teams gained 5,974 yards, or about a 15 percent increase.
Tom Brady and the Patriots led the way with 622 yards on offense. The 49ers brought up the rear with 209 in their victory over Seattle (this was due to two kick returns for touchdowns by return man Ted Ginn Jr.)
According to Adam Schefter, the 7,842 net passing yards last weekend was the most in a single weekend in NFL history.
Offensive Yards by Losing Teams
Cam Newton surprised just about everyone when he had 440 yards of total offense in the Panthers lose to Arizona.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Teams that lost in Week 1 accumulated 5,237 total yards, that's up from 4,852 in last year’s opening week.
Posting that many yards in a loss isn't all that rare. In 2010, six teams gained more than 500 yards and still lost (the Broncos did so in Week 3 against Indy and somehow only managed 13 points).
As if Tom Brady needed another NFL record...
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Here’s a real change:
2010 Week One points: 585
2011 Week One points: 745
That’s an increase of more than 20 percent.
Green Bay set the standard when they posted the week's high on Thursday night.
Nine teams scored more than 30 points, eight of them doing so in a victory. Last year, only five teams scored that many points in their opening game.
Larry French/Getty Images
Here’s another change that speaks to the impact of the lockout. And it’s one you would not have expected...
Offenses committed 48 turnovers. Last year, they did so 55 times in Week 1.
This number would have been less, but the Pittsburgh Steelers alone accounted for more than 15 percent of those turnovers.
Last year, only one team committed seven turnovers in a game. Coincidentally, Pittsburgh was the team which produced those seven turnovers.
So much for offenses being sloppy or out of sync because of the truncated offseason.
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Best QB in football after Week One
Peter Aiken/Getty Images
NFL quarterbacks posted a cumulative QB Rating of 91.2 in Week 1. That's higher than the career marks of Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Jim Kelly.
After week one, 13 starting quarterbacks have a rating above 100. Ryan Fitzpatrick leads all of them with a 133 mark. Aaron Rodgers is a hair behind him at 132.1
Ted Ginn's two return touchdowns helped set an NFL record.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
- Tom Brady’s 517 passing yards was the 5th highest all-time.
- Brady, with a major assist from Wes Welker, tied the NFL record for longest touchdown. The 99 yard touchdown pass has been accomplished 12 times in NFL.
- NFL kick returners, who were supposed to be hampered by new kick-off rules, tied an NFL record with three kick-off returns for a touchdown. Add in the five punt returns for touchdowns and you have another NFL record for most returned kicks in NFL history (8 - in case you don't want to do any math).
- Sebastian Janikowski nailed a record-tying 63 yard field goal.