NFL Research offers the best nuggets from each week of games in the NFL. Here are the most eye-popping statistical accomplishments of Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.
Patrick Mahomes continues Week 1 dominance against Cardinals
Not only does Mahomes have the most touchdowns (18) without an interception in Week 1, but his five games with at least three pass TDs and no INTs also tie Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for the most since 1950.
The one distinct difference between those names: Brady has played in the opening week 19 times. Manning did so 17 times. Mahomes? Five. He’s 5-for-5 in Week 1. In fact, Brees is the only other player with even 15 passing scores in Week 1 over any five-season span; he had 16 from 2008-2012.
Mahomes has the highest completion percentage (72.5), pass yards per game (308.4), pass yards per attempt (9.2), pass TD-INT ratio (18-0) and passer rating (136.9) in Week 1 games among quarterbacks with 150+ such pass attempts in the Super Bowl era.
If history tells its tale, Mahomes could be adding new hardware into his trophy case come winter. The 2018 NFL MVP became the fourth player since at least 1950 with 300+ pass yards, 5+ pass touchdowns and no interceptions in a Week 1 game. The others each went on to win AP NFL MVP that season: Lamar Jackson (2019), Peyton Manning (2013) and Dan Marino (1984). However, each of those three would have surely traded their individual keepsake for a Lombardi trophy. None went on to win the Super Bowl.
Mahomes throws handful of touchdowns … again
Not to be outdone by himself, Mahomes also became the sixth player in NFL history with 5-or-more pass touchdowns in at least six career games. The other five players (Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Dan Marino) each played at least 240 career games.
As far as how long it took them to reach six career games with a nickel of touchdown dimes, none of those previous five players reached the threshold in fewer than 107 career games (Manning). It took Brady 240 games to do it, almost four times as many as Mahomes (64).
Travis Kelce joins exclusive tight end company
As his quarterback put on a clinic against the Cardinals, Kelce pieced together eight catches for 121 yards and a tuddy. It was Kelce’s 30th career game with at least 100 receiving yards.
Kelce joins Rob Gronkowski (32) and Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (31) as the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 30 games of 100-plus receiving yards.
It’d be nice to say Kelce was on pace to set the NFL record for receiving yards in a tight end’s first 10 seasons, but that record already had his name scribbled next to it entering 2022 (Kelce’s 10th season).
Patriots slayer Tua Tagovailoa?
Tua did it again. The Hawaiian-born quarterback defeated the Patriots for the fourth straight time to start his career. He’s the only signal-caller with at least four starts to remain undefeated against New England in the Bill Belichick era.
In addition, Tagovailoa is one of two players with a winning record against The Hoodie in New England (since 2000) along with future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, who is 3-2 in five career starts vs. Belichick.
A.J. Brown flies high in Eagles debut
One week in, the Eagles’ trade for Brown is a revelation. Brown came out on fire in his Philadelphia debut with 128 receiving yards in the first half in Detroit. It was the most such yards by any non-rookie in a team debut since at least 1991 when play-by-play data was first tracked.
His final tally of 155 receiving yards is the fourth-most by any non-rookie in a team debut in NFL history, behind Anquan Boldin (208 in 2013 with SF), Randy Moss (183 in 2007 with NE) and Art Powell (181 in 1963 with OAK).
Not only did Brown have more targets, receptions, and receiving yards than all other Eagles combined in Week 1, but it was also the most of each metric by any Philly player with Jalen Hurts as the starter.
More old targets in new threads
Brown wasn’t the only highly sought after and highly priced wide receiver to shed his old threads and ball out in new uniforms in 2022. Brown, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill each led their team in targets, receptions and receiving yards in Week 1. Each had 100-plus scrimmage yards in Week 1.
Adams recorded his 17th game with at least 100 yards and a touchdown grab over the last five seasons, the most in NFL. He and Brown each finished with 10 receptions in their team debuts, which rank top five by a non-rookie in the Super Bowl era.
The person who may have noticed Adams’ performance most? His former teammate Aaron Rodgers. Packers wide receivers had fewer receiving yards (120) for the two-time reigning MVP than Adams did for his former college teammate Derek Carr (141).
Lamar Jackson, all he does is win
Despite the abundance of doubt entering this season, Jackson wins football games. Entering 2022, the Ravens QB had the third-highest win percentage (.755) since the 1970 merger among quarterbacks with at least 25 starts — behind Patrick Mahomes (.794) and Tom Brady (.755).
The Ravens’ Week 1 win over the Jets was Jackson’s 38th dub in 50 career starts. Since the merger, only Hall of Famer Ken Stabler and Mahomes (a future Hall of Famer) have put more ones in the win column over that span of starts.
Watch what you Saquon about Barkley
Saquon Barkley had been forgotten and doubted among the league’s elite backs; he entered the 2022 season in a contract year after missing 18 games since 2020.
After netting just 1 yard on a single carry in the first quarter in Tennessee, the 2023 free agent recaptured his early career form. Barkley rushed for the most yards (164) by any Giant in a season opener. Tiki Barber is the lone other player with 140-or-more rush yards in team history.
Matthew Stafford tied record for fastest to 50,000 pass yards
Despite suffering the second-largest Week 1 loss by a defending Super Bowl champion, the Rams’ Stafford eclipsed 50,000 passing yards in his 183rd career game in the NFL Kickoff game against the Bills. He tied Drew Brees for the fewest games (183) to reach that threshold in NFL history.
Travon Walker, T.J. Watt hit the Spider-Man meme
Walker, Jacksonville’s first-overall pick, tired to correct the Jaguars’ crash course back to the No. 1 selection. Walker became the first drafted player since T.J. Watt (2017) with both a sack and an interception in his NFL debut.
It’s said you are the company you keep. Coincidentally, the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year also had a sack and an interception against the Bengals on Sunday before leaving the game with what is thought to be a serious pectoral injury.
Bonus: Cade York ruins Baker Mayfield’s revenge against the Browns
Mayfield had Cleveland beat until York said he didn’t. After trailing 20-7 entering the fourth quarter, Mayfield rushed for a score, threw for another and led the Panthers to a 24-23 lead with 1:13 remaining. York’s game-winning 58-yard field goal for the Browns is the longest-made FG by a rookie in his team’s first game of the season in NFL history.
Research shoutouts: Jack Andrade (@RealJackAndrade), Dante Koplowitz-Fleming (@DanteKopFlem), Matt Okada (@MattOkada)
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