Road to the Super Bowl
File this one in the category "who knew?" Every year since 2009, the team that plays Philadelphia in the Eagles' home opener has gone on to win the Super Bowl that season. Incredibly, the 2009 New Orleans Saints, 2010 Green Bay Packers, 2011 New York Giants and 2012 Baltimore Ravens all have that first game in Philadelphia in common. The Chargers will have to win the Super Bowl for this unusual streak to continue. San Diego visits Philadelphia on Sunday.
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Quarterback Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes in his Kansas City Chiefs debut versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 (a game the Chiefs won, 28-2). That matched the number of touchdown passes the Chiefs threw over the final nine weeks of the 2012 season.
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The Dallas Cowboys defense forced six turnovers against the New York Giants in Week 1. The Cowboys didn't force their sixth turnover in 2012 until Week 7 against the Panthers.
Anquan Boldin had 13 receptions, 208 yards and a touchdown versus the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, becoming the only player since 1966 with more than 200 receiving yards in two season openers (217 yards in Week 1, 2003 versus Detroit). Boldin, who played for the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens before being traded to the 49ers, is the first player in NFL history to have 100 yards receiving in his debuts with three different teams. Sorry, Ravens fans. In your Week 1 loss to the Broncos, your fleet of wide receivers combined for just 7 more yards than Boldin had himself on Sunday.
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Last Sunday's victory over the Oakland Raiders was Andrew Luck's first NFL game under offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, his college offensive coordinator. Luck threw his fewest number of pass attempts as a professional, 23 (previous low 26), yet posted his highest passer rating ever, 127.9 (previous high 107.5).
Last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola had seven of his 10 catches go for a third-down conversion. The man that Amendola replaced in New England, Wes Welker, had only 21 such catches last season.
In 2012, three of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs started 2-0: the Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. Nine of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs started the season 1-1: the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. Zero of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs started the season 0-2.
All is not lost
All four AFC North teams lost in Week 1. Since division realignment in 2002, all the teams in a division have started 0-1 two other times. In both cases, the division still ended up sending two teams to playoffs - the 2011 NFC South (New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons made playoffs) and the 2002 AFC North (Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns made playoffs).
Reggie Bush's debut
Reggie Bush had 21 rushes for 90 yards and four receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown in Detroit's Week 1 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. How impressive was his Lions debut? The NFL has featured only one other player with more than 90 rushing yards and more than 100 receiving yards in a debut with a new team -- Cid Edwards, who left the Cardinals for the Chargers and had 100 receiving yards and 97 rushing yards in his debut with San Diego in 1972.
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The last time the Green Bay Packers had a 100-yard rusher in the regular season was also the last time they played the Washington Redskins -- Week 5, 2010. They have gone 44 consecutive games without a player reaching the century mark since Brandon Jackson rushed for 115 yards in a 16-13 loss to Donovan McNabb's Redskins.