Russell Wilson was flawless in the Seattle Seahawks' final three drives, making a number of ridiculous improvised plays to win in a comeback over the Carolina Panthers. Andrew Luck completed his first eight passes, with two touchdowns in his first two drives. And he ran in the Indianapolis Colts' game-winning touchdown against the Oakland Raiders.
This young crop of quarterbacks isn't going away. Their development might be the story to watch above all others this NFL season.
Here's what else we learned in Sunday's 13 games:
- Pittsburgh's running backs were a blatant mess. There was no sustaining element in the ground game, with the Titans winning the battle of the trenches. Isaac Redman didn't help matters with two fumbles, including one into the end zone that ruined a scoring opportunity. Le'Veon Bell will be welcomed back with open arms. Just don't expect to see him in action next week.
- Game 1 of the Mike Shula era wasn't inspiring. The Panthers played like they were trying to protect a four-point lead most of the day. There was a lot of run-run-pass play-calling.
- Some things change and some things stay the same. The Lions won the game but left at least 21 points on the field. Myriad penalties (11) and two turnovers display a team still not mentally prepared to make the leap.
- We're not ready to count the Jets as AFC contenders, but their defense will keep them in games this season. Rex Ryan did what he does, confusing the opposing quarterback with multiple looks. The defensive line -- the new area of strength for the unit -- put consistent pressure on Freeman. Top draft pick Dee Milliner was picked on early but had a much less eventful second half. Doug Martin was held to 2.7 yards per carry, an impressive achievement.
- It only gets worse for Gabbert: He needed 15 stitches woven into his right (throwing) hand after the game, per The Associated Press. Jacksonville plans to stick with him as the starting quarterback if he's healthy, NFL Media's Steve Wyche reported, but Gabbert has to be feeling Chad Henne's breath on his neck after this one.
- Jay Cutler looked more comfortable in Trestman's offense in the second half than in any other time he's been in Chicago. The quarterback's production finally could live up to his potential if that level of comfort continues.
- The Bengals continue to stub their own paws. Three turnovers and eight penalties signaled the troubles. An unnecessary roughing penalty on Rey Maualuga that cost the team a chance to get the ball back at the end of the game underscored the issue. Too bad for us the "Hard Knocks" cameras no longer are around to catch the saltiness from coaches that is likely to ensue this week.
- Andrew Luck came out of the gate on fire, starting 8-of-8 passing for 113 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders slowed down Indy's attack after that, but Luck came through again when it counted, engineering a drive that ended with his go-ahead 19-yard touchdown run. Luck looks every bit the part of a legit MVP candidate.
- Clay Matthews played like a man possessed, but the Packers had no answer for the Colin Kaepernick-Anquan Boldin connection. Boldin and Vernon Davis exploited the middle of the field all game while the Packers were preoccupied with a read option that was used sparingly by 49ers coordinator Greg Roman.
- Eddie Lacy had no room to run early on. The rookie was benched in the second quarter after fumbling, but he salvaged his afternoon with a 31-yard tackle-breaking screen pass and an impressive fourth-quarter drive capped off by a diving touchdown. He has difference-making talent in the Packers' rushing attack.