A recap of opening day across the NFL
Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick joined Washington’s Mark Rypien (1991 vs. Atlanta) as the only QBs in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards, four touchdowns and no INTs and rush for a touchdown in a single game. Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and four TDs in the Buccaneers’ 48-40 win at New Orleans. ... Rob Gronkowski had seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in New England’s 27-20 win over Houston for the 27th regular-season 100-yard game of his career, second-most for a tight end in NFL history. Tony Gonzalez had 31, but Gronkowski also had four in the postseason — and Gonzalez had none. ... Patriots coach Bill Belichick earned his 251st regular-season win, passing Tom Landry for third on the NFL’s all-time list. ... New Orleans’ Drew Brees passed for three touchdowns against Tampa Bay, giving him 37 in season-opening games to surpass the previous record of 34 held by Peyton Manning. ... Michael Thomas’ career-high 16 catches for the Saints were the most by a player on opening weekend in NFL history, surpassing the previous record of 15 by the Chargers’ Keenan Allen in 2015 vs. Detroit. ... Washington’s Adrian Peterson has 12,372 yards rushing and 100 TD runs, becoming the seventh player in NFL history to record at least 12,000 yards rushing and 100 rushing scores. He joins Marcus Allen, Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson.
STREAKS & STATS The combined 88 points in Tampa Bay’s 48-40 win at New Orleans set an NFL record for a regular-season opener, narrowly eclipsing Philadelphia’s 45-42 victory over Washington in September 1947. ... Cleveland ended its 17-game losing streak Sunday with a 21-21 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who prevented the Browns from getting their first victory since 2016 when linebacker T.J. Watt blocked Zane Gonzalez’s 43-yard field-goal attempt with 9 seconds left in OT. The Browns remain winless since Dec. 24, 2016, but at least they have a positive after going 0-16 last season, just the second team in league history to lose all 16 games. ... Tyrann Mathieu became the first Texans player with an interception and a fumble recovery in the same game since Tim Dobbins did it in 2012. ... DeAndre Hopkins has a reception in all 80 games of his career. ... San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered his first loss in eight games as an NFL starter, falling 24-16 at Minnesota. ... Kansas City extended its winning streak over the Chargers to nine with a 38-28 victory. ... Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald had seven catches for 76 yards in the Cardinals’ 24-6 loss to Washington, giving him at least one reception in 212 consecutive games to surpass Tony Gonzalez (211) for the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Jerry Rice holds the mark with at least one catch in 274 consecutive games from 1985-2004. ... Buffalo linebacker Tremaine Edmunds became the first Bills rookie with a sack in the season opener since 2002 and first with a forced fumble since 2013.
ALL TIED UP Pittsburgh and Cleveland played to a 21-21 tie Sunday, the first in a Week 1 game since 1971 when Denver and Miami tied 10-10. This was the eighth tie in the NFL since 2000. Pittsburgh’s last tie came in Week 10 of the 2002 season against Atlanta (34-34). Cleveland had its last tie in Week 11 of the 1989 season against Kansas City (10-10).
MR. DO-IT-ALL Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill had seven catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns, including a 58-yard touchdown catch, and a 91-yard punt-return touchdown in the Chiefs’ 38-28 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hill joined the Cowboys’ Bob Hayes (1968 vs. Pittsburgh) and the Rams’ Tavon Austin (2013 at Indianapolis) as the only players in NFL history to record a TD catch of 50 or more yards and have a punt return of 90 or more yards for a TD in a single game. Hill has 13 touchdowns of at least 50 yards (six receiving, four punt returns, two rushing, one kick return) in 32 games and is tied with Gale Sayers and Devin Hester for the most TDs of 50 or more in a player’s first 35 games in NFL history.
LUCK RETURNS Andrew Luck was 39 of 53 for 319 yards with two TD passes and an interception on his first official throw of the season — an underthrown pass to Jack Doyle inside the Bengals 5 — in Indianapolis’ 34-23 loss to Cincinnati. It was Luck’s first regular-season start in more than 20 months after having shoulder surgery.
BACK IN ACTION Ryan Tannehill, playing for the first time since a knee injury in late 2016, went 20 for 28 for 230 yards with two scores and two interceptions in Miami’s 27-20 victory over Tennessee.
UGLY Making his third NFL start, Buffalo’s Nathan Peterman went 5 for 18 for 24 yards and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 0.0 in a 47-3 loss at Baltimore. After the Ravens followed two Buffalo miscues with a pair of touchdowns for a 40-0 lead, coach Sean McDermott turned to rookie Josh Allen, who went 6 for 15 for 74 yards in Buffalo’s most lopsided defeat since a 56-10 loss to New England in November 2007. “Obviously, it wasn’t a good showing,” Peterman said. “We’ve got to do a lot better, starting with me.”
SHUT DOWN Making its debut under defensive coordinator Don Martindale, Baltimore held Buffalo to 33 yards and no first downs in going up 26-0 at halftime of a 47-3 victory. Baltimore had six sacks and yielded 153 yards overall.
INSTANT IMPACT In his first game with the Bears, Khalil Mack had a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown and a sack and forced fumble as Chicago fell to Green Bay 24-23. Mack was traded by Oakland on Sept. 1 with a 2020 second-round pick to Chicago for 2019 and 2020 first-round picks, along with future draft picks. Mack then signed a six-year deal worth $141 million, including $90 million guaranteed, to become the highestpaid defensive player in NFL history.
SPEAKING “There is nothing to be excited about, nothing at all. We don’t come to work to get ties. It’s the equivalent of a loss to me.” — Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon after the Browns ended their 17-game losing streak Sunday with a 21-21 tie against Pittsburgh but failed to get their first victory since 2016.
“I’m happy to announce: FitzMagic is alive and well. Quite a start, huh?” — Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter after 35-yearold Ryan Fitzpatrick highlighted a 417-yard, four-touchdown performance with two scoring strikes of more than 50 yards in a 48-40 win at New Orleans.