Drew Brees, QB (Saints)

Raiders 35 at Saints 34

If we were to show an NFL outsider Brees’ overall career stats and did not reveal his age, they would probably scoff at the notion that he recently signed only a 1-year extension through 2017 with New Orleans.  Likely, his advancing age (37) was the reason for the lack of a real contract given Brees’ consistent excellence & resiliency for a rather short QB (6’) throughout his incredible career.  But, the stats from Week 1 prove this veteran’s still got it.  Beyond the fact that his 98-yard TD pass to WR Brandin Cooks in the 3Q of Sunday’s game was the longest offensive play in Saints’ history, he was statistically the best QB during Week 1.  Will someone please get him some defense?

  • 1st – Passing Yards– 423
  • 1st – Longest Pass– 98
  • 1st – TDs– 4

DeAngelo Williams, RB (PIT)  

Steelers 38 at Redskins 16                                                

The best running back during Week 1 statistically was Williams, the 33-year-old 1R pick of the 2006 draft.  He was named “AFC Offensive Player of Week 1” due to his amazing performance and he also garnered the accolade of becoming the oldest player to rush for at least 100 yards and 2 touchdowns since Jerome Bettis in 2005.  While the Redskins rush defense was not impervious, Williams seemed to get better as the night wore on gaining 73 more yards in the 4Q.  Not bad for being a backup to the suspended Le’Veon Bell. Fantasy players keep this underrated player on the list through Week 4 until Bell returns.

  • 1st – Rushing Yards – 143
  • 1st – Rushing 1st Downs – 9
  • T-1st – Rushing TD’s – 2
  • 2nd – Rushing Attempts – 26

A.J. Green, WR (CIN)

Bengals 23 at Jets 22

When I first saw the schedule & realized that the Bengals would face the Jets Week 1 in NY, my gut told me Cincinnati had the edge in at least one important way: they have AJ Green, one of the most talented wide receivers in the league. The 28-year-old has been lighting up the record books since his 2012 entry into the league when he became the first rookie receiver to make a Pro Bowl appearance since 2003.  And, from 2011-2013, he caught more passes than any other player in NFL history during his first 3 seasons.  What makes Green special is his physicality and his ability to consistently beat out coverages, which was proven on Sunday when he helped the Bengals scrape by with a win.  Fun guy to watch.

  • 1st – Receiving Yards– 180
  • 1st – Receptions– 12
  • 1st – Receiving Targets – 13

Roberto Aguayo, K (TB)

Buccaneers 31 at Falcons 24

One of the best kickers during Week 1 was this gifted Bucs rookie who made his NFL debut with impressive stats.  On kickoffs, he totaled 406 yards (averaging 67.7 yards) and was perfect on extra points going 4-4 to help the Bucs beat the Falcons.  What makes this story noteworthy is that Tampa traded up to get the 22-year-old in the 2R of the 2016 NFL Draft.  It was a very controversial decision by the team at the time, particularly when they had many other needs.  Of course, to the Bucs this decision made sense since they did not have a good kicker and this kid from Florida State is considered by some to be the greatest college kicker in NCAA history.  He set several FBS records and never missed a field goal from 39 yards and in during his 3 years at FL ST (46-46).  Also, Aguayo had struggled in the pre-season and practices, causing him to seek out a “mental coach” due to rumored anxiety before the season opener.  Good to see him overcome his inner obstacles.

Kwon Alexander, LB (TB)

Buccaneers 31 at Falcons 24

This second-year former LSU linebacker helped hold back the Falcons with 17 total tackles, 15 of which were solo, and 1 sack on QB Matt Ryan.  These numbers tie the lead for Week 1 and were the most total tackles by any player in a game since 2010.  Maybe Alexander was pent-up from missing the last 4 games of the 2015 season due to suspension, but the 22-year-old looked mighty impressive for a player considered “slight” comparably at 6’1 and 227 lbs.  (He had only 11 total tackles previously last year in a game.)  What he lacks in build he makes up for with above average speed and ranginess. He’s one of the most talented players on the rise on this Tampa Bay team which I think could beat projections and make it to the playoffs earlier than expected.  Dangerous player, but he needs to keep healthy, as the Buccaneers’ schedule is tough this year.  Coming up next: Cardinals, Rams, Broncos, Panthers before the Bye.

Baltimore Ravens Defense

Bills 7 at Ravens 13

And, the #1 rated defense in the NFL after Week 1 is?  Yep, the Baltimore Ravens.  Fact is, they shut down the Buffalo Bills offense on Sunday by holding them to 7 measly total points.  They also allowed only 10 yards in the 4Q and 0 first downs, including a three-and-out at the very end and limited the Bills to 0 catches over 20 yards.  That’s pretty surprising, since the Bills offense is filled with very talented speedy young players like QB Tyrod Taylor, ranked 10th overall in 2015 and a 99.4 passer rating.  But, Buffalo kept him to just 111 yards passing and 11 yards rushing during Week 1.  Baltimore also managed to hold down WR Sammie Watkins to 4 passes for 43 yards and RB LeSean McCoy to 58 yards.  What worked so well was the speed and determination of the Ravens D to limit “the big play” in the 3Q during this game, a problem that plagued them last season and cost them several tight games.  For ex, 9 of the Ravens losses in 2015 averaged only a 4.4 point difference.  I think it’s important to note this defense which seems to have a strong focus & were able to execute a game plan that Taylor admitted they were “surprised” by.


Source : NFL Stats

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at