If 300-yard passing games and 100-yard rushing games are the measuring stick, then, yes, passing is up and rushing is down in the NFL. At least in Week 1.
The NFL had 10 quarterbacks throw for more than 300 yards in Week 1, topped by Drew Brees and his 423 yards in a losing effort. It tied Brees with Peyton Manning for most career 400-yard games with 14 of them. He is also second to Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with more than 4,000 career yards passing on Week 1 games.
With Brees’ success, it’s no surprise that the New Orleans Saints had two of the top three receivers for yardage in Week 1. Although A.J. Green of the Bengals topped the list with 180 yards, the Saints’ Willie Snead Jr. was second with 172 and Brandin Cooks was third at 143.
Other stats leaders after Week 1:
Larry Fitzgerald became only the 10th player in NFL history to reach 100 receiving touchdowns in a career.
Will Fuller (107 yards) became the first rookie picked in the first round to have a 100-yard game in his team’s first game since Pittsburgh’s Louis Lipp in 1984.
Cooks’ 98-yard reception was easily the longest (by 22 yards) in Week 1 and has a good chance of holding that spot the entire season.
Green and Cooks were the leading receivers for yards after the catch – 79 of Green’s yards came after the catch, according to STATS LLC, and 73 of Cooks’ yards were after the catch.
Amari Cooper and Green were the two players that had three catches of more than 25 yards.
Nobody was thrown to more than Allen Robinson, who was targeted 15 times.
DeAngelo Williams rushed for nine first downs, three more than any other back, and 104 of his rushing yards came on first-and-10 carries.
Jalen Richard’s first NFL carry went for 75 yards and it was the longest rush of Week 1.
Matthew Stafford had the best completion percentage of Week 1, nearly hitting 80 percent (he was at 79.5). Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger, Jimmy Garoppolo and Alex Smith all completed more than 70 percent of their passes.
Brees is the early leader for passer rating, at 131.3, but Stafford is close behind at 128.6
Brees and Luck were the only two quarterbacks with four passing touchdowns.
With Green on his side, Dalton is the leader with five pass plays greater than 25 yards. Dalton also took seven sacks, the most in Week 1.
Roethlisberger had the best fourth-quarter completion percentage at 85.7 (6-for-7).
Chris Harris has the early lead in passes defensed at three.