Essentials from Sunday: NFL young guns and old

A couple of young quarterbacks kept up with the old guard on Sunday as the passers proved their worth.

The young bucks of the NFL quarterback union were keeping up nicely with the old guard on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles rookie Carson Wentz continued his impressive season to date, completing 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 125.9 passer rating and, more importantly, a 34-3 win against veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Wentz is the first rookie QB since 1970 to start and win his team’s first three games to a begin a season without throwing an interception, and he’s the first player in NFL history with at least 100 attempts (102), 60 completions (66) and five touchdown passes (five) without an interception in his first three career games. He is also the first quarterback with a touchdown pass with no interceptions in each of his first three games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In Cincinnati, it was Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian showing that young quarterbacks can be poised on the road. He completed 23 of 35 passes for 312 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 132.1 rating in a 29-17 win. Siemian is the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in his first career road start.

On the old end of the scale, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, under fire of late in Green Bay, rebounded to complete 15 of 24 passes, also getting four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 129.3 rating in a 34-27 win over the Detroit Lions. In his career at Lambeau Field, Rodgers has completed 1,327 of 1,996 passes (66.5 percent) for 16,428 yards with 143 touchdowns and 26 interceptions for a 110.2 passer rating, the highest home passer rating in NFL history (minimum 1,000 pass attempts).

It wasn’t all good, of course. New York Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first NFL player in almost 10 years to throw six interceptions in a game (Peyton Manning, 2007), and Fitzpatrick is also the first NFL quarterback to throw six interceptions and no touchdowns in a game since the 1980s, per Elias.


  • Old-man kicker Sebastian Janikowski converted a 52-yard field goal in the Oakland Raiders’ 17-10 win at Tennessee, giving him 53 career field goals of 50 yards or more, surpassing Jason Hanson (52) for the most in NFL history.
  • The Vikings showed teams can win with defense, too. They had eight sacks in a 22-10 win at Carolina, the third-most sacks in a road game in franchise history and the most in a road game by the Vikings since December 28, 2003 at Arizona.
  • In a much ballyhooed matchup between Washington Redskins CB Josh Norman and New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., the Redskins came away with a 29-27 win, but Beckham had seven catches for 121 yards, giving him 206 career receptions in 30 games, the fastest in NFL history to get to 200 catches. Beckham has 3,035 career receiving yards and also reached 3,000 receiving yards in his 30th game, the fastest in NFL history.
  • Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson had five catches for 96 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown, his 29th career touchdown of at least 40 yards, the most among active players and tied for 10th in NFL history.
  • The Baltimore Ravens are 3-0 and winning the close ones. They are the first NFL team in more than 10 years (2005 Redskins) to begin a season with three consecutive wins that each were by six points or fewer, according to Elias, winning 13-7 against the Bills, 25-20 against the Browns and 19-17 against the Jaguars.
  •  Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor accomplished something that hasn’t been done in more than 55 years. Pryor had 144 yards receiving, 35 yards passing and 21 yards rushing, the first player to have at least 120 receiving yards, 30 passing yards and 20 rushing yards in a single game since Frank Gifford did it on Dec. 6, 1959.



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