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Week One sets records for passing yards, return scores

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

It didn’t just seem like there were more passing yards and return touchdowns in Week One then ever before.  It’s a fact.

Jon Zimmer, who runs the official NFLHistory Twitter handle for the league, points out that records were set all over the place in 2011′s opening week.

1. Eight return touchdowns (five on punts, three on kickoffs) set the all-time record for any weekend.  Coaches always say that the first week of the season is a special teams kind of week.  Guess it’s not just a cliche.   Take that, touchback!

2. There were more passing yards in Week One (7,842) than any week in NFL history.  To put that in perspective, teams averaged 245 yards passing.  And this included the Alex Smith-Tarvaris Jackson showdown.

3. 14 quarterbacks passed for over 300 yards.  That’s also the most for any week in NFL history.

4. Michigan had a good Saturday, and Monday night wasn’t bad for their former quarterbacks.  Tom Brady and Chad Henne combined for the most net passing yards (906) in a game in NFL history.

Despite all this, expect to hear some announcer stress the importance of “establishing the run” this weekend.

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57 Responses to “Week One sets records for passing yards, return scores”
  1. joetoronto says: Sep 13, 2011 11:26 AM

    Defenses will catch up soon, they always do.

  2. 6the6ringedsteelerslolatyouremptylittletrophycase7 says: Sep 13, 2011 11:29 AM

    What a joke. I can’t wait till the Steelers start their own league so REAL football can be seen. Not this pansy stuff. Here we go Steelers

  3. medtxpack says: Sep 13, 2011 11:31 AM

    those annoucers can stress the importance of the establishing a run in their shorts for all i care, GO FOOTBALL! ITS BACK!

  4. claydefayette says: Sep 13, 2011 11:31 AM

    Returners get a longer running start if they do decide to take the ball out of the end zone.

    I missed seeing more big hits, but there were a few.

    Red zone efficiency and 3rd down conversion rate is the best way to judge quarterbacks instead of yards passing anyway. Today’s league makes it much easier for QBs to rack up yards.

  5. Panda Claus says: Sep 13, 2011 11:32 AM

    Donovan McNabb’s 39 yards passing must have pushed the record over the top.

  6. angrycorgi says: Sep 13, 2011 11:32 AM

    Pitt set a record for crappiest defensive effort of 2011…

  7. angrycorgi says: Sep 13, 2011 11:33 AM

    @6ringedsteelers: You do realize your squealers got there crap pushed in on Sunday, right??

  8. ukdude7 says: Sep 13, 2011 11:33 AM

    RIP the running game.

    Thanks a lot Bill Polian.

  9. apooster says: Sep 13, 2011 11:34 AM

    Think of how high the record could have been if McNabb actually played QB last week.

  10. fwippel says: Sep 13, 2011 11:35 AM

    Panda Claus, you were thinking exactly as I was. To think that this record was set during the same week that the mighty McNabb throws for 39 yards. Ouch!

    When I first saw the headline, I figured that 39 yard performance might have been the record the article was referring to; a record for futility.

  11. ytnewton says: Sep 13, 2011 11:36 AM

    6the6,

    I guess you didn’t watch your team get smashed last week huh? Typical Sh*tzbugh fan watches once in a while then get on the bandwagon when they win, idiot!

  12. choisbois says: Sep 13, 2011 11:37 AM

    It’s like 9-Man.

  13. jpb12 says: Sep 13, 2011 11:38 AM

    And then there’s Maude:

    McNabb’s 39 yard day brought the average DOWN.

  14. jdreed68 says: Sep 13, 2011 11:41 AM

    6the6ringedsteelerslolatyouremptylittletrophycase7 says: Sep 13, 2011 11:29 AM

    What a joke. I can’t wait till the Steelers start their own league so REAL football can be seen. Not this pansy stuff. Here we go Steelers
    =======================

    If losing horribly to the Ravens is “Real Football” then count me out.

  15. joetoronto says: Sep 13, 2011 11:41 AM

    Panda Claus says: Sep 13, 2011 11:32 AM

    Donovan McNabb’s 39 yards passing must have pushed the record over the top.
    *************************************************
    His lack of desire and effort was downright pathetic.

    He’s merely a thief now, stealing his paycheck.

  16. izzop says: Sep 13, 2011 11:43 AM

    If 7 turnovers is REAL football you and the Steelers can have that league

  17. thephantomstranger says: Sep 13, 2011 11:43 AM

    When I saw the Packers, Saints, and Patriots offenses, I thought I was seeing what football would be like in 2026. When I saw the Vikings offense, I thought I was seeing what football was like in 1926.

  18. KIR says: Sep 13, 2011 11:44 AM

    Sorry, but if you’re not a top 5 Quarterback, YOU NEED TO ESTABLISH THE RUN. :-)

  19. thephantomstranger says: Sep 13, 2011 11:44 AM

    claydefayette says:
    Sep 13, 2011 11:31 AM
    Returners get a longer running start if they do decide to take the ball out of the end zone.
    ____________

    How is that, exactly?

  20. richm2256 says: Sep 13, 2011 11:45 AM

    Three touchdowns on kickoff returns???

    That just WILL NOT DO, nosiree Bob!

    You can bet Goodell is firing off a rule change as we speak:

    “Kickoffs are still proving to be FUN; effective immediately, the ball will be placed on the opponents 20 yard line after touchdowns!!!!!!”

    Signed,
    No Fun League

  21. vernhh says: Sep 13, 2011 11:46 AM

    I knw that the first tendancy when we see a post from 6the6ringedsteelerslolatyouremptylittletrophycase7
    is to call him names….but c’mon, we should be civilized to the mentally disadvantaged. So have a heart, take pity on this poor, unfortunate soul. We don’t have to say he’s an idiot, an obsessed moron, a clinical example of mental deficiancy, because that is obvious.

  22. ozierdisaster3335 says: Sep 13, 2011 11:47 AM

    I think Tom Brady could rush more than 39 yards

  23. thephantomstranger says: Sep 13, 2011 11:49 AM

    Viking fans were feeling bad enough about our passing offense. Now to put that miserable effort up against the backdrop of the most yards passing in an NFL weekend just makes it unbelievable.

  24. thephantomstranger says: Sep 13, 2011 11:51 AM

    The Vikings contributed 0.36% of that passing yardage total. I’m not so good at math. Is that about 1/32?

  25. bpfresh says: Sep 13, 2011 11:52 AM

    WELCOME TO THE ARENA LEAGUE

    14 QB’s over 300 yards! and 3 were over 400 yards and then Brady over 500. it’s kind of ridiculous, then compare that to 100 yard rushers…7.. only 1 was over 125 yards – McCoy.. even more ridiculous. these pansy rules about not touching anyone, protecting the qb and ‘defenseless receivers’ has now turned the NFL into the arena football league. The days of a hard fought defensive battle seem to be over. And with so many touchbacks, the games are longer and scoring is going to stay high, so we’ll see plenty of these 35-31 games and 42-35 games.. kinda lame i think, but more scoring equals more fantasy points equals more average fans becoming interested equals more revenue for the NFL, which is all management and the owners want anyway. Reminds me of the 90′s in Major League Baseball when ‘chicks dig the long ball’

  26. Rex Grossman says: Sep 13, 2011 11:52 AM

    “Establish the run”, more like waste a play. Pretty much every run play is a waste compared to what can be done with a pass. I’m sorry, but running the ball for 3 yards every now and then isn’t going to “make the defense honest” or whatever people say when they want to sound like they know anything about football.

    ESTABLISH THE REX GROSSMAN.

  27. KIR says: Sep 13, 2011 11:53 AM

    Patriots will win the most games in the regular season. Then they meet a playoff team with a good pass rush and put Brady on his assets and the Patriots loose. Sound familiar? :-)

    Also, how many SB’s has “Bill the Genius” won since spygate? No, we are not going to let it go forget about it.

  28. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Sep 13, 2011 12:02 PM

    What makes this even more impressive, is they did it WITH Donovan McNabb included…

  29. kellyb9 says: Sep 13, 2011 12:09 PM

    joetoronto says:
    Sep 13, 2011 11:26 AM
    “Defenses will catch up soon, they always do.”
    Maybe, but the NFL and the competition committee has made their point clear… They don’t like defense. They want arena scores. I find it a little sad… I liked watching a good defensive game.

  30. jessethegreat says: Sep 13, 2011 12:09 PM

    ukdude7 says:
    RIP the running game.
    Thanks a lot Bill Polian.

    Good point, unless you’re talking about the Ravens and Raiders running games.

  31. infectorman says: Sep 13, 2011 12:12 PM

    Rex Grossman says:
    Sep 13, 2011 11:52 AM
    “Establish the run”, more like waste a play. Pretty much every run play is a waste compared to what can be done with a pass. I’m sorry, but running the ball for 3 yards every now and then isn’t going to “make the defense honest” or whatever people say when they want to sound like they know anything about football.

    ESTABLISH THE REX GROSSMAN.

    ****************************************

    unless of course you average 5-8 yards per carry and bust out a 35+ yarder occasionally…
    kinda like what DMC did last nite

  32. heyzeus143 says: Sep 13, 2011 12:19 PM

    bpfresh, kellb9, – I agree, let them f–king hit please! I LOVE seeing a defenseless receiver get knocked into next week – Jerry Rice, Steve Largent, Tim Brown and howmany others never had trouble keeping their heads on swivel – they should make you get 30 yards for a first down so at least the defenders who have to back off can make more tackles ahead of the first down mark – but who the hell wants to see that

  33. jakek2 says: Sep 13, 2011 12:20 PM

    Game is officially ruined. Only one way to change it back is to boycott and fans these days don’t have the will power to not watch (these snoozefests).

    bpfresh – 1000% correct. Even the Steelers fan everyone hates is right too.

  34. laeaglefan says: Sep 13, 2011 12:22 PM

    McNabb complained that having to hand off to Adrian Peterson so much was responsible for his low passing yardage total. He never had to deal with such absurdities with the Eagles and Andy Reid.

  35. grandpoopah says: Sep 13, 2011 12:26 PM

    All of these passing records should come with an asterisk since they would not have occurred if the league had not outlawed defense.

  36. bigjimatch says: Sep 13, 2011 12:29 PM

    6Rings: Sounds to me like the Steelers are going to revive the XFL. Go for it!

  37. cmstrick says: Sep 13, 2011 12:35 PM

    Having 8 return touchdowns in one week is more indicative of the lockout’s negative impact on special teams coverage units than anything else…

  38. cmstrick says: Sep 13, 2011 12:37 PM

    2. There were more passing yards in Week One (7,842) than any week in NFL history.

    —————————————–

    Somewhere, Donovan McNabb is quietly weeping…

  39. garyclarkbelongsinthehof says: Sep 13, 2011 12:40 PM

    @ 6the6ringedsteelerslolatyouremptylittletrophycase7

    The way you guys looked last week you may wanna start the minor leagues.

  40. habsman says: Sep 13, 2011 1:11 PM

    @ KIR

    Hey dude, you don’t need to let it go. It’s OK. You can keep up the copy and paste, no problem. As a matter of fact, why don’t you copy and paste the same message on every Pat’s post for the rest of the year? Thats a good challenge for you! I bet you can’t do it! Lol, this is going to be fun. I will be watching as well as other Pats fans and we will give a credit for every time you do it! Good Luck!

  41. willyalistentothis says: Sep 13, 2011 1:11 PM

    Teams blitzed like hell all weekend long. It seemed like an inordinate number of sacks were registered. But this meant loads of one-on-one coverage. Trying to put in a defensive scheme in a offense first NFL in a truncated time period seems to have invited the “when in doubt, blitz” approach.

    BTW, did anybody notice that the guys in stripes are really letting the guys in the secondary play this year? The illegal contact and defensive holding calls have been rare. It’s like the 5 yard rule has been scratched. I wonder if this is to slow down the speed of collisions in the secondary?

    And speaking of the secondary, did either team that visited Maryland on Sunday have one?

  42. glac1 says: Sep 13, 2011 1:17 PM

    what about the horrible pass defense we saw. The worst was seeing the Patriots give up over 400 yards to….Miami who emphasizes the run over pass!

  43. laeaglefan says: Sep 13, 2011 1:31 PM

    “Sounds to me like the Steelers are going to revive the XFL”

    I heard somewhere that Troy Polamalu has asked permission from the league office to put “He Hate Me” on the back of his jersey instead of his name.

  44. gtrav says: Sep 13, 2011 1:44 PM

    People still hasn’t realized that 6the6ringedsteelerslolatyouremptylittletrophycase7 is a troll? Even the most delusional Steelers fan knows that they looked like a pop warner team on Sunday. DON’T FEED THE TROLL.

  45. EJ says: Sep 13, 2011 1:53 PM

    Its a pass first league.

  46. flyboy123456 says: Sep 13, 2011 2:00 PM

    Looky here, mens. We needs to ekstablish da run! Don’t be fooled by all dis tossin da rock here an dare.

  47. ruggerlad says: Sep 13, 2011 2:09 PM

    If we wanted to forget about defense then the arena league would be more popular than the NFL!

  48. ruggerlad says: Sep 13, 2011 2:10 PM

    Someone plz start a petition to get Goodell out of power!!!!!!!

  49. ruggerlad says: Sep 13, 2011 2:14 PM

    ravens giants low scoring SB was great! Real football fans dont care about the score they just wanna see a good game of mind battles, big hits and scores THAT R DESERVED NOT GIVEN CUZ U CAN’T PLAY D

  50. ruggerlad says: Sep 13, 2011 2:17 PM

    AaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Goodell u are the worst thing that has ever happened to football

  51. dolphins4 says: Sep 13, 2011 2:53 PM

    The Vikings have Bernard Berian at wide receiver enough said,he’ worse than Todd Pinkston.

  52. cmstrick says: Sep 13, 2011 3:13 PM

    laeaglefan said: Sep 13, 2011 1:31 PM

    I heard somewhere that Troy Polamalu has asked permission from the league office to put “He Hate Me” on the back of his jersey instead of his name.

    ——————————————

    He may have already done it. How could you tell?

  53. schmitty2 says: Sep 13, 2011 3:47 PM

    How sad is it that Brady had as many yards passing when Welker hit the 40 yard line on his 99 yard td catch then NcNabb had the whole game?

  54. pastabelly says: Sep 13, 2011 4:08 PM

    The really stupid teams will overpay running backs like chris johnson and adrian peterson. They should not be making QB money as they have very little influence in the outcome of a game.

  55. txraiderfan says: Sep 13, 2011 5:38 PM

    It’s amazing that Tom Brady can make so many big plays with Ron Jaworski slurping on his johnson the whole game.

  56. axespray says: Sep 13, 2011 5:50 PM

    just cause there’s more passing doesn’t mean there’s less defense.

    Like back when dude’s were more power run teams, they were racking up 30 pts.
    Heck, George Halas’s bears put up 70 pts.

  57. ozierdisaster3335 says: Sep 13, 2011 6:25 PM

    31 teams helped beat the yards passing record

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