NO NEED TO PANIC: Since realignment in 2002, 126 of the 204 playoff teams (61.8 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including 10 teams last season, the most since 2002, and six division champions – BALTIMORE (AFC North), CHICAGO (NFC North), DALLAS (NFC East), HOUSTON (AFC South), NEW ENGLAND (AFC East) and NEW ORLEANS (NFC South).
Last season, the HOUSTON TEXANS became the first team in NFL history to win nine consecutive games following an 0-3 start. They also were the first team to win its division after starting 0-3 since the San Diego Chargers in 1992.
A look at how playoff clubs in 2017 and 2018 began their seasons:
|Team||After 2 games||Playoff Result||Team||After 2 games||Playoff Result|
|Atlanta||2-0||Advanced to Divisional||Baltimore||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Buffalo||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card||Chicago||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Carolina||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||Dallas||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|Jacksonville||1-1||Advanced to AFC Champ||Houston||0-2||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Kansas City||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||Indianapolis||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|L.A. Rams||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card||Kansas City||2-0||Advanced to AFC Champ|
|Minnesota||1-1||Advanced to NFC Champ||L.A. Chargers||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|New England||1-1||Advanced to Super Bowl LII||L.A. Rams||2-0||Advanced to Super Bowl LIII|
|New Orleans||0-2||Advanced to Divisional||New England||1-1||Won Super Bowl LIII|
|Philadelphia||1-1||Won Super Bowl LII||New Orleans||1-1||Advanced to NFC Champ|
|Pittsburgh||2-0||Advanced to Divisional||Philadelphia||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|Tennessee||1-1||Advanced to Divisional||Seattle||0-2||Advanced to Wild Card|
— NFL —
LEADING OFF: Arizona rookie quarterback KYLER MURRAY threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut against Detroit on Kickoff Weekend.
With 300 passing yards on Sunday at Baltimore (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Murray can join CAM NEWTON (2011) as the only players to pass for at least 300 yards in each of their first two career games in NFL history.
If Murray repeats his Week 1 performance by passing for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, he would become the first player in league history to pass for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns in each of their first two career games.
— NFL —
JACK & DAK IN THE BOX: Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON passed for 324 yards and five touchdowns in Week 1, while Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns. They became the first players to record a 158.3 passer rating – the highest-attainable mark – in a season opener (min. 20 attempts) in NFL history. Jackson, at 22 years, 244 days-old, became the youngest player in NFL history with a perfect passer rating (min. 20 attempts).
If Jackson (vs. Arizona, 1:00 PM ET, FOX) or Prescott (at Washington, 1:00 PM ET, FOX) pass for at least four touchdowns on Sunday, they would join RYAN FITZPATRICK (2018), PATRICK MAHOMES (2018) and DREW BLEDSOE (1997) as the only players in NFL history to pass for at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season.
The players to throw at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history:
|PLAYER||SEASON||TEAM||GAME 1 PASSING TDs||GAME 2 PASSING TDs|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick||2018||Tampa Bay||4||4|
|Patrick Mahomes||2018||Kansas City||4||6|
|Drew Bledsoe||1997||New England||4||4|
Additionally, dating back to Week 17 of 2018, Prescott has recorded at least 350 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in consecutive games. Prescott can become the first player to pass for at least 350 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in three consecutive games in NFL history.
Week 2 features two matchups between Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks as Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, faces off with Arizona’s KYLER MURRAY, the 2018 Heisman winner, while Thursday night’s matchup features Tampa Bay’s JAMEIS WINSTON (2013) and Carolina’s CAM NEWTON (2010). This marks the first time in which two games feature Heisman-winning starting quarterbacks in the same week in NFL history.
— NFL —
ROOKIE RECEIVERS: In Week 1, four rookies – Tennessee wide receiver A.J. BROWN (100 receiving yards – selected in the second round, 51st overall, out of Mississippi), Baltimore wide receiver MARQUISE BROWN (147 – selected in the first round, 25th overall, out of Oklahoma), Detroit tight end T.J. HOCKENSON (131 – selected in the first round, 8th overall, out of Iowa) and Washington wide receiver TERRY McLAURIN (125 – selected in the third round, 76th overall, out of Ohio State) – each recorded at least 100 receiving yards in their NFL debuts. It marked the first week in which three-or-more rookies have each recorded at least 100 receiving yards in their debuts in NFL history.
With at least 100 receiving yards in Week 2, they would join WILL FULLER (2016), DESEAN JACKSON (2008) and DON LOONEY (1940) as the only players in NFL history to record at least 100 receiving yards in each of their first two career games.
The players to record at least 100 receiving yards in each of their first two career games:
|PLAYER||SEASON||TEAM||GAME 1 REC. YARDS||GAME 2 REC. YARDS|
Additionally, with two touchdown receptions on Sunday vs. Arizona (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Marquise Brown can become the first player in NFL history to record at least two touchdown receptions in each of his first two career games.
— NFL —
SCHUSTER & LADDERS: Pittsburgh wide receiver JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER has 2,421 career receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns in 31 career games.
Smith-Schuster, who will be 22 years and 297 days old on Sunday vs. Seattle (1:00 PM ET, FOX), needs 79 receiving yards to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (22 years, 310 days) as the youngest player in NFL history to reach 2,500 career receiving yards.
The youngest players to reach 2,500 career receiving yards in NFL history:
|Randy MossHOF||Minnesota||22 years, 310 days|
|Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona||23 years, 31 days|
|Mike Evans||Tampa Bay||23 years, 35 days|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||New York Giants||23 years, 39 days|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||Pittsburgh||22 years, 297 days*|
— NFL —
GET YOUR KITTLE CORN READY: San Francisco tight end GEORGE KITTLE has 1,946 career receiving yards in 32 career games and set the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end (1,377) in a single season in NFL history in 2018.
With 54 receiving yards on Sunday at Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Kittle would tie DAVE KOCOUREK (33 games) as the third-fastest tight end to reach 2,000 career receiving yards in NFL history. The only tight ends to reach 2,000 career receiving yards in fewer games are Pro Football Hall of Famers MIKE DITKA (30 games) and KELLEN WINSLOW SR. (31 games).
The tight ends to reach 2,000 career receiving yards in the fewest games in NFL history:
|PLAYER||TEAM||GAMES TO REACH 2,000 REC. YARDS|
|Kellen Winslow Sr.HOF||San Diego||31|
|Dave Kocourek||Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers||33|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||34|
|Kellen Winslow Jr.||Cleveland||34|
|George Kittle||San Francisco||32* (1,946 yards)|
|*Has 1,946 receiving yards in 32 career games|