Week 1 is always exciting. All 32 fan bases have unrealistic optimism and eagerly tune in to the voice of Scott Hansen as the 1 PM games, and the NFL season, kick off. With the seven hours of commercial-free football completed, it is time to look back on Week 1 and analyze each team’s performance. For each team, we found an interesting statistic and interpreted the significance. Here are 32 Stats for 32 Teams, brought to you by Field General Analytics.
Buffalo Bills: Von Miller recorded 2.0 sacks, helping the Bills defense record seven sacks against the Los Angeles Rams
Significance: Von Miller, a key offseason acquisition, played a pivotal role in containing the Rams’ offense to seven points. Miller helps the Bills improve an already dominant defense as the Bills continue to find ways to sack the QB
Miami Dolphins: Tyreek Hill set the Dolphins franchise record for the most receiving yards in a debut with 94 yards against the Patriots
Significance: Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill were quick to build chemistry and Hill looks to be the clear WR1 in an explosive offense. He is a WR1 in all fantasy formats and will be one of the best WRs in the NFL this year.
New York Jets: Breece Hall and Michael Carter combined for 19 targets
Significance: The Jets will be playing from behind often, and it is notable that they have prioritized getting their two playmakers at RB the ball, even if they have to abandon the run because they are trailing. This is an awesome sign for Hall and Carter owners in PPR fantasy formats.
New England Patriots: For just the second time in his career, Damien Harris had a 10% target share.
Significance: Nobody knows how Bill Belichick will use his RBs from year to year, and many thought Rhamondre Stevenson, the second year back, would emerge as the bell-cow. It was surprising to see Damien Harris receive so many targets out of the backfield, going to show that the Patriots offense will continue to be unpredictable.
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Mixon was just one of three RBs (along with Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor) to have at least 90% of their teams rushes
Significance: Mixon is the bellcow RB, and is emerging into a pass-catching role as well. As long as he continues to stay healthy, he is a high end RB1 in all fantasy formats.
Cleveland Browns: Donovan Peoples-Jones played in 82% of snaps, with a team leading 11 targets heading his way
Significance: Donovan Peoples-Jones is an intriguing waiver wire pickup, as he looked to be the top option for Jacoby Brissett in his Browns debut. Obviously, Amari Cooper is the WR1, but DPJ’s involvement in the offense is something to monitor going forward
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson had 3 Touchdown passes of 20+ yards downfield, the best in Week 1
Significance: Many just see Lamar as a rushing quarterback. Not only can he throw, however, but he displayed impressive deep ball accuracy downfield, especially on a 55 yard bomb to WR Rashod Bateman. Lamar continues to improve his passing game, making him even more of a dual threat.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Diontae Johnson had a 32.4% target share in Week 1, establishing a strong connection with new QB Mitchell Trubisky
Significance: Even though there is uncertainty about who will be the starting quarterback by the end of the season, Diontae has been able to pull ahead of the competition that is Chase Claypool and George Pickens bright and early. A 32.4% target share is very impressive and a good sign for fantasy owners.
AFC South - the only division without any wins
Indianapolis Colts: Jonathan Taylor had the most touches of any player in Week 1, with 35 touches, 175 and a Touchdown
Significance: JT is in position to once again end out the year on top. His volume is so large that it’s hard for him not to break one or two rushes for big gains every single game. Expect more great things from him this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Travis Etienne and James Robinson split snaps 51% to 49%, with Robinson leading the way on the ground 60% to 30%.
Significance: while everyone was hyping up Etienne, they seemed to forget Robinson’s efficiency in past seasons. While Etienne will likely have the bulk of the touches by the end of the season, Robinson will probably be able to more than keep up for at least a few more weeks.
Houston Texans: RB Rex Burkhead played 71% of snaps, while rookie RB Dameon Pierce only played 29% of snaps
Significance: Although Pierce was named RB1 by the Texans after an incredible preseason, it is clear they are not yet ready to give him the workload of an RB1. Keep Burkhead in mind, as he has the potential to be a solid FLEX option, especially in PPR formats.
Tennessee Titans: Kyle Phillips finished the week with a 29% target share – the highest of any rookie in Week 1
Significance: Despite the presence of veteran Robert Woods, Philips is making his presence known on the field, and very well may end up as Tannehill’s favorite option in Tennessee as the season progresses. He is a good waiver wire pickup.
Denver Broncos: Javonte Wiliams had 11 catches, the second highest of any player (only behind Cooper Kupp’s 13 catches)
Significance: Although they have a powerful 1-2 punch at receiver, Javonte is a clear favorite of Denver’s offense and of Russell Wilson. Expect him to have many more balls thrown his way as the season progresses.
Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert had the second highest passer rating of 129.4 in Week 1
Significance: In a critical division game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Justin Herbert looked like an MVP candidate. He looked mobile and accurate, and his high passer rating is a signal of his efficiency. Going to be an exciting matchup as he faces off against Patrick Mahomes, the QB with the highest passer rating in Week 1, on Thursday Night Football!
Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes recorded a 144.2 QBR – the highest of week 1
Significance: While he had major downgrades at receiver this off-season, Patrick Mahomes proves he is still the best quarterback in the NFL, and will be able to lead his team without a Pro-Bowl caliber receiver by his side.
Las Vegas Raiders: Davante Adams had a 45% target share, and accounted for 52% of the Raiders’ air yards against the Chargers
Significance: while some may have been skeptical of Adams’ production in Las Vegas, it is clear from this week that he will have plenty of opportunities to continue being a top-5 receiver in the NFL.
Washington Commanders: In his Commanders debut, Carson Wentz became the first Washington QB since 2015 to throw for 4 TDs in one game.
Significance: Although many criticized the Commanders for trading for Wentz, he has so far proven that he will be able to provide a more than viable option at quarterback for them this season.
Dallas Cowboys: the only team in Week 1 to NOT score a Touchdown
Significance: With Dak Prescott out for an extended period of time, it is unlikely that the Dallas Cowboys’ offense will be performing even close to the level they had been at last season, at least until Dak returns.
Philadelphia Eagles: In 2020, Miles Sanders had 3 goal-line rushes. In Week 1, he had 6.
Significance: Miles Sanders seems back in shape, and may be ready to dominate the field once again. Keep an eye on him this season…
New York Giants: Evan Neal allowed just 1 pressure on 31 pass blocking snaps
Significance: the Giants have been working forever to try and improve their offensive line. It is possible that they have finally found their solution in Evan Neal.
Chicago Bears: David Montogomery saw 65.4% of Chicago’s rushes today. That’s his lowest since Week 1 of last year.
Significance: David Montgomery’s production is slowly declining and Khalil Herbert is a RB that all fantasy owners should be running to get on the waivers. Not only is he a great insurance if Montgomery gets hurt, but Herbert is someone who could get more involved as the season goes on.
Detroit Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown had a 32% target share against the Eagles. Not only did that lead the team, but it was his SEVENTH consecutive 30%+ target share game.
Significance: Even though the Lions possess a receiving corps of several players with similar talent, St. Brown is the clear WR1, and is likely to continue to be in this position throughout the season.
Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams had more receiving yards in Week 1 (141) than all Packers wide receivers had combined (120)
Significance: The Packers are missing Davante, badly. On their first offensive play, rookie WR Christian Watson was streaking down the sideline wide open for a walk-in touchdown and Aaron Rodgers delivered the perfect ball. Only one issue: Watson flat-out dropped it
Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins is now 5-3-1 against the Green Bay Packers
Significance: Kirk Cousins looked sharp under new head coach Kevin O’Connell and was able to establish his connection with Justin Jefferson early and often. This was a huge divisional win, and the Vikings offense will be one of the most dynamic in the league.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Leonard Fournette played on 91% of the Buccaneers’ offensive snaps, the highest of any RB in Week 1
Significance: for the second year in a row, Fournette will have all of the volume needed to disprove any doubters who still do not believe in his ability to be a top 5 running back in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons: Drake London has the best NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds (+750) after a 5-78 game in his debut
Significance: With the 8th overall pick in April, the Falcons took the USC WR first of all WRs. In Week 1, London had a solid debut with 5 catches for 78 yards. Even though he is fighting for targets with Kyle Pitts and Cordarelle Patterson, Drake London will show why he was the first WR off the board.
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have now lost 8 straight games dating back to last season.
Significance: Even with an “upgrade” at QB (Baker Mayfield), the Panthers can’t find ways to win. It is clear Matt Rhule is not the answer, and even with all the weapons they have, they will be one of the worst teams in the league this season.
New Orleans Saints: AJ Terell didn’t allow a TD all last season. Michael Thomas had 2 against him in Week 1.
Significance: Even though Michael Thomas played his first game since the time of Drew Brees, his injury has clearly not held back his greatness, and he very well may return to the top.
San Francisco 49ers: After Elijah Mitchell left the game, Deebo Samuel had 6 carries, and Jeff Wilson Jr. had 9.
Significance: Deebo Samuel is likely to play a bigger role in the rushing game this year than anyone, even Deebo, could’ve predicted, especially with Mitchell out for 2 months with an MCL sprain.
Arizona Cardinals: WR Greg Dortch played in 91% of snaps, and led Arizona with a 24% target share
Significance: In a receiving corps with many pieces, Dortch was an unlikely powerhouse, and may finally have his year after bouncing around the NFL for the last three seasons.
Los Angeles Rams: Before SNF and MNF, 92 WRs have had higher target shares than Allen Robinson
Significance: While some thought that a change of scenery and offensive scheme would help bring Allen Robinson out of his slump, it is becoming clear that Robinson is in fact on a decline, and between sharing targets with Cooper Kupp and this decline, he is unlikely to perform up to par this season.
Seattle Seahawks: Geno Smith had the 2nd best PFF (Pro Fantasy Football) rating of 84.3 in Week 1. (only behind Josh Allen’s 91.5)
Significance: Despite plenty of doubt regarding Geno Smith’s ability as a starting quarterback, he has proven that he is able to win against a good team, and may even have locked in his role as the starting quarterback for the time being.
By Jack Gewanter and Nate Yellin