Week 1 NFL winners: Lions’ statement win, Brock Purdy silences haters


With most of the Week 1 NFL schedule in the books, here are the players and coaches that delivered standout performances:

Dan Campbell, head coach, Detroit Lions: Campbell admitted he believed the Lions were the Kansas City Chiefs’ hand-picked Week 1 opponent simply because they would put up a good fight. They did one better: they held reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes to 226 yards passing and the third-worst completion percentage (53.8) of his career while edging the defending Super Bowl champions in a statement-making win. 

Campbell and the Lions players have done their best to quiet the enormous amount of hype surrounding them heading into Week 1, but after knocking off Mahomes and the Chiefs, that may prove to be a much more difficult task.

Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers: Love out-dueled Bears QB Justin Fields, throwing for 245 yards and three touchdowns with a 123.3 passer rating and no turnovers as the Packers continued their dominance over their NFC North rivals (they’ve won nine straight, including five in a row at Soldier Field). 

Not only that, but Love’s debut performance was actually better than both Aaron Rodgers (227 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 105.8 passer rating) and Brett Favre (214 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 69 passer rating) in their respective first starts with Green Bay.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins: Hill’s lofty goal of reaching 2,000 receiving yards this season may not actually be that improbable after all. Especially if he has more performances like he did in Sunday’s 36-34 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Hill hauled in 11 receptions, 215 yards and two touchdowns. It’s the fourth 200-yard game of his career and a great way to start his pursuit of Calvin Johnson’s NFL single-season receiving yards record (1,964). That year, Johnson had two 200-yard games and averaged 122.7 yards per contest over 16 games.

Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers: As 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa put it: “Purdy shut some haters up.” The 23-year-old QB completed 19 of 29 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 111.3 in San Francisco’s 30-7 shellacking of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Purdy played with confidence, poise and efficiency and showed why the 49ers front office was high enough on him throughout the offseason to trade former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys. Purdy is now 6-0 as a starter in the regular season with 1,318 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Sean McVay, head coach, Los Angeles Rams: The Rams have the second-youngest roster in the NFL with a league-high 15 rookies, but that didn’t bother McVay, who took a team of relatively unknowns and cruised to a 30-13 blowout of the Seattle Seahawks, a division rival and playoff team last season. 

Second-year wideout Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua combined for 16 receptions and 238 yards while the defense held a Seahawks offense that averaged 351 yards per game a season ago to 180 yards. Sunday’s win was one of McVay’s better coaching jobs.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: In his first game since Oct. 24, 2021, Ridley put opposing defenses on notice that he was officially back. The former first-round pick logged eight receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown as the Jaguars knocked off the Indianapolis Colts 31-21. 

Ridley is just the fifth different Jags receiver to record 100 yards in a game since Trevor Lawrence became the starter in 2020 and his performance is just the 10th time in 35 starts Lawrence has had a receiver top 100 yards. 

With all due respect to Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, Lawrence finally has a bona-fide No. 1 receiver to throw to, which should help him unlock even more of his potential.

Bill O’Brien, offensive coordinator, New England Patriots: In his first game back as offensive coordinator, the Patriots offense looked miles better under O’Brien in Sunday’s 25-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles than it did last year with Matt Patricia calling plays. 

New England put up 382 yards of total offense while QB Mac Jones logged his fifth career 300-yard game and fifth three-touchdown game. While the Pats took the loss, there’s much to be encouraged about offensively.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Given his experience, many expected Mayfield to win the Bucs quarterback competition with 25-year-old Kyle Trask. But what they might not have expected was for the 28-year-old QB to lead Tampa Bay to a season-opening win over the reigning NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings, who went 13-4 last season and were the No. 3 seed in the NFC. Mayfield was an efficient 21-of-34 for 173 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers with a 94.4 passer rating.

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