Two teams with playoff aspirations will look to bounce back after opening the season with a loss. In the spotlight on Monday night will be two quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall – the Rams’ SAM BRADFORD (2010) and the Giants’ ELI MANNING (2004).
Bradford, who is expected to play despite a bruise on his right index finger, is coming off an impressive rookie season. The 2010 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year guided St. Louis to seven wins and set NFL rookie records with 590 attempts and 354 completions while ranking second all-time among rookies with 3,512 yards.
Manning has started 104 consecutive games at quarterback – the longest current streak in the NFL at the position – and is the only QB in franchise history with consecutive 4,000-yard seasons (2009-10). He is 2-0 in his career against the Rams with seven touchdowns, no interceptions and a 125.5 passer rating.
“We’ve got to get ready to play a really good New York Giants team,” says Rams head coach STEVE SPAGNUOLO, who spent two years as the Giants’ defensive coordinator (2007-08), including the team’s Super Bowl XLII season.
The NFL got “Back to Football” in grand fashion as Kickoff Weekend featured exciting play and record-breaking performances. Among the highlights of Week 1:
- The 752 points scored tied for the ninth-most in a single week in NFL history and were the second-most ever scored on Kickoff Weekend.
- There were 89 touchdowns scored, tied for the sixth-most in a single week in NFL history and tied for the most ever on Kickoff Weekend (2002).
- NFL teams combined to throw for 7,842 net passing yards, the highest total in any week in NFL history.
- There were five games in which each team had a player throw for at least 300 yards, the most such games in a week in NFL history.
- Fourteen quarterbacks threw for at least 300 yards, the most in a single week in NFL history.
- There were eight combined kick-return touchdowns (five punt, three kickoff), the most combined kick-return touchdowns in a single week in NFL history.
- The three kickoff-return touchdowns are tied for the most in an opening weekend in NFL history (1970, 1998).
Three Kickoff Weekend games topped 25 million average viewers -- NBC Thursday night opener (Saints-Packers, 27.2 million), FOX national game telecast (mostly Giants-Redskins, 25.8 million) and the NBC Sunday night game (Cowboys-Jets, 25.8 million) – to rank as the three most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl XLV. These three telecasts rank among the seven most-watched shows among all television programs since Super Bowl Sunday including awards shows, such as the Academy Awards, and season finales
In addition, Kickoff Weekend games averaged 19.0 million viewers – which coupled with last year’s average of 19.5 million marks the first time in a quarter century that NFL opening-weekend games averaged at least 19 million viewers in consecutive seasons (1986-1987).
NO NEED TO PANIC: At the end of Week 2, no more than 12 teams will be able to claim a perfect 2-0 record, leaving at least 20 clubs at 1-1 or 0-2.
Since realignment in 2002, 62 of the 108 playoff teams (57.4 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2.