Burning, inferno wreckage was a common theme throughout the first Sunday of this shiny new NFL season. But how we arrived there was either entertaining or horribly depressing, depending on your fan affiliations.
Let’s trudge through the sewage of zany numbers together, beginning with a lot of horrible coming your way from America’s team that’s doubling as America’s worst team this year.
94 seconds: The amount of time the San Francisco 49ers offense had the ball during the first quarter of their eventual snot-rocking win over the Cowboys.
4: The total plays San Francisco ran during that quarter, and those 94 efficient seconds. With the Cowboys’ dumpsterfire burning brightly (and early), Colin Kaepernick needed to attempt only four passes, and he still entered the second quarter with a 21-3 lead. Of those points, 14 were scored directly off of turnovers (a Tony Romo interception, and a DeMarco Murray fumble).
3: Romo’s interceptions in that burning, toxic mess of a game. It was the first time he had thrown interceptions on three straight drives.
188: The pass attempts Romo needed a year ago to throw even two interceptions, with the second one not coming until his final, infamous throw in a Week 5 shootout loss to Denver last fall. Yesterday Romo needed only 15 attempts to eclipse his interception total over nearly the first five full games of 2013.
7: Alex Smith’s interception total over his first full season in Kansas City. Similar to Romo, his pick chucking to start 2014 was jarring, and it showed how ill-suited the Chiefs offense is for a game when they have to claw from behind by a significant margin. Smith threw three interceptions in a loss to Tennessee on 35 attempts. He needed 174 attempts to reach that mark last year.
20.6: Jamaal Charles’ average touches per game last year, and his lowest workload was a 16-touch week. Yesterday he touched a football 11 times. I don’t care what the scoreboard says, that’s lunacy, especially with Dwayne Bowe out.
10: The amount of +20 yard catches Julius Thomas finished with last season. He has three already this year, along with three touchdowns (already a quarter of the way to his 2013 total) through only one game.
223-67: The difference in second-half offensive yardage during Miami’s upset win over New England, with the Dolphins surging and scoring 24 unanswered points.
134: Rushing yards gained by Knowshon Moreno during that game. Moreno has had only three +100 yard games on the ground over the past two years, a 24-game period when he averaged 65.1 yards per week.
1,040: The total combined offensive yardage split between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints in their divisional shootout. Atlanta set a single-game team record with 568 yards, and Matt Ryan established a new single-game career high with his 448 passing yards during the Falcons’ overtime win.
210: Cordarrelle Patterson’s rushing total over his last three regular-season games. That’s highlighted by a career best 102 yards as the hopeless Rams were hammered by Minnesota, 34-6. A 67-yard touchdown run was another career long for Patterson. If the Vikings keep using Patterson similar to how the Seahawks use Percy Harvin — finding creative ways to get him the ball, and allowing him to lean on his kick returner instincts in the open field — he’s going to explode fast.
43: J.J. Watt’s quarterback hurries since the start of last season, five of which came yesterday during another dominant performance. Watt also recorded a sack, a blocked extra point, a recovered fumble, and he swatted down a pass. He’s the best defensive player in the NFL today. Hand the man even more money.
11: Total points the Jaguars scored over the first two weeks last year. They sauntered past that with 14 points by the 6:55 mark of the first quarter Sunday. So the rest of their game against Philadelphia would be easy cruisin’, right? About that…
7: Chad Henne’s completions in the second half, on 22 attempts.
175: The gap between the second-half yards gained by the Eagles, and by the Jaguars. The ugly end: 34 unanswered Eagles points. Which brings us to a fitting conclusion to the first Sunday of NFL absurdity. With their second-half crumble the Jaguars were quite Patriots-like, which doesn’t seem like something that should ever happen.