Key stats for opening Sunday
September, 6, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Getty ImagesCan Calvin Johnson (left) and Adrian Peterson (right) duplicate huge seasons in 2013?
1. When the Atlanta Falcons visit the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in Week 1, they'll each be looking to improve upon an NFL record. The Falcons are 6-0 all-time vs the Saints in season openers and the Cowboys are 6-0 vs the Giants in season openers.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, those are the best records against a single opponent in season openers in NFL history.
2. Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards last season, the second-most in NFL history and just eight yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105 from 1984.
Even if Peterson doesn’t get to 2,105 this year, he could set records by becoming the first player with multiple 2,000-yard rushing seasons or passing Dickerson’s mark for rushing yards in consecutive seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Peterson needs 1,817 rushing yards in 2013 to break the latter record.
3. Calvin Johnson set an NFL record with 1,964 receiving yards last season. He also led the NFL in receiving yards in 2011. This year, he could join Jerry Rice from 1993-95 as the only players to lead the NFL in receiving yards in three straight seasons.
4. The Green Bay Packers visiting the San Francisco 49ers is a matchup of the only two NFC teams to win division titles in each of the last two years. Since 2011, the Packers (.813) and 49ers (.766) rank first and third in win percentage respectively.
The Packers drafted a pair of running backs in the first four rounds of April’s draft (Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin). Green Bay has gone 43 straight regular-season games without a 100-yard rusher, the longest active streak in the NFL.
5. Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots on the road to face the division-rival Buffalo Bills. Brady has performed very well against the Bills throughout his career.
Brady’s 20-2 career record against the Bills is the second-best of any quarterback against any single opponent since the 1970 merger (min. 15 starts vs team). Only Ben Roethlisberger, who is 14-1 against the Cleveland Browns, has posted a better mark. Brady has thrown 51 touchdown passes in his career vs the Bills, the most he’s had against any opponent (the Dolphins rank second with 39).