Every season certain players have the game of their lives in the season opener. Last year Kevin Ogletree came out and set the Giants alight in the Wednesday night kickoff game, Tom Brady threw for over 500 yards against the Dolphins in the Monday night opener in 2011 and this year it was Peyton Manning dominating the headlines with a record breaking performance. Of course these averages will not keep up over the course of the season but it can be fun to look at what may happen if they did.
Peyton Manning – 462 Passing Yards, 7 touchdowns
Projects to: 7392 yards, 112 touchdowns
Nobody will be able to match Manning’s all-worldly performance against the Ravens in the kickoff game but if he did the records would be shattered. At that pace the passing yardage mark held by Drew Brees would be topped in game 12 making things look too easy. Meanwhile Tom Brady’s 50 touchdown mark would be broken in the eighth game of the season as Manning goes on to more than double his rival’s mark.
Terrelle Pryor – 112 rushing yards
Projects to: 1792 yards
It was not a good Sunday for running backs as only one broke 100 yards (Shane Vereen) and the leader at the end of the day was the Raiders quarterback. At this pace Pryor will shatter the rushing yards by a quarterback mark in his first season as a starter. He needed every one of those yards to get the Raiders to be competitive but it was not enough for the team.
Terrelle Pryor came oh so close for the Raiders
LeSean McCoy – 184 Rushing Yards
Projects to: 2944 yards
As bad as Sunday was for the running backs, LeSean McCoy had a great opening game on Monday night against the Redskins. A career high 31 carries and an average of nearly 6 yards per carry suggests that he is going to love playing in Chip Kelley’s system. While he will not be able to maintain the pace of almost 500 carries, if he could at that average, he would make Adrian Peterson’s hope to reach 2500 yards look silly as he goes for 3000 yards (or about double what Blaine Gabbert will throw for).
Anquan Boldin – 13 catches, 208 receiving yards
Projects to – 208 catches, 3328 receiving yards
Not a bad way to introduce yourself to your new team by becoming the leading receiver and helping them to a win over a new rival. Calvin Johnson’s yardage mark, which was set last season would be toppled just after the halfway point (and may just be one of the shortest standing records ever). Meanwhile the record for receptions in a season would also be smashed as Boldin would catch over 60 more passes than Marvin Harrison’s 2002 mark.
Anquan Boldin made a great first impression with his new team.
Justin Houston and Robert Quinn – 3 sacks
Projects to: 48 sacks
When the NFL record for sacks is 22.5, the fact both of these players would top the mark in their eighth game at this pace is enough to make you laugh. Both players had phenomenal games but it is hard to see either of them being among the sack leaders at the end of the year.