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Seven From Sunday: Kickoff Weekend

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 11, the first week of the 2011 season.

1. The THREE KICKOFF RETURN TOUCHDOWNS (Packers’ RANDALL COBB, 108 yards; 49ers’ TED GINN JR., 102 yards; Vikings’ PERCY HARVIN, 103 yards) so far in Week 1 tie for the most in NFL history on Kickoff Weekend (1970, 1998). Ginn also had a 55-yard punt-return touchdown in the 49ers’ 33-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks, becoming the first player to have a kickoff-return touchdown and punt-return touchdown in the same game on Kickoff Weekend. He is also the 12th player in NFL history to have both a KR-TD and PR-TD in the same game. 

2. The CHICAGO BEARS, who defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-12, have won 52 games on Kickoff Weekend, tied with the GREEN BAY PACKERS for the most wins all-time on Kickoff Weekend. The Bears also posted their 63rd win in home openers, the most in NFL history.

(See the other five items on this list, including one about a certain Baltimore Ravens All-Pro safety)

3. Philadelphia quarterback MICHAEL VICK had 98 rushing yards in the Eagles’ 31-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. Vick now has 4,728 career rushing yards and joins RANDALL CUNNINGHAM (4,928) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 4,700 rushing yards.   Vick’s 98 rushing yards were the second-most by a quarterback in a season opener. He holds the record with 103 rushing yards on Kickoff Weekend last year (September 12, 2010 against Green Bay).

4. Carolina quarterback CAM NEWTON passed for 422 yards against the Arizona Cardinals in his NFL debut, tying Detroit Lions quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD (422 on November 22, 2009) for the most passing yards in a game by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. Newton’s 422 passing yards are the most by a rookie quarterback on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history and fifth-most all-time by any player on Kickoff Weekend.

5. Baltimore safety ED REED had two interceptions in the Ravens’ 35-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Reed now has 12 games with at least two interceptions, the most by any player who began their career in the Super Bowl era.

6. Washington rookie linebacker RYAN KERRIGAN had a nine-yard interception-return touchdown in the Redskins’ 28-14 victory over the New York Giants. Kerrigan is the first rookie linebacker since 2002 (James Allen, September 8) to score a touchdown on Kickoff Weekend.

7. The HOUSTON TEXANS defeated the Indianapolis Colts 34-7 on Kickoff Weekend. The Texans became the first team since the 1994 Indianapolis Colts (35 points vs. Houston Oilers) to score at least 34 points in the first half of a game on Kickoff Weekend.