10). Marty Booker (Chicago Bears) 2002: Marty Booker used week 1 as his own personal coming out. As the Bears pulled off a close victory over the Vikings, Booker was on fire. Booker torched the Vikings’ secondary all day hauling in 8 passes for 198 yards and 1 touchdown. It ended up being Booker’s only pro bowl season.
9). Duce Staley (Philadelphia Eagles) 2000 – On opening day, the Duce was loose as Staley ran wild all over the Dallas Cowboys. Duce carried the ball 26 times for 201 yards and a touchdown. And as if he wasn’t doing enough damage running the ball, Duce also tacked on another 4 catches for 61 yards. Unfortunately Staley’s season would come to an end after only 5 weeks, because of injury.
8). Curtis Martin (NY Jets) 2004 – With questions about Martin’s age going into the season, Martin made a statement that even at the age of 31, he was better than ever. Martin ran all over the Bengals for 196 yards. He not only ran for a touchdown, but also caught one as well, as Martin led the Jets to a close victory over the Bengals. Martin would go on to lead the league in rushing with 1,697 yards rushing.
7). Anquan Boldin (Cardinals) 2003 – It was not only the first game of the season, it was rookie Anquan Boldin’s first NFL game. After questions about his speed caused him to slip to the second round in the draft, Boldin put the entire NFL on notice that he had arrived with a game for the ages. Boldin exploded with 10 catches for an NFL rookie record of 217 yards and 2 touchdowns.
6). Michael Turner (Falcons) 2007 – After spending his entire career backing up Ladainian Tomlinson in San Diego, Turner was finally given a chance to start with the Falcons. In Turner’s first game as a Falcon, he showed he was worth being a starting running back in the NFL. Turner’s 220 rushing yards were not just a Falcon’s single game record, but also the second highest opening day total ever behind O.J. Simpson’s 250 in 1973. Turner scored 2 touchdowns. Turner would go on to rush for 1,699 yards on the season and was named to the pro bowl.
5). Drew Brees (Saints) 2009 – Brees spread the ball around to the tune of 358 yards and 6 touchdowns.
4). Phil Simms (NY Giants) 1984 – After a rough first three years in NY in which Simms saw many injuries and being benched by first year coach Bill Parcells, Sims was named the starter for the 1984 season. He didn’t waste any time showing that he was the right man for the job. In the first game of the 1984 season, Simms threw 30 passes and completed all but seven of them. Aside from completing 76 percent of his passes, Simms threw for 409 yards and 4 touchdowns, leading the Giants to a one point win over the division rival Eagles. He would keep the job for the rest of the decade as the Giants QB and went on to lead the Giants to a Super Bowl title in 1986.
3). Steve Deberg (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 1987 – On opening day, the Falcons had no answer for Deberg and the Bucs. Tampa Bay blew the Falcons out, 48-10. Deberg spread the ball out, hitting 8 different receivers on his way to throwing for 333 yards and 5 touchdowns. Unfortunately, week one was as good as it would get for the Bucs in 1987.
2). Irving Fryar (Miami Dolphins) 1994 – The fact that Fryar caught 5 passes on opening day isn’t spectacular. The fact that he averaged 42 yards per catch is. Of the 5 catches of the day for Fryar, 3 of them went for touchdowns. Fryar’s final line for the day: 5 receptions, 211 yards, 3 touchdowns.
1). Dan Marino & Drew Bledsoe battle (Patriots vs Dolphins) 1994 – Coming into the season, a young Bledsoe was drawing a lot of Dan Marino comparisons. The battle between the two superstar QBs lived up to its top billing. Marino threw for 473 yards and 5 touchdowns while Bledsoe wasn’t too shabby himself, throwing for 421 and 4 touchdowns. The game was a shootout that went down to the end with Marino throwing 2 touchdowns in the fourth quarter to Bledsoe’s 1 as the Dolphins pulled out a 39-35 victory. The two QBs combined for 894 yards and 9 touchdowns.