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Best and Worst NFL Player Performances in Week 1, 2020

By Gary Garry in NFL
| September 16, 2020 6:07 am PDT
Best and Worst NFL Player Performances in Week 1, 2020

We saw some killer performances during the first week of the 2020 NFL season and a few players had games they would like to forget.

Strangely enough, there are actually a couple of guys in the worst performance category that will make the Hall of Fame when they hang up their cleats

Best Player Performances in NFL Week 1

Most of the players that had killer performances during the first week of the season are accomplished veterans that you would expect to see on a list like this one. There are also a couple of under the radar guys that filled up the stat sheets, and at least one of them will gain a lot of yards in 2020 if he stays healthy.

I’m going to start with the top QB performances and then move on to the backs and the wide receivers before I get to the worst performers.

Russell Wilson

The Seattle superstar had a near perfect game on Sunday. He completed 31 out of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns, and he didn’t throw an interception. For good measure, Wilson ran for 29 yards on three carries.

Most importantly, he led his team to a resounding 38-25 victory in Atlanta. Since I’m highlighting that game, you have to give Matt Ryan credit as well. He threw for 450 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort.

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay got off to a great start with a 43-34 win on the road against their North Division rivals from Minnesota. Aaron Rodgers lit up the Vikings secondary to the tune of 364 yards, and he threw four touchdown passes without a pick. All this was good for a 92.9 QBR, which was second in Week 1 behind the next guy.

Lamar Jackson

Jackson puts up video game numbers every time he steps onto the field, so it’s easy to take it for granted, but I won’t. He had a typically efficient Lamar Jackson game: 20 for 25, 275, 3 TDs, and zero INTs.

He also gained 49 yards on seven carries, so he it was business as usual for the crazy talented Ravens signal caller.

Clyde Edwards-Hillaire

It looks like the Kansas City Chiefs have something very special in rookie Clyde Edwards-Hillaire. He was still on the board when the Chiefs took the last pick of the first round, and that was a gift for the defending Super Bowl champs.

In his debut he gained 138 yards on 25 carries, and he scored his first NFL touchdown. After one week Edwards-Hillaire can say he leads the league in rushing, and that must be a pretty good feeling.

Christian McCaffery

Like Lamar Jackson, McCaffery is another guy that always puts up big digits, even though other teams know he is going to get the ball.

On Sunday he had a great game for an ordinary mortal and an okay game for him with 96 yards on the ground, three receptions for 38 yards, and two rushing touchdowns.

Benny Snell

James Conner was penciled in as the Steelers starting running back, but he got hurt early in the Monday night game. Bennie Snell got the call, and he did not disappoint coach Mike Tomlin.

Snell carried the rock 19 times for 119 yards, which is a whopping 5.9 yards a carry. Conner has an ankle sprain and he may be back as soon as next week, but Bennie deserves a mention for his strong fill-in performance.

Davante Adams

Adams started off 2020 on the right foot with a sweet performance on the receiving end of Aaron Rodgers spirals.

He hauled in 14 balls for 156 yards and a couple of scores, and the sky’s the limit if he can stay on the field.

Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley

If you rack up 450 yards passing like Matt Ryan did, your receivers will put up similarly gaudy stats. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley really lit it up on Sunday in a losing cause, so I had to include both of them.

JJ had nine catches for 157 yards, but he didn’t get into the end zone. His running mate had nine receptions as well that went for 130 yards, and Ridley scored two TDs.

DeAndre Hopkins

Hopkins wore a new uniform for the first time, but the results were familiar.

The very wealthy Cardinals star matched Adams with 14 catches, and he covered 151 yards of real estate without a TD catch.

Worst Player Performances in NFL Week 1

Nobody likes to make the next list, but it has to be done.

 I’ll keep it short and sweet this week because guys deserve a little bit of slack in Game 1 when there was no preseason.

Stephen Gostkowski

If you’re going to have a bad game for the ages, you don’t want to have it on Monday Night Football when everybody is watching. Unfortunately for him, this was the scenario that Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski created for himself in Week 1.

He missed his first three field goals attempts in a very close game and he threw in a missed extra point to add to the misery. Though he made a 25 yard chip shot at the end to give his team the win, he sucked, and he knows it better than anyone.

Gostkowski is one of the all-time greats at his position, but he is already on the hot seat with his new team.

Tom Brady

I’ll go straight from one former Patriot to the next one. Brady is surrounded by fantastic skill players, so there were big expectations going into the opening week. Tom looked good on the first drive, and things went downhill from there.

Brady completed 23 of 36 passes for 239 and he threw two picks along with a couple of TDs. All of that earned him a 78.4 QBR, which put him at #26 among NFL quarterbacks after the first week.

The numbers are not incredibly horrible on paper, but in my estimation, he failed the eye test miserably.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

I like Fitz, and I’ve had good luck with him on my fantasy teams at times, but age may have finally caught up with him.

The 37 year old Dolphins QB had the worst QBR in the league at 44.6, and that’s what happens when you throw for under 200 yards with three picks and no touchdowns.


The top Week 1 player performances were unusual to me because they were so predictable. There were few surprises, and for the most part, the big names dominated the headlines.

When it comes to the poor performers, I expect Brady to have his moments, but the other two may have reached the end of the line. Tua looms behind Fitz, and Gostkowski has to be on thin ice.



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