At long last, the first week of the 2013 NFL season is in the books. Each week we will be tracking a number of former college stars, from high-profile programs, in the pros and bringing you some of the best and most impactful performances.
One of the biggest developments from Week 1 and potentially the season came on the opening drive for Pittsburgh when all-pro center Maurkice Pouncey tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee, subsequently ending the season for the former University of Florida All-American.
Matthew Stafford was one of the NFL’s passing leaders in Week 1, recording 357 yards along with two touchdowns and an interception. The former Georgia player helped lead his team to a 34-24 win in Detroit’s season opener over Minnesota.
Christian Ponder’s Vikings were on the losing end to Matthew Stafford in the season debut. The former Florida State single caller threw for 236 yards and a score, but also threw three interceptions in the loss.
Playing in his first game with former San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith, longtime Kansas City Chiefs reciever Dwayne Bowe had a relatively quiet game in the season opener. The former LSU pass catcher had four receptions for 30 yards.
Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, Buffalo’s first-round pick out of Florida State in this year’s draft, nearly lead his team to an upset over New England in his first regular season game. Manuel threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns while posting a quarterback rating of 105.5 in the Bills 23-21 loss to the Patriots.
Former LSU player Tyrann Mathieu also made a huge impact in his first pro game in a losing effort. Mathieu made a huge, touchdown-saving forced fumble in Arizona’s loss at St. Louis and also racked up seven tackles.
Terrelle Prior (Ohio State) was the league’s leading rusher in Week 1. Named the Raider’s opening-day quarterback for the first time in his career, the former NFL supplemental draft pick gained 112 yards on 13 attempts, averaging 8.6 yards per carry and almost leading Oakland to a surprise road win in Indianapolis. He also threw for 217 yards.
Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles scored a touchdown and added 77 yards rushing for the Chiefs in a 28-2 blowout win at Jacksonville. Recovering from a torn ACL last season, the former Texas standout was impressive in leading the Chiefs’ ground attack in head coach Andy Reid’s first regular season game as KC’s head man.
Knowshon Moreno received nine carries playing in a deep backfield in Denver, helping to block for quarterback Peyton Manning during his record-setting performance in the NFL season opener in the Broncos’ big win over defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore.
Former UGA star A.J. Green continued to stake his claim as one of, if not the, best receivers in the NFL. He began the season with a nine-catch, two-touchdown, 162-yard performance. His two scores tied for the league lead in Week 1 and his yardage mark placed him second in the NFL.
Anquan Boldin made a huge impact in his first game in San Francisco, racking in a league-high 13 receptions and 208 yards, as well as a touchdown in the 49ers’ early statement win over Green Bay. The Florida State product was playing his first game for San Francisco after playing against them as a member of the Baltimore Ravens in last year’s Super Bowl.
Former Ohio State wide out Brian Hartline may be making his case to become Miami’s go-to receiver. Overshadowing high-profile free agent signee Mike Wallace, Hartline connected with second-year starter Ryan Tannehill for nine receptions, 114 yards and a score in Miami’s 23-10 season-opening win against Cleveland.
Kellen Winslow had one of the best receiving performances for a tight end in the league during week 1, grabbing seven receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown in the Jets’ 18-17 home win over Tampa Bay. Fellow University of Miami tight end product Jimmy Graham had four catches and a touchdown in New Orleans’ 23-17 win over Atlanta.
Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis had a great debut for the Dolphins, making all three of his field goal attempts and both extra point tries in Miami’s season opening win. The former Florida player tied for the second in the lead in points by a kicker with 11.