Week 1: Sunday Studs & Duds

When the big names have big games, it's not a shock. But a few players on the first Sunday of the season made some surprisingly big impacts. Meanwhile, on the dud side, there were several collaborative efforts of underwhelming proportions.


Chris Brown
Last year, Brown rushed for 156 yards ... for the whole season. On Sunday, he rushed for a career-high 175 yards -- on just 19 carries -- as the Titans beat the Jaguars 13-10. Led by Brown's work, Tennessee pounded out a franchise-record 282 rushing yards.

Ellis Hobbs
Never before had a player returned a kickoff 108 yards for a TD. In fact, rarely does a player return a kickoff 8 yards deep into the end zone. But the Pats specialist made the bold move, and it paid off with an NFL record in New England's 38-14 trouncing of the Jets.

Randy Moss
It's only one game. There's still plenty of time for Moss to, ahem, act up. But on Sunday, he was on his best behavior -- and on his game: nine catches, 183 yards, one TD. It must scare teams when they think this Moss-Belichick marriage in New England might actually work.

Antwaan Randle El
He might be the Redskins' No. 2 receiver, but he made the impact of a No. 1. Randle El caught five balls for 162 yards and had a punt return to set up a field goal in Washington's 16-13 OT win. But perhaps his most important play was deflecting a potential interception late in regulation that could have given Miami a chance to win.

Tony Romo
So, guess the whole he'll-never-get-over-that-playoff-bobbled-snap theory doesn't really hold up. The Cowboys' QB tossed for a career-high 345 yards with four touchdowns -- and ran in another one, just for good measure -- as Dallas won a 45-35 shootout over the Giants.

Mario Williams
Finally, the Texans don't have to apologize for picking Williams instead of Reggie Bush or Vince Young. With two sacks and a 38-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Houston's 20-3 win over Kansas City, Williams justified being the top draft pick in 2006. Of course, it's only one game.


Sebastian Janikowski
It's not that we're expecting a lot from the Raiders this season. But hey, at least get a kicker who can make a few field goals. Janikowski missed three first-half attempts when Oakland needed the momentum (and the points, of course) in a 36-21 loss to Detroit. Is this guy on his last (kicking) leg?

Cleveland Browns
How bad were the Browns, who fell to the Steelers 34-7? On a first-quarter punt, Cleveland was flagged for four penalties. The Browns allowed six sacks ... in the first half. Cleveland also had five turnovers. Oh, and starting QB Charlie Frye (photo) was pulled before halftime. On the flip side, Brady Quinn hasn't demanded a trade. Yet.

Philadelphia Eagles punt returners
Greg Lewis (photo) muffed a punt that led to a Packers touchdown. Then J.R. Reed inexplicably fielded a punt in heavy traffic and coughed it up in the final minute, leading to the Packers' winning field goal in a 16-13 game. Both players might need protection if they need to get out of their houses in Philly this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars running game
Maurice Jones-Drew (photo) and Fred Taylor were supposed to supply a 1-2 punch on the ground and take the pressure off QB David Garrard. Oops. Jones-Drew had 32 yards on seven carries, while Taylor chipped in with 16 yards on six carries in the Jags' loss to Tennessee.