Here’s a look at the top five stars from Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season.
5. San Francisco 49ers Kicker David Akers
Not only did the 49ers pull of a big win on the road against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, but Akers kicked his ways into the record books by drilling a 63-yard field goal right before halftime–which is tied for the longest in NFL history. Akers has been phenominal since coming to San Francisco in 2011 and it’s hard to believe the Philadelphia Eagles believed he was washed up as a kicker.
4. Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III
Of the five rookies to start in Week 1, Griffin was the only quarterback to win his debut after the Redskins pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Week 1 with a win over the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. Griffin completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards with two touchdowns and 42 rushing yards–giving Washington fans even more hope that they have finally found their franchise quarterback.
3. Detroit Lions Running Back Kevin Smith
In a game where Matthew Stafford (three interceptions) couldn’t seem to get anything going in the passing game, Smith stepped up his game for the Lions when it mattered the most by hauling in the game-winning touchdown reception from five yards out against the St. Louis Rams with 10 seconds remaining in the game. Smith finished with just 91 yards from the line of scrimmage in the game, but his two touchdowns were the main reason why Detroit avoided a major upset in Week 1.
2. Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan
No quarterback performed better in Week 1 than Ryan as the former first-round pick threw for 299 yards to go along with three touchdown passes and even managed to record a rushing touchdown on the ground as well. Many questioned whether or not Ryan had what it takes to be an elite quarterback and with weapons like Roddy White and Julio Jones–there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be in that category.
1. Buffalo Bills Running Back C.J. Spiller
With Fred Jackson expected to miss few weeks, Spiller emerged as the top running back from Week 1 after recording 169 rushing yards and one touchdown against the New York Jets–even if most of his statistics came from garbage time in the blowout loss. There was a reason why the Bills spent a first-round pick on Spiller a few years ago and he’ll certainly have a chance to make a name for himself over the next couple of weeks.