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Week One sets records for passing yards, return scores

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 12, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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It didn’t just seem like there were more passing yards and return touchdowns in Week One then ever before. It’s a fact.

Jon Zimmer, who runs the official NFLHistory Twitter handle for the league, points out that records were set all over the place in 2011’s opening week.

1. Eight return touchdowns (five on punts, three on kickoffs) set the all-time record for any weekend. Coaches always say that the first week of the season is a special teams kind of week. Guess it’s not just a cliche. Take that, touchback!

2. There were more passing yards in Week One (7,842) than any week in NFL history. To put that in perspective, teams averaged 245 yards passing. And this included the Alex Smith-Tarvaris Jackson showdown.

3. 14 quarterbacks passed for over 300 yards. That’s also the most for any week in NFL history.

4. Michigan had a good Saturday, and Monday night wasn’t bad for their former quarterbacks. Tom Brady and Chad Henne combined for the most net passing yards (906) in a game in NFL history.

Despite all this, expect to hear some announcer stress the importance of “establishing the run” this weekend.