In a strong opening NFL weekend, several stories claimed national attention as the 2012 season got underway.

Peyton Manning returned to football after a 20 month hiatus, looking like he never left. Rookie QB Robert Griffin III looked the part in an amazing first game as a pro. The Jets apparently sandbagged through the preseason. And the blueprint for shutting Cam Newton down (and up) was put on display by the Buccaneer defense.

Several Crimson Tide players made impacts as well, some in their first games.

Julio Jones (ATL) hauling in 6 catches for 108 yards and a pair of scores
Dont’a Hightower (NE) scoring a TD off a fumble recovery in his first game as a pro
Kareem Jackson (TEX) racking up 5 tackles and an INT
Courtney Upshaw (BAL) recording a sack in his first game
Mark Barron (TB) had an amazing pass deflection in a redemptive game against Cam Newton (and he could lift his arm this time)

Here are former Alabama players’ complete stats for week 1:

Arizona Cardinals – def Seahawks 20-16
Rashad Johnson (49) – 2 tackles

Atlanta Falcons – def Chiefs 40-24
Julio Jones (11) – 6 catches, 108 yards, 2 TDs
Mike Johnson (59) – reserve OL

Baltimore Ravens – def Bengals 44-13
Terrence Cody (62) 1 tackle
Courtney Upshaw (91) 4 tackles, 1 sack

Buffalo Bills – lost to Jets 48-28
Mark Anderson (93) – started at DE; no stats recorded
Marcel Dareus (99) – 1 tackle

Cincinnati Bengals – lost to Ravens 44-13
Dre Kirkpatrick (27) – did not play, knee
Andre Smith (71) – started at RT

Cleveland Browns – lost to Eagles 17-16
Trent Richardson (33) – 19 rush, 39 yards, 1 catch, 5 yards

Houston Texans – def Dolphins 30-10
Antoine Caldwell (62) – started at RG
Kareem Jackson (25) – 5 tackles, 1 INT

Kansas City Chiefs – lost to Falcons 40-24
Javier Arenas (21) – 1 tackle, 1 PR 14 yds, 4 KOR, 19.8 avg
DeQuan Menzie (49) – (injured reserve)

New England Patriots – def Titans 34-13
Brandon Deaderick (71) – 1 tackle
Dont’a Hightower (54) – 5 tackles, 1 fumble recovery for TD

New Orleans Saints – lost to Redskins 40-32
Roman Harper (41) – 9 tackles
Mark Ingram (28)* – 6 rushes, 15 yards
Marquis Johnson (injured reserve)

New York Jets – def Bills 48-28
Greg McElroy (14) – reserve QB

Oakland Raiders – lost to the Chargers 22-14
Rolondo McClain (55) – 5 tackles

Philadelphia Eagles – def Browns 17-16
Evan Mathis (69) – started at LG
Demeco Ryans (59) – 5 tackles

San Diego Chargers – def Raiders 22-14
Jarret Johnson (96) – 5 tackles
Le’Ron McClain (33) – 2 rushes, 5 yards; 4 catches, 15 yards

Seattle Seahawks – lost to Cardinals 20-16
James Carpenter (77) – reserve OL

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – def Panthers 16-10
Mark Barron (24) – 3 tackles
Wallace Gilberry (92) – reserve DE

Tennessee Titans – lost to Patriots 34-13
Alex Watkins (46) – (injured reserve)

Washington Redskins – def Saints 40-32
Darius Hanks (17) – (injured reserve)

Practice squad players: Brad Smelley (CLE), Lorenzo Washington (DET), John Parker Wilson (JAC), Josh Chapman (IND).


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