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  • Writer's pictureKeoni Eichholtz


Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Entering its 101st season, the National Football League definitely has had its share of historical moments, so I implore you to take a journey with me every Friday as I hop in the Delorean, squeeze into the phone booth, and take a dip in my magic hot tub as I venture back in time to take a look at this week in NFL history.

Today is the very first week of the season, a week where many players have made instrumental and memorable contributions to the NFL’s vast library of historical moments. This week, I’ll be highlighting seven of those moments, one for every day of the week from Sep. 10-Sep. 16.

*Games not played in the first week of that season but between 9/10-9/16 as a result of the schedule changing over time.

#7 Sep. 10, 1989: Eric Dickerson becomes the fastest player to reach 10,000 rushing yards. In a Sunday afternoon game at the Hoosier Dome, the Indianapolis Colts running-back and pro football hall of famer ran for 106 yards on 19 attempts. Although the Colts lost that game to the eventual Super Bowl winners that year, it was an incredibly memorable and important game for both the Colts and Dickerson. Like Barry Allen entering the speed force, Dickerson became the quickest to reach 10,000 rushing yards in just his 91st game in the league. The two closest players to him are hall of famer Jim Brown at 98 games and future hall of famer Adrian Peterson at 101 games. What an achievement for one of the best running backs in NFL history.

#6 *Sep. 11, 1983: Franco Harris becomes the third player in NFL history to rush for 11,000 yards. Against the Green Bay packers, Harris ran for 118 yards leading to a 25-21 victory for the Steelers. One of many on a dominant team filled with as many hall of famers as there are films where Brad Pitt eats some type of food, Harris cemented his place in football history. Following in the footsteps of hall of famers Jim Brown and O.J. Simpson, Harris surpassed the 11,000 mark on this day and would end his career with 12,120 yards. It was truly an immaculate day for Harris.

#5 Sep. 12, 1976: Seattle Seahawks play their first NFL game. The Seahawks played against the St. Louis Cardinals and lost 30-24 on their way to a 2-12 season. The Northwest team joined the NFL 43 years ago, initially starting in the National Football Conference (NFC) before switching to the American Football Conference (AFC) until 2002, when they rejoined the NFC. The conference switch may have much to do with the rough first season, but in the past decade, Seattle has had a major resurgence winning a Super Bowl and most likely would have one a second if not for “that play.” We all know the one. Regardless, it was a momentous day for the eventual “12th man” pioneers.

#4 Sep. 13, 1999: Denver Broncos retire John Elway’s jersey. Hall of famer and two time Super Bowl champion John Elway’s #7 jersey was retired in a half time ceremony during a Monday night game between Denver and Miami. Elway was drafted first in the 1983 draft that is often referred to as one of if not the greatest quarterback drafts including his fellow hall of famers, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. Elway is now the General Manager of the Broncos and is a focal point in the football world. Finishing his career with over 50,000 passing yards and 300 touchdowns, the #7 soars high in Mile High Stadium as a reminder to one of the leagues greatest quarterbacks and figures.

#3 *Sep 14, 2003: Jamal Lewis sets record for most rushing yards in a game at 295. Absolutely trouncing the Cleveland Browns in a 33-13 victory, Lewis and the Ravens attacked the Cleveland defense as if they were the inhabitants of Bodega bay in “The Birds.” With a relentless onslaught, Lewis rushed 30 times just coming short of ten yards per carry and scored two touchdowns in the contest. He finished his career with 10,607 yards, an Offensive Rookie of the year trophy for the 2003 season and a Super Bowl win in his rookie year. Lewis’ record went on to be broken by Adrian Peterson in Peterson’s rookie year when he rushed for only one yard more at 296 yards. It just goes to show that football truly is a game of inches.

#2 *Sep. 15, 2002: Rich Gannon begins six game streak of 300+ yard games. The Oakland quarterback threw for 403 yards against the Steelers in a 30-17 victory. He joined the likes of Hall of famers Steve Young and Kurt Warner for six consecutive games with 300+ yards. Since then, in a now pass heavy league more and more players have joined this illustrious list including Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck and Drew Brees, of course. Today, Brees holds this record, among many other records, at nine consecutive games with 300+ yards. Although Gannon didn’t go on to join Warner and Young in the hall of fame, it’s still a very impressive achievement; hopefully enough to get free drinks anywhere in the “bright side of the bay.”

#1 Sep, 16, 1937: The Washington Redskins play their first NFL game in Washington. The now Washington football team played their first game in their D.C. against the New York Giants winning the contest with a score of 13-3. Forming in 1932 as the Boston Braves, the team relocated five years later and are still there to this day. Despite all the controversy and divisiveness surrounding the team and its name, Washington has been a major part of the NFL for almost 90 years now. In 1937, they won their first of two NFL championships (pre-merger) and would go on to win three Super Bowls. Although, they are sort of a punching bag for a multitude of reasons now, their significance in NFL history cannot be understated.

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