It may have taken seven tumultuous years spanning three cities, multiple injuries and countess disappointments along with the way. But it finally happened – Sam Bradford looked like a star in an NFL jersey. Sammy B was lights-out, on fire, unstoppable in the Minnesota Vikings’ dominating defeat of the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. Though the 2010 NFL Draft No. 1 pick started out last season in similar (but not as spectacular) fashion, then against the Packers, the feel of this performance seemed to strike a different note with millions of eyes around the NFL watching in primetime.
In his best game by far as a pro to date, Bradford went an astounding 27-32 with 346 yards, three touchdowns and zero turnovers. He averaged 10.8 yards per attempt, tossing immaculate dime after dime to his suddenly potent pass-catching core, and finished with an eye-popping 143.0 passer rating. The most astonishing part of the evening was that he was sacked only once!
It's the Stefon Diggs Show in Minnesota! His second TD of the night puts the Vikings up 16-6!pic.twitter.com/VAFESvPHlM— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 12, 2017
The Vikings improved offensive line and the addition of rookie running back Dalvin Cook could prove to be the difference in this season finally coming together for the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma. This team could be scary good if the line and run game hold up. The defense is as dominant as any in the league. Viking fans everywhere, along with Sooner Nation, are well within reason to be pumped as hell about this season with Sammy B and a championship-level defense leading the way in Minnesota.
After outplaying Drew Brees, Bradford looks to continue his giant-killing ways in Week 2 in what could be a much tougher matchup against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Hot take or smart take: Are the Vikings primed to make a deep playoff run this season? https://t.co/krq9iMAklO— The MMQB (@theMMQB) September 12, 2017
This throw will NEVER get old!
What we all expected in Week 1: Sam Bradford and Alex Smith better than Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.— Jamey Eisenberg (@JameyEisenberg) September 12, 2017
Sam Bradford. This guy right here is spreading the ball around tonight like its some jam, man. Just call him Jam Bradford. Wow— Jon Gruden (@Faux_Gruden) September 12, 2017
Too bad this MNF game is in Minny. Wanted to see Sam Bradford plant the Vikings flag at midfield per OU tradition.— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) September 12, 2017
Meanwhile, things didn’t go as planned for a one Adrian Peterson, who was not too thrilled with his Saints debut.
Adrian Peterson is handling this well. pic.twitter.com/bn6KCwhnjp— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 12, 2017
Given only six rushing attempts and finishing with 18 yards, it could be a rough go for AD in his new spot for awhile.
When you realize Sam Bradford is the new sheriff in Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/kw2oirn6Pb— Fake SportsCenter (@FakeSportsCentr) September 12, 2017
Things weren’t too much better for the other three Sooner running backs seeing NFL action in Week 1. DeMarco Murray mustered only 33 yards on 12 attempts along with two receptions for 16 yards and zero touchdowns in the Titans loss to the Raiders.
Bengals rookie Joe Mixon debuted with a pedestrian eight rushes for nine yards and added three catches for 15 yards in Cincy’s crushing defeat at the hands of the Ravens. Mixon’s backfield mate in Norman, Samaje Perine, saw the field for Washington in their loss to the Eagles but failed to register a stat.
As for ex-Sooner pass catchers, Sterling Shepard in a start against the Cowboys on Sunday night finished with seven receptions for 44 yards, along with one carry for six yards and no scores. The Giants dismal start to the season isn’t encouraging, but hopefully Shep can somehow get back on track in Week 2.
James Hanna got the start for the Cowboys on the other side but accumulated no stats.
Cardinals starting tight end Jermaine Gresham caught three passes for 15 yards in a loss at Detroit.
Newly acquired Minnesota Vikings tight end Blake Bell saw no stats in his first action with his new team. Hopefully it isn’t long before Bell gets on the field more and begins seeing a few targets from fellow Sooner Sam Bradford.
Unfortunately, last week saw Jags’ rookie Dede Westbrook be placed on injured reserve and sidelined for a minimum of eight weeks with a core injury.
Strong safety Tony Jefferson led the way for the NFL Sooners on the defensive side of the ball, racking up nine tackles and a sack in the Ravens dominant win over the Bengals.
Aaron Colvin (CB - Jaguars), Jordan Evans (LB - Bengals) and Corey Nelson (LB - Broncos) had a tackle each for their respective teams’ season openers, while defensive end Stacy McGee earned the start in his first game in Washington and recorded one tackle and deflected one pass.
And finally, pass-rushing beast Charles Tapper finally played his first NFL game in the Cowboys win over the Giants, registering two tackles and this sack on his way to showing promise and potential in his much-awaited debut.
These Sooners also saw action for their respective teams this weekend:
Aaron Colvin (CB - Jaguars), *Lane Johnson (RT - Eagles), Aaron Ripkowski (FB - Packers), Donald Stephenson (Broncos), *Tress Way (P - Washington), *Trent Williams (LT - Washington), *Daryl Williams (RG - Panthers), James Winchester (LS - Chiefs)
The following Sooners were inactive or did not play in Week 1:
Devante Bond (LB - Buccaneers, game postponed), Landry Jones (QB - Steelers), David King (DE - Titans), Gerald McCoy (DT - Buccaneers, game postponed), Jordan Phillips (DT - Dolphins, game postponed), Kenny Stills (WR - Dolphins, game postponed), Dede Westbrook (WR - Jaguars, IR), Damien Williams (RB - Dolphins, game postponed)