NFL players of the week: Peyton Manning gives a legendary performance in Week 1

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The term 'once in a generation' is thrown around too much, but Peyton Manning's Thursday night was one of those moments.

Week 1 of the NFL season gave us one legendary performance and more than our fair share of excellent ones.

Passer of the week

Peyton Manning: 27/43, 462 yards, 7 TD, 0 INT

Nobody deserves to touch Manning's performance in Week 1 and it's near-impossible anyone will have a better game in the entire 2013 season. It would almost be a shame to see the season's best passing performance of 2013 this early but, on the plus side, at least we got to see it.


Richard Nixon was the president the last time a quarterback threw for seven touchdowns. Let that sink in.

What made Manning's performance so amazing is that you could tell a non-football fan about it the next day and it wouldn't surprise them. Peyton throwing seven touchdowns is akin to Michael Jordan scoring 50 or Wayne Gretzky registering seven assists -- it's impressive, but expected.

Rusher of the week

LeSean McCoy: 31 attempts, 184 yards, one touchdown

McCoy looked at home in Chip Kelly's breakneck offense. Philadelphia took advantage of a confused and exhausted Washington defense by keeping its foot on the gas. McCoy spent much of the game lining up just off Michael Vick's right side, gashing his way through giant holes in the field and using his ninja-like cutting ability to cut off the ankles of would be tacklers.

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Reggie Bush: 21 attempts, 90 yards -- four receptions, 101 yards, one TD

Week 1 wasn't a stellar week for running backs, but Bush was the best of the players on Sunday. He added 191 all-purpose yards, but most importantly he took pressure off Matthew Stafford when he couldn't rely on Calvin Johnson.

This is something the Lions have lacked for much of Stafford's career. In the past they've lived and died by the Stafford-Johnson connection. If they can turn to different weapons when he's getting shut down, though, it will open up the entire offense. The next step will be to see Bush become a more consistent runner, and if this can happen Detroit will have one of the league's best offenses.

Receiver of the week

Anquan Boldin: 13 receptions, 208 yards, 1 TD

Brotherly love from John to Jim Harbaugh allowed Anquan Boldin to make his way from the Baltimore Ravens to San Francisco 49ers. One week into the season, you wonder if the Ravens are kicking themselves. The deep-threat receiver was sensational against the Green Bay Packers, showing the size and strength to be a huge mismatch against smaller defensive backs.

Colin Kaepernick was the benefactor, and would have been the best passer in the week if not for Peyton Manning's wizardry. Adding another deep threat is what can put the 49ers over the hump in 2013 and makes this team one to watch every single week.

Defensive player of the week

Robert Quinn: 3 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 2 force fumbles

Jeff Fisher is molding the St. Louis Rams in his image and no player is making the most of his defensive schemes than Robert Quinn. The third-year pass-rusher finished with 10.5 sacks in 2012 and is on pace to smash that number.

His two forced fumbles were as vital to the Rams' chances as anything that happened on offense, particularly the second that set up a short Greg Zuerlein field goal -- keep in mind that the Rams won by three points on Sunday.

More from SB Nation NFL:

NFL Debrief: Pryor for MVP and other irrational reactions to Week 1

Hip Hop Hooray! Joique Bell has the NFL's best TD celebration

Fan dies after fall at 49ers game

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