NFL first TD scorer stats, Week 2 picks, and what we learned in Week 1

By Stephanie Kamerschak  ( 

September 16, 2023 09:00 AM

NFL first touchdown scorer team success rates

Trends are our friends! 2022 first touchdown trends to be exact. If you’ve read any of my articles in the past, you know that I use a system to figure out which team is better at scoring touchdowns first, which allows me to eliminate half of the field when betting this market. That system stayed true in Week 1 of the new season with 13 of the 16 first touchdowns of the game being scored by the better FTD (first touchdown) team. THIRTEEN! 

It’s still tricky to predict the exact player, but being able to narrow it down to one team is a fantastic place to start. Plus, last week, if your book offered the “which team will score first” market, you’d be sitting pretty.

This season, I am going to identify a few “friends” and “foes” each week to help recap what we learned from the previous week. 


The Browns: Cleveland was top dawg in this department last season, scoring a TD first in 76.5% of their games and the trend continued against the Bengals in Week 1. I didn’t predict it would be Deshaun Watson running it in, but I’ll take it! Old faithful continues to erupt.

The Colts’ opponent: It does not matter who Indy plays, they cannot get into the end zone first. They were last year’s worst FTD team, finding the end zone first just four times. This past week, they played the Jaguars who weren’t much better last season, but as I mentioned in my Week 1 article, fade the Colts at all costs until they prove us wrong. It paid off this week as Calvin Ridley, who was one of my predictions, showed he’s primed for a comeback season and got in the end zone first. Fade the Colts!

Ravens RBs: Baltimore scored their first TD with a running back in 14 games last season and this past week was no different. J.K. Dobbins scored the first, and unfortunately his last touchdown of the season for the Ravens. Despite Dobbins being out with an Achilles tear, I’ll look to keep targeting their run game, no matter who’s out there.


Jahmyr Gibbs: Why did you have to fall down at the 9-yard line?! The rookie almost started my season off perfectly with a correct prediction, but he stumbled and the Lions went to Amon-Ra St. Brown in the end zone for the first TD of the season. Rookies gonna rookie, I guess.

“Beefs”: Like The Notorious B.I.G. said, “What’s Beef?” And I need to know, because all offseason, we heard about the apparent issues between Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen, along with the contract dispute between Austin Ekeler and the Chargers. Neither storyline appeared on the field this past week as they both scored FTDs. I ended up having tickets on both of these players as insurance bets, but in my article last week, I suggested fading them due to their unhappy offseasons. I won’t be afraid to bet them now, which is good because Ekeler was one of the top FTD players last year, with six team-firsts for Los Angeles. He’s back!

NFL 1st TD scorer picks for Week 2

Let’s get to Week 2. Here are all of the games with their 2023 & 2022 FTD records (listed as 2023 / 2022) as I don’t believe one week of data is enough to go on. You can check out my tracker to do your own research on each and every team.

Vikings (100% / 66.7%) at Eagles (100% / 70.0%) - Thursday, 8:15 PM ET

Bears (0% / 47.1%) at Buccaneers (0% / 38.9%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Packers (100% / 35.3%) at Falcons (100% / 41.2%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Colts (0% / 23.5%)  at Texans (0% / 35.3%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Seahawks (0% / 38.9%) at Lions (100% / 64.7%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Chargers (100% / 66.7%) at Titans (0% / 64.7%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Ravens (100% / 66.7%) at Bengals (0% / 60.0%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Raiders (100% / 41.2%) at Bills (100% / 52.6%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Chiefs (0% / 60.6%) at Jaguars (100% / 42.1%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

49ers (100% / 60.0%) at Rams (100% / 52.9%) - Sunday, 4:05 PM ET

Giants (0% / 36.8%) at Cardinals (0% / 35.3%) - Sunday, 4:05 PM ET

Jets (0% / 35.3%) at Cowboys (100% / 68.4%) - Sunday, 4:25 PM ET

Commanders (100% / 47.1%) at Broncos (0% / 35.3%) - Sunday, 4:25 PM ET

Dolphins (0% / 33.3%) at Patriots (0% / 47.1%) - Sunday, 8:20 PM ET

Saints (100% / 47.1%) at Panthers (0% / 52.9%) - Monday 7:15 PM ET

Browns (100% / 76.5%) at Steelers (0% / 35.3%) - Monday, 8:15 PM ET

Below are the games I really like this week based on significant mismatches. Typically, I will pick one team to target based on their FTD success rates, then look for trends within that team. If their success rates are evenly matched, that’s when I might pick a player from each side. 

Browns (100% / 76.5%) at Steelers (0% / 35.3%) - Monday, 8:15 PM ET

Cleveland is the way to go here, and I’m going to target their running game. I’ll have tickets on Deshaun Watson and Nick Chubb. Watson scored first for them last week and Chubb had 18 carries for 106 yards on the ground. Plus, I’m not scared of the Steelers defense as they gave up 27 points in the first 31 minutes of their game against the 49ers. Let’s go Browns!

Seahawks (0% / 38.9%) at Lions (100% / 64.7%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

Jahmyr Gibbs did not come through for me last week against the Chiefs, but I have a feeling they’ll give the rookie another shot at getting his first career touchdown as he was oh-so-close. As insurance, I will also bet on David Montgomery who had 21 carries compared to Gibbs’ seven, and scored in the game.

Jets (0% / 35.3%) at Cowboys (100% / 68.4%) - Sunday, 4:25 PM ET

I love the Cowboys in this one. The Jets offense is in big trouble with Zach Wilson taking over for the injured Aaron Rodgers, so they are an easy fade. I like Tony Pollard to continue scoring for Dallas. He had two scores last week and led all Cowboys with 82 scrimmage yards. I’m also still expecting Deuce Vaughn to get some red zone looks to make his father, Cowboys scout Chris Vaughn, very happy.

Colts (0% / 23.5%)  at Texans (0% / 35.3%) - Sunday, 1 PM ET

“But Steph, you said you only care about sIgNiFiCaNt MiSmAtChEs”. Yeah, yeah. It’s the Colts. I’m betting the other team until I can’t anymore. I know the Texans didn’t score a touchdown last week, but I’m still riding with them. I’ll be on Nico Collins, who had six catches for 80 yards last week against the Ravens, Dameon Pierce who was their top FTD guy last season, and the Houston D/ST in hopes of some sloppy play from Anthony Richardson.

That’s all for this week. Let’s cash some FTD tickets and be sure to let me know who you’re picking on X: @billzinmepocket.

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