Redskins 13, Cowboys 7
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) – DeAngelo Hall returned a fumble 32 yards for Washington’s only touchdown, and Donovan McNabb completed 15 of 32 passes for 171 yards in his Redskins debut in a season-opening, 13-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
It was also the Redskins’ curtain-raiser for Mike Shanahan, and the longtime Denver Broncos coach watched his defense keep the Cowboys at bay when it mattered.
The Cowboys (0-1) moved inside the Redskins 40 on three of their first four drives and didn’t score, but the drive everyone will remember is the last one, which came after Graham Gano made a 49-yard field with 1:50 remaining to give the Redskins (1-0) a 13-7 lead.
With 3 seconds left, and the ball at the 13-yard line, Tony Romo scrambled to find Roy Williams open in the end zone. But Alex Barron was called for holding, negating the winning touchdown.
Romo completed 31 of 41 passes for 282 yards. Miles Austin caught 10 passes for 146 yards and scored the game’s only offensive touchdown.
Texans 34, Colts 24
HOUSTON (AP) – Arian Foster ran for a team-record 231 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Houston over Indianapolis.
Foster’s sensational opening-day effort allowed the Texans to end a six-game losing streak against Peyton Manning and the defending AFC champions.
Foster, an undrafted rookie who spent most of last season on the practice squad, had 33 carries in gaining the most yards by a Colts’ opponent. He had the NFL’s second-best opening weekend rushing performance since 1933, topped only by Buffalo’s O.J. Simpson’s 250 in 1973 against New England.
Foster also surpassed Domanick Davis’ team record of 158 yards rushing, set in 2004 at Jacksonville.
Manning completed 40 of 57 passes for 433 yards, the fourth-highest opening weekend passing yardage total since 1933, and three touchdowns. He threw a 10-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark with 4:54 left to cut Houston’s lead to 27-17, but Foster ran for 41 yards on the Texans’ next series and capped his day with an 8-yard TD run.
Packers 27, Eagles 20
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of touchdown passes, Mason Crosby kicked a team-record 56-yard field goal and Green Bay won despite a vintage performance by Philadelphia’s Michael Vick.
In their first game since trading Donovan McNabb to Washington, the Eagles started with Kevin Kolb and finished with Vick. Kolb left with a concussion at halftime, so Vick played meaningful snaps for an extended period for the first time in nearly four years.
Vick, a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback during six seasons in Atlanta, invigorated an offense that was awful in the first half. He finished with 175 yards passing and ran for 103, but could overcome a 20-3 deficit.
Bears 19, Lions 14
CHICAGO (AP) – Jay Cutler threw for 372 yards, including a 28-yard TD pass to Matt Forte with 1:32 left and Chicago held on against Detroit.
The Lions, who lost quarterback Matthew Stafford with a right shoulder injury late in the first half, nearly pulled out the win but Shaun Hill’s 25-yard pass to Calvin Johnson in the end zone with 25 seconds left was ruled incomplete after a review.
Two incompletions later, the Lions walked off the field with their 21st straight road loss.
Stafford took a blindside sack by Julius Peppers and spent the second half on the sideline with his arm in a sling. His status for next week is uncertain.
The Bears outgained the Lions 463-168, but had four turnovers. Forte had seven catches 151 yards, including an 89-yard screen for a TD that pulled Chicago within 14-10 late in the first half.
Seahawks 31, 49ers 6
SEATTLE (AP) – Matt Hasselbeck threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Seattle gave new coach Pete Carroll a winning start.
Carroll left Southern California after last season and is back coaching in the NFL for the first time in 11 years.
The Seahawks trailed 6-0 and ran just seven plays for 11 yards in the first 11/2 quarters, then outscored San Francisco 31-0 the rest of the way.
Jordan Babineaux and Marcus Trufant each intercepted 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, with Trufant returning his 32 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to give Seattle a 21-6 lead.
Cardinals 17, Rams 13
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Larry Fitzgerald caught a 21-yard touchdown pass for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter, helping Arizona spoil a solid debut by No. 1 pick Sam Bradford.
Derek Anderson hung in the pocket despite taking a pounding from the St. Louis pass rush, going 22 for 41 for 297 yards in his first start as the replacement for the retired Kurt Warner. Steve Breaston caught seven passes for 132 yards and Tim Hightower and LaRod Stephens-Howling combined for 103 yards rushing for an offense without Beanie Wells (knee).
Bradford was 32 of 55 for 253 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Buccaneers 17, Browns 14
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Josh Freeman returned from a three-week layoff because of a broken thumb on his throwing hand and tossed a pair of touchdowns to help the Bucs overcome an 11-point deficit.
Freeman threw a 3-yard TD pass to Mike Williams late in the first half. The 6-foot-6, 248-pound quarterback kept the go-ahead drive alive with a key third-down completion, then found Micheal Spurlock in the end zone for a 33-yard score that put Tampa Bay ahead 17-14 with just under seven minutes to go.
Jake Delhomme guided Cleveland to a 14-3 lead before things unraveled for the Browns, who have not begun a season with a win since 2004 and fell to 1-11 in openers since the club returned as an expansion franchise in 1999. Delhomme finished 20 of 37 for 227 yards and two interceptions in his Browns debut.
Patriots 38, Bengals 24
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Tom Brady threw two of his three touchdown passes to Wes Welker to lead New England.
The season-opening victory came just three days after Brady was unhurt in a two-car crash then agreed to a contract making him the NFL’s highest paid player.
His day was made smoother by Welker, who caught eight passes for 64 yards less than eight months after surgery for a torn knee ligament.
Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens combined for 19 receptions for 212 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals, but their impact fell short of the hype that accompanied their partnership.
The Patriots’ dominance was complete as they also scored on defense with Gary Guyton’s 59-yard interception return and on special teams on Brandon Tate’s 97-yard runback of the second-half kickoff.
Giants 31, Panthers 18
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – The New York Giants opened their new $1.6 billion home by beating the Panthers with a big second half.
Trailing 16-14 at halftime, the Giants surged behind second-year receiver Hakeem Nicks, who caught his third touchdown pass from Eli Manning. Ahmad Bradshaw set up his own 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter with a 39-yard romp that provided the cushion New York needed to get some revenge on Carolina.
The Panthers routed the Giants 41-9 in the hosts’ final game at Giants Stadium last December. But Carolina couldn’t match New York in the final two quarters before 77,245 fans – considered a sellout despite the unusual sight of hundreds of empty seats in the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Giants could not sell all the club seats, which don’t count under league blackout rules.
Jaguars 24, Broncos 17
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – David Garrard threw three touchdown passes, two to tight end Marcedes Lewis, and Jacksonville won a game the team called one of the most important in franchise history.
Garrard completed 16 of 21 passes for 170 yards. A big chunk of those went to Mike Thomas, who caught six passes for 89 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 98 yards.
The Jaguars, coming off a 7-9 season in which they blacked out nine of 10 home games, needed to get off to a good start to keep fans in the seats and eliminate more talk about relocation.
Tim Tebow’s debut made a victory even more imperative, especially since some Jaguars fans clamored for the former Florida star. Tebow, back in the town where he grew up, entered on the third play and gained a yard on a quarterback keeper. He was in the game for two more plays.
Steelers 15, Falcons 9, OT
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Rashard Mendenhall ran 50 yards for a touchdown 2:35 into overtime and the Steelers overcame a shaky start by replacement quarterback Dennis Dixon and a missed field goal attempt late in regulation.
With the Steelers leaning heavily on their running game and defense without suspended star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Mendenhall carried 22 times for 120 yards and the game’s only touchdown. Hines Ward made six catches for 108 yards in his club record 26th career 100-yard game.
Pittsburgh appeared ready to win it with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but Jeff Reed, who has nine career game-winning kicks, was wide right on a 40-yard attempt. Reed had hit earlier from 52, 36 and 34 yards. Atlanta was limited to three Matt Bryant field goals as the Steelers held running back Michael Turner to 42 yards on 19 carries.
Dolphins 15, Bills 10
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – Linebacker Karlos Dansby and Miami’s new-look defense provided the Dolphins with the quick start they were looking for.
Dansby, Miami’s top offseason free-agent addition, had a sack and eight tackles in helping the Dolphins limit the Bills to 166 yards on offense.
Ronnie Brown scored on a 1-yard plunge and Dan Carpenter hit field goals from 32 and 43 yards in allowing Miami to open the season with a win for the first time in five years. Chad Henne completed 21 of 34 passes for 182 yards for Miami.
The Bills supposed new-look offense had a familiar popgun appearance to it in Chan Gailey’s debut as coach. Buffalo managed just 72 yards on its first nine possessions before Trent Edwards capped an 80-yard drive by hitting Roscoe Parrish on a 31-yard touchdown pass with 5:13 left. Rookie C.J. Spiller had 6 yards on seven carries.
Titans 38, Raiders 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Chris Johnson ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns, Vince Young threw for two TDs and Javon Ringer had a TD, and the Titans avoided any comparisons to last year’s 0-6 start with a season-opening rout.
Oakland led 3-0 early after a Young fumble. Tennessee answered with 24 straight points to take control. The Titans also sacked new Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell four times and forced two turnovers they turned into 10 points.
Johnson, the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, extended his streak to 12 consecutive 100-yard games by halftime to break a tie with Marcus Allen. He trails only Barry Sanders, who had an NFL-best 14 such games.