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Colts, Steelers among 5 division champs to lose

NFL division winners last season, big losers to open this season.

From the AFC, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis were humbled on the road and Kansas City was embarrassed at home. In the NFC, it was Atlanta and Seattle falling short on the road.

Where to start?

Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes and Baltimore forced a team-record seven turnovers in a 35-7 victory over the Steelers — the defending AFC North champs. It was the most lopsided win in a hotly contested series that began in 1996.

"That playoff taste? Now it's over," Ravens running back Ray Rice said, referring to the Steelers' playoff last season. "They beat us in the playoffs, all right. We got that burden off our shoulders, boom, we're one up on them. That's how we got to approach this."

Next flop: the Colts. Playing without Peyton Manning for the first time in 228 games, the AFC South champs were no match for the wannabe division winner Houston Texans, losing 34-7.

Matt Schaub threw for 220 yards and a TD, and Ben Tate ran for 116 yards and a score in relief of injured Arian Foster as the Texans rolled. Manning's replacement, Kerry Collins, fumbled on consecutive snaps to set up Houston TDs and it went downhill from there.

"This wasn't the day, obviously, that we'd hoped for, but it's a long season," Collins said. "I don't care what the situation is, we just can't do those things and expect to have a chance to be in the ball game."

Even at friendly Arrowhead Stadium, the AFC West-winning Chiefs couldn't handle the Buffalo Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four TD passes and the Bills won 41-7, handing Kansas City its most lopsided season-opening loss ever.

"When things started going bad, they just went bad," Chiefs defensive tackle Kelly Gregg said. "Landslide."

On to the NFC, where the South champion Falcons were no match for the North champion Chicago Bears, losing 30-12.

Brian Urlacher had an interception and returned a fumble for a touchdown, Jay Cutler threw for 312 yards and two scores and Chicago sacked Matt Ryan five times.

"Disappointed, not discouraged," Atlanta coach Mike Smith said. "It's a long season, it's Week 1. We will work to get this fixed and we will get it fixed."

At San Francisco, Ted Ginn Jr. return a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in a minute's span late in the fourth quarter to lead the 49ers and new coach Jim Harbaugh to a 33-17 win over NFC West champion Seattle.

"It felt really like we were right there to take this game over, and then things just fell apart in the kicking game," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "Ted Ginn did his stuff and had two great plays and took our chance of coming back in this game away."

In other games, it was the New York Jets 27, Dallas 24; Philadelphia 31, St. Louis 13; Detroit 27, Tampa Bay 20; Cincinnati 27, Cleveland 17; Jacksonville 16, Tennessee 14; Arizona 28, Carolina 21; San Diego 24, Minnesota 17; and Washington 28, New York Giants 14.

On Monday night, it's a doubleheader with New England at Miami and Oakland at Denver.

Defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay beat New Orleans 42-34 on Thursday night.

Teams across the league had tributes in honor of the Sept. 11th anniversary. The Jets and Cowboys capped the night with an emotionally charged pregame show featuring an a capella version of the "Star Spangled Banner" by Lady Antebellum that had a crowd of nearly 80,000 silently listening, many of the fans saluting, some crying. Players from both sides held an American flag that blanketed the field while Lady A sang.

Jets 27, Cowboys 24

At East Rutherford, N.J., Nick Folk kicked a 50-yard field goal with 27 seconds left, giving the Jets a comeback victory.

With the game tied at 24, the Cowboys had a chance for a winning drive with 59 seconds left, but Tony Romo was intercepted on the first play by Darrelle Revis, who returned it 20 yards to Dallas' 34. Four plays later, Folk kicked the go-ahead field goal against his former team.

The Jets tied it with 5 minutes left when Isaiah Trufant, promoted from the practice squad Saturday, ran in a blocked punt from 18 yards for a touchdown. Joe McKnight ran up the middle unblocked and got his hands on Mat McBriar's kick, which bounced right into Trufant's hands.

Texans 34, Colts 7

At Houston, the 38-year-old Collins fumbled on consecutive snaps that set up Texans touchdowns in the first quarter, and was sacked three times. The Colts mustered only 236 yards and 15 first downs against Houston's 3-4 defense guided by new coordinator Wade Phillips.

The Texans sprinted to a 34-0 halftime lead, even with 2010 NFL rushing leader Foster deactivated with a left hamstring injury. Foster ran for 231 yards in the opener against the Colts last year.

Ravens 35, Steelers 7

At Baltimore, Rice ran for 107 yards and scored twice for the Ravens, who bolted to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never let up against their bitter rivals. It was a rematch of a second-round playoff matchup last January, when the Steelers rallied to beat Baltimore 31-24.

In that game, the Ravens let a 21-7 halftime lead evaporate with three turnovers in the third quarter. This time, the Ravens got three takeaways in the third to turn a 21-7 advantage into a rout.

Haloti Ngata caused a fumble and deflected a pass that produced an interception.

Bears 30, Falcons 12

At Chicago, In a matchup of reigning division champions, Urlacher picked off Ryan to set up an early 56-yard TD catch by Matt Forte, and in the third quarter the linebacker picked up a fumble by Ryan and scored from 12 yards to make it 30-6.

Cutler completed 22 of 32 passes in his first game at Soldier Field since the Bears' loss to Green Bay in the NFC title game. Ryan completed 31 of 47 passes for 319 yards.

Eagles 31, Rams 13

At St. Louis, the Eagles had 239 yards rushing and were 8 for 11 on third downs. The defense applied constant pressure and piled up five sacks, two by Justin Babin. Darryl Tapp forced a fumble by Sam Bradford that led to a 56-yard touchdown return by Juqua Parker.

Steven Jackson ran for a 47-yard score on the Rams' first play, but lasted only one more carry before leaving with a right leg injury. Bradford left in the fourth quarter to have X-rays on a finger on his throwing hand.

Bills 41, Chiefs 7

At Kansas City, Mo., Fitzpatrick finished with 208 yards passing for the Bills, who hadn't scored 40 points in an opener since a 40-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 6, 1992.

Fred Jackson added 112 yards rushing for Buffalo.

Matt Cassel threw for 119 yards with a touchdown and interception for Kansas City.

It was the most lopsided season-opening loss in franchise history, and the worst home loss by the Chiefs since a 45-0 defeat against the Pittsburgh Steelers 35 years ago.

Lions 27, Buccaneers 20

At Tampa, Fla., Stafford completed 24 of 33 passes, including TD throws of 36 and 1 yards to Calvin Johnson and 11 yards to Tony Scheffler. The only interception he threw glanced off the hands of intended receiver Will Heller and was returned 28 yards by Aqib Talib for the only touchdown Tampa Bay managed until Josh Freeman threw a 5-yard scoring pass to Mike Williams with less than two minutes to go.

Redskins 28, Giants 14

At Landover, Md., Rex Grossman completed 21 of 34 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns for Washington.

Making his first Week 1 start since 2007, Grossman justified — at least for a week — coach Mike Shanahan's decision to go with the veteran over John Beck after a quarterback competition that lasted the entire preseason.

Eli Manning went 18 for 32 for 268 yards for the Giants.

Cardinals 28, Panthers 21

At Glendale, Ariz., Cam Newton's NFL debut was as magnificent as they come, except for the outcome. Instead, another rookie scored the game winner.

Patrick Peterson returned a punt 89 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Arizona escaped with a win.

Newton, the No. 1 draft pick, completed 24 of 37 passes for 422 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, the first rookie to throw for more than 400 yards in his NFL opener.

49ers 33, Seahawks 17

At San Francisco, Ginn returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in a minute's span late in the fourth quarter, and San Francisco gave Harbaugh a win in his much-hyped NFL debut and renewed coaching rivalry with Carroll.

Ginn ran a kickoff back 102 yards moments after the defending NFC West champion Seahawks had closed to 19-17. It was the second-longest kick return at home and fourth-longest in team history.

The 49ers' Alex Smith was 15 for 20 for 124 yards and ran for a 1-yard TD. David Akers kicked four field goals in his first game with San Francisco.

New Seattle QB Tarvaris Jackson threw a late 55-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin.

Chargers 24, Vikings 17

At San Diego, Fullback Mike Tolbert's third touchdown, a 19-yard pass from Philip Rivers with 5:01 to play, lifted San Diego over Adrian Peterson and Minnesota.

Rivers rolled left and waited for Tolbert to get open inside the 5-yard line, then lobbed the winning pass. Rivers completed 33 of 48 passes for 335 yards and was intercepted twice. Tolbert also scored on a 7-yard run and had a 1-yard TD catch.

Bengals 27, Browns 17

At Cleveland, A.J. Green caught Cleveland's defense napping for his first career catch, a 41-yard touchdown from backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski as Cincinnati spoiled the debut of Browns coach Pat Shurmur.

Green was left uncovered by the Browns, who were slow coming out of the huddle. All Gradkowski, on in relief of injured rookie Andy Dalton, had to do was lob the ball to Green. The speedy wideout did the rest, scoring with 4:31 left to shock the Browns and their fans, who watched Cleveland fall to 1-12 in season openers since 1999.

Colt McCoy threw two TD passes for the Browns.

Jaguars 16, Titans 14

At Jacksonville, Fla., Maurice Jones-Drew scored in his return from knee surgery, and Jacksonville used a flawless start and some clutch plays to hang on for the win.

Titans star Chris Johnson, who joined the team a little more than a week ago following a holdout, was pretty much a nonfactor. Johnson ran nine times for 24 yards and caught six passes for 25 yards.

Tennessee made it close with a pair of second-half TD passes from Matt Hasselbeck to Kenny Britt. The Titans still had a shot, but Dwight Lowery intercepted Hasselbeck's deep pass.