Denver, CO – Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - In a battle of teams unveiling brand new offenses, the Detroit Lions had by far the better first impression. With Matthew Stafford throwing a pair of touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson and running for another score, the Lions cruised to a 35-14 rout of the New York Giants in a strong debut under new head coach Jim Caldwell. Stafford operated first-year coordinator Joe Lombardi's system with extreme precision, completing a crisp 22-of-32 throws for 346 yards and finding Johnson early and often, with the All-Pro wideout hauling in seven catches totaling 164 yards. Golden Tate added 93 yards on six receptions for a Detroit (1-0) squad that outgained the out-of-sync Giants by a one-sided 417-197 margin in total yards and intercepted a struggling Eli Manning twice in the second half. Manning managed just 163 yards and a touchdown on a 18-of-33 completion rate directing new coordinator Ben McAdoo's scheme. Larry Donnell recorded 56 yards and a touchdown on five catches for New York (0-1), with Rashad Jennings rushing for 46 yards and a score on 16 carries.
Final Score: Arizona 18, San Diego 17
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Carson Palmer threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes as the Arizona Cardinals closed out Week 1 of the NFL season with a come-from-behind 18-17 win over the visiting San Diego Chargers on Monday night. Palmer completed 24-of-37 throws and finished with 304 yards for the Cardinals (1-0), who missed the playoffs last season despite winning 10 games. Philip Rivers was 21-of-36 for 238 yards, one touchdown and an interception for San Diego (0-1), which is coming off a run to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
Final Score: Atlanta 37, New Orleans 34 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Ryan threw for a franchise-record 448 yards, Matt Bryant kicked two huge field goals of beyond 50 yards, and the Atlanta Falcons opened their 2014 season with a thrilling 37-34 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints. Bryant was true on a 51-yard try as time expired in regulation to force extra time, then knocked through a 52-yarder 1:43 into the added session that was set up by Marques Colston's fumble in Atlanta territory on the second play of overtime. Ryan helped rally Atlanta (1-0) back from a 13-point first-half deficit by completing 31-of-43 attempts and tossing three touchdown passes. Julio Jones came up with seven catches totaling 116 yards in the wild win, an extremely promising result for a Falcons' squad that endured an injury-plagued 4-12 campaign last season. Drew Brees finished with 333 yards and a touchdown on 29-of-42 passing for New Orleans, but threw a costly interception in the end zone in the third quarter that ultimately helped seal the Saints' fate. Colston put up 110 yards on five catches and Jimmy Graham had eight grabs for 82 yards for the Saints. Rookie Brandon Cooks had seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in an impressive debut.
Final Score: Cincinnati 23, Baltimore 16
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Andy Dalton's 77-yard TD strike to A.J. Green inside of five minutes left in regulation plus a conversion pass completion to Mohamed Sanu, lifted the Cincinnati Bengals to a 23-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in the 2014 season opener for both clubs. Dalton ended up 25-of-38 for 301 yards for the Bengals (1-0), who received fivwe first-half field goals from Mike Nugent. Green tallied 131 yards on six receptions, while Giovani Bernard ws held to 48 yards on 14 carries. Joe Flacco finished 35-of-62 for 345 yards, one score and an interception for the Ravens (0-1). In the absence of suspended running back Ray Rice, Justin Forsett subbed and tallied 70 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushes. Steve Smith led all receivers by compiling 118 yards and Baltimore's other TD on seven grabs.
Final Score: Buffalo 23, Chicago 20 (OT)
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Fred Jackson still has plenty of burst left in those 33-year-old legs. Jackson's 38-yard run in overtime set up Dan Carpenter's game-winning 27-yard field goal as the Chicago Bears shocked the Buffalo Bills, 23-20, in the season opener of both teams on Sunday afternoon. The Bears overcame a 17-7 second-half deficit and tied the game with 30 seconds left in regulation on Robbie Gould's 37-yard field goal. Chicago, however, picked up just one first down before punting on its lone possession in the extra session. Buffalo took over at its own 22-yard line. E.J. Manuel fired a 20-yard completion to Mike Williams and Jackson bulldozed through the Chicago secondary all the way down to the 1-yard line two plays later. The oldest running back in the NFL took a handoff along the left side of the line and darted through a huge hole before stiff arming safety Chris Conte twice inside the 10-yard line. Carpenter's boot came two snaps later. Jackson finished with 61 yards rushing on seven attempts, while C.J. Spiller added 53 yards on the ground on 15 carries for the Bills (1-0), who ran for 193 yards. E.J. Manuel was 16-of-22 for 173 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and Robert Woods caught four passes for 78 yards in the triumph. Buffalo went 6-10 a year ago. Jay Cutler completed 34-of-49 passes for 349 yards with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions for Chicago (0-1), which went 8-8 in 2013. Brandon Marshall had eight receptions for 71 yards and a score, Alshon Jeffery caught five passes for 71 yards while being limited by a hamstring injury and Martellus Bennett hauled in eight throws for 70 yards and a score. Matt Forte carried the ball 17 times for 82 yards and added 87 yards receiving on eight catches in the triumph.
Final Score: Houston 17, Washington 6
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - A blocked punt returned for a touchdown and excellent defense led the Houston Texans to a 17-6 win over the Washington Redskins in the season opener. New Texans head coach Bill O'Brien inherited a team that lost its final 14 games last season to finish 2-14, but also inherited a stout defense headlined by J.J. Watt and first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. It was a tough debut for Clowney, though, as he left the game late in the first half with an ankle injury after making just one tackle. However, several reports state that Clowney suffered a torn meniscus that will require surgery, and he could be out from 4-to-6 weeks. Watt, though, blocked an extra point attempt, had one sack, one fumble recovery and a pair of tackles for loss as the Houston defense recovered two fumbles in the red zone. New quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was an efficient 14-for-22 for 206 yards and a touchdown, while Arian Foster totaled 103 yards on 27 carries for the Texans (1-0), who also got a touchdown catch from DeAndre Hopkins. Robert Griffin went 29-for-37 for 267 yards and lost a fumble, while Alfred Morris carried the ball 14 times for 91 yards for the Redskins (0-1), who finished last seasons 3-13. Washington also had a new coach on the field as Jay Gruden took over for Mike Shanahan this past offseason.
Final Score: Tennessee 26, Kansas City 10
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Succop kicked four field goals against his former team and Jake Locker threw for a pair of touchdowns in Tennessee's 26-10 season-opening victory over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Last season, Kansas City started 9-0. Quarterback Alex Smith was rewarded with a lucrative contract extension last month, but on Sunday he threw a pair of interceptions to Jason McCourty. Succop had been the kicker in Kansas City the past five seasons, but was released by the Chiefs at the final roster cut down on Aug. 30. He had successful kicks of 36, 31, 46 and 47 yards. Locker finished 22-of-33 for 266 yards for the Titans (1-0), who are starting over under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt after going 7-9 and finishing second in a weak AFC South last season under Mike Munchak. Smith connected on 19- of-35 throws for 202 yards with a fourth quarter TD pass to Anthony Fasano, but the Chiefs (0-1) couldn't overcome a huge deficit after giving up 23 consecutive points. To make matters worse, the Chiefs lost Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson and starting defensive end Mike DeVito to ruptured Achilles tendons. The injuries were announced by Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who entered his second season with the club after orchestrating the greatest single-season turnaround in franchise history. The Chiefs went 11-5 in 2013 after finishing 2-14 the previous year.
Final Score: Miami 33, New England 20
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Tannehill threw a pair of touchdown passes and Knowshon Moreno ran for 134 yards with a score in his Miami debut, as the Dolphins dominated in the second half and ended New England's 10-game winning streak in season openers with a 33-20 victory over the Patriots on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. Tannehill completed 18-of-32 passes for 178 yards, including scoring strikes to Mike Wallace and Lamar Miller. Wallace finished with seven catches for 81 yards and Miller compiled 78 yards from scrimmage in the victory. While the Miami offense played well and overcame turnovers on three straight possessions in the first half, it was a stout defensive effort in the second half that proved to be the difference. The Dolphins (1-0) held New England to a pair of first downs through most of the second half, while Miami scored 23 unanswered points to storm back from a 20-10 halftime deficit. Tom Brady completed 29-of-56 passes for 249 yards with a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski for New England (0-1), which hadn't lost a season-opener since a 31-0 setback at Buffalo to start the 2003 campaign.
Final Score: NY Jets 19, Oakland 14
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Ivory rumbled 71 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and Geno Smith threw for a score, as the New York Jets began their season with a 19-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Smith connected on 23-of-28 passes for 221 yards and was picked off once. Ivory gained 102 yards on 10 carries for the Jets (1-0), who were coming off an 8-8 season. Derek Carr, who got the start instead of veteran Matt Schaub, tossed a pair of TD passes. Carr, the younger brother of former No. 1 overall draft David Carr, completed 20-of-32 passes for 151 yards. The Raiders (0-1) suffered their 15th straight loss in the Eastern time zone. Their last such victory came Dec. 6, 2009 in Pittsburgh.
Final Score: Philadelphia 34, Jacksonville 17
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Eagles were on the brink of opening the season with an embarrassing loss to one of the NFL's worst teams from a year ago. Then they played the second half. Nick Foles' 68-yard touchdown to Jeremy Maclin midway through the fourth quarter gave the Eagles their first lead of the day and they poured it on late to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 34-17, on Sunday. Foles threw for 322 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception, while Maclin hauled in four passes for 97 yards and the game-winning score for Philadelphia (1-0), which ran off 34 unanswered points to win its fourth consecutive season opener. Zach Ertz also caught a touchdown pass in Philadelphia's eventful come-from-behind win, and Darren Sproles added a touchdown run. Lesean McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher last season, finished with 74 yards on 21 carries and also recorded 41 yards on six receptions. Jaguars rookie wide receiver Allen Hurns, who was undrafted out of the University of Miami, was a bright spot during a promising first half for the Jaguars (0-1), catching four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He was held without a reception in the second half.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 30, Cleveland 27
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Shaun Suisham kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and the Pittsburgh Steelers held off a fierce push from the Cleveland Browns with a 30-27 victory. The Steelers took over at their own 45 with 47 seconds remaining and the game tied at 27-27. Markus Wheaton caught a pass for 11 yards for a fresh set of downs and Ben Roethlisberger hit Wheaton again, this time over the middle for 20 yards. The Steelers then rushed to the line and spiked the ball before Suisham's kick through the uprights won the game. Roethlisberger threw for 365 yards on 23- of-34 passing with a touchdown and an interception. Antonio Brown caught five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, while Wheaton had 97 yards on six catches. Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell led all rushers with 109 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and added 88 receiving yards on six receptions. LeGarrette Blount had a rushing touchdown and Suisham made three field goals for the Steelers (1-0), who have 11 straight home games against the Browns. Brian Hoyer overcame a poor first half to finish 19-of-31 for 230 yards and a touchdown for the Browns. Isaiah Crowell rushed for two touchdowns and Terrance West ran for 100 yards after starting running back Ben Tate left the game with a knee injury. Travis Benjamin caught a touchdown pass and Andrew Hawkins had a team-high 87 receiving yards on eight catches for Cleveland (0-1), which scored 24 unanswered points coming out of halftime to erase a 27-3 deficit.
Final Score: Minnesota 34, St. Louis 6
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had more rushing yards than Adrian Peterson in the Minnesota Vikings' 34-6 season- opening win over the St. Louis Rams. Patterson carried the ball three times for 102 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown, and caught three passes for 26 yards for the Vikings (1-0), who started the Mike Zimmer era on Sunday. Peterson rushed for 75 yards on 21 carries for Minnesota, which went 5-10-1 under Leslie Frazier last season. Greg Jennings hauled in six passes for 58 yards and a score. Veteran Shaun Hill completed 8-of-13 passes for 81 yards and an interception for St. Louis before exiting at the half with a thigh injury. Austin Davis connected on 16-of-23 passes for 192 yards and an interception in relief. The Rams, of course, lost quarterback Sam Bradford in the preseason to another ACL injury. Brian Quick caught seven passes for 99 yards for St. Louis, which went 7-9 in 2013. Zac Stacy carried the ball 11 times for 43 yards.
Final Score: San Francisco 28, Dallas 17
Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - San Francisco picked off Tony Romo three straight times, and the 49ers opened the 2014 season with a convincing 28-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Despite playing without two of their top linebackers, the 49ers turned four Dallas turnovers into 21 points. Outside linebacker Aldon Smith is serving a nine-game suspension for violating the drug policy, while inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman is out while he recovers from a torn ACL in his left knee. Colin Kaepernick went 16-of-23 for 201 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to Vernon Davis, while Frank Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde combined for 113 yards on the ground for the 49ers (1-0), who lost to Seattle in last season's NFC Championship game. Hyde also scored his first NFL touchdown. As mentioned, Romo threw interceptions on three straight possessions for the first time in his career. He finished the game 23-of-37 for 281 yards and one touchdown along with the three picks. DeMarco Murray carried the ball 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys (0-1), who went 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs for a fourth straight year.
Final Score: Carolina 20, Tampa Bay 14
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Derek Anderson made a spot start for Cam Newton and led the Carolina Panthers to a 20-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener for both teams on Sunday. Anderson threw for 230 yards and two scores in relief of the starter Newton, who was inactive for the game with a fractured rib he sustained in the preseason. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and Newton were both adamant throughout the week that the star quarterback would be under center against the Bucs, but the injury was an obvious concern and he was held out of the contest. Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen each caught a touchdown pass, with Benjamin leading the Panthers with 92 yards on six catches. Olsen hauled in eight passes for 83 yards for the Panthers (1-0), who won their third straight game over the Bucs. Josh McCown went 22-of-35 for 183 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Tampa Bay (0-1), which couldn't get a victory in head coach Lovie Smith's debut.
Final Score: Denver 31, Indianapolis 24
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Peyton Manning and Julius Thomas connected for three second-quarter touchdowns, and the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos held off the Indianapolis Colts, 31-24, on Sunday night. Manning, who spent the first 13 years of his illustrious career with the Colts, was in midseason form in the first half, guiding the Broncos (1-0) to a commanding 24-0 lead. Andrew Luck led Indianapolis back and made things interesting, but ultimately fell short of upending Denver for a second straight season. Manning finished with 269 yards on 22-of-36 passing, pedestrian numbers by the high standards the future Hall-of-Famer set last season. Manning broke all sorts of records in 2013, throwing 55 touchdown passes in leading the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII, where they were ultimately humbled by the Seattle Seahawks. Julius Thomas made seven catches for 104 yards and set a career-high with his three touchdown grabs, and Montee Ball carried 23 times for 67 and a score in his first game as the featured back behind Manning. Knowshon Moreno, who led Denver in every rushing category a season ago, moved on to Miami. Luck threw for 370 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions for Indianapolis (0-1), which has made the postseason in each of the young quarterback's first two seasons in the NFL. He also had a touchdown on the ground. Dwayne Allen and Hakeem Nicks had touchdown receptions in the setback, while veteran Reggie Wayne made nine catches for 98 yards. By taking down his former team, Manning has now beat every franchise in the NFL at least once.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Final Score: Seattle 36, Green Bay 16
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Marshawn Lynch ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns for the defending champion Seahawks and Seattle's defense wreaked its usual havoc en route to a 36-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers to kick off the 2014 NFL season. The battle in the trenches heavily favored the Seahawks, who gained 207 yards on the ground to Green Bay's 80. Percy Harvin was a focal point of Seattle's offense, catching seven passes for 59 yards and running four times for 41 yards, while Russell Wilson passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers, who are vying for their fourth straight NFC North title this season, were felled by a mistake-filled third quarter. Aaron Rodgers took very few chances downfield and tossed for just 189 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Adding injury to insult, running back and reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy underwent evaluation for a concussion following the game.