Foxboro, MA – Rookie Giovani Bernard scored two touchdowns and the Cincinnati Bengals shut down the Pittsburgh Steelers to secure a 20-10 victory in a typically defensive-minded AFC North clash. Bernard ran for an early score and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton in the third quarter that gave the Bengals a lead they never relinquished. Dalton was busy most of the night, throwing 45 passes and completing 25 for 280 yards as Cincinnati rebounded from a season-opening loss in Chicago. The difference, though, was the Bengals defense, which forced two turnovers and limited Pittsburgh to a mere 278 yards and 14 first downs in the club's second home victory over its division rival in the past 12 years. Ben Roethlisberger, hurried throughout the game, threw for 251 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 20-of-37 passes for the Steelers, who dropped their first two games of the season for the first time since 2002. It's also the first time Pittsburgh has been two games under .500 since Mike Tomlin took over in 2007.
(Sunday, September 15th)
Final Score: Atlanta 31, St. Louis 24
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Matt Ryan had 374 yards passing with a pair of touchdowns, Julio Jones put forth a monster 11-catch, 182-yard performance and the Atlanta Falcons held off a late St. Louis Rams comeback to take a 31-24 victory on Sunday. Ryan was extremely efficient, completing 33-of-43 throws to help the Falcons (1-1) bounce back from their Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Jones had an 81-yard touchdown to highlight his impressive day, Osi Umenyiora scored on a 68-yard interception return and Steven Jackson reached the end zone against his former team before leaving with an injured thigh. Sam Bradford threw for touchdowns on his last three possessions, but the Rams (1-1) were unable to dig themselves out of 24-3 halftime deficit. Rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin caught two touchdowns in the setback.
Final Score: Baltimore 14, Cleveland 6
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco might not be perfect, but try telling the Cleveland Browns that. Flacco, just hours after his wife gave birth to the couple's second child, passed for 211 yards and a touchdown as Baltimore beat Cleveland, 14-6, moving the quarterback to 11-0 all-time against the Browns. Flacco missed the birth of his second child with wife Dana -- she had another boy about an hour before kickoff -- and went 22-for-33. The reigning Super Bowl champion Ravens (1-1) had their home opener -- finally -- after starting on the road in Denver Week 1, but they lost running back Ray Rice to a hip injury in the fourth quarter. The Ravens scored 14 unanswered points in the second half on Bernard Pierce's 5-yard touchdown run and Marlon Brown's 5-yard catch for their 11th straight win over Cleveland. Brandon Weeden threw for 227 yards for the Browns (0-2) but left the game late in the fourth quarter. The Browns said Weeden's hand was being looked at and the Ravens said he had an injured thumb. Cleveland hasn't beaten Baltimore since a 33-30 overtime win on Nov. 18, 2007.
Final Score: Buffalo 24, Carolina 23
Orchard Park, NY (Sports Network) - EJ Manuel hardly looked like a rookie as he engineered a fourth-quarter comeback Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Manuel hit a wide-open Stevie Johnson for the game-winning touchdown with two seconds remaining, lifting the Buffalo Bills to a 24-23 victory at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The only quarterback selected in the first round of this year's draft, Manuel contributed to the Bills falling behind with turnovers on consecutive second- half drives. Each giveaway led to a Graham Gano field goal for Carolina. Manuel completed 27-of-39 passes for 296 yards for the Bills (1-1), who lost on a last-second field goal to New England last week. Cam Newton finished with 229 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception for Carolina, which has started a season 0-2 for the fourth time in five years.
Final Score: Chicago 31, Minnesota 30
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Martellus Bennett's touchdown catch with 10 seconds to play gave the Chicago Bears a 31-30 win over the Minnesota Vikings on a rainy day at Soldier Field. Jay Cutler was picked off twice and lost a fumble, but finished the game 28- for-39 with 290 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears (2-0), who opened the season with a three-point win over Cincinnati. Bennett finished with seven catches for 76 yards, Brandon Marshall had seven catches for 113 yards and a score, while Matt Forte had 90 yards on 19 carries and 71 yards on 11 catches for Chicago, which has won seven of the last eight games against Minnesota. Adrian Peterson rushed for 100 yards on 26 carries, while Christian Ponder went 16-for-30 for 227 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Vikings (0-2), who have lost two straight division games to open the season after falling in Detroit last week.
Final Score: Green Bay 38, Washington 20
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - Aaron Rodgers tied a franchise record with 480 passing yards and threw for four touchdowns, leading the Green Bay Packers to a convincing 38-20 victory over the slumping Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field. Rodgers made good on 34-of-42 attempts and did not turn the ball over to tie former teammate Matt Flynn's club mark set in the 2011 regular-season finale. Green Bay (1-1) amassed 580 total yards as a team in bouncing back from last week's season-opening loss in San Francisco. A few other Packers enjoyed career days in the rout, with James Jones totaling 178 yards on 11 receptions and James Starks churning out 132 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 attempts. Randall Cobb added 128 yards and a touchdown on nine catches, while Jordy Nelson hauled in two of Rodgers' scoring strikes. Robert Griffin III put up three touchdown passes for Washington (0-2), though each came after the Redskins were faced with a 31-0 deficit midway through the third quarter. The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year finished with 320 yards on a 26- of-40 completion rate and was intercepted once.
Final Score: Houston 30, Tennessee 24 (OT)
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Matt Schaub hit DeAndre Hopkins in the back right corner of the end zone to lift the Houston Texans to a 30-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in overtime. Houston (2-0) trailed 24-16 with just over three minutes left, but drove 87 yards in eight plays, capped by an Arian Foster touchdown and a two-point conversion, to tie things up with 1:53 to play. The Texans took over in the bonus period and Foster ripped off a 16-yard rush and Ben Tate followed with a 13-yard pickup to get deep into the Tennessee zone. A 25-yard completion to Hopkins along the right sideline put the ball inside the Titans' 1-yard line. Foster was stood up on first down and Hopkins couldn't come up with Schaub's pass on second, but they went right back to the rookie receiver on third down for the game-winner, an over-the- shoulder grab in the corner. Schaub finished the game 26-for-48 passing for 298 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions and Hopkins hauled in seven passes for 117 yards and a score. Tate led the rushing attack with 93 yards on nine carries, and Foster rushed for 79 yards and a score on 19 carries for Houston. Jake Locker completed 17-of-30 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Johnson rushed for 96 yards for the Titans (1-1), who beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1.
Final Score: Miami 24, Indianapolis 20
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Ryan Tannehill threw for 319 yards and a touchdown and Charles Clay had the go-ahead score late in the third quarter as the Miami Dolphins stayed undefeated with a 24-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Tannehill was in complete control of the Miami (2-0) offense, connecting on 23-of-34 passes without an interception. Lamar Miller rushed for 69 yards and a score while Mike Wallace, who publicly complained about his role with the team following a one-catch performance in his Dolphins' debut last week, reeled in nine catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. Clay caught five passes for 109 yards, including a 70-yard pitch-and-catch late in the first quarter which set up Miller's touchdown plunge. Andrew Luck tossed for 321 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 25-of-43 for the Colts (1-1), who travel to the west coast for a showdown with the San Francisco 49ers next week. Ahmad Bradshaw, starting because of a Vick Ballard ACL tear, carried 15 times for 65 yards and a score while T.Y. Hilton caught six balls for 124 yards, all in the first half.
Final Score: Kansas City 17, Dallas 16
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Alex Smith finished 21-of-36 for 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Ryan Succop hit the deciding field goal early in the fourth quarter as Kansas City nipped Dallas, 17-16, in a Week 2 matchup from Arrowhead Stadium. Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles combined for 104 yards and two scores on 12 receptions for the Chiefs (2-0), who were coming off an easy win at Jacksonville. Kansas City, under new head coach Andy Reid, has already equaled its win total from last season, which was a dismal 2-14 campaign under Romeo Crennel. Reid has a chance to guide the franchise to its first 3-0 start since 2010 this Thursday in Philadelphia, the city where he coached for 14 seasons through the end of last year. Tony Romo was 30-of-42 for 298 yards and one touchdown for the Cowboys (1-1), who couldn't sustain momentum from last week's home win over the Giants. Dez Bryant led all receivers with 141 yards and a TD on nine catches in defeat.
Final Score: San Diego 33, Philadelphia 30
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Chip Kelly wanted his offense to move faster, but the Philadelphia Eagles might've scored too fast. And with 1:55 to go, Philip Rivers did what he had been doing all afternoon. He picked the Eagles' defense apart. Rivers was 4-of-5 for 48 yards on the Chargers' final drive before Nick Novak booted through a go-ahead 46-yard field goal with seven seconds left to lift San Diego past Philadelphia, 33-30, to spoil Kelly's home debut. Rivers, who threw for 419 yards on 36-of-47 passing with three touchdowns -- all to Eddie Royal --, got the ball back after Alex Henery kicked the game- tying field goal. He hit Antonio Gates for gains of 15 and 21 yards on the first two plays of the trek. Danny Woodhead hauled in a critical 6-yard reception to move the sticks on a 3rd-and-4 at the Philadelphia 37-yard line. Novak split the uprights four plays later. Royal, who already has five touchdown catches this season, caught seven passes for 90 yards for San Diego (1-1), which blew a 21-point second-half lead in its opener Monday against the Houston Texans. Michael Vick had a career-high 428 yards passing with a pair of touchdown passes, while DeSean Jackson hauled in nine balls for 193 yards for the Eagles (1-1).
Final Score: Arizona 25, Detroit 21
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Rashard Mendenhall's touchdown run late in the game lifted the Arizona Cardinals to a 25-21 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Mendenhall finished with 66 yards on 15 carries, while Carson Palmer was 22- for-39 with 248 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Cardinals (1-1), who bounced back from last week's 27-24 loss in St. Louis. Matthew Stafford was 24-for-36 for 278 yards and two scores, both to Calvin Johnson. Johnson finished the game with six catches for 116 yards for the Lions, who opened their season with a 34-24 victory at home against Minnesota.
Final Score: New Orleans 16, Tampa Bay 14
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The revamped Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary welcomed Drew Brees into the "No Fly Zone" by stifling him for nearly 59 minutes. Good thing Brees still had time on the clock. Garrett Hartley's go- ahead 27-yard field goal with five seconds remaining lifted the New Orleans Saints to a 16-14 triumph over the Buccaneers. Mason Foster's 85-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Tampa Bay a 14-13 lead early in the fourth and the Bucs later took 5:50 off the clock before Rian Lindell hooked a 47-yard field goal to the left. Brees got the ball back with 1:06 to play and immediately went to work. He hit Jimmy Graham, who caught 10 passes for 179 yards and a score, with a 15-yard completion over the middle. He then connected with Darren Sproles for an eight-yard pickup before throwing a laser to Marques Colston on a seam route for a 31-yard gain down to the Tampa Bay 9- yard line. Brees quickly got up the line, spiked the ball and Hartley split the uprights to put New Orleans (2-0) ahead. Brees registered 54 of his 322 passing yards on New Orleans' final drive. He finished 26-of-46 with a touchdown and two interceptions. He sliced and diced the Tampa Bay (0-2) secondary last season for 684 yards and eight scores.
Final Score: Denver 41, NY Giants 23
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning ran his record against brother Eli to 3-0, passing for 307 yards and two touchdowns Sunday as the Denver Broncos beat the New York Giants 41-23. The elder Manning, who beat Eli twice as quarterback of the Colts, was coming off an NFL record-tying seven touchdown passes in a season-opening win over the Ravens. He had a little more help in this one. Knowshon Moreno had touchdown runs of 20 and 25 yards for the Broncos (2-0) and Trindon Holliday ran back a punt 81 yards for another score. Peyton's touchdown passes went to Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. Eli was intercepted three times in the end zone among his career high-tying four picks. He passed for 362 yards and a touchdown. Victor Cruz caught eight passes for 118 yards but the Giants (0-2) rushed for just 23.
Final Score: Oakland 19, Jacksonville 9
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Darren McFadden amassed 157 yards from scrimmage, including 129 on the ground, and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals to carry the Oakland Raiders to a 19-9 victory over the offense- starved Jacksonville Jaguars in their home opener at the Coliseum. Oakland rolled to an easy win thanks to a lopsided 226-34 advantage in rushing yards and limiting the Jaguars to a mere 248 total yards. Marcel Reece scored Oakland's only touchdown and Terrelle Pryor threw for 126 yards on 15-of-24 passing as the Raiders (1-1) rebounded from their season- opening loss at Indianapolis. Jacksonville (0-2) scored its first touchdown of the season when the game was out of reach, as its offense was shut out in a 28-2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Adding injury to insult, running back Maurice Jones-Drew did not play during a one-sided second half after suffering an ankle injury. Chad Henne, starting at quarterback for the injured Blaine Gabbert, threw for 241 yards and a touchdown on 25-of-38 passing.
Final Score: Seattle 29, San Francisco 3
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Marshawn Lynch scored three touchdowns and Seattle's defense picked off Colin Kaepernick three times, as the Seahawks made a statement with a 29-3 win over the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. Lynch carried the ball 28 times for 98 yards and two scores while catching three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown for the Seahawks (2-0), who needed a late touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to secure a 12-7 win over the Panthers in Week 1. Wilson completed 8-of-19 passes for 142 yards, one touchdown and an interception for Seattle, which is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2006. Kaepernick connected on 13-of-28 passes for 127 yards for the 49ers (1-1), who beat the Packers by a 34-28 margin last week. The San Francisco signal-caller, who threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1, also carried the ball nine times for 87 yards. Anquan Boldin, who caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a score against Green Bay, was limited to one catch for seven yards.
(Thursday, September 12th)
Final Score: New England 13, NY Jets 10
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - It wasn't pretty, but it was still a win for the Patriots. Thanks to a defense that recorded four turnovers and sacked Geno Smith four times, New England held on for a 13-10 win over the New York Jets on Thursday night. Still feeling the effects of the departure of several key offensive weapons in the offseason, and injuries to a few of those still remaining, Tom Brady was a subpar 19-for-39 for just 185 yards and an interception as New England (2-0) won its fifth straight game against the Jets. With Danny Amendola out for a possible six weeks with a groin issue, and Rob Gronkowski still recovering from offseason forearm and back surgeries, Julian Edelman was the bulk of the offense as he caught 13 passes for 78 yards. Aaron Dobson caught the lone touchdown of the game for the Patriots, who have won 14 straight games against AFC East opponents thanks to this win and last week's 23-21 victory over Buffalo to open the season. Smith led the Jets (1-1) to victory last week with a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter against Tampa Bay, but was picked off three times in the fourth quarter with his team down by three. He finished the game 15-for-35 for 214 yards. Bilal Powell's touchdown run in the third quarter was the only time the team found the end zone.