Brady leads to Patriots to opening win, Colts lose

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tom Brady made a winning start with the New England Patriots while fellow quarterback Peyton Manning suffered a surprising loss with the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts on the opening Sunday of the NFL season.

Just three days after agreeing to a lucrative four-year contract extension, Brady launched three touchdown passes to help the Patriots beat the Cincinnati Bengals 38-24.

"It was a fun day," a smiling Brady told reporters. "We started really fast ... and everyone contributed.

"I spent a lot of time with him (Wes) this off-season and I knew in February that he was going to be back out on the field on opening day. It just shows what his mind is all about."

Brady was delighted to end a week that also involved an auto accident in Boston in the early hours of Thursday.

"It's a scary thing," he said. "Fortunately, I was okay. Hopefully, the people in the other car are recovering quickly and well. I'm glad it's over, but it was a good week."

Manning was also sharp in completing 40 of 57 pass attempts for 433 yards and three touchdowns, but he and the Colts were stunned by Arian Foster who ran for a team record 231 yards in a 34-24 home victory by the Houston Texans.

Undrafted running back Foster scored three touchdowns to help the Texans beat the Colts for the first time in seven games.

Manning threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark late in the fourth quarter to trim Houston's lead to 27-17 but Foster answered with his third touchdown of the game.

"It's certainly very disappointing," Manning said. "You always want to get the season started off on the right foot and we didn't do that. We put ourselves in a hole a little bit.


"We need to learn from it. Obviously we just didn't play well enough today to win. That's the bottom line."

DeAngelo Hall scored Washington's only touchdown on the last play of the first half when he stripped Tashard Choice of the ball, scooped it up, and rambled 32 yards for the score.

On the final play of the game, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo hit Roy Williams for an apparent 13-yard touchdown but right tackle Alex Barron was called for holding, nullifying the score and ending the game.

In Nashville, the Tennessee Titans crushed the Oakland Raiders 38-13 with ice-cool quarterback Vince Young letting loose the home team's much vaunted offense virtually at will.

Young completed 13 of 17 pass attempts for 154 yards and two touchdowns while explosive running back Chris Johnson completed his 12th consecutive game with at least 100 rushing yards.

It marked a welcome start to the season for the Titans, who opened last year with six straight losses.

In Pittsburgh, the Steelers shrugged off the suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to scrape by the Atlanta Falcons 15-9 in overtime with a superb running game and tight defense.

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall sealed the win with a 50-yard touchdown run 2:35 into overtime, giving him 22 carries for 120 yards in the game.

The Detroit Lions lost quarterback Matthew Stafford to a shoulder injury late in the first half in Chicago before their 19-14 defeat by the Bears.

Stafford hurt his right shoulder after being sacked by defensive end Julius Peppers and the home team clinched victory when quarterback Jay Cutler threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Matt Forte late in the fourth quarter.

In Philadelphia, quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 188 yards and two touchdowns and as the Green Bay Packers held off a late fightback by the Eagles to win 27-20.

In other season-openers, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Denver Broncos 24-17 and the New York Giants beat the Carolina Panthers 31-18 in their first game at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

(Editing by Frank Pingue and Nick Mulvenney)