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San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, center, celebrate after connecting on a two-yard touchdown pass next to Green Bay Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush during the third quarter in San Francisco on Sunday.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) scrambles in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans on Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) hands off the ball to running back Adrian Peterson (28) at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Robert Griffin III returns from major knee surgery to run Washington's up-tempo offense, while Chip Kelly makes his coaching debut in Philadelphia, which has an even quicker attack.
Mike McCoy's first game as Chargers coach comes against the two-time AFC South champions, who had the league's top defensive player in 2012, end J.J. Watt.
STREAKS & STATS
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady improved to 11-1 in season openers, the best record among quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era. The Patriots won their 10th straight season opener with a 23-21 victory at Buffalo. That ties Portsmouth/Detroit (1930-39) for the NFL's third-longest streak. ... The Bills dropped to 1-19 in their past 20 meetings against the Patriots. They are 3-24 in 27 games since Bill Belichick took over as Patriots coach in 2000. The Bills have lost 14 of their past 20 openers, and dropped to 21-33 overall. ... Colts receiver Reggie Wayne passed Steve Largent for No. 13 on the NFL's career list for yards receiving. Wayne has 13,159. Largent had 13,089. ... Atlanta has lost seven of eight in New Orleans since Sean Payton became the Saints coach and lost a season opener to New Orleans for the first time after winning the first six. ... The Cleveland Browns lost their ninth straight opener and fell to 1-14 in Week 1 since 1999.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick earned his 206th career win to move one ahead of Marty Schottenheimer for sixth place on the NFL list. ... Marc Trestman was a winner in his debut as Bears coach as Chicago rallied past Cincinnati. ... Saints receiver Marques Colston set a franchise record with his 533rd catch in New Orleans' 23-17 win over Atlanta. ... Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger became the 35th quarterback over 30,000 yards passing. ... The Chiefs opened the season with a 28-2 victory over the Jaguars. The last time Kansas City won its opener by such a wide margin was 1963, a 59-7 victory against Denver. ... Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has led his team to eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since he entered the league as a rookie in 2012. That total is the most through a player's first 17 games by any quarterback that began his career since the 1970 merger.
The first score of the full opening day of the NFL season was a safety. Before long, there were two more safeties in first quarters of games, equaling the most in Week 1 in league history. The Tennessee Titans' season began in reverse when they gifted the Steelers two points on the first play when kick returner Darius Reynaud took a knee in the end zone. According to the NFL, it was the first safety on an opening kickoff since 1988, when the New York Giants got one at Dallas. Jacksonville soon joined the party, blocking a punt on visiting Kansas City's first possession. The ball ricocheted through the end zone for a safety. Moments later at the Meadowlands, the Jets went up 2-0 on the Buccaneers when Josh Freeman couldn't handle the snap on third-and-5 from the 8. The football squirted into the end zone, and Freeman went chasing after it. Seeing Antwan Barnes about to fall on it for a potential touchdown, Freeman kicked the ball out of the end zone for a safety. The last time three safeties occurred in the opening week was in 1999. It also happened in 1993 and 1970.
The first Sunday of the NFL season was a costly one for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey ripped up his right knee and linebacker Larry Foote ruptured his biceps during Pittsburgh's 16-9 home loss to Tennessee, likely sidelining both players for the rest of the season. ... Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert cut the back of his right hand on a defender's face mask in the closing minutes of a 28-2 loss to Kansas City and needed 15 stitches. He threw two interceptions while playing with a hairline fracture in his right thumb. ... Carolina lost starting right guard Garry Williams to a left knee injury in the first quarter of a 12-7 loss to Seattle, and Detroit finished a 34-24 victory against Minnesota without Jason Fox after the offensive tackle departed with a groin injury.
The Jets edged the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18-17 as rookie quarterback Geno Smith led the winning drive that culminated with Nick Folk's 48-yard field goal. ... The Tennessee Titans overcame an early safety and used a strong defensive performance to top the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-9.
"You want to win every game you possibly can in the National Football League, that's what you strive for. You work so stinking hard for every week, then you cherish it," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who spent the previous 14 years in Philadelphia.
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