Sunday’s NFL Capsules
Monday, September 12, 2011
HOUSTON (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts were lost without Peyton Manning on Sunday.
Matt Schaub threw for 220 yards and a touchdown, Ben Tate rushed for 116 yards and another score in relief of injured Arian Foster, and the Texans dominated Kerry Collins, Manning’s replacement, in a 34-7 victory.
The Texans looked like they’re finally ready to take over the AFC South.
Manning, the four-time MVP, didn’t travel with the team to Houston as he recovers from his third neck surgery in the past 19 months. His streak of 227 consecutive starts, including playoffs, came to an end.
The 38-year-old Collins was lured out of retirement less than three weeks ago to take a crash course in the offense. He 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.
Ravens 35, Steelers 7
BALTIMORE (AP) — Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, Haloti Ngata led an inspired defense that forced a team-record seven turnovers, and Baltimore easily beat the defending AFC champions.
Ray 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 quarter to turn a 21-7 advantage into a rout.
Ngata caused a fumble and deflected a pass that produced an interception.
Bears 30, Falcons 12
CHICAGO (AP) — Brian Urlacher had an interception and returned a fumble for a touchdown, Jay Cutler threw for 312 yards and two scores and Chicago sacked Atlanta’s Matt Ryan five times.
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.
Jets 27, Cowboys 24
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Coach Rex Ryan wanted this one badly for the New York area — and his Jets delivered. But it was far from easy.
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.
Eagles 31, Rams 13
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Vick rushed for 98 yards, LeSean McCoy scored twice and DeSean Jackson topped 100 yards receiving as Philadelphia opened its self-proclaimed Super Bowl drive with a big win.
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. Sam Bradford left for X-rays on a finger of his throwing hand in the fourth quarter.
Bills 41, Chiefs 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes, two of them to journeyman tight end Scott Chandler, and Buffalo romped to victory.
Fitzpatrick finished with 208 yards passing for the Bills, who hadn’t score 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 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers 35 years ago. Lions 27, Buccaneers 20
TAMPA, Fla. — Matthew Stafford threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns to help Detroit to its fifth consecutive victory dating to the final month of the 2010 season.
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
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — 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.
Grossman found Anthony Armstrong for an 18-yard completion that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Tim Hightower. Grossman later hit Armstrong for a 6-yard score, and first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan swung the momentum in the second half by returning an interception for a touchdown.
Eli Manning went 18 for 32 for 268 yards for the Giants.
Cardinals 28, Panthers 21
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — 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.
The Panthers had first down at the Arizona 11 late in the game, and even got an extra down on an offside call, but failed to score.
Kevin Kolb was 18 of 27 for 309 yards and two touchdowns in his first game for Arizona.
49ers 33, Seahawks 17
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ted Ginn Jr. returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in a minute’s span late in the fourth quarter, and San Francisco gave Jim Harbaugh a win in his much-hyped NFL debut and renewed coaching rivalry with Pete Carroll.
Ginn ran a kickoff back 102 yards moments after the defending NFC West champion Seahawks had closed within 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
SAN DIEGO (AP) — 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.
Peterson, who set the NFL single-game record with 296 yards against San Diego as a rookie in 2007, had 98 yards on 16 carries one day after signing a contract extension potentially worth $100 million.
Bengals 27, Browns 17
CLEVELAND (AP) — 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 a sloppy debut by Cleveland in coach Pat Shurmur’s debut.
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, who were disorganized for much of Shurmur’s first game.
Jaguars 16, Titans 14
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — 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.
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