Thursday's NFL Preseason Capsules
Friday, August 10, 2012
CHICAGO (AP) — Peyton Manning's first appearance with the Denver Broncos was brief and a bit uneven.
Manning got intercepted near the goal line on the game's opening possession and watched from the sideline the rest of the way as Denver beat the Chicago Bears 31-3 in the preseason opener on Thursday night.
All eyes were on Manning and the results were mixed for the four-time MVP. Considering he missed all of last season with a nerve injury in his neck that weakened his throwing arm and led to his tearful farewell from the Indianapolis Colts, it was hardly a surprise.
Manning is trying to show he still has something left with Denver (No. 10 in the AP Pro32), and all things considered, coach John Fox was impressed.
On a cool and rainy night, Manning completed 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards, but didn't have to contend with Julius Peppers or Brian Urlacher. He had all the time he needed, too, so it remains to be seen how he'll handle a big hit.
EAGLES 24, STEELERS 23
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Andy Reid was welcomed back to the sideline with a standing ovation and chants of "Andy! Andy! Andy!"
Then the Philadelphia Eagles gave their grieving coach a small reason to smile. Reid coached the Eagles just two days after his 29-year-old son's funeral.
Alex Henery kicked a 51-yard field goal with 12 seconds left after the Steelers went up on Daniel Hrapmann's 42-yarder with 1:57 left. Trent Edwards led the Eagles (No. 8 in the AP Pro32) back on an 11-play drive to set up Henery's kick.
Rookie Nick Foles threw two long TD passes to help the Eagles overcome a 13-0 third-quarter deficit.
Ben Roethlisberger was sharp in his only series for the Steelers (No. 7 in the AP Pro32). He led the offense on a 16-play scoring drive in the first game under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Michael Vick escaped injury after banging his left thumb on center Jason Kelce's helmet, and took a seat on the bench after the offense went three-and-out in his only two drives.
RAVENS 31, FALCONS 17
ATLANTA (AP) — Baltimore backup Curtis Painter threw three second-half touchdown passes.
Atlanta's Matt Ryan led two touchdown drives, including a scoring pass to Julio Jones, before Painter took over.
Ryan completed 9 of 13 passes for 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was 5 for 5 for 71 yards, including the 7-yard touchdown pass to Jones, on the opening drive for Atlanta (No. 13 in the AP Pro32).
Joe Flacco completed 9 of 12 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown for Baltimore (No. 5). The Falcons led 14-0 before Flacco threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson midway through the second quarter.
Ravens safety Omar Brown, an undrafted rookie from Marshall, had two fumble recoveries and an interception.
PATRIOTS 7, SAINTS 6
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Will Smith crunched Tom Brady from behind, forcing a fumble in the first quarter. It may be the Saints defensive end's biggest play for a while.
One of four players punished in New Orleans bounty scandal, Smith was suspended for the first four regular-season games. So Thursday night's sack of New England's star quarterback was a highlight in the Patriots lackluster 7-6 win in their exhibition opener.
John Kasay had a chance to give the Saints (No. 9 in the AP Pro32) the lead, but his 41-yard field goal attempt went wide to the right with 3:07 left.
Brady left after two series and 15 plays and finished with four completions in seven attempts for 30 yards.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees also played two series, lasting just six plays. He was 1 of 4 for 4 yards in his second exhibition game.
REDSKINS 7, BILLS 6
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Robert Griffin III needed only three passes on his third and final drive to show glimpses of stardom in his much-anticipated NFL preseason debut Thursday night.
After a muffed handoff and no first downs in his first two series, RG3 found his rhythm by completing his final three passes for 58 yards, capped by a 20-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon.
It was an eventful cameo appearance for the Heisman Trophy winner, who was drafted with the No. 2 pick out of Baylor. Griffin finished going 4 of 6 for 70 yards and a lost fumble.
Defensive end Mario Williams made a debut of his own for the Bills (No. 19) in his first game since signing a six-year, $100 million contract in free agency in March. Williams, the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, and the Bills' new-look defensive front was solid in limiting the Redskins to 11 yards and no first downs in the first two series.
CHARGERS 21, PACKERS 13
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Shannon Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL game and Philip Rivers had a touchdown, an interception and a fumble in limited action for the Chargers ( No. 16 in the AP Pro32). Rookie Jarrett Lee got most of the action, throwing for 235 yards and a touchdown.
Eastin broke the NFL's on-field gender barrier by serving as the line judge for the seven-man crew of replacement officials.
She helped oversee a predictably ugly preseason opener by both teams, filled with fumbles, interceptions and missed assignments.
Aaron Rodgers had an interception and a fumble in three series for the Packers (No. 1).
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