Bengals Rally Past Colts, Spoil Luck’s Return
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andy Dalton rallied the Bengals with three scores in the final 19 minutes and Clayton Fejedelem scored on an 83-yard fumble return with 24 seconds to go as Cincinnati snapped an eight-game losing streak in Indy following a 34-23 victory Sunday.
The loss spoiled the Colts’ season opener — and the return of Andrew Luck, who made his first start in more than 20 months.
It looked as if Luck was up to his old tricks after staking the Colts to a 23-10 lead midway through the third quarter, and again late when he led the Colts 50 yards to the Bengals 25-yard line in the final minute.
But a completed pass on third down to Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle saw Fejedelem knock the ball out, scoop it up and sprint down the sideline, avoiding Luck on his way to the end zone for the sealing score.
VIKINGS 24, 49ERS 16
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins passed for two touchdowns in his much-anticipated Minnesota debut, and the Vikings forced four turnovers to stick 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with his first loss in eight games as an NFL starter.
Cousins connected with Stefon Diggs in the second quarter and Kyle Rudolph in the third quarter for scores, and the defense finished the job with three sacks and three second-half interceptions of Garoppolo. Mike Hughes turned one pick into a 28-yard touchdown return, the first by a rookie in a Vikings season opener.
PATRIOTS 27, TEXANS 20
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Rob Gronkowski for 123 yards and a score.
Brady and Gronkowski, who both floated the possibility of retiring over the offseason, connected seven times, including a 21-yard touchdown three plays after Deshaun Watson fumbled a handoff at the Texans 19 on Houston’s first offensive play. Phillip Dorsett and James White also caught TD passes from Brady, the 41-year-old reigning NFL MVP.
JAGUARS 20, GIANTS 15
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Linebacker Myles Jack scored on a 32-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars spoiled the Giants debuts of coach Pat Shurmur and second-overall draft pick Saquon Barkley, and the return of Odell Beckham Jr.
Blake Bortles threw a short touchdown pass and led two other first-half field goal drives. The Jaguars dominated, with the exception a Barkley-induced hiccup, in opening a season by living up to the Super Bowl hype.
CHIEFS 38, CHARGERS 28
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Tyreek Hill scored three touchdowns, Patrick Mahomes passed for his first four NFL scores and Kansas City opened the season with a victory.
Hill had a 91-yard punt return for a score and a 58-yard TD reception during the first quarter before adding a 1-yard reception for a score in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Hill also had 169 yards on seven receptions, which is the second-most yards by a Chiefs receiver in an opener, according to Pro Football Reference. Carlos Carson had 173 yards receiving against New Orleans in 1985.
BRONCOS 27, SEAHAWKS 24
DENVER (AP) — Von Miller sacked Russell Wilson three times, forced two fumbles and recovered one in helping Case Keenum win his Denver debut.
It was the Broncos’ 18th win in their past 19 home openers, and few were more exciting or competitive.
Keenum threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns, but was also intercepted three times.
Wilson threw for 298 yards and three TDs, but was picked off twice and sacked six times.
DOLPHINS 27, TITANS 20
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Jakeem Grant scored on a tiebreaking 102-yard kickoff return with 14 minutes to go, and Miami overcame two weather delays to win the longest game since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
Delays for lightning lasted a total of 3 hours, 59 minutes, and the game took 7 hours, 10 minutes to play. The previous longest game since 1970 was a Bears overtime victory against the Ravens in 2013 that took 5 hours, 16 minutes.
REDSKINS 24, CARDINALS 6
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Alex Smith carved up the Arizona defense for 255 yards and two touchdowns, Adrian Peterson rushed for 96 yards and a score and Washington spoiled the coaching debut of Steve Wilks.
Smith and Peterson were playing their first game as Redskins and the two veterans made an impact from the start.
PANTHERS 16, COWBOYS 8
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton ran for 58 yards and a touchdown, and Carolina’s defense turned in a dominant performance to beat Dallas.
Luke Kuechly had 13 tackles, Kawann Short sacked Dak Prescott twice and Mario Addison had a huge strip-sack of the Cowboys quarterback with 1:23 left to seal the victory.
Carolina’s defense had six sacks in all and limited the Cowboys to 232 yards.
BEARS 24, PACKERS 23
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes in the second half after returning from a knee injury, and the Green Bay Packers overcame a 20-point deficit for a thrilling 24-23 win over the Chicago Bears.
Rodgers, who was carted off in the first half, connected with receiver Randall Cobb for a catch-and-run through the secondary for a 75-yard touchdown and the go-ahead score with 2:13 left in the game.