2014 DRAFT GUIDE
49ers, Lions, Saints, Rams win with stars

By BARRY WILNER - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-09-09 03:00

The NFL came back in a big way on opening day, with long plays highlighting games from coast to coast.

No one was more dynamic Sunday than Anquan Boldin, who made that transcontinental trip this year, leaving Super Bowl winner Baltimore as a free agent to join NFC champion San Francisco. Boldin was unstoppable in his debut as a 49ers receiver, making 13 catches for 208 yards and scoring once in a 34-28 victory over Green Bay.

``He made plays he shouldn't have made,'' quarterback Colin Kaepernick said.

Boldin was joined in stardom by Kaepernick, who threw for a career-best 412 yards and three touchdowns, and tight end Vernon Davis with six receptions for 98 yards and two TDs in an intense, often antagonistic match.

``We knew they were going to come in ready to play after what happened in the playoffs,'' Boldin said. ``We had to come out and match their intensity.''

The Packers lost to San Francisco to open the 2012 season and then again in the playoffs in January. They got big performances from Aaron Rodgers (21 for 37 for 333 yards and three scores), Randall Cobb (7 catches, 108 yards) and Jordy Nelson (7-130). It wasn't enough.

``We gave up too many big plays,'' linebacker Clay Matthews said. ``Got to give credit to the quarterback for making the plays he needed to. I thought we did a good job of keeping him contained and not letting him extend plays similar to what he did in the playoff game. But he still made plays.''

Reggie Bush, Drew Brees and two Rams - DE Robert Quinn and kicker Greg Zuerlein - all were superb in opening-day wins, as well.

Bush had 101 yards on four receptions and 90 yards rushing in his first game with the Lions, outgaining 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson in Detroit's 34-24 victory.

Brees passed for 357 yards and two TDs in a 23-17 win over archrival Atlanta as coach Sean Payton returned to the Saints following his one-year suspension in the bounty case.

Zuerlein went 4 for 4 on field goals and kicked a 48-yarder with 40 seconds left to send St. Louis to a 27-24 victory over Arizona. Quinn had three sacks and forced two fumbles.

Also, it was Dallas 36, the New York Giants 31; New England 23, Buffalo 21; Chicago 24, Cincinnati 21; Seattle 12, Carolina 7; the New York Jets 18, Tampa Bay 17; Tennessee 16, Pittsburgh 9; Indianapolis 21, Oakland 17; Kansas City 28, Jacksonville 2; and Miami 23, Cleveland 10.

On Monday night, Philadelphia is at Washington, followed by Houston at San Diego.

Denver routed Baltimore 49-27 in the kickoff game Thursday night.

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Lions 34, Vikings 24

At Detroit, Bush did exactly what the Lions signed him for: to break open a game.

Bush turned a short pass into a 77-yard touchdown in the third quarter and finished with 191 yards of offense.

``We love his talent, but he's here because of the way he complements Calvin and the way Calvin complements him,'' Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said, referring to All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson.

Joique Bell rushed for two TDs for Detroit.

Adrian Peterson ran for a 78-yard TD on his first carry and scored on a 4-yard run to give Minnesota a 14-6 lead in the second. He ended up with 93 yards rushing.

``Offensively, we really weren't sound with everything, pretty much the entire game,'' the 2012 MVP said.

Saints 23, Falcons 17

Sean Payton's coaching return after a one-year league suspension for the Saints' bounties was a tight affair, but a successful one for host New Orleans.

Drew Brees passed for 357 yards and two scores, and Roman Harper secured the win when he intercepted a tipped fourth-down pass in the end zone with under a minute left.

``It was just important to get the first win,'' Payton said. ``You try to compartmentalize each week, each game, and we played a good team. ... We fought hard, especially late.''

Brees connected with Marques Colston for a 25-yard touchdown pass during which the receiver also set a franchise mark for catches with 533. Brees also hit tight end Jimmy Graham for a 7-yard score in the third quarter.

Matt Ryan passed for 304 yards and scoring passes to Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones. He also drove Atlanta to the Saints 3 in the final minute before falling just short.

Rams 27, Cardinals 24

At St. Louis, Zuerlein kicked his fourth field goal, a 48-yarder with 40 seconds left.

``Basically, I stay calm, swing like I know how and the rest takes care of itself,'' Zuerlein said. ``There's no better feeling.

``I don't even know the distances when I go out there to be honest, I just go out there and try to do my job.''

And Quinn was a force.

``It's a great way to start the season, of course,'' he said.

Jared Cook had two touchdown catches in his Rams debut. The tight end fumbled a potential third TD, a 55-yarder that would have opened the scoring, when rookie Tyrann Mathieu punched the ball free at the 8 and the play resulted in a touchback. But St. Louis rallied from an 11-point hole to win.

Larry Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes from new quarterback Carson Palmer and Arizona's defense had a TD.

Cowboys 36, Giants 31

Brandon Carr returned an interception 49 yards for a clinching touchdown, and the Cowboys beat Eli Manning and the Giants for the first time at their fancy $1.2 billion stadium with six takeaways.

Manning threw three touchdown passes to Victor Cruz and had New York in position for a comeback victory despite the flurry of mistakes. Manning was picked off three times and running back David Wilson lost two fumbles, one of which was run back 27 yards for a TD by Barry Church.

Tony Romo shook off a hit to the ribs that knocked him out for the final Dallas play of the first half and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jason Witten.

Patriots 23, Bills 21

Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal with 5 seconds left gave visiting New England its 10th straight opening win. The Patriots needed to rally, and Tom Brady turned in his 36th career victory in which the Patriots were tied or trailed in the fourth quarter. Brady finished 29 of 52 for 288 yards and two touchdowns.

Bill Belichick won his 206th career game to move one ahead of Marty Schottenheimer for sixth place on the coaching list. The Bills have won one of their past 20 meetings and are 3-24 against New England since Belichick took over as Patriots coach in 2000.

Bears 24, Bengals 21

At Chicago, Jay Cutler passed to Brandon Marshall for a 19-yard touchdown to make Marc Trestman's coaching debut with the Bears a success.

The Bengals led by 11 in the third quarter and were up 21-17 early in the fourth when Tim Jennings jarred the ball from Mohamed Sanu following a reception and made the recovery. That led to the winning score.

Seahawks 12, Panthers 7

Seattle's stellar defense was on display at Charlotte as Cam Newton was held to 125 yards passing and one touchdown. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson threw for 320 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers held Marshawn Lynch to 43 yards rushing, but Wilson picked up the slack by completing 25 of 33 passes.

Jets 18, Buccaneers 17

Bucs linebacker Lavonte David handed this one to the Jets in the final seconds.

With the host Jets trailing 17-15 and time running out, rookie quarterback Geno Smith scrambled for 10 yards - and was shoved while he was out of bounds by David.

The 15-yard penalty gave the Jets the ball at the Buccaneers 30 and set up Folk's winning field goal on the next play.

``I wouldn't have hit him if I didn't think he'd stay in bounds,'' David said. ``They said he was out of bounds, so they called the play. To me, he was in bounds. I was definitely surprised about it.''

Titans 16, Steelers 9

At Pittsburgh, the Titans began the game inauspiciously, then dominated, sacking Ben Roethlisberger five times.

On the first play, kick returner Darius Reynaud took a knee in the end zone on the opening kickoff after touching the ball in the field of play. Two points for Pittsburgh.

According to the NFL, it was the first safety on an opening kickoff since 1988, when the New York Giants got one at Dallas.

But Chris Johnson ran for 70 clock-chewing yards, Jackie Battle bulled his way to a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and Rob Bironas kicked three field goals. Tennessee's new-look defense did the rest as the Steelers managed just 195 total yards and lost Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey to a right knee injury.

Colts 21, Raiders 17

At Indianapolis, Andrew Luck's legs were decisive. The QB ran 19 yards for the winning touchdown. He also was 18 of 23 for 178 yards with two touchdown passes.

Oakland started Terrelle Pryor at quarterback and he made some plays in going 19 of 29 for 217 yards and one TD. He also broke the Raiders' rushing record for a quarterback with 13 carries for 112 yards, but threw two interceptions in the red zone, the second coming with 25 seconds left.

Chiefs 28, Jaguars 2

At Jacksonville, Andy Reid won his first game as Chiefs coach.

Alex Smith threw two early touchdown passes, Jamaal Charles ran for 77 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with a quadriceps injury, and Jacksonville advanced past its 36-yard line once.

``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 Reid, who spent the previous 14 years mostly winning in Philadelphia.

Dolphins 23, Browns 10

At Cleveland, Ryan Tannehill passed for 272 yards and a touchdown, and the Browns fell to 1-14 in Week 1 since 1999. Tannehill, who was given more offensive weapons for his second NFL season, threw a 34-yard TD pass to Brian Hartline in the third quarter and drove the Dolphins to a clinching TD in the fourth.

Cameron Wake had 2 1/2 sacks as the Dolphins sacked Brandon Weeden six times. Weeden threw three interceptions and the Browns never got anything going in coach Rob Chudzinski's debut.

Rookie Caleb Sturgis kicked three field goals for the Dolphins.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

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