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

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

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