|Kickers key wins by Denver, Green Bay and Washington in openers|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 10 September 2007 00:02|
The Denver Broncos' veteran kicker had to sprint onto the field with the final seconds ticking off Sunday in Buffalo, where he kicked a 42-yard field goal at the gun for a 15-14 victory over the Bills.
At least Crosby, who nailed a 42-yarder with 2 seconds remaining to lift Green Bay over Philadelphia 16-13 wasn't so rushed. Nor was Suisham as he made a 39-yarder in overtime, giving Washington a 16-13 victory against Miami.
Elam, who missed two field-goal attempts earlier, almost didn't have a chance to make up for those. The Broncos were out of timeouts when Jay Cutler hit Javon Walker for an 11-yard catch with 14 seconds left.
Rather than spiking the ball, the Broncos' field-goal unit hurried onto the field and got the snap off just in time.
``I'm going to look back at this game down the road and this is going to be one of my favorites,'' said Elam, who has scored more points for one team than anyone else in NFL history.
The Broncos had 470 yards of offense, including Travis Henry's 139 yards rushing.
``To lose like that sure took the wind out of us,'' Bills coach Dick Jauron said. ``They fought through a lot of adversity trying to steal a win. And they just couldn't hang on to it.''
Bills reserve tight end Kevin Everett had surgery hours after he sustained a cervical spine injury and showed no movement when being taken off the field in an ambulance.
The Bills also lost three defensive starters to serious injuries: free safety Ko Simpson (broken left ankle); cornerback Jason Webster (broken forearm); and linebacker Coy Wire (sprained knee).
Elsewhere Sunday, it was: Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 7; Dallas 45, the New York Giants 35; New England 38, the New York Jets 14; San Diego 14, Chicago 3; Minnesota 24, Atlanta 3; Carolina 27, St. Louis 13; Detroit 36, Oakland 21; Tennessee 13, Jacksonville 10; Seattle 20, Tampa Bay 6; and Houston 20, Kansas City 3.
The opening week began with Indianapolis routing New Orleans 41-10 on Thursday night. The Monday night games are Baltimore at Cincinnati, followed by Arizona at San Francisco.
Packers 16, Eagles 13
a Packers touchdown in the first quarter.
``It was great to make the team and to be able to do this on my first time out,'' Crosby said. ``I just kind of got thrown into the fire on the first test and that's kind of how I like it. That's exciting.''
It also was the 37th time Favre led the host Packers from a fourth-quarter tie or deficit to a win.
Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who tore a knee ligament last November and finished the regular season on the sideline for the second straight year, was 15-of-33 for 184 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Redskins 16, Dolphins 13
Suisham spoiled the NFL head coaching debut of Miami's Cam Cameron. The Redskins won the coin toss to start overtime and drove 58 yards in 10 plays, all but two on runs by Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. Suisham's kick came on first down.
``It was critical for us to go out there and get a win today,'' coach Joe Gibbs said. ``First game of the season, opening up at home. We're in the business of winning ballgames. It doesn't matter how we get it done.''
Antwaan Randle El had five catches for a career-high 162 yards, but the Redskins lost right tackle Jon Jansen to a broken right ankle.
Steelers 34, Browns 7
At Cleveland, Ben Roethlisberger threw a career-high four touchdown passes in Mike Tomlin's NFL coaching debut. Willie Parker rushed for 109 yards as the Steelers started the Tomlin Era with the kind of bruising victory that typified former coach Bill Cowher's tenure in the Steel City.
The Steelers pounced on mistakes by the bumbling Browns to open a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. The Browns have lost eight in a row and 14 of 15 to Pittsburgh. The Browns had five turnovers and allowed six sacks.
Cowboys 45, Giants 35
Marion Barber got things rolling with an 18-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1, Terrell Owens added two highlight-reel touchdown catches and Tony Romo made up for an interception with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Sam Hurd. Romo threw for a career-high 345 yards and four touchdowns, plus ran for another, helping the host Cowboys match the most points they ever scored in four years under former coach Bill Parcells.
However, new coach Wade Phillips' supposedly improved defense gave up 438 yards and lots of big plays, turning a potential blowout into a nail-biter.
Eli Manning was 28-of-41 for 312 yards and four touchdowns with an interception, and Plaxico Burress caught eight passes for 144 yards and three TDs.
Patriots 38, Jets 14
Randy Moss, who missed most of camp with a hamstring injury, caught nine passes from Tom Brady for 183 yards and a 51-yard touchdown in his New England debut.
Ellis Hobbs set an NFL record by taking the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a score for the Pats.
Brady was 22-of-28 for 297 yards and three touchdowns. He is 7-0 against the Jets at Giants Stadium, and 11-2 overall in starts against New York.
Chargers 14, Bears 3
At San Diego, reigning NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson threw for one touchdown and rushed for another.
The Chargers, an NFL-best 14-2 in 2006 before their playoff pratfall against New England, had two turnovers and allowed three sacks. Still, Norv Turner came away a winner in his debut as Chargers head coach.
The Bears, who topped the NFC last year at 13-3 before losing in the Super Bowl to Indianapolis, had four turnovers, two of them setting up the game's only two touchdowns.
Vikings 24, Falcons 3
At Minneapolis, the Vikings' defense overwhelmed Atlanta's Joey Harrington with six sacks and two interception returns for touchdowns. Kevin Williams returned an interception 54 yards for a first-quarter score, and Antoine Winfield ran one back 14 yards in the fourth quarter.
Rookie Adrian Peterson made an amazing catch out of the backfield that he turned into a 60-yard touchdown and finished with 103 yards rushing on 19 carries after starter Chester Taylor hurt his hip.
Panthers 27, Rams 13
At St. Louis, Steve Smith outsprinted Tye Hill on a 68-yard catch for the go-ahead score. Smith had seven catches for 118 yards.
The Rams' decision to give featured back Steven Jackson the preseason off backfired. Jackson lost two fumbles on consecutive carries in the third quarter, equaling his season total from last season.
Lions 36, Raiders 21
At Oakland, Calif., Jon Kitna threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald with 4:15 remaining and Dewayne White forced two late turnovers that helped Detroit rally after blowing a 17-point lead.
Former Lions backup Josh McCown led the Raiders on three touchdown drives in the second half for a 21-20 Oakland lead with 7:43 to go. Then Kitna took over and spoiled Lane Kiffin's coaching debut for Oakland.
Titans 13, Jaguars 10
At Jacksonville, Fla., Chris Brown ran for 175 yards, Vince Young and LenDale White combined for another 88 on the ground and Tennessee ran over the Jaguars. Tennessee finished with 282 yards rushing, the most Jacksonville has ever surrendered.
Most of Brown's big runs came up the middle as Tennessee's offensive line manhandled Pro Bowl tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson.
Seahawks 20, Buccaneers 6
At Seattle, Shaun Alexander, playing pain-free for the first time since he broke his foot 12 months ago, ran for 105 yards and one touchdown. Matt Hasselbeck was sharp in his first game following a mediocre season that included two broken fingers. He went 17-for-24 for 222 yards and threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Morris to clinch the win.
Bucs RB Carnell Williams hurt his ribs and left in the second half.
Texans 20, Chiefs 3
At Houston, Mario Williams, last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, returned a fumble for a touchdown, and had five tackles, including two sacks.
The Texans led 10-0 when Jamar Fletcher knocked the ball out of Kris Wilson's hands that Williams recovered. The defensive end got up and rumbled 38 yards for the touchdown.
Matt Schaub had a successful debut in Houston, going 16-of-22 for 225 yards with a touchdown and an interception.