Page 14 — Monday, September 13, 2010 Sports The Indiana Gazette
Week One Highlights STEELERS NOTES
The Associated Press
■ Peyton Manning, Colts, completed 40 of 57 passes for
433 yards and three touchdowns,the fourth-highest
opening weekend passing yards total since 1933.
■ Jay Cutler, Bears, threw for 372 yards and hit Matt
Forte with a late 28-yard touchdown pass, and Chicago beat
the Detroit Lions 19-14.
■ Carson Palmer, Bengals, was 34 for 50 for 345 yards
in return By MIRZA ZUKIC
and two TDs, but Cincinnati lost 38-24 at New England. email@example.com
■ Arian Foster, Texans, who spent most of last season on PITTSBURGH — The most noticeable returnee
to the Pittsburgh Steelers defense from last year’s
the practice squad, ran for a team-record 231 yards and season-ending injuries was Troy Polamalu.
scored three touchdowns to carry the Texans to a 34-24 With his signature, and now-insured, hair
victory over the defending AFC champion Colts. peaking out from under his helmet, Polamalu
■ Chris Johnson, Titans, ran for 142 yards and two was a welcomed sight for the Steelers’ fans after
the veteran missed nine games last season.
touchdowns as Tennessee routed the Oakland Raiders He didn’t disappoint, totaling five tackles, one
38-13. pass deflection and one key interception in Pitts-
■ Michael Vick, Eagles, ran for 103 yards on 11 carries burgh’s 15-9 overtime win over the Atlanta Fal-
after replacing an injured Kevin Kolb at quarterback in cons.
“That’s just Troy being Troy,” Steelers coach
Philadelphia’s 27-20 loss to Green Bay. Mike Tomlin said.
Receiving But he wasn’t the only key defensive player to
■ Roddy White, Falcons, had 13 catches for 111 yards in return from a serious injury in 2009.
Atlanta’s 15-9 overtime loss in Pittsburgh. Aaron Smith, one of the more underrated de-
fensive linemen in the league, returned after a
■ Chad Ochocinco, Bengals, had 12 receptions for 159 shoulder surgery that also sidelined him for nine
yards and a TD in Cincinnati’s 38-24 loss at New England. games.
■ Mark Clayton, Rams, had a career-high 10 receptions Smith had one tackle, but his presence has a
for 119 yards for St. Louis in a 17-13 loss to Arizona after greater impact than tangible stats.
He often attracts a double team, freeing up the
being acquired from the Ravens on Monday. Steelers’ linebackers to make plays.
Special Teams PATRIOTS TIGHT END Rob Gronkowski caught his first career NFL That explains why the Steelers rushing defense
■ Brandon Tate, Patriots, had a 97-yard runback of the touchdown pass against Cincinnati on Sunday. Sunday looked like the defense of old.
second-half kickoff for a touchdown in New England’s Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison and
James Farrior had at least eight tackles each and
Patriots hang on
38-24 victory over Cincinnati. grounded the Falcons’ running game.
■ Neil Rackers, Texans, kicked two field goals and had Atlanta rushed 25 times, gaining just 58 yards.
four extra points in his first game with Houston, a 34-24 “We didn’t get movement on the line of scrim-
victory over Indianapolis. mage,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “They
obviously had the best of us in the running
■ Mason Crosby, Packers, kicked a team-record 56-yard
field goal as Green Bay beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20.
■ Clay Matthews, Packers, had seven tackles, two sacks
in battle of stars
The Associated Press BEARS 19, LIONS 14: Jay Cutler
DÉJÀ VU: The overtime began with a feeling of
déjà vu for Dennis Dixon. It ended with a once-
and a forced fumble in Green Bay’s 27-20 win at threw for 372 yards, including a 28- Making his second career start in three sea-
Philadelphia. Randy Moss said he doesn’t think yard TD pass to Matt Forte with sons, Dixon notched his first victory as a starting
■ Karlos Dansby, Cardinals, had a sack and a team- he’s appreciated in New England, 1:32 left to lift Chicago. The Lions, quarterback Sunday.
and Terrell Owens apologized to who lost quarterback Matthew But before that happened, he couldn’t help
leading eight tackles in his first game with Arizona, a 17-13 Bengals fans. Wes Welker, however, Stafford with a right shoulder in- feeling the same bad vibes from his first start.
victory at St. Louis. stayed typically quiet and concen- jury late in the first half, nearly “It felt good (to get the win),” the soft-spoken
■ Gary Guyton, Patriots, scored on a 59-yard interception trated on scoring touchdowns. pulled out the win, but Shaun Hill’s Dixon said. “Going to overtime, I got déjà vu
return in New England’s 38-24 win over Cincinnati. In a game that featured star re- 25-yard pass to Calvin Johnson in after last year with Baltimore. My whole motto
ceivers on both sides, Welker the end zone with 25 seconds left was just go out there, mentally focus and try to
capped his speedy return from a was ruled incomplete after a re- get in field goal range.”
serious knee injury by catching two view. Last season, he made his first start in place of
MILESTONES TD passes from Tom Brady to help Ben Roethlisberger when the Steelers’ franchise
Tennessee’s Chris Johnson rushed for 142 yards in a the Patriots beat Cincinnati 38-24 SEAHAWKS 31, 49ERS 6: Matt quarterback suffered a concussion, and just like
38-13 win over Oakland to extend his streak to 12 in their season opener Sunday. Hasselbeck threw for two touch- Sunday, Dixon played well enough to keep his
While the New England defense downs and ran for another as Seat- team in the game.
consecutive 100-yard games, breaking a tie with Marcus was holding Owens and teammate tle gave new coach Pete Carroll a And both games went to overtime.
Allen. He trails only Barry Sanders, who had an NFL-best 14 Chad Ochocinco in check early, winning start. Jordan Babineaux Dixon lost the game at Baltimore last fall when
such games. ... Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward had 108 yards in Welker was darting through the and Marcus Trufant each intercept- he threw an interception that led to the Ravens’
his club-record 26th career 100-yard game and went over Bengals’ secondary. He caught ed 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, game-winning field goal.
eight passes for 64 yards less than with Trufant returning his 32 yards This time, he barely had time to get involved in
11,000 yards receiving in his career. ... Atlanta’s Tony eight months after surgery to repair for a touchdown early in the third the overtime because Rashard Mendenhall rum-
Gonzalez reached 1,000 receptions for his career, becoming a knee ligament he tore in the final quarter to give the Seahawks a 21-6 bled 50 yards for the game-winning touchdown
the first NFL tight end to reach that mark and the seventh game last season. lead. on the Steelers’ first offensive play of overtime.
receiver overall. ... Cincinnati’s Terrell Owens became the Many doubted the 2009 All-Pro Otherwise, Dixon was solid, completing 69
would be back for the opener, but CARDINALS 17, RAMS 13: Larry percent of his passes for 236 yards with one fist-
third receiver in NFL history with 15,000 yards receiving. he and Brady were confident. Fitzgerald caught a 21-yard touch- half interception. He seemed to get more confi-
His seven catches for 53 yards in a 38-24 loss at New “I had pretty much instilled it in dent as the game progressed.
down pass for the go-ahead score
England gave him 1,013 receptions for 15,004 yards. my mind that I would be back,” late in the fourth quarter, helping “We seized the moment, defense stopped
Welker said. “I still have a ways to Arizona spoil the debut of No. 1 them and the offense had to make something
go. ... I have this stupid knee brace I draft pick Sam Bradford. Derek An- happen, and we did,” he said.
STATS hate. I can’t wait to burn it. We’re Dixon said he was “overexcited in the first
derson passed for 297 yards in his
Chicago outgained Detroit 463-168, but was trailing for getting there, slowly but surely.” first start. Steve Breaston caught half,” but the veterans helped him calm his
most of the day thanks to four turnovers before pulling out The Patriots also scored on de- seven passes for 132 yards for a nerves.
a 19-14 victory Sunday. ... Kasim Osgood caught a 24-yard fense with Gary Guyton’s 59-yard Cardinals offense missing running “Yeah, he was nervous,” Hines Ward said. “I
interception return and on special back Beanie Wells (knee). Bradford was over there trying to keep him up, make him
touchdown pass, his first TD catch since 2004, in teams with Brandon Tate’s 97-yard smile. As the game went on, he started to pick up
was 32 of 55 for 253 yards, one
Jacksonville’s 24-17 win over Denver on Sunday. ... runback of the second-half kickoff. touchdown and three intercep- on things. The one interception he was just try-
Cleveland lost 17-14 at Tampa Bay, and has not begun a Welker had the most impact of tions. ing to put that perfect ball into Heath Miller. …
season with a win since 2004. They’re 1-11 in openers any receiver, surpassing Cincin- All in all, we couldn’t ask for any more out of
nati’s much-hyped new tandem of TITANS 38, RAIDERS 13: Chris Dennis. He did what we wanted him to do, and it
since the club returned as an expansion franchise in 1999. Ochocinco and Owens. Ochocinco Johnson ran for 142 yards and two was a great learning lesson.”
had 12 catches for 159 yards and a touchdowns, Vince Young threw for
NOT SO FAST touchdown, and Owens added two scores and the Titans avoided 22-DOUBLE: It took a while for a big play to
seven receptions for 53 yards. But any comparisons to last year’s 0-6 break, but the “22-double” paid off for the Steel-
With 3 seconds left on the clock and the ball at much of that damage came in the start with a season-opening rout. ers.
Washington’s 13-yard line, Tony Romo scrambled to find second half with the Bengals way The Titans sacked new Raiders The ‘22-double’ was the play they called on the
Roy Williams open in the end zone for what appeared to be behind. quarterback Jason Campbell four first play of overtime, leading to Mendenhall’s
the winning score for Dallas on Sunday night. But, while “Apologies to Cincy fans,” Owens times and forced two turnovers game-winning score.
tweeted, “tough loss today, only they turned into 10 points. But that wasn’t the first time they called it. Or
Williams and the Cowboys were celebrating, the official was week 1, we’ve a long season ahead, the second, or even fifth.
calling Alex Barron for holding Redskins linebacker Brian all of you be blessed, 1 luv.” “It was great execution by everybody on that
GIANTS 31, PANTHERS 18: The
Orakpo, negating the score. Washington held on to win Brady threw for 258 yards and New York Giants opened their new play,” Ward said. “We called that play maybe 15
13-7. three scores, capping a hectic week $1.6 billion home by beating the times throughout that game. … We just kept call-
that included a frightening car Panthers with a big second half. ing it. That was our magic play. We just kept
crash and a rich contract exten- Trailing 16-14 at halftime, the Gi- pounding and pounding ,and it finally broke
RUNNING FOR RECORDS sion. ants surged behind second-year re- free.”
Houston’s Arian Foster ran for a team-record 231 yards in ceiver Hakeem Nicks, who caught
REDSKINS 13, COWBOYS 7: three touchdown passes from Eli RECORD-SETTER: Ward set two team marks as
the Texans’ 34-24 win over Indianapolis. He had the NFL’s part of his six-reception, 108-yard day. First, he
DeAngelo Hall returned a fumble Manning. Ahmad Bradshaw set up
second-best opening weekend rushing performance since 32 yards for Washington’s only became the first Steelers’ wide receiver to reach
his own 4-yard TD run in the fourth
1933, topped only by Buffalo’s O.J. Simpson’s 250 in 1973 touchdown, and Donovan McNabb quarter with a 39-yard romp that 11,000 career receiving yards, and his 100-yard
against New England. He also surpassed Domanick Davis’ completed 15 of 32 passes for 171 provided the cushion for New York. game was the 26th of his career, moving him
yards in his Redskins debut. With 3 past John Stallworth for most in team history.
team record of 158 yards, set in 2004 at Jacksonville. “It’s like Forest Gump,” Ward said. “I can’t ex-
seconds left, and the ball at the 13- JAGUARS 24, BRONCOS 17: David
yard line, Dallas quarterback Tony Garrard threw three touchdown plain it. I’m 34 years old and every year, regard-
SHUT DOWN Romo scrambled to find Roy passes, two to tight end Marcedes less of what people say, it’s my mindset that I
Tennessee sacked new Oakland quarterback Jason Williams open in the end zone. But Lewis, and Jacksonville won a have to go in and prove everybody wrong. That’s
Alex Barron was called for holding, game the team called one of the my motivation.”
Campbell four times and forced two turnovers it turned into negating the winning touchdown. most important in franchise histo-
10 points in a 38-13 rout. The Raiders had just 106 yards ry. Garrard completed 16 of 21 SUPER ROOKIE: Center Maurkice Pouncey, the
offense at halftime. TEXANS 34, COLTS 24: Arian passes for 170 yards. Mike Thomas Steelers’ first-round draft choice out of Florida in
Foster ran for a team-record 231 caught six for 89 yards, and Mau- this year’s draft, became only the third rookie of-
yards and scored three touch- rice Jones-Drew ran for 98 yards. fensive lineman in team history to begin the sea-
RE-PETE downs to help Houston end a six- son as a starter. The other two were Tom Ricketts
Coaching his first NFL game in 11 years, Seattle’s Pete game losing streak against Peyton DOLPHINS 15, BILLS 10: Karlos in 1989 and Marvel Smith in 2000.
Carroll stalked the sideline, marching up and down almost Manning and the defending AFC Dansby and Miami’s new-look de- “I thought he had a great demeanor,” Tomlin
champions. Foster, an undrafted fense limited Buffalo to 166 yards said. “I don’t think he miscalled a thing all night.
constantly in motion, and came away with a victory after the … The quality of his work, the physical quality of
rookie who spent most of last sea- on offense in Chan Gailey’s debut
Seahawks topped the San Francisco 49ers 31-6. son on the practice squad, had 33 as Bills coach. Ronnie Brown his work, we’ll leave that to the judgment of the
carries in gaining the most yards by scored on a 1-yard plunge and Dan video. But in terms of his demeanor, in terms of
TEBOW’S DEBUT a Colts opponent. Carpenter hit field goals from 32 his pre-snap declaration and things, he played
and 43 yards as Miami opened the like a veteran football player. And really that’s
Denver wasted little time getting Tim Tebow on the field in PACKERS 27, EAGLES 20: why he’s in there because he’s not playing like a
season with a win for the first time
the Broncos’ 24-17 loss at Jacksonville. The college football Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of in five years. rookie.”
icon who grew up in Jacksonville entered on the third play touchdown passes, Mason Crosby
and gained a yard on a quarterback keeper. He returned two kicked a team-record 56-yard field BUCCANEERS 17, BROWNS 14: NOTES: Jeff Reed’s 52-yard field goal in the first
goal and Green Bay won despite a Josh Freeman returned from a quarter was the longest in the history of Heinz
plays later and lined up at receiver. Tebow picked up Field, and the second longest of his career. He
vintage performance by Michael three-week layoff because of a bro-
another yard on his second carry, this one coming in the Vick. In their first game since trad- ken thumb on his throwing hand made a 53-yarder in 2008. …
second quarter. He spent the rest of the game on the ing McNabb to Washington, the Ea- and tossed a pair of TD passes. The last three meetings between Pittsburgh
sideline. gles started with Kevin Kolb and Freeman threw a 3-yard scoring and Atlanta have gone to overtime. … Pittsburgh
finished with Vick. Kolb left with a pass to Mike Williams late in the has never lost at home to the Falcons, improving
concussion at halftime, so Vick first half and found Micheal Spur- to 6-0-1 with Sunday’s win. … The Steelers went
Follow the NFL all season played meaningful snaps for an ex- lock in the end zone for a 33-yard into overtime in their season opener and won for
tended period for the first time in score that put the Buccaneers the second straight season. In 2009, they outlast-
in The Indiana Gazette nearly four years. ahead to stay. ed Tennessee 13-10.