Brady, Pats bounce back; Chiefs, Falcons win

AFP
Tom Brady sparkles in a 30-point first-half burst and the Super Bowl champions Patriots bounce back from a season-opening defeat with a 36-20 rout of the Saints in New Orleans.
AFP
Reuters

Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby (right) breaks up a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in the second half of their NFL game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, on September 17, 2017. The Broncos won 42-17.

The New England Patriots' early-season struggles didn't last long.

Quarterback Tom Brady threw for 302 of his 447 passing yards in a 30-point first-half burst and the Super Bowl champions Patriots bounced back from a season-opening National Football League defeat with a 36-20 rout of the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday.

Brady, who had completed just 16 passes in a 42-27 loss to Kansas City last week, connected on 19 of 25 with three touchdowns in the first half alone.

It was the first time in the 40-year-old superstar's career that he completed three TD passes in the first quarter.

"We were 0-1, and with the 10-day break, it felt like a year," Brady said. "It was a good four quarters of great competition. We got off to a good start with some situational things, but we still left some things out there."

Brady hit Rex Burkhead for a 19-yard TD, connected with Rob Gronkowski on a 53-yard score and threw a 13-yard TD pass to Chris Hogan.

The Patriots led 30-13 at halftime and handed a Saints team led by prolific quarterback Drew Brees their second defeat in as many games this season.

It wasn't all good news for New England.

Gronkowski, limited to eight games last season because of injury, appeared to have shaken off the rust as he caught six passes for 116 yards, but he departed the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent groin injury.

Hogan was limping in the second half and receiver Phillip Dorsett left late with a knee injury.

The Patriots' final three scoring drives ended in field goals by Stephen Gostkowski.

Coming off their big season-opening win over the Patriots, the Chiefs got off to a slow start but came alive in the second half for a 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kareem Hunt got loose for a 53-yard TD run with 1:20 left in the third quarter to put the Chiefs up 13-10.

Philadelphia tied the game with 11:57 seconds left in the fourth quarter with a 40-yard field goal from rookie Jake Elliott.

But the Chiefs took the lead for good with a 15-yard TD pass from Alex Smith to tight end Travis Kelce before Hunt plunged over for another TD from two yards out.

In Denver, quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for four TDs as the Broncos dominated the Dallas Cowboys 42-17 in a contest disrupted by threaten of lightning.

Siemian completed 22 of 32 passes for 231 yards. He threw TD passes of 10 and six yards to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and connected with scoring passes to CJ Anderson and Vigil Green.

That was more than enough to counter a fumble and an interception by Siemian that led to Dallas TDs.

Denver's defense rubbed it in as cornerback Aqib Talib returned an interception 102 yards for a TD in the final minute, moving in front of Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott's pass intended for Dez Bryant in the end zone and racing down the sideline to score.

The game was halted in the first quarter for just over an hour because of the threat of lightning in the area.

Injuries hit both teams hard. The Broncos saw rookie left tackle Garett Bolles carted off with a leg injury while Dallas lost two cornerbacks: Nolan Carroll with a concussion and Chidobe Awuzie with a hamstring injury.

AFP

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sits during the US national anthem as teammates running back Thomas Rawls (left) and center Justin Britt stand next to him prior to kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington, on September 17, 2017. Seattle won 12-9.

The Atlanta Falcons, who collapsed spectacularly in the Super Bowl against New England in February, improved to 2-0 with a 34-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

In their first game at their US$1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Falcons built a big lead and made it stand up.

Matt Ryan threw for 252 yards and a TD and Devonta Freeman rushed for 84 yards and two short TDs for Atlanta.

Falcons safety Desmond Trufant, who missed the second half of last season, had a 15-yard fumble return for a TD and set up another TD with an interception in the rematch of last season's NFC championship game.

The Arizona Cardinals erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to post a 16-13 overtime victory over the Colts in Indianapolis.

Phil Dawson, who missed a potential game-winning field goal from 42 yards on the final play of regulation, booted a 30-yard field goal with 8:02 left in the extra period to win it.

He got the chance after Tyrann Mathieu intercepted Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett at the Indianapolis 22-yard line on the first play of overtime.

In Los Angeles, Kirk Cousins connected on an 11-yard TD pass to receiver Ryan Grant with 1:49 to play to lift the Washington Redskins to a 27-20 victory over the Rams.

There was disappointment for Los Angeles' other team, too, as the Chargers, newly relocated from San Diego, dropped their first home game at the StubHub Center 17-19 to the Miami Dolphins.

Cody Parker kicked four field goals, including a 54-yarder with 65 seconds left, for Miami.

San Diego's South Korean-born rookie Koo Young-hoe missed a 44-yard field goal attempt with nine seconds left.


Special Reports
Top