Arian Foster ran for a team record 231 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Houston Texans to a 34-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday as the 2010 NFL season began its Sunday schedule.
Foster's sensational opening-day effort allowed the Texans to end a six-game losing streak against Peyton Manning and the defending AFC champions.
Foster, an undrafted rookie who spent most of last season on the practice squad, had 33 carries in gaining the most yards by a Colts' opponent.
Manning completed 40 of 57 passes for 433 yards and three touchdowns. He threw a 10-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark with 4:54 left to cut Houston's lead to 27-17.
But Foster ran for 41 yards on the Texans' next series and capped his day with an 8-yard TD run.
Redskins 13, Cowboys 7
DeAngelo Hall returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown to end the first half, and the Washington Redskins needed an end-of-game penalty to hold off the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night.
Hall helped forced a fumble by Tashard Choice, scooped up the ball and somersaulted into the end zone for Washington's only touchdown, making both Donovan McNabb and coach Mike Shanahan successful in their Redskins debuts.
The Cowboys had a chance to win on the final play when Tony Romo scrambled to find Roy Williams open for a touchdown, but Alex Barron was called for holding — Dallas's 12th penalty of the game.
McNabb completed 15-of-32 passes for 171 yards for the Redskins (1-0).
Romo was 31 for 41 for 282 yards for the Cowboys (0-1).
Patriots 38, Bengals 24
Tom Brady was back where he's most comfortable, on the field with Wes Welker grabbing touchdown passes.
The headline-making quarterback threw two of his three touchdown passes to Welker, who returned from a serious knee injury, and led the New England Patriots to a 38-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The season-opening victory came just three days after Brady was unhurt in a two-car crash then agreed to a contract making him the NFL's highest paid player.
Bears 19, Lions 14
Jay Cutler had 372 yards passing and threw a late 28-yard touchdown pass to Matt Forte, and the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions 19-14 in the season opener after Calvin Johnson's apparent touchdown catch was ruled an incompletion.
The controversial call came with 25 seconds left, after Johnson outjumped Chicago's Zackary Bowman for what looked like a 25-yard touchdown. He appeared to have gotten both feet down inbound before letting the ball go, but what looked like a game-winner was ruled an incomplete pass by the officials.
That call was upheld by the replay, and after two more incompletions, the Lions walked off the field with their 21st straight road loss.
Jaguars 24, Broncos 17
David Garrard threw three touchdown passes, two to tight end Marcedes Lewis, and Jacksonville beat Denver 24-17 in Jacksonville in a season opener the Jaguars called one of the most important in franchise history.
Garrard completed 16 of 21 passes for 170 yards. A big chunk of those went to Mike Thomas, who caught six passes for 89 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 98 yards.
The Jaguars, coming off a 7-9 season in which they blacked out nine of 10 home games, needed to get off to a good start to keep fans in the seats and eliminate more talk about relocation.
Tim Tebow's debut made a victory even more imperative, especially since some Jaguars fans clamored for the former Florida star.
Steelers 15, Falcons 9 (OT)
Rashard Mendenhall ran 50 yards for a touchdown 2:35 into overtime and the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame a shaky start by replacement quarterback Dennis Dixon and a missed field goal attempt late in regulation to beat the Atlanta Falcons 15-9 in Pittsburgh.
With the Steelers leaning heavily on their running game and defence without suspended star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Mendenhall carried 22 times for 120 yards and the game's only touchdown. Hines Ward made six catches for 108 yards in his club record 26th career 100-yard game.
Pittsburgh (1-0) appeared ready to win it with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but Jeff Reed, who has nine career game-winning kicks, was wide right on a 40-yard attempt. Reed had hit earlier from 52, 36 and 34 yards.
Atlanta (0-1) was limited to three Matt Bryant field goals as the Steelers held running back Michael Turner to 42 yards on 19 carries.
Dolphins 15, Bills 10
Linebacker Karlos Dansby led Miami's new-look defence with eight tackles and a sack, Ronnie Brown scored from a yard out and Dan Carpenter kicked two field goals in leading the Dolphins to a 15-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo.
Miami's top off-season free-agent played a huge role in limiting the Bills to 166 yards on offence as the Dolphins opened the season with a win for the first time in five years.
Brown scored on a one-yard plunge and Carpenter had field goals of 32 and 43 yards.
The Bills supposed new-look offence had a familiar popgun appearance to it in Chan Gailey's debut as coach. Buffalo managed 72 yards on its first nine possessions before Trent Edwards capped an 80-yard drive by hitting Roscoe Parrish on a 31-yard touchdown pass.
Giants 31, Panthers 18
The New York Giants have opened their new $1.6 billion US home by beating the Carolina Panthers 31-18 with a big second half.
Trailing 16-14 at halftime, the Giants surged behind second-year receiver Hakeem Nicks, who caught his third touchdown pass from Eli Manning. Ahmad Bradshaw set up his own four-yard TD run in the fourth quarter with a 39-yard romp that provided the cushion New York needed to get some revenge on Carolina.
The Panthers routed the Giants 41-9 in the hosts' final game at Giants Stadium last December. But Carolina couldn't match New York in the final two quarters before 77,245 fans — considered a sellout despite the unusual sight of hundreds of empty seats in the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Giants could not sell all the club seats, which don't count under league blackout rules.
Titans 38, Raiders 13
Chris Johnson ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns, Vince Young threw for two TDs and Javon Ringer had a TD, and the Tennessee Titans avoided any comparisons to last year's 0-6 start by routing the Oakland Raiders 38-13 in the opener.
Oakland led 3-0 early after a Young fumble. That was the lone bright moment for the Raiders.
Tennessee answered with 24 straight points to take control. The Titans also sacked new Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell four times and forced two turnovers they turned into 10 points.
Johnson, the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year, extended his streak to 12 consecutive 100-yard games by halftime to break a tie with Marcus Allen. He trails only Barry Sanders, who had an NFL-best 14 such games.
Buccaneers 17, Browns 14
Josh Freeman returned from a broken thumb on his throwing hand and had two touchdown passes to carry the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 17-14 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Freeman, the second-year quarterback who missed the past three weeks with the injury, threw a three-yard TD pass to Mike Williams late in the first half. He then found Micheal Spurlock in the end zone for a 33-yard score that put Tampa Bay ahead 17-14 with just under seven minutes to go.
Jake Delhomme guided Cleveland to a 14-3 lead before things unravelled for the Browns, who have not begun a season with a win since 2004 and fell to 1-11 in openers since the club returned as an expansion franchise in 1999.
Seemingly in control and hoping to build onto the lead before halftime, Delhomme threw an ill-advised, sidearm pass that Ronde Barber intercepted and returned 65 yards to the Browns three-yard line. Freeman threw his first TD pass on the next play.\
Packers 27, Eagles 20
Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of touchdown passes, Mason Crosby kicked a team-record 56-yard field goal and the visiting Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 despite a vintage performance by Michael Vick.
In their first game since trading Donovan McNabb to Washington, the Eagles (0-1) started with Kevin Kolb and finished with Vick. Kolb left with a concussion at halftime, so Vick played meaningful snaps for an extended period for the first time in nearly four years.
Vick, a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback during six seasons in Atlanta, invigorated an offence that was awful in the first half. He finished with 175 yards passing and ran for 103.
Seahawks 31, 49ers 8
Matt Hasselbeck threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Seattle Seahawks gave new coach Pete Carroll a winning start with a 31-8 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Carroll left Southern California after last season and is back coaching in the NFL for the first time in 11 years.
The Seahawks trailed 6-0 and ran just seven plays for 11 yards in the first 1½ quarters, then outscored San Francisco 31-0 the rest of the way.
Jordan Babineaux and Marcus Trufant each intercepted 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, with Trufant returning his 32 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to give Seattle a 21-6 lead.
Smith completed nine of his first 10 passes, then missed 12 of his next 21 as San Francisco continued to struggle on the road. The 49ers are 4-10 on the road under coach Mike Singletary.
Cardinals 17, Rams 13
Larry Fitzgerald caught a 21-yard touchdown pass for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter, helping the Arizona Cardinals spoil a solid debut by No. 1 pick Sam Bradford in opening victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Derek Anderson hung in the pocket despite taking a pounding from the St. Louis pass rush, going 22 for 41 for 297 yards in his first start as the replacement for the retired Kurt Warner. Steve Breaston caught seven passes for 132 yards and Tim Hightower and LaRod Stephens-Howling combined for 103 yards rushing for an offence without Beanie Wells (knee).
The Rams (0-1) displayed daring on Bradford's 1-yard touchdown pass to Laurent Robinson on the final play of the half to tie it at 10.