NFL·WEEK 1 ROUNDUP

Bills offence goes quiet in 2nd half as Steelers rally to win

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' new-look offence overcame a slow start, Ulysees Gilbert returned a blocked punt 9 yards for a touchdown and Pittsburgh rallied to a season-opening 23-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Jameis Winston leads Saints to rout over Packers

Derek Watt #44, Miles Killebrew #28, and Jamir Jones #40 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate after a returned blocked punt for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter on Sunday. (Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' new-look offence overcame a slow start, Ulysees Gilbert returned a blocked punt 9 yards for a touchdown and Pittsburgh rallied to a season-opening 23-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Down 10-0, the Steelers scored on each of their first four possessions of the second half, with Roethlisberger putting Pittsburgh ahead for good by lobbing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dionte Johnson in the left corner of the end zone.

The pass initially went off Johnson's fingertips, but the receiver was able to secure the ball before tumbling out of bounds 3:41 into the fourth quarter. The Steelers then extended their lead to 20-10 some 90 seconds later with Miles Killebrew bursting up the middle to block Matt Haack's punt, with Gilbert scooping up the loose ball and running it in untouched.

In opening his 18th — and perhaps final — season, Roethlisberger posted his 36th career fourth-quarter comeback to tie Drew Brees for third on the NFL list. He finished 18 of 32 for 188 yards and a touchdown.

Chris Boswell hit all three field-goal attempts, including a game-sealing 45-yarder with 2:42 remaining.

The Steelers defeated the Bills after losing to them in each of the past two seasons — both times in primetime. 

In a matchup of defending AFC division champs, the Bills produced a dud following an off-season in which many pegged them as Super Bowl contenders.

Buffalo's Allen-led dynamic offence sputtered in resembling nothing of the aggressive unit which set numerous scoring and passing records last year. Allen finished 30 of 51 for 270 yards with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis.

The Bills otherwise settled for Tyler Bass hitting three field goals and, worse still, failed to convert consecutive fourth-down opportunities to open the second half.

Cardinals dominate Titans

Kyler Murray scored five touchdowns and linebacker Chandler Jones had a career-high five sacks as the Arizona Cardinals simply dominated the Tennessee Titans 38-13 Sunday for a big road win to open the season.

Jones, who tied the franchise record, had three sacks in a first quarter so good LeBron James chimed in on social media for his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy. Jones, who wants a new contract, also forced two fumbles the Cardinals turned into 14 points.

Murray tormented the Titans throwing for 289 yards with two TD passes apiece to All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Murray's best pass came came early in the third quarter off his back foot to Kirk on a beautiful floater Kirk simply ran under.

Arizona scored the first 17 points and moved the ball almost at will against Tennessee. Murray either bought time scrambling around until he could find an open receiver or just kept the ball. Murray was so wide open on a keeper he held the ball up almost immediately on a 2-yard TD for a 24-6 lead.

Wilson leads Seattle past Indianapolis

Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes, two to Tyler Lockett, as the Seattle Seahawks opened their season with a 28-16 victory against the host Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Wilson quickly took to new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron's system, putting up a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the opening half when he completed 9 of 11 passes for 166 yards and three TDs in guiding Seattle to a 21-10 lead.

Tight end Gerald Everett scored on a 9-yard catch and wideout DK Metcalf on a 15-yarder for Seattle. The latter, with 6:45 remaining, gave Seattle a 28-10 advantage.

Wilson finished 18 of 23 for 254 yards.

The Seahawks spoiled the Indianapolis debut of quarterback Carson Wentz, acquired by the Colts in an off-season trade with Philadelphia for a pair of draft picks. Wentz, who missed most of training camp because of foot surgery and spent another week in quarantine after close contact with a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19, was 25 of 38 for 251 yards and two touchdowns, both to Zach Pascal.

Saints rout Packers

Jameis Winston tied a career-high with five touchdown passes and New Orleans intercepted Aaron Rodgers twice in the Saints' 38-3 victory in the season opener for both teams Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla.

Winston made his first start for the Saints in the wake of Drew Brees' retirement after a 15-year tenure and passed for just 148 yards, but he completed 14 of 20 with no interceptions in a much more efficient performance than reigning MVP Rodgers had.

Rodgers completed 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards and a 36.8 passer rating before being replaced by Jordan Love in the fourth quarter.

The game was moved to Jacksonville from the Caesars Superdome after Hurricane Ida damaged New Orleans two weeks ago. The Saints have practiced in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since cancelling their preseason finale.

Dolphins hold on to beat Mac Jones' Patriots

Tua Tagovailoa passed for 202 yards and a go-ahead three-yard touchdown to rookie Jaylen Waddle as the Miami Dolphins spoiled Patriots quarterback Mac Jones' NFL debut with a 17-16 win over host New England in the season opener on Sunday afternoon.

Waddle, the No. 6 overall pick in this year's draft, grabbed his first career touchdown catch with 10:51 remaining in the third quarter to put Miami on top for good at 17-10. Nick Folk's 42-yard field goal with 2:50 left in the third and another from 33 yards out at 10:36 of the fourth pulled New England within 17-16.

Tagovailoa, who also had a rushing touchdown, finished 16-for-27 passing and was also intercepted by New England defensive back Jonathan Jones with 8:07 to play in the fourth. Mac Jones and the Patriots drove 41 yards before running back Damien Harris lost a fumble at the Dolphins' 11-yard line.

Waddle finished with four catches for 61 yards and the score and DeVante Parker had four catches for a team-high 81 yards for Miami (1-0).

Mac Jones, the No. 15 overall pick in this year's draft, completed 29 of 39 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown in his pro debut. Harris rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries and Nelson Agholor made five catches for 72 yards and a score for New England (0-1).

Kansas City defeats Cleveland

Patrick Mahomes passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, all in the second half, as Kansas City did not lead until the fourth quarter but edged the Cleveland Browns 33-29.

Cleveland punter Jamie Gillan failed to handle a snap and Kansas City tackled him for a fourth-down loss at the Browns 15. Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce three plays later for an 8-yard touchdown and a 33-29 lead with 7:04 remaining.

The rally gave Kansas City their 15th consecutive September victory as they begin their quest for a third straight AFC title. Mahomes finished 27 of 36, while also throwing an 11-yard TD to Kelce and a 75-yard scoring bomb to Tyreek Hill.

Baker Mayfield played brilliantly, passing for 321 yards while going 21 of 28 to fuel the Browns, who lost at Kansas City in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs last season.

with files from Field Level Media

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