The Andrew Luck era got off to an underwhelming start on Sunday. Luck, the top pick in April's draft, had an inconsistent debut for the Indianapolis Colts while Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears overcame a sluggish start and cruised to a 41-21 victory at Soldier Field. Cutler, who missed the final six games in 2011 with a thumb injury, was intercepted by Jerrell Freeman for a Colts touchdown early in the first quarter but finished with 333 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-35 passing. Offseason acquisition Brandon Marshall, Cutler's former go-to receiver in Denver, dominated to the tune of 119 yards and a score on nine catches. Matt Forte ran for 80 yards and a touchdown while Michael Bush added a pair of short scoring plunges for Chicago (1-0), which went 7-3 under Cutler last season, then lost five of six and missed the playoffs after the signal caller went down. The Colts, of course, finished 2-14 in 2011 and landed the No. 1 overall pick as a result. They cleaned house in the aftermath, jettisoning revered quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the entire season with a neck injury, and bringing in first-time head coach Chuck Pagano. Luck, the first rookie quarterback to start for Indianapolis since Manning in 1998, went 23-for-45 for 309 yards with a touchdown, three interceptions and a fumble. Donald Brown had nine carries for 48 yards and a score and Reggie Wayne had 135 receiving yards for the Colts (0-1). Rookie C.Fleener, Luck's teammate at Stanford, finished with 82 yards on six catches.
Final Score: Philadelphia 17, Cleveland 16
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Michael Vick threw four interceptions, but his touchdown pass to Clay Harbor with 1:18 remaining gave the Philadelphia Eagles a 17-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns in a Week 1 nail-biter. Vick, coming off a career-high 14 interceptions last season, made up for a sloppy 3 1/2 quarters by guiding the Eagles on a 16-play, 91-yard drive that ended in Harbor's 4-yard score. Brandon Weeden, the first Browns rookie to start the season under center in the Super Bowl era, was intercepted for the fourth time on the ensuing possession to seal the outcome. Vick finished with 317 yards on 29-of-56 passing and also threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin, who hauled in seven balls for 96 yards. LeSean McCoy rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries, but accounted for another turnover with a fumble. Last year, the Eagles went 8-8 and missed the postseason for the fourth time in Andy Reid's 13-year tenure as head coach thanks in part because of a -14 turnover margin. Weeden completed just 12-of-35 attempts for 118 yards, while fellow rookie Trent Richardson was held to 39 yards on 19 carries. Cleveland, which went 4-12 in Pat Shurmur's first season as head coach last year, has not won its season opener since 2004.
Final Score: Detroit 27, St. Louis 23
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Matthew Stafford struggled for much of the game, but he shined when it counted as his 5-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Smith with 10 seconds to play led the Detroit Lions to a 27-23 win over the St. Louis Rams in the opener at Ford Field. Stafford was picked off three times in the first half, including one that was returned for a touchdown, but he guided the team on two fourth-quarter touchdowns to give the Lions (1-0) the win in front of the home crowd. Smith had a terrific game as he carried the ball 13 times for 62 yards and a score and added four catches for 29 yards and the winning score for Detroit, which is hoping to build off last season's 10-6 mark that saw the team lose to New Orleans in the playoffs, its first postseason appearance since 1999. Sam Bradford had an efficient game as he went 17-for-25 with 198 yards and a score while Brandon Gibson finished the game with four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown for the Rams (0-1), who went 2-14 last year and have now lost eight straight.
Final Score: Houston 30, Miami 10
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Arian Foster ran for a pair of touchdowns during a 24-point barrage late in the first half, as the Houston Texans opened the season with a 30-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Reliant Stadium. The Texans looked sluggish early and trailed 3-0 midway through the second quarter, but the stout Houston defense forced four consecutive Miami turnovers -- including three interceptions of Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill -- in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the half and the offense took advantage with four scores to turn the game around. Foster, who was questionable for the game because of a knee issue, ran for 79 yards and two scores on 26 carries for Houston (1-0), which is considered a Super Bowl contender after reaching the playoffs for the first time as AFC South champs last year. Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, who missed the final six games of the 2011 regular season and the team's playoff run because of a foot injury, had a nice return. He completed 20-of-31 passes for 266 yards with a touchdown in the victory. After the game, it was announced that Schaub signed a four-year extension with the club. Tannehill, the first Dolphins rookie quarterback to start a season opener, did not look like the second coming of Dan Marino, who was the last Miami quarterback selected with a first-round draft pick. The Texas A&M product, chosen eighth overall in April, threw for 219 yards on 20-of-36 efficiency for a Miami offense that did not produce a touchdown. It was a losing debut for new Miami coach Joe Philbin, who was Green Bay's offensive coordinator last season. The Dolphins (0-1) are coming off a 6-10 mark in 2011 that included an 0-7 start, and are trying to avoid a fourth straight losing season.
Final Score: Atlanta 40, Kansas City 24
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Matt Ryan threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score to lead the Atlanta Falcons to a 40-24 thumping of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Julio Jones hauled in six balls for 108 yards and two touchdowns and Tony Gonzalez caught a touchdown pass against his former team for the Falcons (1-0), who were eliminated in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs by the New York Giants last season. After a strong first half, Matt Cassel finished 21-of-33 for 258 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Dexter McCluster caught six passes for 82 yards and Kevin Boss caught two passes for 36 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown reception for the Chiefs (0-1), who finished 7-9 in 2011. Ryan found Jones in the end zone for an eight-yard score on the game's opening drive.
Final Score: Minnesota 26, Jacksonville 23 (OT)
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Blair Walsh booted a 38-yard field goal in overtime as the Minnesota Vikings edged the Jacksonville Jaguars, 26-23, in the season opener for both teams at Mall of America Field. After Walsh knocked through the game-tying 55-yarder in the closing seconds of regulation, Minnesota won the toss and began the overtime period with the ball at its own 25. Adrian Peterson, playing in his first game since suffering torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee late last season, got the Vikes into Jacksonville territory with a 20-yard run to the 42. Christian Ponder hit Toby Gerhart for eight yards on 3rd-and-13 to get down to the Jags 20, and Walsh easily booted it through the uprights to give his team the lead. As per the new overtime rules, Jacksonville got the ball and needed at least a field goal to keep the game going, but Blaine Gabbert threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-2, sealing the win for the Vikings. Peterson ended his day with 84 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns, while Ponder threw for 270 yards on 20-of-27 passing for the Vikings (1-0), who finished last season 3-13. Percy Harvin led the receiving corps with six receptions for 84 yards and Kyle Rudolph contributed five catches for 67 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew, who ended a lengthy contract hold out last Sunday without a new deal, rushed for 77 yards on 19 carries. Gabbert threw for 260 yards and two scores on 23-of-39 passing for the Jags (0-1), who went 5-11 last season.
Final Score: Washington 40, New Orleans 32
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Robert Griffin III had the best seat in the house as Pierre Garcon scampered 88 yards for Griffin's first NFL touchdown. Making his NFL debut, Griffin threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns on 19- of-26 efficiency as the Washington Redskins held off the New Orleans Saints, 40-32, on Sunday. Late in the first quarter, Griffin took a big hit from safety Malcolm Jenkins before releasing the football downfield on a play- action pass to an open Garcon over the middle at the 30-yard line. Griffin sat on the turf with both arms raised as Garcon, who caught four passes for 109 yards before exiting with a right foot injury, streaked down the left sideline for the score. Griffin added 42 yards on 10 carries for Washington (1-0), which failed to score more than 30 points in any game a year ago. The Saints (0-1), playing in their first regular season game since the fallout from the bounty-gate scandal, were led onto the field by interim head coach Aaron Kromer. He's taking over for Sean Payton, who's banned for the entire 2012 campaign for failing to put a stop to the Saints' scandal overseen by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Joe Vitt will take over the head coaching duties following his six-game suspension. On Friday, a three-team collective bargaining agreement panel overturned the suspensions for four players connected in the program, two of which are current Saint. Defensive end Will Smith started Sunday, while Jonathan Vilma, who continues to heal from a serious knee injury, watched from the sideline. Vilma was originally suspended for the season, while Smith had a four-game ban. Fresh off a new five-year, $100 million deal and one of the most prolific seasons in league history, during which Drew Brees established new NFL marks with 5,476 passing yards and a career-best 46 touchdowns, he completed 24- of-52 passes for 339 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Final Score: NY Jets 48, Buffalo 28
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Mark Sanchez threw three touchdown passes and the New York defense forced four turnovers, as the Jets quickly put a dismal preseason behind them and rolled to a 48-28 victory over the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. The Jets (1-0) didn't score a touchdown in a winless August until the final exhibition game, but proved the preseason doesn't translate to regular-season success ... at least for a week. After throwing an interception on the Jets' first drive, Sanchez played brilliantly behind an offensive line that did not allow a sack all day. He completed 19-of-27 passes for 266 yards with three touchdowns, connecting twice with rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill. Tim Tebow's long-awaited Jets' debut was a quiet one. He appeared in several Wildcat formations, but rushed for just 11 yards on five carries and did not attempt a pass. The New York defense featured interceptions by Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie, as well as a fumble recovery, leading to half of the Jets' scoring output. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions and three touchdown passes for Buffalo (0-1), while C.J. Spiller received the bulk of the carries after starting running back Fred Jackson left the game with a leg injury and ran for 169 yards with a touchdown yards on 14 carries.
Final Score: New England 34, Tennessee 13
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes, Stevan Ridley rushed for a career-high 125 yards with one score and the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots opened their season with a 34-13 win over the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Brady had 236 yards on 23-of-31 passing for New England (1-0), which got two fourth-quarter field goals from Stephen Gostkowski. Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker connected on 23-of-32 passes for 229 yards with one touchdown and one interception before leaving his first NFL start in the fourth quarter with an apparent shoulder injury. Locker, the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft, and wide receiver Nate Washington were hurt on the same play, one that was eventually overturned. Washington was sandwiched by New England rookie safety Tavon Wilson and linebacker Jerod Mayo on a pass deep down the middle of the field. The ball came out following the nasty collision. Locker then grabbed at his left shoulder after tackling safety Patrick Chung, who recovered the fumble and made the return. The ruling of a reception was reversed via a replay review. Matt Hasselbeck replaced Locker and guided the Titans to a 24-yard Rob Bironas field goal. Chris Johnson had only four yards on 11 carries for the Titans (0-1), who won nine games last season, Mike Munchak's first as head coach. Tennessee finished a game behind Houston, the AFC South champs, and missed a wild-card spot on a tiebreaker.
Final Score: Arizona 20, Seattle 16
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Kevin Kolb threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Andre Roberts late in the fourth quarter as the Arizona Cardinals rallied for a 20-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the season opener for both teams at University of Phoenix Stadium. Kolb, taking over for an injured John Skelton mid-drive, went 6-for-8 for 66 yards and a score on the game-winning march. Skelton, who beat Kolb out for the starting job in the preseason, threw for 149 yards and an interception on 14-of-28 passing before leaving the game due to a right ankle injury. Roberts caught five passes for 54 yards and carried the ball once for 15 yards, while LaRod Stephens-Howling rushed for a touchdown for the Cardinals (1-0), who finished 8-8 in 2011. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who was named the starter over Matt Flynn, threw for 153 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 18-of-34 passing. Marshawn Lynch got the start after being limited in practice all week because of back spasms and ran for 85 yards on 21 carries, while Sidney Rice caught four passes for 36 yards and a score for Seattle, which finished 7-9 last season.
Final Score: San Francisco 30, Green Bay 22
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - David Akers made three field goals, including an NFL record-tying 63-yarder, as the San Francisco 49ers made a strong case as the early team to beat in the NFC with a 30-22 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers had won 13 straight regular season home games, but rarely resembled the juggernaut that amassed a franchise-record 560 points during last year's 15-1 campaign. Rather, it was the 49ers who showed last season's 13-3 record and run to the conference championship game was no fluke. Alex Smith threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-26 efficiency for San Francisco (1-0), which had lost nine straight meetings with the Packers (0-1). Randy Moss, signed in the offseason after retiring for a year, caught four passes for 47 yards and a TD, while Frank Gore ran for 112 yards and a score on 16 carries in the win. Aaron Rodgers, the reigning league MVP, tossed for 303 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while completing 30-of-44 attempts. Randall Cobb totaled 77 yards on a team-high nine catches and returned a punt 75 yards for a TD with 11:16 remaining in a highlight-filled fourth quarter.
Final Score: Tampa Bay 16, Carolina 10
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Connor Barth made three field goals and Josh Freeman threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened the Greg Schiano era with a 16-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Freeman completed 16-of-24 passes for 138 yards for the Buccaneers (1-0), who went 4-12 last year. Doug Martin carried the ball 24 times for 95 yards for Tampa Bay, which lost its final 10 games last season. That led to the firing of former coach Raheem Morris. Schiano was hired after a successful 11-year stint at Rutgers University. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, who set a number of records in winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2011, connected on 23-of-33 passes for 303 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Steve Smith caught seven passes for 106 yards for the Panthers (0-1), who went 6-10 last year. Brandon LaFell hauled in three passes for 65 yards and a score. Carolina's running game struggled all day without Jonathan Stewart, who sat out with a right ankle injury. The Panthers had just 10 yards on the ground.
Final Score: Denver 31, Pittsburgh 19
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Peyton Manning threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns in his first game in almost two years to lead the Denver Broncos to a 31-19 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manning, who missed all of the 2011 season after undergoing neck surgery, completed 19-of-26 passes for the Broncos (1-0). Prior to last season, Manning had played 208 consecutive games over 13 years with the Indianapolis Colts without missing a contest. Demaryius Thomas caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Willis McGahee carried the ball 16 times for 64 yards in the victory. Ben Roethlisberger went 22-for-40 through the air for 245 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Pittsburgh (0-1). Antonio Brown paced all Steelers receivers with 74 yards on four catches.