Jimmy Garoppolo had three, first-half touchdown passes before leaving in the second quarter with a right shoulder injury as the New England Patriots outlasted the Miami Dolphins 31-24 on Sunday.
It was the Patriots’ eighth straight home victory over Miami (0-2). It came at a price as New England (2-0) was dealt another blow at quarterback with Tom Brady already out his four-game “Deflategate” suspension.
Garoppolo’s injury came in a flash. On third down with less than five minutes left in the first half, he was chased out of the pocket and got off a completion to Malcolm Mitchell. Garoppolo was driven into the ground on his shoulder by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Garoppolo initially got up, before going down to one knee and being attended to by the training staff. He ended his day 18 of 27 for 234 yards and the three scores.
He was replaced by rookie Jacoby Brissett, who led New England to a touchdown on its first possession of the second half. Brissett was 6 of 9 for 92 yards. LeGarrette Blount rushed 29 times for 123 yards and a touchdown. Martellus Bennett also had five catches 114 and a touchdown.
Giants 16, Saints 13
Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz on a third-down 34-yard pass to set up Josh Brown’s winning 23-yard field goal as time expired in East Rutherford, N.J., to give New York its first 2-0 start since 2009.
Brown’s third field goal capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive that featured two key third-down passes by Manning and a pass interference call on a pass to Odell Beckham Jr.
The Saints rallied to tie it twice in the fourth quarter. A 17-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Willie Snead IV evened things at 10 early in the quarter. After Brown, who returned from a one-game suspension, gave New York a 13-10 lead with a 19-yard field goal on the next series, Brees led an eight-play, 47-yard drive that ended with Will Lutz kicking a 45-yarder to tie it with 2:54 to play.
Panthers 46, 49ers 27
Cam Newton threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns, and Carolina overcame four turnovers to win its home opener.
Newton threw two TD passes to Kelvin Benjamin and one each to Greg Olsen and Devin Funchess to pass Jake Delhomme for most TD passes in franchise history with 122.
Newton showed no ill effects from the four helmet-to-helmet hits he took in Carolina’s season-opening loss to Denver. He took one shot to the head from linebacker Eli Harold late in the game after a pitchout on an option play, but quickly got to his feet.
Newton’s first pass was tipped and intercepted by Antoine Bethea, leading to a 49ers field goal. But the 2015 league MVP locked in after that, completing 24 of 40 passes while running for 37 yards on six carries.
Olsen gave the Panthers the lead for good in the second quarter when he hauled in a career-long 78-yard touchdown pass from Newton after the 49ers bit hard on play-action. That left the Pro Bowl tight end wide open on a seam route. Olsen finished with five catches for 122 yards.
Steelers 24, Bengals 16
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns to offset a pair of interceptions as Pittsburgh beat visiting Cincinnati.
DeAngelo Williams churned out 94 yards on a career-high 32 carries and added a four-yard touchdown grab with 6:48 remaining to give the Steelers all the breathing room they would need. Tight ends Jesse James and Xavier Grimble also caught scoring passes from Roethlisberger as the Steelers (2-0) kept Cincinnati in check at rainy Heinz Field.
Andy Dalton passed for 366 yards and a touchdown but needed 31 completions to reach that total, working almost exclusively on dump offs to running backs and tight ends while Pittsburgh clamped down on star wide receiver A.J. Green, who had just two receptions for 38 yards.
The rematch of the Steelers’ ugly 18-16 win in the wild-card round in January was downright tame. The teams combined for just 10 penalties and only one personal foul, a marked departure from that chaotic night in Cincinnati nine months ago.
Broncos 34, Colts 20
Von Miller gave the hometown fans a reminder of his Super Bowl 50 MVP performance, sweeping in for the sack-strip of Andrew Luck that sealed the win in Denver.
With the Broncos clinging to a six-point lead with 1:51 remaining, Miller burst past right tackle Joe Reitz and swiped the ball from Luck’s grasp. Fellow linebacker Shane Ray scooped up the ball and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown.
They did it by rattling Luck, who started five for 18 before he engineered a couple of second-half touchdown drives. Luck completed just 21 of 40 passes for 197 yards and was sacked five times.
Trevor Siemian outshone Luck, just as he did Cam Newton in the opener. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 266 yards.
Cornerback Aqib Talib returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, giving Denver a 23-13 lead.
Cardinals 40, Buccaneers 7
Carson Palmer threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns and Arizona intercepted four passes by Jameis Winston during the rout in Glendale, Ariz.
Marcus Cooper, acquired off waivers from Kansas City on Sept. 2, had two interceptions, returning the second 60 yards for a score. Winston also fumbled the ball away once.
Winston, who had four touchdown passes against Atlanta in the opener and was NFC player of the week, threw 51 passes, the most in his two NFL seasons, completing 27 for 243 yards.
Palmer completed 18 of 31 passes with no interceptions before sitting out most of the fourth quarter.
All three of Palmer’s scoring passes came in the first half,— to Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Jaron Brown.
The Cardinals (1-1), coming off a season-opening home loss to New England, scored two touchdowns in a 1:16 span in the final two minutes of the first half for a 24-0 lead into the break.
Winston had an especially rough first 30 minutes, completing 11 of 20 for 77 yards with two interceptions and a fumble.
Cowboys 27, Redskins 23
Alfred Morris scored the go-ahead touchdown on a four-yard run with less than five minutes left to lead Dallas Cowboys victory over his former team in Landover, Md., after Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw an end-zone interception.
Prescott finished 22 for 30 for 292 yards.
Morris was drafted by Washington in 2012 and played his first four seasons there. But his role was reduced last year and he was allowed to leave as a free agent. His first TD in a Cowboys uniform capped an 80-yard drive that started when Barry Church picked off a pass from Cousins intended for Pierre Garcon.
Cousins went 28 for 46 for 364 yards, with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder in the third quarter that gave Washington its first lead, 17-13 in the third quarter.
Ravens 25, Browns 20
Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Mike Wallace and Baltimore rallied from a 20-point deficit to win in Cleveland.
Justin Tucker kicked three field goals — the last with 2:56 left — and the Ravens (2-0), who trailed 20-0 in the first quarter, withstood Cleveland’s final drive to improve to 15-2 against the Browns under coach John Harbaugh.
Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted Browns quarterback Josh McCown at the goal line with 13 seconds left to seal the win.
Baltimore was a point from trailing by three touchdowns in the opening quarter before blocking an extra point and returning it for two points and igniting the comeback.
McCown stayed in the game despite an injured left shoulder for the Browns (0-2), who were hurt by a missed field goal and three costly penalties in the fourth quarter.
Texans 19, Chiefs 13
DeAndre Hopkins had 113 yards receiving and a touchdown and Nick Novak kicked four field goals, helping Houston to the win over visiting Kansas City.
Novak connected from 32, 24, 31 and 43 yards for the Texans.
Cairo Santos made three field goals in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 19-12, but Houston recovered the onside kick with less than a minute left to seal the victory.
The Texans (2-0) showed that they are a much different team than the one that was embarrassed in a 30-0 wild-card playoff loss to the Chiefs (1-1) in January, when quarterback Brian Hoyer had five turnovers.
New quarterback Brock Osweiler did throw two interceptions but the Chiefs had more trouble taking care of the ball, with Houston’s defense setting a franchise record by recovering three fumbles in the first half.
Titans 16, Lions 15
Marcus Mariota converted a fourth down with a perfectly lofted nine-yard pass to Andre Johnson with 1:13 left, lifting Tennessee to the victory at Detroit.
Mariota dropped the pass over linebacker Tahir Whitehead to Johnson just before safety Rafael Bush could get to the veteran receiver to potentially break up the pass.
The Titans (1-1) ended a five-game losing streak, dating to last December, after Mariota threw two TD passes in the fourth quarter after trailing 15-3.
The Lions (1-1) had an opportunity to drive for a second straight game-winning field goal, but Matthew Stafford threw an interception to Perrish Cox at midfield in the final minute. They had won seven of nine, dating to midway through the 2015 season.