Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wilson's escape act helps Seahawks top 49ers 12-9

 After 7 1/2 quarters of offensive inefficiency, the Seattle Seahawks finally broke the seal on the goal line.
It took some more magic from quarterback Russell Wilson to make it happen and avoid an 0-2 start.
Wilson avoided two potential sacks and found Paul Richardson in the front corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown with 7:06 left and the Seahawks held on for an unsightly 12-9 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
It was an offensive nightmare as both teams had combined for 14 total quarters without a touchdown this season before the Seahawks finally broke through. Wilson avoided Arik Armstead in the pocket and got his pass away before DeForest Buckner could pull him down. Seattle (1-1) snapped a streak of more than 112 minutes without a touchdown, despite missing on opportunities twice inside the 49ers' 10-yard line earlier in the game.
"We had to find a way to get into the end zone and capitalize," Wilson said. "We had been down there a few times earlier in the game and missed our opportunities there, so this was all we got. We've got to go make it happen right now."
Wilson was erratic at times and magical at the end. He was 23 of 39 passing for 198 yards. He rushed for another 34 yards, 27 coming on the decisive scoring drive. Wilson was 4 of 5 on the drive and aided by a 20-yard pass interference penalty against Dontae Johnson.
Richardson suffered a dislocated right ring finger in the first quarter that popped through the skin. The finger was put back in place and the skin stitched up so he could return and eventually made the winning catch.
"That was the goal once I got it sewed up, still go win," Richardson said. "I wasn't just trying to get out there, `Oh he's tough, he's finishing out the game.' I wanted to go make a difference."
Blair Walsh added field goals of 25 and 27 yards, but missed the extra point after Richardson's TD that could have given the Seahawks a four-point lead. The 49ers (0-2) only needed a field goal to tie but never got into position to have an opportunity.
San Francisco went three-and-out after the touchdown, punted and never got the ball back.
"I'm not happy at all. I'm extremely disappointed," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Anytime you as a team think you put yourself in a position to win the game, you expect to win it. I felt like we had that opportunity and we didn't get it done which is extremely disappointing."
Robbie Gould kicked three field goals to amount for San Francisco's output. Carlos Hyde rushed for 124 yards, including a 61-yard run in the first half, but Brian Hoyer was 15 of 27 for 99 yards passing and an interception.
San Francisco took the lead on Gould's 34-yard field goal with 11:36 to play, but was unable to hold off Seattle's final drive.
Seattle should have found the end zone earlier, but had dropped passes on two drives inside the 49ers' 10 in the first half. C.J. Prosise dropped a potential touchdown near the goal line on Seattle's first drive. Tanner McEvoy was unable to corral a high pass from Wilson in the end zone on the second drive.
For the first time in franchise history, the 49ers have gone the first two weeks of the season without scoring a touchdown. In the two games, the 49ers have had one offensive drive inside the opponents' 10-yard line.
"It's only two games. We have a whole lot of games left," Hyde said.
Rookie Chris Carson rushed for 93 yards, including 58 yards in the fourth quarter. Carson was Seattle's primary option as Thomas Rawls had his amount of carries limited in his first game after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the preseason. Carson had 20 carries, while Rawls had just five.
San Francisco lost safety Eric Reid to a knee injury in the third quarter. Reid appeared to hurt his left knee in the first half and sat the rest of the half before returning in the third quarter. He lasted about five minutes before walking off the field with trainers again.
Seattle running back Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch for Sunday's game. It was a surprise absence as Lacy had not appeared on any injury reports. Like much of Seattle's offense, Lacy struggled to get going in the opener against Green Bay and was limited to 3 yards on five carries.
49ers: San Francisco has a quick turnaround and will host the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.
Seahawks: Seattle will make its second long road trip of the season, traveling to Tennessee next Sunday.

Cousins, Thompson lead Redskins to 27-20 win vs Rams

Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant with 1:49 to play to give the Washington Redskins a 27-20 victory Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams and rookie head coach Sean McVay.
Cousins capped the winning 70-yard drive by finding Grant in the front left corner of the end zone.
The Rams had tied the game at 20 on Greg Zuerlein's 40-yard field goal with 7:16 to play. It was set up on a trick play, when punter Johnny Hekker completed a 28-yard pass to Josh Reynolds to the Washington 17. But two penalties stalled the drive and the Rams had to settle for the field goal.
Chris Thompson scored on runs of 61 and 7 yards for the Redskins (1-1).
Mason Foster sealed it with 1:37 to go by intercepting Jared Goff.
Cousins had a much better day than in a season-opening loss to Philadelphia, when he had three turnovers. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown, with no interceptions.
McVay, 31, worked for the Redskins for seven seasons, including the last three as offensive coordinator under Jay Gruden, before being hired by the Rams as the youngest head coach in modern league history.
Despite McVay's familiarity with the Redskins, it didn't translate into a win for the Rams (1-1).
Washington was in control most of the afternoon, including jumping ahead 13-0 early in the second quarter after Thompson took a toss and ran in from 7 yards, getting the ball just inside the pylon.
Late in the second half, on second-and-6 from the Washington 39, Thompson took a delayed handoff from Cousins out of the shotgun and burst through the defense for his long TD run and a 20-10 lead.
The Rams, who didn't look near as sharp as they did in routing Indianapolis a week earlier, made a game of it thanks to a spectacular play by Todd Gurley.
Midway through the third quarter, Gurley caught a swing pass from Goff, hurdled cornerback Bashaud Breelandand then reached for the pylon to complete the 18-yard play and pull the Rams to 20-17.
Gurley also scored on a 1-yard run midway through the third quarter. His fumble helped set up a 22-yard field goal by Washington's Dustin Hopkins in the second quarter.
With the Redskins trying to add to a 20-17 lead late in the third quarter, Hopkins' 51-yard attempt bounced off the right upright.
Goff didn't have nearly the day he did a week earlier, when he threw for a career-high 306 yards to get his first win as an NFL starter. He was 15 of 25 for 224 yards, with one TD and one interception.
Washington: Starting RB Rob Kelley suffered a rib injury midway through the second quarter and didn't return. ... Foster hurt his right shoulder late in the second quarter. ... TE Jordan Reed suffered a chest injury in the third quarter. ... S Montae Nicholson hurt a shoulder in the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles: TE Gerald Everett suffered a thigh injury in the third quarter.
Washington: The Redskins host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.
Los Angeles: The Rams play their NFC West opener at San Francisco on Thursday night.

Siemian, Broncos crush Elliott, Cowboys 42-17

 Aqib Talib's 103-yard interception return for a touchdown with 53 seconds left was the final indignity for the Cowboys in the Denver Broncos' 42-17 blowout of Dallas and its vaunted offense on Sunday.
It was Talib's 10th pick-6, just two shy of Darren Woodson's NFL record.
"No. 10," relished Talib. "It's just mind-boggling."
Sort of like Denver's defensive dominance of Dallas and its vaunted offense.
Ezekiel Elliott had the worst game of his career with nine carries for 8 yards, Dallas managed just 40 yards rushing and one first down on the ground. The Cowboys (1-1) went 3-for-14 on third downs and failed three times on fourth down, looking nothing like the team that dominated the Giants in their opener.
"I want to emphasize today, this is not what we're about in my view," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "I feel strongly about that. On the other hand, this is what Denver is about."
The only big blemish in Denver's fifth straight 2-0 start was the apparently serious injury to their top draft pick, left tackle Garett Bolles, who left the stadium on crutches and with a boot on his left foot after getting hurt in the third quarter.
With the stadium still rocking in the final minute, Talib stepped in front of Dez Bryant, who had earlier beaten him for a TD, snared Dak Prescott's fourth-down pass and raced up the Dallas' dejected sideline.
He slipped Cole Beasley's tackle and followed linebacker Brandon Marshall's beautiful block of Prescott into the south end zone, where he jumped into the stands, exhausted by enjoying every last bit of what he called "an all-around complete ballgame from the Broncos."
Trevor Siemian tied a career high with four touchdown passes in a game that included an hour-long lightning delay that did nothing to slow Denver's rolling offense.
"We knew they were sound in the secondary," Jones said. "We were a little taken aback by how well they did offensively. "They seemed to really have our number. There's no excuses here. Their quarterback played outstanding."
Elliott, who's playing while his appeal of a six-game suspension for domestic violence works its way through the courts, came into the game averaging 108 yards rushing per game and more than 5 yards a carry in his career.
"We just were getting dominated up front," said Elliott, whose previous worst game was a 51-yarder in his NFL debut against the Giants last year. "We couldn't get any movement off the ball."
The star in the backfield on this day was C.J. Anderson, who rushed for 118 yards and a score and also caught a TD pass.
Thanks in part to Von Miller, who had two sacks, the Cowboys lost for the sixth straight time to the Broncos.
Siemian threw scoring strikes of 10 and 6 yards to Emmanuel Sanders as the Broncos built a 21-10 halftime lead. The Cowboys were lucky to be that close after a first half in which they managed just five first downs, converted one third down and were outgained 246 yards to 97.
The only touchdown for Dallas came on a 3-yard drive after DeMarcus Lawrence's strip sack of Siemian after beating right tackle Menelik Watson. Bryant beat Talib for the score two plays after Maliek Collins scooped up the loose ball at the Denver 3.
SUSPECT SECONDARY: The Cowboys began the day without their top cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, who broke his left hand last week, and they lost rookie Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) and Nolan Carroll (concussion) in the first half.
Denver scored on its first drive when Siemian found Sanders for a 10-yard strike , and the Broncos were driving for another score but Brandon McManus pushed a 49-yarder wide right, his second miss in three attempts since signing his contract extension Monday.
LIGHTNING DELAY : The game was delayed by lightning for 62 minutes in the first quarter. The Cowboys were at midfield with 33 seconds left in the first quarter when the teams were told to head to their locker rooms and fans retreated to the concourses.
Broncos coach Vance Joseph said they turned off the air conditioning and turned on the TVs to watch some football during the delay.
Miller joked that they spent it dancing and playing games.
"Connect Four, we had some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," Miller said. "We had a couple of rock-paper-scissors in there, turned on the music for a dance contest. ... Just came in, danced around."
Actually, Miller didn't even do any of his usual dances after his sacks, but he did raise his arms after ending his career-high five-game sackless streak, which came after he'd been flagged twice for jumping offside.
"You think he was getting antsy?" Joseph said.
SPLIT ALLEGIANCES : DeMarcus Ware was the honorary alumni captain for the coin toss between the game pitting his former teams. He said he was thrilled to have played for both teams, but would always root for Miller.
Ware retired in January after nine years in Dallas and three seasons in Denver because of chronic back problems. He acknowledged he considered coming out of retirement when Broncos linebacker Shane Rayinjured a wrist early in training camp but decided to stick with his new gig working for the NFL Network.
"I've played enough football," he said.

Marshawn Lynch runs for TD in Raiders' 45-20 win over Jets

 Marshawn Lynch's Oakland homecoming turned into a dance party .
Lynch celebrated his first home game for his hometown team by running for a touchdown and delighting the fans with a lengthy sideline dance in the fourth quarter of the Raiders 45-20 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
"That's Marshawn being Marshawn, playing for his hometown team," left tackle Donald Penn said. "If you grow up as a kid and grow up rooting for a team and then you get to play for them, wouldn't that be a dream? I'm just happy for him. He's living a childhood dream."
Lynch ran for 45 yards on 12 carries, scoring on a 2-yard run late in the first half. He kept the ball and said after the game he plans to give it to his mother. He then generated perhaps even bigger cheers during a sideline dance that was shown on the videoboard during a stoppage in the fourth quarter, prompting cheers of "Beast Mode! Beast Mode!"
"It got me fired up," coach Jack Del Rio said. "You can see the pure passion that he has. These are his people. These are my people. He played well. I know he was really happy to have his first game go like that."
Moments like these were why Lynch decided to come out of retirement this offseason. He made his decision after the Raiders announced plans to move to Las Vegas in 2020. Lynch said he wanted to give something back to his hometown fans and he delivered in a big way.
He was greeted with loud cheers in pregame introductions and that continued throughout the game.
His teammates provided many more things to cheer. Derek Carr threw three touchdown passes to Michael Crabtree, and Cordarrelle Patterson and Jalen Richard each added long touchdown runs to help give the Raiders (2-0) wins in the opening two games of the season for the first time since their AFC championship season in 2002.
Josh McCown threw a pair of TD passes to Jermaine Kearse , but the Jets (0-2) proved to be no match for the more powerful and talented Raiders.
The Raiders vaunted offensive line won the matchup against New York's front four , allowing no sacks and helping clear holes for a 180-yard rushing performance.
"As a defense, our job is to stop the run," defensive tackle Kony Ealy said. "It's very frustrating to do that. Nobody to blame but ourselves. We've got to look in the mirror and stop that problem ourselves."
Oakland wore down the Jets and got a 43-yard touchdown run by Patterson late in the third quarter and a 52-yarder by Richard early in the fourth that made it 35-13.
CARR TO CRAB: Carr and Crabtree were in sync all game. With the Jets looking for a run from Lynch from the 2 in the first quarter, Carr found Crabtree on a fade for a TD . The two connected again on a 26-yard score in the second quarter and then a 1-yarder in the fourth quarter that made it 42-13.
MOMENTUM SHIFT: After falling behind 14-0, the Jets got back into the game and were set to take possession late in the first half trailing by only four. But Kalif Raymond dropped a punt that Johnny Holton recovered for Oakland at the 4. Three plays later, Lynch ran it in from the 2 to make it 21-10 at the half.
"You've got a job to do, then you've got to go back there and do it," Raymond said. "I think it was a big change in the game. It's definitely one I wish I could have back."
FLAG DAY: The Raiders were a little overaggressive. They committed three unnecessary roughness penalties and one unsportsmanlike conduct foul in the first half, helping extend the drives that led to 10 points for the Jets. The culprits were Lee SmithJon FelicianoBruce Irvin and Marquel Lee.
INJURIES: With their top two tight ends Eric Tomlinson and Jordan Leggett out with injuries, the Jets often used six or even seven lineman to make up for their absence. ... New York G Brian Winters (abdomen) and LB Freddie Bishop (ankle) were hurt during the game. ... Raiders CB Sean Smith was out with a neck injury, giving rookie Gareon Conley lots of playing time in his debut.
Jets: host Miami on Sunday in their home opener.
Raiders: travel to Washington for a Sunday night game.

Dolphins hold on to spoil Chargers' LA debut, 19-17

 The Miami Dolphins felt they had won one for hurricane-ravaged South Florida in their belated season opener.
Cody Parkey hit his fourth field goal from 54 yards with 1:05 to play, and the Dolphins rallied in the fourth quarter to spoil the Los Angeles Chargers' home opener with a 19-17 victory Sunday.
Younghoe Koo missed a 44-yard field goal attempt with 5 seconds left after Philip Rivers maneuvered the Chargers (0-2) into scoring range in the final minute before a crowd of 25,381 in their first home game since relocating to the Los Angeles area after 56 seasons in San Diego.
Jay Cutler passed for 230 yards and Jay Ajayi rushed for 122 for the Dolphins, who spent the past nine days in California after leaving Miami early to avoid Hurricane Irma.
With "ONE FLORIDA" decals on their helmets and their hometown in their hearts, the Dolphins grinded through a tight game and then celebrated wildly when Koo pushed his kick barely right.
"I think adversity shows character, and here we are," Miami defensive end Cameron Wake said. "It definitely has been a crazy past few days. Every so often, something happens that puts things in perspective. Football takes a back seat for a while, but once we weathered the storm and got out ... we were just trying to get back to normal."
The Dolphins were well-rested after their home opener against Tampa Bay was postponed, leaving them to play their latest season opener since 1977. Parkey still did most of the Dolphins' scoring, connecting from 30, 28 and 35 yards before burying his longest kick in the waning moments.
Kenny Stills caught a 29-yard TD pass in the third quarter from Cutler, who went 24 of 33 without an interception in his Dolphins debut.
"There's definitely an edge to this team," said Cutler, who came out of retirement to take over for injured Ryan Tannehill. "This team doesn't get down. It just bounces right back."
Rivers passed for 331 yards, and Antonio Gates set an NFL record with his 112th touchdown reception as a tight end, breaking his tie with Tony Gonzalez.
The dynamic duo couldn't prevent the Chargers from taking yet another agonizing loss: They've dropped 11 games by eight points or fewer since the start of last season, three more than any other NFL team.
"I believe we will figure out how to win these close games," said Anthony Lynn, whose first head coaching victory will have to wait at least another week.
Melvin Gordon scored the Chargers' first touchdown in their new home from 1 yard in the second quarter.
Parkey's 35-yard field goal trimmed Los Angeles' lead to one point with 6:28 to play, and Miami's defense held. The Dolphins got the ball back near midfield with 3:02 left and set up another big kick from Parkey, the Jupiter, Florida, native claimed off waivers two weeks ago.
Rivers and the Chargers moved 54 yards in 52 seconds to set up Koo, whose potential game-tying field goal was blocked in Denver last week.
The undrafted rookie kicker beat out maligned Josh Lambo for this job in the preseason, but he missed two more field goals against the Dolphins.
"Losing two tough ones down at the buzzer, we can be sick about it for a little while," Rivers said. "But we've got a division opponent (Kansas City) coming in here that isn't going to feel any sympathy. We've got to be ready to go."
The Chargers' latest last-minute loss dampened the festivities around a fresh start for the franchise, which brought five members of its inaugural 1960 Los Angeles Chargers to its temporary home at 27,000-seat StubHub Center, which was packed with a lively mix of both opponents' fans - just like at most games in San Diego in recent years.
Dolphins: LB Lawrence Timmons was inactive after unexpectedly leaving the team during the weekend. He was expected to start this season for the Dolphins, who signed him to a $12 million deal after he spent the past 10 years with Pittsburgh.
Chargers: Starting CB Jason Verrett was unable to play because of pain in his surgically repaired knee.
Dolphins: After traveling home for a week of practice at their undamaged training complex in Davie, they'll travel to New York to face the Jets.
Chargers: A three-game homestand continues with that visit from the Chiefs, who have beaten their AFC West rivals six straight times.

Ultimate NHL News September 17

Golden Knights rout Canucks 9-4 in first preseason game

By the time the Elvis Presley impersonator singing tunes between whistles had left the building, the NHL's newest franchise was already well on its way to victory in its first exhibition game.
Tyler Wong scored three times and added an assist to help the expansion Vegas Golden Knights rout the Vancouver Canucks 9-4 on Sunday. Wong scored the first exhibition goal in club history.
"It's a huge honor," Wong said. "The city's very excited to get a team. To be a part of excitement like that is something special. It's a pretty cool moment for all of us."
The Golden Knights dressed a roster of mostly prospects and fringe NHLers, leaving behind the likes of forwards James NealJonathan MarchessaultDavid Perron and Cody Eakin, defensemen Brayden McNabb and Deryk Engelland, and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
In the spirit of Vegas' debut, the Elvis impersonator sang classics like "Viva Las Vegas" and "Burning Love" during some of the TV timeouts at Rogers Arena for some added Sin City flair to what was, for the most part, a sloppy game.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity being able to be part of an expansion team," said Golden Knights forward Cody Glass, the sixth pick in the draft this summer. "I'm just trying to take it all in."
Vegas coach Gerard Gallant was happy with the way his youngsters performed, but like his players, also took the opportunity to soak in the moment.
"We had two rookie games last week, but this is the first real NHL game," Gallant said. "The first time stepping on the ice was real good and you do feel good about it."
Tomas Hyka scored twice, Tomas Nosek had a goal and two assists, and Nick Suzuki added a goal and an assist. Paul Thompson and Alex Tuch also scored, Brad Hunt chipped in with three assists, and Glass had two assists.
Wearing their road white uniforms with grey, gold and red trim, along with black pants and white and gold gloves, the Golden Knights survived a 5-on-3 power play for 1:44 early in the first period before Wong opened the scoring. The winger collected a chipped feed from Glass on a power play, cut down the right and beat goalie Richard Bachman with a short-side backhander at 4:58.
"The puck was finding me in good spots," said Wong, who had 43 goals and 46 assists in 72 games last season in junior with the Lethbridge Hurricanes last season and signed as an undrafted free agent. "I was able to bury them."
Brock Boeser scored twice and had an assist for Vancouver. Philip Holm and Jordan Subban also scored.
Almost all of the Canucks' veterans were on a charter plane on their way to China for games against the Los Angeles Kings in Beijing and Shanghai. Trent Cull, the head coach of the Canucks' AHL affiliate in Utica, New York, was behind the bench, with Travis Green and his assistants on their way to China.
The Golden Knights will play three more times on the road before their first preseason home game Sept. 26 against Los Angeles.
"I hope (Vegas fans) don't expect that every night," Gallant said. "It's a lot of fun in our market and I am sure they are going to enjoy that, but it's an exhibition game."

Winston, Buccaneers' defense shine in 29-7 rout of Bears

So much for the notion that a Hurricane Irma-imposed layoff might hinder the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Chicago Bears.
Jameis Winston and Co. played like a team with heightened expectations in winning their season opener 29-7 on Sunday. They also looked confident, fully capable of ending a long playoff drought.
"Complementary football at its finest," the third-year quarterback said. "Defense played phenomenal. Offense had great drives, eliminated the three-and-outs, and eliminated turnovers."
Winston threw for 204 yards and one touchdown, the Bucs' defense stymied former teammate Mike Glennon with four turnovers, and the sloppy Bears (0-2) didn't get into the zone until Deonte Thompson scored on a 14-yard reception with 1:43 remaining.
"Basically, not a good day at the office," Bears coach John Fox said. "I think any time you go out and have four giveaways in the first half, it's not good news."
The Bucs (1-0) dominated despite having a short week of practice following the massive storm that forced postponement of the team's scheduled season opener at Miami.
The team joined the Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars in wearing "ONE FLORIDA" decals on their helmets Sunday. First responders who've worked tirelessly in the aftermath of Irma were among special guests in the announced crowd of 56,640 at Raymond James Stadium.
"We had a chip on our shoulder. ... We wanted to be a pick-me-up for our fans, definitely the cities around the Tampa Bay area," Winston said. "It was fun out there. The crowd was electric, and we tried our best."
Winston completed 18 of 30 passes without an interception. He threw a 13-yard TD pass to Mike Evans, who had seven catches for 93 yards.
Glennon, who signed with Chicago as a free agent last winter, was 31 of 45 for 301 yards and two interceptions in his return to the city where he played for the first four years of his career . The Bears finished with 310 yards total offense, 1 yard less than a Bucs offense that hasn't had much work in the past month.
By the time he lined up to face the Bears, Winston hadn't taken a snap in a game in three weeks. Eight regulars, including Evans, receiver DeSean Jackson, linebacker Kwon Alexander and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, hadn't seen game action in a month.
The Bucs insisted, though, that they would not use rustiness as an excuse if they had a less-than-sharp debut. The way the Bears played, the layoff never had a chance to become an issue.
After opening the season with a solid performance in a 23-17 loss to defending NFC champion Atlanta , the Bears turned over the ball four times in the opening half, helping Winston build a 26-0 halftime lead.
If Chicago had an advantage entering the game, it figured to be Glennon's knowledge of the Tampa Bay defense. The fifth-year pro faced it in practice every day the past four seasons, the last two as Winston's backup.
And while the Bears did have some success moving the ball, the barrage of turnovers was too much to overcome.
Glennon's first-half miscues led to two touchdowns. Rookie Tarik Cohen's ill-advised decision to scoop a punt off the ground and run with it deep in Bears territory set up Tampa Bay's first TD, Winston's 13-yard pass to Evans.
Noah Spence sacked Glennon, forcing a second-quarter fumble that led to Jacquizz Rodgers' 1-yard TD run. Robert McClain's interception and 46-yard return up the sideline on Chicago's next possession hiked the lead to 23-0.
"Obviously not what I had envisioned or hoped. Ultimately it shows how precious taking care of the football is," Glennon said.
"Four turnovers in the first half, you're not going to win many football games," the Bears quarterback added. "Three of those fall on me, and ultimately I have to do a better job taking care of the football and giving us a chance to win."
The Bucs limited the Bears to 20 yards rushing. While part of that could be attributed to Chicago falling behind early, it's fair to note that Cohen and Jordan Howard didn't have much room to run when they did get the ball. Cohen gained 13 yards on seven attempts, with 9 coming on one carry. Howard, who topped 100 yards during a lopsided loss to Tampa Bay last season, finished with 7 yards on nine attempts. As a tandem, Cohen and Howard averaged 1.3 yards per carry.
Jackson was Tampa Bay's big offseason acquisition. The speedy receiver, who had a 21-yard reception and finished with three catches for 39 yards, was signed in free agency in hopes of making the offense more explosive.
Bears: OL Tom Compton (hip) and LB Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral) did not play in the second half.
Buccaneers: Alexander, who had Tampa Bay's first interception, left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return.
Bears: Return home to face Pittsburgh.
Buccaneers: Play road opener at Minnesota, which played Sunday without QB Sam Bradford

Steelers shut down Bradford-less Vikings in 26-9 victory

 Ben Roethlisberger took a knee in prayer then sprinted to midfield holding the flag honoring the man who helped guide the Pittsburgh Steelers from irrelevance into a dynasty. Five months after longtime president and chairman Dan Rooney's death, the Steelers won a game like so many during his tenure.
Their 26-9 victory over short-handed Minnesota during an emotionally draining home opener on Sunday was an awful lot like Rooney himself. Workmanlike. Pragmatic. Decidedly unflashy. Relentlessly effective.
Afterward the players presented the game ball to current team president Art Rooney II, Dan's son, who promised it would find its way to his mother Patricia.
"It was special," Roethlisberger said.
Even if the current on-field product in Pittsburgh remains very much a work in progress. Wearing a patch featuring a black shamrock with the initials "DMR" on their jerseys, the Steelers (2-0) used a pair of first-half touchdown passes by Roethlisberger to take control, and its rapidly improving defense kept Vikings backup quarterback Case Keenum in check to improve to 10-1 in home openers under head coach Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers managed only 335 yards and converted only 3 of 13 third downs, hardly the kind of firepower expected out of its star-laden offense. Pittsburgh is unbeaten anyway. The style will come. For now, the substance of their play is fine.
"We're just winning football games," Roethlisberger said. "We're 2-0, we did what we had to do, we won the football game."
Roethlisberger finished 24 of 35 for 243 yards and the two scores, a 27-yard strike to Martavis Bryant in the first quarter and a 4-yard flip to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second. Bryant caught three passes for 90 yards and drew a 51-yard pass interference penalty that set up Smith-Schuster's first NFL touchdown that put the Steelers up 14-0. Bryant feigned rolling dice during his end zone celebration, his first touchdown since returning from a year-long drug suspension.
"I came a long way," Bryant said. "My whole year I put a lot of work in. I'm just focused on getting better as a team and just going out and playing hard on Sunday."
Minnesota (1-1) played without quarterback Sam Bradford, who sat out with a left-knee injury. Case Keenumstruggled to get anything going in Bradford's absence, throwing for just 167 yards on 20 of 35 passing. Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook ran for 64 yards, but Minnesota failed to generate any sustained momentum.
Some of the Steelers didn't even realize it was Keenum behind center until the game was underway. It didn't occur to linebacker Bud Dupree until he found himself chasing after Keenum on Minnesota's second possession.
The offense that hummed at home with Bradford at the controls operated in only fits and starts, thanks in large part to 11 penalties for 131 yards.
"I thought we showed some good things but obviously didn't get off to a great start and kind of shot ourselves in foot quite a few times," Keenum said. "When other things aren't clicking, It's unfortunate."
Bradford was spectacular against the Saints but was slowed all week with an achy left knee. Enter Keenum, who went 9-15 as a starter with Houston and the Rams before signing on with Minnesota. The Vikings offensive line had trouble giving Keenum time in the pocket, and the results were often checkdowns that went nowhere.
Minnesota's only touchdown came on a 1-yard plunge by fullback C.J. Ham that drew the Vikings within 17-9 early in the third quarter. Kai Forbath missed the extra point and Pittsburgh responded with a 10-play, 74-yard drive that ended with the second of Chris Boswell's four field goals with 4:59 left in the third. The Vikings never threatened again.
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell finished with 89 total yards on 30 touches (27 rushes, three receptions) in his second game since ending a summer-long sabbatical due to a contract dispute. Bell's longest play was an 11-yard run, though Minnesota's front seven did an excellent job of clogging rush lanes and making sure Bell didn't get loose in the passing game.
"I'm due for an explosion play," Bell said. "It hasn't happened yet. I think I had almost three today but those guys, they made a couple tackles on a screen or a run where I almost broke out."
Before kickoff, Steeler Hall of Famers Mel Blount and Rocky Bleier raised a flag honoring Rooney over the south end zone at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra played the national anthem while the capacity crowd, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, held a moment of silence as the Steelers began their first season in more than 50 years without Dan Rooney as part of the day-to-day operations.
Steelers: Rookie linebacker T.J. Watt left in the second quarter with a groin injury and did not return. Watt called the injury "minor." Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva exited in the third quarter with "heat-related issues" but returned in the fourth. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert sat out most of the fourth quarter with cramps.
Vikings: Host Tampa Bay next Sunday.
Steelers: Travel to Chicago to face the winless Bears.

Brady torches Saints in 36-20 Patriots victory

 If Tom Brady and the Patriots were suffering from a Super Bowl hangover, it looks as though a trip to New Orleans pulled the defending champions out of it.
The 40-year-old Brady hasn't often looked better in his long, illustrious career, providing an audible contingent of traveling Patriots fans ample reason to spend the rest of their Sunday celebrating in the French Quarter.
"Hopefully they're all on Bourbon Street," said Brady, whose name was chanted by fans as the game wound down, and again when he walked across the field to the team bus. "It was a good road game to come to."
Bouncing back with a vengeance from a season-opening loss , Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the first time in his career, eclipsed 300 yards passing in the first half for only the second time, and New England scored 30 first-half points en route to a 36-20 victory over the winless Saints.
"Being 0-1 with a 10-day break felt like a year," Brady said, alluding to a Thursday night loss to Kansas City in Week 1. "All the veterans had a chance to say the things they wanted to say to their different (position) groups. ... I'm glad we executed. There were a lot of tight plays and we made them."
Saints coach Sean Payton bemoaned another poor outing by his defense, which also gave up a slew of quick strike plays to Minnesota in Week 1 .
"We've got the right type of locker room, but we're going to have to respond quickly," Payton said. "We'll find out a little bit about what we're made of."
Brady's maiden Super Bowl triumph in the Superdome back in February 2002 is bound to be one of his fondest memories, but the 18-year veteran looked like a superior QB in his latest visit. He finished 30 of 39 for 447 yards. He committed no turnovers - at least not any that counted. Saints defenders twice caught Brady's passes, but both plays were wiped out by New Orleans penalties. Brady joined Warren Moon as the only QBs 40 or older in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards and 3 TDs in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Rob Gronkowski had a 53-yard catch and run to highlight his six-catch, 116-yard performance , but left the game in the second half with a groin injury .
In Brady and the Saints' Drew Brees, the game featured the NFL's top two active quarterbacks in terms of career yards and touchdowns. Their 922 TD passes and 128,251 yards passing combined coming in represented the most in NFL history by starting QBs the same game.
But in this matchup, Brees couldn't keep up.
He was 27 of 45 for 356 yards and two TDs. The Saints' desperation to stay close was encapsulated by a failed attempt to convert a fourth down - despite being in field goal range on the Patriots 25-yard line - with 2:27 left in the first half and New England up by 13.
Brady responded by quickly marching the Patriots to the Saints 10 to set up Stephen Gostkowski's field goal, making it 30-13 at halftime.
When asked to explain what's wrong with New Orleans, it seemed Brees wasn't sure where to begin.
"Unfortunately, it's just been a little bit everything right now," he said.
The Patriots' first three drives ended with a 19-yard TD pass to Rex Burkhead, Gronkowski's long TD and a 13-yard scoring pass to Chris Hogan.
New Orleans briefly rallied with Brees' 5-yard TD pass to Brandon Coleman and Wil Lutz's field goal on consecutive drives, pulling as close as 20-13. But New England responded with Mike Gillislee's short scoring run on a drive highlighted by downfield passes to Gronkowski, Hogan and former Saint Brandin Cooks.
"Our team responded well to this week of practice," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We made some plays early in the game. We were able to play from ahead, and that was a good thing. A lot of different people contributed."
The Saints are now 1-11 in September since 2014, having begun 0-2 in four straight campaigns. The Saints have finished 7-9 the past three seasons.
"It puts you in a little bit of a hole, but we can't cry over spilled milk here," Brees said. "We've got to find a way to get a win."
Patriots: In addition to Gronkowski's groin injury, Burkhead had a rib injury in the second half. Hogan appeared to trying to treat soreness in his right leg in the second half. DB Eric Rowe was treated for a groin injury.
Saints: Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore left the game to be evaluated for a concussion. DE Trey Hendrickson left the game late in the first quarter with what the club described as a leg injury. DE Mitch Loewen needed help off the field after injuring his left leg in the fourth quarter.
Patriots: return home to face the Houston Texans.
Saints: open NFC South divisional play at Carolina.