Whew! What a way to start the NFL season.
A wild opening weekend was highlighted by the expansion Houston Texans winning their first game, three games going to overtime and two others decided in the final seconds of regulation.
Just one game into their inaugural season, the Texans showed they know what it takes to win in the NFL. Rookie quarterback David Carr came out heaving the ball, throwing a touchdown for his first completion.
He later hit Corey Bradford for a 65-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to beat the state rival Dallas Cowboys 19-10 on Sunday.
The Texans became only the second expansion team to start 1-0. Minnesota did it in 1961, beating the Chicago Bears.
"Now they can go back to Dallas and have a hard-knock life," said Texans defensive end Gary Walker, the only former Oiler on the squad. "We ruined their season."
Adding to the craziness of the NFL's opening Sunday, New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 26-20 in OT on a botched pass by punter Tom Tupa in the end zone that was intercepted; the New York Jets defeated Buffalo 37-31 as Chad Morton opened the extra period with his second kickoff return for a touchdown; and Ryan Longwell kicked a 34-yard field goal to give Green Bay a 37-34 victory over Atlanta with 5:15 left in overtime.
The only other time there were three overtime games in the opening weekend was 1979. The last three OT games were played on a non-opening Sunday was Dec. 2, 2001.
At Cleveland, linebacker Dwayne Rudd cost the Browns a victory after drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing his helmet in celebration. That set up Morten Andersen's 30-yard field goal with no time showing Sunday, giving the Kansas City Chiefs a 40-39 victory.
"I'm sick," Browns coach Butch Davis said. "To have something like that happen at the end is inexcusable."
Jets 37, Bills 31, OT
At Orchard Park, N.Y., Morton, whose 96-yard return gave the Jets the win, became the second player in NFL history to return an overtime kickoff for a touchdown.
Morton, also the first player in NFL history to return a kickoff for a score in regulation and overtime, also became the first Jets player and fifth player ever to return two kickoffs for scores.
Packers 37, Falcons 34, OT
At Green Bay, Wis., Atlanta's Jay Feely sent it into overtime with a 52-yard field goal with five seconds left in regulation.
The Packers avenged their only home loss last year behind Brett Favre, who completed 25 of 36 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns, and Ahman Green, who rushed for 155 yards.
Chiefs 40, Browns 39
Rudd's penalty led to the second straight bizarre home loss for the Browns. Cleveland's home finale last season ended with fans throwing thousands of plastic beer bottles on the field to protest a call overturned by instant replay.
Sunday's game was just as improbable. Rudd, thinking he had sacked Kansas City's Trent Green, had his back to the play and didn't see the quarterback flip the ball to 6-foot-6, 323-pound tackle John Tait, who ran 28 yards to the Browns 25.
As Rudd picked up his helmet -- which he tossed 15 yards down field -- the officials moved the ball half the distance to the goal line for Andersen, whose winning kick capped a 23-point fourth quarter for Kansas City.
"I shouldn't have taken it off," Rudd said. "It's against the rules. I thought we had won."
Redskins 31, Cardinals 23
At Landover, Md., Steve Spurrier had no chance to run up the score in his NFL coaching debut. The way his defense and special teams played, he needed all the points he could get.
Shane Matthews completed 28 of 40 passes for 327 yards, and Stephen Davis ran 26 times for 104 yards and caught seven passes for 46 yards. Rod Gardner had seven catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.
Panthers 10, Ravens 7
John Kasay, the only original Panther on the roster, kicked a 27-yard field goal, and Wesley Walls, a member of Carolina's 1996 team that went to the NFC championship game, caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Rodney Peete as all the scoring came in the first half.
Dolphins 49, Lions 21
At Miami, Ricky Williams rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in his Miami debut, Jay Fiedler threw three touchdown passes and the Dolphins won their opener for the 11th year in a row.
Chargers 34, Bengals 6
At Cincinnati, Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes, led a 95-yard drive, blocked downfield on a reverse and bowled over a Cincinnati tackler during a scramble, leading San Diego to a win in his first NFL start.
Colts 28, Jaguars 25
At Jacksonville, Peyton Manning threw for three scores -- two to Qadry Ismail and one to Marvin Harrison -- to lift Indianapolis over Jacksonville, its new division rival.
Edgerrin James rushed for 99 yards on 26 carries in his first appearance since last October.
Titans 27, Eagles 24
At Nashville, Tenn., Steve McNair threw for a touchdown and Eddie George scored on a 2-yard run with 3:09 remaining as Tennessee rallied to beat Philadelphia.
Broncos 23, Rams 16
At Denver, Brian Griese threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns, and led Denver on a 71-yard drive for the deciding score. Kurt Warner was 32-for-41 for 315 yards, but didn't have a touchdown, was sacked three times and threw an interception.
Raiders 31, Seahawks 17
At Oakland, Calif., Rich Gannon completed 19 of 28 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns while Charlie Garner amassed 187 total yards and scored two touchdowns in the Raiders win, giving coach Bill Callahan a win in his debut.
The Raiders tallied 24 straight points to beat the Seahawks for the fifth straight time in the Coliseum since 1997.
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