Rookie Cade York kicked a go-ahead 58-yard field goal with eight seconds left, Kareem Hunt scored two touchdowns and the Cleveland Browns spoiled Baker Mayfield’s bid for vengeance with a 26-24 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Nick Chubb ran for 141 yards and Hunt had 70 total yards from scrimmage as the Browns won their season opener for the first time since 2004. Mayfield overcame a slow start by leading the Panthers back from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit by running for a 7-yard touchdown and finding Robbie Anderson for a 75-yard touchdown strike. He then led the Panthers on a 64-yard drive in seven plays to set up Eddy Pineiro’s go-ahead field goal with 1:13 left in the game.
Jacoby Brissett, filling in for suspended Browns star Deshaun Watson, completed passes to Donovan Peoples-Jones and Amari Cooper to set up York’s winning kick, the longest for the franchise since 1984. Mayfield, who spent four seasons with Cleveland prior to being traded in July, finished 16 of 27 for 235 yards.
The Browns harassed Mayfield for most of the game, sacking him four times and tipping five passes at the line of scrimmage. The No 1 overall draft pick in 2018 also fumbled two shotgun snaps, took a delay of game penalty and threw an interception that led to Cleveland’s first touchdown.
Pittsburgh Steelers 23-20 Cincinnati Bengals
Chris Boswell kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired in overtime and the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame TJ Watt’s injury late in the fourth quarter to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in a sloppy season opener for both teams.
Watt had one of four interceptions off Joe Burrow, who rebounded from a terrible start and rallied Cincinnati from a 17-6 halftime deficit. His six-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase tied it at 20 with two seconds left in regulation, but the game went to overtime after Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked Evan McPherson’s point-after try.
McPherson and Boswell missed potential winning field goals in overtime before Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed passes of nine, 26 and 10 yards in the final 56 seconds.
Watt, the Defensive Player of the Year, left the field and headed to the locker room before the game went to overtime shortly with a pectoral injury. Before that, he was his usual disruptive self, with a sack and a pick.
Burrow’s four interceptions were a career worst, and he was sacked seven times in front of what was supposed to be an improved offensive line. He was 33 for 53 for 338 yards and two touchdowns.
Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 Detroit Lions
Jalen Hurts accounted for 333 yards and a touchdown and AJ Brown had a career-high-tying 155 yards receiving in his Philadelphia debut, helping the Eagles hold on for a 38-35 win over the Detroit Lions.
The Eagles scored 24 points in the second quarter and had a 17-point lead in the fourth that was cut to three when Jared Goff threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark with 3:51 left. Philadelphia sealed the win with Miles Sanders’ 24-yard run on third-and-two from the Eagles 27 just before the two-minute warning and Hurts’ sneak that converted a fourth-and-one from the Detroit 40 with 50 seconds left.
Jacksonville Jaguars 22-28 Washington Commanders
Carson Wentz bounced back from throwing interceptions on consecutive plays early in the fourth quarter, completing his third and fourth touchdowns to give Washington a 28-22 comeback victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in his debut for the team known as the Commanders. It was his first four-TD game for him since the day he tore the ACL in his left knee while with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. And it came with former Eagles coach Doug Pederson on the sideline in charge of the Jaguars for the first time .
New Orleans Saints 27–26 Atlanta Falcons
Wil Lutz kicked a 51-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining to cap a stunning fourth-quarter comeback by the New Orleans Saints, who overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 27-26 in coach Dennis Allen’s debut.
After struggling offensively through most of the season opener, Jamies Winston guided the Saints to three straight scoring drives. The first two ended with touchdown passes to Michael Thomas. The Saints converted one two-point try, but failed on the other, leaving the Falcons clinging to a 26-24 lead. New Orleans got the ball back one more time, taking over at its own 20 with 48 seconds remaining and no timeouts. It proved to be no problem for Winston and the Saints.
New England Patriots 7-20 Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa passed for 270 yards and a touchdown and the Miami Dolphins provided an early look at their ability to contend in the AFC East as they beat Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots 20-7.
Facing Belichick in a head coaching debut is never easy. But Mike McDaniel, the former 49ers coordinator who was hired as the Dolphins offensive head coach in February, made use of a talented defense and the speedy options he brought in during the offseason to extend Miami’s winning streak against the Patriots to four games.
San Francisco 49ers 10–19 Chicago Bears
Justin Fields threw for two second-half touchdowns, Eddie Jackson set up a TD with an interception and the Chicago Bears gave Matt Eberflus a win in his head coaching debut, beating the San Francisco 49ers.
Fields shook off a rough first half, throwing a 51-yard TD to Dante Pettis in the third quarter and connecting with Equanimeous St. Brown for an 18-yarder early in the fourth to put Chicago on top 13-10. Jackson then picked off Trey Lance near midfield for his first interception since 2019 and returned the ball to the 21. That led to a six-yard touchdown run by Khalil Herbert, making it 19-10.
Baltimore Ravens 24-9 New York Jets
Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes, including two to Devin Duvernay, and the Baltimore Ravens rolled past the New York Jets 24-9 on a rainy afternoon.
Jackson went 17 of 30 for 213 yards, including a TD to Rashod Bateman, and an interception. The performance came hours after ESPN reported that Jackson turned down a five-year extension offer worth more than $250m. Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement Friday that the sides would keep working on an extension after the season. Jackson, entering his fifth-year option on his rookie deal, gave the Ravens some more to consider.
Indianapolis Colts 20-20 Houston Texans
Matt Ryan rallied Indianapolis in the fourth quarter to force overtime against the Houston Texans in his Colts debut, but neither team could score on two overtime possessions each and the game ended in a 20-20 tie.
The Texans led 20-3 entering the fourth quarter in coach Lovie Smith’s debut, but Ryan led three successive scoring drives, culminating with his 15-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman with 1:54 remaining.
Indianapolis got the ball back with 1:19 left in regulation but were forced to point a sign of things to come in the extra period. Houston got the ball first in OT, but Davis Mills was sacked twice, leading to a punt.
The Colts moved into field goal range with a 13-play drive that chewed up 6:30, but Rodrigo Blankenship’s 42-yard attempt sailed wide right with two minutes left. Rex Burkhead was dropped for a two-yard loss on third-and-one with 40 seconds left and the Texans punted again, essentially playing for the draw.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism