Jon Gruden is ready to move on from the Antonio Brown saga in Oakland and wished the New England Patriots good luck with their new wide receiver.

Brown's tumultuous spell with the Raiders came to an end on Saturday when he got his wish to be released by the franchise before ever playing a game for them.

It did not take the seven-time Pro Bowler long to find a new team, though. Brown confirmed on social media he would be signing with the Pats, though the reigning Super Bowl champions could not confirm the deal until Monday.

His former team were in action on the same day, Oakland starting their season with a 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos.

Unsurprisingly, Gruden was asked about Brown during his post-match news conference, with the Raiders head coach insisting he held no hard feeling towards the 31-year-old after giving it a "shot" during what turned out to be a turbulent preseason.

"I feel like somebody was smashing my temple on the side of the head," he told the media.

"Get over it, man. It's over. We were good this preseason without him. We were fine without him. We wish him the best.

"We gave it a shot. Now New England gets their turn. Good luck to them. I just can't deal with it anymore."

Having arrived via a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, Brown suffered a cryotherapy-related injury, filed grievances against the NFL to be allowed to wear his favoured helmet and also reportedly fell out with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.

"What happened here the last couple of days may have been big news to some, but there were no distractions. You could tell that tonight - our team was ready to roll," Gruden said.

"I'm never going to bring it up again. That incident, or whatever you want to call it, had nothing to do with our team's focus or preparation. That's it - end of story."

Tyrell Williams - who also joined the Raiders in the offseason - caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr against the Broncos, while rookie running back Josh Jacobs also ran for a pair of scores in the impressive Week 1 victory.

"I'm really happy for Tyrell Williams. Our receiving corp took a hit, obviously, this week. But Tyrell is capable of being a number one guy for us," Gruden said.

The Oakland Raiders and their fans wanted an answer to the big question entering Monday's game against the Denver Broncos: How will the team do without Antonio Brown? 

Oakland received their answer and shut out the Broncos in the first half before posting a 24-16 win in their NFL opener.

The fans? Well, they certainly had something to say about the past week that ended with Brown's eventual release just two days before the game.

By the end of the matchup, Brown's name was being used less and less while quarterback Derek Carr settled in with his new offense.

The Broncos also started the season with new personnel. Denver came to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with a new head coach, new co-ordinators and a new starting quarterback. But their debut did not go as smoothly.

Here are three takeaways from the Raiders' win over the Broncos.

 

Raiders offense seemingly just fine

Yes, it is only Week 1. Yes, the Raiders still have a lot of work to do. But with all the spotlight on Oakland over the last week, the team came out strong against their long-time AFC West rivals. 

Carr orchestrated the win with almost an entirely new offense. There are new starters at tight end and fullback, a new receiving corps, a reconstructed offensive line led by tackle Trent Brown, who joined the Raiders this offseason, and a rookie running back in Josh Jacobs.

The Raiders showed off a balanced attack throughout the game. Carr connected with Tyrell Williams for a quick eight-yard score.

Then, he handed the ball off to Jacobs near the goal line. He would carry the ball into the end zone one more time.

Carr finished 22-of-26 passing for 259 yards and the touchdown. Williams, who came to the Raiders by way of the Los Angeles Chargers in the offseason, led Oakland with 105 yards and the score on six catches. Jacobs impressed in his debut with 23 carries for 85 yards and his two touchdowns.

Flacco came up short on Broncos debut

It is all about the new for these two teams and the Broncos had a new face under centre. 

Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco was tasked with stringing together all the moving parts, including another veteran in his first year with the team, head coach Vic Fangio. 

But it was not the start either were hoping for. Nothing ever really got going in the new Flacco era, minus a few impressive completions you would expect from a 12-year QB.

The Broncos barely used a now healthy Emmanuel Sanders, who showed his explosiveness late in the game by helping Denver get into the end zone for their only touchdown of the night.

Flacco ultimately finished with 268 yards and one touchdown on 21-of-31 passing. Instead of Sanders, it was Courtland Sutton who led Denver's receivers. He finished with 120 yards on seven receptions.

Raiders defense delivered

With a name like Von Miller, one would expect Denver's defensive unit to steal the show. However, that was not the case on Monday. It was the Raiders' defense that had an impressive outing.

After holding the Broncos to zero points in the first half, the Raiders minimised Denver's scoring opportunities. 

When Denver did get into the red zone, they succumbed to Oakland's pressure, which tallied three sacks, until the Broncos eventually scored their late TD. 

For one game at least, the Raiders made a big improvement from last season.

New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees knew Wil Lutz would kick the game-winning field goal as the team stunned the Houston Texans at the death.

The Saints came away with a dramatic 30-28 win over the Texans after Lutz drilled a 58-yard field goal as time expired on Monday.

Saints quarterback Brees was asked about what he was thinking in the game's final moments during a news conference shortly after the kick. 

"I was very confident," Brees said. "Just a ton of confidence. For all of us, just to get back into that situation, where we had a chance to win the game, I think we all felt like it was going to happen.

"The minute you heard that ball go off his foot, it was a thundering kick, I think we all knew it was going through the uprights."

New Orleans trailed by a point after Houston scored a touchdown with a little less than 40 seconds remaining.

Brees, however, completed three passes on the final drive to move the Saints to the Texans' 40-yard line, which set up Lutz's winner. 

"That's what this game is all about, in my opinion," Lutz told reporters. "Not everything is going to go your way. Some things aren't going to go as smoothly as you hope.

"There's going to be ebbs and flows over a football game that you've got to rely on each other to come out of it. I think that shows the resilience of this team.

"We've done that in the past and tonight we were able to do that again. ... Making a kick like that, that's got to be a top-1 moment for me." 

Brees completed 32 of his 43 passes for 370 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the win. 

Wil Lutz kicked a last-gasp 58-yard field goal as the New Orleans Saints trumped the Houston Texans 30-28 in NFL action on Monday.

The Saints were hoping to put last season behind them, and a second-half comeback helped them do just that against the Texans. 

In their first game back at Mercedes-Benz Superdome after the now-famous no-call in the 2018 NFC Championship game, there were still reminders of that day. The most notable came from the stands as fans sported referee uniforms.

The contest – the first of a doubleheader to kick-off 'Monday Night Football' – started off as another disappointment. But Saints quarterback Drew Brees stayed the course and led the Saints to a stunning win.

There were sparks of Deshaun Watson's greatness when Houston's offense had the ball, and a number of injury scares to the injury-prone signal-caller, but the young QB could not outdo the veteran, who led New Orleans down the field in the final seconds to set up the game-winning field goal.

Here are three takeaways from the Saints' stunning last-second win over the Texans:

 

Watson didn't get protected

The Texans' 2018 woes continued to hurt them this season. Watson, who has notoriously lacked protection since joining the league in 2017, continued to take hit after hit and had two injury scares in the first half.

Watson was brought down six times to start the 2019 season.

What is more? Two of those sacks were allowed by Laremy Tunsil, who Houston acquired from the Miami Dolphins solely to bring more protection to Watson's blindside. One of the two sacks came on a crucial third down.

The Texans' offensive line will need to provide Watson with a lot more help than they did Monday. 

Brees used his experience in the second half

The Saints desperately needed to make half-time adjustments. Brees threw only his second interception in the red zone since 2017 in his second drive. Meanwhile, the Texans took risks just outside the red zone to take an early lead.

New Orleans put up three points in the second quarter and for the first time since 2011 were held scoreless in the first quarter.

But leave it up to a veteran like Brees to come out of the break in stride. He opened the third quarter with an 83-yard scoring drive, thanks in part to a massive touchdown run from Latavius Murray, and then led the offense into the end zone on the ensuing drive, finding, ironically, quarterback Taysom Hill for the touchdown.

The Saints also utilised running back Alvin Kamara better in the final two quarters. He finished with 97 yards on 13 carries. 

Brees was not the only one to make half-time adjustments. The ESPN broadcast took flak on social media for the colour display of the down and distance graphic, which appeared bright yellow on the screen, resembling a penalty flag alert. After numerous complaints, producers changed the marker to a more neutral colour.

Saints' defense came up big, Texans' did not

Both sides needed a big play from their respective defensive units. The Saints had to stop Watson's big arm and the Texans had yet to see a big night from a healthy J.J. Watt. However, just one of those things happened.

Watt was quiet for most of the night while New Orleans' secondary made a lot of noise on one particular play.

In the final minutes of the third quarter, third-year safety Marcus Williams intercepted a deep pass intended for Will Fuller. The play, almost overshadowed by a WWE-esque tackle from DeAndre Hopkins, set up the go-ahead touchdown. It was a quick four-play scoring drive.

The interception energised the Saints' defense, which held Watson and company to just seven points after that play.

New Orleans' special teams nearly lost the game in the closing moments after a penalty was called on a missed extra-point attempt by Houston. Luckily, Brees and kicker Lutz saved the day.

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is unaware of reports claiming multiple players have requested trades following the team's rout against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Dolphins endured a forgettable start to their NFL season, crushed 59-10 by the Ravens on Sunday.

After the demolition, reports quickly emerged that some players had contacted their agents with the hopes of being traded following the blowout loss.

First-year Dolphins coach Flores was asked about the reports on Monday and he said: "I can't really speak to the accuracy of that one. We haven't received any information like that.

"I think for us, we just need to focus on what's going on inside of our building, and not worry about anything that's going on outside. I think we have to get better from a fundamental standpoint, from a communication standpoint — really overall.

"That's the goal right now. Everything else that’s going on outside, we just need to focus on what's going on in our building."

The report came only hours after Miami were non-competitive at home against the Ravens – who took control early, scored touchdowns on their first four drives and cruised to an easy win at Hard Rock Stadium. 

In the wake of the loss, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said the team were "embarrassed" by Baltimore. 

"It's never good to be embarrassed like that, especially at this level," Fitzpatrick said at a press conference. "What we had talked about: Nobody is going to feel sorry for you and your situation. That's what happens.

"You go out there and if you don't execute, you're going to get beat bad like that. Obviously we need to play better, which is an understatement."

The Dolphins seem to be in rebuilding mode and have parted ways in the last few weeks with multiple veterans, including trading offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans, a move which reportedly upset the locker room. 

Miami will host defending champions the New England Patriots in Week 2. 

Antonio Brown always planned to join the New England Patriots according to Jerry Rice, who said the star receiver "played" the Oakland Raiders.

On the day he should have been making his Raiders debut, Brown completed a move to NFL Super Bowl champions the Patriots on Monday.

Brown – who was traded to the Raiders from the Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of the 2018 campaign – endured a tumultuous preseason before he was granted a release by Oakland.

As Brown prepares to link up with Patriots superstar Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, Rice hit out at the seven-time Pro Bowler.

"We all got played, man. We did," 13-time Pro Bowler Rice – who spent three years with the Raiders before leaving in 2004 – told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. 

"I'm gonna be honest with you, because, this guy, he contacted me and he told me that he wanted to play ball here in the Bay Area. He wanted to be part of the San Francisco 49ers.

"So, I bought into it because I can only take a man at his word and stuff like that. But I think this, it was pretty much already planned. He had to take a different direction."

The 56-year-old Rice, who won three Super Bowls, added: "I think when he asked to be released from the Steelers, he wanted to go to the Patriots. He wanted them to trade him to the Patriots. And there was no way that the Steelers would trade him to a rival.

"So he had to go a different route. And he decided to come through the Bay Area. And I feel sorry for the fans over in Oakland.

"He was a Denzel Washington and he won the Oscar. He won an Oscar, guys. I'm gonna be honest with you."

Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus, however, denied rumours the 31-year-old forced his way out of the Raiders just to join the Patriots.

Asked why anyone should believe that the fix was not in for Brown and the Patriots, Rosenhaus told ESPN: "Because it's the truth. I mean, what else can I say except it's a thousand percent the truth? There was no fix.

"We did try to make it work with the Raiders, really. But for a letter that we received from the Raiders warning Antonio that his contract would be voided, he would be playing tonight for the Oakland Raiders. That's the unfortunate thing."

"You know, the Raiders protected themselves and that set Antonio off. There's no question that there were some bumps in the road that fractured the relationship with the Raiders. But even as recently as Friday, it looked like he was going to be in a position to play Monday night with the team," Rosenhaus said.

"He apologised to the team, we were trying to make it work, [but] the club wanted to protect themselves on the contract, on the $30million in guarantees. And unfortunately, Antonio wasn't comfortable with that. He wanted out as a result. And that led to New England."

The NFL is back, and there was plenty of action Sunday as fans took in the first full slate of the season.

Injuries, however, were also aplenty and much of the focus this week will be centred on how those players' absences will affect their respective teams.

Here we look back at the biggest headlines from Week 1 and the impact they will have heading into Week 2.

 

Jaguars need temporary replacement for Foles

The veteran quarterback broke his left collarbone early in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and underwent surgery on Monday morning. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sidelined for eight weeks when he broke his right clavicle in October 2017, so a similar timetable could be expected for Nick Foles.

In the meantime, the team wasted no time in addressing their quarterback situation and acquired Joshua Dobbs from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jaguars also have rookie quarterback and 2019 sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew, who filled in for Foles on Sunday.

Browns a bust in sloppy start

The overhauled Cleveland Browns proved to be overhyped as they dropped their 15th straight regular-season opener in a 43-13 thrashing by the Tennessee Titans. But is there reason to panic? It could be too early to tell since there is time for Cleveland to correct the mistakes they made.

Cleveland committed 18 penalties for 182 yards, which is their most infractions in a game since 1951 and the most for any team in a season opener since the NFL-AFL merger. The Browns gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter alone, and it did not help that tackle Greg Robinson was ejected for kicking Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro and quarterback Baker Mayfield left the stadium with his hand wrapped.

Jackson early candidate for MVP?

The Baltimore Ravens ravaged the Miami Dolphins en route to a 59-10 victory, and the second-year quarterback was at the centre of it all. Baltimore had been adamant that Lamar Jackson would throw more this season, and he did just that as he limited himself to three carries for six yards and completed 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns — all in just three quarters.

It is too early to tell if he will take home the award, but it is not out of the question if he can stay healthy. Jackson certainly will be an interesting player to follow not just all week, but all season.

Bet on Prescott being Dallas' next extension

The Dallas Cowboys cruised to a 35-17 win over the New York Giants after Ezekiel Elliott ended his holdout, but the quarterback carried the bulk of the workload as he completed 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He also posted the first perfect passer rating (158.3) in franchise history.

Dak Prescott has shied away from discussing his own contract situation, but may not have to wait much longer after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted a deal was "imminent" while speaking to reporters following the game. The question is: how much do they have left after extending Elliott, La'el Collins and Jaylon Smith? Because Prescott's price is only rising.

Brown moves to New England

The New England Patriots confirmed the arrival of Antonio Brown following his release from the Oakland Raiders. But how will the outspoken receiver adapt to the "Patriot Way" under coach Bill Belichick's regime?

After the wild year Brown's had, we have our popcorn ready.

Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said the team will "get better next week" after their 43-13 rout at the hands of the Tennessee Titans.

The Browns entered the NFL seasons with high expectations following the arrival of star Odell Beckham Jr but they were humbled by the Titans in week one.

Kitchens fronted the media on Monday and insisted the Browns are focused on improving their discipline after committing a staggering 18 penalties in the loss as they prepare to face the New York Jets.

"What we have to refrain from doing right now is overreacting. It is one game in a 16-game schedule," Kitchens said. "We are going to continue to make corrections in how we prepare from a discipline standpoint and a lack of composure standpoint.

"I think that put us in some bad situations that we were not able to overcome enough of those situations, put us behind in the game and ultimately out of reach because of those things. We will get better next week and we will see where we are at."

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 25 of his 38 passes for 285 yards with a touchdown against Tennessee, but he threw three interceptions and was sacked five times. 

Kitchens said he was confident Browns star Mayfield will bounce back. 

"I think he will continue to get better with his eyes and put his eyes in the right place," Kitchens said. "He will continue to get better, and the ball will start coming out quicker. On a couple of plays we had down the field, it seemed like the protection broke down a little bit.

"I have to do a better job of putting those guys in better situations from that standpoint. That falls on me more than anything else."

There is a lot to take in after the first full slate of games to start the 2019 NFL season, and we still have two matchups left on Monday.

Will injuries continue to dominate the headlines, or will Antonio Brown bubble back up to further spoil the Oakland Raiders' season opener?

 

Three things that matter

Jaguars acquire Dobbs from Steelers

It is a temporary solution since coach Doug Marrone told reporters he expects Nick Foles to return later this season. The veteran Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback suffered a broken left collarbone in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs and underwent surgery on Monday, so he is not expected back until November.

In the meantime, Josh Dobbs will compete for playing time with Gardner Minshew, who was sharp as he filled in for Foles in the opener. The 2019 sixth-round pick completed 22 of 25 attempts for 275 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Guice dealing with knee injury

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden confirmed the running back suffered a right knee injury on Sunday and is in jeopardy of missing time. However, the team will await the results of his Monday MRI exam before determining his availability for week two against the Dallas Cowboys.

Should Derrius Guice be sidelined, Adrian Peterson could see an increase in his workload. The 13-year veteran, who was a healthy scratch Sunday, led the Redskins in rushing last season after Guice missed his rookie year with the torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Funchess headed for injured reserve

As if Andrew Luck's retirement was not difficult enough to overcome, the Indianapolis Colts now have to deal with the receiver's absence for the next few weeks after he suffered a broken collarbone in Sunday's overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Devin Funchess, who signed a one-year deal with Indianapolis as a free agent this offseason, had three catches for 32 yards before exiting.

Colts coach Frank Reich confirmed Funchess underwent surgery and will go on injured reserve but left the door open for his return down the road this season.

"It's definitely not season-ending," Reich told reporters.

Two things that don't matter

Jack unlikely to be suspended for stirring the pot

The Jaguars linebacker scuffled with Chiefs receivers Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson midway through the second quarter of Sunday's chippy game and was ejected. Myles Jack complicated things further by needing to be escorted off the field by coaches after learning he had been tossed.

While Jack blamed Watkins for instigating the incident, he took responsibility for his actions after the game.

"It's a crazy and physical sport that we play and I just felt like that play was not a football play," Jack told reporters. "Looking back it was an idiotic move for me to do that because you do not get points for that. I’m a captain now and the team just extended me so I have to do better for me and my team."

Beckham won't be fined for wearing $350K watch

While there is no NFL rule against jewellery, the Cleveland Browns receiver did violate a rule prohibiting hard objects on the field. Fortunately for Odell Beckham Jr, the league will reportedly address the infraction with him and the team, though it is unlikely to escalate beyond that.

The decision for Beckham to play a contact sport with nearly half a million dollars on his wrist is a bold flex, but a questionable one.

One video you have to see

Tom Brady is feeling good about 2019, and why shouldn't he? The New England Patriots started the season with a win over AFC rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers just hours after reportedly acquiring former Pittsburgh standout Antonio Brown following his release from Oakland.

Monday's tweet of the day

Two kick-offs remain in week one, but it is already week two in Carolina.

Antonio Brown officially joined NFL Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots on Monday, two days after his release from the Oakland Raiders.

On the day Brown should have debuted in Oakland, the Patriots announced the wide receiver had agreed terms to an undisclosed contract.

New England also announced the release of Lance Kendricks and Obi Melifonwu. Stephen Anderson was cut from the team's practice squad.

Brown endured a tumultuous offseason and preseason, having been traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders following a dramatic end to the 2018 season.

A cryotherapy-related injury, a helmet debacle and an outburst over fines for his absence during both incidents ended his stint before it even started, with Brown asking Oakland to release him at the weekend.

News emerged of his imminent move to the Patriots within hours of his departure.

After missing New England's season-opening win over the Steelers on Sunday, Brown is set to make his Patriots debut against the Miami Dolphins this week.

The Jacksonville Jaguars wasted no time in addressing their quarterback situation, acquiring Joshua Dobbs from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday.

Pittsburgh will receive a 2020 fifth-round draft pick from Jacksonville, as confirmed in statements from both teams.

The move follows a major blow for the Jaguars on Sunday, when new starting quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken left collarbone early in the 40-26 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jacksonville confirmed Foles was scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday and is expected to be placed on the injured reserve/return list, per multiple reports.

That would mean the former Super Bowl MVP would miss the first half of the 2019 season.

Dobbs will compete for playing time with rookie Gardner Minshew, who looked sharp in relief of Foles against the Chiefs. 

A sixth-round pick out of Washington State this year, Minshew completed 22 of 25 attempts for 275 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.

Dobbs – a fourth-round selection in 2017 - played in five games last season, completing half of his 12 passes and tossing an interception. He has been the Steelers' third-string quarterback, behind Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph.

Foles, who signed a four-year, $88million deal with the Jags, was hit by Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones during a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark in the first quarter. 

The Jaguars medical staff attended to Foles and took him to the locker room, but he was ruled out for the game just minutes later, finishing the day having completed five of eight passes for 75 yards and one touchdown.

"I knew right when I hit the ground that something was wrong," said Foles. "I felt it. All I saw was two red jerseys in my face, I hit the ground and heard a crack. 

"It's unfortunate, but at the same time I'm trusting the good Lord. I was really proud of [Minshew] for stepping up and I'm going to be here to help him anyway possible."

The Jaguars face AFC South rivals the Houston Texans in a Week 2 road game.

Sean McVay praised Todd Gurley for helping the Los Angeles Rams close out their win over the Carolina Panthers, but still intends to split carries between his running backs on a game-by-game basis.

Gurley's health was a huge talking point in the NFL offseason after he was such a non-factor in last season's Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, managing 35 yards on just 10 carries.

Head coach McVay said before Week 1 that the running back would not be limited, despite a special training schedule during camp that saw him practice every other day due to concerns over a knee issue.

The former first-round draft pick had a team-high 14 carries for 97 yards in a 30-27 triumph over the Panthers on Sunday, including some pivotal runs in the closing stages to help maintain his team's slender lead.

However, the Rams had relied on fellow running back Malcolm Brown, who scored two rushing touchdowns, earlier in proceedings, with McVay seemingly happy to go with the hot hand.

"I think each game dictates a different response to that," he told the media when asked about the possibility of a committee approach to the Rams' running game. "Today, that was the case for sure.

"I thought he [Gurley] did a great job closing it out, really helped out to get to the second and short and then we were able to finish it out where he gets another good run right there, able to bounce it.

"I thought he had some great runs, he was running through some arm tackles, you could see the explosion once he gets to the second and third level and like anything else, you get yourself into game shape.

"It's humid out here but he made some big-time runs. Really, our running back group as a whole was outstanding."

Quarterback Jared Goff was pleased for Gurley - not least because he happened to start his fellow Ram in fantasy football.

"I'm so proud of him and everything he's done," Goff said. "There was a lot of outside noise around him obviously but we felt confident with him inside the team and it showed.

"He looked like he always does, I tried to tell everyone he looks exactly the same, no one wanted to believe me.

"I started him in fantasy this week so he helped me out and I think I had [Rams kicker] Greg [Zuerlein] too, so we had a good day."

Kyler Murray always retained confidence in the Arizona Cardinals' offense after he overcame a "pretty ugly" start to his NFL debut to inspire a comeback against the Detroit Lions.

The first pick in the 2019 draft struggled to get going in his first outing, with the Cardinals trailing 24-6 early in the fourth quarter when T.J. Hockenson reeled in a 23-yard pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford.

However, Murray engineered an impressive rally with the clock against him, throwing touchdown passes to David Johnson Larry Fitzgerald before a successful two-point conversion attempt to Christian Kirk levelled the scores with less than a minute remaining.

After going into overtime, both teams registered field goals on their opening drives but were unable to add any further points, meaning the Week 1 thriller finished 27-27.

"I'm very confident in myself and the offense whenever we have the ball in our hands, no matter what it's looking like," Murray - who completed 29 of his 54 pass attempts for 308 yards with two touchdowns and an interception - told the media. 

"It was obviously pretty ugly at first, but you've just got to stay the course. It's a long game and I'm proud of the way we fought - unfortunately we couldn't get the win, but a tie is better than a loss.

"I've never tied before. It's better than the loss, that's all I can say."

Murray was not the only rookie on duty for the Cardinals, as Kliff Kingsbury took charge of his first game as the franchise's new head coach.

Kingsbury accepted the blame for Arizona's offensive struggles in the opening three quarters, telling reporters: "I did a poor job early trying to be too cute, over-creative.

"I think sometimes when you have all summer to draw stuff up, you kind of get out of your comfort zone. I think it affected our quarterback early."

Murray, though, insisted no individual was to blame for the early issues and pinpointed an increase in pace as the key for the Cardinals' strong finish down the stretch.

"We've just got to execute better at the end of the day. It's not any one person's fault," he said. "I think we just started doing what we were good at.

"I don't want to say simple, but just running our stuff and just going fast. I think that opened everything up."

Tom Brady is "excited" about the impending addition of Antonio Brown to the New England Patriots but acknowledged the need for hard work to get the wide receiver "up to speed" as quickly as possible.

Brown confirmed on Saturday he is set to sign with the Pats, though the reigning Super Bowl champions are yet to confirm the deal, reportedly for one year and worth $15million.

Still, despite his absence, the seven-time Pro Bowler was the major talking point when his future employers faced one of his former teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Sunday.

Brady threw two touchdown passes to Phillip Dorsett and another to Josh Gordon in a 33-3 win, yet the quarterback was understandably asked about the wideout not yet officially on the roster in his post-game news conference.

"Everybody is excited to add great players - it helps everybody win," the 42-year-old said when questioned about Brown joining the team. "You have great players who are sharing the burden of a tough football season.

"I think, like anything else, whether it was Josh last year, or Phillip when he got here a few years ago late, or Antonio, [it is about] how much can you learn and process.

"We are all going to work hard to try and get up to speed as fast as possible, but we haven't had a training camp together or anything like that, so you've got to force a lot of information. 

"We are all excited to have him and all I can say is we're going to work as hard as we possibly can to get up to speed as quickly as possible."

Brown's time in Pittsburgh ended acrimoniously, while he was cut by the Oakland Raiders - who ran out of patience with a player they only traded for in March - on Saturday.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refused to talk about the 31-year-old after the opening win over the Steelers, simply replying to a question: "I'll talk about the game and the players that are on our team."

Asked by a different reporter later in the media session if he had any comment on Brown, he cut into the question with a "no".

Belichick was more forthcoming about his team's performance, however.

"I thought our guys did a great job this week preparing for a really good Pittsburgh team. We just played well across the board - on offense, defense and special teams - and just made plays in all three phases of the game," he said.

"We got field position out of the kicking game, moved the ball on offense and held them to three points on defense, so give the players the credit. They were ready to go and we will turn a page here and move on to Miami."

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots handed the Pittsburgh Steelers an embarrassing 33-3 loss in the NFL on Sunday.

Brady threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-36 passing while Ben Roethlisberger could not get anything going for Pittsburgh.

The win showed how dangerous New England can be, even without their newest star. On the other hand, the loss exposed what can happen when teams lose their biggest names.

 

Three takeaways from the Patriots' dominant win over the Steelers

It was all Patriots, all night

For anyone expecting a high scoring affair on both sides, they were disappointed. It was all Patriots, all night as they built a 20-0 lead at half-time and later extended it to a 30-point victory.

Brady once again escaped the clutches of Father Time and the Steelers' defense all at once. 

"We made some big plays on the pass game which always helps," Brady told the NBC broadcast after the game.

Brady's passes included a 58-yard touchdown to Phillip Dorsett and a 42-yarder to Josh Gordon.

Brady was so effective, he joined elite company. He now has 88 career 300-plus-yard passing games for the third most of all-time behind only Peyton Manning (93) and Drew Brees (115).

 

The Steelers' offense struggled with their veteran leading new stars

Pittsburgh lost some of their biggest names in the offseason with Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell both leaving. The Steelers hoped for a younger core of players to step up in wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner led by the veteran quarterback Roethlisberger.

But Big Ben was big bad and neither the pass or run ever got going. Even in the red zone, Roethlisberger could not get the Steelers a touchdown. At the start of the third quarter, Pittsburgh had to opt for a field goal after coming up short at the Patriots' one-yard line.

Roethlisberger finished 27-of-47 passing for 276 yards with one interception. Smith-Schuster led all receivers with six receptions for 78 yards and Conner had 21 yards on 10 carries.

 

The Patriots offense could be even more dangerous, starting next week

Do the Patriots even need Brown? Certainly not, but they will be an even more dangerous team with the seven-time Pro Bowl player.

Brown, who joined New England just hours after getting released by the Oakland Raiders to end a training-camp long saga, was not eligible to play on Sunday but is "excited to get to work" and that will certainly be exciting to watch.

"We're excited to have him," Brady said after the game.

New England had their eyes on Brown when he first expressed his desire to leave Pittsburgh, but the Steelers did not want to trade him to AFC rivals.

But in the end, per usual, the Patriots won.

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