From post-game news conferences to next-day media availabilities, here are the 10 best Week 6 quotes from players and coaches around the NFL:

 

— Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn stressed the importance of his team taking advantage of their next two home games to get back on track: "I'd say more than anything, we get a chance to fight in front of our home fans. There's no moral victories, there's no things of that such other than finding our ways to fight to get our football team the wins that we need to get. That's really all we’ll think about and all we'll focus our time on."

— Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson on next week's NFC East showdown with the Dallas Cowboys: "Anytime Dallas loses it helps, because here's the thing — I know the sky is falling outside. … Has it been perfect or beautiful or all of that? No. But all we need to do is try to be 1-0 this week, beat the Dallas Cowboys, we're in first place."

— Not only were the Los Angeles Chargers embarrassed on "Sunday Night Football," Pittsburgh Steelers fans also took over their stadium, and the team were not happy: "I don't know what that was. Don't do that at our own stadium," Melvin Gordon said after the game. "It already felt like it was their stadium … I don't understand that."

— Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker had some harsh words for the officiating crew after the team's Monday loss to the Green Bay Packers: "Extremely pissed off right now," Walker said. "It is what it is. Disappointed. Hurt. We had that game."

— Packers kicker Mason Crosby on his first Lambeau Leap after sealing his team's win: "That was special. It's something I've always wanted to do."

— Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke candidly about coach Jason Garrett on 105.3 The Fan radio: "If I totally disagreed with [Jason] Garrett's philosophy, he wouldn't be the head coach."

— Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera gave a sincere injury update on quarterback Cam Newton: "I think people need to understand that the young man has done everything we've asked. I'm trying to stay true to what I told him. We're not going to put that kind of pressure on him. So, until we have it confirmed with our doctors and stuff like that, we're going to continue to do what we're doing."

— Jay Gruden on life after being fired by Washington Redskins: "Pretty quiet ... Bored out of my mind."

— NFL competition committee chairman Rich McKay declined to discuss whether pass interference replay is really working this season:  "I don't think we would give a summation of whether a rule that's been in place for six weeks is working or not working," McKay told reporters. "We want to get the egregious ones, and we want to get them overturned."

— Less than a week after leaving the door open for a potential NFL return, Rob Gronkowski appears to have shut it again: "I'll give an answer. When I retired, I retired for a reason: because I needed to step away," Gronkowski said. "So it would be a no. There it is."

Aaron Rodgers led the way as the Green Bay Packers edged the Detroit Lions 23-22 in NFL action.

It might not have been pretty, but the Green Bay Packers are now the best team in the NFC North after Monday's victory.

Both Green Bay and Detroit entered the clash with just one loss each and the winner would not only begin to separate themselves from the bunch but show they can be a true contender — an improvement from last year when both the Lions and Packers missed the playoffs.

Rodgers inspired the Packers to a narrow win in a back-and-forth game highlighted by some impressive throws and lots of field goals.

Packers quarterback Rodgers finished 24-of-39 passing for 283 yards and two touchdowns with one interception as Green Bay improved to 5-1.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who started the game on fire, went 18-of-32 passing for 265 yards with the team falling to 2-2-1.

 

Three takeaways from Packers' win over the Lions:

Lions got off to a hot start and then ...

There was quite literally no one but the Lions stopping the Lions in the first quarter.

After opening the game with a flea flicker for their longest play from scrimmage all season – 66 yards – the Lions were in a perfect position to score a touchdown on their first drive.

However, Stafford tripped on an ensuing play in the red zone — a miscue that resulted in Detroit eventually settling for a field goal.  

But that was the team's only mistake to start Monday. They continued to run through, around and past the Packers defense to score 13 unanswered points through one and a half quarters. It was the first time Green Bay trailed by more than one score all season and Stafford's 168 yards in the first quarter alone were the most for any Lions signal-caller ... ever. But Detroit's hot start was diffused when Rodgers and company finally got on a roll.

Give Rodgers an inch and he'll make you pay

Sure, the Lions played a superb first quarter but once they started making mistakes, the momentum started to go in the Packers' favour. 

The Lions made a critical error on special teams halfway through the second quarter when they were called for having too many men on the field and drew a five-yard penalty. It was enough to give the Packers a first down and bring Rodgers back on to the field. He converted it into a touchdown and Green Bay eventually tied the game 13-13 just after half-time.

But still, even with the momentum, Rodgers still needed some missing pieces. Wide receiver Davante Adams missed another game with turf toe and while Aaron Jones played, he was not as effective as he was last week. Rodgers managed to find Allen Lazard, the team's unlikely hero on offense, on a critical fourth-quarter drive.

This late touchdown helped set up the game-winning moment.

It was Mason Crosby's night

Rodgers certainly gets credit for setting up Crosby's kicks, but the veteran kicker was a perfect three-for-three on the night with his most important kick coming with two seconds left on the clock and the Packers trailing by two.

Perhaps better than the go-ahead kick was the celebration after.

There is not much analysis here; we are just glad Crosby stuck the landing after being helped into the stands for his own Lambeau Leap.

Davante Adams will miss the Green Bay Packers' Week 6 matchup against the Detroit Lions as he continues to deal with a toe injury. 

Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur told reporters Adams would not be fit to take part in Monday's match.

The game will be the second Adams has missed after being diagnosed with turf toe. He was seen at Packers practice this week but did not participate.

Adams was injured during a Week 4 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter, watching the end of the game from the sidelines in what he described as "a little bit of pain".

The Packers played well without Adams last week, beating the Dallas Cowboys 34-24, with tight end Jimmy Graham and receivers Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling expected to get more targets in his absence.

Adams, selected in the second round of the 2014 draft, was quarterback Aaron Rodgers' top target as he had 25 receptions for 378 yards through the first four weeks of the season.

Every game day in the NFL brings the potential for big surprises, but few deliver the twists and turns we saw in Week 4.

Jameis Winston threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns against the Los Angeles Rams, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a wild 55-40 victory, despite Jared Goff's career-high 517 passing yards on Sunday.

In Detroit, the Kansas City Chiefs scored a touchdown in the final seconds to remain undefeated and foil the Lions' upset bid via a 34-30 triumph.

In another surprising turn of events, the Cleveland Browns took control of the AFC North for the first time since 2014 as second-year rusher Nick Chubb exploded for three touchdowns in Baltimore against the league's third-ranked rushing defence – the Ravens, who fell 40-25.

Chubb was not the only running back with a huge Sunday. Jacksonville Jaguars star Leonard Fournette racked up a career-high 225 yards on 29 carries as he and quarterback Gardner Minshew rallied the team to a 26-24 win over the Denver Broncos, who have lost eight straight games dating to last season.

And on a day that saw young quarterbacks Josh Allen (concussion) and Mitch Trubisky (shoulder) lost to injury, rookie QB Daniel Jones completed 23-of-31 passes for 225 yards to become the first New York Giants quarterback to win his first two career starts since Danny Kanell in Weeks 7-8 of the 1997 season.

 

Injury report

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky left the game against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter after landing awkwardly on his left shoulder and was later ruled out.

The Los Angeles Chargers suffered a litany of injuries as defensive end Melvin Ingram hurt his hamstring against the Miami Dolphins. Los Angeles also lost receiver Dontrelle Inman (quad), linebacker Denzel Perryman (concussion) and tight end Sean Culkin (ankle).

Browns receiver Jarvis Landry went into the medical tent at the end of the third quarter against the Ravens. He was eventually ruled out as the team announced he was being evaluated for a concussion.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen entered the concussion protocol after leaving the loss against reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots early in the fourth quarter. Allen was trying to run for a first down when Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones knocked him down with a helmet-to-helmet hit.

By the numbers

Allen stopped the Patriots from extending their impressive stoppage streak.

Meanwhile, another Bills player set his own record as Frank Gore became just the fourth running back in NFL history to rush for 15,000 career yards, joining Emmitt Smith (18,355 yards), Walter Payton (16,726) and Barry Sanders (15,269).

Tennessee Tians QB Marcus Mariota is the only quarterback who has started every game this season and has yet to turn the ball over. The Titans also found a way to keep Mariota from getting sacked against the Atlanta Falcons after giving up a league-high 17 sacks through the first three weeks.

The Buccaneers-Rams matchup became the first game in the Super Bowl era where both teams made a field goal of at least 58 yards. Tampa Bay's 55 points in the win were also the most points in a game in franchise history.

Regardless of how the Cincinnati Bengals-Pittsburgh Steelers showdown plays out on Monday night, the Browns will finish Week 4 in first place in the AFC North for the first time since Week 10 of the 2014 season.

Arizona Cardinals veteran Larry Fitzgerald reached 1,326 catches against the Seattle Seahawks and passed Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez (1,325 catches) for second all-time on the NFL receptions list. He trails only Jerry Rice with 1,549 receptions.

Quotables

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield when asked if Rex Ryan's criticism fuelled the team's win: "Absolutely not. Rex Ryan does not get any credit for this week's win. No."

Bills head coach Sean McDermott voiced his concern for Allen after the quarterback was drilled by Jones with a helmet-to-helmet hit: "There's no room in football for a play like the hit on Josh Allen."

The Carolina Panthers have bounced back since their winless start, but Christian McCaffrey still thinks the team are behind: "It's huge for us. We're 2-2, but frankly we should be 4-0. That's the way we're going look at it, it's a week-to-week league. Sixteen, one-week seasons, so we're moving on to Week 5 and learn from the tape to see what we can do better."

Week 3 NFL scores

Teams on bye week

49ers and Jets

Thursday's game

Eagles 34, Packers 27

Sunday's games

Giants 24, Redskins 3
Chiefs 34, Lions 30
Titans 24, Falcons 10
Browns 40, Ravens 25
Raiders 31, Colts 24
Patriots 16, Bills 10
Panthers 16, Texans 10
Chargers 30, Dolphins 10
Buccaneers 55, Rams 40
Seahawks 27, Cardinals 10
Bears 16, Vikings 6
Jaguars 26, Broncos 24

It has now been 1,000 days since Colin Kaepernick last played an NFL game and, in that time, 80 different quarterbacks have started in the regular season.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick, still just 31, completed 17 of 22 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown in a Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2016 season. Only four players that week had a better quarterback rating than Kaepernick's 122.3.

However, Kaepernick - who had started to kneel during the national anthem earlier that year in protest over racial injustice - has not even had a sniff of an opportunity since, while countless teams have kicked the tyres on numerous other signal callers.

Here is the list of every quarterback to have started a game since Kaepernick's last appearance.


NFC North: Mitchell Trubisky, Mike Glennon, Chase Daniel (Chicago Bears), Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions), Brett Hundley, Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers), Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings)

NFC East: Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys), Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Daniel Jones (New York Giants), Carson Wentz, Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles), Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, Josh Johnson, Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez, Case Keenum (Washington Redskins)

NFC South: Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons), Cam Newton, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen (Carolina Panthers), Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater (New Orleans Saints), Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

NFC West: Carson Palmer, Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton, Josh Rosen, Sam Bradford, Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals), Jared Goff, Sean Mannion (Los Angeles Rams), Brian Hoyer, C.J. Beathard, Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens (San Francisco 49ers), Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)

AFC North: Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens), Andy Dalton, Jeff Driskel (Cincinnati Bengals), DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan, Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns), Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Mason Rudolph (Pittsburgh Steelers)

AFC East: Tyrod Taylor, Nathan Peterman, Josh Allen, Derek Anderson, Matt Barkley (Buffalo Bills), Jay Cutler, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen (Miami Dolphins), Tom Brady (New England Patriots), Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, Luke Falk (New York Jets)

AFC South: Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson, T.J. Yates (Houston Texans), Jacoby Brissett, Scott Tolzien, Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts), Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler, Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew (Jacksonville Jaguars), Marcus Mariota, Matt Cassel, Blaine Gabbert (Tennessee Titans)

AFC West: Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco (Denver Broncos), Alex Smith, Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs), Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers), Derek Carr, EJ Manuel (Oakland Raiders)

Here are a few observations from the extensive list:

- Only six franchises (the Lions, Falcons, Cowboys, Seahawks, Patriots and Chargers) have had one starter for all 35 games since Kaepernick's last appearance. 

- Three teams - the Cardinals, Dolphins and Redskins - have started six quarterbacks since the beginning of the 2017 season. The Bills, Jets and Broncos have all had five, and Washington could add another to their lengthy list should they turn to rookie Dwayne Haskins in the coming weeks.

- Of the 80 quarterbacks, 16 are out of the league - either due to being unsigned or retired. Former Steelers signal caller Landry Jones recently became the first player to sign with the upcoming XFL.

- Keenum, currently keeping Haskins on the sideline in Washington, is the only player on this list to have started for three different teams (Vikings, Broncos and Redskins) since 2017. A further 11 have started for two teams.  

Through three weeks of the NFL season, a quarter of the teams are still yet to taste defeat.

While some of those were expected to excel - see the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys - others, such as the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions, have all started strongly after losing seasons in 2018.

This weekend sees the 3-0 Patriots and Bills face off, while the 2-0-1 Lions host Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Here we take a look at the eight undefeated teams and determine when their first defeat might come, if at all...

DETROIT LIONS (2-0-1)

Upcoming games: vs Chiefs, @ Packers, vs Vikings, vs Giants, @ Raiders, @ Bears

Are the Lions for real? Or did they get fortunate facing a Los Angeles Chargers team that shot themselves in the foot and an injury-ravaged Philadelphia Eagles after their opening tie with the Arizona Cardinals?

Their luck might soon run out, though, as their next three games - against the Chiefs, Packers and Minnesota Vikings - could easily leave them 2-3-1 and behind in the ultra-competitive NFC North.

BUFFALO BILLS (3-0)

Upcoming games: vs Patriots, @ Titans, vs Dolphins, vs Eagles, vs Redskins, @ Browns

Sean McDermott's team nearly suffered their first 'L' on Sunday, only to rally and beat the winless Cincinnati Bengals. 

A daunting clash with the Pats represents a good barometer of where this Bills team is and, even if they go down to Tom Brady and Co, their upcoming contests suggest they can remain firmly in the wildcard mix come November and December.

DALLAS COWBOYS (3-0)

Upcoming games: @ Saints, vs Packers, @ Jets, vs Eagles, @ Giants, vs Vikings

Everything is rosy in JerryWorld at the moment, with coordinator Kellen Moore overseeing a more potent offense thanks to quarterback Dak Prescott taking a significant step forward.

Get past the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football and the Cowboys might march all the way to 10-0 before visiting the Patriots. But New Orleans, coming off an impressive win in Seattle, are a formidable foe at home and should end Dallas' winning streak.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-0)

Upcoming games: vs Eagles, @ Cowboys, vs Lions, vs Raiders, @ Chiefs, @ Chargers

Rookie head coach Matt LaFleur is certainly enjoying life at the helm in Titletown and Green Bay host the depleted Eagles this week.

The Pack's offense - LaFleur's speciality - has largely underwhelmed, though, and a Week 5 trip to the talented Cowboys looks likely to spell the end of their unbeaten run.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-0)

Upcoming games: vs Browns, @ Rams, @ Redskins, vs Panthers, @ Cardinals, vs Seahawks

San Francisco have the earliest possible bye in Week 4 so their unbeaten run will last until at least Week 5, when they should have too much and be too fresh for a Cleveland Browns team flattering to deceive.

However, after that it's a visit to the Los Angeles Rams, where Sean McVay's offense might prove a bridge too far for the Niners' quietly impressive defense. San Francisco's playoff hopes likely hinge on home games against the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3-0)

Upcoming games: @ Lions, vs Colts, vs Texans, @ Broncos, vs Packers, vs Vikings

Reigning MVP Mahomes and the Chiefs offense looks even better than it did in 2018 but they have a tricky run of games coming up against teams with playoff aspirations.

A Week 7 Thursday night trip to the Denver Broncos might spell the end of their unbeaten run. Vic Fangio's 0-3 team could conceivably be 2-1 now and Von Miller and Bradley Chubb have to get it together eventually, right?

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3-0)

Upcoming games: @ Bills, @ Redskins, vs Giants, @ Jets, vs Browns, @ Ravens

New England can thank the schedule-makers for a start that has seen them breeze past the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets - who are a combined 0-9.

A stiffer test against the Bills lies in wait next, but New England have won seven in a row in Buffalo. The Pats could easily be 8-0, but a trip to their nemesis Baltimore - against a Ravens team coming off a bye - might prevent them from winning nine straight.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-0)

Upcoming games: vs Buccaneers, @ Seahawks, vs 49ers, @ Falcons, vs Bengals, @ Steelers

Many tipped the Rams to take a blip after their Super Bowl appearance, but here are they are 3-0.

The sternest assignment in their next six games is a trip to Seattle - though New Orleans showed the Seahawks are beatable in the Pacific Northwest. After that, the schedule is kind - particularly now Pittsburgh have lost Ben Roethlisberger - so the Rams look the most likely to be the last unbeaten team standing.

On an eventful Sunday filled with headlines, Daniel Jones still managed to steal the show.

The New York Giants rookie shined under center as he made his first career start in a 32-31 NFL win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jones – starting in place of veteran quarterback Eli Manning – completed 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns to snap the Giants' winless start to the season and give New York fans hope for the future.

The 22-year-old helped the Giants rally from an 18-point deficit at half-time and sealed the victory with his go-ahead run into the end zone.

It did not hurt that Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay missed the 44-yard attempt for the win as time expired.

 

Injury report

Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was carted off the field in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers with an apparent leg injury. 

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Mike Daniels was downgraded to out after leaving with a foot injury against the Philadelphia Eagles, though it was reported that initial tests revealed no broken bones.

New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was ruled out against the New York Jets after suffering a chest injury in the first half. It was later reported that Edelman suffered a rib injury, but X-rays were negative.

After being flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for tossing his helmet away as he realised the extent of his injury, Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal exited in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts on a cart and was later ruled out with an Achilles injury. He is rumoured to need surgery this week.

Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton was ruled out after sustaining a quad injury in the first half against the Falcons.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley was downgraded to out after being helped off the field against the Buccaneers. 

By the numbers

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the only player in the last 40 years with 200 or more passing yards and two passing touchdowns in the first half in each of his team's first three games of a season.

The Patriots won their 116th game of the decade, beating the 2000s Colts and breaking the record for most wins by a team in a single decade in NFL history. New England's point differential of +89 (106-17) through the first three weeks of the season is tied for second-highest in league history.

The Miami Dolphins, however, find themselves on the opposite end of that spectrum.

Meanwhile, the Jets broke new ground at Gillette Stadium by scoring their first touchdown in Foxborough in nearly four years.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins extended his streak of 19 games with one or more passing touchdown, making it the longest active streak in the NFL. He finished his outing against the Oakland Raiders 15 for 21 for 174 yards.

Quotables

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell on his frustration after going 0-3: "I'm not frustrated at all. I just know this team has a lot of talent, we just have to put it together. It's a new system, guy's first time playing together, a new coaching staff. We've just got to mesh everything together and we've got to get on board."

Broncos linebacker Von Miller on not catching the quarterback: "I need to find a way to play better. I have to find a way to get sacks and do my job. No one holds me to a higher standard than myself. I could sit here and make excuses, but I got clean rushes today. I just need to find a way to get the quarterback on the ground."

Week 3 NFL scores

Thursday's game

Jaguars 20, Titans 7

Sunday's games

Cowboys 31, Dolphins 6
Bills 21, Bengals 17
Lions 27, Eagles 24
Patriots 30, Jets 14
Colts 27, Falcons 24
Vikings 34, Raiders 14
Chiefs 33, Ravens 28
Packers 27, Broncos 16
Panthers 38, Cardinals 20
Giants 32, Buccaneers 31
Saints 33, Seahawks 27
Texans 27, Chargers 20
49ers 24, Steelers 20

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson still trusts in his players following their 27-24 defeat to the Detroit Lions.

The Eagles narrowly loss on Sunday after multiple dropped passes, including a possible game-winning touchdown.

Philadelphia – Super Bowl champions in 2018 – dropped to 1-2 for the season on the back of consecutive defeats. However, the Eagles still have the trust of Pederson.

"We would love to be ahead, but we have a lot of confidence in our offense to be able to put us back in a position to win these games," Pederson said after the defeat at Lincoln Financial Field. "And, we were there again the last two weeks, we've had opportunity.

"Just got to look at everything. We have trust in our players. Defense had some nice stops late in this game, obviously, we had the blocked field goal for an opportunity there. So, yeah a lot of trust in our guys, and we just have to execute a little better."

The Eagles' injury-ridden receiving corps dropped seven total passes. The most significant miscue came when a Carson Wentz pass slipped through the hands of JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who seemingly had the Lions defender beat on the play.

"In games like this, we know we have to take care of the ball," Pederson added.

Philadelphia will travel to face the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 action.

The second week of the NFL season gave us what Week 1 could not – fewer injuries and more close finishes.

The fourth quarter was crucial on Sunday as several high-profile games gave us nail-biting endings. Gardner Minshew could not quite get the Jacksonville Jaguars past the Houston Texans as he made his first career start in place of injured quarterback Nick Foles, while the Indianapolis Colts' defense helped Jacoby Brissett claim his first win of the season since Andrew Luck retired.

But setbacks were not inescapable after the Pittsburgh Steelers were plagued by injuries in their home opener against the Seattle Seahawks. The Steelers fought down to the final fourth-and-one wire of a game that had four sacks and four first downs over the first five possessions alone, but the Seahawks picked up their eight win in the team's last nine games.

Other games were not as competitive, like the New England Patriots' 43-0 shutout of the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers' 41-17 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Then there are the Buffalo Bills, who moved to an unlikely 2-0 after they spoiled the New York Giants' home opener 28-14, while head coach Matt LaFleur recorded his first win at Green Bay as the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 21-16 for the first time since 2016.

Injury report

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was seen shaking his throwing arm at various points in the first half against the Seahawks and even exited to the locker room before returning to the sideline to play through the injury. He was later ruled questionable to return to start the second half but never made it back after being replaced by backup Mason Rudolph.

Meanwhile, Steelers team-mate and running back James Conner was also questionable to return with a knee injury suffered in the second half. The Steelers also lost linebacker Vince Williams and safety Sean Davis to injuries.

49ers tackle Joe Staley was carted off the field against the Bengals with a leg injury and did not return. Niners coach Kyle Shanahan revealed after the game that Staley suffered a broken fibula.

Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis, starting in place of Jordan Reed as he recovers from a concussion, sustained an eye injury against the Dallas Cowboys.

Another less injury-prone quarterback went down as New Orlenas Saints veteran Drew Brees injured his throwing hand making contact with Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald in their NFC title rematch. He was sidelined with his thumb taped as Teddy Bridgewater took over under centre.

By the numbers

After being a healthy scratch in Week 1, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson scored his 107th career rushing touchdown to pass Hall of Famer Jim Brown on the all-time list. He is three rushing touchdowns behind Walter Payton for fourth in NFL history.

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is back in a big way, as the veteran scored in back-to-back weeks for the first time since Weeks 12 and 13 of the 2017 season.

Antonio Brown's touchdown catch during his Patriots debut against the Dolphins made him the 72nd player to catch a regular-season touchdown pass from Tom Brady, which extends a league record for the 42-year-old New England quarterback.

Rookie sensation and Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray joined Carolina Panthers veteran Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history to throw for more than 300 yards in their first two starts.

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster hit 2,500 career receiving yards against the Seahawks, becoming the youngest player in league history to accomplish the feat.

It was a good day for fantasy owners with New England's defense after the Patriots shut out the Dolphins.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes exploded in the first half against the Oakland Raiders, with his four touchdown passes and 313 yards helping him become the first signal-caller to throw for more than 278 yards in any quarter since Brees did so in 2008.

Quotables

Giants coach Pat Shurmur on replacing Eli Manning with Daniel Jones: "I think we have to look at how our team played and we have to go back and take steps to get better in all areas. I don't think that's a conversation for right now. Everybody has to play better."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick on having Brady throw deep despite being up 37 points: "We're playing 60 minutes. You've got to play 60 minutes."

Week 1 NFL scores

Thursday's game

Buccaneers 20, Panthers 14

Sunday's games

Ravens 23, Cardinals 17
Lions 13, Chargers 10
Colts 19, Titans 17
49ers 41, Bengals 17
Texans 13, Jaguars 12
Packers 21, Vikings 16
Cowboys 31, Redskins 21
Seahawks 28, Steelers 26
Bills 28, Giants 14
Patriots 43, Dolphins 0
Chiefs 28, Raiders 10
Rams 27, Saints 9
Bears 16, Broncos 14

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."

NFL Sundays are back and there was no shortage of headlines during the first full slate of games for week one as the league continued the kick-off of its 100th season.

Le'Veon Bell bounced back in his debut with the New York Jets despite a loss to the Buffalo Bills, while Odell Beckham Jr. was less than thrilling as he and Baker Mayfield were routed by the Tennessee Titans in the Cleveland Browns' opener.

But Kyler Murray was perhaps the most interesting as his dull start turned into an exciting overtime thriller in which the rookie quarterback kept the Arizona Cardinals alive for a tie with the Detroit Lions. It was not an ideal start for first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, but it was an even worse outcome for second-year coach Matt Patricia.

Elsewhere around the league, Julio Jones disappointed after getting his long-awaited contract extension, while Ezekiel Elliott was outstanding despite the holdout that kept him away from the Dallas Cowboys until Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers fared just fine without Melvin Gordon as he extended his absence while he continues to wait for a new deal.

Injury report

Tempers were as high as the temperature in Jacksonville, where the Chiefs-Jaguars game turned chippy. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles was ruled out with a broken left collarbone, while Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was carted off the field with a shoulder injury and later ruled out. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes also sprained his ankle and limped off the field but was able to play through the pain.

Los Angeles Rams safety Eric Weddle was carted off the field and evaluated for a concussion after Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey made contact with his head while leaping over him. Weddle was motionless on the field for a few minutes and visibly bloodied with a head laceration.

Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley was ruled out against the Bills after suffering a groin injury late in the game while rookie defensive tackle and 2019 third draft pick Quinnen Williams left with an ankle injury.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson was carted off due to an apparent foot injury against the Washington Redskins.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield left FirstEnergy Stadium with his right wrist wrapped, though it was reported to be just a bruise and not considered serious.

By the numbers

The Browns committed 18 penalties for 182 yards — their most penalties in a game since 1951 — as they dropped their 15th straight regular-season opener. That winless streak is now the league's longest.

Bell, playing his first game in 602 days on Sunday, did not skip a beat as he became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 8,000 career scrimmage yards. He finished his Jets debut with 17 carries for 60 yards while adding six catches for 32 yards and a score.

The Ravens set a franchise record with 42 first-half points to begin their season, and Lamar Jackson had himself a day as he helped them secure their eventual win over the Dolphins.

Baltimore racked up 640 yards of total offense against Miami, which is the most by any team in their first game of the season since the Rams in 1951. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first player in league history to start for eight different NFL teams.

Quotables

Vernon Davis, who was raised by his grandparents and coped with the death of his grandfather one day earlier, on his emotions when the tight end scored against the Eagles: "I was just grateful when I scored that touchdown. I was grateful to contribute to the team. A lot of people asked me if I was going to be able to play today. Of course, I'll be able to play. They probably didn't think I'd come out and be effective for the team as well, but it worked out.

"Just that feeling of being able to be successful, meaning contribute to the team. Not individual success, but success as a team. That whole play was everybody ... but that play is going to have to be irrelevant to me because of what went on today."

Mayfield on why it is too early for Browns fans to worry:  "Everybody is going to throw this in the trash. I think that is good. I know what type of men we have in this locker room. I know how we are going to react. I know what we are going to do. We are going to bounce back. We have a Monday Night game [against the Jets] coming up so we do not really care. We are ready to go."

Week 1 NFL scores

Thursday's game

Packers 10, Bears 3

Sunday's games

Chiefs 40, Jaguars 26
Vikings 28, Falcons 12
Titans 43, Browns 13
Bills 17, Jets 16
Ravens 59, Dolphins 10
Eagles 32, Redskins 27
Rams 30, Panthers 27
Chargers 30, Colts 24, OT
Seahawks 21, Bengals 20
Cowboys 35, Giants 17
49ers 31, Buccaneers 17
Lions 27, Cardinals 27, OT

It seemed as though Kyler Murray would have a rough debut but the number one NFL draft pick helped the Arizona Cardinals secure a 27-27 draw against the Detroit Lions in overtime.

Rookie Cardinals quarterback Murray was sacked by his own guard and almost immediately threw an interception in the first quarter of Sunday's opening matchup.

Murray – who swapped MLB for NFL – was said to be Arizona's saviour along with newly minted head coach Kliff Kingsbury. As the game played out, that became the case — kind of — for now.

The 22-year-old was just shy of completing the comeback as Arizona tied Detroit in overtime.

Murray finished 29-of-54 passing for 308 yards with two touchdowns and the lone interception against the Lions.

He relied heavily on veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and the pair connected eight times, including for the game-tying touchdown in regulation and a 45-yard pass – the longest completion of the night, to set up the first score in overtime.

Fitzgerald led all receivers with 113 yards and one score.

In the NFL's 100th season, one of two founding franchises will be hoping to hold off the league's most successful team in the NFC North.

The Chicago Bears, who began life as the Decatur Staleys, will kick off the century campaign on Thursday at home against a Green Bay Packers team turning over a new leaf after rookie head coach Matt LaFleur was hired to revive the 13-time champions following a 6-9-1 campaign in 2018.

Chicago's decision to turn to a first-time offensive-minded head coach paid off last year as Matt Nagy led the team to their first division title since 2010 and Coach of the Year honours for him.

The Packers, meanwhile, have the best quarterback in the division — and arguably the NFL — executing LeFleur's plays and a defense with top-10 potential on the other side, so the expectations are high in Green Bay.

"I think there's an incredible amount of talent here," LaFleur said at his introductory news conference back in January. "Obviously when you have a quarterback of the calibre of Aaron Rodgers, we're going to have high expectations. We are going to be process-driven in the pursuit of bringing a Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay."

 

Player to watch

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings running back

Do not tell those with a keen interest in who wins Thursday at Soldier Field, but there is another NFC North team with aspirations of a deep playoff run. The Vikings had the number one-ranked defense when they made the NFC championship game two seasons ago, and quarterback Kirk Cousins was supposed to be the final piece of the jigsaw when he arrived in 2018.

Instead, Minnesota went 8-7-1 last year and missed the playoffs, though there is reason for optimism anew in 2019, particularly if Cook can finally stay healthy. A second-round pick in 2017, he has missed 17 of 32 games due to knee and hamstring injuries but has flashed potential in averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He also ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run this preseason to suggest he could finally breakout.

Crucially, the Vikings' troublesome offensive line should be better after they drafted center Garrett Bradbury in the first round and acquired guard Josh Kline in free agency. Even more important, Super Bowl-winning coach Gary Kubiak is on board as an offensive adviser and Cook should thrive in his zone-blocking scheme.

"Most great players that I've been around in this business are workers and when you come out here every day, you see why he's a great player, really works hard," Kubiak told reporters of Cook in August.

Impact rookie

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears running back

Chicago had no first- or second-round picks in the 2019 draft, but they were not prepared to stand pat and moved up in the third round to land Iowa State back Montgomery.

"We didn't have a first-round pick, we didn't have a second-round pick … and when he was sitting there, to us, he was a first-round talent," Nagy recently told Yahoo Sports.

Montgomery led college football in broken tackles last season and is expected to slot in as the Bears' primary back after Jordan Howard's departure, with the electric Tarik Cohen and bruising Mike Davis also in the mix.

The consensus in Chicago is that Montgomery is a better fit for Nagy's offense than Howard due to his versatility and ability to contribute in the passing game. At a position where rookies can often shine, Montgomery could really wow right away in the Windy City.

Coach on the hot seat

Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions

A fine coordinator who impressed with the New England Patriots failing to deliver as a head coach? We have been here before. The evidence so far is that Patricia will not buck the trend after a 6-10 debut season.

Patricia has the comfort of being the handpicked selection of general manager Bob Quinn — himself a former Patriots staffer — but seven losses in their final 10 games of 2018 could not have gone unnoticed by the Lions hierarchy.

The Lions do look strong on both sides of the trenches, but if quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw for just 3,777 yards in 2018, disappoints again, Detroit may consider ripping it up and starting over (again) in 2020.

A first winless preseason since 1989 has only given Patricia's naysayers more fuel. Though Lions fans will remember the team went 4-0 in the 2008 preseason, only to go 0-16 in the regular season.

Key matchup

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers, December 15

Thursday's opening clash between these two in Chicago could set the tone, but the Packers beat the Bears at Lambeau in week one last year only for Nagy's team to win the division.

We will have a better idea of these two teams by Week 15, when they will meet for the 200th time.

That is Green Bay's final home game of the season and the Packers will want to record a fourth successive victory over the Bears at Lambeau given they finish the season with tricky road games against the Vikings and Lions.

Interestingly, the Bears have a 10-day break between hosting the Dallas Cowboys and visiting the Packers. With contests against the Chiefs and Vikings to round out the season, Week 15 could be crucial to their postseason aspirations too.

Predicted finish

Number one ranked defenses typically tend to fall back to the pack the next year — the Vikings went from the top in 2017 to ninth in 2018, for example — and as well as losing key personnel in the secondary like Adrian Amos (now a Packer) and Bryce Callahan — their defensive coordinator Vic Fangio departed to become Denver Broncos head coach.

Even if quarterback Mitchell Trubisky takes a significant step forward in his third season, the Bears may struggle to duplicate their 2018 record, especially with the Packers primed for a comeback. Rodgers will be determined to prove it was ex-head coach Mike McCarthy and not him who was holding the Packers back, while an exciting young defense should improve if Jaire Alexander and Kenny Clark move themselves into the elite category.

The jury is still out on Cousins with the Vikings, though it would be no surprise to see them get a wild card in a stacked division. The Lions may struggle to keep up if only because of how strong the other three are.

1. Packers

2. Bears

3. Vikings

4. Lions

Multiple players have yet to report to their respective teams just two weeks before the NFL regular-season opener, but one could be nearing a resolution.

Meanwhile, another player may not be available for at least a few weeks, and maybe more, after getting into some legal trouble.

 

Three things that matter

Chung indicted on cocaine possession charge

The New England Patriots safety was summoned by a New Hampshire grand jury on the charge, a Class B felony in the state that carries a fine of up to $2,000 and a potential prison term of up to seven years. Even if Patrick Chung is found not guilty of the charge, which stems from June, he will likely face discipline from the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

"We are aware of the reports regarding Patrick Chung. We will not be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place," a statement from the Patriots read.

Chung was absent from practice Wednesday ahead of Thursday's preseason meeting with the Carolina Panthers after previously wearing a red non-contact jersey throughout training camp as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.

He is scheduled to be arraigned August 28, one day before New England wrap up exhibition play against the New York Giants.

Cowboys offer to make Elliott among highest-paid RBs

The question is: will he take it? The contract, rumoured to be worth more than Todd Gurley's but less than Le'Veon Bell's, would reportedly net Ezekiel Elliott between $13.135million and $14.375m per year with the Dallas Cowboys.

Elliott has remained a holdout throughout the preseason over his contract dispute and racked up more than $900,000 in fines for not reporting to training camp. He recently returned to Texas after training in Mexico, but the situation soured this week as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joked about his absence.

We will see what Elliott's agent has to say about the proposal.

Arizona swap with Philly in rare player-for-player trade

The Arizona Cardinals dealt safety Rudy Ford to the Philadelphia Eagles for defensive tackle Bruce Hector. Ford, a sixth-round pick out of Auburn in the 2017 draft, has played 23 games with Arizona over his first two seasons. Hector signed for Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent in 2018 before earning a spot on the team's practice squad. He played eight games as a rookie last season.

Two things that don't matter

Steelers name Sherman interim WR coach

The move comes in the wake of the unexpected death of former wide receiver coach Darryl Drake earlier this month. Drake, who was 62, was in his second season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his passing took a toll on his players.

Sherman has not coached since he retired following the 2015 season, but the 67-year-old brings four decades of coaching experience at both the college and professional level to the table. He even served as offensive coordinator for the Steelers in 1998.

Detroit doubles down on Harrison

The Detroit Lions signed the defensive tackle to a one-year extension worth a reported $11m, which would bring Damon Harrison's guaranteed money to $12 million between 2019-20. 

The All-Pro defender was traded from the Giants to the Lions midway through last season, bringing his total to 17 games played in 2018. He had 31 tackles with New York before adding 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 10 games for Detroit.

One video you have to see

Ryan Shazier is getting ready to go back to school next week but found time to give an update on his spinal rehabilitation. He has progressed to box jumps!

Thursday's tweet of the day

Antonio Brown could not help but take a shot at his former fan base after a report claimed HBO's "Hard Knocks" ratings in Pittsburgh were triple the national average.

Even if it is just preseason, there was plenty of NFL action on Thursday.

Players are looking to build momentum as the regular season approaches, and quite a few did just that.

Here are three takeaways from the first big night of the 2019 preseason: 

 

Jones looked ready to go from the start

The New York Giants received a lot of heat from their fans after they selected Daniel Jones out of Duke with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. But, he showed promise en route to his team's 31-22 win over the New York Jets in his preseason debut.

The Giants quarterback looked poised against the Jets and went five for five on passing attempts for 67 yards, ending his lone drive of the night with a touchdown pass to the corner of the end zone.

Do not put too much stock in his performance, because it is only his first preseason game. However, seeing him step in comfortably is definitely a plus for the Giants.

Eli Manning will still likely be the week one starter, though. He completed his only throw of the game for three yards.

 

Patriots still finding diamonds in the rough

The New England Patriots routed the Detroit Lions 31-3 and one undrafted rookie burst onto the national scene for the defending champions.

Jakobi Meyers is a quarterback-turned-wide receiver just like one of Tom Brady's all-time favourite targets — Julian Edelman. He made Thursday his coming out party.

The NC State product has already earned first team reps in camp and tallied six receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns against Detroit.

Meyers could prove to be a valuable part of New England's receiving corps in the regular season now that Rob Gronkowski has retired. Meyers sat out the entire second half, so it appears like he could be high on the Patriots' depth chart.

 

Ravens looking to do more with Jackson

Lamar Jackson primarily made a name for himself as a runner during his dynamic rookie season, but he showcased his improved throwing touch down the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 29-0 victory.

The Baltimore Ravens' second-year signal caller completed four of his six throws for 59 yards and a touchdown and did not record a single carry.

It is evident that there is no need to risk Jackson taking unnecessary hits in the preseason, but he has clearly been working to become a more complete dual threat quarterback.

He should still get plenty of chances to get out in the open field and use his explosiveness in 2019, though.

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