Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a comfortable NFL win, while the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks stayed unbeaten.

Brady's Bucs were largely untroubled by the Denver Broncos as they claimed a second straight win on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Russell Wilson made history for the red-hot Seattle Seahawks, who overcame the Dallas Cowboys.

Like Seattle, the Packers are 3-0 after holding off the New Orleans Saints.

 

BRADY LIFTS BUCCANEERS AFTER STRONG START

Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first half as the Buccaneers enjoyed a 28-10 win over the Broncos.

The six-time Super Bowl champion finished the game with 297 yards after completing 25 of 38 passes.

Brady threw two TD passes to Mike Evans in the second quarter, having found Chris Godwin with a 10-yard pass in the first.

"He [Evans] is a great red-area threat, and I think his size, his quickness, his elusiveness, his hands – everything," the QB said.

"Mike is one of the great receivers in the NFL so I've got to find ways to get him the ball and get him into space, not just in the red area but all over the field. It's my job to find the guys that are open and get it to them."

The Buccaneers are 2-1 and top of the NFC South.

 

SEAHAWKS, PACKERS STAY PERFECT

Wilson starred again as the Seahawks edged the Cowboys 38-31.

The quarterback threw five touchdown passes, including 315 yards on the back of 27 of 40 completed passes.

Wilson's 14 TD passes through the first three weeks of an NFL season are a record, eclipsing Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes' 13 to begin 2018.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were too strong for the Saints 37-30.

Alvin Kamara brought the Saints level late in the third quarter after an incredible run following a pass from Drew Brees (completed 29 of 36 passes for 288 yards and three TDs).

But the Packers closed out victory in the fourth quarter, with Rodgers (21 of 32 for 283 yards and three TDs) and Robert Tonyan combining for a crucial TD.

 

LIONS HAND CARDINALS FIRST LOSS, JETS SLIP TO 0-3

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals fell to their first loss of the season, beaten by the Detroit Lions 26-23.

Murray, the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had a difficult outing, intercepted three times. He finished 23 of 35 for 270 yards and two TDs.

Matt Prater kicked two fourth-quarter field goals for the Lions, including a 39-yarder as time expired.

The New York Jets fell to 0-3 after suffering a 36-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Carolina Panthers recorded their first win of the season thanks to a 21-16 success over the Los Angeles Chargers.

 

Week 3 scores:

Chicago Bears 30-26 Atlanta Falcons
Buffalo Bills 35-32 Los Angeles Rams
Cleveland Browns 34-20 Washington Football Team
Tennessee Titans 31-30 Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots 36-20 Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers 36-9 New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles 23-23 Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts 36-7 New York Jets
Carolina Panthers 21-16 Los Angeles Chargers
Detroit Lions 26-23 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-10 Denver Broncos
Seattle Seahawks 38-31 Dallas Cowboys
Green Bay Packers 37-30 New Orleans Saints

Pete Carroll lauded Russell Wilson after the Seattle Seahawks overcame the Dallas Cowboys to continue their winning start to the NFL season.

Wilson threw five touchdown passes in Sunday's 38-31 victory over the Cowboys as the Seahawks improved to 3-0.

The quarterback's 14 TD passes through the first three weeks of the season is an NFL record, eclipsing Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes' 13 set in 2018.

Seahawks head coach Carroll hailed Wilson's red-hot start to the campaign.

"He's a great player. He's a great player, he's got extremely qualified guys catching the ball," he told reporters.

"Greg [Olsen] had some big plays and DK [Metcalf] had huge plays, 100 and something yards today, and Tyler [Lockett].

"He's just got really good football players to work with and he trusts them, he believes in them, he knows the system, he's taking advantage of a whole array of things that we're doing, all different kinds of styles and throws and movements and all that.

"He's just on it. You're watching a great football player do what he does best and I'm just really excited about what happens the next time we go out."

Wilson completed 27 of 40 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns.

Top of the NFC West, the Seahawks face the Miami Dolphins in Week 4.

Russell Wilson eclipsed Kansas City Chiefs counterpart Patrick Mahomes for an NFL record as the Seattle Seahawks preserved their 100 per cent start to the season.

Wilson became the quarterback with the most passing touchdowns through the first three weeks of an NFL season in the Super Bowl era on Sunday.

The Seahawks QB threw five passing TDs in a 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys, taking his season tally to 14 and breaking the record previously held by Mahomes (13) in 2018.

MVP candidate Wilson also became the fifth player in league history to throw at least four touchdown passes in three consecutive games, joining Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Drew Brees and Mahomes.

Wilson – a Super Bowl champion and seven-time Pro Bowler – was 27-of-40 for 315 yards and five touchdowns without an interception as the Seahawks improved to 3-0.

Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson will do battle on Monday Night Football in Week 3 as the Kansas City Chiefs face the Baltimore Ravens.

Mahomes, the Super Bowl LIV MVP and 2018 season NFL MVP, and fellow quarterback Jackson, the 2019 season's NFL MVP, will hope to get the W that moves their team to 3-0.

That clash, one of a number of enticing Week 3 matchups, will provide an early indication of which franchise might be in the best shape to be the AFC's Super Bowl LV representative too.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we break down that game and the other top Week 3 showdowns.

 

FEATURE GAME

Chiefs at Ravens - Monday, 8.15pm (All times Eastern)

- There have been 13 games featuring the reigning and previous NFL MVPs starting against each other at the quarterback position (including playoffs). The reigning MVP has led his team to victory in eight of the last 10 such matchups, and is 8-5 overall.

- Mahomes hooked up with Tyreek Hill for a 54-yard touchdown in the win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2. That was Mahomes' 11th career touchdown pass of 50-plus yards (most in the NFL since 2018). The Ravens as a team have only had nine such touchdowns since 2015, four coming from the arm of Jackson.

- The Chiefs are 6-3 against the Ravens, including wins in each of the three most recent matchups and they have a 4-1 record in Baltimore.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Texans at Steelers - Sunday, 1pm

- The Steelers are 2-0 for the seventh time since 2000. They made the playoffs in each of the previous six seasons, reaching three Super Bowls and winning two titles. Pittsburgh's last 3-0 start was in 2010, when the Steelers made their last trip to the Super Bowl.

Raiders at Patriots - Sunday, 1pm

- New England are tied for ninth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (142.0) and are eighth in passing offense (268.5 yards per game). They are one of three teams in the league's top 10 in both categories, joining the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams. In Sunday's loss at the Seattle Seahawks, Cam Newton passed for 397 yards, including 312 in the second half.

Rams at Bills - Sunday, 1pm

- Buffalo are attempting to start 3-0 for a second straight season, a feat they have accomplished only twice previously in franchise history (1964-65, 1991-92). The Bills have won 10 straight games since December 2018 when scoring 20 or more points, the longest active streak in the NFL. 

Cowboys at Seahawks - Sunday, 4.15pm 

- Dak Prescott enters this weekend with 99 career touchdown passes in 66 career games. With another touchdown pass on Sunday, Prescott would be the fastest Cowboy to reach 100 TD passes – Tony Romo currently holds the record at 79 games.

Packers at Saints - Sunday, 8.20pm

- Since 2018, Davante Adams - who could miss this game through injury - has accounted for 27.8 per cent of Green Bay's receiving yards, the fifth-highest mark in the NFL. The player with the highest percentage during this span is Saints star Michael Thomas (34.5 per cent), who is out this week with an ankle injury.

ELSEWHERE...

Titans at Vikings - Sunday, 1pm

- Ryan Tannehill threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, extending his streak of regular season games with multiple touchdown passes to a franchise-record nine games. Tannehill has a 118.1 passer rating since joining Tennessee in 2019, the best mark in the NFL over that span (minimum 250 attempts).

Buccaneers at Broncos - Sunday, 4.25pm

- Melvin Gordon has tallied 148 rushing yards on 34 attempts this season, 124 more than the Broncos' next-leading rusher (Phillip Lindsay, 24). Gordon also has five receptions and has accounted for 41.9 per cent of the Broncos' touches this season, fifth highest in the NFL.

Jon Gruden insisted he is trying his best in terms of wearing a facemask and communicating with his Las Vegas Raiders players as a number of NFL coaches received fines for not wearing theirs.

Gruden and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton were each pictured not wearing masks during the Raiders' 34-24 victory on Monday.

NFL Network reported that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Denver Broncos boss Vic Fangio had all been handed fines for violating rules regarding wearing face masks during Sunday's action.

Each coach has been fined $100,000, with their respective teams docked $250,000.

It appears a similar punishment awaits both Gruden and Payton but the Raiders head coach appears willing to pay the price. 

"I'm doing my best. You know, I've had the virus, okay. I'm doing my best," Gruden said in a media conference. "I'm very sensitive about it, but I'm calling plays.

"I just want to communicate in these situations and I apologise and if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine, but I'm very sensitive about all of that and I apologise."

Two days after asserting he was "without a doubt" the NFL's best quarterback, Russell Wilson backed up his big words with a big primetime performance.

The New England Patriots could not prevent 'Mr Unlimited' from throwing a quintet of touchdown passes, to five different receivers, before a goal-line stand from the Seattle Seahawks defense at the death earned Pete Carroll's team a 35-30 victory.

Pats head coach Bill Belichick, who doesn't throw praise around lightly, had suggested in the build-up that Wilson - a man who has never had an MVP vote in his eight-and-a-bit-year career - was the league's finest QB, but do the numbers back that up? 

Using Stats Perform data, we took a look at how Wilson's regular season and postseason numbers compare to the NFL's other leading passers since Week 11 of 2018, when reigning MVP Lamar Jackson made his first start.

 

PASSER RATING - 111.0 (1st)

Only seven QBs have posted a combined passer rating above 100 in this time frame and Wilson leads a septet of Ryan Tannehill, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Jackson, Jimmy Garoppolo and Dak Prescott. Wilson has played 28 games - the most of that group - but has attempted fewer throws (847) than both Prescott (1,000) and Mahomes (982). 

PASSING YARDAGE - 7,036 (7th)

Before the Seahawks caved in to the 'Let Russ Cook' movement in 2020, a rush-orientated offense meant he was simply not afforded as many opportunities to shine as his peers. Wilson is 10th in attempts - 198 behind leader Tom Brady (1,045), though they have played the same amount of games. It is therefore impressive that he ranks seventh in yardage, even if he is well behind leader Prescott (8,065 yards).

YARDS-PER-ATTEMPT - 8.31 (1st)

What Wilson does with those throws is a far better reflection of his talent. There is no better deep-ball thrower in the NFL than Wilson - though Mahomes' Sunday touchdown bomb to Tyreek Hill might give his case some credence - and it is no surprise to see Wilson top the yards-per-attempt list.

PASSING PLAYS OF 25-PLUS YARDS - 66 (3rd)

That big arm naturally leads to big plays - and Wilson has had 66 completions of at least 25 yards in this time frame. Only Mahomes (71) and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (68) - the very epitome of boom or bust - have more such plays.

TOUCHDOWNS - 57 (2nd) and TOUCHDOWN PERCENTAGE - 6.7% (3rd)

Mahomes (63) and Wilson are way ahead of the rest in touchdown passes thrown but the Seahawks QB shades the 2018 MVP when it comes to how many of their attempts end with TDs (6.7 per cent to 6.4 per cent). Wilson trails the uber-efficient Tannehill (7.5 per cent) and Jackson (6.9 per cent) in that category.

INTERCEPTION PERCENTAGE - 0.9% (2nd)

Not turning the ball over is another important part of being a QB and Wilson is as safe as they come on that front. Only Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers - arguably the best ever when it comes to taking care of the football - has a better interception percentage (0.7 per cent), with Wilson tossing just eight picks on 847 attempts.

COMPLETION PERCENTAGE - 66.9% (10th)

A quick look at those above Wilson here - Derek Carr, Nick Foles, Teddy Bridgewater - shows this stat is not as important when it comes to determining who is the NFL's best. What is more illuminating is that, again, he has a better figure than Mahomes (64.9 per cent) and Jackson (63.2 per cent).

Consider too that only Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans has had more sacks (98) than Wilson (82), and you realise that the Seattle superstar has been doing all this without a stout offensive line.

Belichick isn't often wrong, and he was probably right when he said of Wilson "I don't really see anyone better than this player".

Russell Wilson feels "in the zone" after backing up his bullish comments about being the NFL's best quarterback by throwing five touchdowns in the Seattle Seahawks' 35-30 win over the New England Patriots.

Wilson tied a career-high by tossing five scores - to five different receivers - before the Seahawks defense stuffed Patriots QB Cam Newton from the one-yard line with three seconds remaining to go 2-0 to start the season.

It was another electric display from Wilson, who unleashed deep touchdown bombs to DK Metcalf and David Moore, as he lived up to his pre-game assertion that he was the league's best QB.

Ninth-year quarterback Wilson has never received an MVP vote but once again showed he deserves to be in the conversation with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and others for the game's leading signal caller.

"I don't come to play this game to be second place," Wilson told reporters when asked about the comments he made on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday.

"I think that if I'm not thinking that way, I'm crazy to, because if you want to be great you have to believe in who you are and what you have and all the things that you do.

"I put tons of work in this game and I want to be the best in the world, but I can't do it alone."

Wilson revealed he has been itching to get back on the field since the Seahawks' playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers in January.

He has thrown nine touchdowns through Week 2 - only the fourth player in NFL history to throw at least four in each of his team's first two games.

Asked if it felt like he had found "another gear" at the start of this season, Wilson added: "Definitely in the zone. Locked in. Focused. Dialled in. My team-mates are too.

"It's a great group of men. I've been ready to play since the last time we had our last game in Green Bay.

"Every day it's my mindset, just my performance, team and everything else, just everything that we put into it is just getting ready and trying to be great."

The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens both improved to 2-0 in the NFL but in contrasting fashion on Sunday.

Reigning Super Bowl champions the Chiefs needed overtime to see off the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 in Week 2.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens powered past the Houston Texans 33-16 on the road.

Meanwhile, Kyler Murray dazzled for the high-flying Arizona Cardinals and Russell Wilson sparked the Seattle Seahawks.

 

MAHOMES' CHIEFS OUTLAST CHARGERS

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs stayed perfect thanks to Harrison Butker's 58-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining in OT.

Butker drilled three field goals for the day as he tied a Chiefs record for distance, while becoming the second kicker in NFL history to make a pair of 58-yard kicks in the same game.

It completed a rally for the Chiefs, who overturned a 17-6 deficit in the third quarter to survive an impressive NFL debut by Chargers rookie Justin Herbert.

Herbert threw 311 yards to become the ninth player since the merger to top 300 in his first game. He was 22 of 33 for a touchdown and interception.

As for former MVP and last season's Super Bowl MVP Mahomes, the Chiefs quarterback finished 27 of 47 for 302 passing yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 54 yards.

 

RAVENS PRESERVE UNBEATEN RUN

The Ravens overcame a slow start to extend their regular-season winning streak to 14 games – the longest run since the Carolina Panthers reeled off 18 successive victories in 2014-15.

Reigning MVP Jackson threw for 204 yards and a touchdown, while he rushed for 54 yards in Houston, where the Ravens led 20-10 at half-time.

The Ravens rushed for 230 yards compared to the Texans' 51 as Mark Ingram II had 55 and a touchdown.

"We feel like we have the best backfield in the league. We just try to prove that, week in, week out," Ingram said.

MURRAY HAS CARDINALS SOARING

Murray continues to show why the Cardinals were so desperate to draft him with the number one pick last year after inspiring a 30-15 victory against the Washington Football Team.

Second-year quarterback Murray finished with 286 yards and a touchdown, while he ran for two TDs in a stunning display.

Murray – a dual-threat – put on a show as he ran with the ball and went for 14 and 21 yards to help the Cardinals improve to 2-0.

"As soon as I leave the pocket I survey the field," Murray said. "Seeing how the blocks were set up, they were set up pretty perfectly. Once I get a guy one on one, I like my chances."

Cardinals star DeAndre Hopkins had eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, Wilson fuelled the Seahawks to a 35-30 win over the New England Patriots.

Wilson was 21-of-28 for 288 yards and five touchdowns as the Seahawks made it two victories from two games.

It condemned Can Newton and the Patriots to their first loss of the season after Tom Brady's QB replacement in New England finished 30 of 44 for 397 yards, a touchdown, interception and a sack in Seattle.

 

Week 2 scores:

Chicago Bears 17-13 New York Giants 
Dallas Cowboys 40-39 Atlanta Falcons 
Green Bay Packers 42-21 Detroit Lions 
Tennessee Titans 33-30 Jacksonville Jaguars 
Indianapolis Colts 28-11 Minnesota Vikings 
Buffalo Bills 31-28 Miami Dolphins 
San Francisco 49ers 31-13 New York Jets 
Los Angeles Rams 37-19 Philadelphia Eagles 
Pittsburgh Steelers 26-21 Denver Broncos 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17 Carolina Panthers
Arizona Cardinals 30-15 Washington Football Team
Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens 33-16 Houston Texans
Seattle Seahawks 35-30 New England Patriots

The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks were among the most impressive teams in Week 1 - now they meet at CenturyLink Field on Sunday Night Football.

Cam Newton, Tom Brady's replacement at quarterback, led New England to a 21-11 victory over the Miami Dolphins, while Russell Wilson put on a passing clinic when completing 31 of his 35 attempts in Seattle's 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

A repeat of Super Bowl XLIX is the standout game of Sunday's slate, though there are plenty more mouth-watering encounters, including the Baltimore Ravens facing the Houston Texans.

Here we break down the big matchups using Stats Perform data.

 

FEATURE GAME

Patriots at Seahawks - Sunday, 8.20pm (all times Eastern)

- This will be the first game in NFL history in which both teams will have a head coach aged 68 or older. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is 69, while Patriots coach Bill Belichick is 68.

- Newton led the Patriots with 75 yards rushing on a game-high 15 carries in his Pats debut last week. Should he finish as New England's leading rusher again in Seattle, Newton will be his team's leading rusher for a 37th time - a new record for the most such games by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).

- New England have won eight straight games against NFC opponents, including their Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams, dating back to a loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 3 of the 2018 season.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Rams at Eagles - Sunday, 1pm

- The Eagles have won the last six meetings between these teams, including one-score wins in Los Angeles in 2017 (43-35) and 2018 (30-23). They have averaged 32.2 points during the win streak, with at least 30 points in each of the last five meetings.

Broncos at Steelers - Sunday, 1pm

- The Broncos have won four of the last five games against the Steelers, including two playoff wins. Four of those five games were decided by seven points or fewer.

Chiefs at Chargers - Sunday, 4.25pm

- After starting last season 6-4, Kansas City have won 10 straight games - regular season and playoffs. The streak began last November with a win over the Chargers in Mexico City. Each of the last seven victories have come by a double-digit margin; since 2000, only the 2007 Patriots (eight games) have had a longer streak of wins by 10 or more points.

Ravens at Texans - Sunday, 4.25pm

- The Ravens have gone 12 straight regular-season games without trailing in the second half, the longest streak by any NFL team since the Chicago Bears had a 12-game streak from 1933-34. The last team to have a streak longer than 12 games was the Green Bay Packers from 1929-30 (18).

Saints at Raiders - Monday, 4.15pm

- Josh Jacobs had three rushing touchdowns in Week 1, becoming the first Raider to do so since Latavius Murray, who is now with New Orleans, had three in Week 9 of 2016. Only two Raiders have rushed for three touchdowns more than once – Marcus Allen (five times) and Pete Banaszak (twice).

ELSEWHERE...

Falcons at Cowboys - Sunday, 1pm

- Dak Prescott has not been intercepted in his last 223 pass attempts going back to last November, the longest streak in Cowboys history. Troy Aikman held the previous mark at 216 passes in 1999.

Lions at Packers - Sunday, 1pm

- Green Bay have won seven straight home openers since a 30-22 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in 2012. That is the second-longest active streak of its kind, behind the Seahawks (11 straight).

Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut did not go according to plan, while last season's Super Bowl participants the San Francisco 49ers started their 2020 NFL campaign with a loss.

Legendary quarter Brady struggled as the Buccaneers went down 34-23 to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 on Sunday.

As for the 49ers, they were upstaged by Kyler Murray's Arizona Cardinals 24-20 in San Francisco.

 

BRADY'S BUCS BEATEN

Brady has taken his Super Bowl-winning expertise to Tampa Bay, but the six-time NFL champion endured a tough debut against NFC South champions the Saints.

A high-profile recruit from the New England Patriots following 20 years in Foxborough, Brady threw two interceptions in the team's season opener.

The 43-year-old had a pick-six, finishing 23 of 36 for 239 yards and two touchdowns, while he was sacked three times.

Brady started well, scoring a two-yard touchdown. He led a nine-play, 85-yard drive, completing his two passes for 37 yards before running the ball into the endzone for the first points of the game.

But Brady turned the ball over twice, with the second turnover resulting in a touchdown for the Saints' Janoris Jenkins.

It was a far better outing for fellow veteran quarterback Drew Brees, who passed for 160 yards and two touchdowns, without turning the ball over – throwing TD passes to Alvin Kamara and Emmanuel Sanders in New Orleans.

 

CARDINALS RALLY AMID GAROPPOLO WOES

The Cardinals – led by their star QB Murray – completed a comeback to upstage the highly rated 49ers on the road.

Murray's throw to DeAndre Hopkins set up Kenyan Drake's one-yard score with just over five minutes remaining as the Cardinals topped the 49ers.

The Cardinals overcame a pair of fourth-quarter deficits thanks to Murray, who threw for 230 yards and a touchdown, while running for 91 yards and another score.

It came as 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled as criticism grows.

After a disappointing display in the Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, further questions have been raised after Garoppolo led just one scoring drive in the second half.

Garoppolo finished 19 of 33 for 259 yards and two touchdowns, and he missed two crucial throws, with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan saying: "He's gotta play better. We've all gotta play better. The entire offense missed opportunities."

 

RAMS OPEN NEW STADIUM WITH WIN

In their first game at SoFi Stadium, the Los Angeles Rams topped the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 behind a career-high 79 yards and two touchdowns from Malcolm Brown.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff passed for 275 yards, while Cowboys counterpart Dak Prescott was 25 of 39 for 266 yards and a touchdown.

Number one draft pick Joe Burrow put the Cincinnati Bengals in a position to claim a dramatic last-gasp win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

But after running 23 yards for a touchdown, Burrow watched Randy Bullock miss a 31-yard field goal with seven seconds to play as the Chargers prevailed 16-13.

 

Week 1 scores:

Seattle Seahawks 38-25 Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens 38-6 Cleveland Browns
Buffalo Bills 27-17 New York Jets
Las Vegas Raiders 34-30 Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears 27-23 Detroit Lions
Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 Indianapolis Colts
Green Bay Packers 43-34 Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots 21-11 Miami Dolphins
Washington Football Team 27-17 Philadelphia Eagles
Arizona Cardinals 24-20 San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints 34-23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Chargers 16-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Los Angeles Rams 20-17 Dallas Cowboys

Cam Newton helped the New England Patriots get off to a winning start and the Chicago Bears staged a remarkable late comeback against Detroit Lions in the NFL on Sunday.

The Pats were comfortable 21-11 winners against the Miami Dolphins in their first game since Tom Brady's departure, with Newton contributing two rushing touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Bears hit back at Detroit, who had linebacker Jamie Collins ejected for making contact with an official with his helmet in a bizarre incident.


PATS UP AND RUNNING POST-BRADY

The Pats kicked off a new Brady-less era at Gillette Stadium with a routine opening-day victory thanks in no small part to the performance of Newton.

The 2015 MVP scored the 59th and 60th rushing TDs of his career, going 75 yards on 15 carries while also throwing 15 of 19 for 155 yards.

Sony Michel also rushed home from a yard out in the fourth quarter after Jordan Howard had given the Dolphins some temporary hope.


TRUBISKY DRAGS CHICAGO BACK FROM THE DEAD

Chicago scored 21 unanswered points on three touchdown passes from Mitch Trubisky to claim an improbable 27-23 win at Detroit.

The hosts carried a three-score lead into the final quarter yet somehow failed to see out victory

Trubisky picked out wide receiver Anthony Miller for a diving 27-yard touchdown catch with a little under two minutes remaining complete the fightback.

Detroit lost Collins in the second quarter, the linebacker ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct after lowering his head and made contact with an official as he appeared to signal another incident.


RODGERS DISMANTLES MINNESOTA

Aaron Rodgers looked back to his old self, helping himself to a couple of touchdown passes in the second quarter of the Green Bay Packers' 43-34 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

He did not look back from that point on, finishing with four touchdown passes, Davante Adams profiting from two of those, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling also got in on the act.

There was also a scintillating quarterback display from Russell Wilson in the Seattle Seahawks' 38-25 victory against Atlanta Falcons.

Wilson threw for 322 yards and four TDs for the Seahawks, who saw Greg Olsen and Carlos Hyde register debut scores.


JACKSON RESUMES MVP FORM
 
Lamar Jackson was nine-of-10 for 180 yards on throws of 10 yards or more downfield, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Willie Snead, as the Baltimore Ravens beat Cleveland Browns 36-6. 

He completed 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns in total in a formidable performance, helping the Ravens win a season opener by more than 30 points for a third straight season.

It was a tighter contest in the clash between the Carolina Panthers and the Las Vegas Raiders, meanwhile, with the latter clinching a slender 34-30 road win.

Josh Jacobs rushed for three touchdowns, one of those a six-yard scoring run with 4:08 left, to inspire the Raiders to victory in their debut as Las Vegas' NFL team


JACKSONVILLE SHOCK COLTS

The Jaguars got off to a 1-0 start by overcoming divisional rivals Indianapolis Colts 27-20 at EverBank Field.

The Colts, in their first game with veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, were second best against a Jaguars side containing a number of rookies.

Andrew Wingard intercepted with less than five minutes of a tight contest remaining to set up Josh Lambo's second field goal in a surprise result.

Elsewhere, the Washington Football Team - inspired by Peyton Barber - rallied to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17 from a 17-0 deficit.

Barber ran for two touchdowns in Ron Rivera's debut game, profiting from some poor defensive play from their opponents.


Week 1 scores:

Atlanta Falcons 25-38 Seattle Seahawks
Baltimore Ravens 38-6 Cleveland Browns
Buffalo Bills 27-17 New York Jets
Carolina Panthers 30-34 Las Vegas Raiders
Detroit Lions 23-27 Chicago Bears
Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 Indianapolis Colts
Minnesota Vikings 34-43 Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots 21-11 Miami Dolphins
Washington Football Team 27-17 Philadelphia Eagles

The new NFL playoff format will see seven teams from each conference reach the postseason, and that presents the division widely regarded as the league's best with an opportunity for history.

A realignment of divisions following the addition of the Houston Texans to the league in 2002 had made it impossible for four teams from the same division to reach the playoffs.

That is no longer the case in the wake of playoff expansion, though, providing the NFC West with the chance to do what the five-team AFC East last did back in 1998.

With division champions the San Francisco 49ers still considered the class of the NFC by many and the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals all likely to be competitive, there is a clear possibility all four could be playing postseason football come January.

How likely is that? Here we look at each team to assess the chances of the NFC West having three wild card teams to go with its division winner.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are attempting to avenge their Super Bowl LIV agony. Kyle Shanahan's team were minutes away from lifting the Lombardi Trophy before Patrick Mahomes propelled the Kansas City Chiefs to glory.

It is typically usual for great defensive teams as the 49ers were in 2019 to experience some kind of regression and San Francisco traded All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason.

However, the Niners still have a ferocious pass rush and a dynamic offense overseen by arguably the league's premier play-caller in Shanahan. The addition of seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams as a replacement for the retired Joe Staley could see a devastating running game get even better while tight end George Kittle is the most versatile offensive weapon in the game.

The question surrounds quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo – maligned by some after the Super Bowl loss – and whether he can take the step forward to keep the Niners atop the conference. With Shanahan calling the plays, the smart money is on Garoppolo and the 49ers silencing the doubters.

Seattle Seahawks

On offense, the Seahawks are the inverse of the 49ers. There are no doubts about their quarterback but there are plenty around the coaching staff's ability to maximize his MVP skill set.

Despite Seattle's bizarre focus on running the ball rather than putting the game in the hands of Russell Wilson, they have missed the playoffs only twice in Pete Carroll's 10 seasons as head coach and the Seahawks were inches away from beating the 49ers in Week 17 and winning the division last year.

There are concerns about the pass rush after Jadeveon Clowney was not re-signed but an underrated secondary was significantly bolstered by the acquisition of All-Pro safety Jamal Adams in a blockbuster trade.

The hope will be that Adams can slow down Kittle and the 49ers. That may be wishful thinking but, as long as Wilson is around to perform his trademark late-game heroics, there appears little chance of Seattle missing out on an expanded postseason.

Los Angeles Rams

Had playoff expansion happened before last season, the Rams would have made the postseason in 2019, a fact that serves as evidence their 'Super Bowl hangover' was not as bad as perceived.

Head coach Sean McVay was overshadowed by Shanahan last year but he remains among the league's best in terms of play-calling acumen. He should continue to put Jared Goff in favourable positions in 2020 but the success of the Rams' quest to get back to the playoffs hinges on two things: their offensive line and their defensive coordinator.

Injuries and a decline in performance from the O-Line was a significant factor in a disappointing 2019 for Los Angeles. They chose to bring back veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth and the hope is that better continuity up front will fuel a committee group of runners to production the departed Todd Gurley was unable to deliver last year.

Brandon Staley is a relative unknown that has the huge responsibility of replacing legendary defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. To his advantage is that he gets to coach perennial Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and the new highest-paid cornerback in football Jalen Ramsey.

If he delivers a resurgence on that side of the ball, expect the Rams to again be a force in the NFC.

Arizona Cardinals

After an Offensive Rookie of the Year season from 2019 first overall pick Kyler Murray, the Cardinals have been the darlings of the offseason.

The stunning trade for All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins won them more admirers who anticipate an exciting offense helping Arizona challenge in the division.

While the NFL is an offense-first league, there is not enough on defense in Arizona to provide the support needed for the Cardinals to contend for the division title.

Pass rusher Chandler Jones is frequently in the Defensive Player of the Year mix and Budda Baker is a versatile playmaker at safety, but a lack of talent elsewhere on defense should stymie their hopes of an NFC West crown.

The offense could be productive enough to keep them in the mix for a wild card berth, however, in a loaded conference, Arizona's shortcomings when Murray is not on the field may just be what stops the entire NFC West from going to the playoffs in 2020.

NFL Sundays are back with a bang this weekend as Tom Brady and Drew Brees duel in New Orleans.

The two future Hall of Famers are set to face each other twice this year following ex-New England Patriots quarterback Brady's decision to join the Saints' NFC South rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason.

Six-time Super Bowl winner Brady - the league's most decorated quarterback - will be aiming to bring the success he enjoyed in New England to a Bucs team deprived of postseason action in recent years.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we take a look at some of the most intriguing Week 1 matchups.

 

FEATURE GAME

Bucs at Saints - Sunday, 4.25pm (all times Eastern)

- Tampa Bay have gone 12 straight seasons without making the playoffs, the second-longest drought in the NFL (Cleveland Browns, 17 straight). The Buccaneers have not won a playoff game since defeating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII in January 2003.

- Brady has joined the Buccaneers after 20 seasons and 285 career games played with the Patriots – the most games with a franchise all-time by a player who subsequently played for another team. Brady has an all-time best .774 career win percentage as a starting QB (minimum 100 starts); the Bucs' .387 all-time win percentage is the worst among current franchises.

- The Saints have won the NFC South three straight years, posting a 13-3 record in each of the last two. They are the fourth NFC team since the merger to have back-to-back seasons of 13-plus wins, joining the 1985-86 Chicago Bears, 1989-90 San Francisco 49ers and 1996-97 Green Bay Packers; no NFL team has ever had three straight 13-win seasons.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Browns at Ravens - Sunday, 1pm

- Since the franchise returned in 1999, the Browns are 1-19-1 in season openers, with the lone win in 2004 versus Baltimore (20-3). Every other team has won at least seven season openers in that span. 

Seahawks at Falcons - Sunday, 1pm

- Ten of the Seattle Seahawks' 11 wins last year – and two of their five losses – came by eight points or fewer. They joined the 1978 Houston Oilers as the only teams in NFL history to win 10 one-score games in a season (defined as seven points when there was no two-point conversion rule, and eight points when there was).

Chargers at Bengals - Sunday, 4.05pm

- Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will be trying to become the first Heisman-winning QB drafted first overall to win his first start in the NFL since Jim Plunkett in 1971.

Cardinals at 49ers - Sunday, 4.25pm

- In their three-game postseason run in the 2019 campaign, the 49ers outrushed their opponents 612 yards to 212 yards, the best playoff differential for any team since Washington in 1982 and the best all-time by a non-champion.

Cowboys at Rams - 8.20pm

- The 2019 Los Angeles Rams finished third in the NFC West with a 9-7 record. Los Angeles were 7-0 when allowing fewer than 17 points last season, but just 2-7 when allowing 17 or more.

ELSEWHERE...

Dolphins at Patriots - 1pm

- When Cam Newton starts for the Patriots on Sunday, it will snap a streak of 471 consecutive games – regular season and playoffs – in which the Pats have started a QB that they drafted. This is the longest such streak in NFL history.

Bears at Lions - 1pm

- Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is set to make his 150th career start on Sunday. His 41,025 career passing yards are already the most by any QB through 150 career starts, with only Aaron Rodgers (40,715) also reaching the 40,000 mark.

Free agent wide receiver Josh Gordon has re-signed for the Seattle Seahawks, according to his agent.

Gordon remains suspended indefinitely for violation of the NFL's policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse, though he applied to be reinstated in June.

That was Gordon's sixth suspension since the 2013 season and the fifth for substance abuse.

He played in five games for the Seahawks last season prior to his suspension, having started the campaign with the New England Patriots.

When he has been on the field, Gordon has been productive. He led the NFL with 1,646 yards in 2013 – his second year with the Cleveland Browns – though that remains the only campaign in which he went over 1,000 yards receiving.

Gordon, a Pro Bowler in 2013, has played in 63 games since entering the NFL in 2012 and he has made 247 catches for 4,252 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the NFL franchise are monitoring Antonio Brown as they weigh up a move for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

Brown – a free agent – will serve an eight-game suspension after breaching the NFL's personal conduct policy following a January incident in Florida.

The 32-year-old wide receiver is looking for a new home after being cut by the New England Patriots, who axed Brown after just 11 days and one game in September.

Seattle have emerged as a possible destination and Carroll addressed the Seahawks' rumoured interest in Brown on Monday.

"What I'd say to you is what we always say because it's what we always do and who we are," Carroll said.

"[General manager] John [Schneider] is competing at every turn. There's never been a process, unless we just missed it, that we weren't involved with to understand what the chances were of helping our club.

"He's all over it. He understands what's going on right now, as much as you can. It's a very complex situation.

"We just need to see where it fits somewhere down the road. That's all I got for you."

Having entered the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, Brown has amassed 11,263 receiving yards and caught 75 touchdowns in his career.

Carroll, meanwhile, said the Seahawks are "very open" to reuniting with star wide receiver Josh Gordon.

Gordon was banned indefinitely in December for violations of the NFL's policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.

A Pro Bowler, Gordon – who would become an unrestricted free agent if and when he is reinstated – made five appearances for the Seahawks last season after he was released by the Patriots in November.

"It's not in our hands," Carroll said. "Josh did a really good job with us last year. He fit in really well. He was part of this team by the way we opened and embraced his coming to us but also by the way he adapted.

"So we are very open to that thought and we'll see what happens. I don't know. I can't tell you what's going to happen on that."

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