New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh lauded returning quarterback Zach Wilson following Sunday's 24-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Jets looked set for a third loss of the season when Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett scored two rushing touchdowns to hand the hosts a 20-10 second-half lead in Pennsylvania.

However, the first-round draft pick threw three interceptions as the Jets had the last laugh, with Breece Hall sealing victory when he ran for a two-yard touchdown with 16 seconds remaining.

Wilson – featuring for the first time since he suffered a knee injury in the Jets' preseason opener – was crucial to their revival, completing 10 of his 12 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in a brilliant fourth quarter.

Speaking after the win, Saleh hailed Wilson's ability to handle pressure, declaring: "Zach doesn't flinch.

"I'm sure there were a couple of plays he wishes he had back. But he got us out of a lot of bad situations with his mobility. I thought he played a pretty good game, [for] his first game back."

Wilson himself, meanwhile, was delighted by the Jets' late show, adding: "All the ups and downs of trying to overcome adversity, it was just such a good win.

"I think there was so much growth those last two minutes as an offense, executing a drive as clean as it was and punching it in. It was just awesome

"It's just the NFL, man. We had some good things early, we scored, then things got stalled out. 

"My mentality is just keep doing my job, keep chipping away. That was my message and that's what everybody did. 

"There was some frustration, but it was the right frustration. That was a cool opportunity for us to lose a lead like that and come all the way back for the win."

Asked whether he was convinced the Jets would get over the line on their decisive late drive, Wilson added: "Yeah, 100 per cent from the beginning. 

"I think there was no doubt in our minds, especially when I hit a couple of quick passes, we hit a couple of runs as an offense. You could just feel it."

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin refused to commit to starting Kenny Pickett in Week 5 after the first-round draft pick made his NFL debut in their 24-20 loss to the New York Jets.

After a first half in which the Steelers only managed a pair of field goals, Tomlin introduced the 24-year-old quarterback, who ran in for two rushing touchdowns to hand Pittsburgh a 20-10 lead.

However, Pickett also threw three interceptions as the Jets hit back, and rookie Breece Hall's game-winning touchdown reduced the Steelers to 1-3 for the season.

Pickett's introduction came as something of a surprise after Tomlin appeared to rule out a change at quarterback following the Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns, and he refused to give away his future plans after Sunday's game.

"I'm not going to talk extended as we sit here," said Tomlin. "We did what we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win this game. We'll do it again. 

"But I like to just keep it where we are in terms of what transpired here today. We'll deal with next week, next week."

Asked why he brought Pickett in, Tomlin added: "We just thought we needed a spark. 

"We didn't do much in the first half, not enough offensively and thought he could provide a spark for us.

"I thought he did some good things. I thought there was some energy there. We scored some touchdowns. But obviously we also turned the ball over.

"We're disappointed, but what transpired is not anything mystical. That's what we talked about as a collective in there. 

"No disrespect to the Jets. They made plays and won the football game. But it's not about who we play.

"It's not about rabbits' foots and so forth. We've got to play better. We've got to put them in a better position. We've got to perform better. And I'm talking about the collection of players and coaches in there."

Pickett, meanwhile, fronted up for Pittsburgh's defeat as he echoed Tomlin's call for improvements, saying: "I'm just disappointed. 

"[I] wanted to come in and get the win so that's really just the emotion, just disappointed we didn't come out with the outcome we worked so hard for. Definitely something we need to learn from and move on.

"The plays were there, we made plays, but the turnovers killed us. It's definitely on me and I have to improve."

The Buffalo Bills took advantage of a questionable fourth-quarter decision to defeat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 on the road on Sunday.

In a game played in difficult, rainy conditions, both star quarterbacks completed one touchdown pass each.

Baltimore's Lamar Jackson dished off a shovel pass to J.K. Dobbins in the first quarter, and Dobbins' second touchdown, this time on the ground, helped build a 20-3 lead in the second period.

Buffalo's Josh Allen found Isaiah McKenzie in the seconds before half-time for what would end up being his only touchdown pass of the game, but he scored with his legs on an 11-yard rush late in the third to tie things at 20-20.

With scores even in the fourth quarter, the Ravens put together a 14-play, 93-yard drive starting from their own five-yard line, but after Dobbins' attempt at his third touchdown was stopped for a loss, the home side were forced into a tough decision.

While they could have kicked a chip-shot field goal and taken the lead, they instead opted to throw for it on fourth down, resulting in a turnover, handing the Bills the ball with four minutes remaining, needing just a field goal to win it.

A 20-yard completion to Dawson Knox and a roughing the passer call on the Ravens defense moved the ball up the field quickly, and with the ball on the one-yard line, the road team decided to play it smart and kneel to set up a game-winning field goal from Tyler Bass as time expired.

Both quarterbacks also ended up leading their teams in rushing, with Allen totalling 70 rushing yards from 11 carries, while Jackson finished with 11 carries for 73 yards.

Eagles force five turnovers to remain undefeated

The last undefeated team in the league stayed that way after the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the rising Jacksonville Jaguars 29-21.

Philadelphia's defense was the story of the game, recovering four fumbles and securing one interception, with Haason Reddick posting two sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

On offense, Miles Sanders was a workhorse in the Eagles backfield, carrying the ball 27 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns, while A.J. Brown led both teams in receiving with five catches for 95 yards.

For the Jaguars, Jamal Agnew caught both of Trevor Lawrence's touchdown passes, although the impressive young quarterback completed just 11 of his 23 passes in the rain.

Pickett debuts as Steelers fall to the Jets

After a lacklustre first half where the Pittsburgh Steelers could only score a pair of field goals, first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett was brought in for his NFL debut as his side ended up losing to the New York Jets 24-20.

Pickett, who replaced Mitchell Trubisky, enjoyed a bright start as he ran in for two short-range rushing touchdowns to turn a 10-6 deficit into a 20-10 lead. While he completed 10 of his 13 passes, those three incompletions ended up as three interceptions to allow the Jets back into the game.

In his first game this season after returning from injury, Zach Wilson manufactured a touchdown pass to Corey Davis to cut the margin to 20-17, before going six-for-six through the air on the final drive to set up a one-yard, game-winning touchdown run from rookie Breece Hall.

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has been cleared to return from a knee injury and start Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Wilson has not played since suffering a meniscus tear and bone bruise in his right knee in the Jets' preseason opener, with veteran QB Joe Flacco stepping in during his absence.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh confirmed Wilson would start ahead of Flacco on Sunday, barring any unforeseen setbacks prior to the game.

"If all goes well this week, absolutely," Saleh said when asked about starting Wilson. "He's very comfortable. He's in a great mental state. Everyone is comfortable with where he's at physically."

Wilson, who was second pick overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, reiterated that he was physically ready.

"I'm 100 per cent, I'm ready to go," Wilson said. "The biggest thing is you haven't played ball in a little bit, you've been trying to replicate as much as possible, so I'm just going to have fun with this process and getting back in and just giving it my best."

Wilson's latest injury was on the same knee that he sprained last season, causing him to miss four games. The Jets quarterback insisted he would not alter his playing style to protect the knee.

"I'm full go. I'm going to play ball how I can," Wilson said. "If somebody comes up, [I'll] make somebody miss, get out on the edge, extend plays when I need to, hang in the pocket. I'm playing exactly how I should be."

In his rookie season, Wilson started 13 games, completing 213 of 383 attempts for 2,334 yards and nine touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He was sacked 44 times.

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh is expecting quarterback Zach Wilson to return from injury in next Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Wilson has been sidelined since suffering a meniscus tear and bone bruise in his right knee in their preseason opener, with veteran QB Joe Flacco stepping in during his absence.

Flacco struggled in Sunday's 27-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, coming only seven days after his heroics with two late touchdown passes in a miracle 31-30 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Wilson, who was pick two in the 2021 NFL Draft, is expected to come immediately back in as starting QB when healthy.

"I'm expecting [him back], but until the doctors say so, I'm just going to say he's being evaluated," Saleh told reporters.

Flacco had a poor game with two interceptions, two fumbles and four sacks against the Bengals.

"It's frustrating," Saleh said. "Any time you turn the ball over and you only get one takeaway, obviously you're not going to win the football game."

Fans became increasingly frustrated at Flacco, with boos heard at MetLife Stadium following a few throwaways, while there were chants for back-up QB Mike White to come on.

Saleh insisted he never considered a QB change, while Flacco said he had no time to worry about it.

"Fans want to see you win football games," Flacco said. "You get the frustration, but it was a two-score game.

"If we put one in the end zone there ... we have more important things to worry about than listening to that stuff."

On the quarterback situation, Flacco added: "We'll see. You guys know more than I do. I'm going to keep my head down and keep working, doing all I can for this team in whatever role that may be."

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is not considering a change at quarterback despite Mitch Trubisky's struggles in the second half of Thursday's 29-17 loss at the Cleveland Browns. 

Trubisky started well as the Steelers took a 14-13 half-time lead, completing eight of his first nine passes and adding a rushing touchdown.

But he completed just 11 of his subsequent 22 passes as Pittsburgh's offense stalled, with Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett and star running back Nick Chubb taking control.

The struggles of the Steelers' QB led to suggestions they could introduce rookie Kenny Pickett, but Tomlin insisted that was not in his thoughts after the loss.

"I'm not in that mindset, I'm interested in reviewing this tape, looking at the totality of it and figuring out how we collectively get better," Tomlin said.

"The answer to that question is definitively no." 

Asked about Trubisky's showing, Tomlin added: "I thought he made some plays, but we all collectively came up short. 

"That's how we measure performance. Winning is our business and we didn't handle business. So we don't break that apart and look for the feel-good.

"Credit to Cleveland, they did what was required for victory, you've got to acknowledge that. 

"If you can't slow down Chubb, you can't beat this group. We knew that and we didn't get it done, so we've got to own the outcome and we will."

Alongside Brissett and Chubb, Amari Cooper proved influential for Cleveland as he continued his strong form since arriving in a trade from the Dallas Cowboys.

The wide receiver made seven catches for 101 yards, his second straight 100-yard game, and teammate Brissett was delighted by his contribution.

"I mean he's been unbelievable," Brissett said. "He's one of the smartest, hardest-working players I've ever worked with, comes out here every week, every day working hard, putting in the work and it's just a pleasure to play with him. 

"I know that he wants to just continue to keep this going."

Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski echoed those thoughts, adding: "I'm trying to find new ways to tell you guys how impressed I am with number two. I mean he's really, really smart. 

"He's a great teammate, runs every route imaginable... he's so versatile, he's such a big, physical receiver, he's trustworthy."

The Cleveland Browns are now 2-1 after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-17 on Thursday night thanks to excellent offensive showings from quarterback Jacoby Brissett and star running back Nick Chubb.

Brissett was impressive for the Browns, finishing 21-of-31 for 220 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions as Amari Cooper hauled in seven catches for 101 yards and Njoku caught nine balls for 89 yards. On the ground, Chubb posted strong figures of 23 carries for 113 yards.

Pittsburgh's offense stalled as Mitch Trubisky started the game with nine completions from his first 10 passes, before only being able to complete 11-of-22 the rest of the way, with the Steelers only scoring once in the second half, a consolation field goal.

In a game predicted to be a defensive struggle, both teams were able to move the ball early, with the Browns capping off a seven-play, 60-yard drive in the first quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brissett to Cooper, giving Cooper his second game in a row with a score.

Pittsburgh workhorse Najee Harris punched in a five-yard run with the first play of the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7. The Harris touchdown drive included a stunning 36-yard catch from Steelers rookie George Pickens, with his one-handed snag while falling backwards sure to go down as one of the catches of the season. 

David Njoku was the next player to find the endzone, with the big Cleveland tight end coming down with a high pass from Brissett to retake the lead, before Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky punctuated a 10-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run.

Cleveland led 16-14 heading into the last quarter and manufactured a six-and-a-half minute, 11-play, 80-yard drive, resulting in Chubb converting a fourth-and-goal at the one yard line.

The Browns' defense was able to add a late stat-padding score as the Steelers desperately tried to pitch laterals around in the backfield on the final play, resulting in a fumble for Pro Bowl safety Denzel Ward to fall on for a touchdown.

Three turnovers in the fourth quarter propelled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 20-10 victory against the New Orleans Saints in a frustrating game for Tom Brady.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion angrily tossed a tablet on the sidelines as both offences struggled to get going, with just a field goal apiece at the end of the third quarter.

A Jamel Dean interception proved to be the turning point though, setting up Brady for an 11-play drive, which was capped off by a 28-yard pass to Breshad Perriman.

Dean struck again in the following drive for the Saints, intercepting Jameis Winston in back-to-back possessions for the Saints and putting the Buccaneers in a solid position on the opposition 29-yard line.

Brady was unable to capitalise, the Buccaneers instead settling on a field goal to extend their lead. The visitors would hold firm despite Michael Thomas giving the Saints hope with a seven-yard touchdown reception.

Having suffered four consecutive regular season losses to the Saints since joining the Buccaneers, Brady's run came to an end, but it was not a vintage performance for the veteran, who completed 18 of 34 attempts for a total of 190 yards.

Tagovailoa shines in comeback victory

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens had a fine start against the Miami Dolphins, Devin Duvernay taking the opening kick-off for a 103-yard return and Jackson having three touchdown passes in the first half, as well as a 79-yard rushing touchdown.

When Jackson completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Bateman, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to have 75-yard passing and rushing touchdowns in the same game.

Trailing by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter, Tua Tagovailoa threw four touchdown passes to secure a remarkable 42-38 comeback victory – finishing the game with six touchdown passes and 469 yards, completing 36 of 50 attempts.

Jets stun Browns with huge comeback

Victory for the Cleveland Browns at home against the New Yorks Jets would have secured a 2-0 record to start a season for the first time since 1993, and Kevin Stefanski's side looked to be set for a historic win, leading by two scores heading into the final stages.

Nick Chubb had starred with three touchdowns, totalling 87 yards from 17 carries, putting the Browns on the brink, but the Jets responded valiantly to score two touchdowns inside the two-minute warning.

Joe Flacco combined with Corey Davis for a 66-yard touchdown, before the Jets then recovered an onside kick and pulled ahead through a Garrett Wilson touchdown catch to win 31-30.

The New England Patriots are hoping to avoid starting the season 0-2 when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, and Bill Belichick's team could be in line for a piece of unwanted history should they fail to perform against their AFC rivals.

New England suffered a 20-7 loss the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, Mac Jones and the offense struggling to get anything going as the Patriots' quarterback battled back spasms.

Should they lose by double digits again at Acrisure Stadium, it would mark the first time they have started a season with double-digit losses since losing three straight by that margin to begin the 1969 season.

The bad news for New England is that since Mike Tomlin became Steelers head coach in 2007, nine of the 10 games between Pittsburgh and the Patriots have been decided by at least a touchdown, with the average margin of victory being 14.7 points.

The good news? The Patriots have won seven of those matchups.

Yet the Patriots are hardly in an ideal situation to continue their dominance over the Steelers.

Jones has battled illness this week but is set to play in Pittsburgh. Yet, going against a defense that picked off Joe Burrow four times in the Steelers' season-opening win over the Cincinnati Bengals – their 25th overtime victory since the extra period was implemented in 1974, the third-most in the NFL – he picked a particularly bad week to miss practice time.

The Steelers are without star edge rusher T.J. Watt because of the torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Week 1 but avoiding leaving Pittsburgh having done something no Patriots team has done for 53 years promises to be a difficult challenge for Jones and New England.

What a first week of the NFL season that was.

So much drama, so many late twists, and it's almost time to do it all over again as Week 2 looms on the horizon.

Sunday sees Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looking to follow up their opening win against the Dallas Cowboys when they head to New Orleans, the Los Angeles Rams will aim to get on the board when they host the Atlanta Falcons, while Russell Wilson's first home game for the Denver Broncos sees them welcome the Houston Texans.

With all that and more, Stats Perform has used Opta data to preview the weekend's action in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) @ New Orleans Saints (1-0)

The Saints have won their last seven regular-season games against the Buccaneers, matching the longest previous winning streak by either team in this rivalry, a run of seven consecutive wins by New Orleans from 2011 to 2014. Tampa Bay did beat the Saints in a Divisional Playoff game following the 2020 season.

Tampa Bay had one interception (by Antoine Winfield Junior) in their season-opening win at Dallas. The Bucs were 11-0 last season in games in which they intercepted at least one pass. The Green Bay Packers (also 11-0) were the only other NFL team to go unbeaten last season in games in which they recorded one or more interceptions.

New Orleans won their season opener in Atlanta, 27-26, after trailing 26-10 in the fourth quarter. It was the first time in franchise history that the Saints won a game in which they trailed by 16 or more points in the fourth quarter, and only the third time they won a game in which they were behind by 16 or more points in the second half.

Tom Brady and the Bucs lost their last game against the Saints, 9-0 (Week 15 last season). That is one of only three times that Brady's team has been shut out in his 317 regular-season and 47 postseason starts in the NFL. The other shutouts were in 2003 (Patriots at Buffalo, 31-0 in Week 1) and 2014 (Patriots at Miami, 21-0 in Week 14).

Atlanta Falcons (0-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (0-1)

Including their original stint in California and time in St. Louis, the Rams are 28-8-2 (.778) at home against their former NFC West rival, Atlanta Falcons. That is the best home record of any franchise against a single opponent (minimum of 30 games) in NFL history.

Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown in Atlanta's season opener. At 31 years old, Patterson is the second-oldest player in team history to have 100+ rushing yards and a touchdown run in a game, behind only Warrick Dunn, who had two such games.

The Rams started the season with a 31-10 loss to the Bills, the largest home loss in a season opener ever by a defending Super Bowl champion. The team has not started a season at 0-2 since 2011 when they were in St. Louis and have not lost their first two games as the Los Angeles Rams since 1987.

Cooper Kupp tied a career high with 13 catches in the opener against Buffalo. Including playoffs, Kupp has at least five receptions in each of the Rams' last 22 games. Only Antonio Brown has a longer such streak of team games with five or more catches in the Super Bowl era (37).

Houston Texans (0-0-1) @ Denver Broncos (0-1)

The Texans opened their season with a 20-20 tie against the Indianapolis Colts, despite being outgained by 218 yards in the game. Prior to Houston on Sunday, the last team to tie a game while having 200+ yards less than their opponent was the Packers against the Broncos in 1987.

In his first game with the Texans, O.J. Howard scored touchdowns on each of his two receptions. Howard joins Jaelen Strong as the only players to ever have two TD catches in their team debut for Houston.

Denver committed 12 penalties in their 17-16 loss to the Seahawks on Monday. It was the most penalties the Broncos have ever committed in a season opener, surpassing the 11 penalties they had to kick off the 1970 season against the Bills.

Russell Wilson threw for 340 yards against the Seahawks in his Denver debut. It was the most passing yards by a Broncos QB on their debut with the team and Wilson's 12th career game with 340+ passing yards (his teams are 5-7 in those games).

Elsewhere...

The New England Patriots travel to the Pittsburgh Steelers after suffering a 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, and have not started a season with consecutive double-digit losses since losing three straight games by such a margin to begin the 1969 campaign.

Baltimore's Lamar Jackson threw for three touchdowns against the New York Jets after throwing three or more TDs just twice all of last season. Before they host the Dolphins, it is notable that, in his career, the Ravens are 13-1 when Jackson has three or more pass TDs, the second-best team record among active players behind Josh Allen at 14-1 (minimum 10 such games).

Starting with their 2013 NFC Championship game success over the 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks are 15-2 in their last 17 games against San Francisco, which includes season sweeps in 2020 and 2021. The 15 wins since January 2014 are tied with the Patriots (vs. Jets) for the most by an NFL team against a single opponent in that span (including playoffs).

The Arizona Cardinals will need to watch Davante Adams, who had 10 catches for 141 yards on 17 targets in his Las Vegas Raiders debut. That is the most targets for any player in their first career game with the Raiders in the past 30 seasons. The only other with player with 15+ targets in their Raiders debut over that span is Randy Moss in 2005 (15).

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Thursday they have placed T.J. Watt on injured reserve with a reported torn pectoral muscle the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year sustained in the season opener.

Watt, who tied an NFL season record with 22.5 sacks in 2021, will miss a minimum of four games, and NFL.com has reported the standout edge rusher is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.

That timeline is still considered a positive development, as the Steelers initially feared Watt would require surgery after incurring the injury in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's 23-20 overtime win at defending AFC champion Cincinnati.

A surgical procedure would have kept Watt out for most, if not all of this season.

"We're probably in a lot better place than we were after the game and usually that's the case," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday when asked about Watt's injury.

Pittsburgh's defence will still be challenged to replace Watt, who joined Hall of Famer Reggie White as the only players in NFL history to record 13 or more sacks in four consecutive seasons with his brilliant 2021 campaign (though sacks did not become an official league statistic until 1982).

The three-time All-Pro's 72 sacks are the third most of any player through his first five NFL seasons, trailing only White and Watt's older brother, J.J.

"Those guys are not going to be T.J.," Tomlin said of Malik Reed and Jamir Jones, the two players likely to fill Watt's role until his return. "It's not realistic to think that they're going to be T.J. But we expect them to be varsity."

Reed, acquired from Denver just prior to the start of the season, did produce eight sacks while starting 13 games for the Broncos in 2020.

"Malik is a 700-plus snap defender the last two years. His resume speaks for itself," Tomlin remarked. "That's why we went out acquiring him. He's a very, very credible NFL player."

The Steelers will also rely heavily on fellow outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, who posted a career-high three sacks and forced a fumble against the Bengals.

Pittsburgh led the NFL with 55 sacks in 2021 and recorded seven in their Week 1 win, along with four interceptions of Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

Patrick Mahomes and Saquon Barkley were recognised as the respective AFC and NFC Offensive Player of the Week after flying starts to the new NFL season.

Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a dominant 44-21 Week 1 win at the Arizona Cardinals.

The 2018 MVP leads the league in passing touchdowns (five), passing yards (360) and quarterback rating (144.2) at this early stage.

Only Joe Burrow matched Mahomes' 22 passes for first downs, while he did not throw an interception and was not sacked, making him an obvious choice as the standout player in the AFC.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, who played a vital role in the Pittsburgh Steelers' wild win over Burrow's Cincinnati Bengals, is the AFC Defensive Player of the Year.

The Steelers safety caught a pick-six from Burrow's first pass of the game and later, crucially, blocked Evan McPherson's PAT to take the game to overtime.

Cade York was more accurate as time expired in the Cleveland Browns' dramatic victory over the Carolina Panthers, kicking the winning field goal to earn AFC Special Teams Player of the Week recognition.

In the NFC, New York Giants running back Barkley was the standout player on offense, stealing the show against a Tennessee Titans team featuring two-time rushing yards and rushing TDs leader Derrick Henry.

Barkley has the most rushing yards at this early stage with 164 and a score. His 68-yard run in the drive that culminated in his TD was the longest carry of the week.

The fifth-year superstar, who has been hampered by injuries since an outstanding rookie season, also caught a Daniel Jones pass for the decisive two-point conversion in a 21-20 Giants victory.

Also honoured in the NFC were debutant Seattle Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Zech McPhearson.

Nwosu sacked the Denver Broncos' former Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and forced a fumble from Melvin Gordon at the one-yard line, while McPhearson fielded the Detroit Lions' attempted onside kick to set up a Boston Scott touchdown in an Eagles win.

T.J. Watt could return to action sooner than expected after the Pittsburgh Steelers refused to put a timescale on his absence beyond the Week 2 clash with the New England Patriots.

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year winner suffered a torn pectoral in the fourth quarter of a wild 23-20 overtime opening victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

According to NFL Network' Ian Rapoport, Watt tore a muscle but not the tendon, which could mean his absence is as short as six weeks. There had been concerns Watt's season could be over already.

The prospect of Watt avoiding surgery will be welcome in Pittsburgh, where Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also pointed to positive news regarding the pass rusher.

Tomlin has yet to add Watt to the injured reserve list and said: "We're not in hurry to gather information too quickly. We will see how his body responds, we'll get second and third opinions and then at the end of the week or at some point we will do what's appropriate."

He added: "I can definitively say that T.J. won't play this week, but I won't make any commitments beyond that."

The clash with the Patriots takes place on Sunday, by which time the picture regarding Watt's likely return should be clear.

Watt shared an image on social media on Tuesday of Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous "I'll be back" catchphrase, from the Terminator movie. That has been interpreted as the 27-year-old suggesting his season is not over.

Tomlin further explained Pittsburgh's stance, adding: "Let me say this, we're probably in a lot better place than we were after the game and usually that's the case.

"That's why I don't always say too much after the game, even though there might be speculation out there."

Mac Jones could return to action as soon as Week 2 despite suffering with a back injury after the New England Patriots' season-opening defeat to the Miami Dolphins.

On a day to forget for the Patriots, Jones had 21-of-30 passing for 213 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

That was only enough to see New England beaten 20-7, their fourth straight defeat to the Dolphins.

Worse was to come with news second-year quarterback Jones required a scan on a back problem, yet Monday brought more positive reporting.

The X-ray was negative, according to widespread reports, while NFL Network suggested Jones had been dealing with back spasms rather than an injury.

Jones was certainly optimistic he would be fit to face the Pittsburgh Steelers this week as he spoke with reporters.

"I definitely feel better," he said. "I want to be ready to play against Pittsburgh. I feel good.

"I wasn't feeling too hot after the game. I definitely feel a lot better. I don't expect any issues. Everything's good."

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has explained the reasoning behind two apparent gaffes that occurred during Sunday's overtime defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Last season's defeated Super Bowl side had a rollercoaster ride in Week 1 of the new season, quarterback Joe Burrow having five turnovers – four of which came before half-time.

It was, however, two questionable decisions from the sideline that ultimately paved the way for the Steelers' dramatic win, one of which saw Taylor's special teams unit head out with a running clock to punt the ball early.

That gave Pittsburgh enough time to get into field goal range and win it, with questions asked as to why the Bengals did not run the clock all the way down – and Taylor reasoned it was due to a change in long-snapper, after Clark Harris suffered an early injury and was ruled out.

"New operation. We snapped there with 13 seconds, I understand that, trust me, we'd rather do something different," he said after the game.

"But just trying to make sure the operation ran smoothly, it turned out that we sacrificed some seconds just to make sure that we were all on the same page there."

The Bengals may have been able to avoid overtime entirely had the team elected to challenge the play that saw Ja'Marr Chase score an apparent touchdown that was not caught by the officials, Taylor again admitting mistakes were made.

"Part of it was that that's the hardest place for us to see in the entire field is that spot. I didn't think there was a chance there was a touchdown there initially. So, we got on the ball to run it in quickly," he added.

"It's hard with all the craziness in that moment, all the communication to get that 'Stop, stop. Let's evaluate this.'

"We just couldn't get it done fast enough by the time we'd seen a replay and realised 'Oh shoot, he might have gotten in there.' We've just got to learn from those.

"It's a fine line — when you get the ball on the inch, you just want to punch it in real quick. In hindsight, maybe he was in and we could have given ourselves a chance."

The Bengals travel to Dallas in Week 2 to face a Cowboys side set to be without quarterback Dak Prescott due to injury.

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