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New York Jets (1-1) at Cleveland (0-1-1), 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network. The youth movement will be on full display Thursday night as week 3 kicks off at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland as the Browns host the New York Jets at 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network. Both clubs look to right their ships after losses in last Sunday’s action.

Cleveland saw a 12-3 lead at the end of the third quarter against Cleveland get away from them against New Orleans (the Browns led 9-3 at the half) and the Saints prevailed 21-18 in the Big Easy. The winless Browns saw Saints WR Michael Thomas catch a pair of Drew Brees TD passes, the first to pull them to within two with 8:41 left, then a catch that would give them the lead with 2:40 left before the Browns would tie the contest with 76 seconds left in regulation when WR Anthony Calloway and QB Tyrod Taylor hooked up on a 47-yard toss (Cleveland would miss the PAT). New Orleans went back to work and used a 6-play, 49-yard drive that used only 55 seconds, with K Will Lutz sending Saints fans home happy when he connected on a 44-yard field goal with 21 seconds left. The Browns did manage to outrush New Orleans 93-62, with Brees throwing for 243, while Taylor threw for 246 and a TD (each was sacked three times and picked off once). Cleveland was 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:19, while the Saints ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:41, going 3 of 12 on third down tries.

Last week, Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnaold made his first start at home, passing for 334 yards with one touchdown and safety Jamal Adams and linebacker Jordan Jenkins each recorded a sack and forced fumble but it wasn’t enough as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! took a 20-12 loss to Miami last Sunday. Darnold, who was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, became the youngest player in NFL history (21 years, 103 days old) to throw for at least 300 yards in a single game, surpassing the previous record held by Jacky Lee (21 years, 137 days old), who threw for 331 yards on November 25, 1960. Miami outrushed GangGreen 135-42 and Ryan Tannehill threw for 168 yards and a pair of TDs, despite being sacked four times. The Dolphins, who led 20-0 at the intermission, were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:25, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:35, going 3 for 10 on third downs.

The series is even at 12-12 and the Browns have outscored GangGreen 490-486. However, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have won the last five meetings, including taking a 17-14 win in Cleveland last year (Cleveland’s last win came in 2007 in the Meadowlands by a final of 24-18).

GangGreen took a 3-0 lead to the intermission in the week five matchup, then held off a late Cleveland rally to seal the deal along the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland outrushed New York outgaining the Jets 419-212 in total offense (Cleveland outrushed the Jets 140-34) in the contest but opportunities plagued the Browns throughout the contest as the team had two red zone turnovers (one fumble and one interception) and two missed field goals. Cleveland would pull to within three with 1:49 left when Browns QB Kevin Hogan (who took over for DeShone Kizer) and RB Duke Johnson Jr. connected on a 41-yard TD toss. The Browns then went for the onside kick, which GangGreen recovered and they would run out the clock and take the win. Kizer threw for 87 yards with a sack in the loss, while Hogan threw for 194 and two TDS (Josh McCown threw for 194 yards and a pair of TDs for the victorious Jets). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 4 of 12 on third down at FirstEnergy Stadium and kept the ball for 25:34, while the Browns ruled the clock, holding the ball for 34:26, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Cleveland was favored by 2 in the week five contest along the shores of Lake Erie and GangGreen covered the spread with their 3-point win. The 39 over/under was untouched as both clubs merged to score 31 points. Cleveland’s favored by 3 in the Thursday night contest along the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 39 1/2. Both numbers sound reasonable and both offenses can score when they need to. Could the Bud Light beer fridge be opened? Cleveland fans can belly up to the bar. Browns cover at home in the Dawg Pound and wins at home.

Broadcast Information – 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Kristina Pink (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli; SIRIUS: 81 (New York Jets), 83 (Cleveland); XM: 226 (New York Jets), 225 (Cleveland )

Referee: Jerome Boger

Injury Report

New York Jets
DOUBTFUL: S Marcus Maye (Foot)
OUT: LB Josh Martin (Concussion), TE Neal Sterling (Concussion)

Cleveland
DOUBTFUL: LB Christian Kirksey (Shoulder)
OUT: TE Seth DeValve (Hamstring), DE Emmaniel Ogbah (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Damarious Randall (Heel), WR Jarvis Landry (Knee)

Weather: Mostly clear and 81 degrees

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time)

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Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information

Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Dan Hellie, Greg Jennings, Karyn Bryant (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 98 (Carolina), 81 (Atlanta); XM: 388 (Carolina), 226 (Atlanta)

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein; SIRIUS: 136 (Los Angeles Chargers), 108 (Buffalo); XM: 384 (Los Angeles Chargers), 228 (Buffalo)

Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Steve Tasker (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 103 (Miami), 133 (New York Jets); XM: 390 (Miami), 230 (New York Jets)

Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 106 (Kansas City), 82 (Pittsburgh);|XM: 385 (Kansas City), 227 (Pittsburgh)

Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 135 (Houston), 105 (Tennessee); XM: 386 (Houston), 232 (Tennessee)

Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 111 (Indianapolis), 94 (Washngton); XM: 387 (Indianapolis), 233 (Washington)

Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 99 (Minnesota), 83 (Green Bay); XM: 389 (Minnesota), 225 (Green Bay)

Cleveland at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 125 (Cleveland), 119 (New Orleans); XM: 391 (Cleveland), 229 (New Orleans)

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Tiki Barber (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Philadelphia), 113 (Tampa Bay); XM: 383 (Philadelphia), 231 (Tampa Bay)

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 106 (Arizona), 83 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 385 (Arizona), 225 (Los Angeles Rams)

Detroit at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Detroit), 108 (San Francisco); XM: 386 (Detroit), 228 (San Francisco)

Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Bruce Arians, Melanie Collins (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 136 (Oakland), 81 (Denver); XM: 384 (Oakland), 226 (Denver)

New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (New England), 82 (Jacksonville)  | XM: 383 (New England), 227 (Jacksonville)

New York Giants at Dallas, 8:20 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor; SIRIUS: 81 (New York Giants), 83 (Dallas) | XM: 226 (New York Giants), 225 (Dallas)

Seattle at Chicago, 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Hub Arkush; SIRIUS: 81 (Seattle), 83 (Chicago); XM: 226 (Seattle), 225 (Chicago)

Sunday and Monday Officials

Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Clay Martin
Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Brad Allen
Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.: Jerome Boger
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Cleveland at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Ron Torbert
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.: Alex Kemp
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Detroit at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Shawn Hochuli
Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: John Hussey
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
New York Giants at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.: John Parry
Seattle at Chicago, 8:15 p.m. Monday: Walt Coleman

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home Teams in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite                   Spread       Underdog          O/U
ATLANTA                    –  5 1/2     Carolina          44
WASHINGTON                 –  5 1/2     Indianapolis      45 1/2
GREEB BAY                  –  2         Minnesota         46
Los Angeles Chargers       –  7 1/2     BUFFALO           43
Houston                    –  1 1/2     TENNESSEE         44 1/2
PITTSBURGH                 –  5         Kansas City       52 1/2
NEW YORK JETS              –  3         Miami             44
Philadelphia               –  3         TAMPA BAY         43 1/2
NEW ORLEANS                –  8 1/2     Cleveland         50
LOS ANGELES RAMS           – 12 1/2     Arizona           46
SAN FRANCISCO              –  5 1/2     Detroit           47 1/2
New England                –  2         JACKSONVILLE      45
DENVER                     –  6         Oakland           45
DALLAS                     –  3         New York Giants   42

Monday’s Games
Favorite                   Spread       Underdog          O/U
Seattle                    –  3 1/2     CHICAGO           43 1/2

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.

Carolina
OUT: WR Damiere Byrd (Knee), TE Greg Olsen (Foot), WR Curtis Samuel (Illness), G Trai Turner (Concussion)

ATLANTA
OUT: RB DeVonta Freeman (Knee), WR Russell Gage (Knee), G Ben Garland (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Muhammad Oliver (Ankle)

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers
OUT: T Joseph Barksdale (Knee), DE Joey Bosa (Foot), CB Craig Mager (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Travis Benjamin (Foot)

Buffalo
OUT: CB Taron Johnson (Shoulder), DE Shaq Lawson (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Ray-Ray McCloud (Knee)

Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: C Patrick Elflein (Ankle)

Green Bay
OUT: S Joshua Jones (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Aaron Rodgers (Knee), WR Davante Adams (Shoulder), LB Oren Burks (Shoulder)

Cleveland at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Cleveland
OUT: DE Emmanuel Ogbah (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Christian Kirksey (Ankle)

New Orleans
OUT: DT Tyler Davison (Foot)

Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Miami
QUESTIONABLE: DE William Hayes (Finger), LS John Denney (Shoulder), WR DeVante Parker (Finger)

New York Jets
DOUBTFUL: S Marcus Maye (Foot)
OUT: LB Josh Martin (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Doug Middleton (Finger)

Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

Kansas City
DOUBTFUL: S James Berry (Heel)
OUT: LB Ben Niemann (Hamstring)

Pittsburgh
DOUBTFUL: G David DeCastro (Hand), CB Joseph Haden (Hamstring), DE Tyson Alualu (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Cameron Heyward (Knee), TE Vance McDonald (Foot), QB Ben Roethlisberger (Right Elbow), CB Artie Burns (Toe)

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia
OUT: RB Darren Sproles (Hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (Shoulder), QB Carson Wentz (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Shelton Gibson (Knee)

Tampa Bay
OUT: CB Brent Grimes (Groin), DT Tevita Vea (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: WR DeSean Jackson (Shoulder), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Knee)

Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Houston
OUT: CB Kayvon Webster (Achilles)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Johnson Bademosi (Knee), LB Jadeveon Clowney (Back), WR Sammie Coates (Hamstring), WR Key’vantanie Coutee (Hamstring), DE Christian Covington (Thigh), LB Duke Ejiofor (Hamstring), WR William Fuller (Hamstring), WR DeAndre Hopkins (Foot)

Tennessee
OUT: T Taylor Lewan (Concussion), S Kendrick Lewis (Foot), T Jack Conklin (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: T Dennis Kelly (Illness), LB Harold Landry (Ankle), QB Marcus Mariota (Right Elbow), LB Derrick Morgan (Knee), TE Lucas Stocker (Calf)

Indianapolis at Washington

Indianapolis

OUT: Denico Autry (Ankle), T Anthony Castonzo (Hamstring), T Denzelle Good (Knee), CB Chris Milton (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Clayton Geathers S Knee), RB Marlon Mack (Hamstring), DT Grover Stewart (Shoulder)

Washington
OUT: S Troy Apke (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Paul Richardson (Shoulder), WR Maurice Harris (Concussion), T Morgan Moses (Knee)

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.

Arizona
OUT: DT Olsen Pierre (Toe), T Andre Smith (Elbow)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Markus Golden (Knee), TE Jermaine Gresham (Achilles), LB Haason Reddick (Ankle)

Los Angeles Rams
DOUBTFUL: LB Mark Barron (Ankle)
OUT: WR Michael Thomas (Hip)

Detroit at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.

Detroit
OUT: T Andrew Donnal (Knee), G Thomas Lang (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Ezekiel Ansah (Shoulder), RB LeGarrette Blount (Shoulder)

San Francisco
OUT: G Joshua Garnett (Toe), WR Marquise Goodwin (Quadricep), C Erik Magnuson (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: S Adrian Colbert (Hamstring), G Michael Person (Foot), LB Malcolm Smith (Hamstring)

Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Oakland
OUT: DT Patrick Hall (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Dwayne Harris (Foot), G Gabriel Jackson (Pectoral), RB DeAndre Washington (Knee)

Denver – Denver reports no injuries

New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

New England
QUESTIONALBLE: RB Michael Burkhead (Concussion), T Marcus Cannon (Calf), CB Keion Crossen (Hamstring), RB Sony Michel (Knee)

Jacksonville
QUESTIONABLE: RB Leonard Fournette (Hamstring)

New York Giants at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.

New York Giants
OUT: DE Olivier Vernon (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Octavious Davis (Hamstring)

Dallas
DOUBTFUL: DE Randy Gregory (Concussion)
OUT: C Travis Frederick (Illness), S Xavier Woods (Hamstring), DT Datone Jones (Knee)

Seattle at Chicago, 8:15 p.m.

Seattle
DOUBTFUL: CB Trequille Flowers (Hamstring), G Danny Fluker (Hamstring), S Delano Hill (Hamstring)
OUT: WR Doug Baldwin (Knee), LB Bobby Wagner (Groin), LB Kenneth Wright (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Shaquill Griffin (Thigh)

Chicago
OUT: S DeAndre Houston-Carson (Forearm)

Sunday and Monday Weather
Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, mostly cloudy and 78 degrees
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 80 degrees
Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 79 degrees
Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.: Overcast and 78 degrees
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 84 degrees
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.: Cloudy and 73 degrees
Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 79 degrees
Cleveland at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.: Overcast with a 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms and 89 degrees
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.: Sunny and 83 degrees
Detroit at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Sunny and 71 degrees
Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 91 degrees
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms and 92 degrees
New York Giants at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 86 degrees
Seattle at Chicago, 8:15 p.m. Monday: Mostly clear and 87 degrees

All times listed Eastern. Broadcast Information and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel (Note: weather forecast is based on kickoff local time)

Close games, record-setting performances and memorable moments from stars both established and new highlighted an exciting Kickoff Weekend. With eight divisional matchups and a rematch of the 2017 AFC Championship Game on the schedule, Week two promises more of the same. If week one was good, fans can expect week two to be better. Five games were decided by 6 points or less in week one, while threw contests were blowouts.

Every team wants to get off to a fast start as history has shown that teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to advance to the playoffs as teams that lose their opener. But an 0-1 start is not impossible to overcome as nearly 25 percent of teams that lose a season opener advance to the playoffs, including three teams in 2017 –   New England, New Orleans and Tennessee.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 52.1 percent (306 of 587) of teams that won their season opener advanced to the postseason:

Of the 587 teams which won openers…306 went to the playoffs (185 won division titles)

Of the 586 teams which lost openers…140 went to the playoffs (81 won division titles)

(Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact that the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.)

Ten games in Week 1 were decided by eight points or fewer and eight games were won by teams that did not advance to the 2017 postseason. Twelve of 16 games were within one score in the fourth quarter and five teams – Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Green Bay and Philadelphia – won or tied a game after trailing in the fourth quarter. Green Bay, who defeated NFC North rival Chicago 24-23 at Lambeau Field in Week 1 after trailing 20-0 in the third quarter, became the eighth team in league history to win a season-opening game after trailing by at least 20 points.

Led by the New York Jets (48 points), Tampa Bay (48) and Baltimore (47), there were 765 total points scored across the league on Kickoff Weekend, the third-most in NFL history in Week 1. There were 12 return touchdowns on Kickoff Weekend, the second-most in Week 1 since the 1970 merger (13 in 2011). The Jets, who scored two return touchdowns in their win at Detroit in Week 1, became the third team in NFL history to score a touchdown via pass, rush, interception and punt return in a season-opening game.

Last week saw incredible performances from rookies and veterans alike. New England quarterback Tom Brady became the third player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in a season-opening game at the age of 41 or older, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers George Blanda and Warren Moon, in the Patriots’ 27-20 win over Houston. New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who became the youngest quarterback (21 years, 97 days old), to start a season-opening game in the Super Bowl era, threw two touchdown passes in the Jets’ Week 1 win over Detroit. With two interceptions against Pittsburgh in his NFL debut, Cleveland cornerback Denzel Ward became the first rookie to record multiple interceptions in a season-opening game since Indianapolis’ Eugene Daniel on September 2, 1984 against the New York Jets.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: There were several notable Kickoff Weekend records set and milestones reached on Sunday.

The 88 combined points by Tampa Bay (48) and New Orleans (40) are the most points scored in a single game on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history. The previous record was held by the Philadelphia Eagles (45) and Washington Redskins (42) who combined for 87 points on September 28, 1947. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for three touchdowns against Tampa Bay and has 37 career touchdown passes in season-opening games, the most in NFL history, surpassing the previous record of 34 held by Peyton Manning. New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded a career-high 16 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown against Tampa Bay. Thomas’ 16 catches are the most by a player on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history, surpassing the previous record of 15 held by Keenan Allen (September 13, 2015 vs. Detroit).

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 76 receiving yards against Washington. Fitzgerald (1,068 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches) is one of five players with at least 1,000 career receiving yards and eight touchdown catches in season-opening games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (1,385 yards, nine touchdowns), Andre Reed (1,225, 10), Randy Moss (1,194, 10) and Don Maynard (1,025, nine).

• Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 417 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions and rushed for a touchdown in the Buccaneers’ 48-40 win at New Orleans. With his performance, Fitzpatrick joined Washington’s Mark Rypien (November 10, 1991 against Atlanta) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for at least 400 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions and rush for a touchdown in a single game.

Buccaneers wide receiver De Sean Jackson had 146 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including a 58-yard touchdown catch, in the win. Jackson has 27 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Lance Alworth and Terrell Owens for the third-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (36) and Randy Moss (29) have more in league annals.

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 277 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 102.2 passer rating in the Patriots’ 27-20 win over Houston. Brady, who is 41 years, 37 days old, became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in a season-opening game at the age of 41 or older, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers George Blanda (45 years, 0 days) and Warren Moon (41 years, 292 days).

• Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown and had 70 receiving yards in the Redskins’ 24-6 win at Arizona. Peterson, who has 12,372 career rushing yards and 100 career rushing touchdowns, became the seventh player in NFL history to record at least 12,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns. The six other players to accomplish the feat – Marcus Allen, Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith and LaDanian Tomlinson – are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Peterson surpassed Faulk (12,279) and Brown (12,312) for the 10th-most rushing yards in NFL history.

Kansas City wide receiver/punt returner Tyreek Hill had seven catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns, including a 58-yard touchdown catch, and a 91-yard punt-return touchdown in the Chiefs’ 38-28 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hill joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Hayes (December 8, 1968 vs. Pittsburgh) and Tavon Austin (November 10, 2013 at Indianapolis) as the only players in NFL history to record a 50+ yard touchdown catch and a 90+ yard punt-return touchdown in a single game. Hill has 13 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards (six receiving, four punt-return, two rushing, one kick-return) in 32 career games and is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers and Devin Hester for the most 50+ yard touchdowns in a player’s first 35 career games in NFL history.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald recorded seven catches for 76 yards in the Cardinals’ loss to Washington. Fitzgerald has recorded at least one reception in 212 consecutive games and surpassed Tony Gonzalez (211) for the second-longest streak of consecutive games with a catch in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice holds the record with at least one catch in 274 consecutive games from 1985-2004.

Cleveland and Pittsburgh played to a 21-21 tie at FirstEnergy Stadium along the shores of Lake Erie. Sunday’s game marked the first Kickoff Weekend game to end in a tie since September 19, 1971, when the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos played to a 10-10 tie. Cleveland rookie cornerback Denzel Ward recorded two interceptions in his NFL debut. Ward, who is 21 years, 134 days old, became the fourth-youngest player in NFL history with at least two interceptions in a single game. Only Dicky Moegle (21 years, 39 days on October 23, 1955), Marcus Williams (21 years, 114 days on December 31, 2017) and Champ Bailey (21 years, 117 days on October 17, 1999) accomplished the feat at a younger age. Ward became the first rookie to record multiple interceptions in a season-opening game since Indianapolis’ Eugene Daniel on September 2, 1984 against the New York Jets.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Brown has 10,003 receiving yards in 116 career games and tied Torry Holt (116) for the second-fewest games to reach 10,000 receiving yards in NFL history. Only Calvin Johnson (115 games) reached the milestone in fewer career games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: NO NEED TO PANIC: Since realignment in 2002, 116 of the 192 playoff teams (60.4 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including eight teams last season and six division champions – Jacksonville (AFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (NFC West), Minnesota (NFC North), New England (AFC East), New Orleans (NFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East).

Last season, the New Orleans Saints began the season 0-2 and advanced to the playoffs after becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to win eight consecutive games following an 0-2 start.

A look at how playoff clubs in 2016 and 2017 began their seasons:

Team (After 2 games, 2016 Playoff result)
Atlanta (1-1, Advanced to Super Bowl LI)
Dallas (1-1, Advanced to NFC Divisional)
Detroit (1-1, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Green Bay (1-1, Advanced to NFC Championship)
Houston (2-0, Advanced to AFC Divisional)
Kansas City (1-1, Advanced to AFC Divisional)
Miami (0-2, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
New England (2-0, Won Super Bowl LI)
New York Giants (2-0, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Pittsburgh (2-0, Advanced to AFC Championship)
Oakland (1-1, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
Seattle (1-1, Advanced to Divisional)

Team (After 2 games, 2017 Playoff Result)
Atlanta (2-0, Advanced to NFC Divisional)
Buffalo (1-1, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
Carolina (2-0, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Jacksonville (1-1, Advanced to AFC Championship)
Kansas City (2-0, Advanced to AFC Wild Card)
Los Angeles Rams (1-1, Advanced to NFC Wild Card)
Minnesota (1-1, Advanced to NFC Championship)
New England (1-1, Advanced to Super Bowl LII)
New Orleans (0-2, Advanced to NFC Divisional)
Philadelphia (1-1, Won Super Bowl LII)
Pittsburgh (2-0, Advanced to AFC Divisional)
Tennessee (1-1, Advanced to Divisional)

MOVING UP THE RANKS: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has 51,400 career passing yards in his 15-year NFL career.

With 76 passing yards on Sunday against Kansas City at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for the seventh-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (70,884)*
Tom Brady – New England (66,436)*
Dan Marino – Miami (61,361)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (51,906)*
John Elway – Denver (51,475)^
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (51,400)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Three quarterbacks – New Orleans’ Drew Brees (439 passing yards), Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (424) and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (417) – each threw for at least 400 yards on Kickoff Weekend.

With 400 passing yard performances in Week 2, Brees, Rivers and Fitzpatrick can join TOM BRADY (2011) and Cam Newton (2011) as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least 400 yards in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history.

The players to throw for at least 400 yards in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER (SEASON – TEAM; GAME 1 PASSING YARDS/GAME 2 PASSING YARDS)
Tom Brady (2011 – New England; 517/423)
Cam Newton (2011 – Carolina; 422/432)
Drew Brees (2018 – New Orleans; 439/???)
Philip Rivers ((2018 – Los Angeles Chargers; 424/???)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018 – Tampa Bay; 417/???)

Two quarterbacks – Fitzpatrick and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes – each threw four touchdown passes in Week 1.

With four touchdown passes in Week 2, Fitzpatrick and Mahomes would join Drew Bledsoe (1997) as the only quarterbacks to throw for at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history.

The players to throw for at least four touchdowns in each of their team’s first two games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER (SEASON – TEAM; GAME 1 PASSING TDS/GAME 2 PASSING TDS)
Drew Bledsoe (1997 – New England; 4/4)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018 – Tampa Bay; 4/???)
Patrick Mahomes (2018 – Kansas City; 4/???)

BURSTING ONTO THE SCENE: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 106 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, in his NFL debut last week.

With another 100-yard performance in Week 2 against the Cowboys Sunday night in Arlington, Barkley can become the first rookie since 2005 (Cadillac Williams) with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his team’s first two games of the season.

The rookies with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his team’s first two games of the season since 1970:

PLAYER (TEAM – SEASON)
Cadillac Williams (Tampa Bay – 2005)
Edgerrin James (Indianapolis – 1999)
Marshall Faulk (Indianapolis – 1994)^
Billy Sims (Detroit – 1980)
Ottis Anderson (St. Louis Cardinals – 1979)
William Andrews (Atlanta – 1979)
Earl Campbell (Houston Oilers – 1978)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LIKE MIKE: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded a career-high 16 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, the most by a player on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history.

With 11 receptions on Sunday against Cleveland, Thomas can surpass Andre Rison (26) for the most receptions by a player in his team’s first two games to start a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in his team’s first two games of the season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, RECEPTIONS IN TEAM’S 1ST 2 GAMES)
Andre Rison, Atlanta (1994, 26)
Rod Smith, Denver (2001, 23)
Julian Edelman, New England (2015, 22)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (2015, 22)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2018, 16)*
*Through Week 1

Week one was a pretty good week for picks, as we went 11-5 to open the season. One week gone. 16 to go. Week 2 kicked off with an AFC North showdown on Thursday Night Football as Cincinnati took care of Baltimore along the shores of the Ohio River and concludes in the Windy City as Seattle travels to Chicago for a Monday night contest with Da Bears.

Here are the picks for week two’s Sunday and Monday games.

Carolina (0-1) at ATLANTA (0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Matt Ryan. Cam Newton. A pair of NFC South foes, separated by 245 miles, meet in the Big Peach as Atlanta and Carolina square off at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Carolina and Cam Newton took care of Dallas 16-8 last Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. Newtown threw for 161 yards, despite being sacked three times and had a rushing TD in the contest to open the scoring. Scorless at the end of the first quarter, the Panthers took a 10-0 lead into the intermission, although Dallas did manage to outscore Carolina 8-6 in the final period play, with the Cowboys getting their only points on a 4-yard run by RB Ezekiel Elliott and a Dak Prescott two-point conversion. Carolina outrushed Dallas 147-94, with Elliott leading all rushers with 69 yards (Newton tallied 58), while Prescott threw for 170 yards with six sacks. Dallas was 2 of 11 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:24, while Carolina kept the pigskin for 30:36, going 4 of 12 on third down.

Atlanta looks to even their record after their 18-12 loss at Philadelpha in the season opener for both clubs. The Falcons let two leads get away from them in the City of Brotherly Love; first taking a 6-3 lead into the half and then leading 12-10 with 2:19 left in regulation when Eagles RB Joseph Ajayi scored on an 11-yard run and added the two-point conversion.. Atlanta was held to 74 yards rushing, while the Eagles tallied 113 in the NFC Divisonal rematch. Ryan threw for 251 yards with an interception and four sacks, while Eagles QB Nick Foles threw for 117 yards with two sacks and an interception. As was the case in the NFC Divisonal game, Atlanta rallied to take the win out of Philadelphia but once again, the drive fell short and the Eagles took the win. Atlanta was 4 of 15 on third down (the Falcons were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:50, while the defending Super Bowl champs were 8 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 32:10.

The Falcons lead the series 28-18, have outscored Carolina 973-909 and have won four of their last five contests, including spliting last year’s series, each team winning at home.

Meeting number one… Charlotte in week nine. Atlanta let a 10-0 first quarter lead get away from them as the Panthers would lead 14-10 at the intermission and survive a late Atlanta rally, taking a 20-17 win at Bank of America Stadium. Although Ryan threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs, it was the one near TD that could have given the Falcons the lead when WR Julio Jones dropped what was a sure TD. Carolina outrushed Atlanta 201-53, with Newton leading all rushers with 86 yards and a rushing TD, while teammate Collin McCaffery rushed for the other score. Atlanta was 4 of 12 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and the Falcons held on to the ball for 27:08, while Carolina was 4 of 13 on third, 1 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 32:52.

Atlanta would get revenge in the Big Peach in week 17, using four Matt Bryant field goals to take the 22-10 win. Tied at 7-7 at the half and with both teams headed to the post-season, Atlanta outscored the Panthers 15-3 in the final 30 minutes of action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Both Ryan and Newton had TD passes in the contest but Newton (180 yards) was picked off three times and sacked twice, while Ryan threw for 317 yards in the win. Carolina outrushed Atlanta 87-60 but Atlanta took advantage of the three interceptions on the afternoon. Atlanta on third down in the Big Peach went 6 of 13 and held on to the ball for 34:42, while Carolina held the ball for 25:18, gonig 5 of 15 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Atlanta was favored by 2 in the week nine contest in Charlotte and Carolina covered the spread, winning by 3. The 42 over/under was safe as both clubs combined for 37 points. In the season finale in the Big Peach, Atlanta covered the 3 1/2 point spread with the 12-point win but the 46 over/under was untouched, as both clubs merged for 32 points. This time around, the Falcons are favored at home by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers sound reasonable and both teams can put up offense. Carolina’s looking to stay unbeatend, while Atlanta looks for revenge. Revenge wins out. Atlanta may not cover the 5 1/2 but they win in the Big Peach.

Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC rivals that took losses last weekend meet in upstate New York as Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Orchard Park for a showdown with the Buffalo Bills.

The Chargers trailed Kansas City 17-12 at StubHub Center at the intermission and the Chiefs would go on to take a  38-28 AFC West win last Sunday. Los Angeles did manage to outrush Kansas City 123-106 and Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TDs, while the Chiefs’ Pat Mahomes threw for 256 yards with four TDs and no interceptions (Mahomes was sacked once, while Rivers was sacked once and picked off once). The Chargers were 3 of 11 on third down but found success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 34:26, while the Chiefs kept the ball for a mere 25:34, going 4 of 10 on fourth down.

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens took Buffalo to task last Sunday in Charm City as the Ravens took care of the Bills 47-3. Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes and threw three touchdowns, including scoring passes to John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead. Buffalo was on the short end of a 26-0 deficit at the intermission and saw the Ravens take a 40-3 lead into the fourth quarter as they were manhandled the team they replaced in the 2017 post-season. The Bills were held to 83 yards, Baltimore ran for 117 yards and Flacco threw for 236 yards with the three TDs and no interceptions, while Nate Peterman was sacked three times, throwing for 24 yards. The Ravens in their opener win were 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 35:14, while the Bills kept the ball for 24:46 and went 2 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played at old War Memorial Stadium and San Diego, the Chargers lead the series 23-10-2, the Bolts have outscored the Bills 868-589 and have won the last three meetings, including a 54-24 win in Los Angeles last season (Buffalo’s last win over the Chargers came in 2008 in upstate New York by a final of 23-14).

Buffalo was manhandled in that week 11 contest on the West Coast, trailing 37-10 at the intermission and could never get on track in the lopsided loss. Buffalo did manage to outrush the Chargers 173-146, with Bills RB LeSean McCoy leading the way with 114 yards on the afternoon. Bills QB Normam Peterman threw for 66 yards with five interceptions before being replaced by Tyrod Taylor (158 yards, TD), while Rivers threw for 251 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen for the win. The Chargers, who went 7 of 14 on third down conversions, held the ball for 36:05 and forced six turnovers on the day and scored twice on defense to keep the Bills in check in the contest at Stub Hub Stadium. As for the Bills? They were 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 23:55.

In the week 11 contest on the West Coast, the Chargers easily covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 30 and both clubs covered the 44 over/under with 78 points. The oddsmakers like the Chargers as 7 1/2 point favorites in upstate New York and the over/under’s 43. You might want to consider taking a pass on this one (unless you just happen to like one or both teams) and get that Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas shopping out of the way. Chargers recover from their loss at home and takes the road win but the Bills may make it closer than 7 1/2.

Miami (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC East foes that have been around since the AFC was formed meet in usptate New Jersey unbeaten, with each coming in with wins under their belts.

Miami endured two lightning delays at Hard Rock Stadium that totaled almost three and half hours and came away 27-20 winners over Tennessee last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Leading 7-3 at the half, Miami managed to hold off the Titans 20-17 in the heat and humidity of South Beach to take the win. Tennessee would eventually pull to within three with 11 seconds left when Ryan Succop connected on a 53-yard field goal and the game featured a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns; first, Miami’s Jakeem Grant returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD to take a 17-10 lead with 14:04 left in the contest. Tennessee would not be outdone, as Titans WR Darius Jennings returned a fourth quarter kickoff 94 yards to pull his team to within 7 with 10:11 left in the contest. The two clubs would then trade field goals in the final minutes of the quarter, with Succop’s effort making the contest closer than Dolphins fans would have wanted. Miami outrushed Tennessee 120-116 with Marcus Mariota throwing for 103 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Ryan Tannehill throwing for 230 yards and a pair of TDs to Kenny Stills, who had 106 yards on four catches, to take the win. Miami on third down went 2 of 10 (the Dolphins were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:25, while Tennessee was 6 of 14 and 0f for 2 on fourth down, holding the ball for 29:35.

GangGreen led Detroit 17-10 in the Motor City at halftime Monday night and then went on to outpace the Lions, scoring 31 points in the second half unchallenged to come out on top 48-17. Isaiah Crowell’s 102 yards and two TDs led the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to the come-from-behind win in the Monday night contest, while GangGreen outrushed Detroit 169-39, forcing Matthew Stafford (286 yards, TD) to throw four interceptions. Rookie signal called Sam Darnold made his NFL debut a good one, throwing for 198 yards and a pair of TDs. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 14 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs, while holding on to the ball for 33:07; the Lions were 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:53.

Including contests that took place at Shea Stadium, New Haven and the Orange Bowl, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! lead the series 54-49-1, while Miami has outscored GangGreen 2,274-2,247. They met twice last year and the two teams split the series, each winning at home.

Meeting number one… the Meadowlands in week three and GangGreen held the ‘Fins to a 3-yard TD toss as time expired to take a 20-6 win. Leading 20-0 at the end of three quarters, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! held Miami to 30 yards rushing (they tallied 103) and kept them off the scoreboard until the clock struck :00 when Jay Cutler (220 yards) and WR DeVante Parker connected on a 6-yard toss. Josh McCown and Robby Anderson connected on the game’s first TD after Chris Catanzaro connected on a 40 yard field goal to open the scoring in the game, with RB Bilal Powell and Catanzaro accounting for the other two New York scores in the contest. Miami was a somewhat dismal 1 of 12 on third down tries (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:52, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 36:08, going 4 for 13 on third down.

Miami didn’t have to wait very long to get their revenge and they were at home at Hard Rock Stadium for the rematch in week seven. Miami settled the score with their AFC East foes, rallying to take a 31-28 win over GangGreen in the Sunshine State. The Jets led 21-14 at the half and led 28-14 after three quarters of play before Miami would take control of things in the final quarter of play, scoring their final 17 points of the game unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 22 seconds left when Chris Parkey connected on a 39-yard field goal for the win. The ground game was not the order of the day as neither team breached the 100-yard barrier but as was the case in the first meeting, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! managed to outrush Miami 92-53, with McCown throwing for 209 yards and three TDs, while being sacked three times. Third down tries? New York was 4 of 11, Miami was 5 of 13 and the Dolphins ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:58 to New York’s 28:02.

Miami in the week three contest was favored by 6 and GangGreen covered the spread, winning by 13. The 41 1/2 over/under was not touched, as both teams merged for only 27 points. The oddsmakers liked Miami at home in the week seven rematch, making them 3 point favorites and they covered the spread with the 3-point win and both clubs covered the 38 1/2 over/under, tallying 59 points. The Jets are favored by 3 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 44. Both teams are looking to unseat New England as king of the AFC East mountain. The Jets are good but Miami’s better. ‘Fins cover the 3 and win in the Meadowlands.

Kansas City (1-0) at Pittsburgh (0-0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again, this time in the Steel City. A pair of AFC playoff teams square off at Heinz Field as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers host the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City took a 17-12 lead at StubHub Center at the intermission against their AFC foes the Los Angeles Chargers and went on to take a 38-28 AFC West win last Sunday. While Los Angeles did manage to outrush Kansas City 123-106 and Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TDs, while the Chiefs’ Pat Mahomes threw for 256 yards with four TDs and no interceptions (Mahomes was sacked once, while Rivers was sacked once and picked off once). The Chargers were 3 of 11 on third down but found success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 34:26, while the Chiefs kept the ball for a mere 25:34, going 4 of 10 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh let a 21-7 lead at the end of the third quarter get away from them as Cleveland would go on to score 14 fourth quarter points unchallenged, then held off Roethlisberger and the Steelers to a 21-21 tie at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. While the Browns outrushed Pittsburgh 177-159, Pittsburgh’s James Conner led all rushers with 135 yards and a pair of TDs on the ground. Roethlisberge threw for 335 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off three; for the Browns, rookie QB Tyrod Taylor threw for 197 yards and a TD toss to WR Josh Gordon but was sacked seven times and picked off once. Pittsburgh was 7 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:12, while the Browns held the ball for 34:48, going 5 of 18, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Steelers lead the series 22-10 (which includes contests played at Swope Field and Three Rivers Stadium) and have outscored Kansas City 763-576. They met last year at Arrowhead and the Steelers would come away with a 19-13 win at Arrowhead (Kansas City’s last win in the series came in 2015, also at Arrowhead, by a final of 23-13). Pittsburgh led 12-3 at the break in the late afternoon contest and took that lead into the fourth quarter before the Chiefs would rally in the final 15 minutes of action to make the game closer than the Steelers would have wanted it when Chiefs QB Alex Smith connected with WR De’Anthony Thomas for a 57-yard touchdown toss with 6:13 left to play. Pittsburgh would then restore order as Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown connected on a 51-yard touchdown strike.

Pittsburgh easily outrushed Kansas City 194-28, with LeVeon Bell leading the way with 179 yards and a TD, while Roethlisberger threw for 252 yards and a score (Smith threw for 246 yards but was sacked three times). Pittsburgh went 4 of 11 on third down tries at Arrowhead, keeping the ball for 36:39, while the Chiefs, who kept the ball for 23:21, went 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down. In the week six contest, the Steelers covered the 4-point spread (the Chiefs were favored) but the 46 over/under stayed intact, as the two clubs combined for 32 points at Arrowhead. Pittsburgh’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 52 1/2, While this one’s not “Drill Worthy,” it’s worth your time to watch. Chiefs make this one interesting but the Steelers prevail in western Pennsylvania.

Houston (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of winless AFC South foes meet in the Music City when Houston makes a visit to Nissan Stadium to take on the Tennessee Titans.

A Texans rally in Foxboro fell short for DeShaun Watson and Houston as they would fall to Tom Brady and New England 27-20 last Sunday afternoon. Trailing 21-6 at the half, Houston would rally in the second half, eventually making the contest a 7-point affair with 2:08 left when Watson and WR Bruce Ellington connected on a 5-yard, putting them closer. That would be as close as they would get to Tom Brady and the Patriots, who would hold them off for the win. While the Texans did outrush New England 167-122, Brady burned Houston for 277 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of those tosses. Watson did manage to throw for 176 yards with the TD but was sacked three times and picked off once. Houston was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:50, while the defending AFC champs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10, going 4 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Although Tennessee endured two lightning delays at Hard Rock Stadium that totaled almost three and half hours, it was Miami that came away 27-20 winners over Tennessee last Sunday in the Sunshine State. The Titans trailed 7-3 at the half, while Miami managed to hold off the Titans 20-17 in the heat and humidity of South Beach to take the win. Tennessee would pull to within three with 11 seconds left when Ryan Succop connected on a 53-yard field goal and the game featured a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns; first, Miami’s Jakeem Grant returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD to take a 17-10 lead with 14:04 left in the contest. Tennessee would not be outdone, as Titans WR Darius Jennings returned a fourth quarter kickoff 94 yards to pull his team to within 7 with 10:11 left in the contest. The two clubs would then trade field goals in the final minutes of the quarter, with Succop’s effort making the contest closer than Dolphins fans would have wanted. Miami outrushed Tennessee 120-116 with Marcus Mariota throwing for 103 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Ryan Tannehill throwing for 230 yards and a pair of TDs to Kenny Stills, who had 106 yards on four catches, to take the win. Miami on third down went 2 of 10 (the Dolphins were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:25, while Tennessee was 6 of 14 and 0f for 2 on fourth down, holding the ball for 29:35.

The Titans lead the series 17-15 (which includes games that were played in Memphis) but the Texans have outscored the former Houston team 754-643. The two AFC South foes split their meetings in 2017, each taking wins at home.

Houston took a 30-14 lead at the intermission in the week four contest at NRG Stadium and came away 57-14 winners. The Texans outscored Mariota and the Titans 27-0 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Lone Star State to seal Tennessee’s fate. Houston outrushed Tennessee 173-86 in the contest, with Watson throwing for 283 yards and four TDs (Mariota threw for 96 yards with two interceptions). Houston was 6 of 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down conversions in the Lone Star State, keeping the ball for 39:41, while the Titans kept the ball for 20:19, going 2 of 8 on third downs.

Tennessee got their revenge in the Music City in week 13, taking down the Texans 24-13. The Titans, after erasing a 3-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter, broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission and pulled away from Houston with a pair of second half TDs for the win. Tennessee pounded Houston for 198 yards on the ground, holding the Texans to 53 and sacking QB Tom Savage (365 yards, TD), who took over for DeShaun Watson four times. While both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down, the Texans were 8 of 16 on third down, keeping the ball for 33:49 to Tennessee’s 26:11 (the Titans were 5 of 11 on third down tries).

In the week four contest at NRG Stadium, Tennessee was a 1 1/2-point favorite and the Texans easily covered that spread, winning by 43 points and both teams took care of the 44 over/under, tallying 71 points. Tennessee was again the favorite in the week 13 rematch in the Music City and the Titans covered the 6-point spread, winning by 13. The 43 over/under was in check as the two clubs merged for 37 points. Houston’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under is 44 1/2. There’s a lot of bad blood between Houston and Nashville and that could very well rear its ugly head (the Oilers were taken from Houston to Nashville, where they were called the Tennessee Oilers before the NFL stepped in and basically told the Tennessee team to change their names). Houston covers the 1 1/2 on the road and takes the win in the Music City.

Indianapolis (0-1) at Washington (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. The Colts look to pull themselves even as they travel to Landover for a contest with the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

The Colts watched Andy Dalton and the Bengals take a 34-23 victory at Indianapolis in the season opener in the Hoosier State. Dalton threw for 243 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals scored 24 unanswered points in the second half, punctuated by an 83-yard fumble-return touchdown by safety Clayton Fejedelem with 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.  Indy, who were leading 16-10 at the half, found themselves being held to 75 yards on the ground and Andrew Luck threw for 319 yards and a pair of TDs while being sacked twice. Cincinnati, outscoring Indy 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, went 4 of 8 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:12, while the Colts had time on their side (apologies to Mick Jagger!) and held the ball for 32:48, going 11 of 17 on third down conversions.

Washington returns to Landover with a 24-6 win at Arizona last Sunday afternoon in the desert. The Redskins led 21-0 at the half, using a pair of Alex Smith (255 yards) TD tosses and adding a 31-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins before Arizona’s David Johnson ended the shutout bid with a 2-yard run with 5:47 left. Washington ran for 182 yards, with RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 96 yards and a TD, while the Redskins held Arizona to 68 yards rushing. Washington was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:08, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 8 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 21:52.

The Colts lead ther series 20-10, which includes contests that were played in Baltimore and at old RFK Stadium, the Colts have outscored Washington 780-602 and won the last three meetings, including a 49-27 win in the Hoosier State in 2014; as for the Redskins, their last win in the series came in 2002 at Fed Ex Field by a final of 26-21. Washington’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Hail To The Redskins! Washington makes their return home a successful one and covers the 5 1/2.

Minnesota (1-0) at Green Bay (1-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. It’s an NFC North (NFC Norris) showdown in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as Minnesota travels to Green Bay to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field. Both teams enter the contests with wins under their belts.

Minnesota held off a late San Francisco rally last Sunday at US Bank Stadium, coming away 24-16 winners in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Leading 10-3 at the intermission, the Vikings barely outscored Jimmy Graffalo (261 yards, TD, three interceptions) and the 49ers 14-13 in the second half to take the win. Minnesota outrushed San Francisco 116-90, with Kirk Cousins throwing for 244 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Stefon Diggs on one of the tosses. Minnesota, who forced four San Francisco turnovers, went 7 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth downs) and held the ball for 31:09, while the 49ers were 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 28:51.

Packers fans held their breath as their star QB Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of their Sunday night contest against Chicago at Lambeau, only to see the Packers rally to take a 24-23 NFC North win over Da Bears. Trailing 17-0 at the intermission, Packer fans saw Rodgers come out of the contest with what some thought was a knee injury, only to give Green Bay fans hope, as they outscored Chicago 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Chicago outrushed Green Bay 139-69, Rodgers burned Da Bears for 286 yards with three TDs, with the game-winner going to Randall Cobb to send Green Bay’s fan base home happy. Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 171 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest but the Green Bay defense made things less than pleasant for him, sacking him four times on the evening. Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:38, while Chicago kept the pigskin for 33:22, going 7 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

While Green Bay leads the series 59-52-2 and the Packers have outscored the Purple Gang 2,459-2,189, Minnesota has won three of the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Green Bay’s last win over the Vikings came in the 2016 season, when they came away 38-25 winners at Lambeau).

The first meeting? Week six in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Vikings knocked Rodgers out of the contest (shoulder) and came away 23-10 winners at US Bank Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter, Minnesota took a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission and held Green Bay in check in the second half, shutting the Packers out in the process. Rodgers threw for 18 yards in the contest before his departure and Brett Hundley would take over, throwing for 157 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off three, while Vikings QB Case Keenum threw for 239 yards with a TD and no interceptions. Minnesota, who outrushed Green Bay 112-72, was 4 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:09, while the Packers kept the ball for 27:51, going 4 of 17 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Minnesota made it a clean sweep in the series, shutting out the Packers 16-0 at Lambeau (temperature, you wonder? A somewhat balmy 10 degrees with a 0 wind chill) Field in week 16. Minnesota led 10-0 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and scored the final six points of the game in the second half unchallenged, thanks to a pair of Kyle Forbath field goals. Green Bay barely outrushed Minnesota 113-112 in the rematch and Hundley threw for 130 yards with a pair of interceptions and a sack, while Keenum threw for 139 yards (three sacks) with a TD toss to WR Stefan Diggs to take the win. Both clubs were 4 of 15 on third down (the Packers were 0 of 4 on fourth down) and Minnesota ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:37, while the Packers held the pigskin for 28:23.

Green Bay was favored by 3 in the week six contest and the Vikings covered with the 13-point win. The 46 1/2 over/under? It was untouched, as the two clubs combined for 33 points. In the week 16 contest at Lambeau, Minnesota’s 16-point win easily covered the 9-point spread but neither team came anywhere near the 40 1/2 over/under as Minnesota scored all 16 points. Green Bay’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense. These two teams don’t exactly like each other and Packer fans would like some revenge on the team that knocked them out of the post-season. Packers get revenge in the land of beer, Bratwurst and cheese and takes the win, covering the 2.

Cleveland (0-0-1) at New Orleans (0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. One team looks to not go winless. The other looks for their first win. The Cleveland Browns travel to the Big Easy for a showdown with New Orleans.

The Browns avoided their 17th consecutive loss as they erased a 21-7 deficit against Pittsburgh to tie the Steelers.  Cleveland would go on to score 14 fourth quarter points unchallenged, then held off Roethlisberger and the Steelers to a 21-21 tie at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. Pittsburgh outrushed Cleveland 177-159, with Pittsburgh’s James Conner leading all rushers with 135 yards and a pair of TDs on the ground. Roethlisberge threw for 335 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off three; for the Browns, rookie QB Tyrod Taylor threw for 197 yards and a TD toss to WR Josh Gordon but was sacked seven times and picked off once. Pittsburgh was 7 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:12, while the Browns held the ball for 34:48, going 5 of 18, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Saints came out on the short end of a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay last Sunday in the Big Easy. Although they trailed 31-24 at the half, the Buccaneers managed to take control of things in the second half, outscoring the Saints 17-16 in the final 30 minutes of action. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43, while Drew Brees threw for 439 yards with three passing TDs and Alvin Kamara chipping in with a pair of rushing TDs. For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston, threw for 417 yards and four TDs in the win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tampa Bay went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Saints went 4 of 9 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:51.

Cleveland leads series 13-4. the Browns have outscored New Orleans 397-290 and Cleveland has won the last two contest, including taking a 26-24 win in Cleveland in 2016 (New Orleans’ last win in the series came in 2006 in Cleveland by a final of 19-14. New Orleans is favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 50. The 50 makes sense, the 8 1/2 doesn’t. Neither team looked that good last week and both teams would like to get the taste of losing out of their mouths. Cleveland will make this one close but New Orleans prevails, even though they won’t cover the 8 1/2.

Philadelphia (1-0) at Tampa Bay (1-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of unbeatens meet on Florida’s west coast as Philadelphia plays their second NFC South foe in as many weeks when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

The defending Super Bowl champs survived an 18-12 scare from Atlanta in the season opener for both clubs. The Falcons let two leads get away from them in the City of Brotherly Love; first taking a 6-3 lead into the half and then leading 12-10 with 2:19 left in regulation when Joseph Ajayi scored on an 11-yard run and added the two-point conversion. Atlanta was held to 74 yards rushing, while the Eagles tallied 113 in the NFC Divisonal rematch. Ryan threw for 251 yards with an interception and four sacks, while Eagles QB Nick Foles threw for 117 yards with two sacks and an interception. As was the case in the NFC Divisonal game, Atlanta rallied to take the win out of Philadelphia but once again, the drive fell short and the Eagles took the win. Atlanta was 4 of 15 on third down (the Falcons were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:50, while the defending Super Bowl champs were 8 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 32:10.

Tampa Bay held off New Orleans 48-40 last Sunday in the Big Easy. The Buccaneers led 31-24 at the half, then took control of things in the second half, outscoring the Saints 17-16 in the final 30 minutes of action. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43, while Drew Brees threw for 439 yards with three passing TDs and Alvin Kamara chipping in with a pair of rushing TDs. For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston, threw for 417 yards and four TDs in the win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tampa Bay went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Saints went 4 of 9 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:51.

Philadelphia holds an 8-6 lead in the series and the defending Super Bowl champs have outscored Tampa Bay 260-244. Tampa Bay did pick up a win in their last meeting, coming out on top 45-17 in the City of Brotherly Love in 2015, while the Eagles’ last win came in Tampa Bay in 2013 by a final of 31-20. Although Tampa Bay’s at home, the Eagles are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Philly makes it two in a row and covers the 3 with the win.

Arizona (0-1) at Los Angeles Rams (1-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of NFC West rivals meet on the West Coast as Arizona and the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum in the Monday night season opener for both.

Arizona’s offense could never get on track in Glendale last Sunday as they dropped a 24-6 decision to Washington last Sunday in the desert. The Desert Angry Birds trailed the Redskins led 21-0 at the half, as Washington would use a pair of Alex Smith (255 yards) TD tosses and adding a 31-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins before Arizona’s David Johnson ended the shutout bid with a 2-yard run with 5:47 left. Washington ran for 182 yards, with RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 96 yards and a TD, while the Redskins held Arizona to 68 yards rushing. Washington was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:08, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 8 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 21:52.

Los Angeles took a 13-10 deficit at Oakland last Monday and turned it into a 33-13 win on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay. Los Angeles would go in the second half to score their final 23 points of the game uncontested, holding the Rams to 95 yards rushing and picking David Carr (303 yards) off three times, while the Rams rushed for 140 yards (Todd Gurley led all rushers with 108 yards) and Jared Goff threw for 233 yards and a pair of TDs. The Rams were 4 of 11 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:29, while the Raiders were 5 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 31:31.

Includling games that were played in Chicago and St. Louis when the Cardinals called those cities home and games in Cleveland, Los Angeles and St. Louis, the series is tied at 38-38-2, with the Rams outscoring Arizona  1,522-1,520. The Rams swept the series last year, taking wins on the other side of the Atlantic and in the desert (Arizona’s last win came in 2016, taking a 44-6 win in Los Angeles).

Meeting number one… London in week seven. The Rams imposed their will on the Desert Angry Birds and took Arizona to the woodshed, shutting them out 33-0 at Twickenham Stadium. After taking a 23-0 lead to the intermission, the Rams would score the final 10 points of the contest unchallenged, holding Arizona to a dismal 25 yards. Meanwhile, Todd Gurley ran for 106 of his team’s 197 yards with a TD, while Jared Goff threw for 235 yards with a TD. The Rams were 13 of 19 on third down tries and kept the ball for 39:01, while the Cardinals held on to the pigskin for 20:59, going 3 of 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down tries.

The Rams made it a clean sweep of the series in week 13, leaving University of Phoenix Stadium with a  32-16 road win. Arizona made things interesting at the half, trailing 19-13 at the break before the Rams took control of things in the second half and outscored Arizona 13-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Arizona did outrush Los Angeles 118-90, Goff did manage to throw for 220 yards and a pair of TDs, while Blaine Gabbert struggled, throwing for 221 yards with a TD to Larry Fitzgerald with six sacks and a pair of interceptions. While the Rams were 3 of 11 on third down, they were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and didn’t need to keep the ball that long, holding the pigskin for 28:58, while the Cardinals ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:02, going 7 of 15 on third down conversions in the desert.

The Rams easily covered the 3 1/2-point spread with their shutout win but the 47 1/2 over/under stayed intact, as Los Angeles was responsible for all 33 points in the meeting in London. In the week 13 contest in the desert, the Rams covered the 7-point spread, winning by 13 and both teams covered the 45 over/under with 48 points. This meeting has the Rams as 12 1/2 point favorites and the over/under is 46. The 46 makes sense. The 12 1/2 is a little steep. The Cardinals are not 12 1/2 bad. Granted, they’ll give the Rams problems in Los Angeles but the Rams will prevail on the West Coast.

Detroit (0-1) at San Francisco (0-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Two clubs looking for their first win meet in wine country as Detroit travels westward to take on the San Francisco 49ers.

The Matt Patrica era in Detroit started off well for the Lions against the New York Jets, then the wheels came off the bus, they would let a 17-10 halftime lead get away from them in the Motor City at halftime Monday night, allowing the Jets to score 31 points in the second half unchallenged to come out on top 48-17. Isaiah Crowell’s 102 yards and two TDs led the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to the come-from-behind win in the Monday night contest, while GangGreen outrushed Detroit 169-39, forcing Matthew Stafford (286 yards, TD) to throw four interceptions. Rookie signal called Sam Darnold made his NFL debut a good one, throwing for 198 yards and a pair of TDs. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 14 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs, while holding on to the ball for 33:07; the Lions were 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:53.

A late San Francisco rally last Sunday at Minnesota’s US Bank Stadium fell short, with the Vikings coming away 24-16 winners in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The 49ers trailed 10-3 at the intermission before the Vikings barely outscored Jimmy Graffalo (261 yards, TD, three interceptions) and the 49ers 14-13 in the second half to take the win. Minnesota outrushed San Francisco 116-90, with Kirk Cousins throwing for 244 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Stefon Diggs on one of the tosses. Minnesota, who forced four San Francisco turnovers, went 7 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth downs) and held the ball for 31:09, while the 49ers were 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 28:51.

Including games that took place at Keezar Stadium, Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and Candlestick Park, the 49ers lead the series 36-27-1 and they have outscored Detroit 1,395-1,334. Detroit won the last meeting, taking a 32-17 win in Detroit, while the 49ers picked up a 27-19 win on the West Coast in 2012. San Francisco’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2.

Oakland (0-1) at Denver (1-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. They’re back. They still don’t like each other. Don’t expect any warm fuzzy greetings between these two teams. Oakland makes their way to the Rocky Mountains for an AFC West contest with their rivals from Denver.

Oakland let a 13-10 lead get away from them as the Los Angeles Rams turned that deficit at Oakland last Monday and turned it into a 33-13 win on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay. The Rams took control in the second half and score their final 23 points of the game uncontested, holding the Rams to 95 yards rushing and picking David Carr (303 yards) off three times, while the Rams rushed for 140 yards (Todd Gurley led all rushers with 108 yards) and Jared Goff threw for 233 yards and a pair of TDs. The Rams were 4 of 11 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:29, while the Raiders were 5 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 31:31.

Denver held off a late Seahawks rally at Broncos Stadium At Mile High to come away 27-24 winners in the season opener for both teams. The Broncos led Russell Wilson and the Seahawks 17-10 at the intermisson before Seattle would outscore Denver in the second half 14-10. Case Keenum threw for 329 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Demariyus Thomas on one toss, while Denver outrushed Seattle 146-64 in the three-point win. Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards with three TDs but was sacked six times in the loss on the road. Denver was 4 of 12 on third down conversions and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 35:08, while Seattle was 24:52 and kept the ball for 24:52.

The Silver and Black lead the series 62-51-2, which includes contests that took place in Los Angeles and at old Mile High Stadium and the Raiders have outscored Denver 2,443-2,360. They split last year’s meetings, each taking wins in their home facility.

Denver held off a late Oakland rally at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, taking a 16-10 win in the week four contest in the Rocky Mountains. The Broncos led 10-7 at the half before the Raiders’ final drive late in the contest fell short. Denver outrushed Oakland 143-24 and Trevor Siemian threw for 179 yards with a TD and no interceptions, while Carr threw for 143 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks (Siemian was sacked four times). Denver was 5 of 16 on third down and the Broncs held the ball for 32:57, while the Raiders were 27:03 in time of possession, going 2 of 17 and 0 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Silver and Black would get their revenge at home in week 12, holding off a late Denver rally to come away 21-14 winners at the Coliseum. Oakland led 14-0 at the half and took a 21-0 lead into the final 15 minutes of play before Denver scored their lone points in that quarter unchallenged. Oakland outrushed Denver 104-59 (Marshawn Lynch led all rushers with 67 yards and a TD) and Carr threw for 253 yards with a pair of TDs (two sacks), while Siemian threw for 149 yards and a pair of TDs that came in the final quarter. Denver was 5 of 14 on third down conversions (the Broncos were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 24:06, while the Silver and Black was 5 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 35:54.

Denver’s 6-point week four win allowed them to cover the 2 1/2-point spread but the 46 1/2 over/under was untouched as both clubs merged for only 26 points. In the week 12 contest, Oakland covered the 5-point spread with their 7-point win but the 35 points that the two teams combined was short of the 43 1/2 over/under. Denver’s favored by 6 and the over/under is 45. The Raiders would like to even their record in this matchup, while the Broncos are hoping to be 2-0. Oakland will make this one close but Denver prevails at home and could cover the 7.

New England (1-0) at Jacksonville (1-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. It’s the AFC Championshp rematch Jaugar fans have been waiting for since last January and this time, they meet in much warmer weather and in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville hosts Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in northern Florida in a key AFC matchup

Jacksonville took a 13-6 lead against the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium at the half, then held off the Giants to come away with a 20-15 win. Jacksonville outrushed the Giants 137-114, Blake Bortles threw for 176 yards with a Td, while Eli Manning threw for 224 yards (both men threw an interception and Manning was sacked twice). New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. led all recievers with 111 yards with rookie RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 106 yards and his first NFL rushing TD. Both the Jags and the Giants were 4 of 13 on third down conversions (the Giants were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:29, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 29:31.

Brady and the Pats held off a late Texans rally in Foxboro, coming away 27-20 winners last Sunday afternoon last Sunday against DeShaun Watson and Houston. The Pats would lead 21-6 at the half before Houston would rally in the second half, eventually making the contest a 7-point affair with 2:08 left when Watson and WR Bruce Ellington connected on a 5-yard, putting them closer. That would be as close as they would get to Tom Brady and the Patriots, who would hold them off for the win. While the Texans did outrush New England 167-122, Brady burned Houston for 277 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of those tosses. Watson did manage to throw for 176 yards with the TD but was sacked three times and picked off once. Houston was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:50, while the defending AFC champs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10, going 4 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

New England leads the regular season series 7-0 and have outscored the Jaguars 214-119. The Patriots’ last win in the regular season series came in 2015 in Foxboro as New England took a 51-17 win in that contest. They did meet in the post-season in Foxboro in the AFC Championship game and the Pats used a pair of fourth quarter TD passes from Brady (290 yards) to WR Danny Amendola to take a 24-20 win at Gillette Stadium. Jacksonville led 14-10 at the half and took a 20-10 lead in the latter part of the fourth quarter before the Patriots rallied to take the lead for keeps and earn a trip to Super Bowl 52. Jacksonville actually outrushed New England 101-46, with Jaguar RB Leonard Fournette leading the way with 76 yards and a TD. The Jaguars, who had their final drive of the contest stall when QB Blake Bortles’ (293 yards, TD) final two passes fell short of their marks (both Brady and Bortles were sacked three times). Jacksonville was 6 of 15 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as kept the ball for 35:08, while New England was 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth) and held the ball for 24:52.

New England was favored by 9 in the AFC Championship game but only won by 4 and both clubs barely missed the 46 over/under with 44 points. Vegas likes the Pats as 2-point favorites and the over/under’s 45. This one could very well be a post-season preview, which makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Jacksonville’s looking for revenge, while the Pats look to maintain their status in the AFC. New England wins this one in the Sunshine State but expect Jacksonville to make things closer than the 2.

New York Giants (0-1) at Dallas (0-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Throw out the records. This rivalry is somewhat of a big deal. Dallas hosts NFC East rival the New York Giants in a Sunday night contest in Jerry World. Both clubs look to bounce back after losses to open the 2018 season.

In their opener in Charlotte against Carolina and Cam Newton, the Panthers kept Dallas in check and the Cowboys were on the short end of a 16-8 loss last Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. Despite the Cowboys sacking him three times, Newtown threw for 161 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest to open the scoring. The contest was a scorless affair at the end of the first quarter, then saw the Panthers take a 10-0 lead into the intermission, although Dallas did manage to outscore Carolina 8-6 in the final period play, with the Cowboys getting their only points on a 4-yard run by RB Ezekiel Elliott and a Dak Prescott two-point conversion. Carolina outrushed Dallas 147-94, with Elliott leading all rushers with 69 yards (Newton tallied 58), while Prescott threw for 170 yards with six sacks. Dallas was 2 of 11 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:24, while Carolina kept the pigskin for 30:36, going 4 of 12 on third down.

The Giants saw Jacksonville take a 13-6 lead at Met Life Stadium at the half, then watched the Jaguars hold them off as Jacksonville left upstate New Jersey with a 20-15 win. Jacksonville outrushed the Giants 137-114, Blake Bortles threw for 176 yards with a Td, while Eli Manning threw for 224 yards (both men threw an interception and Manning was sacked twice). New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. led all recievers with 111 yards with rookie RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 106 yards and his first NFL rushing TD. Both the Jags and the Giants were 4 of 13 on third down conversions (the Giants were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:29, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 29:31.

Including games that were played at Yankee Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, Giants Stadium and Cowboys Stadium, Dallas leads the series 64-45-2, have outscored the Giants 2,498-2,132 and swept last year’s series (New York’s last win over the Cowboys came in the Meadowlands in 2016 when they were 10-7 winners; they would sweep the series that year). In the first meeting in Arlington in week one, the Cowboys held Big Blue to a third-quarter field goal, taking a 19-3 win in the Lone Star State. Dallas outrushed NeW York 129-35, with RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 104 yards, while Prescott (268 yards) and TE Jason Whitten connected on a 12-yard TD strike before halftime (Manning threw for 220 yards with three sacks and an interception). Dallas was 8 of 15 on third down in the Sunday night matchup and held the ball for 34:14, while the Giants were 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:46.

Dallas made it two for two in the series and pulled off the sweep, coming to the Meadowlands and leaving with a 30-10 win in week 14. The Elliott-less Cowboys broke a 10-10 halftime tie and scored their final 20 points of the contest in the fourth quarter unchallenged, outrushing the Giants 122-102. Prescott threw 332 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Dez Bryant on one of the tosses, while Manning threw for 228 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. Dallas in the rematch went 7 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:07, while the Giants kept the ball for 32:53, going 6 of 16 on third down.

Dallas covered the 4 1/2-point spread, winning by 16 in the first meeting in Arlington but both clubs could only muster 22 points, missing the 48 over/under. In the week 14 contest in the Meadowlands, the Cowboys won by 10, meaning they did cover the 5-point spread but both clubs missed the 42 over/under by 2 points. There’s nothing that says you can’t have two “DRILL WORTHY” game, so that’s what we have. (for “Drill” instructions, see the New England-Jacksonville game) Dallas is favored by 3 on Sunday night in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 42. Both clubs look to break away from the winless ranks. Dallas covers at home in Jerry World and wins the Sunday night contest in the Lone Star State.

Seattle (0-1) at Chicago (0-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week two concludes in the Windy City as Salmon and Starbucks meets deep-dish pizza at Soldier Field as Seattle and Chicago face off.

Seattle’s late rally against Denver fell short at Broncos Stadium At Mile High as the Broncos came away 27-24 winners in the season opener for both teams. Denver led Russell Wilson and the Seahawks 17-10 at the intermisson before Seattle would outscore Denver in the second half 14-10. For the winning Broncos, Case Keenum threw for 329 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Demariyus Thomas on one toss, while Denver outrushed Seattle 146-64 in the three-point win. Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards with three TDs but was sacked six times in the loss on the road. Denver was 4 of 12 on third down conversions and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 35:08, while Seattle was 24:52 and kept the ball for 24:52.

Da Bears saw their dreams of beating Green Bay at Lambeau Field shattered last Sunday as they would knock QB Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of their Sunday night contest, only to see the Packers rally to take a 24-23 NFC North win over Da Bears. Trailing 17-0 at the intermission, Packer fans saw Rodgers come out of the contest with what some thought was a knee injury, only to give Green Bay fans hope, as they outscored Chicago 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Chicago outrushed Green Bay 139-69, Rodgers burned Da Bears for 286 yards with three TDs, with the game-winner going to Randall Cobb to send Green Bay’s fan base home happy. Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 171 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest but the Green Bay defense made things less than pleasant for him, sacking him four times on the evening. Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:38, while Chicago kept the pigskin for 33:22, going 7 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 11-4, they’ve outscored Chicago 333-290 and Seattle has won the last four meetings, including a 26-0 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, while Chicago’s last win in the series came in 2009 in Seattle by a final of 25-19. Da Bears are 30-38 on Monday night, while the Seahawks are 23-9; both teams played on Monday night last year and both came away with losses. Chicago’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both numbers make sense and both teams are trying to get their first win. Seattle prevails in the Windy City and covers the 3 1/2.

Baltimore (1-0) at Cincinnati (1-0), 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network. A pair of undefeated AFC North rivals meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Joe Flacco and the Ravens travel to Cincinnati to open week two action against Andy Dalton and the Bengals.

In the 44 meetings between the Ravens and Bengals, each team has won 22 games and Baltimore has outscored the Bengals 942-814. They split last year’s contests, each taking wins in the other team’s facility in a series that bookended the 2017 campaign.

Both teams are entering the Thursday night contest with wins under their belts in the season opener for both clubs. Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon recorded 149 scrimmage yards (95 rushing, 54 receiving) and a rushing touchdown and wide receiver A.J. Green had six catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ 34-23 victory at Indianapolis. Dalton threw for 243 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals scored 24 unanswered points in the second half, punctuated by an 83-yard fumble-return touchdown by safety Clayton Fejedelem with 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who recorded a sack in Week 1, has 62 sacks since entering the league in 2010, the most among NFL defensive tackles over the span. While rushing for 101 yards, the Bengals, who trailed the Colts 16-10 at the half, held Indianpolis to 75 yards on the ground and sacked Andrew Luck (319 yards, 2 TDs) twice. Cincinnati, outscoring Indy 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, went 4 of 8 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:12, while the Colts had time on their side (apologies to Mick Jagger!) and held the ball for 32:48, going 11 of 17 on third down conversions.

Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes and threw three touchdowns, including scoring passes to John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead in each of their team debuts, as the Ravens defeated Buffalo 47-3 on Kickoff Weekend in Charm City. The Ravens had six different players score an offensive touchdown in the contest. Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosley is the only NFL player with at least 450 tackles (474), eight sacks (eight) and eight interceptions (eight) since entering the league in 2014. The Ravens led 26-0 at the intermission and took a 40-3 lead into the fourth quarter as they manhandled the team that replaced them in the 2017 post-season. Holding the Bills to 83 yards, Baltimore ran for 117 yards and Flacco threw for 236 yards with the three TDs and no interceptions, while Nate Peterman was sacked three times, throwing for 24 yards. The Ravens in their opener win were 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 35:14, while the Bills kept the ball for 24:46 and went 2 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Thursday’s contest marks the first of seven exclusively televised games on NFL Network this season and will be produced by FOX. The game will feature Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink and Mike Pereira on the call.

They meet in Cincy in week one and Baltimore shut out the Bengals 20-0 at Paul Brown Stadium. Taking a 17-0 lead with them to the intermission, the Ravens tacked on a 25-yard field goal by Jeff Tucker in the third quarter to close out the scoring in the contest. Flacco threw for 121 yards and a TD to WR Jeremy Maclin, while RB Terrance West had the other Ravens TD. Baltimore held Cincy to 77 yards rushing, tallying 157 of their own and sacking Dalton (170 yards) five times, picking him off four times. The Ravens were 6 of 14 on third down tries in the season opener, keeping the ball for 34 minutes, while the Bengals kept the ball for 26, going 4 of 13 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

They would meet again in Charm City to close the 2017 campaign out and for the Ravens, it was a game they needed to win to have any chance of a playoff spot but it was the Bengals that played the role of spoiler in the late-afternoon affair at M&T Bank Stadium, as Cincy would get revenge on their AFC North foes, knocking the Ravens out of the post-season and coming away 31-27 winners. The Bengals led 17-10 at the break and took a 24-20 lead with 13:08 left in regulation before the Ravens took their only lead with 8:48 left as Flacco and WR Mike Wallace connected on a 6-yard TD toss, leading 27-24.

That lead and the hopes of the Ravens going to the playoffs (Buffalo had won in Miami earlier that afternoon) were dashed late in the quarter as they would punt the ball back to Cincinnati with 2:51 to go in the game. Dalton then marched his team 90 yards on 10 plays, including a heartbreaking 49-yard TD pass on fourth-and-12 to WR Tyler Boyd with :44 seconds left in the game. During the drive, Ravens S Eric Weddle intercepted a pass, but it was negated due to a defensive holding penalty. Cincinnati outrushed Baltimore 146-118 and Dalton threw for 222 yards with three TDs, including the game winner, while Flacco accounted for 203 yards with a pair of TDs and an  interception. The Bengals were 5 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:39, while the Ravens ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 31:21, going 5 of 17 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

The Bengals were favored by 3 in the first meeting in Cincy and Baltimore’s 20-point win allowed them to cover the spread with ease. As for the 42 over/under? It was untouched as Baltimore accounted for all 20 of the points in the contest. In the season finale, the game that Baltimore needed to get into the post-season, the Ravens were 9 1/2 point favorites and Cincy won that contest by 4. The two teams did manage to cover the 40 1/2 over/under, tallying 58 total points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Bengals as a 1-point favorite with the over/under at 44. Baltimore would love to get some revenge on Cincinnati for knocking them out of the post-season, while the Bengals would love nothing more than to prove that it was not a fluke. Bengals cover the 1 and takes the win at home.

Broadcast Information – 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Kristina Pink (Field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli; SIRIUS: 81 (Baltimore), 83 (Cincinnati); XM: 226 (Baltimore), 225 (Cincinnati)

Referee – Walt Anderson

Injury Report

Baltimore
OUT: CB Maurice Canady (Thigh), RB Kenneth Dixon (Knee), DT Willie Henry (Abdomen), TE Hayden Hurst (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Janarion Grant (Hand)

Cincinnati
DOUBTFUL: WR Corey Core (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Preston Brown (Ankle)

Weather Outlook – Mostly clear and 77 degrees

Broadcast information and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel (None: weather is based on kickoff local time)

It seems that the city of Orlando and the Mouse like football. That being the case, you may want to pack that suntan lotion. The National Football League confirmed that the the 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon will return to Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 3 p.m.

As the presenting sponsor, Verizon will be incorporated into numerous elements of Pro Bowl Week’s celebratory events and have a significant presence at Camping World Stadium during the game, including one of a kind experiences for members of the Verizon Up rewards program.

The 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon will be televised on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC. Additional distribution on digital and audio platforms to be announced at a later date.

“We’re excited to return to Orlando for the Pro Bowl and to provide the ultimate football and family experience to our fans, players and partners,” NFL Senior Vice President of Events Peter O’Reilly told the Orlando Sentinel, WESH-TV and USA Today. “Hosting the event in Orlando has allowed us to expand the Pro Bowl into a week-long festival that celebrates the entire football community. We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Verizon as the presenting sponsor and look forward to showcasing the NFL’s best alongside the next generation of stars on the Pro Bowl stage.”

Fans in attendance will be presented with a special pre-game opportunity to see the Pro Bowl players as they enter the stadium, bringing them closer than ever to the All-Stars on the field. Family priced sections, concession deals, and “Kid Zone” activities will be available inside the stadium and there will be specific AFC and NFC section seating for fans to cheer for their favorite players. Special prizes will be given out during the game, including a grand prize Super Bowl package to be presented to the Pro Bowl “All-Star Fan” at Camping World Stadium. Fans will also enjoy a post-game fireworks show to cap off the celebration. On the televised broadcast, viewers will be treated to unique player access, featuring mic-ed up players along with social media usage from the sidelines.

Tickets for the 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon will go on sale in the fall. Fans interested in purchasing tickets may register at http://www.nfl.com/2019probowl for presale opportunities. Season Ticket Members for all 32 teams will automatically be included in the presale and all previous Orlando Pro Bowl ticket buyers will receive priority access to purchase tickets.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the NFL Pro Bowl back to our city and Camping World Stadium,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The NFL returning one of its marquee events to our community for the third time solidifies our reputation as one of the premier sports destinations in the nation. Our city has embraced hosting the Pro Bowl and we look forward to welcoming the NFL’s best back to Orlando in January.”

The legacy of the 2019 Pro Bowl will extend beyond Camping World Stadium through support from the NFL Foundation as well as additional community events benefitting residents of the surrounding region. Last year, the NFL Foundation provided a Pro Bowl Grant to the City of Orlando to fund multiple Orlando-based revitalization projects. In addition, the players on the winning Pro Bowl team will be eligible to receive a grant from the NFL Foundation to support the high school or youth football programs of their choice.

“We are delighted that for the third consecutive year, the NFL Pro Bowl has chosen to return to Central Florida,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “There’s simply no place like Orlando when it comes to a family- and fan-friendly environment. Our investment in Camping World Stadium continues to pay strong dividends, and our entire community has worked together with the NFL to expand this annual sports celebration into an unforgettable week-long experience.”

The NFL will provide fans of all ages with unique opportunitie​​s to be a part of festivities associated with PRO BOWL WEEK. The NFL will host events across the Orlando area, bringing new experiences and activities while commemorating all levels of football – from youth to the NFL’s best.

Pro Bowl Week festivities in Orlando will include the NFL FLAG CHAMPIONSHIPS POWERED BY USA FOOTBALL, which will culminate live on ESPN/ABC on Pro Bowl Sunday; the announcement of the prestigious DON SHULA NFL HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD; and the NFL PRO BOWL EXPERIENCE, a free football festival located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, where fans will also have fan access to AFC and NFC TEAM PRACTICES. In addition, Pro Bowl Week will include the return of the PRO BOWL SKILLS SHOWDOWN, testing the athletic prowess of All-Stars from each conference in unique competitions.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Pro Bowl back to Central Florida,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan told WESH-TV. “Over the past two years, Orlando has proved to be the perfect host for one of the NFL’s premier events and we’re excited for the opportunity to make 2019 the most successful Pro Bowl Week yet.”

The 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon will follow the traditional AFC versus NFC format and feature 88 of the best NFL players – 44 from each conference – as determined by a consensus of votes by fans, players and coaches. Both teams will be led by offensive and defensive NFL Legends who will serve as captains representing each conference.

 

The National Football League announced their 2018 roster of game officials last month. The roster for the upcoming regular season will include seven first-year NFL officials among the group of 121.

Field judge Land Clark (Pacific 12), field judge Matt Edwards (Big Ten), side judge Chad Hill (Southeastern Conference), field judge Anthony Jefferies (Southeastern Conference), back judge Tony Josselyn  (Southeastern Conference), line judge Mark Stewart (Big 12) and field judge Don Willard (Big Ten) will make their NFL officiating debuts this season.

Four officials – Shawn Hochuli, Alex Kemp, Clay Martin and Shawn Smith – have been promoted to referee for the upcoming season. Each of them were referees at the highest level of college football prior to entering the NFL at different positions and have been part of the NFL’s Referee Training Program from their first season in the league.

Both Shawn Hochuli (Ed Hochuli) and Alex Kemp (Stan Kemp) are the sons of former NFL referees.

Two sets of fathers and sons are included among the roster of officials — Walt Coleman, the dean of NFL officials entering his 30th season and his son, Walt IV; Steve Freeman and his son, Brad — and three sets of brothers – Allen and Rusty Baynes; Jeff and Jerry Bergman along with and Carl, Dino and Perry Paganelli.

Steve Freeman and Phil McKinnley are the only current game officials to have also enjoyed NFL playing careers. Freeman played for 13 seasons, including 12 as a defensive back with the Buffalo Bills from 1975–86. McKinnely played for seven seasons on the offensive line from 1976–82, including five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons from 1976–80.

The following is the complete 2018 NFL roster of officials, including crew assignments, which may change during the season due to injury, schedule conflicts, etc.:

No. Name (Pos.)             Crew (NFL Experience, including 2018)
122  Brad Allen (R)          Allen (5)
20  Barry Anderson (U)      Cheffers (12)
66  Walt Anderson (R)       Anderson (23)
108  Gary Arthur (LJ)        Cheffers (22)
72  Michael Banks (SJ)      Parry (17)
56  Allen Baynes (SJ)       Hussey (11)
59  Rusty Baynes (LJ)       Boger (9)
32  Jeff Bergman (LJ)       Kemp (27)
91  Jerry Bergman (DJ)      Coleman (17)
34  Clete Blakeman (R)      Blakeman (11)
23  Jerome Boger (R)        Boger (15)
40  Brian Bolinger (LJ)     Allen (2)
18  Byron Boston (LJ)       Anderson (24)
74  Derick Bowers (LJ)      Hussey (16)
98  Greg Bradley (LJ)       Hochuli (10)
43  Terry Brown (FJ)        Anderson (13)
11  Fred Bryan (U)          Martin (10)
86  Jimmy Buchanan (FJ)     Torbert (10)
134  Ed Camp (DJ)            Hochuli (19)
63  Mike Carr (DJ)          Boger (2)
60  Gary Cavaletto (SJ)     Vinovich (16)
41  Boris Cheek (SJ)        Morelli (23)
51  Carl Cheffers (R)       Cheffers (19)
130  Land Clark (FJ)         Cheffers (1)
16  Kevin Codey (DJ)        Hussey (4)
95  James Coleman (SJ)      Smith (14)
65  Walt Coleman (R)        Coleman (30)
87  Walt Coleman IV (LJ)    Blakeman (4)
99  Tony Corrente (R)       Corrente (24)
94  Hugo Cruz (DJ)          Cheffers (4)
25  Ryan Dickson (SJ)       Corrente (2)
27  Lee Dyer (BJ)           Anderson (16)
76  Alan Eck (U)            Corrente (3)
96  Matt Edwards (FJ)       Parry (1)
3  Scott Edwards (SJ)      Torbert (20)
81  Roy Ellison (U)         Hochuli (16)
61  Keith Ferguson (BJ)     Morelli (19)
64  Dan Ferrell (U)         Torbert (16)
71  Ruben Fowler (U)        Allen (13)
88  Brad Freeman (SJ)       Martin (5)
133  Steve Freeman (BJ)      Kemp (18)
80  Greg Gautreaux (FJ)     Coleman (17)
128  Ramon George (U)        Blakeman (3)
103  Eugene Hall (SJ)        Cheffers (5)
49  Rich Hall (U)           Kemp (15)
93  Scott Helverson (BJ)    Wrolstad (16)
29  Adrian Hill (SJ)        Wrolstad (9)
125  Chad Hill (SJ)          Hochuli (1)
97  Tom Hill (FJ)           Hochuli (20)
28  Mark Hittner (DJ)       Smith (22)
83  Shawn Hochuli (R)       Hochuli (5)
35  John Hussey (R)         Hussey (17)
36  Anthony Jeffries (FJ)   Morelli (1)
117  John Jenkins (FJ)       Kemp (5)
101  Carl Johnson (LJ)       Wrolstad (15)
67  Tony Josselyn (BJ)      Torbert (1)
55  Alex Kemp (R)           Kemp (5)
121  Paul King (U)           Wrolstad (10)
21  Jeff Lamberth (FJ)      Wrolstad (17)
73  Joe Larrew (FJ)         Blakeman (17)
2  Bart Longson (LJ)       Smith (4)
10  Julian Mapp (LJ)        Parry (10)
19  Clay Martin (R)         Martin (4)
39  Rich Martinez (BJ)      Hochuli (5)
8  Dana McKenzie (DJ)      Blakeman (11)
110  Phil McKinnely (DJ)     Vinovich (17)
48  Jim Mello (DJ)          Allen (15)
118  David Meslow (FJ)       Martin (8)
78  Greg Meyer (BJ)         Cheffers (17)
115  Tony Michalek (U)       Hussey (17)
111  Terrence Miles (BJ)     Allen (11)
120  Jonah Monroe (SJ)       Boger (4)
135  Pete Morelli (R)        Morelli (22)
92  Bryan Neale (U)         Smith (5)
1  Scott Novak (SJ)        Allen (5)
24  David Oliver (DJ)       Parry (2)
124  Carl Paganelli (U)      Anderson (20)
105  Dino Paganelli (BJ)     Smith (13)
46  Perry Paganelli (BJ)    Parry (21)
132  John Parry (R)          Parry (19)
17  Steve Patrick (BJ)      Vinovich (5)
15  Rick Patterson (SJ)     Anderson (23)
79  Kent Payne (LJ)         Martin (15)
131  Mark Pellis (U)         Parry (5)
9  Mark Perlman (LJ)       Vinovich (18)
6  Jerod Phillips (DJ)     Wrolstad (3)
47  Tim Podraza (LJ)        Corrente (11)
109  Dyrol Prioleau (SJ)     Blakeman (12)
30  Todd Prukop (BJ)        Corrente (10)
5  Jim Quirk (BJ)          Blakeman (9)
44  Jeff Rice (U)           Coleman (24)
31  Mearl Robinson (FJ)     Vinovich (2)
126  Brad Rogers (FJ)        Smith (2)
50  Aaron Santi (FJ)        Kemp (4)
129  Bill Schuster (U)       Boger (19)
45  Jeff Seeman (LJ)        Morelli (17)
104  Dale Shaw (FJ)          Boger (6)
113  Danny Short (DJ)        Martin (2)
14  Shawn Smith (R)         Smith (4)
90  Mike Spanier (LJ)       Not Assigned (20)
12  Greg Steed (BJ)         Hussey (16)
84  Mark Steinkerchner (LJ) Torbert (25)
22  Steve Stelljes (DJ)     Morelli (17)
68  Tom Stephan (DJ)        Anderson (20)
112  Tony Steratore (BJ)     Boger (19)
75  Mark Stewart (LJ)       Coleman (1)
102  Bruce Stritesky (U)     Vinovich (13)
100  Tom Symonette (DJ)      Kemp (15)
53  Sarah Thomas (DJ)       Torbert (4)
62  Ron Torbert (R)         Torbert (9)
13  Patrick Turner (DJ)     Corrente (5)
52  Bill Vinovich (R)       Vinovich (14)
26  Jabir Walker (SJ)       Coleman (4)
7  Keith Washington (FJ)   Corrente (11)
116  Mike Weatherford (FJ)   Not Assigned (17)
58  Don Willard (FJ)        Hussey (1)
119  Greg Wilson (BJ)        Martin (11)
54  Steve Woods (U)         Morelli (2)
4  Craig Wrolstad (R)      Wrolstad (16)
38  Greg Yette (BJ)         Coleman (9)
33  Steve Zimmer (FJ)       Allen (22)

Two officials – Mike Spanier and Mike Weatherford – will not be assigned to crews and will work with different crews throughout the season.

The National Football League announced Tuesday that eight teams will carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads in 2018 as part of an expansion of the International Player Pathway program. The program, instituted last year, aims to provide international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

Alex Gray (Atlanta), Alex Jenkins (New Orleans), Eric Nzeocha (Tampa Bay) and Efe Obada (Carolina), participants in 2017, will return to their NFC South teams for the upcoming season.

An additional four teams – the AFC North – will carry an overseas player on their roster until the end of the 2018 training camp.  At that time, the players would be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption.

Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh will each be given an exemption for an eleventh practice squad member – ineligible to be activated during the season – with two of the players selected coming from the United Kingdom and two from Germany. The AFC North was chosen to receive the international players in a random draw.

The players include Moritz Böhringer (Cincinnati), who was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2016, German Football League player Christopher Ezeala (Baltimore Ravens), former British American Football League player Tigie Sankoh (Cleveland) and former English professional rugby player Christian Scotland-Williamson (Pittsburgh).

For the past three months, the players have been training alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida, under the supervision of former NFL-United Kingdom head of football Aden Durde, who was hired as Atlanta’s defensive quality control coach after this season’s program, along with IMG Academy coaches including running back coach Earnest Byner, offensive line coach Paul Dunn, defensive back coach Donnie Henderson and wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey.

The new players taking part in the 2018 International Player Pathway Program:

MORITZ BÖHRINGER, Tight End/Wide Receiver (Germany), Age: 24 – Cincinnati: Selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the first player to be drafted directly from European football. Bohringer had previously been combining his university studies with playing for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League. Bohringer spent the 2016 season on the Vikings practice squad.

CHRISTOPHER EZEALA, Fullback (Germany), Age: 22 – Baltimore: Played as a fullback and linebacker in the German Football League for the Ingolstadt Dukes, having begun playing the sport for the Munich Rangers and Allgäu Comets. Ezeala has focused on the fullback position, saying: “My coaches told me that while there are many linebackers like me in the NFL, there is no fullback that is so athletic and fast, so they are trying to create a new type of player with me.”

TIGIE SANKOH, Defensive Back (United Kingdom), Age: 21 – Cleveland: Played amateur football throughout his teenage years and attended the American Football Academy at Filton College in Bristol, England. Sankoh Went on to represent the London Warriors in the British American Football League.

CHRISTIAN SCOTLAND-WILLIAMSON, Tight End (United Kingdom), Age: 24 – Pittsburgh: Converted to American football early in 2018 after a professional rugby career in England, where he played for the Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership. Playing as a second-row forward, he was known in rugby for his physicality and tackling ability and came to international prominence when a tackle in a game against London Wasps was shared widely on the Internet. He graduated from Loughborough University, one of the UK’s leading sports institutions, with a degree in economics.

The returning participants from the 2017 International Player Pathway Program:

ALEX GRAY, Tight End (United Kingdom), Age: 27 – Atlanta: Born and raised in Bishop Auckland, England, Gray captained England’s rugby teams at Under-16, Under-18, Under-20 and International Sevens levels and played for Newcastle Falcons and London Irish. He was named in the original extended Great Britain Sevens squad for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, before suffering an injury. He signed for Yorkshire Carnegie for the 2016-17 rugby season and decided to convert to American football.

ALEX JENKINS, Defensive End (United Kingdom), Age: 25 – New Orleans: Born and raised in Bath, England, he began playing football at the Bath City Academy and for the Bristol Aztecs, earning a spot on the Great Britain youth team. Having been selected to participate in an all-star high school camp in Virginia, he earned a scholarship to play college football at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He was a three-year starter as defensive end at UIW, posting 3.5 sacks in his senior year.

ERIC NZEOCHA, Linebacker (Germany), Age: 25 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nzeocha began playing football for the Franken Knights youth team in Neusitz, Germany and was selected for the German national junior team. He played three years at the University of Wyoming, switching from tight end to linebacker before the 2015 season. Nzeocha has an older brother, Mark, who is a linebacker for Dallas.

EFE OBADA, Defensive End (United Kingdom), Age: 26 – Carolina Panthers: Raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10, Obada signed as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after playing only five games of amateur football with the London Warriors. He played in the preseason for the Cowboys and spent part of the 2015 season on the club’s practice squad. He has since had spells on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.

NFL Draft weekend culminated an exciting time for another international NFL hopeful, offensive lineman Jordan Mailata. The Samoan-born Australian professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs was drafted in the seventh round by the Philadelphia Eagles (thereby making him ineligible for the International Player Pathway Program this season). Converted to football full-time early in 2018, the 6-8, 350-pounder has impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism and will now continue his football journey with the Eagles.