LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Tom Brady took the night off, and Robert Griffin III played one series Thursday night as the Washington Redskins beat the New England Patriots 23-6 in the teams’ preseason opener.
Griffin completed 2 of 4 passes for 9 yards in an 11-play drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal from Kai Forbath.
Coach Bill Belichick rested Brady, Darrelle Revis and most of his starters. The first-teamers already had plenty of good work against the Redskins this week during three days of joint practices at Washington’s training camp facility.
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Backups Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy each threw a touchdown pass for the Redskins under new coach Jay Gruden. Washington went a tension-filled 3-13 last year, costing coach Mike Shanahan his job.
BRONCOS 21, SEAHAWKS 16
DENVER (AP) – The Super Bowl teams slogged through a preseason opener delayed by lightning and a flurry of flags Thursday night before linebacker Steven Jackson’s end zone interception of Terrelle Pryor’s pass sealed the Denver Broncos’ 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
In between a 46-minute delay, both starting offenses put together long touchdown drives that ate up more than 9 minutes and were kept alive by a wave of yellow flags.
Altogether, there were 25 accepted penalties, 13 on Seattle and a dozen on Denver.
Ronnie Hillman’s 1-yard TD run capped Denver’s 14-play, 61-yard drive in which Peyton Manning completed 9 of 11 passes for 63 yards and the officials threw six flags, including one for offsetting penalties.
The drive lasted 9 minutes, 9 seconds – a good two minutes longer than Denver’s longest drive last season.
Seattle’s 14-play, 90-yard drive that ate up 9:18 was kept alive by four defensive infractions, and Christine Michael’s 1-yard run against a mix of starters and backups tied it at 7 following a debatable pass interference call on linebacker Danny Trevathan.
RAVENS 23, 49ERS 3
BALTIMORE (AP) – Joe Flacco needed just one drive to show how effective the Baltimore Ravens’ offense can be under Gary Kubiak.
Flacco produced an 80-yard touchdown march in his only series, and the Ravens beat San Francisco in a preseason opener.
It was the third time in three tries that Ravens coach John Harbaugh got the best of his brother, Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. Baltimore previously defeated San Francisco on Thanksgiving 2011 and in the Super Bowl ending the 2012 season.
In this one, each team played its starting unit for one series before the backups took over.
After Colin Kaepernick moved the 49ers 66 yards for a field goal, Flacco made himself right at home in Kubiak’s variation of the West Coast offense, going 4 for 5 for 52 yards.
CHIEFS 41, BENGALS 39
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Sean Smith and Malcolm Bronson returned interceptions for touchdowns, De’Anthony Thomas brought back a punt 80 yards for another score and Kansas City beat Cincinnati in its preseason opener.
Andy Dalton was sharp in his only series for the Bengals after signing a new six-year deal this week. He hit wide receiver A.J. Green for a 53-yard pass to set up the opening field goal.
He quickly gave way to backup Jason Campbell, who was just 6 of 15 for 72 yards. And while he threw a pair of touchdown passes, he also was responsible for the pick-6s by Smith and Bronson before getting banged up midway through the third quarter.
The Bengals’ Dre Kirkpatrick also returned an interception for a touchdown.
JETS 13, COLTS 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Michael Vick led the New York Jets on a touchdown drive, capped by fellow newcomer Chris Johnson’s 1-yard scoring run, in a victory over Indianapolis in the preseason opener for both teams.
Geno Smith, looking to retain his starting job in his second season, was 4 of 6 for 33 yards in two series with the first-team offense that included a 51-yard field goal by Nick Folk before giving way to Vick. The 34-year-old backup received a hearty cheer from the crowd at MetLife Stadium, and moved the starting offense for the Jets down the field against the Colts’ second-team defense.
The 14-play drive was helped by two 15-yard penalties on the Colts. Vick was 3 of 6 for 17 yards.
Andrew Luck played just one efficient drive, going 4 of 5 for 53 yards and leading Indianapolis to a field goal.
CHARGERS 27, COWBOYS 7
SAN DIEGO (AP) – New backup quarterback Kellen Clemens threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman midway through the third quarter and the San Diego Chargers beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-7 Thursday night in an exhibition opener.
Inman, who played in the CFL the last two seasons, beat single coverage down the right sideline and was gone to give San Diego a 17-7 lead.
Clemens made his Chargers debut after signing as a free agent in March and replacing Charlie Whitehurst as backup to Philip Rivers.
After Inman scored, the Chargers got the ball right back on a strip sack by Thomas Keiser and recovery by Damik Scafre. Kerwynn Williams scored on a 1-yard run two plays later to make it 24-7.
Rivers played just the opening series, completing all four passes for 61 yards.
Brandon Weeden, making his Cowboys debut, finished the ensuing drive by weathering a big hit and completing a 4-yard scoring pass to James Hanna, who pulled it in while falling to the ground in the back of the end zone.
With Tony Romo sitting out to rest his surgically repaired back, Weeden started and played the first half. He completed 13 of 17 passes for 107 yards.
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