The Latest: Witten passes Irvin as Cowboys’ yardage leader
The Latest on the NFL’s opening Sunday (all times Eastern):
Dallas tight end Jason Witten has passed Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin for the franchise record in yards receiving.
Witten caught an 11-yard pass from Dak Prescott early in the second quarter to give him 11,906 yards for his career, two more than Irvin.
The 35-year-old Witten, already the franchise leader in receptions, tied a pair of Cowboys records in the opener Sunday night. It was Witten’s 224th game, matching Ed ”Too Tall” Jones’ mark from 1989. Witten joined Jones, Bill Bates and the late Mark Tuinei as the only Cowboys to play 15 seasons. Bates and Tuinei both played from 1983 to 1997.
Witten and Tony Gonzalez are the only tight ends with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards receiving in the NFL.
Eli Manning of the New York Giants has made his 200th consecutive start, joining Brett Favre and brother Peyton Manning as the only NFL quarterbacks to reach the milestone.
Manning handed off to Paul Perkins for a short gain on the Giants’ first play in the opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. His first pass was a 3-yard completion to Evan Engram before he was sacked by DeMarcus Lawrence for a three-and-out series.
Favre had 297 consecutive starts for Green Bay, the New York Jets and Minnesota from the fourth game of 1992 through the 12th game of 2010. Peyton Manning had 208 straight starts covering all 13 of his seasons with Indianapolis before neck surgery sidelined him the entire 2011 season.
The Packers are on the board in the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Ty Montgomery’s 6-yard touchdown run gave the Packers a 7-3 lead at 10:33 of the third quarter. Green Bay scored one play after defensive lineman Mike Daniels’ strip sack of Russell Wilson deep in Seahawks territory. Kyler Fackrell recovered the fumble.
Otherwise, it’s been all defense at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay has had pressure on Wilson during the entire game. Seattle was still under 100 yards of total offense for the game early in the third quarter.
A late burst has given the Seattle Seahawks a 3-0 lead at halftime over the Green Bay Packers.
The Seahawks couldn’t get anything going until quarterback Russell Wilson found receiver Doug Baldwin for a 34-yard gain with 22 seconds left in the first half. Wilson scrambled 29 yards up the middle on the play to the Packers 15 to set up Blair Walsh’s 33-yard field goal as time expired.
Otherwise, it’s been all defense at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers is 14 of 22 for 153 yards, but he has been sacked four times. Rodgers has also thrown an interception, a play in which Seattle’s Jeremy Lane was also ejected after referee John Parry said the cornerback threw a punch during a scrum with receiver Davante
San Francisco rookie linebacker Reuben Foster left his NFL debut in the first quarter with a right leg injury.
Foster got hurt while making the tackle on a 4-yard run by Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey late in the first quarter. He immediately went down in pain and teammates kneeled around him as trainers came out to treat him.
Foster was taken off the field on a cart and there is no immediate word on the severity for the injury.
Foster was off to a good start with three tackles and a pass breakup.
Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane has been ejected for throwing a punch during a scrum on a play in which defensive lineman Nazair Jones intercepted Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Lane and Packers receiver Davante Adams got into it on the ground at around the Packers 30 while Jones was returning the pick in the first quarter. Referee John Parry said that Lane had thrown a punch.
Tensions were already high between the teams early in the game. Rodgers was picking on Lane in the secondary, with Packers receiver Randall Cobb whistled for taunting following a 14-yard gain while being defended by Lane.
The interception also ended Rodgers’ streak of passes without throwing a pick in the regular season at a career-best 251. Rodgers’ last interception was Nov. 13, 2016 at Tennessee.
The early games in the NFL finished with the Buffalo Bills alone atop the AFC East.
With the Patriots losing Thursday to the Chiefs and the Dolphins game postponed because of Hurricane Irma, the Bills took a rare divisional lead by beating Jets 21-12.
The other early games included Pittsburgh beating Cleveland 21-18, the Jaguars dominating the Texans in Houston 29-7, Matthew Stafford and the Lions beating Arizona 35-23, the Falcons holding off the Bears 21-17, the Eagles and Carson Wentz beating Washington 30-17 and the Raiders beating the Titans 26-16.
Arizona running back David Johnson is questionable to return because of a wrist injury against the Lions.
Johnson was shaken up after making a catch deep in Detroit territory in the third quarter. The Cardinals scored a touchdown on that drive, but on the team’s next possession, Johnson fumbled deep in his own territory. His injury was announced after that.
Johnson had over 2,000 all-purpose yards for Arizona last season. The Lions have held him to 28 yards rushing.
Tyrod Taylor has set the Buffalo Bills record for career yards rushing by a quarterback, surpassing Joe Ferguson.
Taylor’s 14-yard run midway through the third quarter against the New York Jets upped his total to 1,175 yards. That moved him one ahead of Ferguson.
Taylor set the record in just his 30th game for the Bills. Ferguson played 164 games for Buffalo in the 1970s.
Eddie Lacy is getting the start at running back for the Seattle Seahawks in his return to Green Bay.
Thomas Rawls is inactive for the opener with an ankle injury, so Lacy moves up the depth chart. The Packers didn’t re-sign Lacy in the offseason following an injury-plagued 2016 campaign.
Lacy had two 1,000-yard seasons in his four seasons in Green Bay. But the Packers revamped their backfield and decided to go with converted receiver Ty Montgomery at running back.
Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who also played with Lacy in college at Alabama, says he thinks Lacy will be playing with something to prove on Sunday.
Deshaun Watson has started the second half at quarterback for the Houston Texans after a terrible first half by Tom Savage.
The Texans traded up to draft Watson in the first round, but insisting all offseason that Savage would start.
Savage struggled against the Jaguars, throwing for just 62 yards and losing a fumble that Jacksonville returned for a touchdown to build a 19-0 halftime lead.
Coach Bill O’Brien benched him to start the third quarter. When Watson ran onto the field, it drew a huge cheer from the fans, who had booed Savage for most of the first half.
The Ravens forced Andy Dalton into his fourth turnover on the Bengals’ opening possession of the second half.
Terrell Suggs hits his arm as he was throwing, and the Ravens recovered at their 12-yard line.
Dalton threw three interceptions – one shy of his career high – in the first half, helping Baltimore pull ahead 17-0.
Colin Kaepernick’s fraternity brothers gathered before the Detroit Lions hosted the Arizona Cardinals to support the unsigned quarterback.
About 50 members of the Kappa Alpha Psi alumni chapter in the Motor City marched about a mile Sunday in a peaceful protest that ended just outside Ford Field.
”When you look at some of the recent incidents like what happened to Michael Bennett in Las Vegas, it validates the stance that Colin Kaepernick has taken,” said Eric Brown, a former president of the fraternity’s alumni chapter in Detroit.
Brown said the Kappa Alpha Psi planned to have similar gatherings in Dallas and Atlanta before future NFL games.
Kaepernick remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. His supporters believe the league is punishing him for refusing to stand during the national anthem last season to protest police brutality.
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby injured his right ankle early in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins.
Darby’s ankle bent the wrong way as he was running in coverage on tight end Jordan Reed, and he went down. Darby remained on the ground for several minutes as medical staff attended to him. He was carted off the field.
Philadelphia acquired Darby in an August trade with the Buffalo Bills.
Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson left the game against the Houston Texans with a left knee injury and his return is questionable.
Robinson appeared to injure his left knee after catching a 15-yard pass on the team’s opening drive. Robinson remained on the field near the Jacksonville sideline before limping to the locker room.
The team announced he would not return.
Robinson led Jacksonville with 883 yards receiving, 73 receptions and six touchdown receptions in 2016.
The Pittsburgh Steelers started their season with a bang.
Backup Tyler Matakevich blocked Cleveland punter Britton Colquitt’s first kick and the ball was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by Anthony Chickillo for a touchdown just 2:16 into the game.
It was an inauspicious start for the Browns, who went a franchise-worst 1-15 last season and are expected to have their problems again in 2017.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey has kicked off the new season with a thud.
The Titans opened the game against the Raiders with Ryan Succop attempting an onside kick that was recovered by Raiders safety Shalom Luani.
The Titans are the first team since the 2009 Vikings (also unsuccessful) to open the season with an onside kick.
That put Oakland and their explosive offense with Derek Carr and Marshawn Lynch at midfield. They needed only four plays before Carr hit Amari Cooper for an 8-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead.
In a show of unity, the Cleveland Browns ran onto the field for their season opener accompanied by police, firefighters, emergency workers and military personnel.
After being criticized for kneeling during the national anthem before a recent exhibition, several Browns players met with owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam about how to better connect with the community. They later met with Cleveland’s police chief and one of the ideas hatched was the pregame introduction and the public servants stood alongside the players for the anthem.
Before the anthem Sunday, a video featuring several Browns players, including 10-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer was shown on the stadium’s scoreboard. During the video, players asked for unity, equality and cooperation during a time of division in our country.
Real pro football is back, with one upset already on the ledger and several intriguing Week 1 matchups upcoming.
After Kansas City stunned the Patriots in New England on Thursday, the schedule Sunday has such standout early games as Oakland at Tennessee and Arizona at Detroit. Later in the day, it’s NFC favorites Seattle and Green Bay at Lambeau Field, and the Giants at Dallas in the night game. We know that Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will play as his six-game suspension has been placed in limbo by a restraining order, but we don’t know if star Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., has recovered sufficiently from a preseason ankle injury to suit up.
And Monday night, the Saints bring their newcomer running back, one Adrian Peterson, to Minnesota, where he was a Vikings superstar. Then, the Chargers represent Los Angeles for the first time since 1960 when they play at Denver.
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