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The Cowboys Shrunk the Giants — NFL Week 1 Recap

New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
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The first Sunday of the 2017 NFL season has come and gone. Here’s a recap of Week 1’s biggest highlights:

You Can’t Spell Dallas Without A Big ‘D’

Dak Prescott threw for 268 yards, accounting for the game’s only touchdown with a 12-yard strike to Jason Witten, and Dallas used its much maligned defense to beat the New York Giants, 19-3, on Sunday night.

New York (0-1) appeared lost without stud receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who sat out with a lingering ankle injury. Eli Manning threw for just 211 yards with an interception for the Giants, who never got on track against what was suspected to be a weak opposing defense.

Veteran tight end Witten broke Michael Irvin’s franchise record for receiving yards in the win for Dallas (1-0). Witten already owned the team record for receptions. Potentially-suspended Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 104 yards for the team.

Derek Carr’s Leg Is Fine (So Is His Arm)

Oakland Raiders v Tennessee Titans
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Derek Carr passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns, and the Oakland Raiders beat the Tennessee Titans, 26-13, in Nashville on Sunday. Carr was 22 of 32 passing on Sunday in his first regular-season game back from a broken leg suffered on Christmas Eve last season. His team’s defense held Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota to 256 yards and no scoring passes.

Oakland (1-0) made Tennessee (0-1) pay for a misguided season-opening onside kick that the Raiders recovered — and turned into a touchdown pass to Amari Cooper a few plays later. Marshawn Lynch had 18 carries for 76 yards in his Oakland debut, while Raiders backup kicker Giorgio Tavecchio kicked four field goals in his NFL debut. He replaced injured 18-year veteran Sebastian Janikowski.

The Steelers Needed Big Ben To Get By The Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
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Ben Roethlisberger threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns — both to tight end Jesse James — as the Pittsburgh Steelers squeaked by the Cleveland Browns, 21-18, on Sunday. Pittsburgh (1-0) received almost no offense from running back Le’Veon Bell, who had just 32 yards on 10 carries after holding out through the preseason. Antonio Brown led the Steelers with 11 receptions for 182 yards.

Cleveland (0-1) lost its 13th consecutive opening week game. Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer was 20 of 30 for 222 yards with a touchdown passing and running, and an interception.

It Was A Rough Day For Bad Quarterbacks

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
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Four starting quarterbacks — Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer, Tom Savage and Kirk Cousins — had opening Sundays they’d likely rather forget. Not all of them will get the chance to redeem themselves as a starter.

Baltimore intercepted Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton four times and forced him to fumble once in the Ravens’ 20-0 win over the Bengals on Sunday. Baltimore (1-0) used a rebuilt defense to pressure the Red Rifle into all sorts of mistakes. Dalton was 16 of 31 for 170 yards, and he was sacked five times. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wasn’t much better against Cincinnati (0-1): 9 of 17 for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception. A win is a win, though.

Carson Palmer threw three interceptions, helping the Detroit Lions to rally past the Arizona Cardinals, 35-23. Palmer threw one pick-six as Arizona (0-1) gave up 26 consecutive points in the third and fourth quarters. He finished 27 of 48 for 269 yards and a meaningless, stat-padding touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson with 1:33 to play. Matthew Stafford threw for 269 yards and four touchdowns for Detroit (1-0) in his first game since signing the most lucrative NFL contract ever. He also threw a pick-six on his first pass attempt. Ugh.

Houston (0-1) fell to Jacksonville (1-0) largely because of the inadequacy of Texans starting quarterback Tom Savage, who committed two turnovers and was sacked six times by the Jags in the first half. Savage completed just seven of 13 passes for 62 yards before he was pulled at halftime in favor of rookie Deshaun Watson. The first-round pick finished 12 of 23 for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Blake Bortles threw for 125 yards and a touchdown for the Jags as he, somehow, became the quarterback who did not get pulled in this dreadful Week 1 game.

Kirk Cousins was 23 of 40 for 240 yards with three turnovers, and the Washington Redskins lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 30-17. Philadelphia (1-0) sealed the win when Cousins’ second fumble was returned 20 yards for a score by Fletcher Cox in the fourth quarter. Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns against Washington (0-1).

Leonard Fournette Is Legit

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
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Leonard Fournette ran for 100 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut, and the Jacksonville Jaguars crushed the Houston Texans, 29-7, on Sunday. Jacksonville (1-0) had 10 sacks and forced four turnovers with its defense to help cement the win, but Fournette made the biggest impression.

The fourth-overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, Fournette ran over Houston (0-1), scoring a touchdown and attacking the defense all day. Texans’ defensive leader J.J. Watt returned to cheers after missing 13 games last year due to back surgery, but he was ineffective Sunday save for his Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Watt and the rest of the AFC South must figure out how to keep Fournette from becoming a dominant force inside the division (and conference).

Other Games

Thursday, September 7
Kansas City 42, New England 27

Sunday, September 10
Atlanta 23, Chicago 17
Buffalo 21, N.Y. Jets 12
L.A. Rams 46, Indianapolis 9
Green Bay 17, Seattle 9
Carolina 23, San Francisco 3
Tampa Bay at Miami: Postponed

Full NFL Schedule
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