Oroville Mercury-Register

Steelers stun Bills in the season opener


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. >> Ben Roethlisbe­rger and the Steelers’ new-look offense overcame a slow start, Ulysees Gilbert returned a blocked punt 9 yards for a touchdown, and Pittsburgh rallied to a seasonopen­ing 23-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Down 10-0, the Steelers scored on each of their first four possession­s of the second half, with Roethlisbe­rger putting Pittsburgh ahead for good by lobbing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson in the left corner of the end zone.

The pass initially went off Johnson’s fingertips, but the receiver secured the ball before tumbling out of bounds 3:41 into the fourth quarter. The Steelers extended their lead to 20-10 some 90 seconds later with Miles Killebrew bursting up the middle to block Matt Haack’s punt, with Gilbert scooping up the loose ball and running it in untouched.

In opening his 18th — and perhaps final — season, Roethlisbe­rger posted his 36th career fourth-quarter comeback to tie Drew Brees for third on the NFL list. He finished 18 of 32 for 188 yards and a touchdown.

Chris Boswell hit all three field-goal attempts, including a game-sealing 45-yarder with 2:42 remaining.

CARDINALS 38, TITANS 13 >> Kyler Murray scored five touchdowns and linebacker Chandler Jones had a career-high five sacks.

Jones, who tied the franchise record, had three sacks in a first quarter so good LeBron James chimed in on social media for his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy. Jones, who wants a new contract, also forced two fumbles the Cardinals turned into 14 points.

SEAHAWKS 28, COLTS 16 >> Russell Wilson threw three of his four touchdowns in the first half as the defending NFC West champions won the 12th of their past 13 games in the early Sunday timeslot.

Indy lost its eighth straight opener, the past five with different starting quarterbac­ks.

TEXANS 37, JAGUARS 21 >> Tyrod Taylor threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns filling in for Deshaun Watson in a win over Trevor Lawrence and the mistake-prone Jaguars.

Taylor took over at quarterbac­k for Houston with Watson’s future with the team uncertain after 22 women filed lawsuits alleging sexual assault or harassment after he requested a trade.

CHARGERS 20, WASHINGTON 16 >> Justin Herbert threw for 337 yards and a touchdown in an ugly Week 1 matchup full of turnovers and big penalties.

Herbert led scoring drives of 75, 76 and 68 yards, and a go-ahead touchdown pass to Mike Williams made up for his fumble into the end zone and red zone intercepti­on on consecutiv­e possession­s. The reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and the Chargers went 14 of 19 on third downs, wearing down Washington’s defense led by last year’s top defensive rookie, Chase Young.

EAGLES 32, FALCONS 6 >> Jalen Hurts threw three touchdown passes, the first of them to Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, and the Eagles made a winner of Nick Sirianni in his head coaching debut.

Now firmly entrenched as the Eagles starter after Carson Wentz was traded, Hurts certainly looked the part with touchdown passes of 18 yards to Smith, 9 yards to Dallas Goedert and 23 yards to Jalen Reagor. Another Philadelph­ia rookie, fifthround pick Kenneth Gainwell, scored his first TD as a pro with an 8-yard run late in the third quarter.

BENGALS 27, VIKINGS 24 (OT) >> Evan McPherson kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired in overtime. The winning kick was set up by a gutsy call. On fourth-and-inches from the Cincinnati 48, Joe Burrow rolled out and hit tight end C.J. Uzomah in stride for a 32-yard gain and get McPherson well within his range. McPherson had a 53-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

PANTHERS 19, JETS 14 >> Sam Darnold threw for 279 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score against his former team. Darnold connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass with fellow ex-Jet Robby Anderson and took full advantage of a healthy Christian McCaffrey, who piled up 187 yards from scrimmage on 30 touches after missing 13 games last season with injuries.

SAINTS 38, PACKERS 3 >> Jameis Winston and the hurricane-displaced Saints looked right at home in northeast Florida against Green Bay with a victory — no doubt to the delight of fans rebuilding homes and lives back in New Orleans.

CHIEFS 33, BROWNS 29 >> Patrick Mahomes threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns while running for another score, and Kansas City came back from a dismal first half against Cleveland for a victory in a rematch of their divisional playoff game from January.

BRONCOS 27, GIANTS 13 >> Teddy Bridgewate­r threw two touchdowns in his first start for Denver and the Broncos dominated possession and beat the Giants, spoiling the return of New York running back Saquon Barkley after a long ACL rehabilita­tion.

DOLPHINS 17, PATRIOTS 16 >> Tua Tagovailoa threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle in the third quarter and Xavien Howard recovered a fumble with New England driving in the fourth to help Miami hold on for a win over the Patriots.

RAMS 34, BEARS 14 >> Matthew Stafford passed for 321 yards and three touchdowns in a dynamic debut with his new team, leading the Los Angeles Rams past Andy Dalton and the Chicago Bears for a victory on Sunday night.

 ?? JOSHUA BESSEX — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Tre Norwood (21) breaks up a pass intended for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (13) during the second half Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y.
JOSHUA BESSEX — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Tre Norwood (21) breaks up a pass intended for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (13) during the second half Sunday in Orchard Park, N.Y.

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