The Latest on Week 2 of the NFL season (all times local):
For only the third time in their 12-year rivalry, Ben Roethlisberger is enjoying a three-touchdown day against the Baltimore Ravens.
Roethlisberger’s pass to a wide-open DeAngelo Williams midway through the fourth gave the Steelers a 24-9 lead. It was Roethlisberger’s third TD pass of the day — the third time he’s reached that many against the Ravens, joining a five-TD outing in 2007 and a six-TD performance in 2014.
Roethlisberger’s first time playing against the Ravens was 12 years ago Monday — Sept. 19, 2004. He was 11-9 in 20 previous outings against the Ravens coming into this week.
It’s Milestone Sunday for a couple of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.
Reigning MVP Cam Newton has passed Jake Delhomme for the most touchdown passes in Carolina Panthers franchise history.
Newton broke the record with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin — his second TD catch of the game — in the third quarter, helping the Panthers take a 31-10 lead. It was the 121st scoring pass for Newton in his six-year NFL career.
And earlier Sunday, Drew Brees passed Dan Marino for No. 3 in passing yards in NFL history. Marino finished his career with 61,361 yards; now Brees is only behind Peyton Manning (71,940) and Brett Favre (71,838).
— Steve Reed from Charlotte, North Carolina
Some great finishes might be ahead as the early games in Week 2 are starting to near completion.
There’s six games right now that are within eight points or less:
Baltimore was down 20-0 and is now within 20-19 in Cleveland as those rivals head to the fourth quarter. Washington leads Dallas 23-20 going into the fourth, Houston took 13-6 lead over Kansas City into the final quarter, Pittsburgh leads Cincinnati 17-9 with 15 minutes left, Tennessee just got within 15-10 of Detroit, and the Giants and New Orleans are knotted at 10-10.
The Detroit Lions lead Tennessee 15-3 late in the third quarter, but it looks like they’ll have to finish the game without some key players.
Tight end Eric Ebron came off with an apparent injury after he tried to make a diving catch in the end zone toward the end of the third. He stayed down on the turf in pain before walking off.
The Lions also lost running back Ameer Abdullah to a foot injury late in the first half, and defensive end Ziggy Ansah left in the first quarter with an ankle problem.
Some high-profile injuries are becoming big storylines in Week 2.
New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is out for the rest of the Patriots’ game against Miami with a shoulder injury. Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart and Miami running back Arian Foster are both done for the day as well after first-half leg injuries.
There was a bit of good news, though: New Orleans Saints second-year cornerback P.J. Williams, who needed to be placed on a backboard and carted off after making a tackle in the first quarter of his team’s game against the New York Giants, was moving extremities at a nearby hospital and evaluated for a concussion, Fox Sports reported.
Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was hurt late in the second quarter of New England’s home opener against the Dolphins.
Garoppolo had to be looked at by trainers after being driven to the ground by Miami linebacker Kiki Alonso with 4:20 left in the half. He landed hard on his right arm, and that appeared to be the problem.
Replays showed Garoppolo wincing in obvious pain moments after Alonso’s hit sent him into the turf.
While subbing as the starter during Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension, Garoppolo led the Patriots to a victory over Arizona in the opener. They also scored touchdowns on their first three drives in Sunday’s game against Miami to take a 21-0 lead.
Rookie Jacoby Brissett took over for Garoppolo.
Brissett is a native of West Palm Beach, about an hour north of Miami. In his college seasons at Florida and North Carolina State, Brissett never faced off against the Miami Hurricanes — but now makes his NFL debut against the Dolphins.
Another injury note from that Patriots-Dolphins game: Miami running back Arian Foster, who was dealing with a hamstring issue over the last few days, now is dealing with a groin injury.
In Denver, the Colts and Broncos are preparing for their first matchup since Oct. 3, 1993, that didn’t feature Peyton Manning under center.
His time in Denver will be noted, however, when the Broncos unveil new signage in their stadium honoring the players who have had their jerseys retired.
That’s No. 7 for John Elway, No. 44 for Floyd Little and No. 18 for … Frank Tripucka.
Tripucka was the first quarterback in franchise history and wore No. 18 from 1960 to ’63.
Tripucka gave his blessing to Manning to wear the number when Manning played for the Broncos from 2012 until his retirement this year a month after Denver won Super Bowl 50.
Manning’s name will be mentioned on the No. 18 sign honoring Tripucka.
— Arnie Stapleton in Denver.
Jimmy Garoppolo went on the road and led New England to a season-opening win at Arizona last week, and this week he is shredding the Miami Dolphins in the Patriots’ home opener.
Garoppolo — starting for the suspended Tom Brady — threw for three touchdowns in little over one quarter, and the Patriots were out to a fast 21-0 lead over the Dolphins.
Danny Amendola had never caught a TD pass against the Dolphins. He’s got two early ones today.
Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown had an eventful first quarter against Baltimore, to put it mildly.
McCown is starting in place of Robert Griffin III, who broke a bone in his left shoulder last week against Philadelphia. And the Browns got off to a flying start, with McCown throwing two touchdown passes and helping stake Cleveland to a 20-2 lead over the Ravens.
Isaiah Crowell burst through the line for an 85-yard touchdown run to give Cleveland a 14-0 lead with 6:47 left in the first quarter — the second-longest rushing play in Cleveland history, and coming on a day where the Browns unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown.
The score came just three minutes after McCown threw a 31-yard TD pass to rookie Corey Coleman. McCown and Coleman connected again for an 11-yard score not long afterward, though the Ravens blocked the extra point and returned it for two points.
McCown left briefly with a left shoulder injury as well.
— Tom Withers in Cleveland.
New England is paying tribute to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
David Ortiz popped down to the Patriots game to be honored before the team’s home opener against the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots showed some clips of Ortiz’s career, including his celebrated speech after the Boston Marathon bombings . The Red Sox slugger then came out of the tunnel wearing a Tom Brady No. 12 jersey. He got a hug from owner Bob Kraft and a Patriots jersey with his No. 34 and “Big Papi” on the back. He also was handed a Patriots helmet.
Ortiz has the afternoon off with the Red Sox playing the Yankees on Sunday night.
Ortiz went out for the coin toss as an honorary captain and posed for selfies with members of the officiating crew.
New Orleans Saints second-year cornerback P.J. Williams has been carted off after making a tackle in the first quarter of the game against the New York Giants.
Williams’ head hit the knee of Giants’ tight end Larry Donnell after he caught at pass with 6:15 left in the quarter. A split second later New Orleans’ linebacker Craig Robertson hit Williams in the back of the helmet trying to help on the play.
Giants receiver Victor Cruz immediately waved his arms toward the Saints bench calling for help. Trainers and doctors from both teams went on the field to aid Williams, and players from both teams took knees with a few even appearing to console one another.
Medical personnel placed Williams on a backboard and he was carted the field. He did not wave to the crowd at MetLife Stadium.
The game was delayed more than five minutes.
Other injuries in the first quarter of games on Sunday included:
— Redskins nose tackle Kedric Golston injured his right hamstring on the first play from scrimmage and is out for the rest of the game. He was replaced by Ziggy Hood.
— Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah left in the first quarter against Tennessee with a left ankle injury. Ansah was being tended to on the sideline. He had 14 1-2 sacks last season.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continued his protest against social injustice by kneeling for the national anthem before the Carolina Panthers’ home opener on Sunday.
Safety Eric Reid kneeled next to Kaepernick.
Kaepernick’s protest continued with support from some quarters and amid critics speaking out this week against him, including Iowa GOP congressman Steven King who said the player kneeling is akin to “activism that is sympathetic to ISIS.”
Before the game, as Kaepernick stopped to take selfies with fans and sign autographs, one fan in the distance began yelling, “USA! USA!”
In New England, three members of the Miami Dolphins — safety Michael Thomas, wide receiver Kenny Stills and running back Arian Foster — all took a knee again for the anthem. And at Detroit, Tennessee defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and Titans cornerback Jason McCourty appeared to raise their fists at the end of the anthem, after standing near midfield during the song.
— Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina; Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Massachusetts and Noah Trister in Detroit.
NFL games have an NBA feel, at least in Washington and Carolina right now.
On the field for warmups of the Cowboys-Redskins matchup was Washington Wizards star guard John Wall, who surely raised some eyebrows by wearing … a throwback Emmitt Smith jersey .
Wall hasn’t made any secret in the past that he’s a Dallas fan.
Meanwhile, at Carolina, part of the San Francisco 49ers’ warmups included players running the three-man weave up and down the field. It’s a drill commonly used during warmups for high school basketball games, except the 49ers were flipping a football to each other instead of a basketball.
Earlier this week Panthers safety Kurt Coleman compared 49ers coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense to the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team in how quickly they get up and down the court.
Maybe he’s on to something.
— Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans were playing games even before kicking off Sunday.
Detroit and Tennessee announced who would be inactive, including linebackers DeAndre Levy and Derrick Morgan, because they were required to 90 minutes before meeting at Ford Field.
The Lions, though, refused to reveal who would start for Levy at outside linebacker. The Titans, in turn, chose to decline announcing who would play in Morgan’s spot at outside linebacker.
Usually, teams do release lineup changes along with the list of players that won’t play that day.
— Larry Lage in Detroit.
Some big division matchups highlight the eight early NFL games, including what is likely to be a brutal rematch between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
The Steelers eliminated the Bengals in a physical wild-card game last season, and Cincinnati will be without linebacker Vontaze Burfict because of a suspension for his helmet-to-helmet hit against receiver Antonio Brown near the end of that contest.
The Ravens travel to Cleveland in another AFC North game Sunday, with the Patriots playing at home against the Dolphins in the AFC East. The other 1 p.m. games are Tennessee at Detroit, Kansas City at Houston, the 49ers at Carolina, the Saints at the Giants and Dallas at Washington — another division matchup, in the NFC East.
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