Green Bay Packers

Best of NFL: Jason Witten sets Cowboys record as Dallas beats Giants on SNF

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Best of NFL: Jason Witten sets Cowboys record as Dallas beats Giants on SNF

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jason Witten scored the only touchdown while breaking the franchise record for yards receiving and the Dallas defense shackled a New York offense missing Odell Beckham Jr. in the Cowboys' 19-3 season-opening victory over the Giants on Sunday night.

Ezekiel Elliott had a rugged 104 yards rushing and another 36 receiving two days after a judge halted his six-game suspension over a domestic violence case, although last year's NFL rushing leader had already been cleared to play the opener.

Dak Prescott was turnover-free while throwing for 268 yards as the Cowboys dominated the NFC East rival that swept them during a 13-3 season that topped the NFC and was fueled by the sensational rookie years for the quarterback-running back duo. Dan Bailey kicked four field goals.

Eli Manning didn't have Beckham in his 200th straight start after his dynamic top target sprained his ankle in a preseason game. The Giants were outgained in the first half 265-49 while falling behind 16-0.

Manning was 28 of 37 for 211 yards with an interception and didn't connect with new receiver Brandon Marshall, who dropped his best chance for a catch with open field in front (see full recap).

Packers beat Seahawks in NFC heavyweight match
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay defensive lineman Mike Daniels' strip sack of Russell Wilson deep in Seattle territory in the third quarter set up Ty Montgomery's 6-yard touchdown run on the next play to spark the Packers' 17-9 win on Sunday.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 28 of 42 for 311 yards and added a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson to make it an eight-point game late in the third quarter.

Rodgers' regular-season streak of passes without an interception ended at a career-high 251. The Seahawks defense reinforced by the return of safety Earl Thomas bottled up receivers from making many big plays and put plenty of pressure on Rodgers.

But the Packers started denting Seattle with runs or quick passes to Nelson, Randall Cobb and Montgomery in the second half, chewing up clock in the process. A 12-play, 53-yard drive that took up more than 5 minutes ended with Mason Crosby's 40-yard field goal with 8:01 left to make it a two-score game.

Green Bay's defense had an even better debut, especially considering how maligned the Packers were against the pass last season.

Seattle managed just three field goals. Wilson was held to 14 of 27 for 158 yards. The Packers held decisive edges in total yardage (370-225) and first downs (26-12). Green Bay held the ball for 39 minutes (see full recap).

Stafford helps Lions past Cardinals, who lose RB Johnson
DETROIT -- Matthew Stafford threw two of his four touchdown passes to rookie Kenny Golladay in the fourth quarter Sunday, helping the Detroit Lions rally to beat the Arizona Cardinals 35-23.

The Lions picked off three of Carson Palmer's passes, returning one for a score. They also knocked David Johnson out of the game after forcing him to fumble in the third quarter Sunday.

Detroit set an NFL record last year by rallying to win eight games after trailing in the final quarter and opened this season with another comeback.

The Cardinals scored the first 10 points of the game and led 17-9 late in the third quarter before giving up 26 straight points.

Stafford's first pass was returned 82 yards for a touchdown by Justin Bethel , but the player with the richest contract in the NFL bounced back. He was 29 for 41 yards for 292 yards and threw 45- and 10-yard TD passes to Golladay , along with short passes to Theo Riddick and Marvin Jones for scores.

A snap after Golladay ran past Bethel and fully extended to catch a long TD pass, Miles Killebrew intercepted Palmer's pass and returned it for a score with 4:13 remaining (see full recap).

Fournette, Jaguars spoil Texans' return to Houston
HOUSTON -- Leonard Fournette ran for 100 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut, and Jacksonville had 10 sacks and forced four turnovers to help the Jaguars to a 29-7 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Blake Bortles threw for 125 yards and a touchdown, Calais Campbell had four sacks and Dante Fowler returned a fumble 53 yards for a score as the Jaguars snapped a six-game skid against Houston.

The Texans hoped to provide a boost to the area ravaged by Hurricane Harvey with a win. Instead, Tom Savage struggled behind a porous line and was benched in favor of rookie Deshaun Watson at halftime with Houston down 19-0.

J.J. Watt returned after missing 13 games last season after back surgery, but injured his finger in the first half and finished with just one tackle.

A 42-yard field goal by Jason Myers made it 3-0 in the first quarter and he added one from 25 yards early in the second.

The Texans punted on their first four possessions, and the fifth one ended when Savage fumbled on a sack by Yannick Ngakoue and the Jaguars recovered the ball (see full recap).

NFL Notes: Emergence of Steelers rookie T.J. Watt signals changing of the guard

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NFL Notes: Emergence of Steelers rookie T.J. Watt signals changing of the guard

LATROBE, Pa. -- Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick T.J. Watt will take all the preseason snaps he can get at right outside linebacker.

And perhaps most of them in the regular season too, a fact the man he is in the process of replacing isn't fighting.

James Harrison is the Steelers' all-time sacks leader, including a team-high five last season at the not-so tender age of 38.

The now-39-year-old Harrison doesn't care who has the starting spot he's held for the better part of a decade as long as it results in another Lombardi Trophy for the Steelers.

"I'm not worried about it," Harrison said Wednesday. "Whatever they want me to do. I'm 39 years old and still playing football."

Saints: Team replaces 2 doctors after Breaux misdiagnosis
METAIRIE, La. -- Saints coach Sean Payton says cornerback Delvin Breaux needs lower-leg surgery that will sideline him about six weeks and that an initial misdiagnosis of Breaux's injury has sparked a shake-up in the team's medical staff.

Payton says Breaux has a fibula fracture that was initially diagnosed as a contusion. Breaux has missed more than a week of practice and Payton said he had been getting frustrated with the pace of Breaux's recovery, based on the initial diagnosis.

"I certainly was pushing him, based on the information I was getting," Payton said.

The coach said the Saints will replace two orthopedic surgeons and in the meantime receive help from Chargers physicians during joint practices in California leading up to their game Sunday in Los Angeles (see full story).

Patriots: Ageless Brady not slowing down at 40
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Training camp is easier for Tom Brady at age 40 than it was when he entered the NFL in 2000.

Brady, who turned 40 on Aug. 3, was asked how camp with the New England Patriots is different for him now that he's one of the older players in the league.

"I think it's a lot easier for me now than it's ever been," he said. "I feel like my routine's better than it's ever been. When you're younger you don't know what to do, and after 17 years, going on my 18th year I know what to do. I know how to prepare."

Redskins: Safety Cravens undergoes knee surgery
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins safety Su'a Cravens had knee surgery and there's no official timeline for him to return.

Coach Jay Gruden says Cravens had a knee scope to clean out some issues with his meniscus. Gruden says Cravens was injured on the third play of the Redskins' first preseason game last week at Baltimore.

With Cravens out, Deshazor Everett has taken most of the snaps as the first-team free safety and could start there when the Redskins host the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Tight end Jordan Reed, who's on the physically unable to perform list with a left big toe injury, isn't expected to play Saturday. Receiver Jamison Crowder, who has been bothered by a hamstring injury, said the plan is for him to play against the Packers.

Packers: TE Bennett ‘the quarterback whisperer’
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Call Martellus Bennett the "quarterback whisperer."

The Green Bay Packers' tight end is with his third team in as many seasons, which means another training camp of building rapport with a new quarterback. He's proven to be productive at every stop.

Bennett is confident he'll do just fine connecting with Aaron Rodgers, even if the veterans might get limited reps together in preseason games.

"I need all the reps I can (get) with Aaron -- practice reps, game reps, meeting room reps. Any rep I can get with him I'll try to get whether it's just whispering to him, try to be the quarterback whisperer," the always-entertaining Bennett said. "Over-communicate and over-rep every single thing we could possibly do."

Eagles CBs Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson pass first test in preseason loss to Rodgers-less Packers

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Eagles CBs Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson pass first test in preseason loss to Rodgers-less Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Near the end of the first quarter in Thursday night's preseason opener, the Eagles' starting defense came out of the game. 

Except for two players. 

Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson, the current frontrunners to win the starting cornerback jobs (well, maybe not anymore), remained in the game and played an extra series. Cornerback has been the hottest topic of conversation surrounding the Eagles for months. 

On Thursday night, though, the top corners held up. Although Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a spectator for his team's 24-9 win. 

"We played maybe two series, three series," Mills said. "And that offense is way different without No. 12 in the backfield. We just have to work onto next week and just get better."

With Rodgers and his favorite target Jordy Nelson on the bench, backup Brett Hundley had trouble getting anything going against the Eagles' first-team defense. The Packers went three-and-out on the first drive and Fletcher Cox forced a fumble that Robinson recovered on the next. 

The biggest play either of the starters gave up was an 18-yard pass from Hundley to Davante Adams on the third series. Robinson was beaten on that play but he looked pretty good on Thursday and picked up a pass defensed. The veteran has had a rough training camp, but played much better in the game. 

Mills started strong, tackling Randall Cobb for a 1-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage. 

"Going into a preseason game you really don't know how much you're going to play, especially me coming off being a rookie last year and trying to compete for the starting job," Mills said. "I felt pretty good though."

One third of the Eagles' current group of starting cornerbacks was injured on Thursday night. Ron Brooks, who appears to be the lead candidate to be the team's slot corner, left the game with a hamstring injury. He was the first man down the field near Trevor Davis before Davis broke off a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown. It's unclear how significant the injury is, but Brooks seemed to be walking fine late Thursday night. 

It's no secret that the Eagles' cornerbacks are a weak spot on the team. It's a major reason that on Friday they traded Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick to the Bills for third-year corner Ronald Darby. Last week during his press conference, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz — for the second time during training camp — noted that most of the questions were about the position. 

He knows why. 

"All those guys have shown something," Schwartz said about his group of CBs. "I don't know that anybody is consistent enough where we don't look at anybody else. I said the same thing coming into camp, or maybe back in OTAs, that it would be nice to have solid guys or solid starters at those positions, but we're still in the middle of a competition. Everybody is striving to be consistent."

Second-year player C.J. Smith wasn't consistent on Thursday night, but he did bounce back. In the second quarter, Smith gave up a 10-yard pass to Geronimo Allison and then two plays later was beaten by Jeff Janis on a little double-move for a 20-yard touchdown. It was ugly. 

But Smith had a short memory and made a couple nice plays later. 

Rasul Douglas, the third-round pick from West Virginia, had a pretty quiet night but could still make a charge for playing time. And Aaron Grymes is still in the mix. 

With three preseason games remaining, the competition at cornerback is far from over. 

"We played good but I always look for improvement," Mills said. "Always those little bitty things whether it's keying down-and-distance or formation. Just have to learn from those little bitty errors that we made and get better next week."