Green Bay Packers (1-0) 27, Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) 23
Sunday September 11th 2016 (at Jacksonville)
Jacksonville tight end Julius Thomas makes a touchdown catch in front of Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins in the first half (CREDIT: Stephen B. Morton - AP)
AROUND THE NFC NORTH
Sunday September 11th
Minnesota 25, TENNESSEE 16 - Eric Kendricks returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter and Danielle Hunter scored a 24-yard TD off a fumble return and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Tennessee Titans 25-16 in their season opener Sunday. The Vikings wound up forcing three turnovers in the span of just under seven minutes and also had two sacks. The defending NFC North champs needed the help from their defense in scoring 25 straight points after being shut out in the first half and Adrian Peterson, the NFL's 2015 rushing leader, being smothered. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer did his best to hide his starter at quarterback after the Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater to a major knee injury Aug. 30, and after they traded their 2017 first-round draft pick to Philadelphia for Sam Bradford. The mystery finally ended when Shaun Hill, 36, took the field for the Vikings' first series for his first start since 2014 when he was with the St. Louis Rams. Tennessee focused on stopping Peterson, who had 1,485
NFC NORTH DIVISION STANDINGS
GREEN BAY    1   0   0  1.000    27   24
Minnesota    1   0   0  1.000    25   16
Detroit      1   0   0  1.000    39   35
Chicago      0   1   0   .000    14   23
Davante Adams makes a touchdown catch in front of Jaguar cornerback and former Packer Davon House in the first half (CREDIT: Phelan M. Ebenhack - AP)
GAME RECAP (ESPN)
(JACKSONVILLE) - Aaron Rodgers was far from impressed with his season opener. He was concerned that Green Bay's offense wasn't effective early and had some struggles in the red zone. Nonetheless, the Packers' harshest critic was a big reason they won a close game on the road in sweltering heat. Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading Green Bay to a 27-23 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the teams' season opener Sunday. Rodgers looked every bit like a two-time league MVP. He extended plays with his feet, escaped sacks and was accurate all over the field. "I don't think we played very well offensively," Rodgers said. "But we won. It's tough to win in this league. It's tough to win on the road." Rodgers completed 20 of 34 passes for 199 yards, with TD passes to Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. He was sacked once for no yards and didn't turn it over. He helped the Packers win their second opener in the last five years. This one came on a hot and humid day that left some players cramping and others completely exhausted.
LOOK WHO'S BACK: Nelson played his first game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the 2015 preseason. The injury significantly impacted Rodgers, who lost his best deep threat, and the offense, which fell to 23rd in the league and tied for 25th in passing. Nelson didn't show big-play ability in the opener. He finished with six receptions for 32 yards, including a 6-yard TD in the second quarter.
FINAL SHOT: The Jaguars mounted a late drive that came up short on a fourth-and-1 play at the Packers 14. The Jaguars had converted their previous three fourth-down plays, but Allen Hurns failed to move the sticks on a bubble screen. "We kind of knew that was what they were going to do," said Blake Bortles, who completed 24 of 39 passes for 320 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. "They are a big `bring the house' team, so we just have to execute. I should have done something differently. It was fourth-and-1 or whatever, so we just have to get it. If you don't, you lose."
VINTAGE RODGERS: With 13 seconds left in the first half, Adams hauled in a 29-yarder that was vintage Rodgers, who managed to get rid of the ball with a defender tugging at his jersey and still got enough on it to reach the end zone. Adams got up and pointed to the back of his jersey several times. "You've got to make the tough ones," Adams said. "That's the caliber of receivers we have here and that's the standard we hold ourselves to. ... It was a tight window to get the ball in there, but the window was cracked. It was not a wide-open window."
IVORY HOSPITALIZED: Jaguars running back Chris Ivory was hospitalized Sunday with a "general medical issue" and was inactive for the opener. Ivory was taken by ambulance from the team hotel to a local hospital early Sunday. He was limited in three practices this week because of a calf injury, but the team said that was not related to his hospital stay. "Chris Ivory is doing well and is expected to be released from the hospital in the next day or two," the Jaguars said. "More info will be provided at that time."
NO CALLS?: Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson finished with six catches for 72 yards, but there were nine more passes thrown his way. At least two of those, maybe more, could have been flagged for pass interference. The 2015 Pro Bowler took the high road. "It's not about the calls," Robinson said. "Blake gave me a ton of opportunities to make a play. I've got to make more plays. Seeing that that's how the game is being called, I've got to adjust my physicality to the game." Fellow receiver Marqise Lee placed the blame elsewhere. "I don't know what the refs were looking at," Lee said. "We had some (penalties) we felt should have been called."
                         GREEN BAY  JACKSONVILLE
First downs                     18            20
Rushes-yards                 25-95         26-48
Net Passing yards              199           300
Passing (Att-Comp-Int)     34-20-0       39-24-1
Sacked-Yards Lost              1-0          3-20
Punts-Average               4-46.0        2-62.5
Fumbles                        1-0           1-0
Penalties-Yards               5-24          9-79
Time of Possession           28:37         31:23
GREEN BAY    -  7  14   3   3 - 27
JACKSONVILLE -  7  10   3   3 - 23
1st - GB - Aaron Rodgers, 6-yard run (Mason Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - JACK - T.J. Yeldon, 5-yard run (Jason Myers kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - JACK - Myers, 26-yard field goal JACKSONVILLE 10-7
2nd - GB - Jordy Nelson, 6-yard pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 14-10
2nd - JACK - Julius Thomas, 22-yard pass from Blake Bortles (Myers kick) JACKSONVILLE 17-14
2nd - GB - Davante Adams, 29-yard pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 21-17
3rd - GB - Crosby, 25-yard field goal GREEN BAY 24-17
3rd - JACK - Myers, 39-yard field goal GREEN BAY 24-20
4th - GB - Crosby, 20-yard field goal GREEN BAY 27-20
4th - GB - Myers, 50-yard field goal GREEN BAY 27-23
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Eddie Lacy 14-61, Aaron Rodgers 4-16 1 TD, Randall Cobb 3-11, James Starks 4-7
JACKSONVILLE - T.J. Yeldon 21-39 1 TD, Denard Robinson 3-7, Blake Bortles 2-2
PASSING
​GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers 34-20-199 2 TD
JACKSONVILLE - Blake Bortles 39-24-320 1 TD 1 INT
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Randall Cobb 6-57, Jordy Nelson 6-32 1 TD, Davante Adams 3-50 1 TD, Richard Rodgers 1-22, Eddie Lacy 1-17, Jared Abbrederis 1-8, Jared Cook 1-7, James Starks 1-6
JACKSONVILLE - Allen Robinson 6-72, Julius Thomas 5-64 1 TD, Allen Hurns 4-75, T.J. Yeldon 4-30, Marcedes Lewis 2-48, Marqise Lee 2-22, Rashad Greene 1-9

yards rushing last season, and the Titans did just that. Peterson had 31 yards on 19 carries. The Titans had a revamped roster from a new general manager for coach Mike Mularkey in his first game since having the interim tag removed in January. They also opened at home for the first time since 2012 and jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead looking for a rare home win after going 1-7 in Nashville each of the past two seasons.
DeMarco Murray, the 2014 Offensive Player of the Year, caught two TD passes from Marcus Mariota. He even hurdled a defender for a 6-yard TD catch just before halftime. The Titans were driving trailing 12-10 when Mariota tried to force a quick throw under pressure to Harry Douglas only to be picked off by Kendricks who returned it for the TD with 1:24 left in the third quarter. That turnover started a meltdown as Mariota then lost the ball after trying to hand off to Murray, which Hunter picked up for his own TD return. Then Murray lost a fumble on the next drive.
HOUSTON 23, Chicago 14 - Brock Osweiler threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns in his debut with Houston to lead the Texans and their revamped offense to a 23-14 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Osweiler, who signed to a $72 million contract from Denver in the offseason, was helped by an offense filled with playmakers. He completed passes to eight different receivers, led by rookie first-round pick Will Fuller, who became the first player in franchise history to have 100 yards receiving in a debut with 107 and a touchdown. DeAndre Hopkins added 54 yards and a score and running back Lamar Miller had 106 yards rushing in his first game with the Texans. Osweiler's day started with a hiccup when he threw an interception on the first drive, but soon got going and looked comfortable after that. Houston trailed by 1 point entering the fourth quarter before Osweiler found Fuller on a short pass and he scampered 18 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-14. The Texans added a 38-yard field goal later in the quarter to make it 23-14. Chicago's Jay Cutler threw for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but was also sacked five times and hurried several others on a day when linebackers Whitney Mercilus and 2014 top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney led the pass rush. J.J. Watt didn't seem to be limited in his return after sitting out all of the preseason after back surgery. But last year's Defensive Player of the Year wasn't as effective as he normally is, and seemed to have a tough time dealing with three-time Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton. Sitton was signed by the Bears last week after being a surprise cut by Green Bay.
Detroit 39, INDIANAPOLIS 35 - Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater just wanted a second chance Sunday. Matthew Stafford ensured he got it -- and Prater delivered with a 43-yard field goal that gave the Lions a wild 39-35 victory at Indianapolis. Just four minutes earlier, after Stafford had broken a 28-28 tie with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Theo Riddick, Prater pushed the extra point wide right. So it was 34-28, opening the door for Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to pull off another comeback. Instead, Prater got a shot at redemption and the Lions never doubted him. "To see him bounce back is huge," coach Jim Caldwell said. "When you miss like that, the second one can be difficult. But he has an unusual focusing ability." Stafford played brilliantly, going 31 of 39 for 340 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Somehow, Luck nearly rallied the Colts from an 18-point deficit to another last-minute victory when he threw a 6-yard TD pass to Jack Doyle with 37 seconds to go. It rekindled memories of the winning TD pass he threw at Detroit four years ago. Adam Vinatieri's extra point gave Indy a 35-34 lead. But against Indy's depleted secondary, Stafford found receivers who turned short catches into big gains. Four plays later, Prater got his chance, and he hit it right. "We made a lot of plays, and we just ran out of gas (on defense)," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "We just couldn't make that one more play that we needed to make." Indy was called for a safety on the final play of the game, for throwing an illegal forward pass in its end zone.