Aside from Serena William’s 18th grand slam title, and the controversy surrounding the owner of the Atlanta Hawks, here is a look at the other big sports stories you’ll be talking about today, Monday, Sept. 8.
Niners batter mistake-prone Cowboys…Dolphins rally past Pats…Panthers win without Newton
The Denver Broncos have begun their AFC title defense by jumping out to a 24-0 lead before hanging on for dear life.
Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes to Julius Thomas in the second quarter of the Broncos’ 31-24 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts. Manning was 22 of 36 for 269 yards and no interceptions as the Broncos won their first meaningful game since their Super Bowl loss to Seattle last February.
Montee Ball’s three-yard scoring run put Denver ahead 31-10 with about 10 minutes left before Andrew Luck hit Dwayne Allen and Hakeem Nicks for TDs 4:20 apart to make it close. The Colts had a chance to tie the game until Luck threw an incompletion on fourth down in Denver territory with 1:57 left.
Luck had 370 passing yards but was picked off twice.
In other NFL season openers:
Colin Kaepernick threw a pair of touchdown passes to Vernon Davis while the Niners were building a 28-3 halftime lead in a 28-17 triumph over the mistake-prone Cowboys. One of Davis’ TDs was set up by a Tony Romo interception, one of three by the Dallas quarterback in his first meaningful game since undergoing back surgery in December. The 49ers also got a 35-yard fumble return on the second play of the game when Chris Culliver picked up a loose ball stripped from DeMarco Murray.
New England suffered its first season-opening loss in 11 years as Miami scored 23 unanswered points in the second half of a 33-20 win over The Patriots. Ryan Tannehill completed 18 of 32 passes for 178 yards and two scores, while Tom Brady was 29 of 56 for 249 yards and one touchdown.
Derek Anderson threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns while starting in place of Cam Newton as Carolina downed Tampa Bay 20-14. Newton fractured his ribs in a preseason game last month and was declared inactive for the game against Tampa Bay. The Bucs were shut out over the first 3 1/2 quarters in their first game under coach Lovie Smith.
Matt Bryant kicked a 51-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, then booted a 52-yarder in overtime to give the Atlanta Falcons a 37-34 victory over the visiting New Orleans Saints. Matt Ryan threw for a franchise-record 448 yards, leading the Falcons to just their fourth victory over the Saints in the last 17 meetings.
The Bills stunned the Bears in Chicago 23-20 on Dan Carpenter’s 27-yard field goal in overtime. Fred Jackson had just 23 rushing yards before his 38-yard burst set up the winning kick.
Jake Locker was 22 of 33 for 266 yards and two touchdowns as Tennessee earned a 26-10 win over Kansas City. Locker picked apart a Kansas City defense that lost Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson and starting defensive tackle Mike DeVito to Achilles injuries.
Rookie Alfred Blue blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown as Houston beat Washington 17-6 to end a 14-game losing streak. J.J. Watt had a sack, blocked an extra point, recovered a fumble and swatted down a pass just days after signing a six-year, $100 million contract.
The Minnesota Vikings posted a 34-6 win over the Rams in St. Louis as Matt Cassell threw for two touchdowns. Wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson ran for 102 yards on three carries, including a 67-yard TD.
Pittsburgh blew a 27-3 lead in the second half before Shawn Suisham hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Steelers past Cleveland 30-27. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 365 yards and a touchdown for the Steelers, while Le’Veon Bell ran for 109 yards and a TD.
The Bengals got the better of the Ravens 23-16 as A.J. Green caught a 77-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton with 4:58 left. That score, along with the 2-point conversion, came just 48 seconds after Baltimore newcomer Steve Smith caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco.
Nick Foles threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin in the fourth quarter and the Philadelphia Eagles rallied from a 17-0 second-half deficit to beat Jacksonville 34-17. Foles was 27 of 45 for 322 yards, two TDs and one interception.
Oakland absorbed its 14th straight loss in the Eastern time zone as Chris Ivory rumbled 71 yards for a game-clinching touchdown midway through the fourth quarter of the New York Jets’ 19-14 triumph over the Raiders. Ivory finished with 102 rushing yards and Geno Smith was 23 of 28 for 221 yards and a score.
In major league baseball:
Adam Wainwright picked up his 17th victory by tossing a seven-hitter in the Cardinals’ 9-1 rout of Milwaukee. Peter Bourjos hit a two-run triple for the NL Central-leading Redbirds, who dealt Milwaukee its 11th loss in 12 games and dropped the Brewers five games off the division lead.
Pittsburgh completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs 10-4 to move a half-game ahead of the Brewers for the final NL wild-card berth. Gerrit Cole belted his first career homer and pitched into the seventh to help the Pirates improve to 12-4 against the Cubs this season.
Adam LaRoche homered twice as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 to avoid a series sweep. Winner Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs in six-plus innings for the Nationals, who had lost five straight against the Phillies before increasing their lead in the NL East to seven games over Atlanta.
The Braves were 4-0 losers to Miami as Brad Hand worked six innings and Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two runs. The Braves are a half-game behind Pittsburgh for the last NL wild-card berth following their 13th shutout loss.
Jackson Williams socked his first big league homer and Nolan Arenado also went deep in Colorado’s 6-0 romp over San Diego. Franklin Morales pitched six solid innings for his first win in two months.
FSU remains on top
Florida State is unbeaten after two games and remains the top team in The Associated Press poll.
The Seminoles got 38 first place votes, while No. 2 Oregon received 16 to move ahead of Alabama. The third-ranked Crimson Tide picked up one first-place vote.
Oklahoma is fourth, followed by Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, Baylor, Southern Cal and LSU.
Horschel gets the win
Billy Horschel has won the PGA’s BMW Championship by shooting a final round 1-under-69 to finish 14-under-par. Runnerup Bubba Watson was two shots back.
The top 30 finishers in the event are advancing to the Tour Championship next week for a shot at the $10 million bonus.