Roethlisberger Still a Question Mark

Monday, September 18th 2006, 5:13 am
By: News On 6

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. _ The Pittsburgh Steelers, yet to say if Ben Roethlisberger will start at quarterback, face running back Fred Taylor and the Jacksonville Jaguars in tonight's Monday night NFL game.

Yesterday, the Giants and Broncos needed to work longer hours for their first victories this season. The Vikings went to overtime to go 2-0.

All three teams came from behind for their wins Sunday, with New York making the biggest comeback, from a 24-7 deficit in the fourth quarter. Eli Manning's 31-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 3:11 left in overtime gave the Giants a 30-24 victory at Philadelphia.

``It was a huge win,'' Manning said. ``It wasn't the prettiest one. It was downright ugly for us for a while. We couldn't get anything going.''

When they finally did, the Eagles (1-1) couldn't stop them.

``After the first half, I never thought in a million years those guys would come back and beat us,'' Eagles middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said.

Denver's deficit was a much more modest 6-0. Jason Elam made field goals of 23 and 22 yards to tie it, then hit from 39 yards in OT for a 9-6 decision over Kansas City.

Javon Walker's 24-yard catch set up the winning kick.

``I'm finally getting back to how I used to be, I'm finally getting back to how I was in Green Bay,'' said the former Pro Bowl wide receiver, who was acquired from the Packers in the offseason after missing almost all of last year with a torn knee ligament.

Minnesota's special teams were, well, special against Carolina. Ryan Longwell threw a 16-yard touchdown to Richard Owens on a fake field goal to tie it in the fourth quarter, then converted his third field goal of the game from 19 yards in overtime for a 16-13 win.

``We completed all the balls all week, so there was no reason to think we wouldn't complete it in the game,'' said Longwell, who threw his first career touchdown pass.

Elsewhere, it was Dallas 27, Washington 10, but the Cowboys lost Terrell Owens for two to four weeks with a broken right ring finger.

Also, it was Indianapolis 43, Houston 24; San Diego 40, Tennessee 7; Atlanta 14, Tampa Bay 3; Baltimore 28, Oakland 6; New England 24, the New York Jets 17; Buffalo 16, Miami 6; New Orleans 34, Green Bay 27; Chicago 34, Detroit 7; Cincinnati 34, Cleveland 17; Seattle 21, Arizona 10; and San Francisco 20, St. Louis 3.

Pittsburgh is at Jacksonville on Monday night.

Giants 30, Eagles 24, OT

Donovan McNabb passed for 350 yards and two TDs, but the Eagles still lost their seventh straight to an NFC East rival. They stopped moving the ball and couldn't stop New York in the fourth quarter.

Manning overcame eight sacks and constant pressure to throw for 371 yards and three TDs. The winner came on third-and-11 as Manning avoided a blitz and Burress outjumped Sheldon Brown to make the catch and get in the end zone.

Broncos 9, Chiefs 6, OT

Denver's defense hasn't allowed a touchdown in the first two weeks. The Broncos once again needed to be stingy, because top receiver Rod Smith sustained a concussion and quarterback Jake Plummer was struggling.

Kansas City (0-2) got 126 yards rushing and 41 receiving from Larry Johnson, but only managed Lawrence Tynes' two field goals.

Vikings 16, Panthers 13, OT

While falling, Brad Johnson completed a 30-yard pass to Troy Williamson, who caught it one-handed, and Chester Taylor had a 33-yard run on the winning drive. Taylor carried 24 times for 113 yards, and Williamson had six catches for 102 yards, all after halftime.

Carolina (0-2) got three sacks from Julius Peppers, but a special teams gaffe badly damaged the visiting Panthers. Ahead 13-6 with 10 minutes left in regulation, Chris Gamble caught a punt, ran left and was swarmed before pivoting and lateraling to Richard Marshall, who fumbled. Minnesota recovered and got Longwell's TD pass soon afterward.

Cowboys 27, Redskins 10

Owens said the surgery for his broken finger would be Monday; the team said it would be Monday or Tuesday. He struggled in his home debut with drops and penalties, but Terry Glenn set up Dallas' first two touchdowns, then scored a third with a 40-yard catch.

Drew Bledsoe threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. Owens flubbed a pass in the end zone on the opening drive and, by game's end, he was in the locker room getting his hand X-rayed after three catches for 19 yards.

Glenn caught six passes for 94 yards for the host Cowboys (1-1). He had a 34-yarder that set up a 4-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton on Dallas' second drive and drew a 41-yard pass interference call against Kenny Wright to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Marion Barber.

Washington fell to 0-2.

Colts 43, Texans 24

At Indianapolis, more records for Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison.

Manning threw three touchdown passes and broke John Unitas' franchise mark for completions. Manning's second TD pass, a 21-yarder to rookie Joseph Addai, gave him 2,797 completions, one more than Unitas had. Manning finished 26-of-38 for 400 yards, and had a 129.3 rating as the Colts (2-0) improved to 9-0 against the Texans (0-2).

Harrison finished with seven receptions for 127 yards, and passed Art Monk for fifth on the career receptions list. He now has 943 catches, two more than Monk's total.

Chargers 40, Titans 7

At San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson ran for two first-half touchdowns and the Chargers (2-0) nearly got a second straight shutout. Titans No. 1 draft pick Vince Young threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Drew Bennett to end the bid.

Shawne Merriman, nicknamed ``Lights Out'' for his hard hits, was at it again against Tennessee (0-2). The linebacker intercepted a pass and batted away two others. San Diego held the Titans to 218 total yards.

Falcons 14, Buccaneers 3

At Atlanta, Warrick Dunn ran for 134 yards against his former team, Michael Vick added to one of his own NFL records with 127 yards rushing and the Falcons (2-0) set a franchise record with 306 yards on the ground.

Atlanta has yet to allow a touchdown this season and the Buccaneers (0-2) have yet to score a touchdown in 2006.

Ravens 28, Raiders 6

Another stingy defense lives in Baltimore, where the Ravens forced six turnovers, got a safety from Adalius Thomas and kept the Raiders out of the end zone.

Matt Stover kicked four field goals for the Ravens (2-0), who won 27-0 over Tampa Bay in their opener. The only other time they opened with two victories was in 2000, the season they won their lone Super Bowl.

Oakland fell to 0-2 under Art Shell, who's supposed to be restoring the glory for the Raiders. Instead, they've been outscored 55-6.

Patriots 24, Jets 17

Visiting New England (2-0) took a 24-0 lead on touchdown runs by Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney, and a TD catch by Chad Jackson. But the Jets rallied when Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles each scored brilliant touchdowns, Mike Nugent kicked a 42-yard field goal and Jonathan Vilma blocked a late field-goal attempt to give the Jets (1-1) one last chance in their home opener.

But an interception by Tedy Bruschi ended the comeback hopes.

``It was the Patriots against the Jets,'' said Patriots coach Bill Belichick of facing his former assistant, Eric Mangini, now coach of the Jets. ``We were just trying to coach against the Jets. I was just trying to do the best I can for my team, and I'm sure he's trying to do the best he can with his team.''

Bills 16, Dolphins 6

At Miami, the Bills (1-1) sacked Daunte Culpepper seven times _ five in the first 15 snaps _ plus blocked a punt and survived a woeful passing effort in beating the Dolphins, now 0-2 for only the second time in the last 37 seasons. Ryan Denney had three sacks for Buffalo.

Rian Lindell had three field goals and Josh Reed caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Buffalo's J.P. Losman. Willis McGahee had 91 yards on 25 carries.

Saints 34, Packers 27

At Green Bay, Drew Brees overcame three early turnovers by throwing for 353 yards, and New Orleans (2-0) is heading home unbeaten. The Saints play their first game in New Orleans since 2004 next Monday night against Atlanta.

Brees threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston for a 27-20 edge and Deuce McAllister scored twice.

Brett Favre's 6-yard pass to running back Noah Herron cut the Saints' lead to 34-27 with 4:18 remaining. Favre, who completed 31 of 55 passes for 340 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, couldn't get Green Bay (0-2) any closer.

Bears 34, Lions 7

At Chicago, Rex Grossman had his best game as a pro. Grossman set career highs with 289 yards and four touchdown passes to lead the Bears (2-0). He completed 20 of 27 passes with no interceptions and set a career high in yards for the second straight week after throwing for 262 in a season-opening win at Green Bay.

The Bears' defense held the Lions to 245 yards and recovered three fumbles. Detroit (0-2) committed 14 penalties for 104 yards, seven for 58 yards in the first quarter alone.

Roy Williams caught six passes for 71 yards after guaranteeing a win over the Bears. He was booed loudly after catching his first pass.

Bengals 34, Browns 17

At Cincinnati, the Bengals (2-0) won despite losing three starters to injury.

Operating behind a makeshift line, Carson Palmer threw for 352 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. Chris Henry, who pleaded guilty to a gun charge five days earlier, led the way with five catches for 113 yards. And Rudi Johnson ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and left tackle Levi Jones were inactive with lingering injuries. During the first half, the Bengals lost center Rich Braham to a knee injury, safety Dexter Jackson to an ankle injury, and linebacker David Pollack, who was taken to a hospital for evaluation of a neck injury. Pollack had full movement in his arms and legs.

Cleveland is 0-2.

Seahawks 21, Cardinals 10

Host Seattle started with touchdowns by Shaun Alexander and Darrell Jackson on its first two drives before a strong pass rush and the bumbling Cardinals settled matters.

Defending conference champion Seattle is 2-0 for the third time in four seasons despite Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck throwing two interceptions and going just 12-for-27 for 221 yards _ his first game under 50 percent passing in two seasons. Alexander, last year's league MVP, ran for 89 yards on 26 carries, most of them late.

The Cardinals (1-1) still haven't been 2-0 since 1991.

49ers 20, Rams 13

At San Francisco, Antonio Bryant caught a 72-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith. Smith passed for 233 yards and Frank Gore rushed for 127, including a 32-yard score, as the 49ers (1-1) followed a narrow loss at Arizona last week with a cohesive victory over the Rams (1-1).