The Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers 29-3 as Marshawn Lynch scored three touchdowns in a showdown of division rivals and two of the National Football League’s leading Super Bowl contenders.
The Seahawks’ defense limited the 49ers to 207 yards of offense and forced quarterback Colin Kaepernick into four turnovers last night in Seattle, where the game was delayed for an hour during the first quarter due to lightning.
“We showed we’re on another level,” Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said in a televised interview.
Seattle’s win capped a day in which the Denver Broncos pulled away for a 41-23 over the New York Giants, helping Peyton Manning remain undefeated in three NFL matchups against his younger brother Eli, and Aaron Rodgers passed for a career-high 480 yards with four touchdowns in leading the Green Bay Packers to a 38-20 rout of the Washington Redskins.
Ten of the other 12 Week 2 games were decided by a touchdown or less, including five that were won yesterday in the final 10 seconds or overtime. In the opening week of the regular season, 12 of 16 games were decided by a touchdown or less, tied for the most during any weekend in NFL history.
The Houston Texans beat the Tennessee Titans 30-24 in overtime on a three-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub to DeAndre Hopkins, becoming the first team since the NFL’s merger with the American Football League in 1970 to earn each of its two first wins of a season on the game’s final play.
The New Orleans Saints slipped past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-14 on Garrett Hartley’s 27-yard field goal as time expired, while the Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-30 as Jay Cutler tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds remaining.
The San Diego Chargers topped the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30 on Nick Novak’s 46-yard field goal with seven seconds left. The Chargers’ winning kick came after the Eagles and new coach Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense took just 80 seconds off the clock in setting up the tying field goal.
The Buffalo Bills beat the visiting Carolina Panthers 24-23 as Stevie Johnson pulled down a two-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel with two seconds left.
The Miami Dolphins held on for a 24-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts yesterday as the latest comeback attempt by Andrew Luck came up short. Luck, who had eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime through his first 17 NFL games, threw three straight incompletions from the Dolphins’ 23-yard line with less than two minutes left before getting sacked on a 4th-and-10 play.
The Kansas City Chiefs matched their win total from last season, improving to 2-0 under new coach Andy Reid with a 17-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes for the Chiefs, who were tied for the NFL’s worst record in 2012.
In Baltimore, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco became a father for the second time about an hour before the start of his team’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Flacco’s wife, Dana, gave birth to the couple’s second son and the reigning Super Bowl champions scored two second-half touchdowns to rally for a 14-6 win to even their record at 1-1.
The Arizona Cardinals rallied for a 25-21 victory against the Detroit Lions, with Rashard Mendenhall scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run with 2:03 left. Also yesterday, the Atlanta Falcons opened up a 21-0 lead and held on for a 31-24 win over the St. Louis Rams, while the Oakland Raiders topped the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-9.
Week 2 play, which began Sept. 12 with a 13-10 win for the New England Patriots (2-0) against the New York Jets (1-1), wraps up tonight with the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in a matchup between winless teams.
The Seahawks and 49ers entered this season tied as the second-favorites among oddsmakers to win the Super Bowl behind the Broncos. While San Francisco went 11-4-1 last season to win the National Football Conference’s West Division over Seattle (11-5) and reach the Super Bowl, the Seahawks dominated last night’s meeting on coach Pete Carroll’s 62nd birthday.
Lynch rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns while also catching a seven-yard scoring pass from Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks’ defense forced five turnovers, with Kaepernick throwing three interceptions and also losing a fumble a week after passing for 412 yards and three scores in a season-opening win over the Packers. Anquan Boldin, who had 13 catches for 208 yards in his 49ers’ debut a week ago, was limited to one catch for seven yards last night.
“They did a good job in a lot of phases,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said at a news conference. “We definitely made things harder on ourselves. I don’t think any of us are real proud of our performance.”
In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Peyton Manning threw two second-half touchdown passes and Knowshon Moreno ran for two scores as the Broncos improved to 2-0 on the season.
Eli Manning threw his lone touchdown pass with just under four minutes left and was intercepted four times as the Giants dropped to 0-2 and surrendered more than 35 points for the second straight week. The Giants have allowed 77 points in their first two games while rushing for a total of 73 yards.
“We have to run the ball better and we have to eliminate the turnovers,” Eli Manning said. “We’ll keep fighting and get back on track. Everybody in our division lost, so the way we can look at it, we’re one game back in the division.”