The Pittsburgh Steelers may be fine without the suspended Ben Roethlisberger for the start of the season.
Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon combined to lead three long touchdown drives after Roethlisberger made his preseason debut and the Steelers beat the Giants 24-17 on Saturday night, spoiling New York’s first home game at its new $1.6 billion stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Roethlisberger, suspended for the opening six games of the regular season, completed 6 of 8 passes for 76 yards and an interception and led the Steelers on a 13-play, 58-yard drive that lasted seven-plus minutes and ended in a 26-yard field goal by Jeff Reed.
Buccaneers 20, Chiefs 15: Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman’s preseason is over after he fractured the tip of the thumb on his throwing hand and will be sidelined at least until the opening week of the regular season.
Freeman’s backups, Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter, each threw for a touchdown in a win over visiting Kansas City.
Ravens 23, Redskins 3: Baltimore safety Haruki Nakamura took a direct snap on fourth-and-6 and juked his way 51 yards – all the way to the 1 yard line– in the second quarter to set up the only TD scored by either first-team offense in Landover, Md.
The Redskins had two starters – fullback Mike Sellers and free safety Kareem Moore – leave with knee injuries.
Rams 19, Browns 17: Josh Brown made a 28-yard field goal, his fourth field goal of the game, with 3:33 left to lift visiting St. Louis (1-1) over Cleveland.
Saints 38, Texans 20: Drew Brees led New Orleans to two TDs – handing off to Reggie Bush for a 9-yard scoring run and leaping over center from a yard out to put New Orleans up 14-0 in the first quarter – en route to a win over visiting Houston.
There wasn’t much drop off when Chase Daniel took over in the second quarter for the Super Bowl champion Saints. Daniel worked the last three quarters of the game and completed 15 of 21 passes for 182 yards and three TDs.
Jets 9, Panthers 3: Mark Sanchez was lucky to avoid two interceptions and failed to get New York in the end zone despite great field position, but the defense was up to the task in a win over Carolina in Charlotte, N.C.
Matt Moore couldn’t lead Carolina to any points on a night of dismal offense. He failed to lead a scoring drive for the second straight game.
Cowboys 16, Chargers 14: Visiting Dallas used a safety with 3:46 left to play to top San Diego.
Victor Butler sacked Chargers rookie QB Jonathan Crompton, who fumbled at about the 5-yard line and saw the ball roll into the end zone, where it was recovered by San Diego rookie left tackle Ryan Otterson.
Dolphins 27, Jaguars 26: Chad Henne completed 11 of 14 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and visiting Miami held off Jacksonville in a game delayed 1 hour, 45 minutes by a thunderstorm.
Lions 25, Broncos 20: Dre’ Bly’s 47-yard interception return set up visiting Detroit’s first touchdown and Lions third-stringer Drew Stanton’s 25-yard TD on a quarterback draw with 1:53 left was the difference in a victory over Denver.
Raiders 32, Bears 17: Oakland linebacker Slade Norris recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for a go-ahead TD and later blocked a punt for a safety to lead the visiting Raiders past Chicago.
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, who missed all but one game last season after hurting his wrist in the season opener, injured his calf on the opening drive and did not return.