(Stats are at the bottom)
Several Aggies had big games Sunday in NFL openers led by Denver defensive end Von Miller and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett. Others shining were Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans and safety Justin Evans, and Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Miller sacked Seattle QB Russell Wilson three times in a 27-24 victory, his best game since being the Super Bowl MVP in the victory over Carolina. He caused two fumbles and recovered one to earn the game ball.
“That’s impressive to watch,” Denver QB Case Keenum said on denverbroncos.com. I’m glad I’m on the sidelines when he’s on the field, that’s for sure.”
“I still don't like playing against Russell, I mean, running around out there 20 yards, getting everybody tired,” Miller said. “Luckily, we were able to get him before he could get started. That was in our scheme this week, we wanted to keep him in the pocket and [make] him beat us with his arm, which he's capable of doing. But we'd rather pick that poison and that strategy worked.”
Wilson threw for 298 yards and three TDs, but was intercepted twice and sacked six times.
“He got out of the pocket a couple of times, but that's Russ,” Miller said. “He's a great player. He's going to get out of the pocket, but we kept some of the great plays to a minimum.”
Garrett helped Cleveland wipe out a 21-7 deficit against Pittsburgh for a 21-21 tie.
Garrett, who had seven sacks as a rookie last year, had a career-high six tackles, a pass breakup and caused two fumbles. Garrett, facing Ben Roethlisberger for the first time, had two sacks, stripping the football on one.
"I'm being the person they got from the draft,'' said Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017. "I'm finally healthy, and I'm just trying to be the guy who can make the plays when we need them."
“I think he is going to have a great year,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “He is showing that he was worthy of being the first player drafted a year ago. A healthy Myles Garrett means a ton to this organization and football team. He just has to do it week in and week out and be this player every week.”
Garrett had one mistake. With 36 seconds left in overtime he was called for a block in the back after the Browns had stripped the ball away from Roethlisberger with Joe Schobert returning it to the 12, but the penalty pushed it back to the 24 and Cleveland missed a potential game-winning 43-yarder instead of a 30-yarder if there had been no foul.
"That was a bad play by me,'' Garrett told Cleveland.com. "I should've been more aware. Tried to get more on his side or on his front, so that's my fault.''
Evans and Evans led the Bucs to a 48-40 victory at New Orleans.
Mike Evans had seven catches for 147 yards and a 50-yard touchdown.
“It was one-on-one coverage, no safety, help, I look those odds,” he said.
Safety Justin Evans also scored, on a 34-yard fumble return.
“I just saw it on the ground and scooped it and went for the score,” he said.
Justin Evans also had five tackles, four of them solos.
Tannehill, who missed last season with a knee injury suffered late in the 2016 season, threw for 280 yards on 20 of 28 with two scores and two interceptions.
"I left a lot out there," Tannehill said. "There are a lot of plays I wanted to have back."
Cincinnati: PK Randy Bullock (2 FGs, 4 PATs in a 34-23 victory over Indianapolis), RB Tra Carson (3 offensive snaps, 17 special teams snaps with a tackle)
Cleveland: DL Myles Garrett (2 sacks, 6 tackles, 2 caused fumbles, 84 defensive plays, 4 special teams plays in a 21-21 tie with Pittsburgh)
Miami: QB Ryan Tannehill (20 of 28 passing, 230 yards, 2 TDs, 2 int. & 4 carries-4 yards in a 27-20 victory over Tennessee)
Indianapolis: RB Christine Michael (2 carries-9 yards)
Jacksonville: PK Josh Lambo (2 39-yard FGs, 2 PATs in 20-15 victory over N.Y. Giants)
Denver: LB Von Miller (7 tackles (3 sacks), 2 caused fumbles, 1 fumble recovery in a 27-24 victory over Seattle).
Kansas City: DB Armani Watts (3 defensive plays, 15 special teams plays in a 38-28 victory over the Chargers)
San Diego: P Drew Kaser (2 punts-120 yards) in a 38-28 loss to Kansas City)
Philadelphia: DE Michael Bennett (2 tackles, 45 plays, 3 special teams plays in an 18-12 victory over Atlanta)
Washington: S Deshazor Everett (2 defensive plays, 16 special teams plays)
Atlanta: OT Jake Matthews (70 offensive plays, 3 special teams plays)
Tampa Bay: S Justin Evans (5 tackles, 34-yard fumble return for TD in 48-40 victory over New Orelans, 63 defensive plays, 6 special teams plays); W; R Mike Evans (7 receptions-147 yards, TD)
Arizona: WR Christian Kirk (1 catch-4 yards in 44 plays & 2 PR-44 yards in a 24-6 loss to Washington); TE Ricky Seals-Jones (3 catches-19 yards in 49 plays); CB Brandon Williams (16 special teams plays)
Seattle: OL Germain Ifedi (57 offensive plays, 6 special teams plays)