The Jerry Rice Era began for the San Francisco 49ers a little more than a minute into Saturday's exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers at Candlestick Park.
Rice, the gifted wide receiver from Mississippi Valley State, blew by the San Diego defense and scored on a 56-yard pass play from Matt Cavanaugh to help lead the 49ers to a 25-10 win. He wound up with five receptions for 125 yards.
"Jerry Rice is a great, great receiver," said San Diego Coach Don Coryell.
Said San Francisco Coach Bill Walsh: "Jerry played up to our expectations. We feel Jerry is one of the top-flight young receivers in the game."
On the touchdown reception, Rice got to the ball despite being bumped by a stumbling defensive back.
"That's my best point," he said. "I can adjust to the ball. On that play, I knew I had the defense beat coming off the ball. After that, it was just up to Matt to hang the ball up and let me adjust to it."
Cavanaugh, playing in place of Joe Montana, who is sidelined with an inflamed disk in his back, completed 21 of 28 passes for 273 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
For the Chargers, another rookie may have played his way onto the team.
Halfback Curtis Adams, from Central Michigan, played a strong fourth quarter, which included a 32-yard touchdown burst. Adams led San Diego in rushing with 52 yards in eight carries and in receiving with four catches for 25 yards.
The 49ers improved their record to 2-1, while the Chargers slipped to 1-2.
Cleveland 31, Buffalo 28--Gary Danielson threw two touchdown passes for the Browns, including a 54-yard play to ex-Express running back Kevin Mack, at Orchard Park, N.Y.
Danielson completed 9 of 14 passes for 160 yards. Rookie Bernie Kosar completed 5 of 12 for 94 yards.
Buffalo's Vince Ferragamo, after relieving starter Joe Dufek, completed 14 of 22 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. Dufek completed 9 of 16 for 68 yards and a touchdown.
The Browns are 2-1, the Bills 0-2-1.
N.Y. Giants 34, N.Y. Jets 31--Eric Schubert, filling in for Ali Haji-Sheikh, who is sidelined with a pulled hamstring, kicked a game-winning 30-yard field goal for the Giants 5:26 into overtime at East Rutherford, N.J.
Jeff Rutledge completed 15 of 29 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown for the Giants.
Ken O'Brien threw two touchdown passes for the Jets, including an 11-yarder to former UCLA and Express receiver Jojo Townsell.
The Giants are 4-0, the Jets 0-3.
Green Bay 28, Atlanta 24--Lynn Dickey completed 14 of 23 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Packers at Milwaukee.
Phillip Epps caught six passes for 161 yards and scored on a 70-yard play from Dickey. It was Green Bay's first touchdown of the preseason.
Both teams are 1-2.
Tampa Bay 14, New Orleans 10--Steve DeBerg led the Buccaneers at New Orleans by completing 16 of 20 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. At one stage, he completed 11 passes in a row.
The Saints twice had apparent touchdowns called back. A six-yard pass from Dave Wilson to tight end Hoby Brenner was ruled out of the end zone, and a 92-yard kickoff return by Eric Martin was nullified because he stepped out of bounds at midfield.
Both teams are 1-2.
Seattle 27, Minnesota 10--The Seahawks intercepted five passes, blocked a punt and returned a fumble for a touchdown at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Viking Coach Bud Grant said the players had trouble with the slick artificial turf at the stadium, which also is used for baseball.
"The stadium commission owes the players an apology and the fans a refund," Grant said. "I think they owe the players an apology for threatening their careers."
Both teams are 2-1.
Denver 20, Indianpolis 3--Gene Lang, second-year running back from LSU, gained 97 yards in 14 carries and scored twice to lead the Broncos at Denver.
Indianpolis quarterback Art Schlichter completed 17 of 27 passes for 168 yards but fumbled twice and was sacked six times.
Both teams are 2-1.
Kansas City 24, Houston 19--Kevin Ross scored on a 60-yard interception return, and Todd Blackledge hit Herman Heard with a 22-yard touchdown pass with 5 1/2 minutes left to give Kansas City the win at Houston.
The Chiefs are 2-1, the Oilers 1-3.