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NFC ROUNDUP

Rousing Start for Owens

September 13, 2004|From Associated Press

Terrell Owens needed a police escort to get to the stadium. He didn't need help finding the end zone.

Owens had three touchdown receptions, Donovan McNabb threw for 330 yards and tied a career high with four touchdown passes and Brian Westbrook rushed for 119 yards, leading the Philadelphia Eagles over the New York Giants, 31-17, Sunday at Philadelphia.

Owens got stuck in traffic on his way to Lincoln Financial Field for his first game with the Eagles and was told by a police officer he wouldn't make it in time without an escort.

"I didn't expect the traffic to be so hectic," said Owens, a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the San Francisco 49ers. "I was on time for the game. That's all that matters."

An Eagle spokesman said Owens wasn't fined for being late. The Eagles, runners-up in the NFC title game the last three years, won their opener for only the second time in Coach Andy Reid's six seasons.

"We made some big plays," said McNabb, who completed 26 of 36 passes with no interceptions. "We made some mistakes. Overall, it was a great performance."

Kurt Warner, a two-time NFL most valuable player, had a lackluster debut with the Giants, who suffered their ninth consecutive loss and their first under Coach Tom Coughlin. Heralded rookie quarterback Eli Manning played in the final minutes for the Giants, handing off to Tiki Barber for a 72-yard touchdown run on his first play.

"We obviously had a lot of trouble stopping them on defense," Coughlin said. "We have our work cut out for us, but I'm not discouraged."

Minnesota 35, Dallas 17 -- Daunte Culpepper threw a career-high five touchdown passes, two to Randy Moss, at Minneapolis. Against a depleted Dallas defense, Culpepper completed 17 of 23 for 242 yards with no turnovers.

Vinny Testaverde, 40, was 29 of 50 for 355 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for the Cowboys. Keyshawn Johnson caught nine passes for 111 yards in his first game with the Cowboys.

Moss made only four catches for 27 yards, but, in addition to his two touchdown receptions, he threw a reverse pass for 37 yards to Marcus Robinson, made some key blocks downfield and drew two pass interference penalties.

Eddie George, signed by Dallas just before training camp, had 25 yards in eight carries.

Atlanta 21, San Francisco 19 -- Aaron Beasley returned a goal-line interception 85 yards in the fourth quarter, and Rod Coleman batted down Tim Rattay's pass on a two-point conversion try with 40 seconds left to secure the victory for the Falcons at San Francisco.

Warrick Dunn rushed for two touchdowns and Michael Vick was 13 for 22 for 163 yards in the debut of Coach Jim Mora, the longtime San Francisco defensive coordinator who took over the Falcons in January.

Rattay left in the second quarter because of a shoulder injury, but returned to lead two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. He finished 18 for 31 for 175 yards.

Detroit 20, Chicago 16 -- The Lions finally won a game on the road.

Detroit ended its NFL-record 24-game streak of futility away from home, rallying to win in Lovie Smith's debut as coach of the Bears.

Bracy Walker, who earlier returned a blocked field goal 92 yards for a third-quarter touchdown, intercepted a third-down pass in the end zone by Rex Grossman with 18 seconds to go.

Joey Harrington completed a four-yard go-ahead pass to Az-Zahir Hakim in the fourth quarter and Detroit held on for its first road victory since beating the New York Jets on Dec. 17, 2000.

Eddie Drummond's 41-yard kickoff return and Harrington's 30-yard pass to Corey Schlesinger set up the touchdown pass to Hakim with 9:54 to go, putting Detroit ahead, 20-14.

Seattle 21, New Orleans 7 -- Shaun Alexander scored three touchdowns to get the Seahawks off to a good start on the road.

Seattle was 2-6 on the road last season, but used its first trip this year to start working on expectations the Seahawks will be strong contenders for the NFC title.

Alexander had 135 yards in 28 carries. He ran for two touchdowns and caught another.

Matt Hasselbeck was 19 for 29 for 246 yards and a touchdown for the Seahawks. Darrell Jackson had seven receptions for 98 yards.

Seattle outgained New Orleans, 415 yards to 281, and outrushed the Saints, 194-74.

St. Louis 17, Arizona 10 -- Marshall Faulk had 128 yards in 22 carries despite sharing time with first-round pick Steven Jackson in the host Rams' backfield.

Faulk, who sat out 11 games the last two seasons because of injuries, helped the Rams overcome three costly turnovers that kept the margin from being comfortable. Jackson had 50 yards in seven carries.

The Rams beat the Cardinals for the fifth consecutive time. Arizona has lost 14 in a row on the road.

Emmitt Smith, the NFL's career leading rusher, finished with 87 yards in 16 carries, including an 11-yard touchdown run that put the Cardinals ahead, 10-9, in the final minute of the third quarter.

Cardinal first-round pick Larry Fitzgerald had four catches for 70 yards, including a 37-yard reception on a flea-flicker from Josh McCown on the first play from scrimmage.

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