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NFL REPORT

Seattle rookie Aaron Curry stars

Linebacker makes four tackles, two for losses, hit Oakland quarterbacks twice, then sacked one and forced a fumble to set up a field goal.

September 04, 2009|Associated Press

Aaron Curry, Seattle's prized fourth overall draft pick, took advantage of being the only starter on the field Thursday night in Seattle. He made four tackles, two for losses, hit Oakland quarterbacks twice, then sacked one and forced a fumble to set up a field goal. And that was just in the first half.

Curry's surge was the Seahawks' most important development in their 31-21 victory over the Raiders.

The Seahawks had 12 starters skip the exhibition in the name of preservation. That included every defender except Curry. The former Wake Forest star needed to learn and progress after signing late and then missing one exhibition game because of an injury.

Late in the first half, the outside linebacker, whom Seattle gave a whopping $34 million guaranteed last month, sped untouched around left end and hit quarterback Bruce Gradkowski just as he was about to throw. Nick Reed scooped up the fumble and returned it 16 yards to the Oakland 14 to set up a 24-yard field goal by Olindo Mare.

at Denver 19, Arizona 0: Rookie quarterback Tom Brandstater completed 16 of 30 passes for 187 yards, and led the Broncos to scores on four of their first five possessions. The only blemish for the sixth-round pick out of Fresno State was Michael Adams' interception just before halftime. The Broncos (1-3) avoided their first winless exhibition season since the first year of their existence in 1960.

at Jacksonville 24, Washington 17: David Garrard led the Jaguars to a touchdown and two field goals in four possessions, but Jaguars star Maurice Jones-Drew bruised his lower right leg. X-rays were negative, but Jones-Drew was scheduled to have an MRI exam today. Although Jones-Drew has been fairly durable in three seasons, he could be slowed heading into the season opener at Indianapolis.

at Tennessee 27, Green Bay 13: Vince Young ran for a touchdown and threw for another in his strongest performance this exhibition season for Tennessee. Green Bay had a handful of players injured with the most worrisome rookie defensive tackle B.J. Raji. Raji hurt his ankle.

at Chicago 26, Cleveland 23: Robbie Gould kicked two of his four field goals in the fourth quarter for the Bears, and Caleb Hanie went nine for 13 for 119 yards and a touchdown. Brett Ratliff led Cleveland (2-2) on a touchdown drive after a rough start, while Coach Eric Mangini sat out Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson.

Pittsburgh 21, at Carolina 10: The first-team defense forced a three-and-out, Stefan Logan returned a punt for a touchdown, and the Steelers' second unit made Carolina punt before Ben Roethlisberger hit the field. Roethlisberger threw one swing pass for seven yards on third and-nine and called it a night.

at New York Jets 38, Philadelphia 27: Jets rookie Mark Sanchez completed all five of his passes and capped his only series with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery. Danny Woodhead, making a bid to make the team, ran for 158 yards -- the NFL's second-highest preseason total since 1992. He had 55- and three-yard scoring runs.

at New England 38, New York Giants 27: Patriots rookie Brian Hoyer helped his chances to become Tom Brady's primary backup, throwing a scoring pass and leading three drives that BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished with rushing touchdowns. Brady and nearly all of the usual starters sat out the exhibition finale for New England.

Detroit 17, at Buffalo 6: Tristan Davis scored on a 79-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the Lions, whose rookie quarterback, No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford, finished five for nine for 81 yards with two turnovers -- a fumble and interception. Cornerback Chris Roberson had an interception and fumble recovery.

Other games

St. Louis' Quincy Butler returned an interception 28 yards for the go-ahead score late in the third quarter and the St. Louis Rams beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 17-9, in St. Louis. . . . Patrick Cobbs rushed for 54 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run, and Miami had eight sacks in a 10-7 road victory over the New Orleans Saints. . . . Cincinnati backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan capped his only series with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell in a 38-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Cincinnati. . . . Baltimore's John Beck was 16 for 28 for 232 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens' 20-3 victory over the Falcons in Atlanta.

Elsewhere

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, saying they weren't getting the "direction" needed from him 10 days before the regular-season opener.

First-year Coach Raheem Morris offered a vague explanation for the move on the eve of the team's exhibition season finale against the Houston Texans. Quarterbacks coach Greg Olson was promoted to Jagodzinski's role and will take over playcalling.

"I have a lot of respect for coach Jags, and what he did, and the effort he put into his work, but we're at the point now where we need to be more precise, we need to be more detailed and we need to have more direction on where we're going to go," Morris said.

Jagodzinski was hired in January, three weeks after being dismissed by Boston College for pursuing an NFL head coaching job.

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