Anthony Dilweg, given the chance to play by Don Majkowski's 45-day holdout, passed for three touchdowns in his first NFL start yesterday, leading the Green Bay Packers past the Los Angeles Rams, 36-24, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
"It was a myriad of emotions. I was excited, my first start against the Rams. But at the same time, I thought I had nothing to lose," said Dilweg, who completed 20 of 32 passes for 258 yards. "I could be loose, go play the way I knew I could and enjoy it. That's what I tried to do."
Dilweg -- the former Whitman High School and Duke University star -- twice passed to tight end Ed West for touchdowns, the second from seven yards with 11:43 to play. That capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive and put the Packers ahead, 27-17.
Three plays later, Henry Ellard fumbled after a pass reception and Green Bay's Jerry Holmes picked it up and ran 33 yards to the 4. Brent Fullwood's two-yard touchdown run put the Packers ahead, 33-17.
But Jim Everett then completed five passes in an 80-yard drive that took less than three minutes. He capped it with a two-yard toss to Pete Holohan, bringing the Rams to 33-24 with 8:11 left.
The Packers, behind Dilweg, chewed up seven minutes with another long drive. Chris Jacke hit a 51-yard field goal, but a Rams penalty gave the Packers a first down at the 18. With 1:06 to play, Jacke kicked a 40-yarder for the game's final points. He tied a club record with a 53-yard field goal in the third period.
The Packers defense helped by forcing four fumbles after receptions and recovering three.
"We self-destructed time and time again. We couldn't seem to be able to put two or three plays together in a row," said Rams Coach John Robinson, whose receivers had been hobbled by injuries through training camp.
Chiefs 24, Vikings 21: Steve DeBerg, throwing to wide-open receivers, made gains of 20 and 16 yards in a 78-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown drive that carried Kansas City, at home, past Minnesota.
Christian Okoye, the 1989 NFL rushing champion who had been outplayed all day by Minnesota counterpart Herschel Walker, climaxed the go-ahead drive with a two-yard plunge with 9:35 left. The Vikings then failed on a fourth-and-two with 2:14 left, giving the Chiefs the ball at the Minnesota 31.
On the winning drive, DeBerg found Bill Jones alone in the flat for a 16-yard gain on first down. He threw to Rob Thomas, also not covered, for 20 yards. Okoye set up the score with an 11-yard run around left end.
Minnesota's Wade Wilson threw three touchdown passes, including two to Walker, after the Chiefs had pounced on two turnovers to seize a 14-0 lead.
Bears 17, Seahawks 0: Neal Anderson scored a pair of touchdowns, and the Chicago defense set the tone early with a pair of sacks and two interceptions in the shutout at Soldier Field.
Anderson scored on runs of 17 and four yards, rushing for 101 total, and Kevin Butler kicked a 47-yard field goal for Chicago's other score.
The Bears sacked Dave Krieg twice on the first series of plays, then turned intercepted passes into two first-half scores.
The shutout was the second in a row against the Seahawks, who lost to Washington, 29-0, in their final game last year. They had not been shut out since 1982.
It was the Bears' first shutout since last Nov. 12 when they beat Pittsburgh, 20-0, and their seventh straight opening-day victory.
Browns 13, Steelers 3: Anthony Blaylock, filling in for holdout cornerback Frank Minnifield, scooped up a fumble and ran 30 yards for his first career touchdown.
Cleveland, defending champion in the AFC Central Division, won a season-opening game at home for the first time since 1978. The Browns were 0-3 the three times they opened a season at home in the 1980s.
Both teams' offenses struggled in their first games under new offensive coordinators. The Steelers outgained the Browns 210 yards to 158.