The Jacksonville Jaguars were better than advertised. The San Francisco 49ers looked older and more worn out than they had feared.
In a game that could signal a shift of power in the NFL, Mark Brunell threw for 265 yards and Mike Hollis kicked four field goals to lift the Jaguars to a 41-3 victory yesterday in Jacksonville.
Led by new coordinator Dom Capers, the Jaguars' revamped defense clamped down on Steve Young, who completed 9 of 26 passes for 96 yards with two interceptions. Jerry Rice caught two passes for 17 yards.
It was the 49ers' worst loss since a 49-3 defeat to the Giants in the 1986 playoffs.
"We seemed a little helpless," San Francisco Coach Steve Mariucci said. "We've got to catch better, throw better, pass-protect better, tackle better, block better--the whole thing."
LIONS 28, SEAHAWKS 20: Detroit got three touchdown passes from Charlie Batch (16 for 26, 216 yards) in the first half and spoiled Mike Holmgren's debut in Seattle.
Playing for the first time in 11 seasons without retired running back Barry Sanders, Detroit also had to play most of the game without wide receiver Herman Moore, who was injured in the first quarter and had a streak of 107 straight games with a reception ended. He has a sprained left knee and will be out four to six weeks.
Seattle received a scare late in the first half when linebacker Chad Brown left the field in an ambulance with a neck injury. The Seahawks said X-rays showed that all neurological signs were positive.
TITANS 36, BENGALS 35: Al Del Greco kicked his second field goal of the game, a 33-yarder, with eight seconds left as Tennessee rallied past Cincinnati in the first game at the $292 million Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville.
The Titans, formerly the Oilers, blew a 26-7 first-half lead with four turnovers before playing catch-up with 10 points in the fourth quarter. Steve McNair, booed after fumbling away the ball with 9 minutes 26 seconds left, drove the Titans for 10 points in the final minutes for the victory.
"That gave me even more motivation to go out and get the job done," said McNair, who finished 21 for 32 for 341 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. "I don't understand it, but the team surrounded me and said, 'Don't worry.' And we came out on top. That's what counts."
BEARS 20, CHIEFS 17: Forget those boring, predictable old Chicago Bears who ran the ball all day and usually managed to find a way to lose. Under new coach Dick Jauron, they showed a new look.
Against visiting Kansas City, Shane Matthews threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start. Curtis Enis scored his first career touchdown and gained 133 yards of total offense.
COLTS 31, BILLS 14: In Indianapolis, rookie Edgerrin James rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown, and Peyton Manning burned Buffalo for 284 yards passing and two touchdowns.