STREAKS AND STATS
Miami's 11-year opening-game victory streak was ended by Houston, 21-20. The Dolphins also had won 17 consecutive home games in August and September since 1994 ... Buffalo snapped a five-game losing streak against New England with its 31-0 victory ... Corey Bradford's 78-yard TD reception was the longest in Texans' history ... The Steelers won their fifth straight against Baltimore ... The Giants limited the Rams' Marshall Faulk to nine carries for 28 yards and seven catches for 27 yards in a 23-13 victory.
Corey Dillon ran for only 34 yards against Denver, which he torched for an NFL-record 278 yards in 2000 ... The Bills' rout of New England followed two losses last year in which the Patriots outscored Buffalo by 65-24 ... The Dolphins failed to sack David Carr, who was sacked an NFL-record 76 times last year ... The Packers, the only team to go 8-0 at home during the 2002 season, lost at Lambeau Field to Minnesota ... New Orleans, the NFC's highest-scoring team last season, managed only 10 points in a 27-10 loss to Seattle because of four turnovers. Seattle's defense held the Saints to 103 yards rushing; the Seahawks ranked last in the NFL last season, giving up 152.6 yards rushing per game.
The Super Bowl quarterbacks of 2001 had miserable starts. New England's Tom Brady was 14-of-29 for 123 yards and threw four interceptions, tying a career high, in a 31-0 loss at Buffalo. St. Louis' Kurt Warner fumbled six times, was sacked six times and was intercepted once against the New York Giants in a 23-13 defeat ... Miami committed 11 penalties for 87 yards in its 21-20 loss to Houston. Ricky Williams, last year's NFL rushing champion, had a 48-yard run negated by a penalty ... The Browns have lost three straight home openers on last-second field goals ... The Bears took their worst defeat since a 47-0 loss at Houston on Nov. 6, 1977, as they fell 49-7 to the 49ers. Kordell Stewart, in his first game for the Bears, went 14-of-34 for 95 yards.
Drew Bledsoe, Bills, engineered scoring drives of 80 and 90 yards on his first two possessions of a 31-0 rout of the Patriots. Bledsoe finished 17-of-28 for 230 yards with a touchdown against his former team ... In his first game as coach, Dennis Erickson led the 49ers to their biggest victory since 1989, 49-7 over Chicago.
Carolina linebacker Mark Fields, out this season with Hodgkin's disease, made a surprise appearance at the Panthers' season-opener. For the first time since his diagnosis, Fields visited his teammates in the locker room before the game. He then was the last player through the tunnel during introductions. He danced his way onto the field, then was mobbed by teammates in a brief huddle.