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First-year Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur does not seem worried about his relationship with star Aaron Rodgers.

LaFleur and quarterback Rodgers were seen arguing on the sidelines late in the first half of Green Bay's 21-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

But, LaFleur said after the game he was not concerned about the incident. 

"That's just two competitive guys, and I'm sure it's not going to be the last one we have," LaFleur said, via ESPN.

"But you know, just competitors, heat of the moment and it is what it is. I would much rather have that than anything else because you want guys that are extreme competitors, and that's what he is."

Rodgers also told reporters he was not worried about the exchange. 

"It was about the look on defense," Rodgers said. "I was actually kind of surprised that he was coming over to talk about that, but we got it all sorted out over there on the sideline. It actually wasn't a big deal.

"We're a little animated at times. I can't say we were yelling how much we love each other, but we definitely weren't [cursing at] each other or anything. It was talking about the look there and getting on the same page."

The Packers have been inconsistent on offense under LaFleur but improved to 2-0 this season with the victory over Minnesota.

Rodgers completed 22 of his 34 passes for 209 yards with two touchdowns in the game. 

"To the credit of our guys, they stuck together," LaFleur said. "We talk sometimes about facing some adversity, and how do we respond in those tough situations. Our guys, they stuck together. They didn't blink and it was a great team win."

The Packers are set to host the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will see a specialist after suffering a thumb injury.

Brees was sidelined after two series as the Saints suffered a 27-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL on Sunday.

After the game, Brees confirmed he was going to see a hand specialist in LA.

"Hit my thumb on [Rams defensive tackle] Aaron Donald so we'll see," he told a news conference.

"I got X-rays but I'm meeting with a specialist here very soon and we'll see what he says."

Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters after the game that the team would have an update on Tuesday.

Should something happen to Teddy Bridgewater, who substituted to play just his seventh game over the past three seasons, New Orleans also have quarterback Taysom Hill on the roster.

The second week of the NFL season gave us what Week 1 could not – fewer injuries and more close finishes.

The fourth quarter was crucial on Sunday as several high-profile games gave us nail-biting endings. Gardner Minshew could not quite get the Jacksonville Jaguars past the Houston Texans as he made his first career start in place of injured quarterback Nick Foles, while the Indianapolis Colts' defense helped Jacoby Brissett claim his first win of the season since Andrew Luck retired.

But setbacks were not inescapable after the Pittsburgh Steelers were plagued by injuries in their home opener against the Seattle Seahawks. The Steelers fought down to the final fourth-and-one wire of a game that had four sacks and four first downs over the first five possessions alone, but the Seahawks picked up their eight win in the team's last nine games.

Other games were not as competitive, like the New England Patriots' 43-0 shutout of the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers' 41-17 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Then there are the Buffalo Bills, who moved to an unlikely 2-0 after they spoiled the New York Giants' home opener 28-14, while head coach Matt LaFleur recorded his first win at Green Bay as the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 21-16 for the first time since 2016.

Injury report

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was seen shaking his throwing arm at various points in the first half against the Seahawks and even exited to the locker room before returning to the sideline to play through the injury. He was later ruled questionable to return to start the second half but never made it back after being replaced by backup Mason Rudolph.

Meanwhile, Steelers team-mate and running back James Conner was also questionable to return with a knee injury suffered in the second half. The Steelers also lost linebacker Vince Williams and safety Sean Davis to injuries.

49ers tackle Joe Staley was carted off the field against the Bengals with a leg injury and did not return. Niners coach Kyle Shanahan revealed after the game that Staley suffered a broken fibula.

Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis, starting in place of Jordan Reed as he recovers from a concussion, sustained an eye injury against the Dallas Cowboys.

Another less injury-prone quarterback went down as New Orlenas Saints veteran Drew Brees injured his throwing hand making contact with Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald in their NFC title rematch. He was sidelined with his thumb taped as Teddy Bridgewater took over under centre.

By the numbers

After being a healthy scratch in Week 1, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson scored his 107th career rushing touchdown to pass Hall of Famer Jim Brown on the all-time list. He is three rushing touchdowns behind Walter Payton for fourth in NFL history.

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is back in a big way, as the veteran scored in back-to-back weeks for the first time since Weeks 12 and 13 of the 2017 season.

Antonio Brown's touchdown catch during his Patriots debut against the Dolphins made him the 72nd player to catch a regular-season touchdown pass from Tom Brady, which extends a league record for the 42-year-old New England quarterback.

Rookie sensation and Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray joined Carolina Panthers veteran Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history to throw for more than 300 yards in their first two starts.

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster hit 2,500 career receiving yards against the Seahawks, becoming the youngest player in league history to accomplish the feat.

It was a good day for fantasy owners with New England's defense after the Patriots shut out the Dolphins.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes exploded in the first half against the Oakland Raiders, with his four touchdown passes and 313 yards helping him become the first signal-caller to throw for more than 278 yards in any quarter since Brees did so in 2008.

Quotables

Giants coach Pat Shurmur on replacing Eli Manning with Daniel Jones: "I think we have to look at how our team played and we have to go back and take steps to get better in all areas. I don't think that's a conversation for right now. Everybody has to play better."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick on having Brady throw deep despite being up 37 points: "We're playing 60 minutes. You've got to play 60 minutes."

Week 1 NFL scores

Thursday's game

Buccaneers 20, Panthers 14

Sunday's games

Ravens 23, Cardinals 17
Lions 13, Chargers 10
Colts 19, Titans 17
49ers 41, Bengals 17
Texans 13, Jaguars 12
Packers 21, Vikings 16
Cowboys 31, Redskins 21
Seahawks 28, Steelers 26
Bills 28, Giants 14
Patriots 43, Dolphins 0
Chiefs 28, Raiders 10
Rams 27, Saints 9
Bears 16, Broncos 14

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur refused to discuss Eli Manning and the possibility of replacing the veteran quarterback with rookie Daniel Jones after Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills.

The Giants were beaten 28-14 by the Bills in Week 2 as New York's winless start to the NFL season continued.

Manning was once again inconsistence at home to the Bills, the two-time Super Bowl champion completing 26 of his 45 passes for 250 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Asked about possibly replacing the 38-year-old long-time starter, Shurmur told reporters: "I think we have to look at how our team played and we have to go back and take steps to get better in all areas.

"I don't think that's a conversation for right now. Everybody has to play better." 

Manning – a two-time Super Bowl MVP and four-time Pro Bowler – added: "When you're 0-2, there's pressure on everybody.

"That's just the way it goes. You can't have that affect you. You can't let that change the way you prepare, the way you play. I've got to make better throws, better decisions and find ways to convert on third downs. That's a quarterback's job." 

The Giants selected Jones with the sixth pick in the 2019 draft. The move was widely criticised by fans, but the Duke product impressed in preseason, completing 29 of his 34 passes for 416 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. 

New York are scheduled to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers away from home in Week 3.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued to star on Sunday.

Mahomes had an impressive first half against the Raiders in Oakland.

At half-time, he already had four touchdown passes and 313 yards. The breakdown of those stats is even more impressive.

Mahomes became the first signal-caller to throw for more than 278 yards in any quarter since Drew Brees did so in 2008.

Kansas City were up 28-10 entering the third quarter.

Mike Tomlin is not happy with the Pittsburgh Steelers' winless start to the season following Sunday's defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Steelers fell to 0-2 in the NFL after a 28-26 loss to the Seahawks at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

It was a costly defeat for the struggling Steelers, who saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) and running back James Conner (knee) suffer injuries in the game.

However, Steelers head coach Tomlin told reporters that was not the reason Pittsburgh lost to Seattle.

"We had opportunities down the field, the ball went through our hands for an interception," Tomlin said post-game.

"We've got to make plays. The guys that represented us on the field are fully capable of that. We didn't make enough of them and that's why we lost the game. We had our chances. Not because of the injuries." 

The Steelers entered the season with high expectations. The team, however, have struggled so far and were also blown out by reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots in Week 1.

"We understand the position we're in," Tomlin said. "We understand the negativity that comes with it. We better absorb it. We better get singularly focused and get better for our next opportunity, control the things we can control. That's what we intend to do. But today, it's painful, as it should be." 

Tomlin told reporters after the game "he doesn't know the extent" of Roethlisberger's injury. 

Roethlisberger was replaced by Mason Rudolph, who completed 12 of his 19 passes for 112 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Seattle. 

The Steelers will face the San Francisco 49ers on the road in Week 3.

The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Cincinnati Bengals 41-17 on Sunday, but lost a key piece of their offensive line in victory.

Starting left tackle Joe Staley was carted off the field in the third quarter and coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters the six-time Pro Bowler has a broken fibula.

Shanahan said Staley would likely be out for "less than eight weeks" and probably will not be put on the injured reserve list.

"Any time you lose your left tackle it's always significant," Shanahan said. "Especially when the guy who backed [Staley] up, we lost in preseason. So, we got [Justin] Skule, we got [Daniel] Brunskill, guys who'll have to step it up.

"Unfortunate for Joe. I know how bad he wants to be out there, but once we accept the injury at least we'll still get him back later this year."

Staley, 35, has been with the 49ers since the team selected him as a first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He has made three All-Pro teams in his 12-year career.

San Francisco are off to a strong 2-0 start in 2019 and will host the 0-2 Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3.

 

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald were both sidelined with injuries during Sunday's game.

Brees appeared to suffer a thumb injury when he took a blow to his throwing hand in contact with Donald during the first quarter.

He had his hand taped and watched on from the sidelines as Teddy Bridgewater took over against the Rams, although the Saints were yet to issue an official update on Brees.

Rams star Donald, having been involved in that incident, later disappeared down the tunnel with a back complaint.

The two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year was then listed as questionable to return by Los Angeles.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left their game with the Seattle Seahawks with an elbow injury.

Roethlisberger was seen shaking his throwing arm at various points during the first half of Sunday's home opener and even exited to the locker room before returning to the sideline to play through the injury.

However, the pain caught up with him and he was replaced by backup Mason Rudolph for the second half, with Roethlisberger described as questionable to return.

Things got off to a rought start for Rudolph as he was quickly intercepted, though he brought the Steelers within two points of the Seahawks in the fourth quarter.

 

It did not take long for Antonio Brown to get on the board for New England.

The Patriots receiver scored his first touchdown with his new team in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

Brown, making his debut in his hometown of Miami, caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady late in the first half. The reception made Brown the 72nd player to catch a regular-season touchdown pass from Brady, extending an NFL record for the veteran quarterback.

The 31-year-old, who was active Sunday despite being accused of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit last week, had four catches, one rush attempt and a touchdown in the first half alone.

Brown was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders in the offseason. He never played a game for the Raiders, however, after Oakland granted his request for a release following a series of offseason episodes.

Adrian Peterson added another achievement to his glittering resume on Sunday in the Washington Redskins' game with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Washington running back scored his 107th career rushing touchdown to pass Hall of Famer Jim Brown on the all-time list.

Peterson, who overtook Barry Sanders (99), Marshall Faulk (100), Shaun Alexander (100) and John Riggins (104) on the all-time list last season, is three rushing touchdowns behind Walter Payton for fourth in NFL history.

The 34-year-old surpassed Brown in the second quarter of Sunday's game against Dallas as he found the endzone on a one-yard run.

His touchdown came after Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw his first career interception against Washington. Prescott had 169 attempts in games with Washington under his belt before the pick.

Peterson was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career in the team's Week 1 loss to the Eagles.

Antonio Brown will finally return to NFL action after being named on the New England Patriots' active roster against the Miami Dolphins.

Brown has been the most talked about player in the league in recent months, having forced a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders, who then granted his request for a release after a series of off-field episodes.

The star wide receiver joined the Patriots on Monday and practiced this week, travelling with the team to Miami.

Coach Bill Belichick had suggested Brown was still learning New England's offense but he was named among the 46 active players on Sunday.

The news of Brown's start comes after Britney Taylor, his former trainer, filed a civil lawsuit against him in Florida this week, claiming he sexually assaulted her three times over two years, allegedly raping her in 2018.

Brown has denied the allegations, while the NFL has opened its own investigation.

With Week 2 underway, we take a look at the top storylines around the league. 

From reaction to the Carolina Panthers suffering another loss on Thursday to New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams responding to Odell Beckham Jr.'s recent comments, we follow all that is happening on Friday in this edition of NFL news and notes. 

Three things that matter

Cam Newton takes blame after Panthers start season 0-2

After the Panthers fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-14 on Thursday, quarterback Cam Newton shouldered most of the blame. He said all fingers will be pointed at him to try and figure out how to turn around an 0-2 start. 

"We didn't uphold our end and we're past due. Special teams had a good return, defensively we were stout all game, but all fingers are pointing back to me specifically – and the offense," Newton said. "It's extremely frustrating knowing that you're getting opportunities and you just can't put the ball in the end zone. That's what we have to figure out – what I have to figure out."

Newton threw for 324 yards but completed just 24 of 51 passes and was sacked three times as the Panthers failed to score a touchdown. There has been speculation with Newton's health as he had shoulder surgery during the offseason and suffered a foot injury in the preseason. Coach Ron Rivera insisted, though, that Newton's health is not a concern.

"There's no issue with his shoulder. He threw the deep ball today, threw it a couple times," Rivera said.

Williams responds to Beckham's 'cheap shots' comment

Jets defensive coordinator Williams responded to Beckham's accusations that the coach told his players to injure the wide receiver during a preseason game two years ago.  When pressed about Beckham's recent claims, Williams said with a slight laugh: "Odell who?" before saying, "That was a joke ... that was Jerry [Jones]," in reference to how the Dallas Cowboys owner responded to Ezekiel Elliott holdout questions in the preseason. 

"We don't do that. Never done that anywhere I've been. We don't do anything to hurt the team," Williams said.

Beckham said on Thursday that Williams, who was a defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns from 2017-18 before serving as interim head coach in 2018, coaches his players to make "dirty hits and cheap shots" targeted at him. Beckham added Williams "changed my life forever" when he was hit during a preseason game in 2017 while playing for the New York Giants, which resulted in an ankle injury. He claims Browns players told him that Williams would tell his players to take the receiver out. 

Needless to say, Monday's Week 2 game between the Jets and Browns will be an interesting one.

Giants receiver Sterling Shepard out against Bills

The Giants will be without a key part of their offense against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. New York have ruled out wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who was placed in the NFL's concussion protocol this week as a result of a hit he suffered in Week 1's loss to the Cowboys. The Giants had been hopeful that Shepard would be ready to play and he continued working on the side in practice this week.

Coach Pat Shurmur said on Thursday he was "doing OK", but still needed to pass steps in the protocol before being cleared.

The news certainly is not good for the Giants as their receivers have been hit hard with injuries. Cody Latimer (questionable for Sunday's game) and Darius Slayton (ruled out) are both hampered by hamstring injuries. In addition, Golden Tate has three games remaining on his suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, and Corey Coleman is on the injured reserve.

The Giants re-signed TJ Jones on Thursday to fill the void.

Two things that don't matter

Bill Belichick mum on Antonio Brown's Week 2 status

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed Antonio Brown's Week 2 status, though he was not willing to divulge too much information about his game plan for Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

"We'll do what's best for the team," he told reporters on Friday.

Brown practised with the Patriots on Wednesday after signing a one-year deal with the team at the start of the week, but Belichick said Brown still has "a long way to go" and the receiver is "not familiar with our offense".

Brown has been accused of sexually assaulting his former trainer, Britney Taylor, in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. The lawsuit alleges there were three separate incidents, two of which occurred in June 2017. Taylor alleges in the suit she was "forcibly raped" by Brown in the other incident, which took place in May 2018.

Torrey Smith retires after eight NFL seasons

Torrey Smith is ready to call it a career. The former receiver last played for the Panthers, but he was cut less than two weeks ago. He previously spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

"Dear football, I knew this day would come, and to be completely honest, I've been preparing for it my entire career," Smith said during a video posted on Twitter. "You and I both knew the game for me wouldn't last forever. It's the NFL circle of life and I'm prepared for what's next."

Smith, 30, finished his career with 319 catches for 5,141 yards and 41 touchdowns. He won Super Bowl titles with the Ravens and Eagles.

One video you have to see

In the NFL, players become known for their touchdown celebrations, and it looks like some rookies were practising their moves.

Friday's tweet of the day

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had high praise for the Jacksonville Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey. He said Ramsey is his "favourite corner to play against".

Cam Newton acknowledged fingers will be pointed at him as he took the blame after the Carolina Panthers fell to a 20-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday.

Quarterback Newton threw for 324 yards but completed just 24 of 50 passes and was sacked three times as the Panthers failed to score a touchdown and slipped to 0-2 for the first time since 2013.

The former first overall draft pick was wayward with a number of his attempted passes but denied he was feeling any lingering effects from January shoulder surgery and a preseason foot injury.

Asked where things went wrong, Newton said: "A lack of execution offensively. Through my lens, it's hard to look defensive guys in the eyes after a game like this. Offensively, we didn't hold up our end of the bargain.

"We didn't uphold our end and we're past due. Special teams had a good return, defensively we were stout all game, but all fingers are pointing back to me specifically - and the offense.

"It's extremely frustrating knowing that you're getting opportunities and you just can't put the ball in the end zone. That's what we have to figure out – what I have to figure out.

"I have to be better. No matter what physical condition I'm in, no matter what – shoulder, foot – I didn't get the job done.

"It's time for me to look myself in the mirror and do some real soul searching because I had some opportunities and I didn't get it done."

Newton had two carries for zero yards and the lack of threat he offered on the ground helped the Bucs stop Christian McCaffrey, who had 37 yards rushing, on fourth-and-one from the two-yard line with one minute and 21 seconds left in the match.

"That's the thing that's most frustrating, having the talent and skillset we have and not putting up one touchdown," Newton said. "That's just unfortunate. It starts with me. I've got to be better."

Coach Ron Rivera dismissed questions about Newton's condition, the signal caller having undergone a second shoulder surgery in less than two years at the start of 2019.

"There's no issue with his shoulder. He threw the deep ball today, threw it a couple times," said Rivera.

Both teams had something to prove on Thursday and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came out on top against the Carolina Panthers 20-14.

Jameis Winston had to show that he was ready to lead the Buccaneers, while Panthers star Cam Newton had to prove he was ready to return to form as an NFL MVP.

Winston and Newton were coming off forgettable starts but only one was able to turn it around in week 2.

Winston was able to lead Tampa Bay past Carolina at Bank of America Stadium as the Panthers' winless start to the season continued.

The Bucs' defense helped shut down Newton and company, who had a chance to complete the comeback when they had the ball, trailing by six points, inside the five with time winding down. But a big defensive stop by Tampa Bay sealed the game.

Here are three takeaways from the Buccaneers' much-needed win over the Panthers.

 

The 'Quarterback Whisperer' finally got to Winston

Bruce Arians is known for his ability to fix quarterbacks. He has helped develop Pro Bowl signal-callers Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer. Now, Arians is tasked with turning around Winston's career.

Winston – the first overall pick in the 2015 draft – has underperformed after his Pro Bowl rookie season. Since joining the NFL, he has the most turnovers (79) and interceptions (61) in the NFL and is tied for the most fumbles lost (18) and his first game of the 2019 season did not look promising. He threw three interceptions while completing just over 55 per cent of his passes in last week's 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Normally, a quick turnaround to a Thursday night game would fatigue most players. But it seemed to do the opposite for a seemingly energised Winston.

He finished the game 16-of-25 passing for 208 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin.

Newton shut down by Bucs defense

Like Winston, Panthers QB Newton needed a big night. Unlike Winston, he was unable to do so against a tough Buccaneers defense.

Now how much was Newton self-sabotaging and how much was the effort of Tampa Bay, which has turned around under the leadership of Todd Bowles, is up for debate. But at the end of the night, Newton was sacked three times and had the ball punched out by the Bucs, who then recovered the fumble. He completed 25 of his 51 passes in the loss.

On its own, it could be chalked up to a poor night. But consecutive ineffective games is a troubling sign for the seemingly healthy Newton.

Did the Panthers ruin their playoff chances?

This is not a first, or second, week overreaction. Now that the Panthers are 0-2, they have a 12 per cent chance of making it to the postseason. The odds — unless they become the 2018 Houston Texans or Seattle Seahawks, who made the playoffs despite the dismal start — are not in their favour.

Both of Carolina's losses came at Bank of America Stadium, which is not ideal considering four of their next five games are on the road. If wins at home are hard to come by with a struggling Newton and Christian McCaffrey, who has yet to get going, then facing the likes of the Texans and Buccaneers (again) on their turf will be a big test for the team.

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