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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oilers Win Tennessee Debut, Fans Stay Away

NEW YORK -- The Tennessee Oilers' first game was a rousing success on the field, if not in the stands.


In the wildest game of a wacky, high-scoring opening day in the U.S. National Football League, the Oilers got 216 yards rushing from Eddie George. But they needed a vintage drive led by Steve McNair and capped by a 33-yard field goal by Al Del Greco to beat Oakland 24-21 in overtime in the first NFL regular-season game played in Tennessee.


Only 30,171 fans showed up at the 62,000-seat Liberty Bowl in Memphis, and many of them wore Raiders black and cheered for Oakland. But a few Oilers who came out for a curtain call after the game found an appreciative audience.


Del Greco's field goal with 8:03 left in overtime ended the game after a 60-yard drive in which McNair completed passes of 21 and 10 yards and scrambled for 11 more.


George, last season's offensive rookie of the year, had 216 yards rushing in 35 carries, the second-highest total on opening day in NFL history behind O.J. Simpson's 250 yards for Buffalo in 1973.


George appeared to have given the Oilers, who moved from Houston this year, a victory when he burst 29 yards on a third-and-5 play with 2:04 left, then bulled in for a 2-point conversion for a 21-14 lead.


But quarterback Jeff George took Oakland downfield and tied the game with a 16-yard scoring pass to Tim Brown, who caught eight passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns. George was 21-for-37 for 298 yards.


Rams 38, Saints 24. In St. Louis, Lawrence Phillips ran for a career-best 125 yards and three touchdowns, one short of his rookie-year total, and the host Rams forced five turnovers to spoil Mike Ditka's return and make Dick Vermeil's a success.


Phillips, limited to two carries for 3 yards by a sore left knee in the preseason finale, had 26 attempts Sunday, and he scored on runs of 1, 25 and 5 yards.


Patriots 41, Chargers 7. In Foxboro, Massachusetts, Drew Bledsoe ran Pete Carroll's offense with precision, throwing touchdown passes to four receivers in the first half and leading New England to an easy victory over Kevin Gilbride and visiting San Diego.


In the first half, the Patriots scored on five of six possessions, while the defense recovered two fumbles, forced four punts, sacked Stan Humphries three times and allowed no points. Humphries left with a dislocated throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter.


Bledsoe completed 26 of 39 passes for 340 yards.


Buccaneers 13, 49ers 6. In Tampa Bay, Steve Young and Jerry Rice left injured, leaving San Francisco without its two biggest weapons for most of the game.


Trent Dilfer threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dave Moore, and Michael Husted kicked field goals of 40 and 34 yards to give the Bucs the victory in Steve Mariucci's debut for the 49ers.


Young returned in the third quarter after taking a knee to the head, and Rice injured his left knee on a reverse in the second quarter.


Broncos 19, Chiefs 3. Terrell Davis ran for 101 yards and the game's only touchdown, a 10-yard burst early in the final period, and Jason Elam kicked four field goals for host Denver.


John Elway, shrugging off the ruptured biceps tendon he suffered on Aug. 4 and a hand injury just before the half, completed 17 of 28 passes for 246 yards as the Broncos opened the season gaining 378 yards.


Jets 41, Seahawks 3. Neil O'Donnell, a bust with the Jets a year ago when they had only one victory, passed for a career-high five touchdowns as New York rolled over Seattle's rebuilt defense. O'Donnell was 18-for-25 for 270 yards with no interceptions. Adrian Murrell rushed for 131 yards on 24 carries.


The Seahawks lost starting quarterback John Friesz in the final minute of the first half with a broken thumb.


Cowboys 37, Steelers 7. Troy Aikman, making his 126th NFL start, gave Kordell Stewart, making his first, a lesson in the art of big-play quarterbacking at Pittsburgh.


Aikman threw four touchdown passes for only the third time in his career -- two to Michael Irvin, who caught seven passes for 153 yards.


Aikman finished 19 of 30 for 295 yards and no interceptions in his most proficient game since he threw for four touchdowns against the Bills in the January 1993 Super Bowl.


Giants 31, Eagles 17. Tiki Barber scored on a 1-yard run and made two big plays to set up a touchdown pass in Jim Fassel's debut as New York coach.


The Giants defense played a big role with nine sacks, and safety Sam Garnes returned a fourth-quarter interception 95 yards after visiting Philadelphia cut a 24-3 deficit to 24-17. New York recorded 30 sacks last year.


Dave Brown ran 3 yards for a touchdown and passed to Chris Calloway for a touchdown.


Dolphins 16, Colts 10. Dan Marino struggled, but Olindo Mare kicked his first three NFL field goals and safety Shawn Wooden produced three turnovers for host Miami against Indianapolis.


Marino, playing in his 200th game at the start of his 15th season, completed just 10 of 26 passes for 105 yards. Linebacker Elijah Alexander returned Marino's only interception 43 yards for a touchdown.


Wooden recovered a fumble and had two interceptions against Jim Harbaugh, who completed 14 of 29 passes for 109 yards.


Redskins 24, Panthers 10. Terry Allen ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns as Washington handed Carolina its first loss in the 10-game history of Ericsson Stadium.


The Panthers allowed just one touchdown in the second half all last season, but the Redskins doubled that total Sunday night.


(For other results, see Scorecard.