(Reuters) - Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers sliced up the Washington Redskins’ defense while new dad Joe Flacco led the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens to a hard-fought win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Rodgers soared to a career-high 480 yards passing and four touchdowns and running back James Starks added 132 yards and a touchdown rushing as the Packers dominated the visiting Redskins 38-20, leading 31-0 at one point.
“I didn’t feel great before the game,” Rodgers told reporters. “My neck was really bothering me and was stiff… but once the adrenaline started going I just kind of get into a rhythm.”
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III completed 26 of 40 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Flacco and his wife welcomed a baby boy just hours before the game and the quarterback quickly returned to work, throwing for 211 yards and a score in the 14-6 home triumph.
Baltimore’s defense came up big and knocked out Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden in the fourth quarter when he left with a thumb injury. The defense also sacked Weeden five times.
In the battle of the Mannings, Peyton and the Denver Broncos had the upper hand beating Eli and the New York Giants 41-23.
Denver scored 21 consecutive points to break open a 17-16 game.
Peyton had two touchdowns tosses, completing 30 of 43 attempts for 307 yards as the Broncos went to 2-0.
Younger brother Eli was intercepted four times and sacked once. He was 28 of 49 passing for 362 yards in losing to Peyton for the third consecutive time.
But there were plenty of thrills as teams marked Week Two of the National Football League season. Several games went to the closing seconds and the Houston Texans needed overtime to defeat the Tennessee Titans 30-24.
Matt Schaub tossed a three-yard touchdown to rookie DeAndre Hopkins for Houston’s winning score.
Schaub threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns. He led an 87-yard drive at the end of the fourth quarter to tie the score and overcome a stiff challenge from the Titans.
In Kansas City, the Chiefs beat the Dallas Cowboys 17-16 and improve to 2-0 under new coach Andy Reid.
Alex Smith tossed for two scores and the Chiefs’ defense forced a pair third-quarter fumbles against Dallas and Tony Romo who threw for 298 yards and got 141 receiving yards and a score from Dez Bryant.
In Philadelphia, Nick Novak kicked a 46-yard field goal with seven seconds left as the San Diego Chargers took a 33-30 shootout win over the Eagles.
The Eagles had tied the score about a minute and a half earlier, but Philip Rivers got the final say against Michael Vick, finishing with 419 yards passing and three scores to Vick’s 428 yards and three total TDs, two of them passing.
In Chicago, Jay Cutler tossed a 16-yarder to tight end Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds remaining in the game to help give the Bears a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Cutler threw for three scores to overcome a pair of interceptions and a fumble, and the Bears drove the field after falling behind 30-24 with about three minutes left.
E.J. Manuel’s two-yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson with two seconds left enabled the Buffalo Bills to defeat the visiting Carolina Panthers 24-23.
In another thrilling finish, Garrett Hartley’s field goal from 27 yards as time expired lifted the New Orleans Saints to a 16-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game delayed by lightning.
In Atlanta, Matt Ryan threw two touchdowns and offseason pickup Osi Umenyiora returned his first career interception for a touchdown in the Falcons’ 31-24 win over the St. Louis Rams.
Receiver Julio Jones had 11 catches for 182 yards and a score, but Falcons running back Steven Jackson left the game with a thigh injury in the first quarter.
In Indianapolis, Ryan Tannehill passed for 319 yards to help the Miami Dolphins defeat the Indianapolis Colts 24-20.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 321 yards, but his final drive stalled at the Dolphins’ 23 yard-line in the rare home loss.
Elsewhere Oakland and Arizona gained their first wins of the season, the Raiders stopping Jacksonville 19-9 and Arizona’s Cardinals slipping past the Detroit Lions 25-21.
Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Seattle, Editing by Gene Cherry