Panthers overcome turnovers to knock off Bears

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Chicago Bears forced three first-half turnovers and linebacker Jonathan Bostic returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown, but the Carolina Panthers spoiled Marc Trestman’s NFL head coaching debut with a 24-17 win over Friday.

Cam Newton threw a touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell in Carolina's 24-17 victory over Chicago.   MIKE MCCARN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIKE MCCARN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cam Newton threw a touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell in Carolina's 24-17 victory over Chicago.

Chicago’s offense, however, left plenty of room for improvement.

Jay Cutler was intercepted on his first play from scrimmage by Josh Norman, setting up a touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell. Cutler completed 6 of 8 passes for 56 yards but the Bears had three turnovers and allowed seven sacks.

Newton was 3 of 6 for 16 yards.

Norman had two interceptions, including one he returned 60 yards for a score.

TEXANS 27, VIKINGS 13

In Minneapolis, former Clemson star DeAndre Hopkins caught a 34-yard touchdown pass for Houston in a victory over Minnesota.

The Vikings showcased their rookie wide receiver, too, during a flashy first half by Cordarrelle Patterson.

Hopkins, the 27th overall pick in the draft, had four receptions for 52 yards. Patterson, taken two slots later, caught four passes for 54 yards and returned the opening kickoff 50 yards.

Christian Ponder, entering a critical third season for his future as Minnesota’s quarterback, only took those two snaps.

JETS 26, LIONS 17

In Detroit, Mark Sanchez had an interception returned for a touchdown, and Geno Smith left with an apparent ankle injury in New York’s loss to the Lions.

Lions rookie Ziggy Ansah made an immediate impression, intercepting Sanchez’s pass and returning it 14 yards for a touchdown. The 6-foot-5 defensive end from Ghana put his hands up just in time to pick off Sanchez’s screen pass in the first quarter. He had an easy return to the end zone for the game’s first TD.

Sanchez played three series, going 10 of 13 for 125 yards and a touchdown. Smith was 6 of 7 for 47 yards but left shortly after halftime.

Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, a former Georgia star, was 3 of 8 for 58 yards.

PATRIOTS 31, EAGLES 22

In Philadelphia, Tom Brady led New England to a pair of 80-yard TD drives in his only two series in a win over the Eagles.

Michael Vick threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, but the new-look Eagles kicked off the Chip Kelly era the same way they ended Andy Reid’s long tenure – with another loss.

Kelly’s biggest decision will be picking a starting quarterback. Vick and Nick Foles each led the Eagles to a touchdown in two series apiece.

Vick’s came against New England’s starters and he looked sharp, completing 4 of 5 passes for 94 yards. Foles lost a fumble on his second play and then went 5 of 6 for 43 yards.

CARDINALS 17, PACKERS 0

In Green Bay, Wis., Stepfan Taylor rushed for 63 yards on 21 carries in his rookie debut, and Arizona picked apart the Packers on both sides of the ball on their way to a victory.

Tyrann Mathieu had a sack in his first game in two years, and also returned two punts for Arizona, which was playing its first game under new coach Bruce Arians.

Aaron Rodgers connected with James Jones on a 50-yard gain in his only series.

DOLPHINS 27, JAGUARS 3

In Jacksonville, Fla., Ryan Tannehill connected with Dustin Keller for a 22-yard touchdown, and Miami thumped the Jaguars.

Tannehill completed 5 of 9 passes for 75 yards.

Jacksonville finished with four turnovers.

Blaine Gabbert was hoping to make a strong impression in Jacksonville’s preseason opener. But he looked a lot like he did in his first two seasons, completing 5 of 10 passes for 19 yards, with an interception.


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