It was unclear exactly when he was injured but he went to the locker room in the second quarter.
Watt was playing in his first game since Sept. 22, 2016, after missing 13 games following his second back surgery. Also injured on Houston’s defense was linebacker Brian Cushing, who was being evaluated for a concussion. — Associated Press
Raiders Take Advantage of Titans’ Gamble
The Oakland Raiders, known for their pass-heavy offense, got off to a fast start in Week 1, but it was a pair of field goals from a backup kicker that proved key in giving the team a 13-10 lead over the Tennessee Titans going into halftime.
Here’s the Raiders-Titans box score.
The Titans got a little cute at the start of the game, becoming the first team since 2009 to open the season with an onside kick attempt. The Raiders were not fooled, and Shalom Luani, a rookie safety, recovering the ball.
Given a short field, Derek Carr was all business, leading a four-play 50-yard drive that featured the return of Marshawn Lynch — who rumbled for a signature 14-yard run — and a terrific play in the red zone from Amari Cooper, who caught a short pass, stayed on his feet after initial contact, and then fought threw the defense into the end zone for an 8-yard score.
It was a surprising play considering the fact that Cooper was targeted just 13 times in the red zone last season according to SportRadar, and while he caught five of those passes, he did not score.
The reason Cooper may not be Oakland’s typical red zone target was apparent on Oakland’s second drive of the game. Carr led the team to Tennessee’s 2-yard line but then had three consecutive passes go in and out of Cooper’s hands, making the Raiders resort to a 20-yard field goal by Giorgio Tavecchio after a 73-yard drive.
Carr finished the half having completed 13 of 18 passes for 153 yards, while Lynch ran the ball 6 times for 29 yards, looking like the Beast Mode of old on a few plays, including a fourth-down conversion in which he was hit in the backfield but managed to fight past the defender to extend the drive.
But the unexpected star of the half was Tavecchio, who kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired in the half. With his two kicks in the half, Tavecchio became the first place-kicker other than Sebastian Janikowski to kick a field goal for the Raiders since Brad Daluiso kicked one in relief of Janikowski in the final game of the 2001 season.
The Titans, led by Marcus Mariota, came into the game favored at home, and largely kept pace thanks to a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Mariota and a 23-yard field goal by Ryan Succop.
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Other First-Half Scores and Highlights
Steelers strike first: Despite the Raiders’ score coming just two minutes and 11 seconds into the game, the Raiders were not the first team to score on Sunday. That honor went to the Pittsburgh Steelers who blocked a punt on the Cleveland Browns’ opening drive, with Anthony Chickillo recovering the ball and taking it in for a score.
Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer put the Browns on the board with a 1-yard run, but that was about all the offense Cleveland could come up with. They trail the Steelers, 14-7 at halftime.
Cardinals-Lions: The Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions can both generate a lot of offense, but the only scoring of the game in the first half came from defense and special teams. Carson Palmer threw two interceptions, one of which was returned 82 yards for a touchdown by Justin Bethel, and the Lions had to settle for three field goals, resulting in Arizona leading Detroit 10-9 at the half.
The Big Matchups
■ Aaron Rodgers will lead the Green Bay Packers against the Seattle Seahawks in today’s best matchup. He hopes to repeat the success he had in Week 14 last season, when he walked away with a 38-10 victory. Seattle should be able to put up more of a fight with the return of Earl Thomas, the team’s standout safety, and the addition of Sheldon Richardson to their already-formidable front-seven.
Our picks for every game against the spread.
■ Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys will start against the Giants tonight, and may be…