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Afp

Brown scores in Pats debut as NFL champs thump Dolphins

By AFP
media New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown hauls in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in a 43-0 NFL victory over the Miami Dolphins GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

With controversial receiver Antonio Brown on board, even a trip to Miami proved no stumbling block to the NFL champion New England Patriots.

The Patriots, led by superstar quarterback Tom Brady, had lost five of their last six games in Miami, but they crushed the Dolphins 43-0 on Sunday as Brown caught four passes for 56 yards in a touchdown in his first game for the Super Bowl champions.

The Patriots inked Brown on Monday, after he engineered his departure from the Oakland Raiders but before a civil lawsuit was filed against him by his former trainer accusing him of sexually assaulting her.

There was speculation that Brown would end up sidelined on the NFL commissioner's exempt list as the league looked into those allegations.

But with no criminal charges pending Brown was free to play, and the Patriots wasted no time in making use of him.

"I don't make any of those decisions, so I just show up and do my job," said Brady, who found Brown with a 20-yard touchdown pass shortly before halftime.

After Brown jumped into the stands in celebration he descended to get a hug from Brady.

"I was just trying to find the open guy," said Brady, who threw for two touchdowns to help the Pats improve to 2-0 in the fledgling season. "He was snapping off some route sand did a great job, it was good to find him."

As in week one, New England's defense was outstanding, scoring twice on interception returns in the space of two minutes in the fourth quarter.

Patriots defenders amassed seven sacks and four interceptions, limiting the hapless Dolphins to 184 yards.

Miami, who have been out-scored 10-102 in two defeats, pulled quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick after he surrendered his pick-six of the contest.

"Everybody contributed," Brady said. "Defense played great, as they have been. Anytime you win on the road, in division, it's good -- especially here because it's been a challenge for us."

- Prescott shines -

The Dallas Cowboys improved to 2-0 with a second straight win over an NFC East division foe, downing the Redskins 31-21 in Washington.

Quarterback Dak Prescott completed 26 of 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns - atoning for a lone interception on the second drive of the game.

Prescott responded by piloting the Cowboys to touchdowns on three straight drives. Dallas sealed the game with a touchdown run by Ezekiel Elliott that pushed the score to 31-14.

There were closer calls for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions.

The Texans emerged 13-12 winners over Jacksonville after Houston's Justin Reid stopped Jags running back Leonard Fournette on a two-point conversion effort with 36 seconds left.

The Seahawks held on for a 28-26 win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh, where Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson led three straight scoring drives in the second half.

After Pittsburgh had trimmed the deficit to two points with 5:54 to play, Wilson and the Seattle offense were able to hold onto the ball and the win against a Steelers team that saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger depart with an elbow injury at halftime.

The Colts edged the Tennessee Titans 19-17 in Nashville and the Lions defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 13-10 after Detroit defender Darius Slay grabbed a poorly thrown pass by Philip Rivers in the end zone with 1:03 remaining.

 
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