Quarterbacks get the big money in the National Football League because more often than not the outcome of games turns on their performances. QBs were definitely in the spotlight on Kickoff Sunday in the NFL -- for both good and bad reasons.
Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints tied a franchise record with six touchdown passes in a win over Detroit, which now has lost 18 straight regular season games since 2007.
Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys threw three scoring bombs in a win at Tampa Bay.
Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts did his usual, directing a long drive for what turned out to be the winning touchdown against visiting Jacksonville.
Now for the bad news:
Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles suffered a cracked lower rib in a rout over Carolina in Charlotte.
McNabb and the Eagles were helped by a miserable performance by Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, who threw four interceptions and lost a fumble.
> Top Dog
Giants 23, Redskins 17
Closing line: Giants (-6 1/2 ).
The scoop: The Giants got one big play on offense and another on defense. New York led all the way after Lawrence Tynes kicked the first of his three field goals in the opening quarter. Eli Manning's 30-yard pass to Mario Manningham and Osi Umenyiora's 37-yard return of a fumble by Washington QB Jason Campbell made it 17-0 before halftime.
Why the Giants won: They controlled the clock, 36:08 to 23:52.
Quote: "He's got to get rid of the ball. The protection on that particular play was outstanding." -- Redskins coach Jim Zorn on Campbell's the sack and fumble Campbell that resulted in a touchdown.
> The contenders
Packers 20, Bears 15
Closing line: Packers (-4).
The scoop: Greg Jennings got behind the Chicago defense for a 50-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers with 1:18 left to win it. The same combination clicked on the two-point conversion. Robbie Gould's 21-yard field goal with 2:35 left had given the Bears the lead. Jay Cutler, who was intercepted four times, passed 36 yards to Devin Hester for the Chicago touchdown.
Why the Packers won: They limited the Bears to a field goal after Chicago had first and goal from the 5 with 3:48 left.
Ravens 38, Chiefs 24
Closing line: Ravens (-13).
The scoop: Joe Flacco of the Ravens passed for three touchdowns to lead Baltimore, which got a scare from the underdog Chiefs. Kansas City, playing on the road without starting quarterback Matt Cassel, tied the game at 24-all with 5:21 left on a 10-yard pass from Brodie Croyle to Buffalo native Sean Ryan, but then gave up a 74-yard march for the go-ahead touchdown. The score came on a 31-yard Flacco-to-Mark Clayton pass with 2:06 left.
Why the Ravens won: Chiefs ran for only 29 yards and a 1.7 average, while Ravens pounded out 41 carries for 198 yards (4.8 average).
Eagles 38, Panthers 10
Closing line: Eagles (-2 1/2 ).
The scoop: Delhomme gift-wrapped this one. McNabb left the game with a cracked rib suffered when he scored the game's final touchdown on a 3-yard run with 6:59 left in the third quarter.
Why the Eagles won: Philadelphia managed only 267 yards total offense, but didn't need much. The Eagles had scoring drives of 1 (FG), 9 (TD) and 10 (TD) yards and got another score on an 85-yard punt return by DeSean Jackson. . . . Carolina converted only 3 of 16 third downs.
Quote: "He's not going to get much sleep these next few days, but Donovan's a tough guy." -- Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, who broke a rib last season.
Colts 14, Jaguars 12
Closing line: Colts (-7).
The scoop: Peyton Manning capped an 86-yard drive by hitting Reggie Wayne on a 35-yard pass with 6:56 left in the third quarter for what proved to be the winning points in Jim Caldwell's first game as Colts head coach. Visiting Jacksonville drew to within two points on a Maurice Jones-Drew's 7-yard run with 11:07 left.
Why the Colts won: Jacksonville QB David Garrard was sacked only once but had little time to throw downfield. Garrard completed 14 passes, but for only an 8.7-yard average.
Quote: "I've never felt comfortable with comparisons with him. I think he's kind of in his own category, but I am proud of those wins." -- Manning, who tied Johnny Unitas' Colts record for career wins (118) as a starting quarterback.
Saints 45, Lions 27
Closing line: Saints (-13 1/2 ).
The scoop: Brees thrilled Superdome fans by tying Billy Kilmer's New Orleans team record (1969) with six touchdown passes. The Saints led all the way in spoiling the debut of Jim Schwartz as Lions coach. Brees completed 26 of 34 for 358 yards with one interception and was not sacked. Two of the scoring passes went to TE Jeremy Shockey.
Why the Saints won: Lions rookie quarterback Matt Stafford had little help. Detroit gained only 33 yards on the ground, averaging 1.7 per attempt. Stafford threw three interceptions, two by Darren Sharper. . . . Brees, meanwhile, had help from his running game. Mike Bell ran 28 times for 143 yards (5.1 average).
> The pretenders
Cowboys 34, Buccaneers 21
Closing line: Cowboys (-5 1/2 ).
The scoop: Dallas QB Tony Romo threw scoring passes of 42 (to Miles Austin), 66 (to Roy Williams) and 80 yards (to Patrick Crayton). The bomb to Crayton came just 62 seconds after Derrick Ward's 1-yard run had brought the host Bucs to within 20-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Why the Cowboys won: The Tampa Bay pass defense blew several deep coverages as the Cowboys averaged 22.1 yards for 16 completions. . . . Dallas survived despite giving up 174 yards (5.6 average) on the ground and 276 passing.
Quote: "Career-high passing yards? Without T.O.?," Dallas receiver Roy Williams on Romo's performance.
49ers 20, Cardinals 16
Closing line: Cardinals (-6 1/2 ).
The scoop: Arizona lost to an NFC West opponent for the first time since 2007 after rallying from a 10-point deficit to take a 16-13 lead. Then Shaun Hill of the 49ers directed a 15-play, 80-yard drive and hit Frank Gore with a 3-yard touchdown pass with 7:26 to play for the winning score.
Why the 49ers won: San Francisco held the Cards to 40 rushing, intercepted Kurt Warner twice and sacked him three times. Arizona was penalized 12 times for 82 yards.
Broncos 12, Bengals 7
Closing line: Bengals (-4 1/2 ).
The scoop: Denver luck lives. Brandon Stokley plucked a deflected pass out of the air and ran 87 yards with 11 seconds left to win the game. Tje Bengals had taken the lead on Cedric Benson's 1-yard run with 38 seconds left. Cincy defensive back Leon Hall batted a pass intended for Brandon Marshall into the air to Stokley.
Why the Broncos won: Denver gave up only one touchdown even though the Bengals had 307 total yards.
Quote: "You know you need a miracle, and that's basically what we got. When I scored, I just remember it being quiet, and that was a good feeling." -- Stokley of the Broncos.
> Dog of the day
Seahawks 28, Rams 0
Closing line: Seahawks (-8).
The scoop: Matt Hasselbeck threw for three touchdowns after two of his first three passes were intercepted. . . . The Rams, who dropped their ninth straight to Seattle, lost a touchdown on a blocked field goal return in the final minute of the first half. Video review showed they had 12 men on the field.
Why the Seahawks won: Marc Bulger was sacked three times and St. Louis converted only 2 of 17 third downs.
Compiled from Associated Press and news wire services