Watch: Jets wide receiver slices Lions defence during stunning punt return to score long-range touchdown

Sam Darnold rolled right and made a rookie move, lobbing a football across the field that was picked off and returned for a touchdown.

It might've been his only mistake all night.

Darnold made a stellar debut after throwing a pick-6 on his first NFL snap, and the New York Jets intercepted five passes and also scored on special teams in a 48-17 rout over the Detroit Lions this morning.

The 21-year-old Darnold became the youngest quarterback to start a season opener since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and looked his age on the first play.

"Licking my chops a little bit too much, I think, on that play," he said

Quandre Diggs intercepted his ill-advised pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown 20 seconds into the game.

"On that interception, I was pretty nervous," Darnold said. "After that, I put it behind me."

The former USC star, drafted No. 3 overall, shook off the nerves and finished 16 of 21 for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

"He didn't flinch," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "He didn't even blink."

The Jets dominated in all phases.

They scored 31 straight in the third quarter to pull away, sending Detroit's fans for the exits and setting off a jolly green party in the Motor City. It was the highest-scoring third quarter in team history and trailed only the 34-point second quarter the Brett Favre-led team scored in 2008 against Arizona.

New York scored on the ground and through the air, on defense and on a punt return by former Lion Andre Roberts.

The Jets could've piled on even more in the final minutes but turned the ball over on downs after kneeling to take time off the clock.


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Most read: Italian Moto GP rider sacked after terrifying attempt to pull rival's brake

Disgraced Moto GP2 rider Romano Fenati has been sacked by his Marinelli Snipers Team, after attempting to pull a rival's brake in San Marimo yesterday.

Coming down a straight, Fenati rode alongside compatriot Stefano Manzi, pulling his brake while travelling at speeds of 225km/h.

Fenati was quickly disqualified for the incident, although there are now calls to see him never race again.

The Italian was initially given a two race suspension, before his contract was terminated by the Marinelli Snipers.

"We can communicate that the Marinelli Snipers Team shall terminate the contract with the rider Romano Fenati, from now on, for his unsporting, dangerous and damaging conduct for the image of all," a team statement said.

"With extreme regret, we have to note that his irresponsible act endangered the life of another rider and can't be apologised for in any way. The rider, from this moment, will not participate in any more races with the Marinelli Snipers team."

Fenati, 22, has since apologised for his behaviour, saying:

"I apologise to the whole sporting world," he said in an official statement.

"This morning, with a clear mind, I wish it had been just a bad dream. I think back to those moments, I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man!"
 


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Watch: MLB game brought to a standstill by adorable squirrel

The St. Louis Cardinals needed something to get them going yesterday against the Detroit Tigers.

Out of nowhere — again — a squirrel appeared.

In an episode sure to revive St. Louis fans' memories of the 2011 Rally Squirrel, this game at Comerica Park was scoreless going into the seventh inning. That's when a squirrel took up residence between second and third base.

There was a delay and, with some prompting, the critter moved into foul territory and eventually made its escape in right field.

The Cardinals wound up scoring five times in the inning and avoided a series sweep with a 5-2 victory. St. Louis has a one-game lead for the second NL wild card spot.

During the 2011 NL Division Series, a squirrel cut across the diamond at Busch Stadium, running right past home plate during a game against Philadelphia. The Cards went on to win the playoff series and later the championship — their World Series rings even depicted a squirrel.

The Cardinals John Gant (7-5) allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six. Carlos Martinez pitched the ninth for his second save.

Michael Fulmer (3-11) was perfect through five innings but only got four more outs. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out five, as he fell to 0-6 in his last nine starts.

Detroit's four-game winning streak was snapped.


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Watch: MLB outfielder's sliding catch goes horribly wrong, collides with stool of nearby security guard

Toronto first baseman Justin Smoak figured teammate Randal Grichuk never saw it coming.

Grichuk was injured in a bizarre collision with a security guard's chair, and replacement Tesocar Hernandez hit a three-run homer as the Blue Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 this afternoon.

The Indians' magic number to lock up their third straight AL Central title stayed at five.

Grichuk was checked for a possible concussion after slamming face-first into the guard's metal stool while chasing Brandon Guyer's foul fly in the fourth inning.

Initial concussion tests were negative, the Blue Jays said, but more tests will be done Monday. He's been diagnosed with multiple facial cuts but no fractures.

As Grichuk and Smoak sprinted toward the ball, a security staffer seated along the wall stood up and backed away from the area, carrying his stool and seemingly unaware the outfielder was closing in. Grichuk slid and made the catch, but crashed into the stool the staffer was holding by his side.

"I peeked at him and I saw him sliding, trying to make a play there, so I peeled out," Smoak said. "All of a sudden I heard him get clocked with a chair in the face. Scary right there for a second, but hopefully he's all right."

Grichuk stayed down for several minutes and was treated on the field by Blue Jays trainers. When he stood up to walk off, television images showed a long, swollen mark on his face, running across his nose and between his eyes.

Smoak said it's difficult to be aware of obstacles, especially because Toronto's domed roof makes it hard to look away from flyballs.

"We're worried about each other and the ball at the same time," Smoak said. "There's no chance either of us was thinking about the security guard."

Manager John Gibbons said he saw Grichuk in the clubhouse following the game.

"He was laughing a bit, so that was a good sign," Gibbons said. "He's a pretty boy, you don't want to hurt that face."


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Watch: Runaway touchdown in final minutes gives Packers dramatic win to start season

Aaron Rodgers' knee hurt. His arm was just fine.

The hobbling two-time NFL MVP threw three touchdown passes in the second half after returning from a knee injury, and the Green Bay Packers overcame a 20-point deficit for a thrilling 24-23 win over the Chicago Bears this afternoon.

Rodgers, who was carted off in the first half, connected with receiver Randall Cobb for a catch-and-run through the secondary for a 75-yard touchdown and the go-ahead score with 2:13 left in the game.

"Aaron Rodgers was remarkable. I just can't tell you how proud I am with him," coach Mike McCarthy said.

Nick Perry sacked the Bears' Mitchell Trubisky on fourth-and-10 with 58 seconds to complete the comeback.

A Chicago defense featuring newly acquired star linebacker Khalil Mack dominated until the third quarter. Mack had a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown against backup quarterback DeShone Kizer in the second quarter.

A gimpy Rodgers returned in the second half and finally figured out the Bears. He also found Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison for touchdown passes.

"Felt something in it. I had a hard time putting weight on it. (The doctor) and I had a conversation," Rodgers said of his knee. "We did the tests. I told him I was going back."

The Packers plan to run more tests on their QB on Monday, though Rodgers seems to think his availability for next week's game against Minnesota is a foregone conclusion.

"No, I'm planning on playing," Rodgers said.

Add the win over the Bears to Rodgers' already lengthy career highlight reel. He finished 20 of 30 for 286 yards.

"Obviously, that's a tough one for us. It stings," coach Matt Nagy said after his Bears debut.

It was Rodgers' first regular-season home game since Sept. 28 against the Bears. He was limited to seven games in 2017 because of a collarbone injury.

Mack nearly stole the show. He also stripped the ball for a turnover in the red zone off Kizer in the second quarter. Mack made an immediate impact in his first game since the Bears acquired the premier pass rusher in a blockbuster deal with the Oakland Raiders.

The Bears led 20-0 at one point and their defense dominated until the second half.

Then Rodgers returned, and the Packers' defense held the Bears in check.

Green Bay scored 17 unanswered points at one point.

"You know we talked about finishing and we didn't do that," Nagy said.

An offensive-minded coach, Nagy had the aggressive Bears' offense pushing the Packers around the field in the first half.

Mitchell Trubisky was 23 of 35 for 171 yards. He also ran for 32 yards on seven carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

It turned out to be the only offensive touchdown the Bears would score all night.

The Packers' defense, in new coordinator Mike Pettine's first game, held the Bears to two field goals in the second half.

Mack finished with three tackles.


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