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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 21 May, 2018

Jacksonville defence nails 10 sacks in comfortable win over Houston

Meanwhile, Derek Carr returned from injury to lead the Raiders to victory.

Image: Erik Williams

JACKSONVILLE REGISTERED 10 sacks and forced four turnovers in their 29-7 victory over Houston this weekend in the 2017 regular-season opener.

Houston quarterback Tom Savage was sacked six times by the Jaguars’ defence in the first half, and defensive end Calais Campbell executed a career-high four sacks for Jacksonville, with 3.5 of them coming in the first half.

Leading by 19 at half-time, the Jaguars pressed on with a consistent running game to claim victory over a side that was hoping to bring some relief to fans who had been affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette made a regular season debut to remember. He rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries

Meanwhile, Blake Bortles threw for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Houston’s JJ Watt made a return after missing 13 games last season due to back problems, but an injury to his finger limited him to just one tackle.

Derek Carr inspires Raiders

Quaterback Derek Carr marked his return from a broken leg with three touchdown passes, as the Oakland Raiders defeated Tennessee 26-16.

Carr’s injury in Week 16 last season dampened their hopes of winning a Superbowl last year, but his return brings renewed optimism back to the Raiders.

They registered a 12-win campaign last season, which adds to the sense of expectation this year.

Marshawn Lynch also had an impact on the Raiders’ win.

The Titans managed to reduce the deficit to 23-16 with just under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and Lynch was instrumental in helping the Raiders to close the game.

He combined with Jalen Richard for 34 yards and three first downs to take 3:40 off the clock.

Giorgio Tavecchio subsequently hit a fourth field goal of the game to secure the win.

Flawless Ravens

Meanwhile, the Ravens managed not to concede any points in a 20-0 victory over the Bengals.

Their defence impressed with five turnovers and five sacks as well as restricting the Bengals to 221 yards.

The only previous occasions where the Ravens came away with a shutout win in an opener were in 2000 and 2006.

Results (some games are ongoing at time of publishing) :

Houston Texans 7 @ 29 Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans 16 @ 26 Oakland Raiders

Cincinnati Bengals 0 @ 20 Baltimore Ravens

Washington 17 @ 30 Philadelphia Eagles

Buffalo Bills 21 @ 12 New York Jets

Chicago Bears 17 @ 23 Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns 18 @ 21 Pittsburgh Steelers

Detroit Lions 35 @ 23 Arizona Cardinals

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