Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks to pass in the Chiefs' 2019 season-opening NFL victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles (AFP) - Reigning Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 40-26 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on a bruising opening Sunday in the NFL.

Sammy Watkins grabbed nine passes for a career-high 198 yards and three touchdowns, taking over as the top target for Chiefs quarterback Mahomes after Tyreek Hill departed with a shoulder injury days after he inked a three-year, $54 million (48.9 million euros) deal last week.

Hill was later transported to hospital with what Chiefs head trainer Rick Burkholder called a “sternoclavicular joint injury which is where your clavicle comes into your sternum”.

With the possibility of complications, the Chiefs opted to have Hill treated by an ortho-trauma physician in hospital.

The news was possibly worse for the Jaguars, who lost quarterback Nick Foles to a broken left clavicle less than a quarter into his debut for the team.

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said there was no timetable for Foles’s return after surgery expected on Monday.

“It was unfortunate,” Marrone said. “You’d really like to see how the game would’ve worked itself out with Nick.”

In his absence, rookie sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew threw for 275 yards and two TDs in an outstanding debut that still wasn’t enough.

“I was really proud of him for stepping up,” Foles said after the game, talking to reporters with his arm in a sling. “And I’m going to be here to help him any way possible.”

- Jack goes down fighting -

The Jaguars also lost rookie linebacker Quincy Williams to a knee injury in the second half, and had linebacker Myles Jack ejected in the second quarter after he threw a punch at Kansas City receiver Demarcus Robinson.

Jack had to be restrained by team officials and escorted off the field.

The fracas gave Mahomes – who threw for 50 touchdowns on the way to MVP honors last season – time to leave the field and have his left ankle taped without missing a play.

Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers hurdles Los Angeles Rams player Eric Weddle in the Rams' NFL season-opening victory over the Panthers

Los Angeles Rams safety Eric Weddle suffered a frightening head laceration in his team’s 30-27 win over the Panthers in Carolina.

Weddle was carted off the field in the first half to have treatment for the bloody wound and a concussion evaluation.

With less than six minutes left in the second half, Weddle attempted to tackle Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey as he rushed toward the right sideline. McCaffrey tried to hurdle over Weddle and ended up catching him with a knee to the right side of his helmet.

- Ravens soar -

Early division clashes saw the Baltimore Ravens run riot in a 59-10 victory over the Dolphins in Miami, where Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for a career-high 324 passing yards and a club-record five passing touchdowns. He connected on 17 of 20 passes for a club-record 85 percent completion rate.

The high-flying Ravens offense saw tight end Mark Andrews record eight catches for 108 yards – both career highs. Rookie wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown reeled in four catches for 147 yards, and two touchdowns.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles rallied for a 32-27 victory over NFC East rivals Washington, battling back from deficits of 17-0 and 20-7 with three straight second-half touchdowns and a field goal on four possessions.

Even as the Eagles offense led by quarterback Carson Wentz came alive, Philadelphia’s defense held the Redskins to zero second-half points and no first downs until they had built a 32-20 lead with some three minutes remaining.

There was a big comeback for the Buffalo Bills, who rallied from a 16-0 deficit to beat the New York Giants 17-16 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.