Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is tackled as he attempts a pass in his team's defeat to the Houston Texans
Los Angeles (AFP) - Trevor Lawrence’s NFL career got off to a losing start as the Jacksonville Jaguars suffered a season-opening 37-21 mauling by the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Number one draft pick Lawrence, one of the most highly rated college quarterbacks in years, was intercepted three times as the Jaguars were outplayed by a Texans line-up missing DeShaun Watson, who is battling sexual assault allegations.
With Watson sidelined, it was left to Texans back-up quarterback Tyrod Taylor to lead the AFC South side to a comfortable win.
Taylor threw for 291 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions as the Texans made a winning start to the season.
Lawrence meanwhile finished with three touchdowns and 332 passing yards from 28-of-51 completions.
In other early action on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers jolted the Super Bowl hopeful Buffalo Bills with a 23-16 victory on the road.
The Bills, aiming to build on a successful 2020 campaign which saw them reach the AFC Championship game, started smoothly as they edged into a 10-0 lead at half-time.
But Ben Roethlisberger’s pass to Diontae Johnson for a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter helped the Steelers take a 13-10 lead and then a blocked punt recovered by Ulysees Gilbert III in the endzone put Pittsburgh 10 points clear.
Steelers veteran quarterback Roethlisberger finished with 188 yards and one touchdown while the Bills offense managed just one score, with quarterback Josh Allen sacked three times.
Elsewhere, Evan McPherson kicked a 38-yard field goal in overtime to give the Cincinnati Bengals a 27-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
The game saw a successful return from injury for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who finished with 261 yards and two touchdowns after suffering torn knee ligaments in November last year.
In Detroit, the San Francisco 49ers held off a furious late rally from the Lions and new quarterback Jared Goff to claim a 41-33 victory.
The Lions fought back from 41-17 down early in the fourth quarter to move within one score of tying the game, but Detroit’s final drive stalled when Goff was unable to convert a fourth and long opportunity.
San Francisco’s rookie quarterback Trey Lance bagged the first touchdown pass of his career early in the first quarter before giving way to Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo threw for 314 yards and one touchdown.