- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MIAMI — Desperate to slow down Tom Brady, the Miami Dolphins tried playing 12 men on defense.

That didn’t work. They drew a penalty. Using only 11 defenders was even worse.

Brady threw for a team-record 517 yards and four touchdowns, including a 99-yarder to Wes Welker, and the New England Patriots opened their season Monday night by beating Miami 38-24.

Brady and the reigning AFC East champions picked up where they left off last season, when he was a unanimous choice for NFL MVP, and his team led the league in scoring.

“He’s a great quarterback,” teammate Aaron Hernandez said, “and the world knows that.”

New England totaled 622 yards, the most in franchise history and the most allowed by Miami. Brady’s performance overshadowed Miami’s Chad Henne, who threw for a career-high 416 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for another.

Raiders’ Janikowski savors tying FG record

DENVER — Sebastian Janikowski figures his celebration over his long field goal will be short-lived. After all, Matt Prater kicks at this altitude eight times a year to Janikowki’s one.

“He’s the only guy I’ve got to worry about if he’s going to break the record,” Janikowski said after his record-tying 63-yarder helped the Oakland Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 23-20 Monday night.

Janikowski said he dreamt of just such a historic field goal Saturday night and nailed a kick from 70 yards out during warmups.

His 63-yard kick tumbled above the crossbar near the left upright as the first half expired, giving Oakland a 16-3 lead.

The Raiders (1-0) won in Denver for the fourth straight season in coach Hue Jackson’s NFL coaching debut, and handed the Broncos (0-1) their first loss in a home opener since 2000.

Denver also lost two key playmakers in the process.

Pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil was relegated to situational duty for three quarters after irritating a left shoulder injury that he originally sustained during practice last week.

Perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey injured his left hamstring making a touchdown-saving tackle of Darren McFadden, who ran 22 times for 150 yards.

Around the league

STEELERS: Pittsburgh placed starting right tackle Willie Colon on the injured reserve list and signed well-traveled veteran Jamon Meredith. Colon, 28, suffered a torn triceps Sunday at Baltimore. He missed the entire 2010 season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in mini-camp.

COWBOYS: Dallas signed journeyman Frank Walker to bolster a depleted corps of cornerbacks. Orlando Scandrick is expected to miss at least the upcoming game because of an ankle injury, and Terence Newman has been sidelined since early in training camp because of a groin injury. Mike Jenkins was in and out of the opener because of a variety of injuries, leaving the Cowboys down to their fourth- and fifth-stringers, plus a backup safety.

CHARGERS: Kicker Nick Novak agreed to a contract with San Diego. Novak replaces Nate Kaeding, who tore a ligament in his left leg during the opening kickoff Sunday and will miss the rest of the season.

BROWNS: Cleveland signed veteran punter Brad Maynard to replace Richmond McGee, who suffered a herniated disk in his back during pregame warmups Sunday and is out for the season. Maynard, a 14-year NFL veteran, played the past 10 seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was released in July and spent the exhibition season with Houston.

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