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NFL preseason 2015 scores and results: Steelers' win over Packers overshadowed by injuries, Titans and 49ers roll

The Steelers beat the Packers on the back of two fourth-quarter touchdowns on Sunday, while the Titans beat the Rams and San Francisco routed Dallas.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers combined for a solid preseason game that was ultimately marred by multiple injuries. The Steelers wound up putting together a fourth-quarter comeback to win the game, 24-19. To make matters worse for the Packers, they lost wide receiver Jordy Nelson to an injury, reported to be a torn ACL.

Green Bay's starting offense was in sync from the onset, with Aaron Rodgers finding Randall Cobb and Nelson multiple times on the opening drive. He hit Cobb for a beautiful, almost effortless 30-yard pass, and found Nelson twice for 24 yards before starting running back Eddie Lacy scored the game's first points with a 7-yard rush.

This being the preseason, the Packers gave the two-point conversion a try and the run from James Starks was successful, giving them an eight-point lead in the first quarter.

Pittsburgh's starting offense found similar success in moving the ball down the field, but the Steelers didn't manage to turn that into points on their opening drive. After James Harrison sacked Rodgers for a safety, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came out for another drive, taking over near midfield. He found Markus Wheaton for a 20-yard pass and then again for a 5-yard touchdown to put the Steelers on top. At that point, the backups started coming in, but not until there were a few notable injuries.

The Steelers lost starting center Maurkice Pouncey and defensive end Stephon Tuitt with ankle injuries. Both players were carted to the locker room from the sidelines. The Packers lost Nelson and right guard T.J. Lang to injuries. Lang walked off the field on his own power and was being evaluated for a concussion.

Rodgers finished his day with 4 of 5 completions for 57 yards, while Lacy totaled six carries for 30 yards. Roethlisberger completed 11 of 14 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, with neither starting quarterback throwing an interception. Le'Veon Bell rushed for 16 yards on six carries, Wheaton finished with three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown, and Antonio Brown grabbed four receptions for 24 yards.

As far as the backups are concerned, Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien completed 11 of 19 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Steelers backup Bruce Gradkowski completed 3 of 5 passes for 25 yards. Landry Jones started off poorly behind Gradkowski, completing just 3 of 10 passes with an interception, but he wound up finishing 10 for 19 for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Steelers backup running back DeAngelo Williams, who will start for the first two weeks while Bell serves a suspension, held up fine with four carries for 20 yards.

3 things we learned from Sunday's games

NaVorro Bowman is back

Bowman suited up Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, his first game since destroying his knee in the 2014 NFC Championship. The Cowboys didn't give him a chance to slowly work his way back into things, running at him on the first play.

Did it work?


Bowman didn't play long, but he was in on three tackles, and looked pretty good for a guy who hadn't gone at full speed in 19 months. Given everything that the San Francisco 49ers have lost during this offseason, a healthy Bowman playing at his pre-injury level would be a huge boost to their chances.

Nick Foles is still boom-or-bust

The St. Louis Rams were so excited about picking up Nick Foles this summer that they signed him to a two-year contract extension that guarantees him $14 million and could go as high as $24 million. All that before Foles had taken a single snap in St. Louis.

Foles went 3-of-5 in the preseason opener, including a 35-yard pass to Tavon Austin, and Rams fans were hoping that they had finally found the quarterback of the future.

On Sunday, they got a reminder that, while Foles can be brilliant at times, he also does things like this:

Foles finished 3-of-7 for 18 yards and the pick-six, and will have to make a better impression Saturday when the Rams host the Indianapolis Colts.

St. Louis scored just 17 points in two preseason games, and 14 of them came late in Sunday's game, well after the regulars had hit the showers. Foles will hardly be the only one under the microscope against Indianapolis, but he's the key to making the offense work.

Quinton Patton has a poor sense of direction

In his first two seasons, 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton has shown brief flashes, but it has never seemed to click. The 2013 fourth-round pick was wrecked by injuries in his rookie season, limiting him to three catches in six games.

Patton slipped down the depth chart last year, and while healthy, he still spent most of the season on the bench. He played four games, caught three passes and fumbled one of them away.

Guys like Patton are exactly the reason the preseason exists -- it gives them a chance to do something that gets the attention of the coaches. Patton did that Sunday, blocking a punt against the Cowboys and recovering it for a touchdown, but he needed to impress as a wide receiver.

That's why when he got his hands on a pass, Patton was determined to make a big play. Really determined.

When they tell young players that they have to make plays that are going to pop on film, that's really not what they mean.

Final scores

San Francisco 49ers 23, Dallas Cowboys 6

Tony Romo's one drive went three-and-out, and his only pass was completed for minus-1 yard. Colin Kaepernick played two drives, with the first one resulting in a 25-yard field goal after Kaepernick missed on two end zone passes from the Dallas 7-yard line. The second drive wasn't as successful, with the Niners punting on 4th-and-17 after a penalty and 14-yard sack.

After that, it was time for the reserves to get their chances to impress, with Blaine Gabbert doing the most to help himself. Gabbert went 6-of-6 and led San Francisco to another field goal. While Gabbert was making positive things happen, things were getting ugly for the Cowboys.

Brandon Weeden went 2-of-5 for 7 yards in his two drives, and rookies Dustin Vaughan and Jameill Showers struggled badly in their attempts to win the No. 3 job. Vaughan was intercepted twice, including a pick-six by defensive tackle Mike Purcell that put the Niners up, 13-0, at the half. Showers went 8-of-17 and threw an interception, but did hit Nick Harwell for the Cowboys' only score.

San Francisco got a second-half field goal from backup kicker Corey Acosta and Patton's blocked-punt recovery to win going away.

Tennessee Titans 27, St. Louis Rams 14

The good news for the Rams was that two of their backup quarterbacks threw long touchdown passes in the second half -- the first two touchdowns St. Louis had managed in the preseason.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, it was already behind, 20-0, at halftime. After Foles threw his pick-six to Perrish Cox, Marcus Mariota was impressive for the Titans, going 5-of-8 for 59 yards. He should have had a touchdown pass, but Dexter McCluster dropped an easy catch in the end zone, forcing the Titans to kick a field goal for a 10-0 lead.

Zach Mettenberger replaced Mariota in the second quarter, and lit up the hapless Rams for 10 more points, including a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chase Coffman.

After Case Keenum finally got St. Louis on the board with an 80-yard bomb to Chris Givens, it was Alex Tanney hitting Coffman for a 56-yard score to make it 27-7. In all, four Tennessee quarterbacks combined to go 20-of-27 for 267 yards without being sacked by what is supposed to be a potent Rams pass rush.

Rookie Sean Mannion made the final score a little more respectable, hitting Malcolm Brown for a 39-yard score in the final minute.

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