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September 14, 2011

2011 NFL season kicks off

Seven weeks ago, a labor dispute threatened to push the NFL season to the sidelines. Instead, the goliaths of gridiron made a glorious return this past week, from the last-second goalstand by the Super Bowl champs Green Bay Packers to Tom Brady’s second-to-no-other-Patriot’s 517 yards passing. The games also paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks. Though the season is just one week old, fans across the globe are hoping their teams will play in the grand finale next Feb. 5, held for the first time in Indianapolis. -- Lloyd Young (34 photos total)

Miami Dolphins Brandon Marshall (19) dives over New England Patriots Devin McCourty after catching a pass during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Miami Sept. 12. Hans Deryk/Reuters)

New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress carries a U.S. flag as he takes the field during pre-game ceremonies to mark the ten-year anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks before the NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Jets Sept. 11. (Brian Snyder/Reuters) #

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. celebrates after scoring on a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco Sept. 1. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press) #

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann (71) intercepts a pass by Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) in the second half of their NFL football game in Chicago Sept. 11. (Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press) #

Rex Grossman (8) of the Washington Redskins takes a snap against the New York Giants at the FedEx Field season-opening game on Sept. 11. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) #

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Matt McCoy (52) tackles San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco Sept. 11. (Paul Sakuma/Assocaited Press) #

San Diego Chargers defensive end Antonio Garay, with red, white and blue hair, warms up before a NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. (Denis Poroy/Associated Press) #

A Seattle Seahawks fan watches his team play the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL football game in San Francisco Sept. 11. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters) #

Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd (left) of the San Diego Chargers can't hold on to the ball while being defended by Cedric Griffin of the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium on Sept. 11. The Chargers defeated the Vikings 24-17. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images) #

Vontae Davis of the Miami Dolphins runs out to the field during introductions before taking on the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on Sept. 12. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) #

New York Jets spot lights are pointed toward the sky commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11th terror attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers during a halftime ceremony in East Rutherford, N.J. (Getty Images) #

Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson runs onto the field with an American flag before playing the Oakland Raiders Sept. 12. (Jack Dempsey/Associated Press) #

Cincinnati Bengals Geno Atkins raises his arms in victory as Cleveland Browns (from left) Ben Watson, Shawn Lauvao, Alex Mack and Jason Pinkston look on during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Cleveland Sept. 11. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters) #

Ryan Matthews (left) of the San Diego Chargers runs past the tackle of Safety Tyrell Johnson of the Minnesota Vikings during their NFL Game on Sept. 11 in San Diego. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images) #

New York Jets kicker Nick Folk (2) and Mark Brunell (8) celebrate Folk's 50-yard field late in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 27-24 Sept. 11. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press) #

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (right) wears red, white and blue football shoes in memory of the Sept. 11th attacks as he plays against the Minnesota Vikings during their season opening NFL football game in San Diego Sept. 11. (Mike Blake/Reuters) #

Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings in the huddle with his teammates against the San Diego Chargers during their season-opening game. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)#

New Orleans Saints fans cheer before their team's game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 8. (Jeff Haynes/Reuters) #

Jon Ryan (9) of the Seattle Seahawks punts the ball from the endzone during their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on Sept. 11. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) #

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (right) dives but can't quite haul in a long second quarter pass attempt as Dophins defender Yeremiah Bell chases him down. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe) #

Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is congratulated by the fans as he leaves the field after an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Landover, Md., Sept. 11.(Evan Vucci/Associated Press) #

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) leaps over San Francisco 49ers defenders Donte Whitner (left) and Madieu Williams during the third quarter of their NFL football game in San Francisco, Sept. 11. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters) #

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) celebrates defeating the Minnesota Vikings during their season opening NFL football game Sept. 11. (Mike Blake/Reuters) #

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams (right) catches a 5-yard pass for a touchdown over Detroit Lions defensive back Aaron Berry during their NFL football game in Tampa Sept. 11. (Pierre DuCharme/Reuters) #

Michael Roos (center) of the Tennessee Titans tries to grab a fumble before teammates Drew Coleman (left) and Terrance Knighton of the Jacksonville Jaguars during their season opener at EverBank Field on Sept. 11. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) #

Officials break up a scuffle between San Diego Chargers defensive back Eric Weddle (right) and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin during the first half of ther NFL football game Sept. 11. (Chris Carlson/Associated Press) #

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson fails to get his fingers on a touchdown pass in the first half against the Minnesota Vikings during their season-opening NFL football game. (Mike Blake/Reuters) #

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (right) grabs a pass for a touchdown in front of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Bryant McFadden in the first half of their NFL football game Sept. 11 in Baltimore. (Patrick Semansky/Associated Press) #

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (right) pulls in a touchdown pass as Arizona Cardinals defensive back Richard Marshall tried to defend him. (Paul Connors/Associated Press) #

Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots celebrates one of his 4 touchdown passes against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium Sept. 1. (Marc Serota/Getty Images) #

Green Bay Packers Sam Shields (37) breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints Devery Henderson during the first half of their NFL football game Sept. 8 in Green Bay, Wis. (Mike Roemer/Associated Press) #

Dexter McCluster (22) of the Kansas City Chiefs is brought down by Shawne Merriman of the Buffalo Bills during the game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sept. 11. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images) #

Wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) can't make a catch in the endzone against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium during the season opener on Sept. 11. (Bob Levey/Getty Images) #

Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb (18) celebrates with fans after a 108-yard touchdown run on a kickoff during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sept. 8, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 42-34. (Mike Roemer/Associated Press) #


 
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