Ignore the gnarly beard and Harvard pedigree, Ryan Fitzpatrick picked apart the Saints cleaner than 12 vultures on a carcass.

The journeyman quarterback threw four touchdowns and had a career high 417 yards passing as Tampa Bay dumped New Orleans, 48-40. The Buccaneers host the Eagles next week. The Birds opened as three-point favorites.

"I hope somebody had him in fantasy because he went crazy today," Bucs receiver Mike Evans said. "And he was running the ball — phenomenal game. One of the most complete games I've seen."

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Fitzpatrick, who was owned in just three percent of the fantasy leagues run by CBS Sports and started in just one percent, also ran through Saints safety Marcus Williams for his first rushing touchdown since 2015.

He is starting the first three games (at least) while Jameis Winston serves a three-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Fitzpatrick's next assignment is facing an Eagles defense that frustrated Matt Ryan and Atlanta on Thursday. Sunday's game is in Tampa (1 p.m., Fox).

The 88 points for the Bucs and Saints broke a 71-year record for the highest scoring game in a Week 1. The Eagles beat the Redskins, 45-42, in 1947.

Fitzpatrick, 35, will be making his sixth start against the Eagles — remarkably, with his sixth different team.

Evans had 147 yards receiving and DeSean Jackson 146 and two scores before leaving with a concussion.

Drew Brees passed for 439 yards and three touchdowns and Michael Thomas set a Saints record with 16 receptions (for 180 yards).

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. the Eagles

Year Fitz’s team Cmp.-Att. Yards TD Int. Fitz’s result
2015 N.Y. Jets 35-58 283 2 3 Lost, 17-24
2014 Houston 13-27 203 2 1 Lost, 21-31
2011 Buffalo 21-27 193 1 1 Won, 31-24
2008 Cincinnati 29-44 261 1 0 Tied, 13-13
2005 St. Louis 10-24 69 1 1 Lost, 16-17

Sunday’s roundup

Big winners

Aaron Rodgers. Left the field on a cart with a leg injury, but returned to rally the Packers from a 20-0 deficit to a 24-23 win. Rodgers threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Wonder how many fantasy players gave up on the game.

Andy Reid. He's got himself a quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, who threw four touchdown passes and no picks.

The Ravens. Overwhelmed the Bills, 47-3, as Joe Flacco threw three touchdowns.

Clayton Fejedelem. The Bengals safety had 10 tackles and sealed the win over the Colts with an 83-yard fumble return.

Mother Nature. Created a pair of weather delays in Miami for the Titans-Dolphins game that totaled a shade under four hours.

Big losers

Saints bettors. William Hill-US, the company that operates sports betting operations for the Ocean Resort in Atlantic City and in numerous outlets in Nevada, reported 82 percent of the money it took in on the Saints-Buccaneers was on the Saints. New Orleans opened up at 7.5-point favorites and were bet up to 10-point faves.

Defensive players. The focus on safety is admirable, but there continue to be instances where defensive players need to be magicians in order to make a play AND avoid a penalty.

Le'Veon Bell. While Bell sat out because of a contract dispute, his replacement, James Conner, ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns for the Steelers. Conner did have a late fumble in a game played in constant rain.

LeSean McCoy owners. Had 22 rushing yards and his only catch was for -1 yard. The Bills are gonna stink this year.

Big Tie-ers

Browns fans. Came back to salvage a tie against division rival Pittsburgh in a quagmire, which essentially ended when Cleveland had a field goal blocked in overtime. They will not go 0-16 again. But 0-0-16 is still in play.

Did you notice?

Miami's Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the National Anthem of the Titans-Dolphins game.

He said it

"The first run and the first couple of times I tackled him, I said, this kid has something. Obviously, you see it on tape, but we didn't get to watch a lot of tape on him. It's his college tape. Coming into the NFL against a team like ours, and making some of the plays he made, that kid's going to be special."

— Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell on Giants rookie Saquon Barkley, whose  106 rushing yards included an electric 68-yard touchdown


"Everybody gets beat. We needed to get slapped in our face one good time to see we're not on a level we think we're on."

— Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore after a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay


"I'm going to look at everything. It's too early to go one way or the other."

— Bills coach Sean McDermott, who has a quarterback dilemma with Nathan Peterman and rookie Josh Allen

This and that

*Aaron Rodgers' heroics overshadowed a dominating first half by Khalil Mack, who had a spectacular strip-sack and returned an interception for a touchdown. Jon Gruden might get booed by Raiders' fans at Monday's opener against the Rams.

*DeSean Jackson's 58-yard touchdown reception was the 27th of his career of at least 50 yards, tying him with Lance Alworth and Terrell Owens for third all-time. Only Jerry Rice (36) and Randy Moss (29) have more.

*Adrian Peterson ran for 96 yards and notched the 100th rushing touchdown of his career as Washington rolled Arizona.

*Kansas City's Tyreek Hill had 169 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He also had a 91-yard punt return for a score. Hill has 23 touchdowns in 32 career regular-season games (15 receiving, four punt returns, three rushing and one kickoff return). Whew.

*The Steelers-Browns tie was the first on an opening week since the Broncos-Dolphins finished 10-10 in 1971. Cleveland's Josh Gordon, who missed all of the preseason while dealing with personal problems, made a great catch on a 17-yard touchdown which allowed the Browns to pull even. He was targeted three times, but that was his only reception.


Favorite Line Underdog Time
Ravens 1 BENGALS 8:20
REDSKINS 5.5 Colts 1:00
FALCONS 4.5 Panthers 1:00
PACKERS 1.5 Vikings 1:00
Chargers 7.5 BILLS 1:00
TITANS NL Texans 1:00
STEELERS 5 Chiefs 1:00
Dolphins PK JETS 1:00
Eagles 3 BUCCANEERS 1:00
SAINTS 8 Browns 1:00
RAMS 10 Cardinals 4:05
49ERS 3.5 Lions 4:05
Patriots 1.5 JAGUARS 4:25
BRONCOS 4.5 Raiders 4:25
COWBOYS 3 Giants 8:20
Favorite Line Underdog Time
BEARS 3.5 Seahawks 8:15


Notable lines

Favorite Line Underdog Time
Boston College 4.5 WAKE FOREST 7:30
MEMPHIS 25.5 Georgia St. 7:00
MARYLAND 15 Temple 12:00
PENN ST. 35 Kent St. 12:00
Oklahoma 18 IOWA ST. 12:00
NOTRE DAME 14.5 Vanderbilt 2:30
AUBURN 10 Lsu 3:30
Alabama 20 MISSISSIPPI 7:00
TEXAS NL Southern Cal 8:00
Ohio St. 13 TCU (at Arlington) 8:00