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Patriots 38, Bengals 24

Patriots receiver Wes Welker, left, celebrates his first TD with offensive lineman Dan Connolly in the first quarter. Welker, who tore a knee ligament Jan. 3 at Houston, had eight catches.

Associated Press

Patriots receiver Wes Welker, left, celebrates his first TD with offensive lineman Dan Connolly in the first quarter. Welker, who tore a knee ligament Jan. 3 at Houston, had eight catches.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady survived a frightening car crash, signed a rich contract and ended his week with what he wants most: a win.

The quarterback threw two of his three touchdowns to Wes Welker, who returned from a serious knee injury, and led the Patriots to Sunday's 38-24 opening win over Cincinnati.

"I'm glad it's over," Brady said, "but it was a good week."

Welker caught eight passes for 64 yards less than nine months after tearing a knee ligament in the 2009 finale and less than eight months after surgery.

"I had pretty much instilled it in my mind that I would be back," he said. "I still have a ways to go. … I have this stupid knee brace I hate. I can't wait to burn it."

Welker led the NFL with 346 receptions the past three years.

He had the most impact of any receiver, surpassing Cincinnati's new much-hyped tandem of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. They combined for 19 receptions for 212 yards and a TD in Owens' Bengals debut.

And — here's a shocker — the duo created a talking point.

Neither was on the field for a first-half Hail Mary play. Ochocinco was in the locker room receiving intravenous fluids, coach Marvin Lewis said. Lewis said Owens was "being looked at," but would not elaborate, saying, "That's our business, okay?"

Owens would not discuss where he was. "Coach said he would address that," he said several times, growing testy.

Brady also addressed the car accident he was in Thursday. He didn't miss a practice.

"It's a scary thing," Brady said. "Fortunately, I was okay. Hopefully, the people in the other car are recovering quickly."

The T.O. show

Terrell Owens became the third player to top 15,000 receiving yards on Sunday. Here are the top five:

Jerry Rice 1985-2004 22,895

Isaac Bruce 1994-2009 15,208

Terrell Owens 1996-now 15,004

Tim Brown 1988-2004 14,934

Marvin Harrison 1996-2008 14,580

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Bengals0314724

Patriots 38, Bengals 24 09/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2010 12:45am]
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