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PRO FOOTBALL—For the first time, both Super Bowl participants lost their opening games the following season. There were two very familiar "new" faces behind the shocking upsets by 1984 doormats Minnesota and Houston. With coach Bud Grant back at the helm after a year's absence, the Vikings stunned the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers 28-21 on Ted Brown's 10-yard touchdown run with 1:49 left to play. Meanwhile, Houston, which also had a 3-13 record last season, knocked off defending AFC champion Miami 26-23 when Mike Rozier, making his NFL debut after two seasons with the USFL (page 61), dived over from the one-yard line with 25 seconds remaining. St. Louis's Neil O'Donoghue kicked a 35-yard field goal 5� minutes into the season's first overtime to give the Cardinals a wild 27-24 victory over Cleveland. The Browns had rallied with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 24-17 lead with :38 left, only to let Neil Lomax drive the Cards 63 yards on four plays in 34 seconds. He hit Pat Tilley with a five-yard TD toss to force the OT. In another nailbiter, Detroit quarterback Eric Hipple overcame two interceptions, two sacks and a 14-0 first-period deficit to lead the Lions to a 28-27 win over Atlanta. Pittsburgh, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Raiders and the New York Giants all scored routs. Steeler quarterback Mark Malone threw five touchdown passes, three of them to Louis Lipps, in a 45-3 trampling of Indianapolis. Nick Lowery kicked four field goals and Bill Kenney threw for 397 yards as the Chiefs buried New Orleans 47-27. The Raiders sacked quarterback Ken O'Brien 10 times while blanking the Jets 31-0, and the Giants scored their first shutout since 1983, 21-0 over Philadelphia. Curt Warner, out most of last year with an injured knee, dodged three tacklers on an 11-yard scoring run that gave Seattle a 28-24 triumph over Cincinnati. New England beat Green Bay 26-20; Chicago defeated Tampa Bay 38-28; San Diego topped Buffalo 14-9; and the Los Angeles Rams overcame Denver 20-16 (page 22).
GOLF—GEORGE BURNS shot a 17-under-par 267 for a six-stroke victory, worth $72,000, at a PGA Tour event in Sutton, Mass.
Nancy Lopez sank a five-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole to beat Lori Garbacz in an LPGA tournament in Portland, Ore. Lopez, who shot a one-under-par 215 in regulation, earned $26,250 for her fifth victory of the year.
HORSE RACING—FAMILY STYLE ($3.40), with Laffit Pincay Jr. up, earned $250,200 with a two-length victory over Deep Silver in the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes at Hawthorne (Ill.) Race Course. She covered the 6� furlongs in 1:18.
Creme Fraiche ($8.20), ridden by Eddie Maple, won the Jerome Handicap at Belmont Park by 1� lengths over Pancho Villa, earning $109,260. The 3-year-old gelding trained by Woody Stephens covered the mile in 1:34[4/5].
Jacky Martin rode MR. TRUCKA JET ($13.60) to a half-length victory over Digging for Gold in the All-American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs (N. M.). The 2-year-old quarterhorse, who equaled the stakes record of 21.41 for the 440-yard sprint, won $1 million.
MOTOR SPORTS—ALAIN PROST, in a McLaren, finished 51.6 seconds ahead of Nelson Piquet, in a Brabham- BMW, to win the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Prost averaged 136.539 mph in 52 laps around the 3.6-mile circuit for his fifth victory of the year.
Pancho Carter, driving a March 85C Cosworth, came in .10 second ahead of Johnny Rutherford's March Cosworth to win $62,280 and the Indy 200-mile CART race at St. Pie, Quebec. Carter covered 225 laps of the .826-mile Sanair Super Speedway tri-oval at an average speed of 89.997 mph.
Don Garlits, 53, won his seventh National Hot Rod Association U.S. National title, beating rookie Darrell Gwynn in Indianapolis for the Top Fuel championship, worth $42,000. Garlits, who also set a single-season record for victories with five, completed his final run in 5.571 seconds at a speed of 260.56 mph.