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Pats win ninth consecutive season opener

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By Teresa M. Walker, AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns, and the defending AFC champion Patriots routed the Titans 34-13 for their ninth straight season-opening win Sunday.

The Patriots ruined Jake Locker's debut as Tennessee's starter, sacking him twice and forcing two turnovers. New England rookie Dont'a Hightower returned Locker's fumble 6 yards for a TD in his own debut, and Stevan Ridley ran for 125 yards and a TD.

New England even knocked Locker out of the game in the fourth quarter. He hurt his left shoulder tackling safety Patrick Chung on a fumble return officials should have whistled dead as an incomplete pass to Titans receiver Nate Washington, who also was hurt on the play. Matt Hasselbeck replaced Locker.

The best Tennessee could do was bloody Brady's nose when defensive end Kamerion Wimbley sacked the two-time NFL MVP in the second quarter.

Game stats

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Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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