Derby did just enough to justify their position as Championship favourites when grinding out a 1-0 win over Rotherham at Pride Park.
The visitors put up a stubborn resistance for much of the match but Jeff Hendrick finally broke the deadlock after 82 minutes as the Rams showed they are ready to push for a place in the Premier League again after last season's playoff final loss to Queens Park Rangers at Wembley.
Stuart Pearce hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after a midweek spat with Nottingham Forest's owner over the sale of Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles to Newcastle, before both players were loaned back to the club.
However, there was no hangover from that episode at the City Ground as new signings Michail Antonio and Chris Burke gave Forest a 2-0 win against a beleaguered Blackpool outfit still recovering from a summer exodus.
Middlesbrough began their sixth straight season in the Championship in fine style as big-money summer signing Kike scored on his debut in a 2-0 defeat of Birmingham, with Daniel Ayala also netting.
Wigan are again fancied to make the playoffs but had to rely on a James McArthur strike three minutes into stoppage time to secure a point at home to Reading.
Callum McManaman was on target as the Latics got off to a bright start, but Shaun Cummings and Sean Morrison replied for the Royals in quick succession on 71 and 77 minutes before McArthur's late goal made it 2-2.
Troy Deeney showed why a number of Premier League clubs are keen to capture his signature when hitting the back of the net as Watford beat Bolton 3-0, with Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri also getting on the scoresheet for the Hornets at Vicarage Road.
Marc Pugh scored the division's first goal of the day when putting Bournemouth ahead at Huddersfield inside the opening minute, and the Cherries went on to record an emphatic 4-0 victory as Callum Wilson added a brace and Yann Kermorgant also struck.
Brighton had Andrew Crofts sent off when going down 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday, with Giles Coke securing all three points for the Owls.
Igor Vetokele put Charlton ahead at Brentford but Tommy Smith equalised late on for the hosts in a 1-1 stalemate, while Mark Beevers and Shaun Williams netted in a 2-0 triumph for Millwall over Leeds -- the second goal coming from the penalty spot.
In the evening kick-off, relegated Fulham began life back in the Championship with a 2-1 defeat to Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
Goals either side of the break from Daryl Murphy and substitute David McGoldrick put Town 2-0 ahead, but they endured a nervy finale after Tim Hoogland pulled a goal back four minutes from time.