Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
Well on BKD TV, here’s a recap of Week 3 of the 2014 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Buccaneers 14, Falcons 56
ATLANTA (AP) — Devin Hester high-stepped into the NFL record book. Matt Ryan had as many touchdown passes as in-completions. Julio Jones made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch tumbling into the end zone.
The result: One of the biggest wins in Atlanta Falcons history.
Hester set an NFL record with his 20th return for a touchdown, Ryan threw for 286 yards and three TDs, and Jones hauled in nine passes for 161 yards and a couple of scores to lead the Falcons past the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 56-14 on Thursday night.
The Falcons (2-1) led 35-0 before the Buccaneers (0-3) picked up a first down. Ryan and the other offensive starters left after Steven Jackson’s 3-yard touchdown run made it 49-0 before the midway point of the third quarter.
Atlanta had a stunning 56-0 lead heading to the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay scored two meaningless touchdowns to avoid the worst loss in franchise history.
It was the second-largest win in the Falcons’ 48-year history, eclipsed only by 62-7 rout of New Orleans in 1973. It was only the fifth time Atlanta has won by as many as 40 points.
Hester and Jones provided the signature moments.
With the Falcons already ahead 28-0, Hester took a punt at his own 44, found a seam up the middle of the field and easily zipped around the last man with a chance to tackle him, punter Michael Koenen. The 56-yard play was Hester’s 20th career return for a touchdown, breaking the mark he shared with former Falcons star Deion Sanders.
Sanders, now a television analyst, watched Hester’s return from the sideline at the Georgia Dome. Hester high-stepped the last 10 yards are so, his left hand bobbing behind his ear — a tribute to Prime Time’s signature move.
Ravens 23, Browns 21
CLEVELAND (AP) — With the Ray Rice case lingering over them, the Ravens pulled off a comeback win as Justin Tucker kicked a 32-yard field as time expired to give Baltimore a victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Tucker’s boot capped another challenging week for the Ravens (2-1), who continue to be dogged by their handling of Rice’s domestic violence suspension. Following the game, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh addressed an ESPN report that claims he wanted the team to immediately release Rice after he was arrested for punching his then-fiancee. The report says Harbaugh was overruled by owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome. “I can tell you this, we work together in our organization,” Harbaugh said.
Joe Flacco set up Tucker’s winner with a 32-yard pass to Steve Smith with 1:28 left. The Ravens then ran the clock down before bringing in Tucker, who split the uprights and sent the Browns (1-2) to another tough loss.
Along with the blown opportunities, the Browns had a fake play in which backup quarterback Johnny Manziel fooled Baltimore’s defense negated by a penalty.
Joe Flacco set up Tucker’s game-winner with a 32-yard pass to Steve Smith with 1:28 left. Smith beat Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden before hauling in Flacco’s pass and taking it to Cleveland’s 13. The Ravens ran the clock down before bringing in Tucker, who split the uprights and sent the Browns (1-2) to another tough loss.
Texans 17, Giants 30
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Rashad Jennings ran for a career-high 176 yards and a touchdown and Eli Manning threw two TD passes as the New York Giants overcame some early mistakes and beat the suddenly error-prone Houston Texans.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw his first three interceptions of the season, the Texans had a punt blocked and gave up 193 yards rushing to the New York Giants in a 30-17 loss Sunday.
The mistakes led to 17 points for the Giants — and the total might be pushed to 20 if one counts a decision by Houston coach Bill O’Brien to go for a first down at his own 46 early in the second half.
And a stunning reversal for the Texans (2-1), who came in tied for the league lead with a plus-5 turnover differential. The Giants were at the other end of the spectrum at minus-6 with no takeaways.
On Sunday, the Giants won the turnover battle 3-1, got pressure from their front four and made the big plays in a much-needed win.
The victory not only put some life back into the Giants (1-2) after two disappointing efforts, it also ended any chance of a second straight horrible start for Tom Coughlin’s team which opened 0-6 last season.
Victor Cruz made a 26-yard touchdown catch, his first since Game 4 of last season, and danced the salsa. The defense intercepted three of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes, and the special teams blocked a punt, setting up Manning’s second TD.
Fitzpatrick threw a 44-yard scoring pass to Damaris Johnson and ran for another score for the Texans (2-1), who played without halfback Arian Foster (hamstring).
Colts 44, Jaguars 17
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes — three of them in a lopsided first half — and the Indianapolis Colts dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars for their first win.
It was a home opener to forget for the Jaguars (0-3), who trailed 30-0 at the break and benched quarterback Chad Henne.
The only positive for Jacksonville was getting rookie Blake Bortles on the field. The third overall pick in May’s NFL draft played the entire second half, finishing with two touchdown passes and two interceptions. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 223 yards, including fourth-quarter scores to Allen Hurns and Cecil Shorts III.
Indianapolis (1-2) made plays from start to finish, including Greg Toler returning an interception 47 yards for a touchdown with 2:58 to play. Luck did most of the damage, though. He completed 31 of 39 passes for 370 yards.
Raiders 9, Patriots 16
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass, Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals and the sluggish New England Patriots held on to beat the Oakland Raiders when defensive tackle Vince Wilfork intercepted a pass near his goal line.
Darren McFadden’s potential tying touchdown run was nullified by a holding penalty. A play later, Wilfork grabbed the ball when Logan Ryan jarred it loose from intended receiver Denarius Moore with 51 seconds left.
The Patriots (2-1) won their 12th home opener in 13 seasons, while the Raiders (0-3) lost their 15th straight game in the Eastern time zone. They were held to three field goals by Sebastian Janikowski.
Brady became the third quarterback with 150 regular-season wins behind Brett Favre (186) and Peyton Manning, who came into Sunday with 169. He is 57-5 in his last 62 home games, including the playoffs.
Chargers 22, Bills 10
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A week after throwing three touchdown passes to tight end Antonio Gates to knock off the Seattle Seahawks, Philip Rivers hit Eddie Royal for two scores in a win over the Buffalo Bills.
Royal scored on 3- and 5-yard receptions and finished with four catches 42 yards. Malcom Floyd had two catches for 98 yards in a game the Chargers (2-1) never trailed. Rivers finished 18 of 25 for 256 yards and extended his touchdown streak to 23 games to match the team record he set over the 2009-10 seasons.
San Diego beat Buffalo (2-1) despite a depleted offensive backfield. Already missing starting running back Ryan Mathews (right knee), the Chargers lost backup Danny Woodhead to a right ankle injury. Woodhead did not return after being carted off following a 1-yard run 3-1/2 minutes in.
Fred Jackson scored on an 11-yard catch and run for Buffalo, which blew an opportunity to get off to a 3-0 start for only the third time since 1993.
Titans 7, Bengals 33
INCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton caught a touchdown pass — the first Bengals quarterback to pull off that feat — and Cincinnati stayed undefeated with a victory over the Tennessee Titans.
The Bengals (3-0) head into their bye week with their best start in eight years and a chance to get some of their many injured players healthy. They got a lot of big plays, a few breaks and plenty of help from a team dealing with the death of a long-time player.
A few hours before kickoff, the Titans (1-2) learned that kicker Rob Bironas had died overnight in a one-car crash in Nashville. He’d been released in March after his ninth season with Tennessee.
On the final play of the first quarter, Dalton flipped the ball to receiver Mohamed Sanu, who ran to his right while the quarterback sneaked toward the other side of the field. Sanu stopped and threw a cross-field pass that hung in the air. Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson had a chance to pick it off or level the quarterback, but Dalton made the catch and ran 18 yards, diving inside the pylon at the goal line to score. He was the first NFL quarterback to score on a catch since Kansas City’s Tyler Thigpen in 2008.
Redskins 34, Eagles 37
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rookie Jordan Matthews, the receiver who replaced DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia, caught two touchdown passes, and the Eagles beat Jackson and his Washington Redskins in a nasty game marred by a fourth-quarter brawl.
Jackson had his own big play, an 81-yard TD that tied it at 27. But it was not enough to offset Matthews and Jeremy Maclin, whose 27-yard scoring reception gave Philadelphia (3-0) the lead. Rookie Cody Parkey’s third field goal, a 51-yarder with 5:55 remaining, put the game out of reach.
Philadelphia’s Chris Polk had a 102-yard kickoff return. Kirk Cousins threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns for Washington (1-2).
The game was slowed by several injuries and disrupted by a sideline brawl with about 10 minutes remaining. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was blindsided by Chris Baker during an apparent interception return by Bashaud Breeland. Baker and Philly left tackle Jason Peters were ejected.
Vikings 9, Saints 20
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints won for the first time this season, taking their home opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
For the Vikings, the loss capped a week of distractions as the club first announced that star running back Adrian Peterson would play, then later changed course and said Peterson would leave the team indefinitely to deal with child abuse allegations.
Minnesota then lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel with a toe injury early in the second quarter. He was replaced by rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who completed 12 of 20 for 150 yards while leading two scoring drives that both ended with field goals.
They could not generate enough offense, though, getting outgained 396-247. Zimmer refused to speculate on when or if Peterson would return, but the Vikings know their road is much more difficult without him.
Brees’ scoring passes went for 34 yards to tight end Josh Hill and 18 yards to receiver Marques Colston. It was the 64th time Brees and Colston connected for a score. Only six other quarterback-receiver tandems have combined for more in NFL history.
Cowboys 34, Rams 31
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Terrance Williams scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, Bruce Carter returned an interception 25 yards for a TD on the next snap, and the Dallas Cowboys matched the largest comeback in team history to stun the St. Louis Rams.
The only time the franchise blew a bigger lead in a loss came in 1982 when the Rams were in Los Angeles. The Packers rallied from 23 points down, and Denver also wiped away a 21-point deficit that season.
DeMarco Murray’s 1-yard run late in the first half began the rally for Dallas (2-1), which trailed 21-0. Dez Bryant caught a 68-yard scoring pass in the third quarter, and Carter’s first career interception and touchdown came not long after he was evaluated for concussion-like symptoms on the bench.
Janoris Jenkins’ 25-yard interception return, the fifth defensive touchdown in his three seasons, put the Rams (1-2) up 21-0 with 6:06 to go in the first half.
Packers 7, Lions 19
DETROIT (AP) — Don Carey returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown, and Detroit’s defensive front stuffed Green Bay, leading the Lions over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
The Lions (2-1) came in with a secondary decimated by injuries, but that didn’t much matter with Rodgers under constant pressure. He was sacked twice and threw for only 162 yards, and Green Bay (1-2) wasn’t any better when running the ball.
Reggie Bush added a 26-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter for Detroit, which had never beaten Green Bay with Rodgers healthy for the whole game.
The Packers managed only 223 yards of offense and lost despite forcing three turnovers.
Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch left with a knee injury that appeared to occur as he was celebrating a sack.
49ers 14, Cardinals 23
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Drew Stanton threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to rookie John Brown and Arizona rallied to beat San Francisco, snapping a four-game losing streak to the 49ers.
Tommy Kelly blocked a field goal for the Cardinals (3-0), who outscored San Francisco 17-0 in the second half.
The 49ers (1-2) mounted 80-yard touchdown drives the first two times they had the ball, then didn’t score again, blowing a halftime lead for the second week in a row.
Stanton, starting for injured Carson Palmer for the second straight week, completed 18 of 33 for 244 yards and two scores. Michael Floyd caught five for 114 yards.
The 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick completed 29 of 37 for 245 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 54.
Broncos 20, Seahawks 26 OT
SEATTLE (AP) — Marshawn Lynch scored on a 6-yard run on the first possession of overtime and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 26-20 on Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch that lived up to expectations.
Seattle (2-1) blew a 17-3 fourth-quarter lead, watching Denver tie it at 20 on Peyton Manning’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme with 18 seconds left in regulation and his 2-point conversion pass to Demaryius Thomas.
But Manning never saw the ball in overtime, thanks to Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. After nearly getting sacked for a safety and throwing an interception in the fourth quarter, Wilson was brilliant in overtime. Wilson rushed for 21 yards and was 4 of 6 passing in overtime. Lynch went the final 6 yards.
Manning led the rally for Denver (2-1) helped by a number of Seahawks mistakes. He was 31 of 49 for 303 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw a costly fourth-quarter interception.
Wilson finished 24 of 34 for 258 yards and two touchdown passes, both late in the first half. Lynch had 88 yards rushing and also caught a 5-yard TD pass.
Chiefs 34, Dolphins 15
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Alex Smith shook off five sacks to throw three touchdown passes and help the Kansas City Chiefs earn their first victory by beating the Miami Dolphins.
Smith led touchdown drives of 62, 76 and 66 yards in a span of four possessions as Kansas City took leads of 14-0 and 21-10. The Chiefs improved to 1-2 and won for only the third time in their past 11 games, including postseason.
The Dolphins fell to 1-2, another wobbly start for a team that hasn’t won a postseason game since 2000.
Smith, who ranked 35th and last in the NFL in passing after two weeks, went 19 for 25 for 186 yards, with three of his incompletions dropped. He threw scoring passes of 11 and 4 yards to Joe McKnight, and 20 yards to Travis Kelce.
The Chiefs were without seven starters, including running back Jamaal Charles, who was inactive because of a high ankle sprain. Knile Davis, subbing for Charles, rushed for a career-high 132 yards on 32 carries, and he scored on a 21-yard run.
Steelers 37, Panthers 19
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger threw two 7-yard touchdown passes to Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell ran for 147 yards and Pittsburgh beat Carolina.
The Steelers had gone eight quarters without a touchdown before Roethlisberger’s two scoring strikes in the third. They were set up by Cam Newton’s fumble and Bell’s 81-yard run.
Roethlisberger finished 22 of 30 for 196 yards, and Brown had 90 yards receiving on 10 catches to help the Steelers (2-1) snap Carolina’s eight-game home winning streak.
LaGarrette Blount ran for 118 yards and the Steelers outrushed the Panthers 264-42.
The Panthers were looking for their first 3-0 start since 2003 — the year they went to the Super Bowl.
The Steelers lost defensive starters Ike Taylor, Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones to injuries.
Bears 27, Jets 19
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Chicago Bears took advantage of early mistakes by the sloppy New York Jets.
Then they had to hold their breath before hanging on for a 27-19 victory Monday night.
Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to Martellus Bennett and Ryan Mundy returned an interception 45 yards for a score. Cutler finished 23 of 38 for 225 yards and Alshon Jeffery caught eight passes for 105 yards for the Bears, who got a 45-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to make it an eight-point game with 3:10 remaining.
The Jets (1-2) had one last opportunity to tie, getting into Bears territory on Geno Smith’s 51-yard pass to Greg Salas. But Jeremy Kerley was out of bounds when he caught Smith’s desperation fourth-down heave from the Bears 9.
Cutler took a knee three times to seal the victory for the Bears (2-1).
Smith was 26 of 43 for 316 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions — and nearly had a few others. Kerley finished with seven catches for 81 yards, and almost came up with a diving grab off a tipped pass in the end zone on the final drive.
The Jets lost wide receiver Eric Decker in the first half to a hamstring injury after he was questionable for the game with tightness in the hamstring.