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Here is a recap of Week 8 of the 2014 NFL Season with Tuesday Morning QB. Thanks again to the AP Sports/Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Week 8 Byes: Giants, 49ers
Chargers 21, Broncos 35
DENVER (AP) — Emmanuel Sanders is speedy, not greedy.
The Denver Broncos’ fleet wide receiver insisted he wasn’t lobbying Peyton Manning to throw him a fourth touchdown pass Thursday night.
He was perfectly satisfied with his trio of scoring catches in the Broncos’ 35-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
This is exactly what Sanders was talking about when he called Denver “wide receiver heaven” upon his arrival in free agency in the offseason.
That’s a safe bet.
Less than 100 hours after breaking Brett Favre’s record for most career TD throws, Manning put up another masterpiece. He completed 25 of 35 passes for 286 yards and three TDs with no interceptions and no sacks.
The Broncos (6-1) took early control of the AFC West over the Chargers (5-3), losers of two straight.
“They’re better than us right now,” San Diego safety Eric Weddle said. “That’s the reality of it. It’s a long season. When we meet them again, however many more times, we’ll be better.”
Just last week, Sanders was wistfully wishing to join the list of players who have caught one of Manning’s TD throws. Then, he caught his first Sunday night, when Manning threw four of them in a rout of the San Francisco 49ers.
Now, he’s suddenly his favorite target.
The Chargers (5-3) now fall even farther behind the Broncos (6-1) in the AFC West. Really, though, the gap feels much wider.
Lions 22, Falcons 21 @ London
LONDON (AP) — The second kick was the only one that mattered.
Matt Prater missed a 43-yard field goal attempt with 4 seconds to go, then got another chance because of a delay-of-game penalty. He nailed that one from 48 yards, giving the Detroit Lions (6-2) a second straight comeback victory, 22-21 over the Atlanta Falcons (2-6). Detroit trailed 21-0 at halftime Sunday at Wembley Stadium in the earliest start in NFL history.
Prater’s winning kick was the first made field goal from between 40 and 49 yards this season for Detroit. If not for the penalty, it wouldn’t have happened because he went wide right on the first attempt.
Matthew Stafford led the way for Detroit with 325 passing yards and two touchdowns. Those two scores gave Stafford 120 touchdown passes, a Lions record, two more than Hall of Famer Bobby Layne.
But it was Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan that looked like he would be the star in the first half, completing 14 of 17 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Clock management problems, a penalty and a dropped pass doomed the Falcons at the end, however. Ryan finished with 228 yards and threw an interception in the second half.
The Falcons had the ball and control of the game at the two-minute warning, but couldn’t run off much time after a holding penalty and Julio Jones’ drop. Atlanta punted with 1:38 to go.
With the ball on the Detroit 7, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 32 yards. The Lions got another first down on a pass to Theo Riddick for 20 yards, and Stafford later threw to Ross for another first down.
As the clock wound down, it came down to Prater, something Detroit would have rather avoided.
From beyond the 40 and inside the 50, Detroit had been 0 for 7, and Prater, the team’s third kicker already, was 0-1.
The win was Detroit’s second comeback win in two weeks. The Lions rallied to beat the Saints last Sunday.
For the Falcons, the blown halftime lead was tied for the biggest in Atlanta history. And the Falcons have now been outscored 70-7 in the fourth quarter their last six games.
Steven Jackson also scored for Atlanta (2-6), running in from the 1 moments after becoming the 19th player in NFL history to rush for 11,000 yards.
Sunday was the second of three regular-season NFL games this year at Wembley, the home of England’s national soccer team. Miami beat Oakland 38-14 on Sept. 28, and Dallas will face Jacksonville on Nov. 9.
The game started at 1:30 p.m. in the British capital, which is 9:30 a.m. on the East Coast and 6:30 a.m. on the West Coast.
Seahawks 13, Panthers 9
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Russell Wilson walked into the huddle with his team down a field goal and less than five minutes remaining. He started laughing, sensing the familiarity of the situation.
Then he looked around at his teammates and said, “We’ve been here two years in row — let’s go do it.”
And the Seahawks did it.
Wilson connected on a 23-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson with 47 seconds left to cap a nine-play, 80-yard drive, lifting Seattle to a 13-9 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
It’s the third straight year Wilson has brought the Seahawks (4-3) back from a second-half deficit to beat the Panthers on this same field. In the previous two seasons, Wilson threw TD passes to Jermaine Kearse and Golden Tate to win tight defensive games.
Carolina’s defense came into the game having allowed at least 37 points in four of its last five games. But it held Wilson and the Seahawks to a pair of field goals before he took the field with 4:47 left on the clock.
Wilson methodically marched the Seahawks down the field, going 4 of 4 for 53 yards and running twice for 11 yards. He completed short, precise tosses to unheralded receivers Cooper Helfet, Kevin Norwood and Paul Richardson before connecting with Wilson on a seam route for the winning touchdown.
Wilson finished 20 of 32 for 199 yards and had one interception.
The victory snapped Seattle’s two-game losing streak and Carroll hopes it eliminated any talk of the Seahawks lacking focus following the Percy Harvin trade.
Newton was 12 of 27 for 121 yards with an interception and a fumble for the Panthers (3-4-1). In three games against the Seahawks, Newton has only thrown for 437 yards and one touchdown while being sacked eight times. It ended when Newton bounced a pass in front of running back Jonathan Stewart on fourth-and-25.
Ravens 24, Bengals 27
CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton looked over the spread-out Ravens defense and decided there was enough room for a quarterback sneak.
With a push from his linemen, he surged into end zone for a last-minute win.
Surged the Bengals back into first place, too.
Dalton made up for his two fourth-quarter turnovers by scoring on a 1-yard sneak with 57 seconds left on Sunday, rallying Cincinnati to a 27-24 victory over Baltimore that changed the AFC North’s pecking order.
After three very bad weeks, the Bengals (4-2-1) were back atop the tightly bunched division.
It was especially satisfying for Dalton, who had a fumble and an interception in the fourth quarter that let an 11-point lead slip away. The Ravens (5-3) took advantage and pulled ahead 24-20 with 3:59 to go.
Dalton pulled it out with a 10-play, 80-yard drive against the NFL’s stingiest defense.
Dalton threw a 53-yard pass to Sanu on third-and-10 — safety Terrence Brooks got turned around and couldn’t make a play on the ball — to get Cincinnati in range.
Dalton was 3 of 5 for 62 yards on the drive, converting a pair of third downs.
On the fourth-down play from just beyond the 1-yard line, Dalton had the option of taking it himself. The Bengals sent three receivers to the right, and he figured the sneak would work. His linemen gave him the final push over the goal line.
It was the first touchdown that the Ravens had allowed in the final 2 minutes of a game this season. The 24 points were the most they have allowed overall.
The Bengals had to wait out a few scary moments before celebrating.
Joe Flacco eluded the rush and lofted a pass to Steve Smith, who went 80 yards for an apparent touchdown with 32 seconds left. Smith was called for pushing off on George Iloka to get open, nullifying the play.
With that, the Bengals had their first series sweep of the Ravens since 2009. They won the season opener 23-16 in Baltimore on A.J. Green’s juggling 77-yard touchdown in the closing minutes.
Flacco was 17 of 34 for 195 yards with two interceptions and a sack. The Ravens dominated the first half against a struggling defense — Cincinnati had allowed more than 500 yards in two of its past three games — but couldn’t get touchdowns out of long drives.
Baltimore had the ball for 18 plays on its first drive, but Flacco’s incompletion on fourth down from the 1-yard line made the Ravens come up empty. It was the longest drive without points in franchise history.
Dolphins 27, Jaguars 13
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins didn’t even feel good about this victory.
The Dolphins got — and maybe needed — all kinds of help to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
Rookie Blake Bortles had two interceptions returned for touchdowns, the most costly of the mistakes that Miami used to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-13 on Sunday.
Coming off a 27-14 win at Chicago, Miami was overwhelmingly flat in its second straight road game and looked nothing like a potential playoff team facing a rebuilding squad filled with rookies and second-year players.
The Dolphins (4-3) opened with three three-and-out possessions and gave up huge yardage to Jacksonville. But they led 7-0 after Delmas’ 81-yard interception return in the second quarter, and 17-3 following Brent Grimes’ 22-yarder in the third.
The Jaguars (1-7) dominated the first half, but trailed 10-3 at the break because of a slew of miscues. Bortles was the main culprit, continuing a trend that started when he took over the starting job last month.
Bortles had three turnovers Sunday, giving him six in the past two weeks and 13 in six games. Four of those have been interceptions returned for touchdowns.
He became the first quarterback since the New York Jets’ Geno Smith last year to have two picks returned for TDs in the same game. Smith did it against Cincinnati, also in Week 8.
Tannehill did just enough to get the Dolphins going and turned a close game into a lopsided affair.
Tannehill completed 16 of 29 passes for 196 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Mike Wallace had two receptions for 59 yards.
Lamar Miller ran 14 times for 78 yards.
Jacksonville was without two starting defenders, linebacker Paul Posluszny and cornerback Alan Ball, but played well enough to win for the fourth consecutive week. The Jaguars gave up 326 yards.
But much like the previous losses, Jacksonville’s offense did little good and too much bad.
Bortles was 18 of 34 for 221 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. He threw a 48-yard strike to Allen Robinson with 2:19 remaining.
Bills 43, Jets 23
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Ten completions, four touchdowns.
Kyle Orton didn’t have to do much for the Buffalo Bills, not when the New York Jets had six turnovers — three each by Geno Smith and Michael Vick — in a 43-23 rout Sunday.
Orton tied a career high with his four TD passes, and won for the third time in four games since replacing EJ Manuel as the starting quarterback for the Bills (5-3).
Orton finished 10 of 17 for 238 yards, connecting with Robert Woods, Lee Smith, Scott Chandler and Sammy Watkins for scores.
Watkins had three catches for 157 yards — but was embarrassed when he was caught from behind while celebrating early on what appeared would be a long TD. Without the injured Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller in the backfield, the Bills rushed for just 67 yards, who sent the struggling Jets (1-7) to their seventh straight loss.
The Jets have lost seven in a row for the first time since 2005, in Herm Edwards’ final season as coach. Smith threw interceptions on three consecutive possessions in the first quarter and was pulled in favor of Vick, who was picked off once and lost two fumbles.
New York announced after the game that Smith had X-rays on his right shoulder after the game, but did not immediately announce results. The injury was not believed to have affected Smith’s performance.
Percy Harvin, acquired last weekend by the Jets from Seattle, caught three passes for 22 yards and had 28 yards rushing on four carries in his debut with New York.
Buffalo got on the scoreboard on its first possession, with Orton zipping a pass to Woods for a 22-yard touchdown early in the first quarter.
Smith then threw three straight interceptions and was benched after the Bills turned the last interception by Williams into a score one play later, on Lee Smith’s 1-yard touchdown catch with 4:36 left in the opening quarter.
Geno Smith finished 2 of 8 for 5 yards and the three interceptions as the Bills also became the first team to have that many in the first quarter since Arizona against Atlanta in 2012.
Vick jogged onto the field to loud cheers from the MetLife Stadium crowd, which had booed Smith moments earlier, and led the Jets on a 13-play, 76-yard scoring drive — capped by the first of Chris Ivory’s two 2-yard touchdown runs.
Vick, 18 of 36 for 153 yards, was an early spark but wasn’t without his share of mistakes. He had a 12-yard scramble negated by a questionable 15-yard taunting penalty when he spiked the ball on the sideline at the end of the run.
Bears 23, Patriots 51
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — From unacceptable to unwatchable.
One week after a shouting match in the locker room following a loss that receiver Brandon Marshall deemed “unacceptable,” the Bears fell meekly to the Patriots 51-23 on Sunday. New England scored three touchdowns in the final 1:52 of the first half to turn a 10-point lead into a 38-7 advantage.
The Bears claimed to have pulled themselves together after last week’s 27-14 home loss to the Miami Dolphins, a game followed by shouting that could be heard outside of the locker room. But they were quickly exposed by the Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski connection.
The Patriots quarterback picked apart the Chicago defense, completing 30 of 35 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns. Gronkowski caught nine passes for 149 yards and three TDs before leaving in the third quarter with what the team said was dehydration.
The biggest show of defense from the Bears was when Marshall told reporters waiting to enter the locker room after the game to “put your ears closer to the door.”
New England (6-2) scored on all five of its possessions in the first half – and one of Chicago’s – on its way to its fourth straight win. The Bears (3-5) fell behind 45-7 early in the second half and lost for the fourth time in five games.
Since losing to the Bears 46-10 in the Super Bowl ending the 1985 season, the Patriots are 7-1 against them.
After a slow start this season, Brady has thrown for 1,268 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in the last four games. Sunday’s performance was the sixth of his career in which he’s thrown for at least five scores, including the playoffs. His 148.4 passer rating was the eighth best of his career.
Texans 30, Titans 16
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Zach Mettenberger shaved his beard and got a haircut for his big NFL moment, and he wound up throwing for the most yards ever by a rookie quarterback making his first start for the Tennessee franchise.
The rookie needs more help from his teammates.
Mettenberger threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns but also turned the ball over twice as the Titans lost 30-16 to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
First-year coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t ready to grade his rookie, the third different quarterback to start this season for Tennessee. The coach now has a bye to review all that’s going wrong for the Titans (2-6), who have lost two straight and are 1-3 at home.
The Texans (4-4) snapped a three-game skid and beat the team they replaced in Houston for the fourth time in five games. Arian Foster ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a pass for a score, topping 100 yards rushing in his fourth straight game — the first such streak in his career.
Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney played for the first time since hurting his knee in the season opener. Clowney played mostly in passing situations and finished with one tackle.
Vikings 19, Bucs 13 OT
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Anthony Barr stripped the ball, scooped it up and took off for the end zone.
And to think, the whole sequence began with the rookie being out of position, much to coach Mike Zimmer’s consternation.
“I was a little late to get there, but I was able to get my hand on the ball and strip it, and fortunate enough to pick it up and score,” Barr said.
Barr ran down Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins after a 10-yard gain that would have given Tampa Bay a promising start to the extra period.
Teddy Bridgewater cut down on mistakes that have hindered him as a first-year quarterback, throwing for 241 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for the Vikings in his fourth NFL start. The Vikings (3-5) improved to 2-2 in those games, with both wins coming on the road.
The stunning end came after Minnesota extended the game on Blair Walsh’s 38-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
Barr’s score came 17 seconds into the extra period, the quickest of any fumble return for a touchdown since regular-season overtime was instituted in 1974.
Tampa Bay (1-6), playing for the first time since allowing Joe Flacco to throw five TD passes in the first 16 minutes of a 48-17 loss to Baltimore, fell to 0-4 at home. The Bucs have lost 16 straight games in which the opponent scored first. The Bucs finished with 225 yards total offense, 66 on the ground. Glennon was sacked five times, while Tampa Bay only got to Bridgewater once.
Rams 7, Chiefs 34
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jamaal Charles shredded the Rams on a pair of touchdown runs. Knile Davis returned a kickoff 99 yards for another score. The Chiefs sacked St. Louis quarterback Austin Davis seven times.
If there was a fourth phase to football, Kansas City probably would have dominated that, too.
After spotting their cross-state rivals the first touchdown, the Chiefs turned up the pressure in every way Sunday. The result was a 34-7 victory, their sixth straight in the series dating to Sept. 24, 1994, when the Rams were still based in Los Angeles.
Charles, who last week became the Chiefs’ career rushing leader, powered over the left side of the line for a touchdown in the first quarter. He added a 36-yard score early in the fourth, dodging a defender at the line of scrimmage and then accelerating past the Rams’ defense.
Cairo Santos added a pair of field goals for Kansas City (4-3), including a career-best 53-yarder right before halftime. Smith was 24 of 28 for 226 yards, and Davis capped the string of 34 unanswered points with a short touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
By that point, the banged-up Rams (2-5) were just trying to survive.
Austin Davis finished 15 of 25 for 160 yards with a touchdown and an interception, three of his sacks coming at the hands of Justin Houston. It didn’t help that left tackle Jake Long, right guard Rodger Saffold and center Scott Wells sustained injuries during the game.
The Rams were also playing with an injury-depleted defensive backfield.
The Rams’ running back by committee proved to be a bust, too. Benny Cunningham, Zac Stacy and Tre Mason were bottled up all game, and St. Louis managed just 84 yards on 19 carries.
Eagles 20, Cardinals 24
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles sat on routes around the yard markers, hoping to prevent Arizona from moving the chains on a last-minute drive.
They closed down those lanes, but made a glaring error deep in coverage, allowing John Brown to slip behind them for a 75-yard touchdown.
With the game on the line, the Cardinals came up with the big plays and the Eagles couldn’t.
Brown split two defenders for his long touchdown catch with 1:21 left and Nick Foles failed on two last-second throws in the end zone, sending the Eagles to a 24-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Coming off its bye week, Philadelphia (5-2) never backed down in this battle of NFC heavyweights, despite a slew of penalties, three turnovers and some defensive breakdowns.
But each time they needed a big play, the Eagles couldn’t come through, especially late.
Tied at 17, Philadelphia had the ball inside Arizona’s 10-yard line, but came up short of the end zone, settling for Cody Parkey’s 20-yard goal with 1:56 left.
With a chance to slow Arizona’s last-minute drive, Philadelphia had the breakdown on the long touchdown by Brown, who slipped between the two defensive backs and crossed the goal line just as he was being tackled.
The Eagles still had one more shot.
Foles orchestrated a crisp drive downfield, taking Philadelphia to Arizona’s 16-yard line with 16 seconds left. Foles couldn’t connect on his first two throws and his third landed in the hands of Jordan Matthews, but momentum — and a little help from Arizona’s Rashad Johnson — carried the receiver out of bounds on the game’s final play.
Foles had a good connection with Jeremy Maclin all day, finding him 12 times for 187 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Foles hit Maclin for a 21-yard touchdown in the first quarter, then on a 54-yarder in the third quarter to put the Eagles up 17-14.
But Foles also had a couple of big mistakes.
In the second quarter, he had a pass intercepted by Antonio Cromartie in the end zone, killing a scoring chance. Foles threw another interception in the fourth quarter, again by Cromartie, that led to a 28-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro, who broke a NFL rookie record with his 16th straight made field goal to start his career.
Combined with Josh Huff’s fumble at Arizona’s 7-yard line in the second quarter and 11 penalties for 103 yards, the Eagles cost themselves a shot at keeping up with Dallas in the NFC East.
Arizona (6-1) had some shaky moments of its own.
The Cardinals had almost no running game — 71 yards on 23 carries — and had some defensive breakdowns in the second half that nearly allowed Philadelphia to pull away.
But, like they always seem to, the Cardinals came up with the big plays when they needed them.
Carson Palmer threw for 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns going 20 of 42.
Larry Fitzgerald had another big game against the Eagles, catching seven passes for 160 yards. One of those was an 80-yard touchdown in the third quarter, the 11th touchdown he’s scored in six career games against Philadelphia.
Brown made the most of his five catches, racking up 119 yards, and the defense made key plays when it needed to, particularly when the game was on the line.
Colts 34, Steelers 51
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger spent a week politely answering questions about Andrew Luck, saying all the right things to anyone who asked about how impressed he was with the rising Indianapolis Colts star.
Then Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback delivered a virtuoso performance not even the precocious Luck could match.
Hot at the start and typically cool at the end, Roethlisberger masterfully guided the Steelers to a 51-34 victory Sunday that provided Pittsburgh with the jolt of legitimacy it’s been searching for all season.
Roethlisberger set franchise records with 522 yards passing and six touchdowns while picking up his 100th victory in his 150th start.
And though he insists he wasn’t keeping track, there’s little chance Roethlisberger will forget one of the most prolific days in NFL history.
The fact it went right against Luck — who has more than a little bit of Roethlisberger’s swashbuckling in him — was purely incidental.
It scorched the Colts (5-3), ending Indianapolis’ five-game winning streak in record-setting fashion.
Roethlisberger’s yardage total was the fourth highest in NFL history. He became the first player to go over 500 yards passing twice as the Steelers (5-3) won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Antonio Brown caught 10 passes for 133 yards and two scores. Heath Miller caught seven passes for 112 yards and the clinching TD with 5:14 remaining.
Luck passed for 400 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. He handed the Steelers a safety when he was called for intentional grounding in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter that handed momentum to the Steelers.
The 907 combined yards passing were the second most ever, trailing only the 971 yards Detroit and Green Bay put up on Jan. 1, 2012.
The Colts gave up 639 yards and never led, though Luck kept repeatedly threatening to pull off a miracle akin to the 28-point rally he engineered against Kansas City in last year’s wild-card playoff game.
Indianapolis trailed 35-10 in the second quarter, but had the ball and 95 yards to go down 42-34 midway through the fourth quarter.
Roethlisberger joined Tom Brady, Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to win at least 100 games in their first 150 starts.
The Steelers wore striped gaudy yellow-and-black striped jerseys borrowed from the 1934 team. The uniforms were the only thing old school on a day Pittsburgh played at warp speed.
Consider this: Pittsburgh’s leading passer in 1934 was Warren Heller, who passed for 511 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. Roethlisberger better those totals in 60 nearly flawless minutes.
Raiders 13, Browns 23
CLEVELAND (AP) — One of these games, the Raiders will put it all together.
Oakland’s offense will play turnover-free, the defense will make a big stop, the special teams will do something special.
One of these games, the Raiders will win.
One of these games.
Darren McFadden’s fumble — he had the ball knocked loose by safety Donte Whitner’s helmet — in the third quarter set up Cleveland’s go-ahead touchdown and the Browns went on to a 23-13 win over Oakland, dropping the Raiders to 0-7.
The NFL’s only winless team, Oakland has lost 13 in a row dating to last season, and the Raiders are 0-16 in games played in the Eastern time zone since 2009.
The Raiders had their chances. Down just 9-6 late in the third quarter, they were driving to a possible tying field goal or go-ahead score when McFadden’s fumble swung the game to the Browns (4-3).
On second-and-6 at the Cleveland 29, McFadden broke a few tackles on a 9-yard run when Whitner came up and delivered his big hit, jarring the ball loose.
It was caught in the air by Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden, who returned it 34 yards. On the next play, Brian Hoyer found Hawkins for a 32-yard gain and three plays later, the pair hooked up for a 4-yard TD.
Cleveland 16, Oakland 6. Ball game.
The Browns tacked on a late touchdown following a fumble by Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr, who made the score a little more respectable with a 7-yard TD pass to Andre Holmes with seven seconds left.
But the Raiders made too many errors earlier. Carr was sacked three times by Browns linebacker Paul Kruger and was rushed into other throws.
Carr did show poise and his powerful arm in completing 34 of 54 passes for 328 yards, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
One week after a humiliating loss, the Browns (4-3) weren’t going to be embarrassed again.
The Browns matched their win total from last season. They also dodged what would have been an historic loss. Cleveland fell at Jacksonville last week, giving the Jaguars their first win. According to STATS, no team in NFL history has lost consecutive games to winless teams in Week 7 or later.
Hoyer finished 19 of 28 for 275 yards and no interceptions. He quieted the growing calls for the Browns to switch to rookie Johnny Manziel — for at least another week.
Packers 23, Saints 44
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees completed 27 of 32 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints ended the Green Bay Packers’ four-game winning streak, 44-23 on Sunday night.
Rookie receiver Brandin Cooks had a 50-yard touchdown catch and a 4-yard scoring run, and tight end Jimmy Graham also caught a touchdown pass to help the Saints (3-4) pull even in victories with Carolina (3-4-1), setting up a showdown to decide first place in the NFC South on Thursday night.
Aaron Rodgers, intercepted only once in Green Bay’s first seven games, was picked off twice and sacked three times. He still passed for 418 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb, but it was not nearly enough to prevent the Packers (5-3) from falling a game behind NFC North leader Detroit.
Packers running back Eddie Lacy, who grew up in the New Orleans area, had 181 yards from scrimmage — including 123 yards on eight catches — but was stopped on fourth-and-short in the third quarter. Soon after, Graham scored his first touchdown since injuring his shoulder in Week 5, giving New Orleans a two-score lead.
Redskins 20, Cowboys 17 OT
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Colt McCoy’s successful return to Texas trumped Tony Romo’s dramatic return to the game.
McCoy directed Washington to Kai Forbath’s 40-yard field goal in overtime and Dallas was unable to answer after Romo came back from an injury to his surgically repaired back, sending the Redskins to a 20-17 victory on Monday night that snapped the Cowboys’ six-game winning streak.
McCoy, the former Texas star playing at the home of the Cowboys for the first time since his final college game in his home state, calmly drove the Redskins (3-5) to the winning points.
The Cowboys (6-2) had one last chance, but didn’t get a first down. Romo’s final pass on fourth down was knocked away by Bashaud Breeland.
Romo left after getting sacked by Keenan Robinson in the third quarter. He lay motionless for several minutes but returned for the final Dallas drive of regulation.
The 34-year-old Romo, who had surgery for a herniated disk last December, reached for his back after the hit and stayed flat on the ground before trainers rolled him to his side. He walked to the locker room mostly under his own power.
Coach Jason Garrett said X-rays were negative and Romo had a back contusion.
He played through a back injury against the Redskins last year, leading a winning drive that kept the Cowboys’ playoff hopes alive. But he had to sit out a season-ending loss to Philadelphia that kept Dallas out of the postseason for the fourth straight year.
This time, it was McCoy getting the win in his first start in almost three years after beginning the night with a career record of 6-15.
McCoy, who was 25 of 30 for 299 yards, threw 23 yards to Pierre Garcon to get the winning drive going. On third-and-3 from midfield, he fled the pocket, pointed to Jordan Reed to run up the field and lofted a pass that Reed caught while tiptoeing inbounds.
Another 16-yarder to Reed made Forbath’s job much easier.
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray extended the record he took from Jim Brown a week ago with his eighth straight 100-yard rushing game to start the season. He had 141 yards rushing and another 80 receiving.
Brandon Weeden took over at quarterback after Romo was hurt, and his first play was a handoff to Murray for 51 yards to the Redskins 6, pushing him over 1,000 yards for the second season in a row.
The previous Dallas running back with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons was NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith with 11 in a row from 1991 to 2001.
McCoy put Washington up 17-10 early in the fourth quarter with a 7-yard run on a quarterback draw, slicing between three defenders across the goal line.
Weeden answered with a matching 80-yard drive capped by his 25-yard scoring pass to Jason Witten.