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Here is a recap of Week nine of the 2014 NFL Season with Tuesday Afternoon QB. Thanks again to the AP Sports/Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Saints 28, Panthers 10
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers need to get their offense moving before it’s too late to make another playoff run this season.
In a game to determine the NFC South lead, the Panthers sputtered to 231 yards and didn’t build any momentum when their defense was opportunistic early.
The struggles sent them to a 28-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, their second straight game with 10 or fewer points.
Actually, the Panthers haven’t done that nearly enough for three straight games.
Since a 37-37 tie at Cincinnati in Week 6, the Panthers fell behind 28-3 at the half of a 38-17 loss at Green Bay, settled for two short field goals early in last week’s 13-9 home loss to Seattle, then fell behind 14-0 by halftime against the Saints.
For the Saints, the performance proved they know how to win big games on the road.
Drew Brees overcame a shaky start and threw for one touchdown and ran for another as the Saints (4-4) piled up 375 yards to snap a seven-game losing streak on the road that dated back to last November.
Brees finished 24 of 34 for 297 yards and Mark Ingram turned in another solid performance with 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Brees threw an interception and fumbled in the first quarter before settling down late in the second.
The Saints’ defense sacked Newton four times and forced two turnovers.
Newton spent much of the night under heavy duress playing behind an offensive line without three of its regular starters.
Jaguars 23, Bengals 33
CINCINNATI (AP) — Blake Bortles wanted to throw the ball away.
Instead, he threw it to safety George Iloka in the end zone.
Another interception by the rookie ended Jacksonville’s final chance to pull out a win.
Jeremy Hill ran for a career-high 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns on Sunday, including a 60-yarder in the fourth quarter that helped the Cincinnati Bengals hold on for a 33-23 victory over Jacksonville.
Nothing new for the Jaguars (1-8), who are accustomed to playing not quite good enough.
Andy Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes, one of them to A.J. Green in the Pro Bowl receiver’s return from a toe injury, but also had a pair of interceptions that kept it close.
The Jaguars (1-8) turned Dalton’s second interception into Denard Robinson’s 5-yard touchdown run, cutting it to 26-23. Hill broke his 60-yard touchdown run on Cincinnati’s next play from scrimmage and finished with the most yards by a Bengals running back in five years.
Bortles, who leads the NFL in interceptions, helped the Bengals put it away by throwing an interception in the end zone with 3:55 left. “I tried to throw it out of the end zone,” said Bortles, who was 22 of 33 for 247 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to Allen Hurns.
Jacksonville was headed directly from Cincinnati to London, England, where the Jaguars will play the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday. They had a lot to think about on the long flight.
“In order to be a championship team, you have to have championship thoughts,” coach Gus Bradley said. “‘It’s OK to lose’ is not a championship thought, and that’s not part of our language. Be upset, be angry and be determined to come back even stronger is our mentality.”
The Bengals held onto first place in the AFC North despite a sloppy game. They host intrastate rival Cleveland on Thursday night and will need to play better than they did against a one-win team.
Dalton was 19 of 31 for 233 yards with two interceptions and two sacks. He had a 19-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu that put the Bengals ahead to stay in the second quarter. While Green was sidelined for three games by an injured big right toe, Sanu developed into the Bengals’ top playmaker.
Sanu had four catches for 95 yards on Sunday, including an over-the-shoulder catch for a 33-yard gain in the first half. He held on for a 36-yard gain on the opening drive of the second half despite being leveled by Josh Evans, setting up Hill’s 1-yard touchdown run for a 19-3 lead.
Jets 10, Chiefs 24
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Smith insisted he was looking for Dwayne Bowe in the end zone, a rarity considering the Chiefs quarterback has yet to throw a touchdown pass to a wide receiver this season.
What happened next in their 24-10 victory over the Jets on Sunday was even rarer.
The pass was batted at the line of scrimmage by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. It bounced right into the hands of tight end Anthony Fasano, who had been blocked to the ground, and he rolled over across the goal-line for a touchdown that extended the Chiefs’ lead to two scores.
“I don’t know what to say,” Smith said, smiling. “A freaky play.”
Just the kind of play that’s been going Kansas City’s way during a three-game win streak — and the kind that has been going against New York during its eight-game skid.
The Jets’ losing streak is their longest since 1996, when they went 1-15 in their final year under Rich Kotite. The franchise has never lost nine in a row, an embarrassment embattled coach Rex Ryan and his troops will try to avoid next Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Smith finished with 199 yards and two touchdowns passing, and Jamaal Charles ran for another score for the Chiefs (5-3), who won for the fifth time in six games on the same day that former running back Priest Holmes was inducted into their ring of honor.
Starting his first game with the Jets (1-8) in place of Geno Smith, Michael Vick threw for 196 yards and a touchdown. He briefly left early in the fourth quarter after taking a massive hit from the Chiefs’ Josh Mauga and walking unsteadily off the field, but returned to finish.
Smith was inactive with a shoulder injury, so Matt Simms had to play one series.
New York actually moved the ball well through gusty conditions, utilizing Percy Harvin in the running and passing games. But the Jets kept misfiring deep in Chiefs territory, settling for a field goal just before halftime and then turning it over on downs at the Kansas City 3 early in the fourth quarter — Vick was injured on that fourth-down play.
In all, the Jets were stopped on fourth down three times in the fourth quarter.
Chargers 0, Dolphins 37
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Following a third-down incompletion, Philip Rivers sprinted 30 yards downfield to lobby in vain for an interference call.
The San Diego Chargers never got closer to the goal line than that.
Unable to block or stop the Miami Dolphins, the Chargers endured their third consecutive defeat and were shut out for the first time since 1999, losing 37-0 Sunday.
The Chargers took the opening kickoff, drove to the Miami 22 and were stopped on fourth-and-1. They never crossed midfield again, while the Dolphins scored on six of their first seven possessions.
The Chargers (5-4) remained winless in South Florida since January 1982, a stretch that includes eight consecutive losses to the Dolphins. A midseason swoon intensified with their third loss in a row heading into a bye week, and their most lopsided defeat since 1996.
The Dolphins (5-3) earned their third consecutive victory, this one for coach Joe Philbin, whose father died Friday. Weddle said he had the sense the Dolphins rallied around their leader.
Miami’s Ryan Tannehill had a career-high passer rating of 125.6 when he called it a day after three quarters. He took full advantage of the Chargers’ ailing secondary by going 24 for 34 for 288 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 47 yards on four carries.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ front four dominated the Chargers’ line, harrying Rivers into a lost fumble and three interceptions, two to Brent Grimes.
“They flat-out beat us,” Rivers said. “For 60 minutes they wore us out.”
The turnovers were especially surprising from a team that committed a total of five in the season’s first eight games.
Rivers passed for only 138 yards and had a quarterback rating of 31.0, his lowest since 2007. He went to the bench for good late in the third quarter, and the Dolphins ended his Chargers-record streak of at least one touchdown pass in 28 consecutive games.
Cardinals 28, Cowboys 17
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Carson Palmer gave the Dallas Cowboys just the gift they needed early in a game without Tony Romo — throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Palmer didn’t make any other big mistakes, and Romo backup Brandon Weeden had a hard time avoiding the miscues that landed him in Dallas in the first place.
Palmer stayed perfect as Arizona’s starter this season, throwing three touchdown passes, while Weeden couldn’t get the Cowboys into the end zone until the game was out of reach in the Cardinals’ 28-17 victory Sunday.
The Cardinals (7-1) rallied from a 10-0 deficit for their fourth straight win, including back-to-back victories over the top two teams in the NFC East. This is the latest they’ve had sole possession of the best record in the NFC since 1974.
Romo was out with his third back injury in 18 months, and Weeden threw two interceptions and had several other misfires as the Cowboys (6-3) dropped their second straight. He finished 18 of 33 for 183 yards with a meaningless late touchdown to Dez Bryant.
Things to consider after the Cardinals won a regular-season game in Dallas for the first time since 1989 (14 consecutive losses, not counting a playoff victory in the 1998 season).
NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray’s record streak of eight straight 100-yard games to start the season for Dallas ended against a defense that didn’t allow a back over the century mark for the 18th consecutive time.
Murray, who ran for 79 yards on 19 carries, was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 34 with the Cardinals leading 14-10 in the fourth quarter. Palmer took the Cardinals the other way for the last of his three scoring tosses, a 1-yarder to Andre Ellington.
Ellington outgained Murray on the ground with 95 yards and added another 39 receiving.
Palmer was efficient otherwise, though, finishing 22 of 34 for 249 yards with touchdowns of 7 yards to John Carlson, 11 to Jaron Brown and the short one to Ellington. All three TDs came on third down, with the Cardinals converting 9 of 15 in that situation.
Eagles 31, Texans 21
HOUSTON (AP) — Mark Sanchez filled in so seamlessly for the Philadelphia Eagles after Nick Foles was injured Sunday that at first one of his linemen didn’t know there was a quarterback change.
Throwing for 202 yards and two touchdowns after Foles hurt his left shoulder late in the first quarter, Sanchez helped the Eagles beat the Houston Texans 31-21 on Sunday. Sanchez found Jeremy Maclin deep on his first play for a 52-yard gain.
Sanchez, who also threw two interceptions, missed all of last season after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the preseason. He played in the regular season for the first time since Dec. 30, 2012, with the New York Jets.
The NFC East-leading Eagles (6-2) completed the scoring with 3:50 left when Maclin grabbed a low throw for an 8-yard catch.
Sanchez said he was a bit nervous before the first throw to Maclin. Those butterflies dissolved after that strike. He said it helped that he made his NFL debut at Houston in 2009. He threw for 272 yards and a score in that win.
The Houston Texans were done in by their inconsistent offense on Sunday.
The Texans (4-5) scored a defensive touchdown and two other scores came after turnovers, but they were unable to move the ball for most of the day. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 203 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Houston.
Bucs 17, Browns 22
CLEVELAND (AP) — Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy — never afraid to speak his mind — went out of his way to rave about Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer.
During the week, McCoy told reporters he respected Hoyer for his intelligence, athleticism and how he conducts himself on and off the field. This wasn’t an act, some attempt at psyching out Hoyer. McCoy meant every word.
On Sunday, McCoy said it to Hoyer’s face.
“He came up to me during the game and he’s like, ‘Hey, I meant everything I said,'” Hoyer said following Cleveland’s 22-17 victory over the Buccaneers. “To know you’re earning the respect around the league means a lot.”
And Hoyer isn’t the only one getting praise.
The Browns, stuck in a degrading cycle of losing for years, have the NFL’s attention.
Hoyer’s 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Taylor Gabriel with 8:59 left gave Cleveland the lead, and the Browns confounding defense was able to protect it.
Cleveland’s fourth victory in five games helped the Browns (5-3) surpass last year’s win total and gave them some momentum heading into Thursday night’s matchup with AFC North-leading Cincinnati. The Browns haven’t been this good at the midway point since 2007, when Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas was a rookie.
“It’s been a long time,” Thomas said.
The Browns concluded a three-game stretch against three of the NFL’s weakest teams — Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay are a combined 2-23 — with two wins. They were ugly at times, and the Browns still have a lot of areas to clean up, but Cleveland teams in the past probably would have found ways to lose.
Not this one. Hoyer shook off two interceptions and the Browns blocked a field goal and punt to pull out the win.
The Buccaneers (1-7) have lost four straight and five games by six points or less. Coach Lovie Smith is seeing progress, but it’s not translating to wins. Mike Glennon went 17 of 33 for 260 yards, and fell to 1-4 while filling in for injured starter Josh McCown.
Redskins 26, Vikings 29
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Five starts into his NFL career with Minnesota, Teddy Bridgewater has looked a lot like a rookie throughout much of his time on the field.
With time winding down and the Vikings needing to score, though, he’s been at his best.
Bridgewater threw a touchdown pass in the final minute of the first half and made four first-down throws on the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter, helping the Vikings spoil the first game back for Robert Griffin III by beating the Washington Redskins 29-26 on Sunday.
Bridgewater, who completed 26 of 42 passes for 268 yards without a turnover and ran three times for 20 yards.
Matt Asiata rushed for three touchdowns for the Vikings (4-5), who sacked Griffin five times, including on three straight plays in the third quarter. They rallied from deficits of 10-0, 20-14 and 26-21.
Robert Griffin III went 18 for 28 for 251 yards and one touchdown plus 24 yards on seven carries for the Redskins (3-6), who had a rough start and finish to their afternoon.
The two buses carrying players, coaches and other personnel to the stadium crashed on the interstate exit ramp a few blocks away, hard enough to shatter the windshield and cause some minor injuries.
Rams 13, 49ers 10
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Three weeks after one of his best performances of the season against St. Louis, Colin Kaepernick fell flat on his back in one of his worst.
His offensive line left him little chance. The San Francisco 49ers are fumbling away key opportunities in the NFC West.
Kaepernick lost the ball at the goal line with 2 seconds left trying for the go-ahead score, and the Rams sacked him eight times on the way to a 13-10 upset of San Francisco on Sunday.
The play was reviewed and upheld. If Kaepernick had maintained possession, the 49ers could have used their final timeout to try for the touchdown again, or attempt a field goal to tie.
St. Louis is doing plenty to influence the West race, beating defending Super Bowl champion Seattle on Oct. 19 and the 49ers two weeks later — by a combined five points.
Greg Zuerlein kicked the go-ahead 39-yard field goal for the Rams (3-5) with 5:25 left, then San Francisco got another chance.
Kaepernick started the last drive with 3:11 remaining from the 49ers 12. He completed long passes to Stevie Johnson and Anquan Boldin. Trumaine Johnson helped San Francisco get closer with back-to-back pass interference and holding penalties as he defended Michael Crabtree.
On third-and-goal from the 1, Kaepernick bobbled the snap, controlled it and dove between his blockers as fullback Bruce Miller tried to shove him into the end zone. Kaepernick fumbled as he went down in the mass of bodies, apparently short of the goal line.
James Laurinaitis came away with the ball. Playing for the second time in 21 days, the teams both were coming off embarrassing routs — the Rams last week 34-7 in Kansas City and the 49ers 42-17 at Denver on Oct. 19 — and this wasn’t pretty, either.
Broncos 21, Patriots 43
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The chant began midway through the fourth quarter with the latest matchup between the all-time great quarterbacks long ago decided:
On this day, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots certainly were the superior team, routing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-21 on Sunday to grab the best record in the AFC.
Brady outdueled Manning in the 16th installment of their rivalry and is 11-5 against Manning. He threw for four touchdowns and Julian Edelman returned a punt 84 yards for a score.
In his 200th career start, Brady passed for 333 yards. He has won 155 of those, the most for any quarterback in that many starts.
After 15 seasons that almost certainly will earn him Hall of Fame recognition, Brady, 37 has that respect. He also has that mastery over Manning, who fell to 2-7 at Gillette Stadium even though he threw for 438 yards and two touchdowns. He has at least two TD passes in 14 consecutive games, an NFL record.
“Well, I don’t usually stink, but I stunk today,” said Manning, 38, who broke into the NFL in 1998, two years before Brady. “I don’t make any excuses. ”
The two touchdown passes increased Manning’s total to 515. He broke Brett Favre’s record of 508 earlier in the season.
The game wasn’t particularly competitive after the first quarter, which Denver completed in front 7-3.
New England (7-2) scored the next 24 points on the way to winning its fifth straight, halting the four-game winning streak for Denver (6-2) in emphatic fashion. Brady has 18 TD passes and one interception in those five victories. It was the first game in NFL history matching quarterbacks with more than 150 regular-season wins.
Raiders 24, Seahawks 30
SEATTLE (AP) — Pete Carroll’s reminder of how close the Seattle Seahawks were to being average last season usually gets ignored.
So when victories now don’t come with ease and efficiency, like Sunday’s 30-24 win over the winless Oakland Raiders, it’s not a surprise for the coach.
Fortunately for the Seahawks, they still have Marshawn Lynch to lean on. Lynch scored a pair of first-half touchdowns and Bruce Irvin returned an interception 35 yards for another score as the Seahawks (5-3) jumped to a 24-3 lead then held on through a sloppy second half.
Lynch carried tacklers and teammates into the end zone in the first quarter on his 3-yard scoring run, but was an important option for Russell Wilson as a pass catcher. Lynch finished with 67 yards rushing and another 76 receiving, and his day could have been far more productive if not for gains of 43, 20 and 11 yards on either runs or passes called back by penalties. His 5-yard run at the end of the first half gave the Seahawks a 21-point lead that seemed plenty comfortable at the time.
Not all was perfect for Seattle. Wilson struggled through one of his worst passing games and the Seahawks failed to capitalize on numerous chances to rout the winless Raiders. It made for an uncomfortable final minutes as Derek Carr’s second TD pass to Mychal Rivera with 1:52 left pulled the Raiders within six.
Sebastian Janikowski’s onside kick was misplayed by Seattle’s Cooper Helfet, but Jermaine Kearse fell on the loose ball and Seattle ran out the clock to hand the Raiders (0-8) their 14th straight loss dating to last season. Wilson, who finished 17 of 35 for 179 yards.
Part of Wilson’s problem was the continued shuffling on Seattle’s offensive line. Left tackle Russell Okung was inactive. Patrick Lewis made his first start at center with Max Unger and Stephen Schilling injured. Left guard James Carpenter suffered an ankle injury in the second half and undrafted rookie Garry Gilliam — a tackle — was his replacement.
Injuries were an issue for Seattle’s defense, but clearly not as much of a factor. Linebacker Brock Coyle and safety DeShawn Shead made their first career starts, but Seattle still allowed only 226 total yards.
Seattle also got turnovers to bounce its way. Irvin tipped Carr’s pass intended for James Jones, located to the ball in the air then beat Carr to the pylon for his first career touchdown. Later in the first half, Richard Sherman got his first interception of the season, getting better position than Andre Holmes on a back-shoulder pass and pulling in the pick with his left hand. T.J. Carrie also fumbled a kickoff that kicker Steven Hauschka recovered.
Sherman held the ball on his way out of the locker room to add to his collection.
Denico Autry blocked Jon Ryan’s punt on the first possession of the second half and Brice Butler recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown to spark Oakland. It was the first punt block for a touchdown against Seattle since 2003 and the second for Oakland in the past two seasons.
Carrie later had a 27-yard punt return to set up Carr’s first TD toss to Rivera late in the third quarter. Carr, who finished 24 of 41 for 194 yards, gave the Raiders a chance late with his second TD toss.
Ravens 23, Steelers 43
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Terrell Suggs isn’t one to get rattled. The Baltimore Ravens linebacker has made a career out of being the one who agitates, not the one who gets agitated.
For a night anyway, the Pittsburgh Steelers found a way to reverse the roles.
Ben Roethlisberger threw six touchdown passes and the Ravens lost their cool in a 43-23 loss on Sunday night. Baltimore turned it over twice, gave up four sacks and was flagged 10 times while losing its second straight.
Better get started soon. The Ravens (5-4) fell into last place in the crowded AFC North with the loss after it failed to sweep the season series from the surging Steelers (6-3), who have won three straight.
Certainly not Pittsburgh. The Ravens dominated the Steelers 26-6 in Week 2, emerging from a chaotic few days surrounding the release of running back Ray Rice by physically overwhelming the Steelers.
This time, it was the other way around. Joe Flacco threw for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception but absorbed a series of shots from a relentless Pittsburgh pass rush.
There were no such issues for Roethlisberger.
A week after passing for a franchise-record six touchdowns against Indianapolis, Roethlisberger duplicated the feat to help Pittsburgh (6-3) win its third straight. Roethlisberger’s 12 touchdown passes over the last two games broke the mark of 11 set by Tom Flores for Oakland in 1963 and matched by New England’s Tom Brady in 2007.
Antonio Brown caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a score. Rookie Martavis Bryant hauled in two scoring receptions and has five touchdowns in three games.
The renewal of one of the NFL’s most physical rivalries traded its usual taut, low-scoring style for something decidedly more spectacular but no less physical. When Roethlisberger wasn’t dissecting Baltimore’s depleted secondary with his expanding number of targets, the teams were trading punches and penalties.
Just not the lead, not after a resurgent Pittsburgh defense gave Roethlisberger all the momentum he would need to continue the finest stretch of his 11-year career. Roethlisberger found Brown for a 54-yard catch-and-run early in the fourth quarter to make it 29-10. Jacoby Jones responded with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but Roethlisberger then hit the 6-foot-4 Bryant for an 18-yard strike and capped another remarkable night with a 33-yard score to Spaeth with 1:51 remaining.
Colts 40, Giants 24
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts weren’t going to have a hangover from last week’s defeat.
Andrew Luck wouldn’t allow it.
Luck threw for four touchdowns and the Colts’ defense kept Eli Manning and the Giants off balance Monday night in Indianapolis’ 40-24 romp.
With his franchise-record seventh consecutive 300-yard game, Luck led the Colts (6-3) to a lopsided win one week after a 51-34 loss to Pittsburgh. Unlike the way Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger toyed with their defense in that game, the Colts didn’t let Manning get going in handing New York (3-5) its third straight defeat.
Luck hit Coby Fleener for a 32-yard TD in the first half. He had scoring throws of 31 yards to T.Y. Hilton, 40 yards to Reggie Wayne and 2 yards to Dwayne Allen in the third period.
Adam Vinatieri added four field goals and is perfect on 20 tries this year.
It was the eighth time this season that Luck had thrown for more than 300 yards and the 17th time in his three pro seasons. He was 25 for 46 for 354 yards.
Wayne surpassed James Lofton for career yards receiving and has 14,070 in his 14-season career.
Giants first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. had 156 yards on eight receptions, by far his best game. Manning threw for 359 yards and two TDs, but most of that came with the game decided.
Meanwhile, New York was plagued by drops by its receivers, an inability to sustain a ground game, and enough pressure on Manning to force long or high throws that had no chance to be caught. Indy led 16-3 at the half thanks to Fleener’s TD and field goals of 48, 31 and 48 yards by Vinatieri, who added a 43-yarder in the fourth quarter.