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Here is a recap of Week ten of the 2014 NFL Season with Tuesday Afternoon QB. Thanks again to the AP Sports/Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Week 10 Byes: Texans, Colts, Vikings, Patriots, Chargers, Redskins
Browns 24, Bengals 3
CINCINNATI (AP) — More than halfway through the season, the AFC North’s standings start with Cleveland.
Yes, the Browns. The team that’s been the division’s doormat for years. The one that changes coaches and quarterbacks and can’t seem to get anywhere.
With a dominating performance, Cleveland suggested that might be changing. The Browns moved into a first-place tie with Pittsburgh by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 24-3 on Thursday night, extending their best start in 20 years.
Maybe these aren’t the Browns (6-3) that everyone has come to expect.
And the Bengals (5-3-1) are a prime-time mess. Again. They lost a Sunday night game in New England 43-17 earlier this season. They were primed to prove themselves to a national audience. All they did was show they can’t handle the attention.
While the Bengals try to find the words to describe yet another meltdown, the Browns came away in the unaccustomed role of having to avoid getting giddy over being in first place.
Yes, that was Dalton’s passer rating for Thursday night — 2.0. He completed 10 of 33 for 86 yards with three interceptions and two sacks. He was off-target all night, his throws sailing on a cold, breezy night. Asked who should get the blame for another horrid offensive showing, Dalton answered immediately.
The Bengals have a history of falling apart on the big stage and in the postseason. They haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, tied for the sixth-longest streak of futility in NFL history. They’ve reached the playoffs each of the last three seasons and lost in the first round. They’re also horrid in prime time, going 18-41 in those big-stage games, including that drubbing in New England earlier this season. Until they show up when it matters, they’re not going to be taken seriously as a championship contender.
Falcons 27, Buccaneers 17
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Standing in a winning locker room for the first time in nearly two months, Matt Ryan stopped short of saying the Atlanta Falcons are back on track after ending a five-game losing streak.
There’s still a lot of winning to do to get back into the NFC South race, but beating the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the second time was a start Sunday.
The 27-17 victory was the first for the Falcons (3-6) since they embarrassed their NFC South rivals 56-14 on Sept. 18, a game in which the Bucs (1-8) lost quarterback Josh McCown to a thumb injury.
And as strange as it might sound, it kept the team’s hopes of creeping back into the division race alive.
New Orleans (4-5) leads the NFC South with a losing record. Second-place Carolina (3-5-1) plays Philadelphia on Monday night.
That’s the same thing the Bucs (1-8) have been saying during a five-game skid of their own. Sunday’s loss dropped them to 0-5 at home, and coach Lovie Smith conceded he’s running out of explanations for the team’s lack of success.
McCown returned to Tampa Bay’s lineup for first time since the earlier meeting at Georgia Dome, throwing for 301 yards and two TDs. His 1-yard scoring pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins put the Bucs ahead 17-16 early in the fourth quarter. But Ryan drove the Falcons right down the field, throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White and a two-point conversion to Harry Douglas.
Steven Jackson scored on a 1-yard run and Matt Bryant kicked four field goals for the Falcons, one of them after a wide-open Devin Hester dropped what would have been a touchdown in the second quarter.
Ryan finished 20 of 31 with no interceptions. Jackson rushed for 81 yards on 16 carries, Julio Jones had eight receptions for 119 yards and White had six catches for 72 yards.
McCown completed 27 of 43 passes, threw a pair of interceptions in the final two minutes and was sacked four times. Rookie Mike Evans had a big game for the second straight week with seven receptions for 125 yards, including a 22-yard TD catch that gives him five in his past five games.
Cowboys 31, Jaguars 17
LONDON (AP) — Bad back or not, the Dallas Cowboys are a better team with Tony Romo on the field.
Romo threw three touchdown passes Sunday to lead the Cowboys over the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-17 in the last of three regular-season NFL games at Wembley Stadium.
The injury may have affected him against the Jaguars (1-9), but it didn’t stop him from helping the Cowboys (7-3) snap a two-game losing streak.
Romo completed 20 of 27 passes for 246 yards and finished with a season-high passer rating of 138.8. He threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten in the first quarter and then hit Dez Bryant for a pair of TDs in the second, the first from 35 yards and the second from 68.
For the Jaguars, Denard Robinson scored two touchdowns, running in from the 32 to give Jacksonville a 7-3 lead in the first quarter and then from the 1 late in the fourth. Blake Bortles, playing with a sore left wrist, was 22 of 37 for 290 yards with one interception.
The Jaguars are 0-2 in London, and they will return to Wembley Stadium next season and in 2016.
Jacksonville is in the middle of a four-year deal to play one game per season at Wembley, the home of England’s national soccer team. Last year, they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 42-10. Next year, they will face the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 25.
Sunday’s game was the third and final regular-season game at Wembley this year, but they’ll be back for more next year.
The attendance was 83,603, slightly more than the other two games this season. The first game this year, when the Miami Dolphins beat the Oakland Raiders 38-14, drew 83,436 on Sept. 28. The Detroit Lions’ 22-21 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 26 drew 83,532.
Next year, however, there will be three more games in London. Besides the Jaguars- Bills on Oct. 25, the Dolphins will play the New York Jets on Oct. 4 and the Kansas City Chiefs will meet the Lions on Nov. 1.
49ers 27, Saints 24 OT
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A reprieve for mercurial quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Redemption for indomitable linebacker Ahmad Brooks.
Kaepernick completed a 51-yard pass on fourth down to sustain a tying drive in the final minutes of regulation, Brooks sacked and stripped Drew Brees in overtime, and Phil Dawson kicked a 35-yard field goal to cap San Francisco’s stirring 27-24 victory over New Orleans on Sunday.
The victory snapped a two-game skid for the Niners (5-4) and marked the first home loss for the Saints (4-5) in more than a season.
New Orleans had won 11 straight in the Superdome — 20 straight at home in games coached by Sean Payton, who was suspended in 2012. It looked like that streak would continue after New Orleans erased an 11-point halftime deficit and took a lead on Brees’ 2-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham with 1:52 left.
Even after the Niners tied it on Dawson’s 45-yard field goal with 44 seconds left, the Saints nearly won on the final play of regulation. Brees heaved a long toss that Graham, who played college basketball, leaped up and caught in the end zone — but the star tight end was called for pass interference after appearing to shove defensive back Perrish Cox to the turf.
Brooks’ decisive blow on his sack of Brees had to feel like poetic justice to the Niners’ defensive stalwart. His unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a vicious sack and strip in the Superdome a year ago allowed the Saints to pull out a late comeback victory.
This time, Brooks’ play set up Dawson’s winning kick with 5:14 remaining in overtime.
Brees wanted to throw over the middle to Travaris Cadet, but the running back had tripped, so Brees waited and re-cocked his arm as Cadet got up.
“It’s a game of inches and split seconds, and they got it out just before my arm was coming forward,” Brees said.
New Orleans’ defense, which sacked Kaepernick four times, dominated nearly the entire second half, allowing the Saints to come back. All New Orleans needed was a stop on fourth-and-10 to close the deal.
Kaepernick rolled right to buy time, spotted Michael Crabtree deep down field and unloaded his game-saving pass to the Saints’ 27.
Brees was intercepted twice, the second time by Chris Culliver late in the first half on a pass intended for Graham, who was at the Niners’ goal line but had three defenders around him. The squandered scoring chance drew boos.
Kaepernick finished 14 of 32 for 210 yards. Anquan Boldin had six catches for 95 yards, including a touchdown. Frank Gore scored on a 4-yard run set up by Antoine Bethea’s interception.
Brees finished 28 of 47 for 292 yards, including 10 connections with Graham for 76 yards and a 31-yard TD to rookie Brandin Cooks.
Chiefs 17, Bills 13
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t flinch in the face of adversity.
For Leodis McKelvin and the Buffalo Bills, they endured a familiar late-game meltdown for a franchise that has had little go its way during a 14-season playoff drought — the NFL’s longest active streak.
Smith, on an 8-yard run, and Jamaal Charles, on a 39-yard scamper on fourth-and-1, scored less than five minutes apart as the Chiefs overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull out a 17-13 win over the bumbling Bills on Sunday.
The Chiefs (6-3) came out on top in a key midseason AFC showdown by improving to 6-1 in their past seven games.
It was a different mood altogether in the Buffalo’s locker room after the Bills (5-4) unraveled coming out of their bye week off. McKelvin had difficulty containing his anger in issuing a series of profanity-laced answers in discussing how his fumble helped cost Buffalo the game.
The outcome turned early in the fourth quarter with Buffalo clinging to a 13-10 lead.
The Bills defense forced a three-and-out, forcing the Chiefs to punt out of their own end zone.
McKelvin fielded Dustin Colquitt’s punt cleanly at his own 31 and took a few steps to his right. That’s when he was initially hit by Albert Wilson. Anthony Sherman then knocked the ball loose, and recovered the fumble at the Bills 26.
Two plays later, Smith faked a handoff to the right to Charles, and then took off left for the go-ahead score with nearly nine minutes left.
The drive stalled at the 15, when Kyle Orton threw four consecutive incompletions, including an underthrown attempt to Sammy Watkins at the 1 on fourth down. Defensive back Ron Parker knocked down three Orton attempts, while another sailed through the end zone past Chris Hogan.
Orton went 29 of 48 for 259 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown to Hogan. Marcell Dareus had three of Buffalo’s six sacks.
Very little went right for the Bills offense after Orton hit Hogan for a 25-yard touchdown to cap the opening drive. Buffalo then managed two field goals, lost a fumble and turned the ball over on downs in four trips inside the Chiefs 20.
This marked the fourth time during their playoff drought the Bills lost after compiling a 5-3 record. Buffalo hasn’t had six or more wins through nine games since 1999, the last time it made the playoffs.
The Chiefs, who opened last season at 9-0, find themselves on another roll and in the thick of a jumbled AFC playoff race.
“It’s just crazy how the NFL is going this year,” offensive tackle Eric Fisher said. “It was a huge AFC game for us. Getting that win, being 6-3, that sounds pretty good.”
Charles finished with 98 yards rushing, Smith went 17 of 29 for 177 yards and Dwayne Bowe had eight catches for 93 years.
Dolphins 16, Lions 20
DETROIT (AP) — The fourth quarter has been a lot friendlier this season to Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions.
Stafford led Detroit to another victory in the final minutes Sunday, throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Theo Riddick with 29 seconds remaining to lift the Lions to a 20-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. Detroit has won four games in a row, and the past three victories came via thrilling fourth-quarter comebacks. Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw for 201 yards, but it was Stafford who made the final big play, snapping a pass to a sliding Riddick in the back left corner of the end zone.
That’s a far cry from 2013, when the Lions lost six of their last seven games despite leading in the fourth quarter of all of them.
Coach Jim Schwartz was fired after last season’s collapse, and Jim Caldwell took over. The NFC North-leading Lions (7-2) are now off to their best start since 1993, when they were also 7-2.
The Dolphins (5-4) have already endured a couple losses that could haunt them down the stretch. They lost to Green Bay last month on a touchdown with 3 seconds left. Then Miami let a late three-point lead slip away against Detroit.
After missing a month with an ankle injury, Calvin Johnson looked rested and ready, catching a 49-yard touchdown pass from Stafford in the first quarter with a vintage leaping grab at the goal line.
Johnson caught seven passes for 113 yards — his best numbers since the season opener. Matt Prater made a 50-yard kick early in the fourth quarter, but the Lions are still only 11 of 22 on field goals this season. They won their previous game over Atlanta on Prater’s last-second kick in London — but that came after a miss was negated by a delay of game penalty on Detroit.
Steelers 13, Jets 20
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — On a rare day for Rex Ryan, the embattled coach of the struggling New York Jets was able to smile after a game for the first time since Week 1.
It’s been that long since the Jets had won, so the relieved Ryan was feeling pretty good after a stunning 20-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
“All right!” Ryan exclaimed. “Finally!”
Finally, indeed. Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes and the Jets (2-8) forced four turnovers, including two interceptions by Jaiquawn Jarrett, while shutting down Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers (6-4) and ending an eight-game losing streak.
“This team deserved to win, man,” Ryan said.
Roethlisberger threw six touchdown passes in each of his last two games, and was playing in front of a MetLife Stadium crowd that appeared nearly half-filled with Terrible Towel-waving Steelers fans. But the Jets wouldn’t allow Roethlisberger to get into much of a rhythm.
Roethlisberger finished 30 of 43 for 343 yards and connected with Martavis Bryant for an 80-yard TD with 1:16 left. The Steelers attempted an onside kick, but Eric Decker recovered to seal it for the Jets — who avoided setting a franchise mark for consecutive losses.
Vick, who became the first quarterback in NFL history to run for 6,000 career yards, threw touchdown passes to T.J. Graham and Jace Amaro. Vick was 10 of 18 for 132 yards and ran eight times for 39 yards, and Ryan announced that the veteran will start again against Buffalo after the bye week.
The victory might help temper frustrations of Jets fans, one of whom had a banner-toting plane urging the team to fire general manager John Idzik circle the practice field early in the week. There was another one circling the stadium Sunday, which read: “JETS REBUILDING SINCE 1969.”
But, heading into the bye, Ryan’s job, as well as Idzik’s, appears safe — for now.
Titans 7, Ravens 21
BALTIMORE (AP) — Mired in a two-game losing streak and stuck in last place, the Baltimore Ravens broke out their old recipe for success to earn a much-needed victory.
The Ravens have long relied on a strong running game and a suffocating defense to win, and that was precisely the formula Baltimore used to beat the Tennessee Titans 21-7 Sunday.
Justin Forsett ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns to back a redemptive performance by the Baltimore defense that produced two turnovers, five sacks and plenty of helmet-ringing hits.
The Ravens (6-4) repeatedly harassed rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who went 16 for 27 for 179 yards and an interception in his first road start in the NFL. He rarely got the chance to comfortably plant both feet in the pocket and was unable to move the offense after the first quarter. Mettenberger struggled against a Ravens defense that came at him in waves, completing 16 of 27 passes for 179 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked five times and the Titans twice turned over the ball, once at the Baltimore goal line.
Tennessee didn’t get its initial first down of the second half until 4:37 was left in the game. Soon after that, newcomer Danny Gorrer intercepted a pass to clinch it for the Ravens.
It was a bounce-back performance by a defense that was embarrassed seven days earlier in a 43-23 loss to Pittsburgh. In that game, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 340 yards and six touchdowns.
In this one, the Ravens limited Tennessee to just 68 yards after the first quarter. The Titans (2-7) have lost seven of eight. It was 7-all at halftime, but Tennessee had three three-and-outs in the third quarter while the Ravens took control. Tennessee had seven possessions without a first down and finished with a meager 210 yards in offense.
Joe Flacco completed 16 of 27 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown for the Ravens, but the key was Forsett, who averaged 5.6 yards on his 20 carries.
Baltimore went ahead for the first time with 5:36 left in the third quarter when Forsett scored on an 11-yard run to make it 14-7. Flacco went 5 for 5 on the 11-play, 72-yard drive. After the Titans failed to respond, Flacco hit Torrey Smith for a 32-yard touchdown with 13:09 left.
Broncos 41, Raiders 17
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — All the good work the Oakland Raiders did on defense in the first 26 minutes was erased in an instant when C.J. Anderson broke three tackles and weaved through the entire unit on the way to a long touchdown.
Peyton Manning followed that score with another four touchdown passes on the next four drives and the Denver Broncos handed the Raiders their 15th straight loss, 41-17 on Sunday.
Manning had looked rather ordinary before that touchdown, throwing two interceptions and failing to lead Denver (7-2) into the end zone.
But he was his usual self after it, throwing two passes to Julius Thomas and two more to Emmanuel Sanders as the Broncos rebounded from last week’s loss at New England by beating up on the Raiders (0-9).
Manning threw for 340 yards and extended his record with at least two touchdown passes to 15 straight games.
Anderson, who grew up in nearby Vallejo and attended college at California, finished with 90 yards rushing and 73 receiving. Demaryius Thomas had 11 catches for 108 yards.
There was almost nothing positive from the Raiders in their first blowout loss since interim coach Tony Sparano replaced the fired Dennis Allen after four games.
Derek Carr threw for 192 yards on 47 attempts, most of the production coming on a meaningless touchdown drive in the closing minutes. He also had two interceptions. The running game was limited to 30 yards on 15 carries and the defense was completely overmatched after a spirited start. The Raiders failed to gain a first down rushing for the first time since 2006.
Giants 17, Seahawks 38
SEATTLE (AP) — While Doug Baldwin wants catches and wants to make plays in the passing game, he knows what the Seattle Seahawks have become known for: stingy defense, the improvisation of Russell Wilson and a lot of Marshawn Lynch.
All three of those elements were at play in Seattle’s 38-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday, the third straight win for the Seahawks where the defending champs showed glimpses of that title form.
“It felt like Seahawks football again,” Baldwin said. Wilson finished 10 of 17 for 172 yards. He threw two interceptions for the first time since last November against Tampa Bay. His passer rating of 53.7 was his second-lowest of the season. Only once in the last five games has Wilson had a passer rating of better than 77.5.
Lynch was the workhorse of a record day for the Seahawks offense. He ran for 140 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on runs of 1, 2, 3 and 16 yards. Seattle set a franchise record with 350 yards rushing, the most in the NFL since Kansas City ran for 352 against Indianapolis in 2012.
Lynch wasn’t alone. Wilson added 107 yards on 14 carries and a 1-yard TD run with 5:19 left. Christine Michael and Robert Turbin averaged more than 5 yards per carry: Michael finished with 71 yards and Turbin added 32.
Seattle is the first NFL team to have a running back rush for four touchdowns and a quarterback run for at least 100 yards in the same game.
The easy games appear to be done for the Seahawks. The next six weeks will determine if Seattle is going to repeat as NFC West champs.
For the Giants, Eli Manning finished 29 of 44 for 283 yards, but just 91 in the second half. He also fumbled in the closing minutes. It was a complete turnaround from the first half when Manning picked apart Seattle’s secondary and threw for 192 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target was Beckham, who had 92 yards receiving in the first half including a 44-yarder where he got the better of Sherman.
The stretch starts with next week’s game at Kansas City (6-3). The Seahawks return home to host division-leading Arizona (8-1) before facing rival San Francisco (5-4) on a short week on Thanksgiving night. Seattle then travels to Philadelphia (6-2) before closing the brutal stretch with a home game against the 49ers and a trip to Arizona.
Rams 14, Cardinals 31
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The St. Louis Rams were beating the team with the best record in the NFL. They were facing a backup quarterback, and it was the fourth quarter.
Then everything fell apart for the Rams, and the Arizona Cardinals erupted for a 31-14 victory.
Patrick Peterson intercepted Austin Davis twice on Sunday, returning the second 30 yards for a touchdown. Then Davis fumbled the ball away after a crushing hit and Antonio Cromartie returned it 14 yards for a score.
On the first possession after Palmer was hurt, rookie John Brown’s diving grab of backup Drew Stanton’s 48-yard touchdown pass put the Cardinals up 17-14 with 7:40 to play.
Palmer was taken to the locker room on a cart after being helped off the field.
It was the same left knee that he injured Jan. 8, 2006, in a playoff game against Pittsburgh, when he tore his ACL and MCL on his first pass of the game.
St. Louis (3-6) was shut out in the second half.
The Rams pointed to a crucial penalty after a 41-yard pass to Jared Cook had put the ball on the Arizona 4-yard line late in the third quarter. But Lance Kendricks was called for a blindside block, a 15-yard penalty that pushed St. Louis back to the Cardinals’ 45. Calais Campbell’s second sack of the game eventually pushed the Rams out of field-goal range.
At 8-1, the Cardinals have their best record after nine games since going 11-1 as the Chicago Cardinals in 1948.
Palmer was playing some of the best football of his career and, on Friday, signed a three-year contract extension worth a reported $50 million with $20.5 million guaranteed.
On third at the Rams 28, Palmer dropped back to pass, then tried to avoid blitzing safety Mark Barron. The quarterback’s leg gave way and Barron touched Palmer for a sack.
Stanton went 2-1 as a starter earlier this season when Palmer was out with a damaged nerve in his throwing shoulder.
Bears 14, Packers 55
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Hands stuffed into his pockets on a chilly night, Aaron Rodgers warmed up near the space heaters on Green Bay’s sideline. He smiled as he patted teammates on their helmets.
There was nothing much left to do in the middle of the third quarter on a record-setting night with the Packers leading NFC North rival Chicago by 38 points.
Rodgers threw six touchdown passes to tie the franchise game record and match the NFL mark for a half, and the Packers routed the reeling Bears 55-14 on Sunday.
Rodgers was 18 of 27 for 315 yards, throwing touchdown passes of 73 and 40 yards to Jordy Nelson to help the Packers (6-3) open a 42-0 halftime lead.
Rodgers tied the team touchdown pass record that he shared with Matt Flynn and matched the NFL mark for a half set by Oakland’s Daryle Lamonica in 1969.
The 190th meeting of the NFL’s oldest rivalry turned into an old-fashioned blowout and Rodgers watched most of the second half from the sideline in a knit cap.
A night full of milestones included Rodgers’ 16th scoring pass of 70 yards or more to break the record he shared with Denver’s Peyton Manning and Rodgers’ predecessor in Green Bay, Brett Favre. Rodgers looked just fine two weeks after tweaking his left hamstring in a loss to New Orleans.
The 55 points tied a Packers record at Lambeau Field. Both teams were coming off byes. The down time didn’t help the Bears, who have lost five of six to drop to 3-6.
Their season is turning into a nightmare, and their defense has fallen apart.
Two weeks after giving up 38 points in the first half in a 51-23 loss to New England, the Bears set a dubious franchise record by giving up 42 points in a half.
“I’m confused, brother. I’m confused. … We’re just not very good right now,” receiver Brandon Marshall said. “It’s a shame to have to say that, but sitting at 3-6, it’s tough. It’s very, very, very disappointing.”
Embattled quarterback Jay Cutler had another night to forget at Lambeau Field with two first-half turnovers. He has thrown 12 interceptions in four career games in Titletown.
Cutler was 22 of 37 for 272 yards. His performance surely won’t ease the withering criticism back home in Chicago.
Panthers 21, Eagles 45
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A dominant defense made it easy for Mark Sanchez
Darren Sproles had two touchdowns, Sanchez threw for two scores and the defense sacked Cam Newton nine times to help the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Carolina Panthers 45-21 Monday night.
Filling in for an injured Nick Foles, Sanchez had 332 yards passing in his first start since Dec. 30, 2012. Sproles returned a punt 65 yards for a score and had an 8-yard TD run. Bradley Fletcher returned an interception 34 yards for a TD and Jordan Matthews had 138 yards receiving and two TDs.
The Eagles (7-2) stayed on top in the NFC East. They’re trying to repeat as division champions without Foles, who broke his collarbone in a win at Houston last week.
The Panthers (3-6-1) hardly look like the team that won the NFC South last year. They’ve lost four in a row and already have allowed more points in 10 games than they did in 2013. Making things worse, Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei was carted off the field late in the third quarter.
Newton threw the first of three interceptions and DeAngelo Williams lost a fumble on Carolina’s first three plays from scrimmage. The turnovers led to 10 points for the Eagles.
Conor Barwin had 3 ½ sacks and Brandon Graham had 1 ½. Newton had never been sacked more than seven times in his career.
The game was in Philadelphia’s control when Newton threw a pair of fourth-quarter TDs to Kelvin Benjamin.