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Here is a recap of Week 2 of the 2015 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Broncos 31, Chiefs 24
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos have beaten the Kansas City Chiefs every way imaginable over the years, from playoff shootouts to defensive tug-of-wars.
Well, not quite every way. Not until Thursday night.
Denver cornerback Bradley Roby returned Jamaal Charles’ second fumble 21 yards for a touchdown with 27 seconds left, completing a stunning comeback in the closing minute for a 31-24 victory — the Broncos’ seventh straight over their AFC West rivals.
“I’m not quite sure I’d ever been in one quite like that,” Manning said. “That was a new one.”
Manning threw for 256 yards and three scores, the last to Emmanuel Sanders with 36 seconds left as the Broncos (2-0) appeared to force overtime. But on the next play from scrimmage, with the Chiefs (1-1) also eyeing overtime, Charles was stripped by Brandon Marshall and the ball bounced right into Roby’s hands.
The dramatic about-face came after Knile Davis gave Kansas City the lead with 2:27 left on an 8-yard run, raising hope among a sellout crowd that the Chiefs might finally end some curses.
Instead, Denver won its 13th straight division road game, breaking a tie with the San Francisco 49ers (1987-90) for most in NFL history. And for one night, Manning quieted his growing doubters by improving to 14-1 in his career against the Chiefs.
Charles finished with 125 yards rushing and a touchdown, but he will only remember his fumbles — one in the red zone early in the game, the other deep in his own territory late in the game.
“I have to be careful with the ball,” Charles said. “It’s my fault.”
Manning threw a pick-six of his own, but he responded when it mattered the most.
The Broncos took over at their own 20 after Davis had given Kansas City the lead, and the seven-time All-Pro marched them calmly down field. Manning found Demaryius Thomas for three long receptions to get deep into Chiefs territory, then hit Sanders with a strike over the middle on third-and-10 from the Chiefs 19 for the touchdown that kept Denver alive.
The late-game dramatics transpired after the Chiefs bolted to a 14-0 lead in their home-opener, energizing a boisterous, red-clad crowd that had been tailgating all afternoon.
But like he has so often against the Chiefs, Manning answered by leading Denver on an 80-yard TD march late in the first half. The capper was a pass over the middle to Sanders, who slipped between the safeties and somersaulted into the end zone for the 16-yard touchdown reception.
Two plays later, Aqib Talib picked off Smith’s throw on a poorly thrown pass in the flat, and the Broncos needed just four plays for Manning to find Virgil Green with a tying touchdown toss.
After swapping field goals, the Chiefs were poised to celebrate when Davis took a handoff from Smith as the quarterback fell down and raced into the end zone late in the fourth quarter.
Turned out to be not late enough for Manning and the Broncos.
NOTES: Thomas finished with eight catches for 116 yards. … Smith was sacked four times. Manning was sacked three times, twice by Justin Houston. … The Chiefs had two penalties last week vs Houston. They had nine vs Denver. … Kansas City was 0 for 7 on third down.
Cardinals 48, Bears 23
CHICAGO (AP) — As long as Carson Palmer is in the lineup, the Arizona Cardinals believe they can beat anybody. And they will be tough to knock off if he keeps playing like this.
Palmer threw for four touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 48-23 victory over the Chicago Bears, who lost Jay Cutler to a pulled hamstring Sunday.
Palmer connected with Larry Fitzgerald for three of his TDs, giving the quarterback seven in two games after returning last week against New Orleans from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that cut short his season after just six games a year ago.
Palmer was 17 of 24 with 185 yards to improve to 15-2 in his last 17 starts. Fitzgerald had 112 yards, and with those three TDs, he matched a career high he set against Philadelphia in the conference final seven years ago.
David Johnson returned the opening kickoff a club-record 108 yards and added a rushing TD, becoming the first player in NFL history with a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown in his first two games to begin a career.
Chris Johnson ran for 72 yards with Andre Ellington sidelined by a sprained right knee for the Cardinals (2-0). And, coach Bruce Arians gained a measure of revenge after the Bears hired Marc Trestman over him in January 2013.
Jay Cutler walked to the locker room after he was stiff-armed trying to tackle Tony Jefferson on a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the first half.
That was the biggest development in a game that included several big plays and ended with Chicago (0-2) remaining winless under new coach John Fox. The seven touchdowns allowed tied the franchise record for the Bears, who had never given up 48 points in a home game. They also tied a club record with 170 penalty yards.
Cutler completed his first eight passes for 120 yards before getting picked off. He threw a 48-yard touchdown to Josh Bellamy. But the injury on Jefferson’s interception return was another big blow for a team that was already missing its top receiver with Alshon Jeffery out because of a hamstring problem.
Cutler was not available for comment afterward, and Fox would not say if he expects his quarterback to return this season.
Clausen’s long pass on the opening drive of the second half got picked off by Patrick Peterson, leading to a 28-yard touchdown catch by Fitzgerald that made it 35-20. David Johnson added a 13-yard scoring run to make it a 22-point game, sending Arizona to a lopsided victory after a wild first half.
Along with Johnson’s team-record return on the game’s opening kickoff, there were two long pass interference penalties by Chicago’s Kyle Fuller and Alan Ball that led to touchdowns for the Cardinals. The Bears also got a pair of field goals in the final minute of the half, thanks to a fumble recovery on a punt and an interception by Jared Allen.
All that was overshadowed by Cutler’s injury.
Arizona had just grabbed a 21-14 lead when he threw a pass behind Martellus Bennett, resulting in an easy interception for Jefferson. As he tried to make a tackle, Cutler got stiff-armed and landed on his right shoulder. But the Bears said he injured his hamstring.
NOTES: Cardinals WR J.J. Nelson left with a shoulder injury. LB LaMarr Woodley also hurt his shoulder, but returned. … For Chicago, Bellamy’s TD was also his first career reception. He is in his fourth year in the league. … Bears rookie Jeremy Langford scored his first TD on a 1-yard run.
Falcons 24, Giants 20
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The fourth quarter again was the Giants’ undoing.
Breakdowns on both sides of the ball Sunday led to their second consecutive brutal loss, this time 24-20 to the Atlanta Falcons in their home opener at MetLife Stadium.
Faced with a short week in prelude to a Thursday night division contest against the Redskins, coach Tom Coughlin can only continue to stress his point about finishing games — something the Giants failed at defensively and in their decision making last week against Dallas.
On Sunday, it was a total team collapse.
“I just asked them to search down inside,” Coughlin said after watching Eli Manning’s third-quarter fumble at the Falcons 9 turn into a 91-yard touchdown drive. Then he saw Julio Jones streak past cornerback Prince Amukamara in man coverage to set up the winning score with 1:14 remaining. “We talk every week about finishing. That wasn’t a finish for me.
“The competitive nature of the finish of the game has got to improve. It’s our doing. There’s nobody to blame but us.”
Between the defense’s inability to stop Jones, who tied Tony Gonzalez’s 2012 record of 13 single-game catches, and Manning’s mental and physical mistakes in a clock-killing situation with just over four minutes remaining, there was plenty of blame to go around.
Manning (27 of 40, 292 yards, two TDs) had defensive end Kroy Biermann strip-sack him with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter as the Giants appeared poised to extend a 20-10 lead. That play sparked the gap-closing Atlanta touchdown drive.
Manning took a delay-of-game penalty after an Atlanta timeout on a late fourth-quarter drive, further annoying Coughlin.
That turned a third-and-7 situation into a third-and-12,, and Preston Parker’s 5-yard reception forced a punt. That allowed Ryan to mount his winning 70-yard touchdown drive in which Jones burned Amukamara for 37 yards against an all-out blitz.
The Giants, whose bad decisions and poor execution cost them last week at Dallas, saw Leonard Hankerson catch a 10-yard TD pass to bring Atlanta within three. Then Ryan guided the Falcons to the winning score.
In the first half, Odell Beckham Jr. turned a short pass into a 67-yard touchdown, one of New York’s six plays of 19 yards or more.
The Falcons needed Jones’ big day because they lost rookie starting running back Tevin Coleman (ribs) in the first half. Ryan turned to the air and threw for 363 yards and one score.
Despite frequent double-team coverage, Beckham, the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year, set an NFL mark with 1,495 yards in the first 14 games of a career. He had seven receptions for 146 yards Sunday.
On his TD, Beckham sped the final 40 yards alone after bursting through a small hole between two defenders who could only flail away.
“We need to keep attacking,” Beckham said “It’s not 15, 35, 45 or 50 minutes. It’s 60 minutes.”
New York led 20-10 after Larry Donnell made a sliding 10-yard catch with cornerback Robert Alford on his back.
The Giants lost first-round draft pick Ereck Flowers. The left tackle hobbled off with a sprained left ankle.
NOTES: Coleman got Atlanta’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run, his first NFL TD. … Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is in the NFL’s concussion protocol program after a second-half injury. … Josh Brown had field goals of 38 and 44 yards for New York, while Matt Bryant made a 42-yarder for Atlanta. … Manning finished with 292 yards passing. … The Giants honored their 1990 NFL championship team at halftime, with former coach Bill Parcells carrying the Lombardi Trophy onto the field.
Lions 16, Vikings 26
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Matthew Stafford’s arm bled on the TCF Bank Stadium turf, and each breath he took brought another jolt of pain in the rest of his bruised and battered body.
For a guy who was only sacked once on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Stafford sure took a beating. The Detroit Lions did, too.
Stafford needed X-rays on his chest and ribs after the game, and the Lions turned the ball over three times and committed some penalties in a 26-16 loss to the Vikings that dropped them to 0-2.
“You see him grimace here and there,” said receiver Calvin Johnson, who had 10 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. “A lot of time you don’t even get to see the shots because you’re downfield running routes.
Stafford did not reveal the extent of his injuries and finished 32 for 53 for 286 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
But after the Vikings allowed 230 yards rushing in an ugly season-opening loss to the 49ers, the Lions only managed 38 on the ground on 16 attempts.
Lance Moore and Theo Riddick lost fumbles for Detroit and the Lions also missed a chance to swing the momentum in the third quarter when Adrian Peterson fumbled the ball while going into the end zone.
Defensive end Jason Jones was lined up in the neutral zone, a penalty that nullified the turnover, and Zach Line followed with a 1-yard plunge to put the Vikings up 23-10.
Peterson rushed 29 times for 134 yards in his first game in Minnesota in 658 days. He missed every home game last season while addressing child abuse charges in Texas, but received a standing ovation from the crowd upon his introduction. He only rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries in the opener, but touched the ball 31 times on Sunday, including a 49-yard catch-and-run that set up a field goal.
The Vikings led 14-0 early in the second quarter when Teddy Bridgewater scored on a bootleg, allowing them to turn the defense loose against Stafford.
The quarterback took some huge hits and could be seen shaking his right arm in pain at several points through the game.
Johnson was only targeted four times in Detroit’s Week 1 loss in San Diego. But Stafford threw in his direction 17 times on Sunday while the Lions tried to claw their way back into the game. A second interception was negated by a pass interference penalty on Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
Eric Ebron caught the other touchdown pass for the Lions.
NOTES: LB DeAndre Levy (hip) was inactive. … Lions LB James Ihedigbo forced two of Peterson’s three fumbles. But the Lions were only able to recover one. … The Lions had more yardage in penalties (39) than on the ground. … After opening with two road games, the Lions have their home opener next week against Denver. … Rookie RB Ameer Abdullah had 18 yards on seven touches, down from 94 yards on 11 touches in his debut.
49ers 18, Steelers 43
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The sheet and 20 years of conventional NFL wisdom said to kick. The Pittsburgh Steelers took a look at it, ripped it up and set it on fire.
Considering how easy Ben Roethlisberger and company made finding the end zone look on Sunday against overmatched San Francisco, there may be no going back.
Roethlisberger passed for 369 yards and three touchdowns, DeAngelo Williams tied a team record with three rushing scores and the Steelers converted a pair of early 2-point attempts to seize momentum and roll to a remarkably easy 43-18 win.
Brown caught nine passes for 195 yards and one touchdown and had a 2-point conversion catch for the Steelers, who needed all of 23 minutes to pile up 453 yards even without All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant. The two 23-year-olds sat out a second straight game for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, though Bell will return next week when Pittsburgh visits St. Louis.
Given 10 days to recover from a 28-21 loss to New England, Pittsburgh responded by looking every bit as explosive as offensive coordinator Todd Haley insisted it could be. Frustrated by an inability to finish drives with touchdowns against the Patriots, the Steelers decided to end them with exclamation points while ruining San Francisco coach Jim Tomsula’s homecoming.
Despite an easy opening week win over Minnesota, Tomsula stressed he was “worried about them Steelers,” a line he delivered in an intentionally thick Pittsburgh accent as a way of paying tribute to his roots.
The Steelers began each practice during training camp with a drill called “seven shots.” The starting offense would run seven plays from the 2 — the distance of a 2-point conversion — against the starting defense.
It wasn’t just for late-game situations. Tomlin hinted he’d become more aggressive going for two after the league moved back the extra point kick. He backed it up twice in the first half, keeping the offense on the field following touchdowns by Heath Miller and Williams.
Both times the Steelers converted with ease. Roethlisberger connected with a wide-open Brown to put Pittsburgh up 8-0. The Steelers initially lined up to kick after Williams’ first score but Tomlin changed his mind when San Francisco was flagged for being offside. With the ball moved up to the 1, Roethlisberger flipped a pass to Miller.
Tomlin finally sent kicker Josh Scobee out for a one-point kick after Darrius Heyward-Bey’s 35-yard touchdown reception early in the second quarter. Scobee, who missed a pair of field goals in the opener, smacked it off the upright. When Scobee did connect on one to push the Pittsburgh advantage to 29-3 with 1:58 to go in the half, the largest regular season crowd in Heinz Field history greeted the kick with a Bronx cheer.
The plodding 49ers couldn’t keep pace.
Colin Kaepernick threw for 335 yards and two scores but was sacked five times and didn’t get comfortable until it was far too late. Torrey Smith had six receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Two San Francisco long drives — 17 plays in the first half and 18 plays in the second — netted just three points. None of the Steelers’ six scoring drives took more than eight plays.
NOTES: 49ers RB Carlos Hyde ran for 43 yards before leaving in the second half following a shot to the head. He was cleared by doctors to return but was held out as a precaution. … Steelers LB Ryan Shazier had a career-high 15 tackles, but left with a minor right shoulder injury. … Roethlisberger tied Terry Bradshaw’s team record for career wins (107). … San Francisco plays at Arizona next Sunday.
Buccaneers 26, Saints 19
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jameis Winston had news for anyone who thought his difficult NFL debut was going to get him down.
“I will never lose confidence. Confidence is who I am,” Winston said after passing for a touchdown and running for another to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the mistake-prone New Orleans Saints 26-19 on Sunday.
“I’m just pleased with how we played, but my confidence will always remain the same and even get higher if we hopefully get on a streak,” he said.
Winston, the NFL’s top overall draft choice, was intercepted twice and sacked four times in a loss at home a week earlier. He remained largely composed in the hostile Superdome, completing 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards and was not intercepted. He lost one fumble, but the Saints couldn’t cash in, missing a 42-yard field goal.
Winston’s touchdown pass was a 15-yard finesse throw floated down the middle to Vincent Jackson in the back of the end zone.
Now it looks like the Saints, with an overhauled roster loaded with young players, are in need of a confidence boost following an 0-2 start has dropped them into last place in the NFC South.
The Saints turned the ball over twice on fumbles — one each by running back Mark Ingram and receiver Willie Snead — and once on Chris Conte’s interception of Drew Brees. Still, New Orleans had two plays to tie it from the Bucs 27 in the final 8 seconds, but both passes fell incomplete.
“This is a marathon. You’ve got to reiterate that to the young guys and make sure that nobody is overreacting,” Brees said. “Certainly there is a sense of urgency. The only way you can right the ship is by winning one game.”
Brees, who could be seen trying to loosen his right shoulder after a first-half hit as he tried to throw, said he was in pain but tersely downplayed the severity.
Brees has had major surgery on his throwing shoulder before, but that was about a decade ago, in the 2006 offseason.
Buccaneers kicker Kyle Brindza hit four field goals ranging from 22 to 55 yards. Three of those kicks helped Tampa Bay (1-1) build a 23-7 lead. But the Bucs made their own mistakes in the form or late turnovers and penalties that forced them to sweat it out until the final play.
Doug Martin’s fumble led to Snead’s first-career touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Brees. But first-year kicker Zach Hocher’s point-after kick was blocked, leaving the Saints down 23-19.
Because lineman Joe Hawley’s tripping penalty negated a first-down on a screen, Tampa Bay was forced to punt to New Orleans with about three minutes left.
Ingram’s fumble, recovered by Henry Melton, put the Bucs in position to close it out, but they managed only a field goal, giving New Orleans just more than a minute to try to a tying TD.
Again, Tampa Bay seemed to have sealed the victory when Brees was sacked and fumbled, but a Bucs offside penalty extended the final drive until time ran out.
New Orleans’ only lead came when Ingram’s 11-yard run made it 7-3. Fullback Austin Johnson’s 1-yard TD made it 23-13 with about 7 minutes left, but the Saints’ 2-point try failed.
NOTES: Brees moved past former Miami Dolphins Hall-of-Fame QB Dan Marino for third in all-time completions with his 4,968th career connection early in the game. That left Brees, now with 4,991 completions, behind only Brett Favre (6,300) and Peyton Manning (5,977). But the 36-year-old Saints QB did not perform to his usual standard, finishing 24 of 38 for 255 yards and one TD.
Rams 10, Redskins 24
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Forget everything you thought you knew about the importance of the passing game in today’s NFL. Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden and new general manager Scot McCloughan want to win by moving the football on the ground.
And thanks to rookie running back Matt Jones and an offensive line led by left tackle Trent Williams, the Redskins did just that Sunday.
Jones ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns, an efficient Kirk Cousins avoided turnovers, and the Redskins dominated for a half, then held on to beat the St. Louis Rams 24-10.
“I can’t say enough good things about the way our offensive line has played,” said Cousins, 23 for 27 for 203 yards and a 4-yard TD pass to Pierre Garcon. “I feel like I could give you five reasons for us playing so well, and it’d be those five guys.”
Cousins did not throw an interception — his pair of picks a week ago gave him 21 in 15 career games — and was sacked only twice. Jones and Alfred Morris had plenty of room to rumble: Washington outrushed St. Louis 182-67.
Jones, a third-round draft pick out of Florida, scored from 39 yards in the first quarter, and from 3 with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the fourth. After his first TD, he jumped into the front row of the stands. After the second, Jones clapped his hands together, doing his college’s “Gator Chomp” celebration.
“He ran like his hair was on fire today,” Williams said.
With their revamped defense looking good for the second game in a row, the Redskins (1-1) led 17-0 at halftime, the first time they shut out an opponent in the first half since Oct. 2, 2011, also against the Rams (1-1).
Jones gave credit to Morris, the fourth-year back who topped 100 yards in Washington’s Week 1 loss to Miami, with teaching him “everything I know now.”
And Jones thanked Williams for offering encouragement after the running back fumbled in the third quarter, setting up Nick Foles’ 40-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt that got the Rams within 17-10.
Cousins directed a 12-play, 77-yard drive that ate up more than 6 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter and was capped by Jones’ second score.
His club was 2 for 12 on third downs, including punts on each of its first six possessions. Foles was 17 for 32 for 150 yards; he said he was OK after a defender rolled on his left leg on the Rams’ final drive.
A week ago, the Rams beat the two-time reigning NFC champion Seattle Seahawks 34-31 in overtime. But St. Louis is now only 2-15 since 2005 in regular-season games immediately following a game against Seattle.
“Do I feel like this is one that we should have won? Absolutely,” tight end Jared Cook said. “We’re a better team than what we portrayed today.”
NOTES: Several Redskins defensive linemen wore red Washington Nationals baseball jerseys, personalized with their nicknames and Redskins uniform numbers. … When St. Louis beat Washington 24-0 last season, Fisher tweaked the Redskins during the pregame coin toss, sending out six players acquired thanks to the massive trade that allowed Washington to pick Robert Griffin III second overall in the 2012 draft. This time, Fisher went with captains such as Foles; Griffin, meanwhile, was not even in uniform, inactive as the No. 3 QB behind Cousins and Colt McCoy.
Texans 17, Panthers 24
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton joked with Stephen Curry before Sunday’s game, telling the NBA star “I’m just trying to be like you, man.”
Newton certainly played like an MVP on Sunday.
The fifth-year quarterback threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns and, like his buddy Curry, showed a flair for the dramatic by somersaulting into the end zone on a quarterback draw to lead the Carolina Panthers to a 24-17 victory over the Houston Texans.
Curry, a Charlotte native and loyal Panthers fan, was at the game to hit the “Keep Pounding” drum before the team’s home opener wearing a No. 30 Panthers jersey.
Newton seemed to feed off that energy.
He threw TD passes of 25 yards to Ted Ginn Jr. and 36 yards to Philly Brown and ran for 76 yards, including his highlight reel 2-yard TD run to give Carolina the lead for good at 17-10 late in the third quarter.
The go-ahead score came after Garrett Graham tied the game at 10 with a one-handed, 7-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone from Ryan Mallett.
On a first-and-goal from the 2, Newton took a step back before racing through an open hole in the line and sizing up defensive back Rahim Moore. Joking that he was deprived of a trampoline by his parents as a child, Newton decided the best way into the end zone was to somersault over Moore rather than try to take on the contact and run him over.
Mallett, starting in place of the benched Brian Hoyer, started slow and threw for 244 yards and a touchdown and ran for a 6-yard TD.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien didn’t seem overly concerned about his team’s 0-2 start.
“We’re a resilient team,” O’Brien said. “I don’t think we’re anywhere where we need to be, but we’re tough. We’ve got to stop digging ourselves into these holes.”
The Texans trailed 10-3 at the half after being held to 93 yards and six first downs against a Carolina defense playing without top defender Luke Kuechly, who sat out with a concussion.
But it was Kuechly’s replacement, A.J. Klein, who came up with the big defensive play for Carolina with his team up 17-10.
Klein intercepted Mallett early in the fourth quarter and Newton cashed in with a prefect strike to Brown, who outleaped Jonathan Joseph on a post route for the 24-10 lead. Brown had struggled in the preseason with dropped passes, but has been perfect so far during the regular season.
Mallett would run for a TD on fourth-and-4 cut the lead to 24-17 with 6:31 remaining.
The Texans had one last chance to tie the game after Crick blocked Graham Gano’s 53-yard goal, but Mallet’s pass on fourth-and-16 from the Carolina 20 sailed out of the end zone in the closing seconds.
“There are obviously plays I could have made that I didn’t,” Mallett said.
NOTES: Watt had five tackles, one sack, two quarterback hurries and two tipped passes for the Texans. … The Panthers averaged 5.2 yards per carry.
Patriots 40, Bills 32
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — New coach Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills’ attacking defense weren’t sounding so brash and bold after Tom Brady got through with them.
Ryan was left taking the blame and muttering a profanity following a 40-32 loss on Sunday in what’s become an all-too familiar result against Brady and the New England Patriots.
“It’s on my shoulders,” Ryan said. “I’ve been on the wrong end of it a few times when the kid gets hot, and Brady was hot.”
Brady actually took his game to a new level in improving his record to 24-3 against the Bills no matter who’s coaching them.
He threw three touchdowns and combined for 466 yards passing — the second-most of his career and most by any player against Buffalo (1-1). Bill Belichick’s Patriots (2-0) extended their own run of dominance by improving to 27-3 in the past 30 meetings against their AFC East rivals.
“Belichick outcoached me. No question about it,” Ryan added. “The plan has to be better on defense. You can’t give up 500 yards and beat anyone.”
That’s a far cry from the “bully,” Ryan vowed to build when taking over for Doug Marrone this offseason.
The Patriots scored on three consecutive possessions over a span of 5:48 between the first and second quarters to build a 21-7 lead. And they eventually led 37-13 before the Bills’ fourth-quarter rally fell short.
After rookie Karlos Williams scored on a 2-yard run to cap an 80-yard opening drive, Buffalo combined for just 47 yards over its nine possessions.
Tyrod Taylor went 23 of 30 for 242 yards, with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Taylor also scored on a 7-yard run, but he was sacked eight times.
Taylor’s third interception ended Buffalo’s comeback bid with 1:07 left, when his pass glanced off the fingers of receiver Sammy Watkins and was picked off by cornerback Logan Ryan.
The Bills had a scare when starting safety Aaron Williams was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to the hospital after sustaining a neck injury late in the third quarter. The team announced Williams was released from the hospital after undergoing a series of tests.
Buffalo unraveled on both sides of the ball, looking nothing like the team coming off a 27-14 season-opening win over Indianapolis.
Discipline was also a big problem. The Bills were penalized 14 times for 140 yards.
One of those penalties was against Ryan, who shouted down an official after a second-half defensive holding call against rookie cornerback Ronald Darby.
“That was mine,” Ryan acknowledged. “The guy’s got rabbit ears.”
Brady took the air out of what began as a raucous environment at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills fans were buzzing all week in a bid to set a record for loudest outdoor stadium. They even raised enough money to have a Guinness World Record official on hand to measure the decibel level. The results were not revealed and fans began heading for the exits in the final minute of the third quarter, after Gostkowski hit a 50-yard field goal to up New England’s lead to 37-13. Bills PK Dan Carpenter missed one of three extra-point attempts. … Brady now has 399 career touchdown passes, one short of becoming the NFL’s fourth player to reach the 400-TD plateau. … Bills TE Charles Clay, WR Robert and WR Sammy Watkins caught TDs for Buffalo
Chargers 19, Bengals 24
CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton throws three touchdown passes, each to a different receiver. Jeremy Hill gets benched for fumbling twice, and his backup runs for 123 yards.
In their first two games, the Bengals have been a handful to stop.
Dalton added to his impressive season start with another high-percentage showing, and Cincinnati quickly ended Philip Rivers’ streak of perfect passing while pulling away for a 24-19 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
With their receiving group back to full strength this season, the Bengals (2-0) have been tough to hold down.
Dalton’s 9-yard throw to Tyler Eifert put the Bengals in control of a mistake-filled game midway through the fourth quarter.
San Diego (1-1) set up the first touchdown with a fumble and never led.
Giovani Bernard took over at running back after Jeremy Hill lost two fumbles. Bernard finished with 123 yards, including a 26-yard run on the drive that ended with Eifert’s touchdown.
Rivers brought a streak of 20 straight completions into the game, four shy of Donovan McNabb’s NFL record. He completed his first two throws, and then was high with a third-down pass to Stevie Johnson.
Rivers’ streak set a Chargers record and tied for third-longest in NFL history.
He threw a 10-yard touchdown pass early in the second half, the 255th of his career that moved him ahead of Dan Fouts for the club record. Fouts was at Paul Brown Stadium as a television analyst.
“It’s humbling to think about,” said Rivers, who was 21 of 27 for 241 yards. “It’s not as sweet right now because we lost the game. Once I’ve had a chance to take a deep breath and look back, I’ll be thankful.”
Rivers added a 40-yard touchdown to Malcom Floyd with 4:20 left, cutting it to 24-19. His final throw was intercepted by Vinny Rey at midfield with 53 seconds left to clinch it.
San Diego returned to the site of its only playoff victory of the past six years — a first-round win during the 2013 season. Bernard had a fumble in that one, and Dalton had three second-half turnovers.
The tandem made the big plays this time.
Dalton finished 16 of 26 for 214 yards. In wins over the Raiders and Chargers, he’s gone 41 of 60 for 483 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.
Both teams missed a field goal and fumbled twice.
Keenan Allen fumbled a punt on the Bengals’ opening series. Two plays later, Dalton threw 16 yards to A.J. Green for a touchdown. Dalton also had a 45-yard TD to Marvin Jones.
Notes: Peyton Manning completed 23 straight passes for the NFL’s second-longest streak. Joe Montana, Mark Brunell, David Carr and Matt Ryan had also streaks of 22 completions along with Rivers. … Rivers’ 2 TD passes moved him ahead of Sonny Jurgensen into 14th on the all-time list with 256. … The Bengals benefited from a review late in the first half. Dalton was hit by Manti Te’o as his arm started forward, resulting in a fumble that Jerry Attaochu returned for a touchdown. After a review, it was ruled an incompletion, and the Bengals took a 14-6 lead into halftime.
Titans 14, Browns 28
CLEVELAND (AP) — Johnny Manziel spun from pressure and heaved the ball for a stunning touchdown, the kind of football magic he created almost every Saturday for Texas A&M.
This is what it felt like back then. And for Manziel, this was the moment he needed now.
“It’s sweet,” he said.
Manziel threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin on Cleveland’s second play and connected with his wide receiver again for a clutch 50-yarder with 2:52 left, giving the Browns a 28-14 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Benjamin also returned a punt 78 yards for a TD in the first half as the Browns (1-1) built a 21-0 lead and hung on for just their third home-opening win since 1999.
Starting in place of the injured Josh McCown, Manziel finished 8 of 15 for 172 yards. But it was his final completion, the game-clinching TD strike to Benjamin that awakened memories of Manziel in college — Johnny Football, the touchdown-making, highlight-a-minute superstar who then fell flat on his face as an NFL rookie.
Manziel won his Heisman Trophy matchup with Marcus Mariota, who threw two TD passes in the second half for the Titans (1-1), but took a pounding in his second game. The No. 2 overall pick was sacked seven times and needed extra treatment on an injured left ankle afterward.
Mariota finished 21 of 37 for 257 yards. With the Titans down 14 and needing two scores, Mariota, who recorded a perfect passer’s rating last week in his pro debut against Tampa Bay, drove Tennessee inside Cleveland’s 20 but was sacked and stripped by defensive end Armonty Bryant.
McCown was not cleared to practice Friday, giving Manziel his third career start and one he had been waiting for since last season ended. This was a chance for redemption for Manziel, who played poorly when he got on the field in 2014 and spent most of the winter in a rehab facility.
Manziel said before his last pass to Benjamin, he heard Titans defensive end Brian Orakpo curse knowing he had let Cleveland’s quarterback outside the pocket where he’s dangerous. Manziel took it from there, throwing the ball as far as he could so Benjamin could run under it.
McCown remains in the league’s protocol on concussions, and Pettine said he would not address his starting quarterback until the 36-year-old returns.
From the start, Manziel was Johnny Deepball.
On his first pass, Manziel faked a hand-off, dropped back and hit a streaking Benjamin, who got behind cornerback Coty Sensabaugh. As Benjamin crossed the goal line, Manziel ran the length of the field, pumping his fist the whole way before celebrating with his teammate.
The quick TD energized Cleveland’s crowd and gave Manziel a boost of confidence.
The Browns went up 14-0 in the first on Isaiah Crowell’s 11-yard run.
Benjamin, who finished with 269 all-purpose yards, made it 21-0 with his electrifying return. He caught Brett Kern’s kick, found a seam and cut toward the left sideline. Benjamin picked up a few blocks, including Pierre Desir’s knockdown of Kern, who was face down as Benjamin hurdled over him and scored.
Like Manziel, this was a comeback for Benjamin, who has overcome a season-ending knee injury suffered in 2013.
NOTES: Bryant finished with 2 1/2 sacks. … Cleveland’s 21-point halftime lead was its largest at the break since 1994. … Titans starting G Chance Warmack sustained a strained knee ligament. He will undergo an MRI on Monday.
Ravens 33, Raiders 37
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An anemic offense one week, a porous defense the next.
Add it up and the Baltimore Ravens are heading home from their two-game, season-opening Western swing with a pair of losses.
Derek Carr threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts with 26 seconds left to cap the most productive day of his young career and lead the Oakland Raiders to a 37-33 victory over Baltimore on Sunday.
“We got outplayed and outcoached. There’s no doubt about that,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We have to find a way to win the game at the end. We had a chance to win it at the end.”
Instead, the Ravens (0-2) did just enough to lose and opened the season with back-to-back losses for the first time since 2005.
Joe Flacco couldn’t connect with a wide-open Steve Smith Sr. in the end zone after a late interception by Carr. That forced Baltimore to settle for a field goal and set the stage for the Raiders (1-1) to rally.
Carr went 7 for 9 for 65 yards on the winning drive with help from a personal foul on Timmy Jernigan and a hold on Will Hill III that negated an interception on the play before the touchdown that gave Jack Del Rio his first win as Raiders coach.
A week after gaining just 173 yards and failing to score an offensive touchdown in a 19-13 loss at Denver, it was the defense that did Baltimore in this time.
The Ravens played their first game in nearly 17 years without Ray Lewis, Ed Reed or Terrell Suggs anchoring the defense following Suggs’ season-ending injury in the opener last week.
The defense looked nothing like a typical Ravens unit with Carr and the Raiders able to move the ball downfield with ease with little pressure and plenty of big plays. Carr threw for a career-high 351 yards and three touchdowns a week after being knocked out of a season-opening loss with an injured throwing hand.
The Raiders gained 448 yards — more than twice what Baltimore allowed to Peyton Manning and the Broncos last week — and easily moved down the field on the winning drive.
Flacco threw for 384 yards and two scores but just missed Smith on the key play and then threw a late interception that sealed it after Roberts’ score.
Baltimore had overcome a pair of 10-point deficits, including one after Carr threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree late in the third quarter, to take the lead.
Flacco responded by leading a pair of long drives for a field goal by Justin Tucker and a 7-yard run by Lorenzo Taliaferro that completed a 93-yard drive and tied the game with 7:03 to play.
Flacco relied heavily on the 36-year-old Smith, who had 10 catches for 150 yards but couldn’t get a second foot down in the end zone on an off-target pass from Flacco before Tucker’s go-ahead field goal with 2:10 to go.
After failing to run a single offensive play in Cincinnati territory in the first three quarters of the opener, the Raiders got off to a fast start on offense. Amari Cooper made up for two early drops by beating Jimmy Smith deep on a 68-yard touchdown on the opening drive.
NOTES: Cooper had seven catches for 109 yards and Crabtree had nine for 111, marking the first time since the 2011 season finale that two Raiders topped 100 yards receiving in a game. Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey did it that time. … The Ravens lost for the second time in nine meetings with the Raiders with the other coming in 2003.
Dolphins 20, Jaguars 23
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Quarterback Blake Bortles spoke in matter-of-fact tones. Receiver Allen Robinson was equally subdued. Even rookie kicker Jason Myers had a ho-hum attitude.
“From our point of view, we expected this outcome,” Bortles said.
The rest of the NFL, especially Miami, was surely more surprised by Jacksonville’s 23-20 victory over the Dolphins on Sunday.
Robinson was unstoppable early. Bortles and Jacksonville’s defense came up big late. And Myers delivered his first clutch kick, a 28-yard field goal with 40 seconds remaining that turned out to be the winner.
The play the Dolphins (1-1) will remember came after the whistle.
Defensive end Olivier Vernon was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the closing minutes, a 15-yard penalty that turned what would have been a lengthy field goal into a chip shot for Myers.
The Jaguars (1-1) took a similar approach after the season opener, a 20-9 debacle at home to Carolina. Bortles threw two interceptions and was sacked five times. Robinson dropped a key, third-down pass. Myers missed a field goal and an extra point.
All three looked like different guys in Week 2.
Bortles completed 18 of 33 passes for 273 yards, with two touchdowns, no turnovers and no sacks. Robinson caught six passes for a career-high 155 yards and two scores. And Myers was perfect, including a 58-yarder at the end of the first half.
Jacksonville’s defense did its part, too. After allowing a game-tying, 80-yard touchdown drive to open the second half, the unit forced five consecutive punts.
After the last one, Bortles took over. He completed passes of 18, 19 and 9 to get the Jaguars into field-goal range.
Vernon’s penalty for shoving tight end Clay Harbor after the play put Jacksonville at the 19-yard line and needing a couple of mistake-free plays and a fairly routine kick. Myers delivered the chip shot, which helped Jacksonville avoid a fourth consecutive 0-2 start.
Miami had one final chance, but with no timeouts and lots of ground to cover, the Dolphins didn’t even mount a threat.
Tannehill did his part, completing 30 of 44 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns.
But Lamar Miller ran 10 times for 14 yards before leaving with a sprained ankle. Andrew Franks missed a 42-yard field goal attempt. And Miami’s defense wilted when it mattered.
Equally troubling for the Dolphins was the way the first half ended. Leading 17-13 with 18 seconds left, the Jaguars decided to throw instead of take a knee.
On first down, Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes dropped an interception that could have been a pick-six. On third down, Dolphins cornerback Brice McCain was flagged for pass interference. The 17-yard penalty allowed the Jaguars to attempt a 58-yard field goal, and Myers drilled it for a 20-13 advantage.
Jacksonville closed out the game in similar fashion.
Notes: The Jaguars allowed no sacks after giving up at least four in eight consecutive games. … Jacksonville lost CB Davon House (dehydration). The defense also played without three starters, safety Johnathan Cyprien, defensive end Andre Branch and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. … The Dolphins lost starting LT Branden Albert to a strained left hamstring.
Cowboys 20, Eagles 10
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — No Romo. No Dez. No problem.
Tony Romo joined Dez Bryant on the injured list with a broken left collarbone, but the Dallas Cowboys shut down DeMarco Murray and beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-10 on Sunday.
“I’ll be back,” Romo said. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. It’s a broken bone. It is what it is. Our team played great. I’m proud we got this win. It’s not an easy place to come in and win. We’ll hopefully get a few more and we’ll get ready to go.”
Kyle Wilber returned a blocked punt 26 yards for touchdown, Brandon Weeden threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams and the Cowboys (2-0) overcame a franchise-record 18 penalties in their 10th consecutive road win.
It’s a costly victory for Dallas, however.
Romo suffered a similar injury in Week 7 in 2010 and missed the rest of the season. The team said he’ll be evaluated on Monday. Weeden is 5-16 as a starter, including 0-1 for the Cowboys. He finished 7 of 7 for 73 yards.
Dallas already lost Bryant last week. The All-Pro receiver will miss at least six weeks after having foot surgery.
Weeden started 15 games for Cleveland in 2012 as a 29-year-old rookie. He threw two interceptions in a 28-17 loss to Arizona last year in his only start for Dallas.
Murray, the reigning NFL rushing champion, had 2 yards rushing on 13 carries in his first game against his former team. Sam Bradford had three turnovers, including an interception in the end zone. Philadelphia had 21 total yards in the first half and finished with 226.
The Eagles (0-2) were favorites to take the NFC East title away from Dallas, but look more like a team that will contend for the top pick in the draft than the playoffs.
Romo was knocked out of the game in the third quarter when Jordan Hicks sacked him. Fletcher Cox recovered Romo’s fumble and Bradford drove the offense to the Cowboys 3 before Sean Lee intercepted his pass in the end zone.
The Eagles trailed 13-3 when Malcolm Jenkins picked up Gavin Escobar’s fumble and returned it to the Cowboys 30. But Bradford fumbled a shotgun snap on the next play and Nick Hayden recovered for Dallas.
Bradford threw another interception in the fourth quarter when the ball bounced off Zach Ertz’s hands and J.J. Wilcox picked it.
Both teams struggled on offense early and the Cowboys led 6-0 at halftime. The Eagles went three-and-out on five of their first seven possessions and the other two were four-and-outs.
Danny McCray blocked Donnie Jones’ punt and Wilber returned it for a score to give the Cowboys a 13-0 lead. Weeden connected with Williams over the middle in the fourth to make it 20-3.
NOTES: Eagles LB Kiko Alonso injured his left knee in the second quarter and didn’t return. Alonso missed last season after tearing his left ACL. LB Mychal Kendricks didn’t return after a hamstring injury. Kelly said he won’t have an update until Monday. … Mackenzy Bernadeau started at left guard for Dallas for the injured Ronald Leary. He was replaced by rookie La’el Collins after two series and they afterward. … Romo’s NFL-record streak of 41 straight road games with a TD pass ended. … Cowboys have won four straight games in Philadelphia. … Eagles are 0-2 for first time since 2007.
Seahawks 17, Packers 27
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Given time in the fourth quarter, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers found the weakness in the Seattle Seahawks’ defense.
Middle of the field. No Kam Chancellor at safety. Short passes turned into big gains.
No second half collapse against Seattle on Sunday night Lambeau Field.
Rodgers and the defense came up big in the fourth quarter of a 27-17 win in a bruising, physical rematch of last season’s NFC title game.
“We’re 2-0. It was a great night here at Lambeau Field,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “You sleep better when you win.”
The crowd erupted at the end, releasing nine months’ worth of frustration.
The Packers blew a 16-0 lead against the Seahawks in the NFC title game last year. They held on after giving up 13-3 lead at halftime on Sunday.
The Seahawks, who fell to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last year, dropped to 0-2 for the first time since 2011.
Rodgers stayed characteristically calm under pressure.
He was a master at moving around to buy time. He took advantage of Seattle penalties with long throws for big gains.
And in the fourth quarter, with the Packers down 17-16, he orchestrated a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a 5-yard scoring pass to Richard Rodgers. A 2-point conversion pass, also to Richard Rodgers, made it 24-17 with 9:28 left.
Working without a huddle, Rodgers set up the score with short passes to Randall Cobb for gains of 18 and 19 yards, respectively. Ty Montgomery turned another short pass into a 17-yard gain.
Rodgers and the coaching staff looked at film of Seattle’s defense before the drive and found a hole.
On Seattle’s next drive, Jayrone Elliott made a lunging, one-handed interception of a short pass from Wilson with 6:50 left, one of the rare mistakes in the second half for Seattle’s dual-threat quarterback. The Packers (2-0) cashed in with one of Mason Crosby’s four field goals on the night for a 10-point lead with 2 minutes remaining.
The defense held on when it mattered in the fourth quarter after giving up chunks of yardage earlier in the second half to dual-threat quarterback Wilson.
The Seahawks’ last two series ended in turnovers. Besides Elliott’s pick, Micah Hyde recovered a fumble by Fred Jackson with 22 seconds left.
Wilson was 19 of 30 for 206 yards, while running for 78 yards on 10 carries.
But he lamented the disappointing fourth quarter.
Rodgers seized his opportunity. He finished 25 of 33 for 249 yards and connected with favorite target James Jones for a 29-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening series.
But the offense got bogged down or had to settle for field goals until the fourth quarter. Rodgers was clutch against a defense missing Chancellor, who is holding out for a new contract.
NOTES: The Packers held Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to 41 yards on 15 carries. … Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy left the game in the first quarter with a right ankle injury. Backup James Starks kept Packers running game going with 95 yards on 20 carries. With four field goals and an extra point, Crosby set the franchise record with 1,057 career points.
Jets 20, Colts 7
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The New York Jets’ suddenly opportunistic defense did it again Monday night.
Calvin Pryor intercepted one pass to set up a touchdown, Darrelle Revis snuffed out a scoring chance by recovering a Colts fumble in his own end zone as New York Jets confounded Andrew Luck most of the night and held on for a 20-7 victory at Indianapolis.
New York, 2-0 for the first time since 2011, already has 10 takeaways this season and has turned them into 28 points — a stark contrast from 2014 when New York scored 20 points off turnovers the entire season.
Indianapolis matched last season’s 0-2 start by losing back-to-back games for only the second time in Luck’s four-year career.
Against an offense that was considered one of the league’s best into the season, Revis and the Jets made sure it was no contest.
Revis continued his mastery of the Colts by recovering two fumbles and grabbing one of Luck’s three interceptions, and between the Jets’ suffocating defense and a steady stream of costly penalties, the Colts never could really get in sync.
Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 22 of 34 for 244 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception — getting his first career win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Fitzpatrick became the first player since 1950 to start five consecutive road games against one team while playing for five different teams. He was 0-4 in the previous starts.
Eric Decker had eight receptions for 97 yards before leaving with a knee injury, and Brandon Marshall caught seven passes for 101 yards and one touchdown.
How strange was this for the Colts?
They were shut out in the first half in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1997 and Adam Vinatieri missed his first field goal inside 30 yards since 2007. And Luck was 21 of 37 for 250 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
But the Jets still struggled to put this one away.
Pryor ended Indy’s first series with a 29-yard interception return that put the ball at Indy’s 9-yard line. Four plays later, Fitzpatrick found Decker for a 6-yard TD pass to make it 7-0. Nick Folk’s 35-yard field goal late in the first half made it 10-0.
Indy opened the second half with a drive that lasted nearly 10 minutes and got all the way to the Jets 1 before Revis scooped up Gore’s fumble.
The Colts avoided the shutout when Luck hooked up with Donte Moncrief on a 26-yard TD pass with 10:07 left in the game.
But Fitzpatrick answered on the next series with a 15-yard TD pass to Marshall to seal the victory.