2015 NFL Week 4 Tuesday Afternoon QB

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Here is a recap of Week 3 of the 2015 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.

Bye: Patriots, Titans

Ravens 23, Steelers 20 OT

Justin Tucker, Sam Koch, James Harrison

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) celebrates with holder Sam Koch (4) after making the game winning field goal in overtime of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh. At right is Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison. The Ravens won 23-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Playing to salvage a rapidly deteriorating season, the Baltimore Ravens needed a little help.

The swirling wind at the open end of Heinz Field, a rough night for Pittsburgh kicker Josh Scobee and some curious decision-making by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin provided the Ravens plenty.

So did Justin Tucker’s right leg.

Tucker made a 42-yard field goal in the final seconds of regulation to tie it and knocked through a 52-yarder with 5:08 left in overtime to lift Baltimore to a weird 23-20 victory Thursday night.

“The finish is what counts,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “The finish is what our guys were able to accomplish.”

The Steelers, not so much.

Scobee, acquired from Jacksonville in August after injuries to Shaun Suisham and Garrett Hartley, had two chances to give the Steelers (2-2) some cushion late in the fourth quarter only to pull both kicks wide left.

“It’s pretty frustrating,” Scobee said. “I feel like I let the team down. It’s not something I ever want to remember doing. It’s just a bad feeling.”

The second miss gave the Ravens (1-3) enough time to put Tucker well within range to force the extra period. It also gave Tomlin pause when the Steelers moved into Baltimore territory twice in overtime.

Both times Tomlin opted to go for it with backup quarterback Michael Vick rather than send out Scobee for another long attempt into the unforgiving end of one of the trickiest places to kick in the NFL. Vick, starting in place of injured Ben Roethlisberger, was stopped on fourth-and-2 at the 39 and later overthrew Antonio Brown on fourth-and-1 from the 33.

“We lost, so I’m not going to try and justify anything that we did,” Tomlin said. “Anything we did, I take responsibility for.”

Neither Vick nor Scobee would get a third shot. Joe Flacco led the Ravens to the Pittsburgh 35 and Tucker’s winner was never in doubt even though Harbaugh admitted he considered trying to get a little closer.

It hardly mattered to Tucker, who “definitely” knew the winner was good the second it left his foot.

Justin Forsett ran for 150 yards for the Ravens. Flacco threw a touchdown pass and did just enough late to help Baltimore end the worst start in franchise history.

“The first win for us should (propel) us to go on to big things,” Tucker said.

Vick threw for 124 yards and a score and Le’Veon Bell ran for 129 yards and a touchdown but the Steelers bumbled late.

“It’s probably one of the toughest losses of my career,” Vick said. “We had our chances to win the game. There were a lot of plays I could’ve made that I didn’t make.”

For most of the night, it appeared Pittsburgh would survive with Roethlisberger relegated to a sweatsuit after spraining his left knee last week against St. Louis.

The Steelers sacked Flacco five times, forced a pair of turnovers and twice stopped the Ravens on downs in the fourth quarter to seemingly seize control only to have Scobee let Baltimore back in it.

One Scobee might not get, with Tomlin saying the Steelers “have to turn stones over” in an effort to win games.

The Ravens, desperately trying to avoid an 0-4 hole that would all but end their playoff hopes a quarter of the way into the season, responded emphatically if not always smartly while rallying from a 13-point second-half deficit.

Flacco found Kamar Aiken for a 15-yard touchdown strike to cut it to 20-14 and the Ravens had an opportunity to draw within three late in the third quarter. Instead of a relatively short field goal, Baltimore went for a fake that went nowhere.

Not that Harbaugh was in the mood to quibble. Through all the gaffes and questionable decisions, the Ravens survived.

Roethlisberger managed to make it into the field without crutches and even lobbed a few passes to teammates before the game. Yet with their $100 million franchise quarterback’s troublesome knee several weeks away from being ready to go, the Steelers’ chances of keeping pace in the crowded AFC North will rely heavily on the 35-year-old Vick.

Once Vick’s legs — the ones that made him the NFL’s most unique talent in his prime — got going, so did Pittsburgh’s offense. He even threw a block that sprung Bell for an 11-yard touchdown that helped the Steelers go up 13-7 at the half.

The momentum, however, disappeared late.

NOTES: Ravens WR Steve Smith Sr. caught four passes for 24 yards before leaving in the second half with a back contusion. … Brown caught five passes for 42 yards, ending his record streak of games with five receptions and at least 50 yards receiving at 35. … Baltimore hosts Cleveland on Oct. 11. … The Steelers play at San Diego on Oct. 12.

Jets 27, Dolphins 14 in London

Britain Jets Dolphins Football

New York Jets’ Zac Stacy, centre, scores a touchdown in the third quarter during the NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins and at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

LONDON (AP) — The Miami Dolphins lost their third straight game in demoralizing fashion Sunday, falling 27-14 to the New York Jets as coach Joe Philbin faced mounting criticism for fielding a team that struggles to run, pass or get sacks.

Playing as the official home team in front of more than 83,000 in London’s sold-out Wembley Stadium, the Dolphins (1-3) struggled in virtually every phase of the game as they fell deeper into last place in the AFC East.

Asked whether he feared for his job, the fourth-year coach replied, “Not at all. I’m worried about getting this team straightened out, fixed, and ready to play the Tennessee Titans.”

Philbin said he met with owner Stephen Ross immediately after the defeat and planned to meet again this week, but had no clue about his job security going into Miami’s bye week.

“We’ll see,” he said.

Without a running game or reliable pass protection, besieged Ryan Tannehill struggled with accuracy for much of the game, finishing 19 of 44 for 198 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked three times, including twice by defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, as the Jets utilized aggressive blitz packages.

“We didn’t move the ball like we wanted to, we got behind, and it really opened up their whole blitz package — and it’s an extensive one,” said Tannehill, who radiated frustration and disappointment. “We’re up against the wall right now. … I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall.”

When asked whether he was concerned about Philbin’s possible firing, Tannehill said, “That’s out of my hands and I can’t think about that.”

The Dolphins’ biggest plays came on kick returns by Jarvis Landry and on Jets pass interference calls, but the offense repeatedly failed to turn good field position in the second half into points. The Dolphins finished 0 for 12 on third down and, even more painfully, 0 for 4 on fourth down. Jets coach Todd Bowles said he’d never seen a defense shut down the other team like that before.

Miami’s defense, designed to terrorize opposing quarterbacks with the offseason acquisition of Ndamukong Suh, couldn’t contain Chris Ivory, who ran for a career-high 166 yards on 29 carries and scored a touchdown on the Jets’ opening drive.

Nor could Suh or his teammates sack Ryan Fitzpatrick, who instead finished 16 of 29 for 218 yards and evaded pressure to convert three long third downs using his feet.

Suh, when asked why the Dolphins had a single sack in their first four games, said the figure didn’t matter.

The Dolphins ran for just 59 yards on 11 attempts, but Tannehill and Philbin said the team had no choice but to air it out once they had fallen behind by 20 points early in the second half.

Miami’s first scoring drive in the second quarter came courtesy of two back-to-back interference calls on Jets defensive backs. The drive’s third play involved nifty misdirection as Tannehill faked a screen pass right to Lamar Miller, then pinwheeled and lofted a fadeaway to reserve tight end Jake Stoneburner in the left corner of the end zone.

That pulled the Dolphins within 13-7 of the Jets, who then scored two touchdowns on either side of halftime to put the game out of apparent reach at 27-7.

A 38-yard Zack Bowman interception return and two fine Landry punt returns gave the Dolphins three drives that started in Jets territory — and produced just seven points.

Starting from the Jets 37 following a 28-yard Landry return, Tannehill completed four straight passes, two each to tight end Jordan Cameron and wide receiver Kenny Stills, who caught a 10-yard pass for his first touchdown as a Dolphin to complete the scoring with 10 minutes left.

The Dolphins had a first-and-goal from the 4 with more than six minutes remaining, but failed to score despite getting nine shots at the end zone thanks to Jets penalties. Tannehill’s final fourth-and-9 shot to Landry was intercepted by Darrelle Revis in the end zone as Landry fell on the play.

Panthers 37, Buccaneers 23

Josh Norman, Jameis Winston, Bene' Benwikere

Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (24) runs 46-yards for a touchdown after intercepting a pass by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. Panthers’ Bene’ Benwikere (25) blocks Winston. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Cam Newton had a lot to smile about.

Carolina remained unbeaten, the Panthers star threw for two touchdowns with no interceptions in sometimes sloppy conditions, and it sure was fun watching 255-pound reserve tight end Ed Dickson lumber down the field 57 yards to score after recovering a fumble.

“Just seeing the ball pop up like a greased pig, nobody really panicked because Ed picked it up mid-stride,” Newton said after Sunday’s 37-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “We’ve just got to work on him taking that car out of neutral when he’s running.”

Jonathan Stewart rushed for 8 yards before fumbling on the play, in which Dickson grabbed the ball in midair and took off for the end zone.

On a day when Newton posted modest numbers statistically, cornerback Josh Norman led a takeaway party with two interceptions — returning one 46 yards for a touchdown, and the other 34 yards to set up another TD.

The Panthers (4-0) forced five turnovers in all, including a fumbled snap on Tampa Bay’s second play of the game.

Winston threw for a career-high 287 yards and two touchdowns. But Norman picked off the young quarterback’s first pass of the day and returned it up the left sideline for an early 10-0 lead.

Kurt Coleman and Thomas Davis also had interceptions for Carolina, which played without star middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who’s sat out the past three games with a concussion.

Newton threw scoring passes of 6 and 12 yards to Ted Ginn Jr. He had meager numbers, statistically, with 124 yards passing and a team-leading 51 more rushing, however the fifth-year pro had just one turnover — a third-quarter fumble — despite playing through intermittent rain showers.

Meanwhile, Norman was center stage again, a week after making a game-saving interception in the end zone against New Orleans.

According to the NFL, the cornerback became the first Carolina player to return a pair of interception for TDs in the first four weeks of a season. He’s the first in the league to do it in the past five years.

The Panthers improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2003, when they began with five straight victories and went on to appear in the Super Bowl.

The Bucs (1-3) have lost five straight in the NFC South rivalry and have dropped 11 consecutive homes games — 10 under second-year coach Lovie Smith — dating to December 2013.

Winston, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, completed 26 of 43 passes and was sacked twice. He threw TD passes of 10 yards to Charles Sims and 6 yards to Vincent Jackson, who had 10 receptions for 147 yards.

Doug Martin rushed for 106 yards and one TD for the Bucs, who outgained the Panthers 411 yards to 244.

Rookie Kyle Brindza had another tough day kicking for Tampa Bay. He missed three field goals and an extra point during last week’s 10-point loss at Houston and followed up Sunday by missing two more field goals and an extra point against Carolina.

NOTES: It was the second time in four weeks that Winston’s first pass of the day was picked off and returned for a touchdown. … Bucs career TD leader Mike Alstott was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime. … Brindza missed field goal tries of 29 and 3 yards, both with Tampa Bay trailing 17-10. … Stewart rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries.

Giants 24, Bills 10

Rashad Jennings, Ronald Darby

New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings, right, looks at Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby, left, as he scores on a touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — As running back Rashad Jennings broke one tackle after another, the New York Giants began shedding their early season reputation for blowing fourth-quarter leads.

Jennings eluded three would-be tacklers to score on a 51-yard catch-and-run midway through the fourth quarter to secure a 24-10 win over the unraveling and undisciplined Buffalo Bills on Sunday. And if the outcome was ever in doubt, cornerback Prince Amukamara settled it on Buffalo’s next possession by stripping the ball out of the hands of receiver Robert Woods.

“We were challenged after the first two games where we had leads going into the fourth quarter and lost them both,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “So that was a huge play by Rashad. A great effort and we need it. The team needed it.”

Manning and the Giants responded once the momentum began shifting after Buffalo cut the lead to 16-10 on Tyrod Taylor’s 23-yard pass to Karlos Williams with 9:41 remaining. Facing third-and-3 at his own 49, Manning busted the Bills blitz by dumping a short pass to his left to Jennings.

He sidestepped a tackle attempt by linebacker Nigel Bradham in the backfield. Racing up the sideline, Jennings avoided linebacker Preston Brown’s attempt to make a diving tackle from behind. And then he shoved aside safety Bacarri Rambo before scoring.

“Somebody had to step up and make a pay,” receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said. “And he came up big.”

The Bills (2-2), by comparison, collapsed a week after a dominating 41-14 win at Miami.

Trouble was, it wasn’t just Bradham in a game the Bills lacked finish on offense and undone by a lack of discipline.

Buffalo’s offense combined for just 77 yards and two first downs on its first nine possessions. Once it finally began moving, it came away with no points on two consecutive drives into the red zone.

Another concern was penalties. The Bills were flagged 17 times for 135 yards, two weeks after they were penalized 14 times for 140 yards in a 40-32 loss to New England.

Taylor had a 31-yard touchdown run in the third quarter negated by a holding penalty against guard Kraig Urbik. In the final minute of the game, Charles Clay’s 32-yard touchdown catch was nullified when Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn were flagged for a chop block.

“Can we play a lot smarter? Absolutely,” coach Rex Ryan said. “Say what you want, but I’ll take a team that will fight.”

Manning went 20 of 35 for 212 yards and three touchdowns — including a 21-yarder to Dwight Harris and an 11-yarder to Rueben Randle — and an interception.

The Giants went ahead for good late in the first quarter, when hit Dwayne Harris over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown. It came two plays after New York linebacker Devon Kennard intercepted Taylor’s pass up the left side intended for Clay.

Kennard was in stride with Clay and reached up at the last moment to snag the pass as the tight end was prepared to haul it in.

On the Giants’ next possession, Manning engineered a 10-play, 76-yard drive which he capped with an 11 yard pass over the middle to Randle. A Bills penalty — what else? — helped extend the Giants’ drive.

Rather than settle for a field goal on fourth-and-2 at Buffalo’s 25, the Giants picked up a first down when the Bills were penalized for an illegal formation.

The Bills were playing minus two stars with running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) both sidelined by injuries.

NOTES: Manning’s final pass was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore, ending the quarterback’s interception streak at 142 attempts from the start of the season. … Beckham finished with five catches for 38 yards, and upped his total to 1,612 yards, the most by an NFL player through 16 games. … Giants K Josh Brown missed a 38-yard point-after attempt, which was backed up by a false-start penalty. Bills K Dan Carpenter missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt wide left.

Eagles 20, Redskins 23

Chris Baker, Sam Bradford

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford (7) is sacked by Washington Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker (92) during the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Kirk Cousins still has thrown for more interceptions than touchdown passes in the NFL. And it’s going to take some work to get his 4-9 record as a starter above the .500 mark.

At least the earnest, soft-spoken, fourth-year quarterback for the Washington Redskins now has a signature victory, thanks to a fourth-quarter comeback and a zero-turnover performance.

Cousins capped a 90-yard drive with a go-ahead, 4-yard TD toss to Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left Sunday, lifting the Redskins past the Philadelphia Eagles 23-20 on Sunday.

Sam Bradford threw three second-half touchdown passes for the Eagles (1-3), who trailed 13-0 at halftime. Their new kicker, Caleb Sturgis, missed an extra-point attempt and a 33-yard field-goal try — four big points in what turned out to be a three-point, back-and-forth game.

Starting at its own 10 with a little more than six minutes remaining, Washington (2-2) used a balance of runs — five for 41 yards — and passes — Cousins went 6 for 10 for 44 yards — to work its way down the field to take the lead for good.

Cousins’ last three completions went to Garcon, for a total of 32 yards.

On the winning score, the Eagles sent a blitz at Cousins, but he put the football in a tight window, and Garcon did the rest.

“I felt hits from all over, from everybody,” said Garcon, who played the closing minutes despite what Washington said was a sprained knee. “I looked and I was glad I was on the other side of the (goal) line, instead of, you know, a yard short.”

Cousins finished 31 for 46 for 290 yards, the one TD — and, most importantly for a guy with a pair of two-interception games already this season, no turnovers. He did fumble a snap in the first half at Philadelphia’s 1, but recovered it and plunged forward for a touchdown, with the help of a push from running back Matt Jones.

It was the first rushing TD allowed by Philadelphia this season.

Bradford was 15 for 28 for 270 yards, with touchdown passes of 62, 39 and 10 yards. He entered the game with three TD tosses all season and hadn’t completed a pass of at least 40 yards until one that went for 45 to Nelson Agholor in the second quarter. Symbolic of the way things are going for coach Chip Kelly’s much-ballyhooed system this season, though, Agholor couldn’t handle a pitch from Ryan Mathews on a reverse on the very next play, resulting in a fumble.

DeMarco Murray, who missed last week’s victory over the Jets with a leg injury, gained 36 yards on eight carries. He voiced disappointment with the way he’s being used by Kelly.

After leading the NFL in rushing last season for Dallas, Murray joined Philadelphia as a free agent, and has 47 yards on 29 carries so far.

Asked if he’s getting the ball enough, Murray replied: “No, I’m not. I don’t think I am. But it’s how the plays are being called. I love this offense, I love playing with these guys. It’s just how it is.”

Notes: The Redskins overcame 10 penalties for 110 yards. … Redskins K Dustin Hopkins went 3 for 3 on field-goal tries, making from 20, 33 and 38 yards.

Texans 21, Falcons 48

Texans Falcons Football

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman breaks a tackle attempt by Texans safety Quintin Demps on his way to the end zone for his second touchdown of the day during the second quarter of their NFL football game in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Devonta Freeman just wanted a chance.

Wow, he’s sure taking advantage of it.

Dazzling as both a runner and a receiver, Freeman had another three-touchdown game for the Atlanta Falcons, who remained unbeaten with a 48-21 rout of the hapless Houston Texans on Sunday.

“Opportunity is everything,” the second-year running back said.

Taking over as the starter after rookie Tevin Coleman sustained a rib injury in Week 2, Freeman has six TDs in the past two games and an NFL-leading seven for the season.

Against the Texans, he scored on runs of 16, 23 and 6 yards, and set up another touchdown with a 44-yard reception.

Freeman played sparingly as a rookie and missed all four preseason games with a hamstring injury. Coleman got the starting job, while Freeman remained in a backup role.

Hard to see the 23-year-old going back to the bench now.

Freeman is the first player in franchise history to have seven rushing touchdowns in the team’s first four games to begin a season.

He also is the only player since at least the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to rush for at least three touchdowns in each of his first two starts. He is also the first player to rush for at least seven TDs in his team’s first four games to start a season since La Dainian Tomlinson had eight in 2005.

Nothing went right for the Texans (1-3). Quarterback Ryan Mallett had an awful day and was replaced by Brian Hoyer after the Falcons built a 42-0 lead.

Running back Arian Foster made his season debut after tearing his groin early in training camp, but he couldn’t find any room to run. In fact, he had the ball knocked out of his hands by one of his own teammates, leading to a Falcons touchdown.

Freeman rushed for 68 yards on 14 carries and hauled in five passes for 81 yards. It didn’t even matter that Julio Jones was finally held in check, catching only four passes for 38 yards. Leonard Hankerson was Matt Ryan’s favorite target with six catches for 103 yards, including a touchdown.

Ryan was 19 of 27 for 256 yards.

Mallett’s second pass was deflected and picked off by defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, the Falcons taking over at their 46. Freeman took a short pass 24 yards, then darted through a huge hole on the next play for his first TD.

The rout was on.

reeman scored again from the 23 in the opening minute of the second quarter, again taking advantage of some crushing blocks up the middle to reach the end zone basically untouched.

Then, it was time for the defense to get in on the scoring, thanks to Foster’s strange fumble. He lost the ball when tackle Derek Newton struck it with his right hand while trying to block. Cornerback Desmond Trufant pounced on the loose ball and took it 24 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

After Freeman’s long reception, Ryan hit Hankerson on a quick slant for a 3-yard touchdown.

Atlanta poured it on in the third quarter. Freeman scored another touchdown before giving way to rookie Terron Ward, who quickly got in on the action with an 8-yard run for his first career TD.

Houston’s quarterback carousel took another turn when Mallett was replaced by former starter Hoyer late in the third period. He guided the Texans to three touchdowns in the final period, which didn’t mean much in the context of the game but may help him win back the starting job.

Mallett was 12 of 27 for 150 yards and a pitiful rating of 46.8. Hoyer was 17 of 30 for 232 yards with two TD passes and a 103.8 rating.

As if the day didn’t go bad enough, the Texans had a touchdown called back on the next-to-last play. Then, on the final play, Cecil Shorts III had the ball knocked away, linebacker Nate Stupor scooped it up and ran 84 yards for a score that completed the rout.

Notes: Falcons LB Justin Durant left in the first half with an elbow injury and didn’t return. … For the Texans, receiver Nate Washington and safety Quintin Demps were both sidelined with hamstring injuries. … The Falcons reached the NFC championship game the past two times they started 4-0, in 2004 and 2012.

Jaguars 13, Colts 16 OT

Frank Gore, Johnathan Cyprien

Indianapolis Colts’ Frank Gore (23) runs out of the tackle of Jacksonville Jaguars’ Johnathan Cyprien (37) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

NDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jacksonville kicker Jason Myers stood quietly at his locker Sunday, pondering what could have been.

He had two chances to win the game — once in regulation to the right, once in overtime to the left. He missed both and the Colts took advantage.

Indianapolis quarterback Matt Hasselbeck capitalized on the second miss by leading the Colts on a 53-yard scoring drive to set up Adam Vinatieri for a 27-yard field goal that gave Indy a 16-13 victory.

“Just trying to make it,” Myers said. “Try not to have it in my head about the other one.”

With Andrew Luck inactive for the first time in his pro career because of an injured right shoulder, the Jaguars (1-3) had the Colts on the ropes.

With the score tied at 13, Jacksonville forced Indianapolis into back-to-back punts and even moved to the brink of Myers’ field goal range with 6 seconds left.

Myers shanked the first 53-yarder to the right but he got another chance because the Colts had called timeout. The second kick also went wide right.

Then, with 8:13 left in overtime, Myers lined up a 48-yarder — and pushed it wide left.

“It’s hard, because if you make one of those field goals, we’re in the locker room talking about the tremendous effort, the competitiveness, getting turnovers, scoring off the sudden change,” coach Gus Bradley said. “We’re talking about all these things that led to that. They’re still there. But we’re not quite there yet. We’re close.”

Close didn’t cut it against the Colts’ over-the-hill gang Sunday.

The 40-year-old Hasselbeck and 42-year-old Vinatieri celebrated together on what was essentially their personal throwback day.

Hasselbeck deftly managed his first start in nearly three years, going 30 of 47 for 282 yards with one TD, no interceptions and fooling the Jaguars’ defense with a late bootleg that put the Colts (2-2) in field-goal range.

Vinatieri broke Mike Vanderjagt’s franchise scoring record with his first field goal, a 54-yarder, then became the first player in NFL history to top 1,000 points with two different teams on his second field goal, a 32-yarder. He won it with this third kick.

Thirty-two-year-old running back Frank Gore, who finished with 17 carries for 53 yards, ripped off a 22-yarder on his final run to get the ball to the Jacksonville 7-yard line.

All Hasselbeck had to do then was position the ball in the middle of the field and watch Vinatieri make the chip shot to put Indianapolis back on top of the AFC South. It also allowed Indy to tie the NFL record for consecutive wins against one division (15), which was set by the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins.

The Colts can break the record Thursday night at Houston — with or without Luck, who remains day to day.

For the Jags (1-3), it was another frustrating finish.

Blake Bortles was 28 of 50 for 298 yards with one touchdown. Rookie T.J. Yeldon ran 22 times for 105 yards. Allen Hurns caught a career high 11 passes for a season-high 116 yards and one TD.

Luck spent most of the day coaching. Dressed in street clothes and a gray baseball hat, he clapped his hands, counseled teammates after plays and even handed water to Hasselbeck. And when Myers missed the 48-yarder, Luck pumped his fist.

But after Myers’ made it 13-10 with 4 seconds left in the first half, the Colts’ defense didn’t allow another point.

NOTES: Vinatieri also made his 479th field goal, breaking a tie for fourth place with John Carney. … Indy lost Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman and cornerback Jalil Brown in the first half with groin injuries. Both will be evaluated Sunday night. … Hurns had eight receptions in the first half, surpassing his previous career best in just two quarters. … Three Jacksonville players did not finish the game — middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (sprained ankle), cornerback Aaron Colvin (shoulder) and safety James Sample (shoulder).

Chiefs 21, Bengals 36

Alex Smith, Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap, behind, with assistance from defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton completes his first 10 passes and makes another big play. The defense allows nothing other than field goals. Through four games, the Bengals are still perfect.

And awfully impressive, too.

Dalton threw a 55-yard touchdown pass on the run — the type of throw he’s rarely made in the past — and Cincinnati remained unbeaten with a 36-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The Bengals (4-0) matched the third-best start in franchise history, two wins shy of the club record. They’ve got the look of a team finally capable of not only reaching the playoffs, but winning once they get there.

“We started the season with a special intent, and that’s to be great,” left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “We’re not satisfied with being good anymore.”

Dalton has been the thread throughout the wins, ascending to the top of the AFC passer list. He had another spot-on day, completing 17 of 24 for 321 yards with the long touchdown pass to Brandon Tate during a scramble.

“It’s what we expect from this offense,” Dalton said. “We’ve got everybody back, we’re healthy. We’ve done a great job so far getting to 4-0.”

Jeremy Hill ran for three touchdowns as the Bengals got off to a fast start and stayed ahead.

It was another rough day all around for Kansas City (1-3). Alex Smith was sacked five times, the Chiefs settled for Cairo Santos’ club-record seven field goals, and the defense couldn’t keep up with another one of the NFL’s top passers.

The Chiefs have been beaten by Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Dalton in the past three weeks. In the past two, Rodgers and Dalton went a combined 41 of 59 for 654 yards with six TD passes.

Dalton came into the game trailing only Rodgers on the league’s passer rating list. He’s been significantly better at throwing on the run this season, and had another out-of-pocket big play at the start of the second half that put the Bengals in control.

He eluded the rush and threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Tate, who made a diving catch at the 10-yard line, got up and dived into the end zone for a 21-12 lead.

Dalton got the Bengals off to another fast start. He completed all eight of his passes for 122 yards during a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives.

Smith was 31 of 45 for 386 yards, but was under pressure much of the time. The Chiefs came into the game with an NFL-high 14 sacks allowed and gave up five more.

The clincher was tight end Travis Kelce’s fumble after a catch, with the ball returned to the Kansas City 5-yard line. Hill scored his second touchdown for a 29-15 lead.

Santos connected from 22, 40, 51, 34, 40, 29 and 51 yards, tying the record for the second-most field goals in a game in NFL history. The Chiefs had more total yards (461-445), ran more plays (73-50) and held the ball for nearly 37 minutes, but had to settle for field goals.

Notes: Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith returned from a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and had a tough time covering A.J. Green, who had six catches for 78 yards in the first half. … It was Dalton’s second straight 300-yard passing game and the 16th of his career, including one in the playoffs. … Tennessee’s Rob Bironas holds the NFL record with eight field goals in 2007.

Raiders 20, Bears 22

Eddie Royal

Chicago Bears wide receiver Eddie Royal (19) runs to the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — As soon as Jay Cutler threw an interception, it looked like the Bears were about to follow the familiar script.

Then he and Robbie Gould rewrote the ending to give Chicago its first win under John Fox.

Cutler threw for two touchdowns and redeemed himself following that interception by helping set up a 49-yard field goal by Gould in the closing seconds Sunday, leading the Bears to a 22-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

“It’s a big win,” Cutler said. “Guys are excited. Coaching staff’s excited. We’ve got a good group in there.”

The Raiders (2-2) grabbed the lead on a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski with just over two minutes remaining set up by an interception by Charles Woodson. He picked off a pass thrown behind Martellus Bennett deep in Oakland territory.

But Cutler led Chicago (1-3) from its 20 to the Oakland 32 before Gould nailed the winner in the closing seconds.

The Bears shook off two embarrassing losses, including their first shutout since 2002 last week at Seattle, to give Fox his first victory since he was hired in the offseason. The win came at the expense of Oakland coach Jack Del Rio, his defensive coordinator in Carolina and Denver. And it capped a busy week that saw Chicago trade Jared Allen to Carolina.

Derek Carr threw for 196 yards as Oakland lost after winning two in a row.

“This was just one of those old-fashion NFL fights,” Carr said. “Down to the wire. There was no lack of focus, or lack of effort. Nothing that would alarm you.”

In the end, there was Chicago standing tall, finally squeezing out a victory in a season that has been nothing short of dismal.

Big things were hardly expected of the Bears after a brutal five-win season that cost former coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery their jobs. They brought in Fox and GM Ryan Pace to turn things around, and this was at least a step.

Cutler completed 28 of 43 passes for 281 yards after missing a game because of a strained hamstring. Matt Forte had 91 yards rushing and 64 receiving. Martellus Bennett caught 11 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Marquess Wilson added 80 yards receiving. Eddie Royal caught a touchdown on the game’s opening possession.

For Oakland, Carr completed 20 of 33 passes with two touchdowns and an interception.

Amari Cooper, tops among NFL rookies in catches and yards receiving, had just four receptions for 49 yards. Latavius Murray, coming off a career-high 139-yard performance at Cleveland last week, ran for 49 yards. He had a hand in two turnovers, fumbling a pitch and juggling a pass into Pernell McPhee’s arms for an interception. And he got benched toward the end of the game.

Cutler completed 14 of 19 passes for 170 yards and two TDs in the first half, and McPhee set up Gould’s late field goal that made it 16-14 with his first career interception.

Even though he felt better during the week, Cutler wasn’t sure he would be ready to play until he warmed up. He said the hamstring limited his mobility, but he still looked sharp, particularly in the early going. And he delivered in the end.

NOTES: Janikowski matched Hall of Famer Tim Brown’s club record by playing in his 240th game. … The Bears lost C Will Montgomery to a broken leg on the opening possession. Matt Slauson then moved from left guard to center. … S Antrel Rolle injured his right ankle making a tackle early in the third quarter when a teammate hit him and left the game.

Browns 27, Chargers 30

Josh Lambo

San Diego Chargers kicker Josh Lambo (2) watches his NFL football game-winning field goal against the Cleveland Browns during the second half Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Chargers rookie Josh Lambo pushed a 39-yard field-goal attempt wide right with 2 seconds left and the Cleveland Browns jumped up and down, thinking they’d forced overtime.

Not so quick, fellas.

Cleveland’s Tramon Williams was whistled for offside, giving Lambo another chance. He sent a 34-yarder through the uprights, his third of the game, to lift Philip Rivers and the Chargers to a 30-27 victory that snapped a two-game losing streak.

“Thankfully I got a second chance,” said Lambo, who beat out veteran Nick Novak for the job. “I missed the first one and I just started laughing. Then I saw a flag on the field and said. ‘Oh, OK, let’s try again.’ Fortunately I had second chance.”

The winning kick preserved another sensational effort by Rivers, who threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns.

Said Cleveland coach Mike Pettine: “That’s when you’re in a desperation block situation. It’s a very makeable field goal so you just say, ‘Yeah, I got to try to time it up the best I can.”

The Browns had tied it at 27 on Josh McCown’s 1-yard pass to Gary Barnidge with 2:09 to play and a 2-point conversion pass to Taylor Gabriel. That score was set up when the Browns won a challenge of McCown’s 19-yard pass to Barnidge that originally was ruled incomplete.

Rivers completed 23 of 38 passes. McCown was 32 of 41 for 356 yards and two scores.

Working behind a makeshift line because of injuries, Rivers threw TD passes of 28 yards to Keenan Allen in the first quarter, 19 yards to Ladarius Green for the go-ahead score in the third quarter and a 1-yarder to John Phillips in the fourth.

“It was just a scrappy game,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if it was our best game, but it was enough. To go to 1-3 with what we have coming up; to win, it was big.”

The Chargers host the Pittsburgh Steelers a week from Monday night and then travel to Green Bay.

San Diego’s defense came up big. The Chargers (2-2) had only one sack coming in, but dropped McCown four times, including two by Jerry Attaochu. The Browns (1-3) lost their second straight.

With the Chargers leading 20-16, Attaochu threw McCown for a 12-yard loss from the Chargers 25. That forced the Browns to settle for Travis Coons’ 40-yard field goal.

The Chargers then moved downfield for Phillips’ score, set up by Dontrelle Inman’s 68-yard catch-and-run on a crossing pattern.

San Diego struggled early. After a drive stalled because of Rivers being sacked, the QB threw his helmet into the bench and aired out running backs coach Ollie Wilson, apparently because rookie Melvin Gordon failed to pick up the blitz.

The Chargers were playing without three offensive line starters, left tackle King Dunlap, left guard Orlando Franklin and center Chris Watt. The Browns were without cornerback Joe Haden. The first half ended 13-13.

San Diego took a 7-3 lead on a nice 28-yard scoring pass from Rivers to Allen in the front corner of the end zone late in the first quarter. The Browns came right back on McCown’s beautiful 34-yard pass to running back Duke Johnson Jr., who exploited a mismatch against linebacker Donald Butler.

Coons kicked field goals of 36 and 28 yards, and Lambo also was good from 46 and 45.

NOTES: Chargers WR Malcom Floyd and CB Brandon Flowers left with concussions and Stevie Johnson had a hamstring injury. On the Browns injury report were CB Tashaun Gipson (ankle), RB Shaun Draughn (back) and WR Brian Hartline (ribs, thigh). … Browns WR Dwayne Bowe dropped the only pass he was thrown. He has sat out two games with a hamstring injury and has yet to catch a pass after the team signed him to a two-year, $12.5 free agent contract, with $9 million guaranteed.

Packers 17, 49ers 3

Aaron Rodgers, Corey Lemonier

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Corey Lemonier (96) applies pressure during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — With his receiving corps banged up and depleted, Aaron Rodgers still made all the big throws to keep Green Bay unbeaten and exactly where it expected to be a quarter into the season.

It just took a little while to get warmed up before things got rolling.

Rodgers passed for 224 yards and a touchdown, ran 17 yards to set up a key second-half score, and the Packers beat the hapless San Francisco 49ers 17-3 on Sunday for their first 4-0 start in four years.

“We’re 4-0, we’re first in the division and we’re playing the kind of ball we want to play in most of the phases,” Rodgers said matter-of-factly when asked to assess his team. “It was a grind out there.”

Richard Rodgers caught a 9-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening drive before Rodgers got his team going in the second half after a slow start to snap a four-game losing streak to San Francisco, which included a pair of playoff defeats.

Clay Matthews added his own flair to this one. When he sacked Colin Kaepernick in the third quarter, he kissed his right biceps Kaepernick-style to punctuate the play — one of Green Bay’s six sacks to give them 13 in the past two games.

While methodical with nothing fancy, Green Bay seemed unfazed with a short week and long trip West after beating Kansas City last Monday night. This is the team’s first 4-0 start since winning the initial 13 games in 2011.

Green Bay wanted to get this far unscathed.

The Packers certainly hope their trip to Levi’s Stadium will be the first of two this season. The Super Bowl comes to the second-year, $1.3 billion Bay Area venue in four months for its 50th year celebration.

Kaepernick threw his fifth interception in two games and the 49ers (1-3) have been limited to 28 total points over three games while giving up 107 points. The quarterback was booed in the fourth quarter along with rookie punter Bradley Pinion.

Green Bay capitalized shortly after San Francisco’s Reggie Bush was stuffed for no gain trying to go up the middle on third-and-11 in a play call that was immediately scrutinized.

On the ensuing drive, James Jones caught a 38-yard pass on the left sideline by barely staying in bounds. Rodgers then scrambled 17 yards to set up John Kuhn’s 1-yard scoring burst.

Green Bay made just enough plays. The Packers sacked Kaepernick on consecutive snaps late in the first half, and the Niners settled for Phil Dawson’s 33-yard field goal in their best scoring opportunity of the day.

“We’re an offense that can run the ball and throw the ball,” 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “We’re not doing either well right now.”

Jones wound up with five receptions for 98 yards in the fifth meeting between the rivals since 2012, while Randall Cobb had his streak of seven games with either a touchdown or 100-plus yards receiving snapped. Eddie Lacy ran for 90 yards and converted two fourth downs. Cobb and Richard Rodgers also had five catches apiece.

On one particular 49ers mishap, Australian rookie returner Jarryd Hayne was trying to catch a punt on the sideline when he was run into by two teammates, first L.J. McCray and then Jaquiski Tartt, and the ball bounced off the pile of 49ers before teammate Dontae Johnson recovered.

All of this on a day home run king Barry Bonds and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors were in attendance.

Green Bay went on the road after a Monday night game for just the fifth time since 2006, improving to 4-1 in those games. The Packers also improved to 10-2 during the regular season in California since 1990.

Kaepernick, who had played some of his best games against the Packers, went 13 for 25 for 160 yards and a 55.4 passer rating. Carlos Hyde was held to 20 yards on eight carries.

“We’ve got to collectively on offense have 11 guys going in the same direction,” coach Jim Tomsula said.

NOTES: Green Bay S Sean Richardson experienced cramping in the second half, but returned. 49ers WR Quinton Patton was checked for a concussion. … Bush returned for the first time since injuring his left calf in a Week 1 win against Minnesota and had just that one run for no yards. … Rodgers was sacked three times to match his combined total in the first three games.

Vikings 20, Broncos 23

Vikings Broncos Football

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson scores ahead of Denver Broncos free safety Darian Stewart during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

DENVER (AP) — Bursting through the line for jaw-dropping plays is quickly becoming the Denver Broncos’ calling card.

Only this time, the offense joined the party that’s been “pass rushers only” until Sunday.

Ronnie Hillman raced around the left sideline on a classic stretch play for a 72-yard touchdown run, and the league’s top-ranked defense collected seven more sacks in a 23-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

“We had three bad weeks of running the ball and tonight we got it started,” Hillman said after his third career 100-yard game. “This week it was just me and C.J. (Anderson) got tired of everyone trying to tell us that we can’t run the ball.”

The unbeaten Broncos (4-0) revved up their ground game behind Hillman and it came in handy on a day the Vikings (2-2) picked off Peyton Manning twice and turned the takeaways into 10 points.

The Broncos came into the game averaging just 57 yards rushing. With Manning in the pistol formation behind a patchwork offensive line and two tight ends lined up on the left side, Hillman went left, gathered in Manning’s pitch, hit the crease and was gone down the sideline.

It was the longest touchdown run by a Broncos running back in 15 years.

Hillman finished with 103 yards on 11 carries for his third career 100-yard game.

Denver’s top-ranked defense limited Adrian Peterson to 81 yards on 16 carries — when Peterson was the MVP in 2012, his lowest output was 86 yards against the Texans and Wade Phillips, now Denver’s defensive coordinator.

Peterson did get a 48-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-inches to pull Minnesota to 20-17 with 10 minutes left. Cornerback Aqib Talib was right there in the middle, but had already turned his hips and by the time he turned back, Peterson was by him.

The line “spread like the Red Sea,” Peterson marveled. “It just opened up.”

Free safety Harrison Smith’s interception two plays later set up Blair Walsh’s tying field goal from 33 yards with 5:11 remaining.

Manning drove the Broncos 55 yards in nine plays, and Brandon McManus’s 39-yard field goal with 1:51 left broke the tie.

Then, Denver’s defense went to work to close out another game.

Peterson missed the block on T.J. Ward and Miller smothered the loose football after the blitzing safety’s sack-strip of Bridgewater at midfield with 29 seconds left.

All four of Denver’s wins have come down to the closing minutes.

NOTES: Manning, who threw a 1-yard TD pass to a wide-open TE Owen Daniels on fourth-and-goal, has now led his teams to a 4-0 start seven times, most in NFL history. Next up at four is Fran Tarkenton. … Hillman’s long run is tied for the fourth longest in franchise history. … Bridgewater threw for 269 yards despite not having wide receivers Charles Johnson (ribs) and Jarius Wright (hand). … Manning joined Brett Favre (113) as the only QBs to win 100 home starts in the NFL. … Broncos WR Cody Latimer (groin) was the only injury of note. … The Broncos are the only team that hasn’t been scored on in the first quarter.

Rams 24, Cardinals 22

Todd Gurley, LaMarr Woodley

St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) eludes the reach of Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (56) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Bruce Arians watched Todd Gurley’s second-half NFL coming-out party and proclaimed him “a heck of a back.”

And a backbreaker for Arians’ Arizona Cardinals.

The St. Louis rookie rushed for all but two of his 146 yards after halftime and the Rams held on to hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season, 24-22 on Sunday.

Gurley saw his most extensive action as a pro and his 52-yard run set up what was the winning touchdown.

“It is just football,” he said, shrugging off the performance. “I have played it my whole life and you ready your keys and study the game and everything will slow down for you.”

Nick Foles threw for three TDs, two after Arizona turnovers, and St. Louis’ defense held the Cardinals (3-1) to field goals on four of five trips inside the red zone.

Arizona had a third-and-2 at the Rams 43 in the final minutes, but Carson Palmer overthrew receivers on consecutive plays to turn the ball over on downs.

“You’re not going to win many games kicking field goals in the red zone and losing the turnover battle,” Arians said, “especially in our division.”

The Rams (2-2) are 2-0 against the NFC West.

St. Louis scored after Arizona rookie David Johnson fumbled away the opening kickoff, the first time the Cardinals have trailed this season, and never relinquished the lead. Johnson also dropped a touchdown pass, but had some big plays late in the game.

The bad outweighed the good, Arians said. “He played like a rookie today,” the coach added.

After scoring 48 and 47 points in its last two games, Arizona got five field goals from Chandler Catanzaro — from 21, 27, 42, 38 and 29 yards. The Cardinals scored touchdowns in 11 of 12 trips to the red zone in the first three games. They were 1 for 5 on Sunday.

It was only the fourth loss in the Cardinals’ 19 home games under Arians, and Palmer lost for the first time in 10 starts. He completed 29 of 46 passes for 352 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Gurley, who was delayed in his pro debut by a knee injury, gained 9 yards in six carries in his debut last week against Pittsburgh and had 5 yards on three attempts in the first half Sunday.

With the Rams clinging to a 17-15 lead, Gurley burst through the line and broke a couple of tackles for a 52-yard gain to the Arizona 16, and Foles threw 12 yards to Austin and the lead was 24-15 with 8:16 to play.

Gurley could have had more, but slid to the ground to help run out the clock late.

The Cardinals finally got their only touchdown when Palmer lofted a 19-yard pass to Johnson for the score that made it 24-22 with 4:38 left.

Johnson, who had a 108-yard return on the opening kick two weeks ago, brought it out again to open this game. At about the 15-yard line, Mark Barron knocked the ball loose and Daren Bates jumped on it for St. Louis at the Arizona 13. On third down from the 12, Foles threw over the middle to Austin, just the Rams’ seventh touchdown of the season, and Arizona trailed for the first time this season.

NOTES: St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said inside linebacker Alec Ogletree broke an ankle in the first half and will require surgery. Fisher said he didn’t know if Ogletree would be lost for the season, that he might be listed as injured designated to return. … The Rams sacked Palmer four times. He was sacked once in the first three games.

Cowboys 20, Saints 26 OT

Mark Ingram, Brandon Carr

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr (39) pursues in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller with a short pass that the running back turned into an 80-yard touchdown — the 400th of the Saints quarterback’s career — on the second play of overtime and New Orleans won for the first time this season, 26-20 over the injury-decimated Cowboys on Monday night.

Brees, who missed New Orleans’ previous game because of a bruised rotator cuff in his right (throwing) shoulder, completed 33 of 41 throws for 359 yards and two TDs in his return.

Mark Ingram gained 126 yards from scrimmage on a combination of runs and short passes, and Khiry Robinson had a 1-yard touchdown run for New Orleans (1-3).

Joseph Randle scored the lone TD for Dallas (2-2) on a 1-yard run in the first half. The winning score enlivened a Superdome crowd stunned by Saints kicker Zach Hocker’s 30-yard miss in the final seconds of regulation.

Dallas quarterback Brandon Weeden, filling in while Tony Romo recovers from a broken clavicle, came through with clutch 91-yard touchdown drive to tie the game in the final minutes of regulation, only to lose his 10th straight start overall, tying him with Blaine Gabbert for the longest such streak among active QBs.

The tying touchdown was as clutch as it gets — a 17-yard pass to Terrance Williams on fourth down with less than 2 minutes left.

Brees then quickly marched New Orleans into what should have been easy field goal range, only to have the celebration delayed when Hocker, a first-year kicker who had hit from 51 yards earlier, hit the left upright.

But New Orleans won the toss and took the ball first, and two plays later, the game was over on the first TD of the season by Spiller, who was signed as a free agent last offseason.

Dallas failed to win what would have been an 11th-straight road game in regulation. But even with New Orleans struggling, winning the Superdome was going to be a tall order for a Cowboys squad so riddled with injuries.

Earlier in the week, Dallas had ruled out star receiver Dez Bryant (foot) and defensive end Randy Gregory (ankle), who was a second-round draft pick last spring.

Meanwhile, defensive end Greg Hardy was serving the final game of his domestic violence suspension.

On top of that, linebacker Sean Lee, one of Dallas’ best defensive players, left in the first half with a concussion. Then Lance Dunbar, who’d rushed for 54 yards in the first half, had to be helped off the field with a knee injury after returning the kickoff to open the second half.

By contrast, the struggling Saints benefited not only from having Brees back, but also cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip), safety Jairus Byrd (knee) and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (toe) in the lineup for the first time this season.

Yet, struggling New Orleans found itself in another tense, close matchup in which it could not sustain momentum.

Brees was under constant pressure and was not consistently on target.

He found tight end Josh Hill for a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter, but Dallas went back in front on Joseph Randle’s 1-yard TD put Dallas back ahead 10-7 minutes later.

New Orleans tied it at 10 on Hocker’s 51-yarder and the teams exchanged field goals again to enter the fourth quarter tied at 13.

Lions 10, Seahawks 13

Michael Burton

Detroit Lions fullback Michael Burton (46) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, right, and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) in the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE (AP) — With one big punch, Kam Chancellor showed his importance to the Seattle Seahawks.

And once again, the Seahawks may have received another Monday night break from the officials in the same end zone where the infamous “Fail Mary” took place.

Chancellor knocked the ball free from Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson at the 1-yard line when it appeared the Lions were going to take the lead, and Seattle held on for a 13-10 win.

With Detroit on the verge of capping a 91-yard drive with the go-ahead touchdown with less than 2 minutes remaining, Chancellor came from the side and punched the ball from Johnson’s arm as he was being tackled by Earl Thomas.

The ball bounded into the end zone where it was guided over the back line by K.J. Wright for a touchback and Seattle’s ball at the 20.

Wright could have been called for illegal touching for hitting the ball out of the end zone, which would have given the ball back to Detroit. But no flags were thrown and on the ensuing possession, Russell Wilson found Jermaine Kearse for 50 yards on third down. With Detroit out of timeouts, the Seahawks (2-2) ran off the final seconds of their second straight win.

Detroit fell to 0-4 for its worst start since 2010 when the Lions also started 0-4 on their way to a 6-10 season, and with a schedule that offers little relief going forward.

It was an ugly performance by the home team, filled with offensive mistakes and two fourth-quarter fumbles by Wilson, the second returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Caraun Reid to pull Detroit to 13-10.

But in the end, Seattle’s defense came through.

Starting on their 9 with 6:23 remaining, the Lions converted a big third down on Golden Tate’s 22-yard catch-and-run and reached the Seattle 46 with 3 minutes left on Ameer Abdullah’s 9-yard run. Matthew Stafford then zipped a pass to No. 3 tight end Tim Wright down the seam for 26 yards to the Seattle 20 with 2:30 remaining, placing it in-between Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Chancellor.

The Lions reached the Seattle 11 and on third-and-1, Stafford passed to an open Johnson. As he stretched for the goal line, Chancellor came across and knocked the ball free.

Seattle has not allowed an offensive touchdown in the two games since Chancellor ended his holdout and has forced 18 punts during that stretch.

“It was big time,” Wagner said of Chancellor’s return. “He just made us a whole defense.”

Wilson was forced to be an escape artist as Seattle’s offensive line continued to struggle with protection. Wilson threw for 287 yards and rushed for another 40 yards. Wilson’s most memorable play was spinning free of two near sacks and finding Kearse for 34 yards in the second quarter, and then hitting Doug Baldwin on a 24-yard TD on the next play.

Seattle was without Marshawn Lynch for the first time since Week 7 of the 2011 season against Cleveland when Lynch had back problems flare up during pregame warmups. Thomas Rawls rushed for 104 yards last week in relief of Lynch, but could not get started against a better Lions defense. Rawls finished with 48 yards on 17 carries.

Stafford was 24 of 35 for 203 yards for Detroit, which lost starting tight end Eric Ebron and both starting defensive tackles Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker to injuries.

Ebron suffered a knee injury in the first half after having two early catches, while Ngata and Walker both went out in the second half. Ngata suffered a calf injury while Walker was taken off on a cart after suffering a left leg injury in the fourth quarter.


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