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Here is a recap of Week 5 of the 2015 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Bye: Panthers, Dolphins, Vikings, Jets
Colts 27, Texans 20
HOUSTON (AP) — Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano isn’t sure when Andrew Luck can play again.
Not to worry though. He’s got the ageless Matt Hasselbeck to fill in.
Andre Johnson caught two touchdown passes from the 40-year-old Hasselbeck, the second for 2 yards in the fourth quarter, to help the Colts beat the Houston Texans 27-20 on Thursday night.
“Got the best backup in the league right now,” Pagano said. “We could argue that.”
Released by Houston in March after 12 seasons with the team, Johnson had six catches for 77 yards.
Hasselbeck won his second straight game filling in for Luck, who was out with a shoulder injury.
Hasselbeck’s performance was even more impressive given the fact that he was battling a bacterial infection that hospitalized him this week. He started feeling ill just before halftime Sunday in a victory over Jacksonville and didn’t start feeling better until Thursday night.
Brian Hoyer, who replaced Ryan Mallett for Houston (1-4) in the second quarter, threw a pass up for grabs that was intercepted by Mike Adams with less than 2 minutes left to help the Colts (3-2) seal the victory.
Some things to know about the Colts’ win over the Texans.
QUARTERBACK CAROUSEL: Mallett got the wind knocked out of him on an illegal hit midway through the second quarter and was replaced by Hoyer. Mallett was OK soon after that, but coach Bill O’Brien stuck with Hoyer, who finished with 312 yards passing with two touchdowns. Hoyer won the starting job out of camp but was benched after Week 1. He came in late in last week’s loss Atlanta, but O’Brien started Mallett again on Thursday. After the game he wouldn’t say who will direct the offense going forward.
“We’ll review (the film) tomorrow and see where we are at that position,” O’Brien said.
MIXED RECEPTION: Johnson, who is Houston’s career receiving leader, drew boos from the home crowd when he grabbed a 23-yard reception late in the first quarter. Two plays later, he scored his first touchdown of the season when he was wide open in the back of the end zone for 4-yard reception that made it 10-0. Johnson laughed about the early boos and said the crowd warmed up to him later. “When I would be on the sidelines a lot of the fans were screaming, ‘Andre we still love you! Come back to Houston! Welcome home!'” Johnson said. “So that was probably the most special thing.”
A STRONG GAME: Houston rookie Jaelen Strong had his first two NFL receptions and they were both for touchdowns. Hoyer’s desperation throw on the last play of the first half that Strong pulled down in a sea of Indianapolis defenders for a 42-yard touchdown strike cut the lead to 13-10. Strong boxed out two defenders and outjumped the others to reel in his first NFL catch. Strong’s second catch and touchdown came on an 11-yard pass by Hoyer to get Houston to 20-17 in the third quarter.
STREAKING: The Colts extended their AFC South winning streak to an NFL-record 16 games. It’s the longest such streak since the 1972-73 Dolphins won 15 in a row. It began with a win over Houston to end the 2012 season, a game that marked the return of Pagano to the sideline after he missed 12 games while he battled leukemia. “We gave everybody a game ball from this one,” Pagano said. “We could have given out some individual ones but to surpass the only team in the NFL that had a perfect season … and hold that record now that is something that every man on this football team and everybody in our organization can share.”
Bills 14, Titans 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — With so many key Bills sidelined by injuries, Buffalo needed someone to provide some kind of offensive boost.
And quarterback Tyrod Taylor came through by doing a little bit of everything.
Even catching a pass.
Taylor threw a touchdown pass and ran for another in rallying the Buffalo Bills to a 14-13 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
“Quarterback’s got the biggest heart,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said of Taylor. “Man, it was tough sledding, but he’s got guts, he’s got heart. He wasn’t playing great, but at the end of the day he’s the reason we won the game.”
Ryan said Taylor may not be a great quarterback yet, but his QB has the characteristics giving him a chance to be great. Ryan said Taylor’s teammates rallied behind the quarterback who won a three-man competition for the job, and linebacker Preston Brown agreed.
“He’s running for touchdowns, getting back up and throwing deep balls,” Brown said. “He played outstanding for us today. You want to go out and fight for a guy like that.”
Taylor ran for 76 yards as the Bills (3-2) snapped a five-game skid against Tennessee.
The quarterback started the comeback with a 26-yard run that was Buffalo’s longest play to that point, then capped the drive running for a 22-yard TD late in the third quarter. Taylor also scrambled for 24 more on third-and-23 from the Bills 7 jumpstarting an 80-yard drive he capped with a 2-yard TD pass to Chris Hogan. Taylor caught a 4-yard pass from Hogan to set up that TD.
Stephon Gilmore intercepted Marcus Mariota’s pass with 1:32 left to seal the win.
The Titans (1-3) blew a second straight double-digit lead at home, this by 10 points. They have lost two straight by a combined three points.
Tennessee outgained the Bills 279-209 and held the ball for more than 35 minutes. But the Titans settled for a pair of field goals by Ryan Succop and a 1-yard TD run by Antonio Andrews.
The Titans also had four sacks and recovered a fumble on a punt return to set up their touchdown.
The Bills played without wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) and running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) for a second straight week with McCoy’s replacement Karlos Williams also out recovering from a concussion.
The Bills lost another running back to injury in the second quarter when Cierre Wood was carted to the locker room with an injured knee and did not return.
Late in the third quarter, Taylor started running and brought the Bills back. He became only the second quarterback since 1966 and only the fifth ever to throw for at least 100 yards, run for at least 70 and catch a pass.
Buffalo nearly had a great start to the game when Bishop Sankey fumbled the kickoff in the end zone, and the Titans recovered at the 2.
But the Bills, who lead the NFL in penalties, had to kick again with Marcus Easley offside on Billy Cundiff’s kick. After that, the Titans dominated, outgaining Buffalo 115-7 and forcing the Bills to go three-and-out twice.
Tennessee’s TD came after Titans rookie Jalston Fowler stripped Denarius Moore, who was signed Wednesday by Buffalo, of the ball at the end of a punt return. The Titans won a replay challenge and got the ball at the Bills 39.
Notes: Randall Cunningham was the most recent quarterback with at least 100 yards passing, 70 yards rushing and a reception in a single game for Philadelphia on Nov. 15, 1987, against the Giants. … Mario Williams’ sack of Mariota in the second quarter gave him 40 with the Bills in 53 games, making him the second-fastest to 40 sacks in Buffalo. Only Bruce Smith was faster with 40 sacks in 48 games. … Bills RB Cierre Wood hurt a knee in the second quarter, was carted to the locker room and did not return. Ryan did not have an update on Wood. … The Titans shut out an opponent in the first half for the first time since Carolina on Nov. 13, 2011, and for the first time at home since Oct. 30, 2011, against Indianapolis.
Browns 33, Ravens 30 OT
BALTIMORE (AP) — It took a prolonged performance of historic proportions for the Cleveland Browns to finally win on the road against the Baltimore Ravens.
Josh McCown threw for a team-record 457 yards and Travis Coons kicked a 32-yard field goal in overtime to lead the Browns to a 33-30 victory Sunday.
Cleveland (2-3) had lost 13 of the previous 14 meetings in this AFC North rivalry and was winless in Baltimore since 2007. The final score of that game, by the way, was 33-30 in overtime.
In this one, McCown rallied the Browns from a 12-point deficit to leave the Ravens (1-4) alone in the division cellar.
“A little closer than you’d like,” McCown said, “but the outcome certainly was fitting and we’ll take it.”
Playing its second straight overtime game, Baltimore went three-and-out on the first possession of the extra period. McCown then used more than seven minutes to move 51 yards before Coons kicked his fourth field goal of the game with 6:43 left.
McCown completed 36 of 51 passes with two touchdowns in becoming the first quarterback in Browns history with three straight 300-yard games. He broke the team record of 444 yards passing set by Brian Sipe on Oct. 25, 1981, against the Baltimore Colts.
McCown knew for days that the Browns could take advantage of a porous Baltimore defensive backfield.
“Wednesday,” he said. “We love throwing the ball around. So we’re ready to roll.”
The Ravens, on the other hand, are spiraling. Baltimore never before has been 1-4, and this marks the first time the Ravens lost their first two games at home — both against division foes.
“It’s not going to be a matter of, ‘How do we handle this adversity of being 1-4?’ We’ll handle it,” coach John Harbaugh said.
Joe Flacco ran for two 1-yard touchdowns and threw for a score, but fell to 13-2 against Cleveland. After going to the postseason in six of the past seven years, Flacco and the Ravens are in a unique bind.
“It doesn’t feel too good,” Flacco said.
Baltimore went up 27-22 on a 1-yard run by Justin Forsett with 5:56 left, but the Ravens couldn’t come up with the big play in the fourth quarter.
McCown connected with Isaiah Crowell on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 3:03 remaining, and the 2-point conversion left the Ravens needing a field goal to tie.
A personal foul against Donte Whitner on a third-and-6 incompletion led to a 32-yard pass from Flacco to Forsett, who hurt his right ankle on the play. He finished with 121 yards rushing.
After Forsett left, three plays inside the 10 failed to get the ball into the end zone. That left Justin Tucker to kick a 23-yard field goal with 25 seconds to go in regulation.
Overtime belonged to the Browns after a wild fourth quarter.
Down 21-9, the Browns rallied behind McCown to take a 22-21 lead with 12:23 remaining.
First, he directed a 13-play, 75-yard drive that was extended by a hands-to-the-face penalty call against Jason Babin on a third-down incompletion from the Baltimore 15. Two plays later, McCown ran in from the 10.
After a Baltimore punt, McCown needed only four plays to cover 79 yards and give Cleveland its first lead. Following a 56-yard completion to Andrew Hawkins, McCown lofted a pass toward the end zone that tight end Gary Barnidge and safety Will Hill each had an equal chance to catch.
The ball glanced off Burnidge’s left leg and rolled down to his left ankle as he pinned his legs together to control it. While on his back, he reached down and secured the ball for an 18-yard touchdown.
It turned out to be merely the opening salvo of a wild fourth quarter.
Notes: Ravens WR Steve Smith (back) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf) were inactives. They were ultimately joined on the sideline by linebacker Elvis Dumervil (groin) and defensive backs Lardarius Webb (thigh) and Will Davis (knee). … Cleveland CB Joe Haden played with a broken right ring finger. He banged his head early in the fourth quarter and was kept out with a concussion.
Jaguars 31, Buccaneers 38
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Lovie Smith’s fingerprints were all over Tampa Bay’s first home victory in nearly two years.
The Buccaneers ran the ball with authority, young quarterback Jameis Winston didn’t make any costly mistakes, and an improving defense did its part, too, in Sunday’s 38-31 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“This was just smash-mouth football. We lined up in two-tight end formations, two-running back formations and pounded that football,” Winston said. “And when you are able to force your will upon somebody else, and you’ve got a running back that’s just getting 4 and 5 yards and then popping one for 20, that’s great football.”
When Smith took on the challenge of turning around a struggling franchise, he promised the Bucs would win by running the ball, playing solid defense and getting smart play from their quarterback.
He’s especially committed to the formula after going 2-14 in his first season in Tampa Bay and drafting Winston No. 1 overall this year.
Doug Martin ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns, helping the 21-year-old quarterback rebound from his worst performance. And it helped the team snap an 11-game home losing streak that dated to December 2013, the same month the Jaguars (1-4) began an equally agonizing road skid that now stands at 12.
Winston threw for 209 yards and one touchdown without an interception, redeeming himself after turning the ball over five times in a 14-point loss to Carolina the previous week.
Blake Bortles passed for 303 yards and four TDs, but was sacked six times and also threw an interception that set up a Bucs touchdown. The Jaguars gave up a 58-yard punt return that led to Martin’s 10-yard TD reception, and rookie Corey Grant lost a third-quarter fumble that defensive end Jacquies Smith returned 3 yards for a score that put Tampa Bay ahead for good.
Martin, hindered by injuries the past two seasons, also scored on a pair of 1-yard runs. He averaged 5 yards per carry on 24 attempts and had three receptions for 35 yards.
Bortles threw TD passes of 13 and 15 yards to Allen Robinson, the latter trimming Tampa Bay’s lead to 38-31 with 1:05 remaining. Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson recovered the ensuing onside kick, and Winston kneeled twice to run out the clock.
The Bucs won for the first time at home since beating Buffalo 27-6 on Dec. 8, 2013, one week after Jacksonville last won on the road, 32-28 at Cleveland.
The Jaguars rallied from 13 points down to take a 24-20 on Bortles’ 4-yard TD pass to T.J. Yeldon, but couldn’t finish the job for the second straight week.
Jacksonville lost 16-13 to Indianapolis in overtime after missing potential game-winning field goals in the fourth quarter and extra period.
Bortles also threw a 12-yard TD pass to Allen Hurns and finished 23 of 33 with one interception. Falling behind early forced the Jaguars to abandon the running game, which produced just 55 yards on 17 attempts.
Winston completed 13 of 19 passes and made it through a home game for the first time without throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He was sacked twice.
NOTES: TE Julius Thomas made his debut for Jacksonville, playing for the first time since breaking his right hand in the Jaguars preseason opener. He had two catches for 20 yards. … Since 2011, the Jaguars are 0-30 when losing the turnover battle. … As part of the Bucs’ breast cancer awareness initiative, U.S. Air Force captain Joshua Gunderson was flown home for a surprise visit with his mother, Bucs honoree Reina Campbell, who is battling cancer.
Rams 10, Packers 24
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The St. Louis Rams will go down in the NFL record book as the team that ended a remarkable streak by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
They would much rather be leaving with a win at Lambeau Field.
Rams quarterback Nick Foles struggled against constant pressure and threw four interceptions on Sunday, including one returned for a score in a 24-10 loss to Green Bay.
“I’ve got to make better decisions to give my teammates an opportunity to make a play,” Foles said.
He would have loved to have played like Rodgers, even if the Rams ended the MVP quarterback’s run of mistake-free football at home.
Rodgers was 19 of 30 for 241 yards with two long scoring strikes to receivers Ty Montgomery and James Jones.
But NFL-record streaks of 587 pass attempts and 49 touchdown passes at home without an interception for Rodgers ended in the first quarter on linebacker James Laurinaitis’ diving pick of a tipped ball for the Rams (2-3).
“How long has it been since Aaron’s thrown an interception here, 500 attempts? We said what we need to do (was) someone needs to get their hand on the football, get the ball and someone make a play,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.
It happened two more times: Rodgers threw another interception in the second quarter before losing a fumble in the third.
“Well, I mean, Aaron is human,” said coach Mike McCarthy. “He’s still a remarkable player. What happened today doesn’t change that.”
The defense backed up Rodgers with big plays all day long.
Relentless pressure on Foles helped keep the Packers (5-0) unbeaten. Foles’ four interceptions were a career worst, with two coming in the fourth quarter inside the Packers 10.
Foles was 11 of 30 for 141 yards and a touchdown. His longest completion came on a 68-yarder to Stedman Bailey late in the fourth quarter.
Otherwise, the Packers’ pass rush overwhelmed an inexperienced offensive line that lost veteran guard Rodger Saffold in the first quarter to a shoulder injury. Star linebacker Clay Matthews had 1 1/2 sacks.
Rookie cornerback Quinten Rollins returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and picked off another pass at the 7 with 23 seconds left. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone on third-and-goal at the 7.
Greg Zuerlein was 1 for 4 on field-goal tries, hitting from 42 but missing two others and getting a fourth one blocked. The misses all came from at least 50 yards.
The mistakes wasted another strong effort for Rams rookie Todd Gurley, who for the second straight week had his best production, with 159 yards rushing on 30 carries.
ut a week after defeating previously unbeaten Arizona, the Rams couldn’t repeat the feat on a warm fall afternoon in Green Bay.
The Packers defense held up in spite of losing tackle B.J. Raji to a groin injury and linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder). Guard T.J. Lang also left in the first quarter with a knee injury.
For the Rams, defensive lineman Chris Long did not return after hurting his right knee in the first half.
NOTES: Laurinaitis finished with a team-high eight tackles. … CB Trumaine Johnson had the Rams’ other interception.
Bears 18, Chiefs 17
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jay Cutler spent the afternoon dodging Chiefs defenders behind a patchwork offensive line, trying to find somewhere to throw the ball without his top two wide receivers.
It just made his fourth-quarter comeback even more impressive.
Cutler led the Bears to two touchdowns in the closing minutes Sunday, the second an alert toss to Matt Forte with 18 seconds remaining, giving Chicago an 18-17 comeback win after Kansas City lost star running back Jamaal Charles to a potentially season-ending knee injury.
Playing without wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal because of injuries, along with three starting offensive linemen, the Bears (2-3) trailed 17-3 early in the third quarter.
That’s when Charles went down while trying to make a cut, his right knee twisting at an ugly angle. The preliminary diagnosis was a torn ACL and Charles will have an MRI on Monday.
With him out, the Bears quickly seized the momentum.
After Robbie Gould’s second field goal got them going, Cutler led an 88-yard drive that he capped with a 22-yard pass to Marquess Wilson with 3:05 left. The 2-point conversion came up short, but the Bears defense responded by forcing a quick three-and-out.
With help from a pass interference call on Chiefs rookie Marcus Peters, the Bears quickly moved down the field. That’s when Cutler took a snap from the shotgun, dropped the ball, picked it up and spotted Forte running past safety Husain Abdullah in the end zone for the go-ahead score.
The Chiefs (1-4) tried a 66-yard field goal that came up short as time expired.
It was the second heartbreaking defeat at home for Kansas City this season. AFC West rival Denver scored two touchdowns in the final 2:27 for a 31-24 victory last month.
Making this one even worse was the injury to Charles, who was starting to get into a rhythm went he went down deep in Chicago territory. He immediately grabbed his right knee — Charles tore the ACL in his left knee four years ago — and was helped straight to the locker room.
That drive stalled, and Cairo Santos had his field-goal attempt blocked. The missed points wound up looming large in a game that Kansas City will remember for its missed opportunities.
“We had so many opportunities to win this game,” wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said, “and we blew it. We don’t have anybody to blame but ourselves.”
Until Charles went down, everything was going splendidly for the Chiefs, who had jumped out to a comfortable lead thanks to a pair of surprising touchdowns.
The first occurred on the third series of the game, when Cutler was sacked in the end zone by Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey. Cutler lost the ball before hitting the turf, and rookie linebacker Ramik Wilson jumped on it for a touchdown in his first NFL start.
The Chiefs’ second TD came when Alex Smith connected with DeAnthony Thomas with a 14-yard pitch-and-catch midway through the second quarter. Why so surprising? It was the second scoring reception by a Kansas City wide receiver since December 2013.
But things went haywire for the Chiefs once Charles left, and the Bears began to chip into the lead. Cutler ultimately led them all the way back with poise down the stretch.
Notes: Smith was 16 of 30 for 181 yards without an interception, but was sacked three times. He’s been sacked 22 times already this season. … Bears coach John Fox improved to 8-1 against Kansas City. Most of those wins came with Denver. … Cutler needs three TD passes to surpass Sid Luckman (137) for most in franchise history.
Saints 17, Eagles 39
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — All those playmakers Chip Kelly acquired made plays in the same game.
Sam Bradford overcame two red-zone interceptions and threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns, Ryan Mathews and DeMarco Murray each rushed for touchdowns, and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New Orleans Saints 39-17 on Sunday.
Bradford, Murray and Mathews were key offseason additions when Kelly took control of personnel decisions and made massive changes. Bradford led the offense to four touchdowns in his only four series in the preseason, raising expectations. But the team didn’t play like a playoff contender in the first four games.
Fletcher Cox forced two fumbles on sacks to help the Eagles (2-3) snap a three-game losing streak at home that dated to last season.
Drew Brees had three turnovers leading to 17 points for Philadelphia, and the Saints fell to 1-4 a week after an overtime win against Dallas.
“You can’t give it away four or five different times and expect to win. You just can’t,” Saints coach Sean Payton said.
It looked like more of the same problems for the Eagles after Bradford threw two INTs in the end zone, but he bounced back from the rough start.
Bradford got going with a 41-yard catch-and-run TD pass to Josh Huff, who did a flip into the end zone to tie it at 7 in the second quarter.
The Eagles broke the game open in the third period. Mathews ran in from the 2 to complete a 65-yard drive to give Philadelphia a 17-10 lead. Bradford connected with Huff for 19 yards a play before the score.
On the Saints’ next snap, Cox sacked Brees, forced a fumble and recovered it at the 13. Bradford connected with Brent Celek on the following play to put Philadelphia ahead 23-10, but Caleb Sturgis missed the extra point.
Walter Thurmond intercepted Brees and returned it 44 yards to the 4 to set up Murray’s 4-yard TD run that made it 39-10.
Brees threw a 14-yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks on the final play. Kelly ran onto the field toward Brees to shake hands, but had to go back to the sideline for the extra point.
Late in the second quarter, Cox sacked Brees and forced a fumble recovered by Jordan Hicks at the Saints 39. Sturgis kicked a 39-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Eagles had a first down at the Saints 12 when Bradford was picked off by Brandon Browner in the end zone in the first quarter. Brees immediately drove New Orleans downfield and threw a 6-yard TD pass to Ben Watson for a 7-0 lead.
On Philadelphia’s next possession, Devin Breaux intercepted Bradford’s pass from the 14 in the end zone. But the defense forced a punt.
“It needs to be better. We’re not scoring enough points,” Brees said.
Kelly has been heavily criticized for his personnel decisions, play-calling and overall philosophy. He silenced his critics for at least one week.
“We executed,” Kelly said. “We didn’t change what we were doing from a schematic standpoint.”
NOTES: Brees finished 26 of 43 for 335 yards, two TDs and one interception. … Murray had 83 yards rushing on 20 carries. Mathews had 73 yards on eight carries. … The Eagles were missing starting LBs Kiko Alonso (knee) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring). … Saints didn’t have four-time All-Pro G Jahri Evans (knee). WR Marques Colston left with an arm injury. … Bradford has nine career 300-yard games.
Seahawks 24, Bengals 27 OT
CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton’s fingerprints were all over one of the Bengals’ greatest comebacks.
Playing like an elite quarterback, Dalton led Cincinnati from a 17-point deficit to a legacy victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Mike Nugent’s 42-yard field goal in overtime bounced off the left upright, but went through for a 27-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
This wasn’t just any win. It matched the second-biggest comeback in team history and came against the two-time defending NFC champions — a signature moment for the unbeaten Bengals.
Nobody came up bigger than him.
Trailing 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter, Dalton threw for a touchdown, ran for another and led the Bengals (5-0) on a 69-yard drive with no timeouts to get Nugent’s 31-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
Dalton is going through a growth spurt in his fifth season, leading the NFL in fourth-quarter passer rating. He went 13 of 15 for 135 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime on Sunday.
Seattle (2-3) punted twice in overtime, giving the Bengals a chance to pull it out. Nugent’s deflected field goal ended it with 3:36 left in overtime, leaving Cincinnati 5-0 for the first time since 1988, the last time it went to the Super Bowl.
It was the second time Cincinnati had overtime a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and won, according to STATS. The Bengals also did it at Baltimore in 2004 for a 27-26 victory. Cincinnati overcame an 18-point deficit to beat Arizona 24-21 in the 1997 season.
The 17-point collapse matched the biggest in Seattle history. The Seahawks also blew such games in 2003 against Baltimore and 2004 against St. Louis, losing in overtime as well.
The Seahawks looked to be in good shape after scoring a pair touchdowns during a 2-minute span of the third quarter. Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls ran 69 yards for a touchdown, part of a career-best 169-yard game.
Bobby Wagner then returned a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown, handing a 24-7 lead to the NFL’s second-ranked defense. Unlike Monday night, when Kam Chancellor stripped the ball from Detroit’s Calvin Johnson to preserve a 13-10 win, it couldn’t come up with the big play at the end.
Dalton was 30 of 44 for 331 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a season-high four sacks. His 11-yard TD pass to Tyler Eifert on the game’s opening drive ended Seattle’s streak of 20 defensive possessions without allowing a touchdown.
That was all the Bengals managed until Dalton started the big comeback.
Russell Wilson was 15 of 23 for 213 yards with a touchdown, a tipped interception and four sacks. His 30-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse was the first touchdown the Bengals had allowed before halftime this season.
Notes: The Bengals are one win shy of matching the best start in club history. They went 6-0 in 1975 and 1988. … Wagner had a strained chest muscle, but finished the game. … Wilson was sacked four more times, bringing the season total to 22. … Earl Thomas got the Seahawks’ first interception of the season. … Cincinnati had a potential 72-yard TD pass to A.J. Green nullified by a holding penalty in the first quarter. Green had five catches for 65 yards in the first half, only one more for 13 yards the rest of the way.
Redskins 19, Falcons 25 OT
ATLANTA (AP) — With the game on the line, Robert Alford relied on lessons learned in his film study of Kirk Cousins’ three-step drops.
Then Alford ended the game.
Alford returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown, lifting the undefeated Atlanta Falcons to a 25-19 win over the Washington Redskins in overtime Sunday.
The Redskins had the first possession of OT and Cousins moved the team to midfield. On second and 8 from the 50, Ryan Grant slipped while trying to adjust to Cousins’ pass. Alford was in perfect position for the interception before racing down the sideline for the touchdown.
Near the end of his sprint toward the goal line, Alford held the ball high with both hands and did a high-step, Deion Sanders style.
Atlanta’s other starting cornerback, Desmond Trufant, wears the No. 21 Sanders made famous in Atlanta, but the Prime Time play of the day belonged to Alford.
Cousins said he felt pressure from Atlanta’s pass rush before trying to complete the pass to Grant.
Alford had a pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter to set up a Washington touchdown.
Grant was not available for postgame interviews.
Atlanta trailed 16-12 before Devonta Freeman’s 6-yard scoring run with 24 seconds remaining in regulation. The Falcons (5-0) are the first team to start 5-0 when trailing in the fourth quarter of four games.
Freeman had an apparent 13-yard scoring catch ruled incomplete on a review two plays before his scoring run.
Freeman had 27 carries for 153 yards and the touchdown. He is the first NFL player with seven rushing touchdowns in his first three starts.
Dustin Hopkins’ 52-yard field goal for Washington on the final play of regulation forced overtime.
The Falcons overcame two interceptions and a lost fumble by Matt Ryan, who completed 24 of 42 passes for 254 yards with no touchdowns.
The Redskins (2-3) were denied their first back-to-back wins in almost a year — since Weeks 7 and 8 in 2014.
“This is a tough one, man,” said Redskins coach Jay Gruden. “We had an opportunity. … Our receiver slips and falls and they get a pick six. Ryan Grant just slipped and fell. It’s unfortunate.”
The interception was the second of the game for Cousins, who completed 21 of 32 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown.
Matt Jones’ 1-yard run midway through the final quarter gave Washington a 13-12 lead.
Julio Jones, who began the day leading the NFL in catches, and Roddy White were held without a catch in the first half. Jones finished with five catches for 67 yards. White, who complained about his diminished role early in the week before meeting with coach Dan Quinn, had two catches for 23 yards.
White’s first catch of the day, a 16-yarder, moved the Falcons to the Washington 14 in the fourth quarter. Freeman ran for 11 yards and Atlanta again gave the ball to Freeman. He was stripped by defensive end Chris Baker near the 2 and the ball bounced into the end zone. Jones fell on the fumble for a touchdown.
Ryan’s pass for Leonard Hankerson on the 2-point attempt was incomplete.
Washington had a quick answer. Following a pass interference call against Alford, Jones’ 1-yard run gave Washington a 13-12 lead; Cousins’ pass for Pierre Garcon was incomplete on the 2-point attempt.
Cousins’ first-quarter 7-yard pass to tight end Derek Carrier was the only touchdown for either team through three quarters. The Falcons tried to keep pace with field goals, but twice the uprights got in the way of the usually reliable Matt Bryant’s attempts.
Cardinals 42, Lions 17
DETROIT (AP) — Carson Palmer earned a break. Matthew Stafford was forced to sit.
Palmer threw for three touchdowns, Stafford was benched after throwing a third interception, and the Arizona Cardinals routed the Detroit Lions 42-17 Sunday.
Palmer was poised and efficient, completing 11 of 14 passes for 161 yards. He threw a 14-yard pass to Darren Fells, an 18-yard connection to John Brown, and a 2-yard strike to Larry Fitzgerald for scores.
“I feel comfortable and confident,” said Palmer, whose 154.2 passer rating was the second highest of his career that started when Cincinnati drafted him No. 1 overall in 2003.
The Cardinals (4-1) have a two-game lead in the NFC West and Larry Fitzgerald said no one on the team would be celebrating on the flight home.
t may not be too early to wonder when Detroit is going to win.
The Lions (0-5) have the dubious distinction of being the NFL’s only winless team, for a second straight week, and are off to their worst start since becoming the league’s only 0-16 team in 2008.
When they host Chicago (2-3) next week, Stafford is expected to start. Caldwell said he simply substituted Stafford out as a manager would with a pitcher.
“Going forward, we do think he’s our best quarterback,” he said.
Arizona defensive end Cory Redding, who played for the Lions’ infamous team seven years ago, had an interception that he almost returned for a score, only to be stopped by Stafford. Redding hopes the Lions snap their skid because he doesn’t want the current players to join him and his former teammates in league infamy.Stafford was picked off on passes well short of receivers and missed at least one wide-open option. Stafford was told to stay on the sideline in the third quarter and wasn’t surprised because of what he heard from coach Jim Caldwell at halftime.
Stafford was 20 of 32 for 188 yards with a 6-yard TD pass to Theo Riddick that gave Detroit a 7-0 lead after its defense didn’t allow the Cardinals to score a point — or even pick up a first down — following two turnovers in the first quarter. He was replaced by Dan Orlovsky, who threw his first pass since 2012 and took a snap for the first time in two years. In Detroit at least, he is best remembered for obliviously running out of the back of the end zone when rolling out to pass for a safety during a setback at Minnesota when the franchise set a record it didn’t want.
After the Lions lost every game in 2008, they drafted Stafford No. 1 overall out of Georgia, ignoring questions about his inability to throw accurately. Now, they are relatively stuck after signing him two years ago to a $53 million, three-year extension that keeps him under contract through 2017.
Orlovsky completed 21 of 38 passes for 191 yards with a TD late in the game and an interception.
Stafford and Orlovsky combined to set an NFL record with 70 pass attempts in a regulation game, surpassing the 69 thrown by Vinny Testaverde of the New York Jets in a 2000 loss to Baltimore, according to STATS.
Palmer helped the Cardinals average an NFL-high 37 points entering the game, and they surpassed that with a mixture of plays.
Chris Johnson had 11 carries for 103 yards, giving him nearly 300 yards rushing in three games. Rookie David Johnson took over in short-yardage situations, scoring on a 4-yard run to put Arizona ahead 14-7 early in the second quarter and a 2-yarder late in the first half.
Rashad Johnson matched a career high with two interceptions. Patrick Peterson picked off a pass and limited Calvin Johnson to five receptions and 67 yards.
NOTES: Cardinals LB Alex Okafor and LB Kenny Demens both had knee injuries during the game. … Lions LB DeAndre Levy was cleared to return from a hip injury only to aggravate it against Arizona.
Broncos 16, Raiders 10
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — After spending most of his career carrying his team to wins, Peyton Manning is just along for the ride this year with Denver.
Chris Harris Jr. returned a fourth-quarter interception 74 yards for a touchdown and the Broncos overcame a shaky day from Manning to beat the Oakland Raiders 16-10 on Sunday.
They’ve done it so far with 22 sacks, 14 turnovers and three defensive touchdowns as Manning and the offense have struggled for long stretches.
Manning has more interceptions (seven) than TD passes (six) through five games for the first time since his rookie season. He was intercepted twice by 1998 draft classmate Charles Woodson and failed to lead the Broncos (5-0) to an offensive touchdown for the second time in five games.
Derek Carr threw for 249 yards and a 3-yard TD pass to Marcel Reece for the Raiders (2-3) but was done in by the interception midway through the fourth quarter with Oakland in position for a possible go-ahead field goal.
But Carr’s third-down pass over the middle was off target and Harris picked it off and returned it for the score, silencing what had been a loud crowd in Oakland.
The Raiders added a late 50-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski but Denver recovered the onside kick to seal it.Manning finished 22 for 35 for 266 yards but was sacked twice and had two interceptions. Denver ran for only 43 yards but used Harris’ interception return and a sack-fumble by Von Miller that set up a field goal to beat the Raiders. This was Denver’s second-lowest scoring regular season with Manning as quarterback, ahead of only a seven-point effort last year against St. Louis.
The Broncos have now won eight straight in this series but the Raiders had plenty of chances in this one. Janikowski missed a pair of field goals before Carr’s late gaffe ended Oakland’s hopes.
Before Harris’ big play, the highlight of the game had been the play of Woodson, who turned 39 on Wednesday. Woodson, who beat Manning out for the Heisman Trophy in 1997, talked earlier in the week about wanting to get his first interception against Manning.
He ended up with two, becoming the oldest player in NFL history with more than one interception in a game.
Janikowski, who set a Raiders record by playing in his 241st career game, missed his second field goal of the game from 40 yards after Woodson’s second interception, costing Oakland a shot at the lead. Janikowski also had a 38-yard attempt blocked by Sylvester Williams in the first quarter.
“He’s had many great games and today wasn’t one,” coach Jack Del Rio said.
The Broncos managed just two field goals on three trips into the red zone. Brandon McManus added a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter to give Denver the lead for good.
NOTES: The Broncos won their record 14th straight road game against a division opponent. … Denver LB DeMarcus Ware left the game with a back injury. … Raiders DE Justin Tuck left with a shoulder injury.
Patriots 30, Cowboys 6
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Chants of “Bra-dy” arose several times from a large New England contingent in Tom Brady’s first visit to the $1.2 billion showplace of the Dallas Cowboys.
First after a 1-yard plunge for his first rushing touchdown in almost three years, again after a long touchdown pass to Julian
Brady, in his 16th season, joined Peyton Manning and Fran Tarkenton as the only NFL quarterbacks with 4-0 starts at least four times. It wasn’t easy early.
The 38-year-old hadn’t been sacked more than five times in the regular season since Buffalo had seven in 2001, the year he took over as the starter and won the first of four Super Bowls.
Hardy, the defensive end making his Dallas debut after a four-game ban for his role in a domestic violence case, was credited with two sacks, including one that resulted in a fumble recovered for a short gain by the Patriots.
He made headlines during the week for commenting on Brady’s supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, after being suspended because the NFL believed he roughed up his former girlfriend last year.
McClain, in the first game of his second season with Dallas following a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy, had the first sack.
Edelman that helped seal the outcome and finally about 15 minutes after the end of the Patriots’ 30-6 victory Sunday.
It wasn’t as easy as his boisterous fans made it sound.
Brady threw a pair of touchdowns in the second half after enduring five sacks in the first half, including two for Greg Hardy and one from Rolando McClain in their season debuts after four-game suspensions, and New England pulled away from a powerless Dallas offense missing Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
The Super Bowl champion Patriots (4-0) won their seventh straight game going back to the playoffs last year. The Cowboys lost their third in a row without Romo and Bryant, both sidelined by injuries.
Dallas (2-3) has at least four more games without Romo (broken left collarbone), and this was the biggest struggle so far for backup Brandon Weeden. He lost his 11th straight game as a starter going back to his time as a first-round draft pick in Cleveland.
The Cowboys had just 59 yards at halftime, and trailed 20-3 before their first long drive, which ended with the second of their two field goals late in the third quarter.
Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys would evaluate the quarterback spot during their upcoming bye after Weeden went 26 of 39 for 188 mostly meaningless yards. The Dallas running game was almost mostly ineffective until it was too late.
But the Cowboys didn’t get to Brady after halftime, and the offense got rolling on a pair of throws to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had 51 of his 67 yards receiving on the opening drive of the second half. Dion Lewis had a 10-yard scoring catch to finish that drive.
Brady’s sneak to put New England ahead for good in the second quarter was his first rushing TD since Dec. 16, 2012, when he had the last of his career-high four that season.
His 59-yard scoring pass to Edelman put New England up 27-6 early in the fourth. Brady was 20 of 27, and Edelman had 120 yards receiving.
NOTES: Stephen Gostkowski extended his NFL-best streak of made field goals to 19 with three, including a career-long of 57 yards in the final seconds of the first half. His previous long was 54. … Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower didn’t return after leaving with a rib injury in the first half. He sacked Weeden before the injury.
49ers 27, Giants 30
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Larry Donnell’s spectacular catch over two 49ers with 21 seconds remaining lifted the New York Giants past San Francisco 30-27 on Sunday night, capping Eli Manning’s sensational clutch performance.
Manning had a career-best 41 completions and his perfect throw to Donnell finished off an 82-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown. It made him the winningest quarterback in team history with 102.
Donnell was between Antoine Bethea and NaVorro Bowman, two of the 49ers’ best defenders, when he leaped to snag the pass in the back of the end zone before falling on his back, the winning catch secured.
New York (3-2) has won three straight and leads the NFC East. San Francisco (1-4) has lost four in a row and let this one slip away after an impressive comeback.
Carlos Hyde’s 2-yard run with 1:45 remaining gave the 49ers the lead. But on a night of huge plays and lengthy drives, Manning and Donnell had the topper.
There were 20 plays of at least 15 yards in the game, and San Francisco had three on its late drive. Then Manning, without his best weapon, Odell Beckham Jr., for much of the final series, engineered his 27th comeback victory in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Beckham’s speed and moves were too much for the 49ers. He set up New York’s first touchdown by using his elusiveness for a 31-yard reception down the middle. His 15-yard catch led to a 17-yard score on which he spun neatly and sped down the left sideline.
The touchdown was his last reception; he left with a hamstring injury, something that has plagued his short pro career, and returned only briefly on the winning series. Beckham finished with seven catches for 121 yards a week after he was fined for punching a Bills player in a win at Buffalo.
Anquan Boldin had eight receptions for 107 yards and a TD for the 49ers.
Steelers 24, Chargers 20
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Five seconds left, down by three points and the ball inside the 1.
The Pittsburgh Steelers needed a gutsy play against the San Diego Chargers.
They got it for a stunning victory.
Le’Veon Bell scored on a wildcat run as time expired to give Mike Vick and the Steelers a rousing 24-20 victory Monday night.
Bell took the direct snap, ran left and was slowed in traffic before diving for the end zone and getting the ball across the line as Donald Butler dragged him down.
Bell said it was the most meaningful touchdown of his three-year career. “The game-winner on the last play of the game, that’s what you dream about,” he said.
Tens of thousands of Pittsburgh fans waving Terrible Towels roared as the Steelers improved to 3-2. San Diego dropped to 2-3.
Vick, having an awful game until the fourth quarter, kept the drive alive with a 24-yard scramble up the middle on third-and-6 from the 41 and then a 16-yard pass to Heath Miller to 1 a play before Bell’s big run. An unnecessary roughness call against San Diego’s Jahleel Addae moved the ball a half-yard closer to the end zone and stopped the clock.
“It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish,” Vick said.
San Diego called a timeout before Pittsburgh ran the gutsy play.
Bell ran 21 times for 111 yards.
San Diego rookie Josh Lambo kicked a go-ahead, 54-yard field goal with 2: 56 left.
Vick, making his second straight start in place of injured Ben Roethlisberger, couldn’t get much going until he and Markus Wheaton hooked up on a 72-yard touchdown on a stop-and-go route to tie it at 17 with 7:42 left.
The Chargers then moved down the field for Lambo’s kick. Eight days earlier, the rookie kicked a 34-yarder as time expired for a 30-27 win over Cleveland. Lambo also was short and left on a 60-yard attempt just before halftime against the Steelers.
Antonio Gates returned from a four-game PED suspension and caught a 12-yard scoring pass from Philip Rivers in the first quarter and then had an 11-yard grab with 8:02 left to give the Chargers a 17-10 lead. Gates has 101 career TDs, joining Tony Gonzalez (111) as the only tight ends to reach that milestone.
Rivers has thrown 74 touchdown passes to Gates, the most from a QB to a tight end in NFL history.
Gates was suspended without pay for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug in the offseason.
Rivers didn’t waste any time going to Gates on San Diego’s first possession, completing passes of 10 and 12 yards to the tight end. A 31-yard completion to Danny Woodhead and a 15-yard facemask penalty on the Steelers moved the ball to the 16. Two plays later, Rivers hit the wide-open Gates for a 12-yard TD.
Antwon Blake intercepted Rivers’ pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 10-7 lead late in the third quarter. Receiver Malcom Floyd broke off a crossing route that led to the pickoff.
It was Rivers’ third pick-six of the season. He has turnovers in 10 of his last 11 games.
San Diego came right back and tied it on Lambo’s 40-yard field goal.
Rivers was 35 of 48 for 365 yards.