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Here is a recap of Week 10 of the 2015 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Bye: Falcons, Colts, Chargers, 49ers
Bills 22, Jets 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Rex Ryan’s return to the Meadowlands was a successful one — thanks to his pride and joy, the defense.
Buffalo’s defense shut down Ryan’s former team for much of Thursday night, and the Bills scored on offense and special teams in a 22-17 victory over the New York Jets.
Duke Williams returned a fumbled kickoff 19 yards for the go-ahead points, rookie Karlos Williams had a 26-yard touchdown catch and Dan Carpenter kicked three field goals. Buffalo (5-4) moved into the wild-card playoff picture, while the Jets (5-4) have lost three of their last four games.
Ryan was fired by the Jets after six seasons and immediately hired by Buffalo last January. His defense, had two interceptions, recovered a fumble and stopped the Jets inside the Bills 10 in the final minutes — prompting some vigorous fist pumps Ryan repeated when Bacarri Rambo clinched it with a last-minute pick.
Buffalo’s offense made just enough key plays and held off a late surge by the Jets after Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for two touchdowns.
The “Rexception” before the game was tame, with some boos, a few cheers, nothing over the top. The loudest catcalls came when former Jets defensive end IK Enemkpali, chosen by Ryan as a team captain for the game, came out for the coin toss. Enemkpali infamously broke Jets quarterback Geno Smith’s jaw with a punch during the preseason, was cut and claimed the next day by Buffalo.
Hardly a wallflower, Ryan, wearing a red vest, almost was lost on the sideline among his players in their garish scarlet uniforms. And the fans seemed to forget about him once the action began.
That early action was dominated by some fierce defense. New York’s blitzes kept Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor off-balance, and Buffalo got its first three points thanks to Corey Graham’s interception off a bobble by Jets receiver Brandon Marshall. Carpenter kicked a 47-yard field goal to make it 3-3.
Duke Williams added to that immediately, scooping up a fumble by rookie Devin Smith on the first kickoff return of his career. Williams scooted 9 yards for a 9-3 lead, but Carpenter missed the extra point wide left.
Carpenter added a 41-yard field goal to make 12-3 at halftime, then kicked a 29-yarder midway in the third period after Chris Ivory’s fumble. New York’s turnover issued completely turned the game in Buffalo’s favor.
That field goal followed rookie Karlos Williams’s 26-yard TD reception on the first series of the second half.
The Jets finally held onto the ball long enough to get something going, an 80-yard drive capped by Marshall’s 14-yard scoring catch to make it 22-10. That woke up the crowd, and New York forced a three-and-out.
When New York reached the Buffalo 20, though, it eschewed a field goal and tried a strange pass to Marshall well behind the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-2. He was well covered and thrown for a 2-yard loss, then limped off, but returned on the Jets’ next series.
Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker for a 31-yard touchdown with 7:23 remaining, then got another golden chance a couple minutes later when Buffalo punter Colton Schmidt bobbled a snap and was tackled at his 13. But Ryan’s defense held.
Bears 37, Rams 13
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Zach Miller used the video board in the north end zone to chart a path through the St. Louis Rams defense. It was especially helpful when he had just one more man to beat.
The Chicago Bears tight end with the 11.6-yard career average per reception got a rare chance to show off his speed and elusive qualities on an 87-yard score that was one of two plays St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher called “backbreakers” in a 37-13 victory on Sunday.
“I did not want to get caught,” Miller said. “I’d be getting clowned by everybody if I got caught.”
Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was bearing down on Miller just past midfield. But Miller noticed and swerved at the St. Louis 45, leaving Johnson grabbing nothing but air.
Miller caught a second touchdown pass, and Jeremy Langford also had two TDs for Chicago.
Jay Cutler added a 26-yard scramble, the quarterback’s longest since 2009, for Chicago. He could have had had more had he not made a safety-first slide in the third quarter, but said it wasn’t because he’d spotted defenders bearing down on him, joking, “I’m not that talented.”
The 87-yarder was the longest receiving TD by a Bears tight end since Willard Dewveall had a 91-yarder in 1960 against the 49ers, according to STATS. It was the longest receiving TD by any tight end since Heath Miller’s 87-yarder in 2006 for Pittsburgh against the Dolphins.
The Bears (4-5) improved to 3-1 on the road. They brought thousands of fans to the Edward Jones Dome, which had a season-best 58,663 tickets distributed, about 8,000 shy of capacity.
“We knew going in they wanted to be the bullies,” said backup running back Ka’Deem Carey, who had 56 yards on 14 carries. “I like being the bully.”
Langford was untouched on an 83-yard TD on a screen caught behind the line of scrimmage, and also had a 6-yard scoring run. The running back, filling in for the injured Matt Forte, had seven catches for 109 yards and 73 yards on 20 carries.
Todd Gurley had a 6-yard scoring run on the opening drive for the Rams (4-5), who have lost two straight since entering November with a winning record for the first time since 2006. Their defense entered ranked fifth overall.
Nick Foles, acquired from the Eagles for Sam Bradford in the winter, has just one TD pass the last four games. He was 17 for 36 for 200 yards with an interception.
Backup Case Keenum got mop-up duty, seeing his first action of the year, but Fisher said he’s sticking with Foles.
Gurley was bottled up, rushing for 45 yards on 12 carries with a long of 9 yards, and led St. Louis with three catches for 44 yards.
Wes Welker had three catches for 32 yards, one for a first down, in his 2015 debut six days after signing with St. Louis. The Rams were 4 for 14 on third down, slightly improved from 4 for 37 the previous three games.
The Rams had blitzed and linebacker Akeem Ayers slipped in coverage, opening things up for Miller’s long touchdown. He split two defenders before outrunning Johnson.
Langford, a fourth-round pick, made his second straight start and had 73 yards on 20 carries and 109 yards on seven receptions.
The Rams clicked on their opening 80-yard drive, which featured passes of 29 yards to Jared Cook and 31 yards to Gurley and set up Gurley’s 6-yard scoring run. They mustered 205 yards the rest of the way.
NOTES: The Edward Jones Dome installed a thick rubberized surface near the stands on both sides of the field after two players slipped on bare concrete the previous two home games. San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush injured his left knee when he slipped at the end of a punt return last week and is out for the season. … Rams rookie G Jamon Brown (broken right foot) was carted off after Willie Young’s’ interception late in the fourth and is likely out for the season. Fellow rookie OL Rob Havenstein (calf) was sidelined in the third quarter. Havenstein, the right tackle, was out last week with an Achilles injury. … Rams LT Greg Robinson was whistled for holding three times. Robinson was the second overall pick in 2014. …… An extremely risky fake punt by the Rams fizzled in the fourth, turning it over to the Bears and setting up Robbie Gould’s third field goal.
Browns 9, Steelers 30
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger began the week on crutches. He finished the weekend in a familiar formation against the Cleveland Browns, taking a knee and watching the clock tick down to another Pittsburgh Steelers victory.
Starting or off the bench. Healthy or on one foot. Roethlisberger against the Browns is hardly a fair fight.
Stepping in after Landry Jones went down with a left leg injury of his own, Roethlisberger passed for 379 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers swarmed Johnny Manziel and the struggling Browns in a 30-9 romp on Sunday.
“Ben is Ben,” Pittsburgh wide receiver Martavis Bryant said. “So once he got in the game, he does what No. 7 do.”
Roethlisberger hasn’t lost to the Browns at home during his career, even if this one got off to a more unorthodox start than most. Roethlisberger sprained his left foot late in last weekend’s 38-35 win over Oakland and barely practiced. Still, coach Mike Tomlin saw enough to make Roethlisberger active behind Jones, who looked solid in relief of Roethlisberger last week.
Jones’ second career start ended when his left ankle bent awkwardly as the pocket collapsed around him midway through the first quarter. Roethlisberger — wearing a specially padded cleat to protect his bum foot — entered to a roar of a capacity crowd that included many of his 2005 teammates on hand to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl.
Roethlisberger was still in his NFL infancy back then. Now he’s among the best in the game and he takes particular delight in tormenting the Browns, who could have taken the Ohio native in the 2004 draft and instead opted for tight end Kellen Winslow II.
If Roethlisberger’s foot was bothering him, it hardly showed as he improved to 19-2 against Cleveland.
Even with the Browns doing a legitimately solid job of shutting down running back DeAngelo Williams and often double-covering Antonio Brown, the Steelers rolled. Brown caught 10 passes for 139 yards and two scores and Roethlisberger’s passing total set an NFL record for the most by a player who didn’t start, as Pittsburgh (6-4) won its second straight heading into its bye week.
The Browns (2-8), meanwhile, are sprinting in the opposite direction. Manziel passed for a career-high 372 yards with a touchdown and an interception but was also sacked six times. Cleveland has lost five straight and is just 2-13 in its last 15 games under coach Mike Pettine.
Not exactly what owner Jimmy Haslam had in mind midway through Pettine’s second season after a promising 7-9 start last fall. Though Haslam said afterward no changes were imminent, Pettine understands something needs to be done.
One streak will remain intact for another year: Roethlisberger’s perfect mark at home against the Browns. He hit Brown for a 4-yard touchdown with 3:27 left in the first half to give Pittsburgh a 14-3 lead and then lofted a rainbow to Bryant from 32 yards that pushed the lead to 18 at the break.
Manziel, save for a fumble on Cleveland’s first play when the ball seemed to slip out of his hands, didn’t play badly but received little help. He endured a nasty facemask from Moats, who twisted Manziel’s head awkwardly while reaching out for the quarterback in the second quarter.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner didn’t miss a play and later nearly scored a touchdown in the third quarter when he flashed the ability to ad-lib that served him so well during his collegiate career at Texas A&M, slipping out of the grasp of a Pittsburgh defender and snaking his way to the goal line. Officials initially ruled it a score, but the call was overturned on review.
Cleveland then managed to turn a first-and-goal from the 1 into a fourth-and-goal from the 7 that ended with Manziel being picked off by Mike Mitchell. Manziel lofted a pretty 7-yard touchdown to Gary Barnidge midway through the fourth quarter. Of course, the Browns being the Browns, Travis Coons missed the extra point.
Seven plays later Brown turned a short pass from Roethlisberger into a 56-yard touchdown, the All-Pro flipping into the end zone and sticking the landing.
NOTES: Brown has 27 receptions in his last two games, the third-highest total in NFL history. … Cleveland WR Andrew Hawkins remained at a Pittsburgh hospital overnight for observation after sustaining his second concussion in three games. … Cleveland hosts Baltimore on Nov. 30. … The Steelers travel to Seattle on Nov. 29.
Jaguars 22, Ravens 20
BALTIMORE (AP) — The clock was at 0:00, and Blake Bortles was on the ground.
At that point, if the Jacksonville Jaguars were going to break their horrid road losing streak, it was going to take a miracle.
Not often, that’s for sure. Bortles rose to his feet and was promptly grabbed by Baltimore linebacker Elvis Dumervil, who snagged the quarterback’s facemask while dragging him to the ground.
That gave Jacksonville 15 yards and one more play, and Jason Myers kicked a 53-yard field goal for a 22-20 victory on Sunday.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “That was wild, but I’m glad it ended the way it did.”
Long after the final whistle, the players were whooping and laughing in their locker room. It was a celebration nearly two years in the making, because Jacksonville had lost 13 in a row on the road since winning at Cleveland on Dec. 1, 2013.
“Unbelievable game,” coach Gus Bradley said.
Down 20-19 with no timeouts, the Jaguars got the ball at their 20 with 1:06 left. After moving to the Baltimore 49, Bortles got collared by Dumervil after time expired.
Because a game can’t end on a penalty by the defense, the Jaguars got the ball at the 35.
“I take full responsibility for that one,” Dumvervil said. “It can’t happen.”
Dumervil’s penalty was merely one of many by the bumbling Ravens (2-7), who committed four turnovers and were penalized nine times for 121 yards.
Baltimore was on the brink of surviving those miscues — until Myers’ decisive kick.
“Obviously about as tough a loss as you ever going to see, you’re ever going to have to deal with,” coach John Harbaugh said.
Bortles went 22 for 45 for 188 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars (3-6). One of his TD throws went to Allen Hurns, who extended his franchise record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch to seven.
Baltimore has lost its seven games this season by a total of 32 points. None hurt more than this one. Joe Flacco went 34 for 45 for 316 yards and three touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Baltimore trailed 19-14 in the fourth quarter before Flacco directed a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Chris Givens with 7:30 left.
The Ravens couldn’t hang on, and now they’re 6-2 under Harbaugh coming off a bye.
Although Flacco gave the ball away three times in the third quarter, Jacksonville managed only a field goal from the miscues and entered the fourth quarter trailing 14-13.
The Jaguars were provided another turnover in the fourth quarter, and this one they turned into a touchdown. After a fumbled punt by Jeremy Ross was recovered by Nick Marshall at the Baltimore 37, Bortles connected with Allen Robinson on a 15-yard touchdown pass for a 19-14 lead with 13:01 remaining.
Flacco went 21 for 28 for 204 yards in the first half to stake the Ravens to a 14-10 lead at the break.
But Davon House twice intercepted Flacco in the opening 4 1/2 minutes of the second half. The first one set up a field goal to cut the deficit to 14-13, and the second came at the Jacksonville 6.
Flacco made it three giveaways on three possessions when he lost a fumble at the Jacksonville 41. But in this game of errors, Myers was wide left on a 26-yard field goal try.
Notes: Ravens C Jeremy Zuttah left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. … Jacksonville TEs Mercedes Lewis and Nic Jacobs both left the game with injuries. … Baltimore fell to 13-3 at home in November under Harbaugh.
Dolphins 20, Eagles 19
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ndamukong Suh dominated, Chris McCain delivered a knockout blow and Reshad Jones made another big play.
With defense leading the way, the Miami Dolphins rallied to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-19 on Sunday.
Ryan Tannehill’s deflected pass ended up in the hands of Jarvis Landry for the go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter, and the defense made it hold up to snap Miami’s two-game losing streak. Suh had one of his best games since joining the Dolphins (4-5). He had a sack, three tackles for losses and three hurries.
Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford injured his left shoulder and sustained a concussion on a hard hit by McCain in the third quarter and didn’t return, though X-rays were negative.
Mark Sanchez drove the Eagles (4-5) to the Dolphins 8 late in the fourth quarter, but Jones intercepted his pass in the end zone. Jones had a pick-6 in consecutive games last month. Miami’s defense held again in the final minute.
“This is a great opportunity for us,” Suh said. “We understand what we have to get done.”
After Bradford was injured, the Dolphins went ahead 20-16 on their next drive.
Tannehill connected with Rishard Matthews for 43 yards to the Eagles 8. From the 4, a Tannehill pass was deflected and sailed high in the air before Landry gathered it in. Caleb Sturgis made a 37-yard field goal to get Philadelphia within 20-19. It looked like he would get a chance to beat his former team, but Jones’ interception ended the threat. Sturgis missed from 32 yards in the first half.
The Eagles started fast for change.
Bradford led them on touchdown drives on their first two possessions with a safety sandwiched in between, giving Philadelphia more points (16) in the first quarter against the Dolphins than it had in the first quarter of their first eight games combined (10).
Bradford hit Brent Celek for a 60-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and scrambled away from defenders to toss a 2-yard TD pass to Josh Huff for the team’s first TD on the opening drive this season.
After a major blunder by returner Damien Williams on the kickoff — he tried to bring it out from deep in the end zone, fumbled, picked it up at the 1 and went down — Walter Thurmond sacked Tannehill on a blitz and he fumbled out of the end zone for a safety.
Ryan Mathews ran in from the 1 on Philadelphia’s next possession to make it 16-3.
But the Eagles’ next drive ended when Sturgis missed from 32 and Miami scored 10 straight points to get within 16-13.
First, they drove to the Eagles 5 but settled for a 22-yard field goal. Jay Ajayi had runs of 20 and 24 yards on the drive.
The Dolphins forced Philadelphia’s first punt on the ensuing drive and Zach Vigil blocked it out of bounds at the Eagles 12. Tannehill then tossed a 13-yard TD pass to Lamar Miller to cut it to 16-13.
Notes: Mathews sustained a concussion in the third quarter. … Celek had four catches for 134 yards. … DeMarco Murray ran for 61 yards on 22 carries and caught six passes for 58 yards. … Sanchez finished 14 of 23 for 156 yards. … Dolphins CB Brent Grimes was a surprise inactive, ending his streak of 40 straight starts. Miami then lost starting CB Brice McCain to a knee injury.
Panthers 27, Titans 10
more than enough to keep the Carolina Panthers perfect for the season.
Newton completed his first 11 passes — the longest streak of his career — and undefeated Carolina shut out Tennessee in the second half of a 27-10 victory on Sunday.
Newton ran for a touchdown and passed for another score as the Panthers (9-0) extended their regular-season win streak to 13 games. Next up is a visit from Washington next Sunday.
Newton said he thought it could be a “trap game” against the Titans, who were coming off a win over New Orleans.
After sloppy finishes in their last two wins over the Colts and Packers, the Panthers outscored the Titans 13-0 in the second half.
Carolina’s defense allowed only 11 first downs and capped the dominating performance by forcing a fumble on Tennessee’s final possession.
The Titans (2-7) suffered their 10th straight home loss in the first home game under interim coach Mike Mularkey.
Newton completed 21 of 26 passes for 217 yards. His strong start included a 1-yard scoring pass to Ed Dickson early in the second quarter.
Newton said the secret for opening the game with 11 straight completions was “clear weather.”
“The last couple games we’ve been playing in tsunamis and things like that,” he said. “We had a beautiful game in Nashville today. We had to make the most of it.”
Newton’s longest streak had been 10 completions. He added 23 yards rushing, including a clinching 2-yard TD with 2:42 left.
Mularkey said Carolina wins with strong defense, especially when paired with an offense that had no turnovers.
Carolina led 14-10 at halftime. The Panthers padded the lead on Graham Gano’s field goals of 48 and 19 yards and Newton’s touchdown run.
Tennessee rookie Marcus Mariota was 16 for 24 for 185 yards and an interception. The Titans had only one first down in the second half until their final possession, which ended with a catch and lost fumble by Dexter McCluster.
The Titans converted only 5 of 12 third downs.
Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart had 22 carries for 91 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Tight end Greg Olsen had eight catches — on eight targets — for 80 yards.
Olsen had a one-handed catch in the second half, but he said Newton’s accuracy made his job easy.
The Titans turned up the heat on their pass rush on Newton to open the second half. After having only one sack in the first half, the defense recorded sacks on three straight plays on Carolina’s first possession after halftime.
Carolina’s defense was even stronger. The Titans were held to 19 yards and one first down in the third quarter, and they never regained the momentum they showed early in the game when Mariota was effective as a runner and passer.
The Titans played with a short-handed secondary. Starting cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Jason McCourty were inactive due to injuries. Bidi Wreh-Wilson, who started for Cox, left early in the second half with a hamstring injury.
NOTES: Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter was carted off the field with an apparent right ankle injury late in the game. … Mularkey said he had no details about Hunter’s injury but said “It’s not good.”
Cowboys 6, Buccaneers 10
TAMPA, Fla, (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys remain winless without Tony Romo.
The Cowboys’ longest losing streak since 1989 reached seven games Sunday when Jameis Winston scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper with 54 seconds remaining, lifting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 10-6 victory.
Romo has been out with a broken left collarbone. The star quarterback could return next week at Miami.
“Tony has had a good couple of weeks of practice with us,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We anticipate him being able to practice this week.”
Matt Cassel is 0-4 and Brandon Weeden is winless in three starts in the Cowboys’ longest slide since they also lost seven straight on the way to a 1-15 finish. Dallas owner Jerry Jones said the skid hasn’t changed his mind about having Romo play as soon as next weekend. Winston shrugged off two interceptions — the first he had thrown in a month — and benefited from a defensive holding call that wiped out his goal-line fumble on the play before he faked a handoff to Doug Martin before circling around the right end all alone.
The Cowboys (2-7) reached the Tampa Bay 44 following the kickoff after the Winston score, but Cassel’s throw to the end zone was intercepted by Bradley McDougald after the Tampa Bay safety appeared to give Dez Bryant a slight shove in the back.
Bryant argued for a pass interference call to no avail.
The Bucs (4-5) drove 56 yards in nine plays for the winning score.
Winston completed 22 of 39 passes for 264 yards, including a 17-yard throw to Brandon Myers to help get the Bucs into position to win. On third-and-goal from the 5, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback scrambled up the middle and dived for the end zone, losing the ball before crossing the goal line.
But safety Jeff Heath, who had two interceptions, was flagged for holding receiver Mike Evans in the end zone. Winston scored his fourth rushing TD of the season on the next play.
“The touchdown was magical, man,” Winston said.
Cassel was 19 of 31 for 186 yards and one interception.
After throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble during a 14-point loss to Carolina on Oct. 4, Winston went four straight games without a turnover. Heath’s interception in the second quarter, stopping a drive that reached the Dallas 26, ended the rookie’s streak of 134 consecutive passes without a pick.
With Vincent Jackson out for the third consecutive game with a knee injury, Evans had eight receptions for 126 yards.
Bryant had five catches for 45 yards for Dallas, which was limited to field goals of 42 and 53 yards in the first half. Dan Bailey also missed a 48-yarder in the second quarter.
NOTES: Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne left with a hamstring injury. “It can’t be that good … I didn’t finish the game,” Claiborne said. He will have an MRI exam Monday. … Dallas had just 216 offensive yards and 12 first downs. … Cowboys DE Greg Hardy had one solo tackle.
Lions 18, Packers 16
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Matthew Stafford couldn’t bear to watch with his team on the verge of another heartbreaking moment.
Instead, the Detroit Lions held on for a signature win in the unlikeliest of places.
Stafford threw for two touchdowns, and Detroit stopped a 24-game road losing streak against the Green Bay Packers with an 18-16 victory Sunday despite a late blunder by Calvin Johnson.
“I bet nobody gave us a chance, but that’s the way we like it,” Stafford said.
Mason Crosby missed a 52-yard field goal as time expired after the Packers recovered an onside kick that was mishandled by Johnson with about 31 seconds left.
Detroit (2-7) had stopped Green Bay on a 2-point conversion attempt after Aaron Rodgers hit Justin Perillo for an 11-yard touchdown pass on the previous drive. Backup cornerback Crezdon Butler, signed from the practice squad on Friday, stuck a hand in front of Davante Adams to break up the conversion try.
A nervous Stafford said he couldn’t watch that play. He threw for 242 yards for the league-worst Lions, an organization that had been reeling following the midseason firings of the team president and general manager.
“We don’t really care who gives us a chance, because we feel good about ourselves in that locker room and we know what we’re about,” Stafford said.
The Packers (6-3) lost their third straight game, but this was a new low after their two previous defeats came on the road to Super Bowl contenders Denver and Carolina.
A sluggish game filled with three-and-outs turned into a thriller in the fourth quarter.
The Lions barely held on for their first road win against Green Bay since 1991. Matt Prater missed two extra points, but also hit field goals from 49 and 51 yards.
Rodgers was 35 of 61 for 333 yards, but wasn’t at his best. Receivers including Randall Cobb and Adams had a few drops.
Green Bay finally got into the end zone when Rodgers found tight end Richard Rodgers for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 5:55 left.
Lance Moore’s 4-yard touchdown reception increased Detroit’s lead to 18-10, and the Lions held off the Packers following Perillo’s score.
It has been a precipitous decline for a quick-strike offense that was once the envy of the NFL. The Packers’ running game stalled, with James Starks gaining just 42 yards on 15 carries against the league’s 26th-ranked defense.
Even Crosby’s 44-yard field goal in the first quarter needed a little luck after glancing off the left upright but over the crossbar.
Otherwise, a Detroit defense without linebacker DeAndre Levy and cornerback Rashean Mathis for the year frustrated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers for much of the afternoon.
The win could ease the pressure, at least for the time being, on Caldwell. Besides the turnover at the top of the organization, the Lions also fired their offensive coordinator and two line coaches a few weeks ago.
The Lions didn’t accomplish much against the Packers’ rejuvenated defense until the fourth quarter.
But the Packers were just as bad until the final few minutes. Protection was spotty. Rodgers made some uncharacteristically shaky throws.
NOTES: Detroit hadn’t defeated Green Bay on the road since a 21-17 victory on Dec. 15, 1991. … Johnson, who was listed as questionable coming into the game with an ankle injury, finished with six catches for 81 yards. … Ameer Abdullah’s 104-yard kickoff return to open the second half set up Stafford’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Pettigrew with 13:33 left in the third quarter. … Packers LT David Bakhtiari left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. … The Packers’ pass rush generated better pressure on Stafford, but still went a third straight game without recording a sack.
Saints 14, Redskins 47
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Until Sunday, Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins hadn’t thrown for more than three touchdowns in a game in his NFL career. Until Sunday, he hadn’t completed a scoring pass of more than 7 yards this season.
And until Sunday, he never got the chance to play against the New Orleans Saints’ porous, poor-tackling defense, either.
Probably not a coincidence.
In by far his best game as a pro, Cousins threw a career-high four touchdown passes — each one longer than any TD toss of his all season — and registered a perfect passer rating of 158.3 to lead the Redskins past the Saints 47-14 on Sunday.
Asked how Cousins should be viewed after this performance, Redskins coach Jay Gruden cracked himself up, replying: “Maybe you should write a positive article on him, for once, you know?”
Gruden continued: “Kirk’s going to take his lumps, man, but he’s going to keep grinding and you can see the results starting to pay off.”
Cousins connected for scores of 78 yards to running back Matt Jones, 16 and 8 yards to tight end Jordan Reed, and 11 yards to receiver Jamison Crowder.
The 33-point margin of victory was Washington’s largest since beating San Francisco 52-17 in 2005.
The Redskins (4-5) led 37-14 at the end of the third quarter, then tacked on more points 42 seconds into the fourth on safety Dashon Goldson’s 35-yard TD return of an interception of Drew Brees.
Coming off a pair of games in which he accounted for 10 TDs and nearly 900 yards, Brees went 19 for 28 for 201 yards, two first-half TD passes to Brandin Cooks and two fourth-quarter interceptions.
The Saints (4-6) lost their second game in a row, following a run of three victories that briefly got them to .500.
He was asked about the possibility of personnel or coaching staff changes during his team’s upcoming bye week and said: “We’re not going to discuss any of those type of changes, certainly not right now.”
Sunday’s numbers brought the totals for New Orleans’ past three opponents to 130 points and more than 1,400 yards; it’s the most points the Saints have allowed in a single-season three-game span in team history, according to STATS.
The Saints’ defense didn’t put up much resistance when the Redskins ran the ball, either. Washington’s Alfred Morris came in having gained 51 yards on 29 carries in his previous four games; this time, he wound up with 92 yards on 15 carries.
In the first half, Washington’s offense seemingly could do no wrong — in large part because Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s unit couldn’t do anything right.
The Redskins led 27-14 at halftime, their most points through two quarters in nearly three years; they put up 28 against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day in 2012, back when Cousins was a rookie backup to Robert Griffin III.
Washington’s opening possession set the tone. It covered 96 yards in 10 plays, the team’s longest drive in 15 years — since a 98-yarder against the New York Giants in December 2000 — and included an early 42-yard pass to DeSean Jackson, then ended with Cousins’ 16-yarder to Reed.
Notes: Cousins’ play-action screen to Jones for 78 yards was the longest TD catch by a Redskins RB since Larry Brown scored from 89 in 1972. … Cousins is first Redskins QB with at least 300 yards passing and a rating above 150 since Sammy Baugh in 1948. … Saints CB Keenan Lewis injured his left knee.
Vikings 30, Raiders 14
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Two months after leaving the Bay Area stung by a lopsided season-opening loss, the Minnesota Vikings head home from their second trip to the West Coast in a much happier spot.
Adrian Peterson ran for 203 yards and a touchdown in his record-tying sixth career 200-yard game, Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kick 93 yards for a score and the Vikings beat the Oakland Raiders 30-14 on Sunday to take over sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
Teddy Bridgewater threw a touchdown pass, and the Vikings (7-2) held the Raiders’ potent offense in check. Minnesota has won five straight games heading into next week’s division showdown at home with Green Bay (6-3).
Few outside the Vikings saw that coming following a 20-3 season-opening loss in San Francisco. But with Peterson regaining his form after sitting out almost all of last year, a stout defense and big plays on special teams, Minnesota is in prime position. Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes for Oakland, but also was intercepted twice. The Raiders (4-5) lost their second straight game to fall further behind in the AFC playoff race.
Minnesota squandered chances to build a two-score lead when Blair Walsh missed a 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half to snap a streak of 17 straight makes and then had a 39-yarder blocked by Keith McGill early in the fourth to keep the score at 20-14.
But after the Raiders went three-and-out following the second miss, Bridgewater hit Stefon Diggs on a 37-yard pass that helped set up a 34-yarder for Walsh that made it 23-14 with 3:50 to play.
Minnesota sealed the win when Terence Newman intercepted Carr in the end zone with 2:03 left for his second pick of the game. Peterson scored on an 80-yard run on the next play for the exclamation point.
Peterson has four straight games with at least 100 yards and leads the NFL with 961 yards on the ground this season. Peterson also tied O.J. Simpson with his sixth 200-yard game.
After scoring at least 30 points in three straight games, the Raiders struggled for most of the day against a Vikings defense that hasn’t allowed more than 23 in a game all season.
With nose tackle Linval Joseph dominating the middle against backup center Tony Bergstrom, the Raiders struggled to get a consistent running game going and Carr was often under pressure and sacked twice.
The Vikings started fast, getting an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Rhett Ellison on the opening drive, intercepting Carr later in the first quarter and breaking out to a 13-0 lead.
The Raiders quickly erased that hole. Carr threw TD passes to Clive Walford and Andre Holmes that put Oakland up 14-13 with under two minutes left in the half.
That was short-lived as Patterson bobbled a squib kick from Sebastian Janikowski before taking it back all the way untouched for his third career kick return touchdown, making it 20-14 at the break.
“It was certainly a momentum breaker,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “We had really captured the momentum and were playing well at that time so it was definitely a blow.”
NOTES: Vikings S Antone Exum Jr. tackled a fan who ran onto the field before a kickoff in the fourth quarter. … The kick return for a score was the first against Oakland since Michael Spurlock did it in the 2012 finale for San Diego.
Chiefs 29, Broncos 13
DENVER (AP) — The fans were almost all gone, and more than an hour after he’d taken his last snap, Peyton Manning stood on the sideline leafing through the pictures of all those plays gone wrong.
The Kansas City Chiefs did all that damage Sunday — picking off the Denver Broncos quarterback four times, holding him to 35 yards passing and sending him to the bench in the third quarter with a 0.0 passer rating en route to a 29-13 win. And just like that, the Chiefs (4-5) put themselves in the playoff race and placed the Broncos (7-2) in quite a quandary — losers of two in a row and with quarterback issues.
Marcus Peters set the tone for the day by picking off Manning on the third play of the game. That turned into a short Charcandrick West touchdown run and the rout was on, especially given how well the defense was playing.
Manning broke Brett Favre’s NFL record for most career passing yards in the first quarter, but that was about the only highlight. Peters thought about shaking Manning’s hand shortly after he reached the milestone, before deciding against it because, “we were between the lines.” Manning looked every bit like a 39-year-old quarterback who entered the game hobbled by a sore foot and aching ribs. The Chiefs took advantage, sacking the five-time NFL MVP twice and forcing him to make poor throw after poor throw. Manning finished 5 of 20 before giving way to backup Brock Osweiler, with the fans cheering the change.
“Is (Manning) the type of quarterback he showed today? No,” Johnson said. “He’s still a great quarterback — just not what he used to be. Today, we had our way.”
Up 29-0, Kansas City was 5:27 away from shutting out Denver for the first time at home in its 56-year history. But Ronnie Hillman saved that embarrassment with a 1-yard TD.
For about 115 out of 120 minutes this season, the Chiefs have outplayed the Broncos. If not for a breakdown in Week 2 at Arrowhead, Kansas City could be 2-0 against Denver. The Chiefs allowed two touchdowns in a 9-second span during a 31-24 loss to the Broncos, which included Bradley Roby’s 21-yard fumble return with 27 seconds remaining.
This time, it wasn’t even close. The defense made sure of it.
Cairo Santos made five field goals and Alex Smith finished an efficient 17 of 31 for 204 yards and an 80-yard TD pass to West that put the finishing touches on the win early in the fourth quarter.
All thanks to their defense.
NOTES: Chiefs S Tyvon Branch will have an MRI on his foot Monday. … CB Sean Smith is day to day with a bruised knee. … Broncos safety T.J. Ward was ejected for hitting Jeremy Maclin in the head as the Chiefs receiver blocked him downfield on West’s TD run.
Patriots 27, Giants 26
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — There’s an air of invincibility and inevitability about the New England Patriots.
Invincible because since January, they haven’t lost. Inevitable because of the feeling they will find a way — something they did in their toughest test this season, edging the New York Giants 27-26 on Stephen Gostkowski’s 54-yard field goal with 1 second remaining.
The Giants, who seemed to have New England’s number, were poised to knock off the Patriots (9-0) on Josh Brown’s fourth field goal with 1:47 remaining. But you don’t beat the Patriots with field goals.
After Brown made his franchise-record 27th straight, from 29 yards, Tom Brady drove the Patriots 44 yards, converting a fourth-and-10 on the series. He also got lucky when Giants rookie safety Landon Collins dropped an interception; Collins said he hit his head on the turf and lost the ball.
Gostkowski, the NFL’s leading scorer the last three seasons, sent his winning kick soaring through the uprights.
New York (5-5) has given the Patriots fits under Tom Coughlin, including two Super Bowl wins, and nearly pulled off another victory. A 5-yard pass to Odell Beckham Jr. on New York’s final drive was originally called a touchdown, then reversed by video review.
That possession was set up when Trumaine McBride intercepted Brady at the goal line, setting up an 86-yard, 15-play march to Brown’s field goal.
That left room for Brady, who hit Danny Amendola three times for 32 yards on the winning series.
Both Beckham and New England’s Rob Gronkowski had the longest TD catches of their careers: Beckham for 87 yards and Gronkowski for 76.
The Patriots inexorably marched downfield with the opening kickoff on a 14-play, 80-yard drive. Backup tight end Scott Chandler capped it with a 1-yard reception, giving New England a point in an NFL-record 32 straight quarters. They extended it to 35 with Gostkowski’s second-quarter 31-yard field goal; LeGarrette Blount’s 1-yard TD run following Amendola’s 82-yard punt runback in the third — the longest of Amendola’s career; and the long pass to Gronkowski on which New York’s Craig Dahl and Brandon Meriweather collided.
But they also were plagued by critical pass interference penalties, and lost top receiver Julian Edelman (foot) in the first half. Of course, they still had Brady, who threw for 334 yards, and Gostkowski.
The Giants, still in first place in the NFC East, controlled long portions of the game.
Just 51 seconds after Chandler’s touchdown, Beckham stunned the Patriots with a spectacular reaching catch-and-run on which he split New England’s two best defensive backs, Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty. Beckham embellished his celebration with a salute at attention to the crowd; the Giants honored the military before the game.
The Giants had another quick drive in them, ending the first half by covering 74 yards in 54 seconds. The seven-play series included Elli Manning’s 31-yard passes to Rueben Randle and Will Tye, the latter getting to the Patriots 1.
Manning, as sharp as ever in the first half, hit Dwayne Harris in the back left corner of the end zone for a 17-10 halftime edge. Manning had a career-best for one half with 251 yards passing. Brady had 127.
Manning got plenty of help from New England mistakes to start the second half: 36 yards on a pair of pass interference penalties. Brown made a 38-yard field goal to end that possession. He later hit a 53-yarder for a 23-17 lead.
Against New England, that’s rarely enough.
NOTES: The Patriots are the fifth team and first since the 1983-98 49ers (16) with at least 15 consecutive winning seasons. … Giants center Weston Richburg injured his left leg and was helped from the field. LB Mark Herzlich hurt his calf. … Beckham’s TD was the longest against any Bill Belichick-coached team in 360 games. … Manning threw for 361 yards, 104 to Beckham. … Gronkowski finished with 113 yards receiving.
Cardinals 39, Seahawks 32
SEATTLE (AP) — Carson Palmer had two balls stripped from his hands, one that led to a Seattle touchdown and another that was returned for a score that left the Seahawks’ home field shaking.
Their 19-point lead gone and their 35-year-old quarterback seemingly unraveling under a fierce pass rush, the Arizona Cardinals had reason for concern.
They didn’t show it, regrouping to shove aside the Seahawks and take full control in the NFC West.
Palmer helped the Cardinals (7-2) build leads of 19-0 and 22-7 at halftime, only to watch Seattle (4-5) rally to take a 29-25 lead early in the fourth quarter on Bobby Wagner’s 22-yard fumble return.
Undaunted by losing the lead, Palmer led the Cardinals on an 83-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 14-yard strike to Jermaine Gresham with 8:41 remaining. The Cardinals held Seattle on its next possession and Ellington added the punctuation, sprinting down the sideline on a third-down run to cap Arizona’s big night.
A year ago Palmer was a spectator and watched the Cardinals crumble down the stretch after he was lost to a season-ending knee injury. On Sunday night, he was leading the Cardinals to their second win in Seattle in three years and quieting critics who said Arizona’s fast start was a mirage of fortunate scheduling.
Arizona still has games remaining against Seattle and St. Louis but has a hefty cushion with only seven weeks left in the regular season.
“This team has the character we had last year,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. “But we’re healthy.”
Fitzgerald had 10 catches for 130 yards, his most receptions since Week 14 of 2013, and Michael Floyd had two big touchdown receptions in the first half. The 39 points were the most allowed by Seattle since giving up 40 to San Francisco in Week 14 of the 2010 season.
After watching Seattle run off 29 of 35 points and committing two costly turnovers deep in their own end, the Cardinals responded with a 10-play, 83-yard drive to retake the lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Cardinals were aided by a huge third-down illegal contact penalty against Bobby Wagner to keep the drive alive and Jaron Brown catching a tipped pass that Richard Sherman nearly intercepted. Palmer’s strike to Gresham gave Arizona a 32-29 lead and the cushion was pushed to 10 after Ellington’s TD run.
The Seahawks got a 46-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka with 58 seconds left to make it a one-possession game, but Fitzgerald recovered the onside kick and Arizona celebrated.
Arizona built leads of 19-0 in the second quarter and 22-7 at halftime, capitalizing on Seattle’s inefficiency and mistakes on offense, and hitting big plays against the Seahawks vaunted defense. Floyd had two fantastic touchdown receptions, the first sneaking behind Richard Sherman and tapping his toes for a 27-yard TD and later a 35-yard catch-and-run touchdown, plowing over the pylon to cap a 19-point run in less than 9 minutes.
Arizona also managed watching offensive lineman Mike Iupati taken off the field on a stretcher in the first half with a neck injury and loaded into an ambulance. Iupati was cleared to return with the team to Phoenix after the game following tests at a hospital.
Seattle got the break it needed on the second play of the fourth quarter when Cliff Avril came unblocked off the edge and sacked Palmer, knocking the ball free. K.J. Wright was ruled down at the 3 after the recovery and Marshawn Lynch bulled his way in for his third touchdown of the season on the next play. Russell Wilson’s 2-point conversion pass was incomplete and Seattle trailed 25-23 with 14:44 left.
And almost immediately after the Seahawks were done celebrating Lynch’s score, Seattle was in the lead thanks to another sack and fumble. This time it was Wright coming unblocked to knock the ball free. Wagner scooped the fumble and returned it 22 yards for his second touchdown of the season and a 29-25 Seattle lead with 13 minutes left.
But for the fourth time this season, Seattle was unable to hold a lead in the final quarter.
NOTES: Wilson was 14 of 32 for 240 yards, one touchdown and one interception. … Arizona had 30 total first downs, the most against Seattle in regular season since 2010. … Seattle committed a season-high 14 penalties. … Arizona hosts unbeaten Cincinnati next Sunday.
Texans 10, Bengals 6
CINCINNATI (AP) — It figures that T.J. Yates and the Texans would be the ones to finally knock off the Bengals.
Yates took over after Brian Hoyer sustained a concussion on Monday night and rallied Houston to a 10-6 victory over Cincinnati, sending the Bengals their first loss — on their home field no less.
The Bengals (8-1) were trying to make NFL history and join New England and Carolina at 9-0 — there’s never been such a trio. A backup quarterback with a history of beating them got in the way.
Cincinnati contained some of the NFL’s top quarterbacks and knocked off some of its best teams while getting off to the best start in club history. The Texans (4-6) were an appropriate team to end the run.
They made Andy Dalton look bad during first-round playoff wins over the Bengals during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Yates was behind that first one, a 31-10 victory in Houston that was the Texans’ first-ever postseason win.
On Monday night, Yates came in when Hoyer suffered a concussion in the third quarter. He ended his first drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins, who made a one-handed catch in the end zone for the game’s only TD.
Dalton had another tough time against a Texans defense, going 21 of 37 for 187 yards with an interception and three sacks. Cincinnati’s final chance slipped away when A.J. Green made a catch for what would have been a first down at the Texan 23-yard line, then was stripped of the ball by Quintin Demps with 40 seconds left.
Yates finished 5 of 11 for 69 yards and the touchdown pass that decided a lackluster game by both offenses.
The Bengals led 6-3 after a first half that was filled with penalties and missed plays. Telling statistics: The quarterbacks led their teams in rushing. Hoyer had 15 yards on one scramble, and Dalton had 30 yards on five carries.
That was especially bad for the Texans, who have been trying unsuccessfully to get one of the league’s worst running games going with Arian Foster sidelined by an Achilles tendon injury. The Texans’ running backs managed only 25 yards in the first half.
It got worse when Hoyer walked off the field to get examined for a concussion after the second series of the second half. Yates hadn’t thrown a pass in a game since he was signed on Oct. 28 to replace Ryan Mallett.
On his third completion — the touchdown — Yates added to his legacy of beating the Bengals.
He led Houston to a pair of victories in 2011, including that first-ever playoff win over Cincinnati. Yates moved into the quarterback spot as a rookie that season after Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart got hurt.