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Here is a recap of Week 5 of the 2016 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Bye: Jaguars, Chiefs, Saints, Seahawks
Cardinals 33, 49ers 21
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — With Carson Palmer sidelined by a concussion, the one-win Arizona Cardinals turned to Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson and an opportunistic defense for a much-needed victory.
Drew Stanton threw two touchdown passes to Fitzgerald in the quarterback’s first start in two years, Johnson ran for two scores and the Cardinals capitalized on San Francisco mistakes to beat the 49ers 33-21 on Thursday night.
“We were a hungry team, a team that knows that we dug a hole for ourselves and we had to win this game,” coach Bruce Arians said.
The Cardinals (2-3) got 17 points off three turnovers by the 49ers (1-4) — two interceptions by Blaine Gabbert and a fumbled kickoff return by Chris Davis — and also had one drive extended by a running-into-the-kicker penalty.
Those three scoring drives totaled just 41 yards, but proved to be enough to beat the sloppy 49ers as the Cardinals survived a week with without Palmer out with a concussion.
“I don’t think anybody played well on offense. Nobody,” Niners coach Chip Kelly said. “I don’t think we protected well enough, I don’t think we threw it well enough and we had too many drops and two interceptions.”
Stanton didn’t produce much, going 11 for 27 for 124 yards. But Arizona didn’t turn the ball over and got 157 yards rushing from Johnson to get the win. Johnson added 28 yards receiving, and Fitzgerald caught six passes for 81 yards as that duo combined to gain 266 of the team’s 288 yards from scrimmage.
The defense did the rest with the two interceptions and seven sacks.
“We’ve been saying all week it just starts with one. Just get one win and try to stack them,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. “We’ve been a team in the past that can rip off a bunch of them. … Now we have to figure out what we can do to keep that ball rolling.”
QUICK TURNAROUND: The game changed in a span of less than 4 minutes starting late in the second quarter. Campbell’s interception of a deflected pass set up Arizona’s first score on a 21-yard pass from Stanton to Fitzgerald with 1:40 left in the half. Davis’ fumble of the second-half kickoff then set up Johnson’s 4-yard run that put Arizona up for good.
“We got the momentum going,” Stanton said. “Unfortunately, I think, it’s one of those things as an offense you’re waiting to make a play, and got that spark from the defense. Then to come out in the second half and get the ball right there was huge.”
WE WANT KAP: There were several thousand empty seats at the game but the fans who did show up were frustrated by what they saw. At one point in the third quarter, a chant of “We want Kap! We want Kap!” started up as fans wanted to give former starter Colin Kaepernick a shot at quarterback. Gabbert responded by leading an 82-yard TD drive fueled in part by his 24-yard run.
The chants started again after Gabbert threw his second interception.
Gabbert finished 18 for 31 for 162 yards and Kelly would not address whether it was time to make a quarterback change.
“We’re 1-4. We’re going to look at everything,” he said. “We have to make sure we’re giving our team the best chance to go out and win.”
FAVORITE TARGET: Jeremy Kerley, acquired two weeks before the start of the season in a trade with Detroit, has quickly established himself as Gabbert’s most trusted receiver. After nine straight punts to open the game, Gabbert completed four passes for 63 yards on one drive in the second quarter, capped by a 9-yard TD pass to Kerley.
PUNT PARTY: The first quarter featured six drives, six punts, zero points and only five completed passes as both offenses struggled mightily. Gabbert and Stanton missed open receivers, had other throws dropped and neither offense could generate much of anything.
SACK PARTY: Markus Golden and Campbell each had two of Arizona’s seven sacks as the Cardinals put constant pressure on Gabbert. Pass protection had been one of the few positives on offense for the 49ers, who had allowed just three sacks the first four games.
Texans 13, Vikings 31
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings are the last undefeated team left in the NFL, just five weeks into this season.
This winning formula has been remarkably simple and consistent. Turnover-free quarterback play by Sam Bradford punctuated by clutch, precision throws. Significant special teams contributions. Relentless defense, unleashed once the Vikings take the lead.
Adam Thielen caught a touchdown pass to cap Minnesota’s opening drive and finished with a career-high 127 yards as the Vikings overmatched Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans on their way to a 31-13 victory on Sunday .
“You want to get fast starts so we can be able to get out there and kind of pin our ears back,” said Brian Robison, who had two of the four sacks. “They’re going to want to throw the ball, because they’re down and they need to get back in the game quick.”
Marcus Sherels returned a punt 79 yards for a score and Cordarelle Patterson caught the other touchdown pass from Bradford, who went 22 for 30 for 271 yards and has yet to lose a fumble or throw an interception.
Osweiler finished 19 for 42 for 184 yards, one interception and a late touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans (3-2) were denied on 12 of 13 third downs, unable or unwilling to do much other than dump off short passes. Lamar Miller only had eight carries for 20 yards during a dud of a performance by the Texans that felt a lot like the 27-0 loss at New England two weeks ago.
“Give credit where it’s due. The Vikings are a tremendous football team. They’re very well coached. They have great players,” Osweiler said. “It seems like they have their scheme mastered, and they’re a hell of a football team.”
Here are the top takeaways from the game:
Cordarrelle Patterson disappeared from Minnesota’s offense after his rookie season, becoming a one-trick kickoff returner who entered the final year of his contract with an uncertain future.
Earning the trust of coach Mike Zimmer and his staff took a while, but through months of diligent work in practice his opportunity has returned. With leading receiver Stefon Diggs sidelined with a groin injury, Patterson had four catches for 39 yards and his first touchdown on offense since Oct. 19, 2014 . In the past two games, Patterson has nine receptions after totaling just four over the 19 games before that.
“He’s just one of those guys who has energy every day,” Bradford said. “His smile out there at practice, he’s just fun to be around. I think the guys feed off of it.”
Miller had only eight carries for 20 yards for the Texans before being replaced late by Alfred Blue with the game well out of reach. Miller rushed at least 19 times in each of the first four games, but the 14-0 lead by the Vikings midway through the first quarter made him irrelevant after that.
“I didn’t think running the ball was going to be able to get us back in the game as quickly as we needed to get back in the game,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said.
Miller ran for 106 yards in his first game after signing a four-year, $26 million contract in the offseason, but hasn’t broken 100 since.
The Vikings line suffered another injury, as right guard Brandon Fusco left the game with a concussion, putting them down three starters.
“When we keep getting guys hurt, it’s always a concern,” Zimmer said. “We’ll continue to figure things out.”
Zac Kerin filled in for Fusco, as the Vikings average just 2.6 yards per rush and Bradford was sacked twice behind struggling left tackle T.J. Clemmings, who whiffed on three blocks that led to tackles for loss.
TAKING, NOT DELIVERING, HITS
J.J. Watt’s absence isn’t all that’s hurting Houston’s defense. The secondary was down three starters: cornerback Kareem Jackson (hamstring), cornerback Johnathan Joseph (concussion) and safety Quintin Demps (calf). Joseph and Demps were hurt in the second quarter. Backup linebacker Brian Peters (quadriceps), who surprisingly handled kickoffs rather than Nick Novak, also departed with an injury.
The Texans still managed to hold the Vikings to 222 yards over their final nine possessions, though part of that was the conservative approach with the big lead.
“Defense is doing a good job,” O’Brien said. “They’re going to be fine.”
HOOKED ON A THIELEN
Thielen, who like Sherels was raised in Minnesota and made the team as undrafted rookie after a tryout camp, has become much more than a special teams ace. He caught passes all over the field and finished with a career-high seven catches.
“He’s kind of the typical Vikings,” Zimmer said, “guys that just go in and fight.”
Patriots 33, Browns 13
CLEVELAND (AP) — Another win in the books, Tom Brady jogged off the field as he’s done so many times before.
As the Patriots fans who invaded Cleveland cheered and chanted his name, Brady waved and smiled before heading into the locker room and celebrating with his teammates.
His eyes only focused forward, he savored every second.
He missed this.
“I’m back doing what I love to do,” he said.
Looking razor-sharp at times and relatively rust-free after serving his four-game “Deflategate” suspension, Brady passed for 406 yards and threw three touchdowns to Martellus Bennett in his hyped return as the Patriots thumped the Cleveland Browns 33-13 on Sunday.
New England’s star quarterback was back — much to the relief of teammates and Patriots fans everywhere — following a ban for his role in the scandal in which an NFL investigation found that the four-time Super Bowl champion Patriots under-inflated footballs in the 2015 AFC championship game.
Brady fought Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling for more than a year before he begrudgingly accepted his punishment.
And while it appeared he took out some frustration on the Browns (0-5), Brady insisted he’s not seeking revenge.
“This isn’t a time for me to reflect,” he said. “There’s no point at looking back at anything. Whether we won Super Bowls or lost championship games or the last four weeks, none of it matters.
“I’ve just moved on, man.”
Brady passed for 271 yards in the first half as the Patriots (4-1) rebounded from a stinging shutout last week at home to Buffalo.
Brady threw two short TD passes in the first half to Bennett before hooking up with his new teammate on a 37-yarder to give the Patriots a 30-7 lead in the third.
He thoroughly enjoyed his return, even posing like Olympic track star Usain Bolt after a 4-yard run to signal for a first down.
“I don’t run much, and when I do I get excited,” he said, smiling.
Coach Bill Belichick replaced Brady with 6:02 left, greeting him on the sideline with a handshake and pat on the back.
The 39-year-old was far from perfect, overthrowing Julian Edelman for a possible long TD, but Brady spread the ball around and showed a nice touch on a few passes, including a floater to Rob Gronkowski for 37 yards in the fourth.
“We hadn’t seen him in a while,” said Edelman, Brady’s teammate for eight seasons who was not surprised by the performance.
“You train with a guy. You go to camp with a guy. You’ve played a number of years with a guy. To see what he’s gone through, you’re going to get excited.”
Following the game, Brady basked in the adulation from the Patriots fans ringing the entrance to the tunnel, Following his news conference, Brady stylish as always in a blue tailored suit, posed for a few photos with fans before he was greeted by friends, including former Browns tight end Aaron Shea, who threw his arms around his Michigan teammate.
LeGarrette Blount added a 1-yard score for the Patriots, who all drew inspiration from Brady’s return.
“We were all intense today, all amped up,” said Gronkowski, who had five catches for 109 yards. “Tom always brings the ampness to the table.”
Unfortunately for the Browns, a rebuilding season is spiraling out of control.
Cleveland has dropped seven straight and 14 of 15, and Browns coach Hue Jackson is running out of quarterbacks after rookie Cody Kessler was knocked out in the first half with rib and chest injuries. Charlie Whitehurst replaced him, becoming the fifth quarterback to play for Cleveland in five games.
When Brady ran onto the field for New England’s first play, thousands of fans, many wearing his No. 12 jersey, cheered.
At that moment, all was right again from Cambridge to Maine’s coastline.
Brady completed his first pass to his favorite target, Edelman, and connected twice on New England’s opening drive with Gronkowski, who sidestepped a couple of tacklers and looked like the indomitable “Gronk” while bulling his way to the Cleveland 1.
It was a new beginning, a fresh start for Brady, who found comfort after so many months of angst.
“It was fun to come out and play and fun to win,” he said. “That’s the most important thing.”
Kessler took a hard shot from Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower while trying to throw a swing pass to Duke Johnson at the Cleveland 10.
The pass was behind Johnson and skipped out of the end zone, giving the Patriots a safety. Jackson said Kessler did not break anything and his status will be addressed in the next few days.
Charlie Whitehurst played the second half, but sustained a knee injury in the final minutes.
Patriots rookie cornerback Cyrus Jones was ejected in the third quarter for unsportsmanlike conduct.
A second-round pick from Alabama, Jones got tangled with Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins on the opposite side of the field.
After the game, referee Bill Vinovich said Jones was ejected because “it was deemed that he threw a punch.”
The Patriots held the NFL’s top rushing team to 27 yards on 22 carries. Cleveland came in leading the NFL with 149.3 yards rushing.
Isaiah Crowell picked up just 22 on 13 attempts, a far cry from 6.4-yard average in Cleveland’s first four games.
Jets 13, Steelers 31
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gaining Ben Roethlisberger’s trust can be a difficult process for any new Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. Once it’s earned, however, it’s unshakeable.
Drops. Busted routes. Mental miscues. Roethlisberger can live with the mistakes as a receiver finds his way, particularly when the highs like the ones Sammie Coates provided in Pittsburgh’s clinical 31-13 win over the New York Jets on Sunday are so giddy.
Coates sandwiched a pair of touchdown receptions around a very visible case of nerves as the Steelers (4-1) pulled away from the Jets (1-4) in the second half. The second-year wide receiver hauled in a 72-yard catch-and-run for a score on Pittsburgh’s first possession and cradled a 5-yard score late in the fourth quarter. In between were a handful of grabs of varying difficulty Coates couldn’t quite corral and a cut on his left hand that required stitches.
Yet Roethlisberger kept coming back to Coates again and again.
“He hurts as bad as anybody when he drops a ball,” Roethlisberger said. “But I want him to know … I’m going to come back to you. I believe in you. I believe in everybody on this team and he showed why I have that faith in him.”
Coates finished with six receptions for a career-high 139 yards and the two scores. He is averaging 23.2 yards per reception this season and is just the second player in team history with a 40-yard reception in five straight games while becoming the deep threat the Steelers needed with Martavis Bryant serving a yearlong suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. Not that Coates is ready to relax. As gaudy as his numbers were, he knows they could have been even better.
“I still left a lot on the field,” he said. “I’ll worry about what I left on the field and work on that grow from that, not what I’ve done because that’s part of my game, that’s what I’m supposed to do.”
Ben Roethlisberger finished with 380 yards passing and four touchdowns against a New York defense missing star cornerback Darrelle Revis . Running back Le’Veon Bell added 158 yards of total offense, including a career-high nine receptions. Roethlisberger’s 15 touchdowns through Pittsburgh’s first five games are a club record. He did it on Sunday behind an offensive line that didn’t miss a step with right tackle Marcus Gilbert sidelined. Roethlisberger was sacked just once and rarely pressured while dropping back 48 times.
“Our guys were just phenomenal,” Roethlisberger said. “They are the catalyst for us. They drive us.”
New York’s Ryan Fitzpatrick avoided the interceptions that have plagued him this season, completing 25 of 38 for 265 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Marshall. Yet the Jets also mustered little offense in the second half and couldn’t keep up as the Steelers put together clinical scoring drive after clinical scoring drive.
New York also punted twice in the fourth quarter while down 11, once on fourth-and-1 at its 34 and again on fourth-and-2 at midfield, though coach Todd Bowles believes he made the right call both times. Pittsburgh finally put New York away following the second kick, going 79 yards in 12 plays to improve to 10-1 all-time at home against New York.
“Time travel doesn’t work in life,” Bowles said. “It was a mistake if you look at it that way.”
Marshall, who finished with eight receptions for 114 yards, wasn’t in the mood to second-guess his coach.
“We have a good defense with star players on it and (Bowles) thought we could get a stop,” he said. “It didn’t work out the way we wanted, but you can’t fault him for the decisions.”
Brown planned to wear cleats honoring boxing great Muhammad Ali, just as he did the week before in cleats that featured a sketch of golfer Arnold Palmer. Brown was told before the kickoff he needed to switch shoes or face a fine.
“I thought I was OK but it turned out I wasn’t,” he said. “I made an adjustment.”
Brown also toned down his hip-gyrating (and fine inducing) TD celebrations, opting to simply hand the ball to a fan after catching a 5-yard score in the fourth quarter.
“Wasn’t time to really put the pumps in,” Brown said. “Got to save them for when it’s a great moment.”
Jets: Linebacker David Harris (hamstring), center Nick Mangold (knee), cornerback Darryl Roberts (shoulder) left and did not return.
Steelers: Defensive end Cam Heyward, whose three sacks lead the team, underwent an MRI on his hamstring after leaving in the first half. Heyward indicated afterward he miss time.
Jets: travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals on Monday Night Football on Oct. 17.
Steelers: continue their three-game swing against AFC East teams when they visit the Dolphins.
Titans 30, Dolphins 17
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — DeMarco Murray found room on the flanks and then shimmed for extra yards. Marcus Mariota kept scrambling up the middle past the first-down marker before sliding to safety.
Smashmouth, Titans style.
There was muscle involved, but also lots of finesse as Tennessee rushed for 235 yards Sunday to grind up the Miami Dolphins, 30-17.
The offensive approach was the sort coach Mike Mularkey envisioned when the Titans signed Murray last spring.
“It kind of gives you an example of what we’re capable of,” Mularkey said. “We just need to do it like that consistently.”
The Titans (2-3) clawed back into the conversation in the AFC South, while the Dolphins (1-4) appear destined for an eighth consecutive year out of the playoffs. Here are some things to know about both teams:
GROUND GAME: Murray ran for 121 yards, Mariota dashed for 60 and Derrick Henry added 54 to give the Titans their most productive rushing performance since 2009. They averaged 5.7 yards per attempt.
“The guys up front did a great job,” Mariota said. “They controlled the line of scrimmage and really allowed us to do what we want. If we can run the football the way we did today, it will really open up some things in the passing game.”
That’s what happened against Miami. Mariota was an efficient 20 for 29 for 163 yards, with no turnovers, no sacks and three scores.
He completed passes to eight receivers. The touchdowns covered 5 yards to Andre Johnson, 20 yards to Delanie Walker and 4 yards to former Dolphin Rishard Matthews.
In addition, Mariota repeatedly hurt the Dolphins with his legs, including a 5-yard keeper for his first rushing touchdown of the year.
TANNEHILL’S TRIALS: Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked six times , but he’s not getting sacked by his coach.
The Dolphins totaled just eight first downs, and disgruntled fans chanted for Tannehill’s backup, Matt Moore. First-year Miami coach Adam Gase is staying with the fifth-year starter, however.
“He’s not coming out,” Gase said. “You can ask me 100 times. He’s going to be in there the rest of the season.”
The Dolphins were without both starters on the left side of the offensive line. Rookie guard Laremy Tunsil hurt an ankle during the pregame, and tackle Branden Albert was too weak to play after battling a virus and losing 12 pounds.
“I felt we had plenty of guys to fill the roles we need to fill,” Gase said. “We just have to do a better job.”
GOOD HALF: The Titans started fast, for them, and finished the first half strong.
Mariota’s scored the game’s first points with 23 seconds left in the first quarter. It was Tennessee’s first TD in the opening period all year.
He directed a 75-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes of the half, completing all five of his passes in the series to put the Titans ahead 21-14.
The former Oregon star is accustomed to playing hurry-up.
“I’ve just operated in that kind of realm for a long time, so I’m really comfortable in it,” Mariota said.
SUDDEN STRIKES: Miami would have been shut out if not for three big plays. Rookie Jakeem Grant scored on a 74-yard punt return , Damien Williams had a 58-yard catch-and-run to set up a touchdown, and DeVante Parker made a 50-yard reception that led to a field goal.
“Those hurt us and kept them really in the game,” Mularkey said.
UP NEXT: The Titans play Cleveland next Sunday in the first of three consecutive home games.
“Can’t look too far in the future,” Mariota said. “It’s nice that we’ll be home for a few weeks now. Hopefully this will build into some momentum.”
The Dolphins, already three games behind New England in the AFC East, continue a four-game homestand when they play Pittsburgh.
“You better play this thing out,” Gase said. “You never know what is going to happen.”
Bears 23, Colts 29
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts got Andrew Luck on track by playing fast Sunday. Now they’ll try to use the same strategy to save their season.
After hearing the clamor for changes all week, the Colts cranked up the pace, took their first halftime lead of the season and, yes, even managed to pull out a badly needed victory, 29-23 victory over the Chicago Bears.
“We needed to get off the snide and get a win,” Luck said after throwing a 35-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton with 3:43 to play to retake the lead. “We needed to get that taste out of ou
So Indy threw a change-up at the Bears’ defense and Luck took full advantage by taking shots down the field and putting points on the scoreboard early.
The result: Indy had its first halftime lead of the season, 16-13.
But after bogging down in the regular offense most of the second half, the Colts switched back after Chicago took a 23-19 lead midway through the fourth quarter. This time, Luck needed only six plays to go 82 yards — the last 35 coming on the TD pass to Hilton that made it 26-23.
Luck was 28 of 39 with 322 yards and two TDs despite being sacked five times. Hilton caught 10 passes for 171 yards.
Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer was solid in his third straight start and gave Chicago (1-4) a 23-19 lead with a 24-yard TD pass to Jordan Howard with 7:04 left in the game. The 94-yard drive was Chicago’s longest in more than seven years. Hoyer finished 33 of 43 for 397 yards and two TDs.
But after a late Bears fumble led to Adam Vinatieri’s fifth field goal, Hoyer couldn’t convert on fourth-and-8 from Indy’s 28-yard line.
“It is frustrating,” Chicago coach John Fox said. “It is a hard pill to swallow anytime you lose a game.”
PASSING THE TEST
When the Colts opted not to take their bye following last week’s trip to London, NFL officials were eager to see how Indy performed on a regular week. The Colts easily passed the test, performing even better than they did last week. And instead of playing catch-up all day, the Colts only trailed twice — at 3-0 and 23-19. The win could prove the long road trip wouldn’t necessarily create at a disadvantage if London hosted more games.
MOVING ON UP
Frank Gore continues climbing the NFL’s career rushing list. On Sunday, the Colts’ feature back passed Jim Brown for No. 9 overall with a 16-yard run late in the first quarter. Brown retired in 1965 with 12,312 yards, a league record that stood for nearly two decades. Gore had 14 carries for 75 yards Sunday, giving him 12,367. In five games, Gore has passed five Hall of Famers and Edgerrin James, the Colts’ career rushing leader.
Howard has already established himself as a key component in the Bears’ offense. The rookie ran 16 times for 118 yards and caught three passes for 45 yards and a score in his second straight start. Since Jeremy Langford, the starter went down with an ankle injury in Week 3, Howard has posted back-to-back 100-yard games.
THEY SAID IT
Bears: Hoyer talking about an uncovered Howard before Indy called timeout: “I was trying to get the ball snapped. They were messed up. But they called timeout before we could get set.”
Colts: Luck on Gore’s milestone: “You won’t find a guy who loves football more than Frank Gore. He’s a beautiful teammate, a great locker room guy. And to pass Jim Brown, that’s great. My dad grew up in Cleveland and so he always used to talk about Jim Brown.”
Bears: After entering the game without Cutler (thumb), Langford or outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (calf), the only significant injury appeared to be backup cornerback Bryce Callahan, who left in the second half with an injured hamstring.
Colts: Defensive tackle Art Jones (returning from four-game suspension) and running back Robert Turbin (wrist and shoulder) were both inactive. The only player who did not return was inside linebacker Josh McNary (stinger).
Eagles 23, Lions 24
DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Stafford picked apart one of the NFL’s best defenses for a while, throwing for a touchdown on each of the Detroit Lions’ first three possessions.
The Philadelphia Eagles answered, shutting him down for almost two quarters.
Stafford lofted a perfect pass to Golden Tate to set up Matt Prater’s 29-yard kick with 1:28 left, sending Detroit to a 24-23 win over Carson Wentz and Philadelphia on Sunday.
“It was perhaps one of the better anticipatory passes that you’ll see,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said.
Detroit’s defense, though, still had to do its job to seal the much-needed victory.
Philadelphia (3-1) had the ball at its 25 with 1:28 remaining and no timeouts left.
Wentz, who did not turn the ball over in his first three games, attempted a long pass to Nelson Agholor on first down and Darius Slay made an over-the-shoulder interception at the Detroit 23.
Even though Wentz’s last pass looked like a desperation heave usually reserved for fourth down or the final seconds of a game, Eagles coach Doug Pederson didn’t mind his decision to go deep.
“It’s not necessarily designed for that, but the opportunity was there,” Pederson said.
Wentz, the No. 2 pick overall in the draft, was 25 of 33 for 238 yards with a pair of 1-yard TD passes to Ryan Mathews and Josh Huff.
“I didn’t buy the hype before today, but he’s is the real deal,” Slay said. “He doesn’t play like a rookie.”
The Lions (2-3) had lost three straight.
“It’s a big one,” Stafford said. “But at the same time, we’ve got to stack these.”
The Eagles turned the ball over for the first time this season with 2:34 remaining when Mathews fumbled on a hit by Slay near midfield.
“This one hurts,” Mathews said.
Stafford put Prater in place to make his field goal by converting a third-and-4 from the Eagles 39 by connecting on a 27-yard pass to Tate, who was going right to left on a crossing route and drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on Malcolm Jenkins.
“I needed that,” Tate said. “This team needed that.”
Tate, who was held to only one catch in last week’s loss at Chicago, had three receptions for 39 yards. The veteran receiver also helped out Detroit’s depleted backfield by lining up as a running back for three carries that gained 6 yards and serving as decoy to help set up Stafford’s 17-yard TD pass to Theo Riddick.
“Hopefully I earned some more reps back there,” Tate said. “Had some flashbacks to high school.”
Philadelphia hurt its chances of staying undefeated with 14 penalties for 111 yards, nearly doubling the number of flags they drew on average over the first three games.
“It’s tough to overcome,” Pederson acknowledged.
The Lions scored on all three of their drives in the first half, building a 21-7 lead late in the second quarter. Stafford threw two TD passes to Riddick in the first quarter and another to Marvin Jones in the second. Through three games, the Eagles hadn’t given up a passing TD, a point in the first quarter or allowed offenses to combine to score three TDs.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz , who led the Lions from 2009 to 2013, seemed to make some adjustments that worked until Stafford made his clutch pass to Tate.
Stafford had his helmet ripped off by defensive tackle Fletcher Fox in the second quarter on a third down, extending a drive that led to a TD instead of a field goal attempt.
“It’s never a good feeling to not have the old helmet on,” said Stafford, who recalled a similar situation at Georgia leading to a big bruise on his forehead.
MAKING A PLAY
Stafford had an unforced fumble early in the second half that was recovered by Nigel Bradham, who was arrested last Sunday on a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge. Bradham didn’t play much in the first half, but Pederson insisted that wasn’t part of team-issued discipline.
Eagles CB Leodis McKelvin returned after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, aggravated it, but was cleared to return in the fourth quarter. … Lions DT Haloti Ngata left the game with a shoulder injury.
The Eagles play at Washington Sunday. The Lions host Los Angeles on Sunday.
Redskins 16, Ravens 10
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Washington Redskins abandoned their usual formula for victory — the passing of Kirk Cousins — to extend their winning streak to three.
Washington used an 85-yard punt return by Jamison Crowder and an uncharacteristically strong performance by its defense to beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-10 on Sunday.
The Redskins (3-2) allowed 108 points in their first four games and came in with the league’s 29th-ranked defense. In this one, Washington gave up a touchdown on the game’s opening drive and smothered the Ravens (3-2) the rest of the way.
“The defense stepped up,” coach Jay Gruden said. “The first drive was a little scary. Here we go again. But we came back, took it personal and played well.”
The game wasn’t decided until the final minute, when an apparent 23-yard touchdown catch by Baltimore’s Breshad Perriman was overturned by replay. Perriman got his right foot down in the end zone, but his left foot was out of bounds.
That put an appropriate end to a miserable day for the Ravens offense, which was limited to 125 yards after halftime.
“We can’t play like that and win,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We have to be better than we were today.”
Crowder scored Washington’s first TD with a sensational run through the middle of the Baltimore punt return team in the second quarter.
The Redskins went ahead 13-10 in the third quarter with a 50-yard drive following a wind-shortened punt by Sam Koch. Cousins connected with Crowder for 23 yards before lofting a 21-yard pass to Pierre Garcon, who got behind Jimmy Smith and caught the ball in the left side of the end zone.
The definitive momentum shift occurred minutes later. With the Redskins operating from near their own 3, Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted a pass by Cousins at the 13, but lost control of the football while reaching for the end zone. The ball rolled out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback, and the Redskins subsequently moved 72 yards for a field goal and a 16-10 lead.
Cousins went 29 for 41 for 260 yards. But it was the defense that won the game for the Redskins.
Washington repeatedly frustrated Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who was 30 for 46 for 210 yards and sacked three times.
The Ravens have lost two in a row — both at home — after opening with three straight wins. All of their games have been decided by six points or fewer.
Baltimore scored a touchdown on its opening possession for the first time this season, on a 7-yard pass from Flacco to tight end Crockett Gillmore.
Crowder responded with the Redskins’ first punt return for a touchdown since 2008. But the conversion attempt clanged off the left upright.
A field goal by Justin Tucker made it 10-6 in the second quarter. The Ravens had a chance to add to the lead after recovering a fumble by Matt Jones at the Washington 15, but a fake field-goal attempt went awry.
Playing in a stiff wind, neither team got much from its kicking game. Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point for Washington and came up short on a 56-yard field goal try.
Baltimore opted to try a fake field goal in the second quarter, and failed. Later, Koch got off a 36-yard punt that didn’t rise more than 20 feet off the ground.
Redskins: CB Josh Norman missed part of the second quarter with an undisclosed injury. OT Morgan Moses was taken out with a head injury that was not deemed to be a concussion.
Ravens: Baltimore played most of the game without receiver Steve Smith, who sprained an ankle late in the first quarter. The Ravens also lost OT Rick Wagner (thigh) and endured a second straight game without rookie tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot).
Redskins: Top draft picks Josh Doctson (Achilles) and Su’a Cravens (concussion) were on the inactive list. Also inactive: starting CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle).
Ravens: CB Shareece Wright was inactive. He started the first four games, but struggled in the last three. Ravens say Wright had back spasms recently, but he practiced all week.
Redskins: Jones ran for 31 yards on 14 carries and lost a fumble for the first time this season.
Ravens: Terrance West peeled off a 35-yard run on the opening possession, Baltimore’s longest of the year. He finished with 95 yards on 11 carries.
Falcons 23, Broncos 16
DENVER (AP) — Quarterback Matt Ryan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have plenty more in the vault than just superstar receiver Julio Jones — and maybe there’s a lot more to these Atlanta Falcons than just some early season feasting on the NFL’s defensive dregs.
The Falcons deciphered Denver’s dazzling defense and wrecked Paxton Lynch’s first NFL start with a 23-16 win over the Broncos on Sunday, snapping the Super Bowl champs’ nine-game winning streak with a dominant and perhaps prescient performance.
They did it without coming close to the numbers that Ryan and Jones put up last week when they became the first duo in league history to sport a 500-yard passer and a 300-yard receiver in the same game.
A week after setting a franchise record with 503 yards passing in a runaway win over Super Bowl 50’s other participant, the Carolina Panthers, Ryan threw for 267 yards Sunday and only two of those (covering 29 yards) went to Jones.
“Today, they came out and doubled me. They took me away and they were like, ‘All right, you’re not going to beat us today,'” said Jones, adding he welcomed such attention because “everybody else is going to step up.”
That, they did.
Using a steady diet of I-formation runs and short passes that put Denver’s linebackers in coverage, the Falcons (4-1) handed the Super Bowl champs their first loss since Dec. 20 at Pittsburgh and left the Minnesota Vikings (5-0) as the NFL’s last unbeaten team.
The Broncos (4-1) were on their heels having to respect the play-action because Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were so effective running the ball, combining for 119 yards and a 4.4-yard average.
Denver’s “No Fly Zone” defense was unimpressed with Jones becoming the sixth 300-yard receiver in NFL history. They dismissed that performance as a bad day by the Panthers, and they stifled Jones all afternoon in Denver.
Not that it mattered.
Coleman, who played despite having sickle cell trait, which can sometimes be exacerbated at altitude, showed off his breakaway speed by catching four passes for 132 yards to go with his 31 yards on six carries. He caught a 31-yard touchdown pass following Ricardo Allen’s interception at the Denver 42 in the third quarter that made it 20-3.
That sequence sent some flustered fans streaming for the exits as the Falcons finished off the Broncos, who hadn’t lost at home since Dec. 13 against Oakland.
The Broncos don’t have much time to digest the loss. They play at San Diego on Thursday night, and their hope is that Trevor Siemian’s bruised left shoulder is healed by then.
Lynch, the 26th overall pick out of Memphis last April, got the starting nod because Siemian’s bruised A.C. joint in his non-throwing shoulder was still bothering him a week after he was flung to the turf in Tampa.
“We just didn’t think he was ready,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said before he was taken via ambulance to a hospital because of flu-like symptoms.
Actually, it was Lynch who showed he wasn’t ready Sunday.
He completed 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards with a late TD to Demaryius Thomas and an interception. He was sacked a half-dozen times, including 3½ times by outside linebacker Vic Beasley, who burned right tackle Ty Sambrailo on three of those takedowns.
Lynch’s footwork was a mess and his overthrows and misfires ruined any chance the Broncos had of capitalizing on the league’s 30th ranked defense, including the NFL’s next-to-last pass defense and a patchwork linebacker corps .
“I’m upset obviously because we lost but I’m happy I got the first one under my belt,” Lynch said. “If I get put in this situation again, I’ll play better.”
PROTECTION PROBLEMS: It didn’t help Denver that right tackle Donald Stephenson (calf) was deactivated for a third straight week. Ty Sambrailo was repeatedly burned by Beasley before the Broncos moved right guard Michael Schofield over and inserted Darrion Weems.
GROUNDED GROUND GAME: The Broncos’ ground game has ground to a near standstill ever since Stephenson and tight end Virgil Green pulled calf muscles in Week 2. After averaging 141 yards and 4.7 yards a carry in their first two games, the Broncos nosedived to 75 yards and 2.8 yards a carry in their last three games.
MILLER TIME: Even in defeat, Von Miller got to the quarterback. He recorded a sack and now has 6½ on the season.
LAST GASP: Brandon McManus kicked a 45-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to get the Broncos within a touchdown but his onside kick was smothered by Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo, and Ryan took a knee in victory formation.
Bills 30, Rams 19
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Everything about the Coliseum seemed so familiar to Buffalo Bills cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, right down to the folding chairs.
The only thing different was walking into the visiting locker room instead of the one he spent so much time in playing for Southern California in college.
On the field, Robey-Coleman was right at home, intercepting two passes and returning one 41 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to the give the Bills their third consecutive win by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 30-19 on Sunday.
Robey-Coleman stepped in front of rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper and strolled down the sideline to put the Bills ahead 23-16 with 3:54 left in the third quarter, bringing back memories of his pick-6 against then-Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in 2011.
This time, however, Robey-Coleman ended up in the end zone under the famed Peristyle.
“I scored on that end, now I’m going to score on this end,” Robey-Coleman said, recalling his thoughts during his second career return for a touchdown in the NFL. “Perfect. I’m good. And we got the win this time.”
The big play allowed the Bills to finish off the Rams (3-2) and end their three-game winning streak. The Bills stopped Bradley Marquez on a fake punt at the Rams 25 with 3:41 remaining, trailing 23-19.
Tyrod Taylor then threw a 6-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin to put the game out of reach, with Robey-Coleman adding another interception in the final minutes.
The Bills (3-2) took advantage of the Rams defensive line playing without starting ends Robert Quinn and Williams Hayes and tackle Michael Brockers, led by 150 yards rushing from running back LeSean McCoy.
McCoy and Taylor found success early on up the middle against the Rams (3-2). Taylor scrambled for 22 yards on third-and-19, and capped off the drive by escaping the pocket to buy more time before finding Justin Hunter for a 4-yard touchdown.
McCoy had a 53-yard run to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Mike Gillislee early in the second quarter, but Cam Thomas blocked Dan Carpenter’s extra point.
“It just came down to finishing the game. We made a run early, then they answered back, then we had to answer again,” McCoy said. “To get up here and just nitpick about this and that, come on. We got a ‘W’ against a good team, 3-1 team. LA trip, we could have let distractions get to us. We came out here with a mindset to get a victory and that’s what happened.”
Todd Gurley scored the Rams’ first touchdown at home since returning to Los Angeles on a 1-yard run late in the first half. Gurley had 72 yards rushing, but three of Greg Zuerlein’s four field goals came on drives that stalled inside the red zone.
“We’ve got to score in that red zone,” said Tavon Austin, who had seven catches for 59 yards while rushing for 26 more. “We keep getting down there, but not scoring in the red zone. Three points is good, but three points is not going to win too many big games.”
Case Keenum was 21 of 31 for 271 yards and two interceptions.
“That was a tough one,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “I think it shows, in close games against good opponents, the need for turnovers or protecting the football. And we didn’t get them defensively. In close ballgames, those are going to be the difference-makers there, so it’s disappointing.”
Former USC standouts Reggie Bush, Robey-Coleman, Kevon Seymour and Robert Woods served as the Bills’ captains in their return to the Coliseum. For Bush, it was his first time back since pounding rival UCLA for 260 yards rushing and two touchdowns in his final home game in 2005. The Trojans were forced to disassociate from Bush as part of the NCAA sanctions the school received for extra benefits he received while playing at USC.
Bush carried the ball once, but that 3-yard run showcased a touch of the burst, speed and electricity that propelled him to stardom at USC. Bush told Robey-Coleman that it felt like “the old days.”
“He was pretty happy,” Robey-Coleman said. “Every time you talked about USC he got that big smile on his face and you could tell all the old memories come back.”
The only starter on the Rams defensive line who did play was tackle Aaron Donald, and his two tackles for loss with one-half sack left Bills coach Rex Ryan eating his words.
As head coach of the New York Jets in 2014, Ryan criticized Donald’s selection to the Pro Bowl ahead of Sheldon Richardson. Ryan said this week he had not watched Donald play that season and was expressing his belief that rookies should not make the Pro Bowl.
After seeing Donald live, Ryan responded as only he can.
“They have this Donald kid, who I’ve said from Day One is the best tackle in football,” Ryan said.
Bills: Nose tackle Marcell Dareus (hamstring) was inactive. Dareus was suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Adolphus Washington got the start, finishing with three tackles and one sack. … Safety Aaron Williams suffered a shoulder injury in the second half. … Safety Colt Anderson did not return after suffering an arm injury in the second half.
Rams: Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was carted to the locker room in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury. … Offensive lineman Cody Wichmann injured his right ankle on the opening possession and did not return. Jamon Brown replaced Wichmann at right guard. … Running back Benny Cunningham (hamstring) was inactive, resulting in more work on passing downs by Gurley. Gurley had three receptions for 36 yards.
Bills: Host San Francisco next Sunday.
Rams: Travel to Detroit next Sunday.
Bengals 14, Cowboys 28
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — These rookie-led Dallas Cowboys keep winning without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns, fellow rookie Dak Prescott threw for a score and ran for another TD, and the Cowboys beat the Cincinnati Bengals 28-14 on Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory.
“Zeke ran really, really well, but a big part of this game was the efficiency of our passing game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Dak read things out well, threw it to the right guy, and was accurate. … He’s grown with the experience he gets. He’s goes about it the right way. We’re lucky to have him.”
Without Romo, who hasn’t played yet after his fourth back injury in just less than four years, the Cowboys (4-1) have already matched their victory total from a year ago. Bryant has missed two games with a hairline fracture in his right knee.
The Bengals (2-3) have a losing record a year after being 8-0 midway through the season.
“Everybody needs to take a deep look at their self,” said Bengals cornerback Adam Jones, who was still known as Pacman when he played for the Cowboys.
Romo could be ready to play when the Cowboys play their next home game Oct. 30 against Philadelphia. They are guaranteed to have a winning record then, going to Green Bay next week before their bye.
Prescott had his first turnover, a fumble when he was sacked late in the third quarter. But the fourth-round draft pick was 18-of-24 passing for 227 yards, and extended his NFL rookie record to 155 passes without an interception to start a career.
Elliott, on only 15 carries, became the first Cowboys rookie with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. He also had three catches for 37 yards.
“It doesn’t surprise me. He’ll deal it up any way you want to have it,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “You saw that speed take care of itself out there.”
Elliott put the Cowboys ahead to stay with a 13-yard TD run on their opening drive. Then on their first offensive snap of the second half, Elliott busted through the middle and into the open on the way to a 60-yard score, punctuating the play with what might be called a JerryWorld jump, leaping up a few feet to celebrate with fans sitting in field-level suites in the end zone.
Prescott ran 5 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Then he was scrambling to his right before halftime when he threw on the run to Cole Beasley for a 14-yard score.
It was a homecoming of sorts for Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who went to TCU about 20 miles away from AT&T Stadium. The 2011 second-round draft pick was visiting the Cowboys for the first time in a regular-season game.
But the Bengals trailed 28-0 before Dalton threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell with about 10 minutes left. That duo hooked up again for a 5-yard score with 2:39 left. Dalton finished 29 of 41 for 269 yards.
“They got us in longer situations on third down and we weren’t able to keep moving the ball,” Dalton said. “They took some things away, and we weren’t able to overcome that.”
The Cowboys are the first team in NFL history to have a rookie quarterback with 1,000 yards passing and a rookie running back with at least 500 yards rushing in the first five games of a season.
Dallas Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith returned after missing two games with back issues. Smith had missed just one game in the first five seasons of his career before his back tightened up late in the week before the third game against Chicago.
Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence made his season debut following a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. While he didn’t get a sack, he boosted a pass rush that sacked Dalton four times. Lawrence, who led Dallas with eight sacks last season, had a fistful of Dalton’s jersey on one play but couldn’t pull him down.
HOME GETTING SWEET AGAIN
The Cowboys have won their last two home games, following an eight-game losing streak in their showplace stadium. They lost 20-19 to the New York Giants at home in this season’s opener.
Chargers 31, Raiders 34
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders keep finding new ways to win late in games, while the San Diego Chargers somehow manage to find even more painful ways to lose.
Derek Carr threw a go-ahead 21-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on a fourth-and-2 gamble and the Raiders survived when the Chargers botched a potential tying kick late in a 34-31 win Sunday.
“Sometimes you just have to find ways to win and get it done at the end,” Carr said. “It would be nice if we didn’t have to do all the stress and drama at the end. That would be nice.”
After using a late 2-point conversion to win the opener, stopping a late Tennessee drive in a Week 3 win and using a late score and defensive stop to beat Baltimore last week, the Raiders (4-1) survived against the Chargers (1-4) to post their first three-game winning streak in five years.
Philip Rivers threw his fourth TD pass of the game to cut a 10-point lead to three midway through the fourth and then drove San Diego down the field late. But after Melvin Gordon was held to 1 yard on third-and-2, coach Mike McCoy opted for a 36-yard field goal.
Mike Windt’s snap was on target, but rookie Drew Kaser couldn’t get down the hold and the Chargers never got a chance at the tie.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” Rivers said. “You think, ‘Is there any other way we can find a way to do this?'”
The Chargers had already lost three games they led at the two-minute warning, blowing a 21-point lead to Kansas City and a 13-point fourth-quarter advantage last week versus New Orleans.
Then came the latest loss that included four turnovers and the botched kick, leading to a 10th straight division loss.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something like that happens,” McCoy said.
COOPER SCORES: Raiders receiver Amari Cooper hadn’t scored a touchdown in four games before breaking through against the Chargers. He scored on a 64-yard pass from Carr in the third quarter and added a 2-point conversion after Crabtree’s TD. Cooper also nearly had three more scores, but couldn’t get both feet down inbounds on two throws into the end zone and was unable to re-establish himself after being interfered with on a third play.
“First one is always the hardest, no matter what it is,” Carr said. “I’m just happy for him because he works his tail off.”
BOSA’S DEBUT: Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa made an impressive debut after missing training camp during a nasty contract dispute and sitting out the first four games with a hamstring injury. He came in on the second drive and had a sack and a tackle for loss. He added a second sack in the fourth quarter.
“It felt pretty natural,” Bosa said. “It’s nice to get the butterflies out because I was pretty nervous coming into this game.”
BIG PLAY ROOKIE: First-round pick Karl Joseph, who started the season on the bench in Oakland, has made a big impact since becoming a starter in Week 3. He intercepted a pass from Rivers late in the first half to set up a field goal and then recovered a fumble by Gordon to set up Crabtree’s TD.
LEAKY D: Despite the win, the Raiders allowed more than 400 yards for the fourth time in five games. Big plays were the problem in this game as the Chargers had three passes go for at least 50 yards.
“We’re not even close to the standard we need to be at,” linebacker Bruce Irvin said. “What’d we give up today, 400 yards or something? That’s bad. Happy about the win, but I’m not in a good mood about how we performed.”
GIVE IT AWAY: After committing turnovers on the final three drives in last week’s loss to New Orleans , the Chargers picked up where they left off. Antonio Gates was stripped on San Diego’s first drive and lost a fumble with the Chargers in position to score. Rivers then was intercepted by Sean Smith on a deep pass on the Chargers next play from scrimmage. Rivers threw another interception late in the half, giving San Diego six turnovers in eight possessions. San Diego committed a fourth turnover late in the third quarter when Gordon fumbled, setting up Oakland’s go-ahead score.
Giants 16, Packers 23
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers appear to have the makings of a defense that could power a deep run into the playoffs.
It’s the offense, for once, that is looking to maintain consistency.
Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, and the offensive line pushed around the New York Giants’ front and powered the ground game in a 23-16 win on Sunday night over the New York Giants.
Rodgers was 23 of 45 for 259 yards and also threw two interceptions. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams each had highlight-reel touchdown catches to help the Packers (3-1) build an 11-point halftime lead.
But the offense was mired by uncharacteristic drops, and couple of big plays were called back by penalties. Mason Crosby kicked three field goals, including two in the fourth quarter.
“It is all about winning,” Rodgers said before adding, “We had a lot of opportunities tonight. … We have to execute in the passing game as well as we’re doing up front in the run game.”
The Packers’ defense, though, kept limiting the Giants.
New York’s Eli Manning was 18 of 35 for 199 yards and was sacked three times.
“Defense, particularly our young guys in the secondary, did a heck of a job,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Run defense was there, pass rush was there. We were able to play good red zone defense.”
The Giants (2-3) looked out of sorts until a hurry-up drive that ended with Beckham’s 8-yard touchdown catch with 2:54 left.
“We didn’t make enough throws or contested catches. We need to play and execute better,” coach Ben McAdoo said.
EYES ON ODELL
Beckahm’s first touchdown catch of the season stood on replay review after the receiver jumped high in the air for Manning’s pass and was ruled inbounds after straddling the back line of the end zone.
Beckham raised his both arms in the air in celebration after watching the replay on the Lambeau Field video board. He finished with five catches for 56 yards.
Perhaps more importantly for the Giants, Beckham didn’t throw an attention-grabbing tantrum like the meltdowns he had the previous two weeks against Minnesota and Washington.
Randall Cobb was the Packers’ most consistent receiver with nine catches for 108 yards. With the Giants missing starting safety Nat Berhe because of an injury, Cobb excelled in his specialty of working the middle of the field and turning short passes into long gains.
Cobb appeared to be OK on the sideline after taking a hit to the back of his head or neck on a 13-yard catch on third-and-10 with about 2 minutes left.
SHAKING IT UP
The Packers’ 16-play, 75-yard drive to open the game took up the first 8:42 of the game, the team’s longest scoring drive by time on the season that ended with a touchdown . Coach Mike McCarthy threw different wrinkles at the Giants by using different personnel combinations on the opening drive, instead of sticking with the usual three-wide receiver combination of Nelson, Randall Cobb and Adams, with Eddie Lacy in the backfield.
Two rookies teamed up for a turnover late in the first half for the Packers that set up a field goal. Linebacker Kyler Fackrell, a third-round draft pick, forced a fumble after sacking Eli Manning on second-and-10 from the Giants 39. Defensive tackle Kenny Clark, the Packers’ first-round pick this year recovered the fumble at the 31 with 1:15 left. Crosby kicked a 44-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to give Green Bay a 17-6 lead.
ON THE CORNER
Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins had two interceptions in the first half, one coming on third-and-6 at the Giants 21 after a pass deflected off Nelson’s hands . It was Jenkins’ first two-interception game since his rookie season with St. Louis, when he had two against Arizona on Nov. 25, 2012.
Giants: The battered secondary lost CB Eli Apple to a groin injury in the second quarter. The rookie missed New York’s 24-10 loss last week at Minnesota because of a hamstring injury, and had been listed as questionable for the Packers game. … Dwayne Harris was taken to the locker room two separate times in the second half, for X-rays on his jaw and toe. … DT Damon Harrison was in the locker room for an unknown injury for much of the Packers’ game-opening touchdown drive. He returned for the Giants’ second defensive series.
Packers: Backup S Chris Banjo (hamstring) limped off after the opening kickoff of the second half. … Lacy left late in the third quarter with a left ankle injury. He had 81 yards on 11 carries, including 77 yards on nine carriers in the first half.
Buccaneers 17, Panthers 14
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Roberto Aguayo’s shaky rookie season got a big lift Monday night.
The rookie made up for missing two earlier field goals by converting a 38-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Carolina Panthers 17-14 on Monday night.
Aguayo, the most accurate kicker in NCAA history, had clanked a 33-yard field goal attempt off the right upright and missed wide left from 46 yards that would have given the Bucs the lead with 3:38 left in the game. He was just 3 of 7 on the season before the winning kick.
“Obviously you get a little angry when you miss them,” Agauyo said. “You can’t dwell on it or you won be ready for the next one.”
When asked how comfortable he was with the field position on the final kick, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter replied, “I wasn’t comfortable. We couldn’t get close enough.”
Jameis Winston was 18 of 30 for 219 yards and threw a TD pass to Mike Evans . He also led a 66-yard drive to get the Buccaneers (2-3) into field goal range. A costly 15-yard facemask penalty on Kony Ealy hurt the Panthers along the way.
Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 101 yards on 30 carries in place of the injured Doug Martin.
The Panthers turned the ball over four times, three of those by Derek Anderson, who was filling in for the concussed Cam Newton.
“We moved the ball when we wanted to and had a lot of good things happen, but we had bad plays at the wrong times,” Anderson said.
The most costly turnover came late in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 14 and the Panthers having a first-and-goal at the Tampa Bay 2. Anderson inexplicably threw into double coverage in the right corner of the end zone and was intercepted by Brent Grimes.
“If I had it back I would have thrown it away,” Anderson said. “That was a difference maker.”
The Panthers ruined a memorable night from Greg Olsen, who had a career-high 181 yards receiving on nine catches. Cameron Artis-Payne ran for two touchdowns for the Panthers.
Carolina is now 1-4 after reaching the Super Bowl last season.
The Panthers, who have won three straight NFC South titles, are now three full games behind the Atlanta Falcons.
“We’ve got a laundry list of things that didn’t go our way,” Olsen said. “The reality is, in this league, you make your own luck. You make your own fate. You can’t sit around and hope the ball bounced your way. Right now, it’s not, but that’s just the nature of this league. It goes in flows. There’s times where it seems like everything you do is right, the ball bounces your way, but that’s not the case right now for us. We’ve got to make our own luck, because nobody’s feeling sorry for us. That’s just the reality right now.”
TURNOVER PRONE: The Panthers turned the ball over just 19 times last season en route to the Super Bowl. This year they already have 14 turnovers in the first five games.
RIVERBOAT RON: With his team trailing 6-0, Panthers coach Ron Rivera lived up to his “Riverboat Ron” moniker when he went for it on fourth-and-goal from the Bucs 1-yard line. Artis-Payne dove into the end zone to give Carolina its first lead of the game.
BUCS UP FRONT: The Bucs were without starters — Gerald McCoy (calf) and Clinton McDonald (hamstring) and defensive end Robert Ayers (ankle) — out with injuries.
NO LEAGUE MVP: Newton was not on the sideline after sustaining a concussion last week against the Falcons. The Panthers visit the Saints next week before getting a bye. It’s unclear if the reigning league MVP will be ready to go.
OLSEN MOVES UP: Olsen moved past Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow for eight all-time in yards receiving among NFL tight ends.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Bucs ran 20 plays to Carolina’s three in the first quarter. Anderson didn’t attempt a pass in the opening quarter as the Bucs controlled the ball for more than 13 minutes.