2016 NFL Week 7 Tuesday Afternoon QB

Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders

Here is a recap of Week 7 of the 2016 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.

Bye: Panthers, Cowboys

Bears 10, Packers 26

Randall Cobb, Cre'von LeBlanc

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) runs against Chicago Bears cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc (22) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers set a record. The Chicago Bears lost another quarterback.

After a slow start in the red zone, the Green Bay Packers picked up the pace in the second half to overpower their offensively-challenged NFC North rivals.

Rodgers threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns, Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery emerged as playmakers in the second half and Packers beat the Bears 26-10 on Thursday night.

Rodgers was 39 of 56, setting a franchise mark for completions in a game. It was the Packers’ first contest without injured running back Eddie Lacy .

“A lot of moving parts, a very satisfying victory at home,” coach Mike McCarthy said.

The Packers (4-2) moved effectively on short gains most of the night, but couldn’t break into the end zone until Adams caught the first of his two touchdown receptions with 9:11 left in the third quarter for a 13-10 lead.

Rodgers and Adams combined again for a 4-yard score on the first play of fourth quarter for a 10-point lead.

The Bears (1-6) lost quarterback Brian Hoyer to a broken left arm in the second quarter. With Jay Cutler already out with a right thumb injury, Chicago turned to third-stringer Matt Barkley.

An offense that was already 31st in the league in scoring got worse. Barkley was 6 of 15 for 81 yards and two interceptions.

“Well, when you lose your starting quarterback it can be disruptive,” Bears coach John Fox said. “It’s not an excuse, it’s just a reality,”

He tried to lean on the rush against the NFL’s third-best run defense. It didn’t work either.

Kadeem Carey had 48 yards on 10 carries, including a 24-yarder. Receiver Alshon Jeffery was held to three catches for 33 yards against a Packers secondary without its top three cornerbacks because of injuries.

It got so bad for the Bears that Rodgers had more completions (37) than the Bears had offensive plays (36) by 5:31 of the fourth quarter.

That 37th completion for Rodgers was a 2-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb for a 16-point lead.

Adams, Montgomery and Cobb each finished with at least 10 receptions.


Hoyer left early in the second quarter after getting hit by Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews on an incompletion on third-and-6 from midfield. The right-handed Hoyer looked as if he landed on his left arm . He was attended to by trainers on the field for a couple minutes before going to the locker room. Hoyer was 4 of 11 for 49 yards.


Adams had 13 catches for a career-high 132 yards, making Jordy Nelson-like moves to spin out of tackles for extra yards. Adams had just been cleared earlier Thursday from the NFL’s concussion protocol after leaving the loss Sunday to Dallas.

Cobb finished with 11 catches for 95 yards.

Montgomery, who got the start in the backfield with running backs Lacy (ankle) and James Starks (knee) out, finished with 10 catches for 66 yards, and nine carries for 60 yards.

“You do what you have to do, you play the way you have to play,” McCarthy said.


The Bears’ only touchdown came from rookie pass-rushing linebacker Leonard Floyd, who forced Rodgers to fumble on third-and-10 from the 15 on a sack. Floyd recovered the ball in the end zone for a 10-6 lead, 30 seconds into the third quarter.

Floyd had been limited in practice this week with a calf injury.

“He’s got those kind of abilities. It’s been problematic a little bit having him out there, but it was good to have him back out there tonight,” Fox said.

The Packers scored touchdowns on their next three drives.


The Packers moved effectively with short passes in the first half but stalled on three drives inside the 22. Mason Crosby salvaged two series with field goals, but the Packers went scoreless on another drive when Montgomery was stopped on a fourth-and-goal run from the 1.

Green Bay, which led 6-3 at the half, exploited the Bears’ underneath coverage. They also threw short passes as a substitute for the running game.


“It means we threw it a lot. But a lot of times records like these are achieved in losses when you’re way behind,” Rodgers about his completions record.


Bears: Besides Hoyer, RG Kyle Long left in the second quarter with an arm injury.

Packers: RB Don Jackson, who was just activated from the practice squad Thursday to replace Lacy, left in the first quarter with a hand injury.

Giants 17, Rams 10 @ London

Britain Giants Rams Football

New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) tackles Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during an NFL football game between New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — The New York Giants capitalized on four interceptions of Case Keenum to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 17-10 Sunday in the first NFL game played at London’s home of English rugby, a sold-out and raucous Twickenham Stadium.

Keenum, coming off the best start of his career, had the Rams at the Giants’ 15-yard line with 50 seconds left when he lobbed a pass in the left corner of the end zone that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie easily picked off. Keenum’s intended target, Brian Quick, failed to get the quarterback’s audible and cut off his route early.

Keenum, who finished 32 of 53 for 291 yards and one touchdown, has thrown an interception on the Rams’ final offensive play of the last three games. That likely will fuel debate on a potential quarterback change to overall No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff.

Fisher said he had no intention of switching quarterbacks during the bye week.

“The windows are tight and the throws have to be more precise,” Fisher said of Keenum’s throws. “I’ll make changes at receiver before I make a change at quarterback.”

The win kept the Giants (4-3) in good shape in the ultra-competitive NFC East, where no one has a losing record. The Rams (3-4) lost their third straight.

The Giants entered Sunday with the worst turnover differential in the NFC at minus-10. Then tight end Larry Donnell coughed up the ball on the Giants 35, leading to the Rams’ lone touchdown, a 10-yard grab by Tavon Austin.

But the Rams were unable to build on that early edge and instead hit the self-destruct button. Keenum threw two interceptions, both off high-sailing deflections, to safety Landon Collins, and two more in the end zone to cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie. RB Todd Gurley struggled, carrying 15 times for 57 yards, his longest run an 8-yarder.

Collins returned his first pick 44 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, making several Rams miss tackles before he bowled over center Tim Barnes to draw the Giants even.

“I must have run at least 100 yards on that play,” said a beaming Collins, who until Sunday had only one interception in his two-year career.

Collins’ second pick set up the winning drive, which featured a 22-yard catch by Odell Beckman Jr. to the Rams 6. Rashad Jennings scored from the 1 for the Giants’ only offensive touchdown.

Eli Manning had a pedestrian day, going 24 of 37 for 196 yards and no touchdowns. The Rams managed 20 first downs to the Giants’ 13.

Manning said the pass rush and multiple coverage looks meant it was “tough to get into a great rhythm and hit a bunch of big plays.”

“It’s not one that we’re necessarily going to put on our highlight tape of how we’re supposed to win games, but it’s a team game,” Jennings said. “The defense bailed us out.”

The Rams’ final two possessions ended in the end-zone interceptions by Rodgers-Cromartie, the pro-Giants crowd of more than 74,000 roaring their approval.


Los Angeles was the home team, but officials struggled to whip up a pro-Rams environment at Twickenham, where the big-screen TVs advised “Quiet please, offense at work” when the Rams had the ball — and the crowd kept up a deafening din during the Rams’ two doomed final drives.


The Giants took the field looking jet-lagged, Rams the savvy travelers. That perhaps reflected the fact Los Angeles chose to fly overnight from Detroit the previous Sunday for a full week in England, while the Giants did most of their preparations at home before arriving Friday in London.

The Giants gained a single first down in the first quarter on an 11-yard completion to Sterling Shepard. The Rams, by contrast, controlled 11:36 of the first-quarter clock, gained seven first downs with a balanced attack, and scored on their first two drives to lead 10-0 with less than 10 minutes gone.


New York struggled for a seventh straight week to move the ball on the ground and Giants finished with 36 yards rushing on 20 carries for a paltry 1.8 average.


New Giants kicker Robbie Gould made a 29-yard field goal in his only attempt and converted two extra points. He replaced Josh Brown, who was placed on the NFL’s commissioner exemption list after more information surfaced about his abusive behavior toward his then-wife.

Gould, cut by the Bears in September, got the surprise recruitment call Thursday as he was taking his 3-year-old son swimming. Their first question: Did he have a valid passport?

“Getting a fresh start and being in a place like New York and playing for the Giants, as one of the charter franchises, is something special,” he said.


Giants kick returner Dwayne Harris suffered what looked like a serious injury when returning the final punt of the first half. He lay still on the ground for several minutes, was immobilized and carted off the field as teammates prayed. But he returned to field the first punt of the fourth quarter. Neither team reported any other serious injuries.

Ravens 16, Jets 24

Ravens Jets Football

New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) avoids Baltimore Ravens strong safety Matt Elam (26) and outside linebacker Albert McClellan (50) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Fitz Magic returned after Geno Smith’s sequel ended early, and the New York Jets got their first victory in over a month.

Fitzpatrick replaced an injured Smith and led the Jets on three scoring drives, and a rejuvenated defense came up with two rare interceptions in a 24-16 comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday that snapped a four-game skid.

“It’s a pretty ironic situation,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick came in for Smith, starting for the first time since 2014, in the second quarter and led the Jets on a go-ahead drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown catch by Matt Forte. Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 14 for 120 yards and a touchdown for the Jets (2-5), whose last win came at Buffalo on Sept. 15.

“It’s about damn time,” safety Calvin Pryor said.

Smith injured his right knee while taking a sack from Baltimore’s Matthew Judon and will have an MRI to determine if he needs to be sidelined. Center Nick Mangold (knee) and linebacker Bruce Carter (hamstring) were also injured.

Fitzpatrick was efficient after losing his job earlier in the week. Coach Todd Bowles decided to start Smith over Fitzpatrick , who had thrown an NFL-leading 11 interceptions and just five touchdown passes. Smith was 4 of 8 for 95 yards and a TD to Quincy Enunwa.

Justin Tucker put the Ravens (3-4) back up 16-14 as time expired in the first half with his third field goal, a 44-yarder.

Joe Flacco started for Baltimore after being questionable with a sore shoulder . He went a team-record 176 consecutive throws without an interception before Buster Skrine picked off his pass in the third quarter and returned it 51 yards to the Ravens 3.

But the Jets faltered and had to settle for Nick Folk’s 22-yard field goal and a 17-16 lead.

The defense made it two possessions in a row with a takeaway — after coming in with just four all season — as Marcus Gilchrist picked off Flacco and returned it 27 yards to the Ravens 24.

This time, the Jets cashed in, but not before some hot potato with the football.

On second-and-goal from the 6, Forte ran up the middle for 3 yards and had the ball ripped out of his hands. Timmy Jernigan recovered for Baltimore and tried to advance, but Brandon Marshall stripped the ball and recovered it for the Jets.

“At the end of the day, coach says the best thing for me to do was to fall on the ball,” Jernigan said. “From now on, I’m going to fall on the ball.”

Three plays later, Forte ran it in from 1 yard.

Forte finished with 100 yards and a TD on 30 carries and four catches for 54 yards and a score. He also joined Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Thurman Thomas and Herschel Walker as the only players with 8,000 yards rushing, 4,000 yards receiving and 20 TD receptions. With 3:04 left, Folk had a chance to seal the victory, but his 51-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Brandon Williams.

Again, the Jets’ defense came up big, with Marcus Williams knocking away Flacco’s desperation heave as the Ravens dropped their fourth straight — and second in a row at MetLife Stadium after losing 27-23 to the Giants last week .

Flacco was 25 of 44 for 248 yards and the two interceptions.

“Right now, it’s us versus ourselves,” Brandon Williams said. “We’ve got to look within ourselves and look at each other and fix the stupid stuff.”


Enunwa motored down the left sideline and outran two Ravens for a 69-yard touchdown in the first quarter. An excited Smith ran all the way down the field to celebrate with Enunwa as fireworks went off at MetLife Stadium.

It was Smith’s first touchdown pass since Week 8 of last season at Oakland, when he stepped in for an injured Fitzpatrick. It was also Smith’s first start since the 2014 season finale at Miami.


Baltimore took a 7-0 lead when rookie Lachlan Edwards, punting on the Jets’ first offensive series, had the snap go through his hands. Edwards couldn’t corral the football as Moore recovered and ran it in for 2 yards.


After giving up 171 yards rushing, including 111 to David Johnson, at Arizona, the Jets held Baltimore to a franchise-low 6 yards on the ground.

Terrance West, who came in having rushed for 295 yards in his last three games, finished with 10 yards on eight carries.


The Ravens had several starters sitting out: linebackers Terrell Suggs (biceps), Elvis Dumervil (foot), C.J. Mosley (thigh), wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (ankle), cornerback Shareece Wright (thigh), guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot).


The Jets honored the late Dennis Byrd with a pregame video tribute after he was killed last weekend in a car accident in Oklahoma.

Byrd was an inspiration to many after he overcame brief paralysis and walked again just a few months after injuring his neck during a play in 1992. The defensive lineman, who played for the Jets for four seasons, died in a two-vehicle collision last Saturday. He was 50.

Bills 25, Dolphins 28

Jay Ajayi, Mike Pouncey

Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) celebrates a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. To the right is Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey (51). (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — As the NFL’s newest rushing star, Jay Ajayi is carrying the Miami Dolphins toward respectability.

Ajayi tied a league record by surpassing 200 yards rushing for the second game in a row, helping Miami rally past the Buffalo Bills 28-25 Sunday.

Ajayi rushed for 214 yards in 29 carries after totaling 204 yards a week earlier in a win over Pittsburgh. He scored on a 4-yard run , and busted a 53-yarder when the Dolphins were pinned at their 3 and trailing in the fourth quarter.

The Dolphins (3-4) used an extra lineman much of the time to clear big holes for Ajayi, who tied the record for consecutive 200-yard games held by O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.

“It’s surreal to me,” Ajayi said. “The backs I’m in company with — that’s huge. Those are Hall of Fame guys, guys I look up to.”

Two weeks ago the Dolphins appeared strong contenders for the No. 1 draft pick in 2017, and the discovery of a ground game has revived their season under first-year coach Adam Gase.

“I know this — every time No. 23 kept getting the ball, he was popping a run,” Gase said. “I was leaning on him.”

Miami overcame an 11-point deficit with 16 minutes left to end a four-game winning streak by the Bills (4-3) and beat them for only the second time in their past seven meetings.

“We got outplayed, we got outcoached, we got out-everythinged,” Buffalo coach Rex Ryan said. “They were the more physical team today, there’s no doubt about that. They controlled the game.”

With Ajayi briefly sidelined by cramps, Damien Williams carried half the Bills’ weary defense into the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown run that put the Dolphins ahead with 3:56 to go. On their next possession, Ryan Tannehill hit Kenny Stills for a 66-yard score that made it 28-17.

The Dolphins recovered an onside kick with 13 seconds left to seal the victory.

Tyrod Taylor threw long to Marquise Goodwin for a 67-yard touchdown that put the Bills up 17-6 midway through the third quarter. The Dolphins responded with a 75-yard drive for their first touchdown, and scored 22 points in the final 15:18.

EMERGING STAR: Ajayi, a second-year pro from Boise State, is the only NFL rusher with a 200-yard game this year. He ran for 187 yards as a rookie and totaled 117 in Miami’s first five games this year before his breakout.

“The kid made some good runs, ran through some tackles,” Ryan said. “He did a great job bouncing and cutting it back.”

GIMPY McCOY: While Miami’s ground game clicked, Bills running back LeSean McCoy left in the third quarter after he aggravated a left hamstring injury.

McCoy, ranked second in the NFL in rushing, had been questionable after hurting himself in practice Wednesday. He said he felt great in warmups and started the game, but the injury began to bother him in the second half.

“I tried to take off and felt a little pain, and it just didn’t feel right,” McCoy said. “I came out, that’s the smart thing. I didn’t want to reinjure anything.”

McCoy totaled 11 yards in eight carries.

ILLEGAL HIT: Bills safety Aaron Williams missed the second half with a head and neck injury when blocked illegally by receiver Jarvis Landry, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness.

Landry led with his shoulder, launched into Williams and hit him high. Williams remained on his back for a couple of minutes before he slowly rose and was led to the locker room.

When asked if the hit was dirty, Landry said, “Call it what you want. It’s football.”

Williams was still under observation after the game, Ryan said. The veteran safety missed most of last season when he underwent neck surgery following an injury that threatened his career.

EDGE IN STATS: The Dolphins outgained Buffalo 454 yards to 267 and had a 14-minute edge in time of possession, but were hurt by 13 penalties for 116 yards.

NOTES: Goodwin was hurt on an incompletion late in the game and went into the concussion protocol. Dolphins S Isa Abdul-Quddus suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. … The Bills’ Lorenzo Alexander had a sack for the seventh game in a row. … Bills LB Shaq Lawson, their first-round draft pick, made his NFL debut after recovering from shoulder surgery and had one tackle in limited action.

Browns 17, Bengals 31

A.J. Green

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) catches a touchdown in the end zone in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton threw it high and far, and watched the ball come down in a scrum of orange and white jerseys.

The ball got tipped around, and Dalton heard the crowd erupt.

All he knew was that the Bengals had scored an improbable touchdown.

“I didn’t even know who caught it,” Dalton said. “When I saw everybody was high-fiving A.J., I knew who it was then.”

He should have guessed. Green tipped the ball and then grabbed it with his right hand while being pulled down on the final play of the first half for a 48-yard touchdown that highlighted a game full of big plays. Cincinnati’s 31-17 win over the Cleveland Browns helped the Bengals regain their footing in the AFC North.

The Bengals (3-4) are back in the race in the injury-depleted division. No play symbolized their revival more than the one at the end of the first half.

“I beat everybody down there, so I had first dibs on the ball,” Green said. “I tapped it to myself a couple of times.”

The Bengals ran off the field with a sense that the game had turned. The Browns (0-7) couldn’t believe another improbable moment in a season full of them.

“Those are plays that shouldn’t happen,” coach Hue Jackson said.

Another thing that shouldn’t happen: The Browns lost another quarterback. Cody Kessler completed 9 of 11 passes for 82 yards before suffering a concussion on a shovel pass in the second quarter.

Undrafted rookie Kevin Hogan — Cleveland’s sixth quarterback in seven games — completed 12 of 24 for 100 yards with a pair of interceptions.

Hogan ran seven times for a team-high 104 yards, including a 28-yard TD run that was the longest by a quarterback in Browns history.

“I felt very comfortable out there,” Hogan said. “I felt good in the huddle, leading the guys and getting to the right plays.”

Some takeaways from the Bengals’ fourth straight lopsided win in the rivalry:

BENGALS TURNAROUND: It was Cincinnati’s biggest game offensively since the previous time it played Cleveland. The 34 points were the Bengals’ most since a 37-3 win in Cleveland last December. The Bengals piled up 559 yards, their most since 1990. Green had eight catches for 169 yards. Jeremy Hill ran nine times for 168 yards — the most by a Bengal in seven years — including a 74-yard TD run.

“It’s definitely a start for us,” Hill said. “We’re not satisfied, but it’s a start in the right direction.”

DALTON FLAWLESS AGAIN: Dalton had one of the worst games of his career against Cleveland in 2014, when he finished with a minuscule passer rating of 2.0. In his past three games against them, he’s been flawless — 54 of 74 for 762 yards with seven TDs and no interceptions. That translates into a passer rating of 137.3.

BEAT THE COORDINATOR: The Bengals got the better of Jackson, who left to become Cleveland’s head coach after being the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Next up is his predecessor, Jay Gruden. The Bengals make their first trip to London to play Gruden’s Washington team.

BROWNS QB WOES: So, now what? Hogan joins Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst and Terrelle Pryor as Cleveland’s quarterbacks through the first seven games. Jackson said there’s a chance McCown could be available for a home game against the Jets next week despite a sore left shoulder. There’s no telling Kessler’s fate with the concussion.

“These quarterbacks only have so many of these hits in their body, you know?” Jackson said. “Pretty soon, guys don’t get up all the time, and that’s what’s been happening. It’s just been happening way too much, so on we go.”

CLEVELAND’S MISERY: The previous time the Browns were 0-7 was 1999, when they were a first-year expansion team. There’s been only one worse start in franchise history, 0-9 in 1975. This one is quickly turning into one for the record books.

“We definitely didn’t play our hardest today, or the way the Browns should play,” defensive lineman Danny Shelton said.

Colts 34, Titans 26

Robert Turbin, Karl Klug, Jason McCourty

Tennessee Titans defenders Karl Klug (97) and Jason McCourty (30) try to bring down Indianapolis Colts running back Robert Turbin (33) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts believe they got the confidence boost so desperately needed after blowing a late lead a week ago.

The Tennessee Titans are still searching for answers, angry that they just can’t beat their AFC South rival.

Andrew Luck threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns, even missing a trio of starters on offense, and the Colts scored the final 14 points Sunday in beating the Titans 34-26.

“This is big,” Colts running back Frank Gore said. “It’s a division win. I take my hat off to Tennessee. They are a good team, and they play hard. We knew coming in that it was going to be tough, but we had to win. Now we are 3-4, and we are going to move onto Kansas City and try to get a win again next week.”

Stringing together consecutive wins is something the Colts (3-4) have yet to do this season.

The Titans (3-4) thought they had figured out how to do just that themselves with this loss snapping a two-game winning streak.

Worse, the Titans now have never beaten Luck in eight games with the Colts winning their 10th straight and 16th in 16 games in this series. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey was very upset after the latest loss and eager for Thursday night’s game with Jacksonville.

“Me personally, I’ve been losing to this guy since college,” Casey said of Luck. “It hurts me deeply. I’ve just got to find a way, and my team just has to find ways to win these close games.”

Here are some things to know about the Colts’ latest win over Tennessee:


Luck had been sacked 23 times coming into this game, and the Colts started rookie Joe Haeg at left guard with Jack Mewhort out injured. They allowed only two sacks to a defense that came in fifth in the NFL after piling up six in each of the past two games. That gave Luck time to pick apart the Titans, who had been allowing only 235.5 yards passing per game good for 11th in the league.


Marcus Mariota now is just 2-8 at home with 19 turnovers in those games since being drafted by the Titans. He escaped a pair of would-be turnovers on a game-tying drive. An unnecessary roughness penalty on Josh McNary wiped out an interception by Patrick Robinson late in the third quarter, and then Mariota simply dropped the ball as he turned to hand off before falling on it for a 9-yard loss.

With the Titans trailing 27-23, Mariota was sacked and stripped by T.Y. McGill with Robert Mathis picking the ball up and running 14 yards for the clinching TD. “Again, one of those things we have to stop doing,” Mularkey said.


Adam Vinatieri, the 43-year-old kicker, set an NFL record with 43 consecutive made field goals. He came in two shy of the mark of 42 set by former Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt between 2002 and 2004, and Vinatieri kicked field goals of 28 and 33 yards, the second coming with 3:46 left in the third quarter. Vinatieri said he never concerns himself with personal goals and records, preferring a victory. “I’m sure I’ll sit back some day down the road and enjoy it,” Vinatieri said.


The Colts played without starting wide receiver Donte Moncrief, who was replaced by rookie Chester Rogers, and tight end Dwayne Allen. Erik Swoope replaced Allen, but Luck leaned heavily on T.Y. Hilton who caught seven passes for 133 yards, including a 37-yard TD. Tight end Jack Doyle was Luck’s second favorite target, catching nine passes and 78 yards and a TD that put the Colts ahead to stay with 1:55 left.


Mularkey fired special teams coordinator Bobby April on Oct. 3 after the Titans gave up a punt return for a TD. Special teams cost the Titans four points Sunday with a botched extra point after a kickoff on the opening drive, and Tennessee was beaten in the second quarter when Indianapolis recovered an onside kick. Phillip Supernaw had a chance to recover for Titans and couldn’t pull in the ball. The Colts settled for the first of Vinatieri’s field goals.

Raiders 33, Jaguars 16

Michael Crabtree, Telvin Smith, Prince Amukamara

Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) celebrates his two-yard touchdown reception in front of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara (21) and outside linebacker Telvin Smith (50) during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders have figured out how to win on the East Coast. The Jacksonville Jaguars have no idea how to fix their offensive problems.

Latavius Murray’s return from turf toe provided a spark for Oakland’s running game, and quarterback Derek Carr was efficient and effective in a33-16 victory against the listless Jaguars on Sunday.

Now, the Raiders (5-2) get to enjoy their week in the Sunshine State before playing at Tampa Bay next week. Oakland improved to 4-0 on the road (2-0 on the East Coast) and has the franchise’s best start to a season since 2001.

“I’m a Florida boy and it’s nice to be back in Florida weather for a little while,” Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack said. “Now we need to go out and get another victory next week.”

The Raiders will train in Bradenton next week before facing the Buccaneers.

The Jaguars (2-4), meanwhile, have a short week before playing at Tennessee. Although players suggested a quick turnaround could be good after an embarrassing effort Sunday, the reality is Jacksonville needs extra time to correct what’s quickly becoming the league’s worst offense.

Blake Bortles was off again Sunday, throwing for 246 yards and two interceptions. He had a garbage-time touchdown to Julius Thomas in which the veteran tight end made an impressive catch over Malcolm Smith’s back on a ball that easily could have been intercepted.

Bortles has been mostly ineffective all season. He has nine TD passes and 11 turnovers, and his inaccuracy, mechanics and decisions have become issues in his third season.

“I’m obviously not playing good,” Bortles said. “I couldn’t tell you. I wish I knew; I would fix it. It’s just a continual thing and we will hopefully find a way to turn it around and solve some problems.”

Benching Bortles seems like a long shot, especially on a short week, but it’s clear coach Gus Bradley is running out of excuses for his starter.

“I’m not going to sit here and protect every throw he makes, but you are right, there are throws we’d like to be better, and we’d like to have more accuracy,” Bradley said. “When we are in a situation where we aren’t doing what we want offensive, those things get more magnified.”

Bortles and Carr were two of the top four quarterbacks selected in the 2014 NFL draft.

Bortles is regressing while Carr is taking his game to the next level.

Carr completed 23 of 37 passes for 200 yards, with a touchdown, no sacks and no turnovers. His best throw was a rollout TD toss to Michael Crabtree late in the second quarter that put Oakland up 20-6.

“Derek has done a tremendous job this year of going to another level as a player,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “It was an example of a young man really growing in terms of his mastery of situational football, which you need to be good at. It was a great indication of him executing at the highest level.”

Here are some other takeaways from Oakland’s first win in three trips to Jacksonville:

JAGUARS MELTDOWN: Between penalties, fights and ejections, this was a meltdown for the Jaguars . They finished with 13 penalties for 122 yards and had two players ejected.

Receiver Marqise Lee was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and then defensive tackle Malik Jackson was penalized twice on the same play. He was ejected four plays later following an exchange with an official. Jackson ran to the locker room, seemingly eager to get off the field early.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Raiders receiver Johnny Holton were ejected for fighting in the final minutes of the lopsided matchup.

“As a professional in the NFL, that’s not what it’s supposed to look like by any means,” veteran linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “So that’s what makes you mad. We’re in the NFL. We need to have high standards for how we conduct ourselves at all times. I’ve never seen anything like that before. And that’s unacceptable on a lot of different levels.”

MURRAY MATTERS: Murray missed the last two games and clearly brought something extra with his return. He finished with 59 yards on 18 carries.

“Any back wants the ball in his hands, and I’m one of them,” Murray said. “When we run the ball, we do good things.”

DEL RIO’S RETURN: Del Rio heard boos throughout his return to Jacksonville. Most of them weren’t directed at him. Del Rio won in his first game in Jacksonville since getting fired by the Jaguars with five games remaining in the 2011 season.

“It is good to come back here and get a good effort in this stadium,” said Del Rio, who was given the game ball by Carr in the locker room.

Vikings 10, Eagles 21

Vikings Eagles Football

Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz., right, runs for a first down past Minnesota Vikings’ Everson Griffen during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A strong defense can only do so much.

Josh Huff returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, Carson Wentz outplayed Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles handed error-prone Minnesota its first loss, 21-10 on Sunday.

The Vikings relied on excellent defense and a mistake-free offense to start 5-0. But the Eagles exposed several of their weaknesses.

An offense missing both starting tackles and running back Adrian Peterson — not to mention QB Teddy Bridgewater — had big trouble against Philadelphia (4-2). Bradford was pressured all game and struggled for the first time in five games for his new team.

“We turned the ball over, we didn’t block people, we dropped balls, we got the quarterback hit, we gave up a 98-yard kickoff return , we fumbled a punt,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “So if you’re going to do those things, you have no chance to win.”

The Vikings have to figure things out quickly because they suddenly don’t look like the team to beat in the NFC North. They play at Chicago (1-6) next Monday, and then four of their next five opponents have a winning record with the other game against Arizona.

Meanwhile, the Eagles got back on track after two straight losses. They have a first-place showdown at Dallas (5-1) next Sunday night, and their next five opponents have winning records.

Here’s what we learned from Philadelphia’s win over Minnesota:

BLITZING BRADFORD: Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz used the blitz far more than usual, and it worked. The result was 19 hits on Bradford, six sacks, two recovered fumbles and one interception. Bradford seemed more concerned with avoiding the rush than keeping his eyes on downfield receivers.

“We knew traps would give him in trouble,” LB Connor Barwin said. “We knew when he gets pressure he likes to get the ball outside right away. And so we brought some of that pressure.”

CARSON’S GROWTH: Wentz had a rough first half, throwing two interceptions after only one pick in his first five games. He also missed some open receivers. But the No. 2 overall draft pick settled in nicely and led a couple scoring drives.

“Carson played well, played efficient, made some good throws,” coach Doug Pederson said. “He seems to get better each and every week. I don’t want to overload him, obviously. I think he’s in a good spot mentally with the offense, and we’ve just got to keep building on what we’ve begun with him.”

AGGRESSIVE PLAYCALLING: Pederson took a point off the board after a roughing penalty on the Vikings against Caleb Sturgis and went for the 2-point conversion. Wentz ran it in up the middle on a draw. Pederson then went for fourth-and-2 from the Vikings 44 with 1:21 left in the first half. Wentz gained 6 yards on a keeper and the drive ended with Sturgis making a 35-yard field goal for an 11-3 lead.

“For me, it was an easy situation and I had trust in our guys,” Pederson said.

LINE TROUBLES: Minnesota’s offensive line, missing starters Matt Kalil and Andre Smith for the rest of the season, had more problems. T.J. Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles started and newly signed left tackle Jake Long rotated in. His Vikings debut was forgettable: Long allowed two strip sacks .

“We need to do a better job,” Zimmer said. ” We’re not going to go down the street and pick up a bunch of guys. We need to get these guys better and do it quickly.”

HOME-FIELD DOMINANCE: The Eagles are 3-0 at home for the first time since 2014, when the team opened with six straight wins at Lincoln Financial Field. They’ve outscored the Steelers and Vikings 55-13 in the past two games.

Saints 21, Chiefs 27

Spencer Ware

Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Smith huddled with Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy in front of his locker, not more than 15 minutes after Kansas City had beaten the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

If they were already dissecting his performance, they weren’t going to find many faults.

Smith threw two touchdown passes in another calm, efficient outing, and Daniel Sorensen returned an interception of Drew Brees for another score as the Chiefs held on for a 27-21 victory.

“Everybody trusts Alex, man. Alex is a pro,” said Tyreek Hill, who made an acrobatic 38-yard TD catch to help the Chiefs (4-2) win their ninth consecutive home game. “He’s good. He’s the truth.”

Smith was helped by another big game from Spencer Ware, the one-time fill-in for Jamaal Charles who’s become a star. He had 77 yards rushing to go with a 46-yard TD catch.

“He runs with a lot of physicality and determination, but a lot of agility,” Smith said. “He’s a good mix and I think you just see a guy who has great vision.”

Brees tried to rally the Saints (2-4) once again, pulling them within 24-21 on a touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman with 2:33 left. But the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, Kansas City added a field goal and the Saints could do nothing in the final 28 seconds to change the outcome.

Brees finished with 367 yards and three TD passes, and became the first player with 100 games with at least 300 yards passing. But much of that offense came while he was trying to rally his team. It was another uneven performance away from the Superdome for the New Orleans quarterback, who was coming off a 465-yard game last week against Carolina.

“Listen, we’ve set the bar pretty high at home, haven’t we? We can’t expect 500 yards on the road,” he said. “It’s what home-field advantage is, right? We can definitely execute better though.”

Meanwhile, the Chiefs showed some moxie after falling into an early 7-0 hole.

Ware’s touchdown on a screen pass and Sorensen’s pick-six off a batted ball quickly turned the momentum, and Hill added his long touchdown reception to make it 21-7 at the break.

The Saints drew within a touchdown on Mark Ingram’s catch midway through the third quarter, but the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner fumbled inside the Kansas City 10 with 8:26 left in the game.

“That’s just everybody flying to the ball,” said the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters, who recovered it.

The fumble with the Chiefs leading 24-14 proved to be pivotal. New Orleans got the ball back and eventually scored, but the extra time it took may have cost them a chance to win the game.

“You play a good team on the road, penalties and turnovers, they can really do you in,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “Interception return for a touchdown on third-and-long, fumble in the red zone and we’re not a good enough team to overcome some of those mistakes.”


The Saints struggled with the crowd noise in Arrowhead Stadium, getting flagged for four false starts and a delay of game. They also got hit with two unnecessary roughness penalties, including one with just over two minutes left that kept them from getting the ball back. “With a veteran quarterback like that, you don’t really expect it,” Chiefs safety Eric Berry said.


The Saints defense voluntarily skipped their day off Monday to review video, and it seemed to pay off. One of the league’s worst defenses held Kansas City to just 326 yards of total offense.


The Chiefs’ Andy Reid coached his 300th game Sunday. Most of those were over his 14 seasons in Philadelphia, where he was 140-102-1. He is now 36-21 in his fourth season in Kansas City.


Saints: LB Dannell Ellerbe (quad), LB Stephone Anthony (hamstring) and CB Delvin Breaux (broken leg) left New Orleans without three defensive starters, while starting LG Andrus Peat (groin) was also out. Backup LG Senio Kelemete later left with a stinger, forcing Tim Lelito into the lineup.

Chiefs: Starting CB Phillip Gaines (knee) was inactive, while Charles (knee swelling) was active in a limited role . He had just one carry early in the game. “Things were going OK so I just let him ride there,” Reid said. “I’m trying to be as careful as I can with him in my ear wanting to play.”

Redskins 17, Lions 20

Matthew Stafford

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) breaks through the Washington Redskins defense during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Stafford dropped back and delivered a strike, threading a sharp pass between a lunging linebacker and a blanketing cornerback.

Stafford’s go-ahead, 18-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds left lifted the Detroit Lions to a 20-17 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

“I cut it loose and I kind thought to myself, ‘We’re going either win the game or lose the game on this one,'” Stafford said. “It was a tight window.”

The Lions (4-3) have won three straight thanks in large part to Stafford making clutch throws in the final minutes, giving him 24 career wins with game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

“He does not back down from tough situations,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. “He relishes in them.”

Stafford, who set up game-winning kicks in the previous two games, was 18 of 29 for 266 yards with one TD and no turnovers in the 100th game of his career.

“With Stafford, it’s never in the bag if it’s close,” Redskins safety Will Blackmon said. “I call him (Brett) Farve Jr. because those are the kind of attributes and intangibles he has.”

The Redskins (4-3) had won four straight and looked like they were going to extend their winning streak when Kirk Cousins scored a go-ahead TD on a 19-yard run with 1:05 left.

Washington, though, failed to stop Stafford from throwing or running on his last possession and could not overcome mistakes that included turnovers, a missed field goal and penalties.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden lamented the scheme his team used to on Stafford’s last snap.

“We should have blitzed seven or eight,” Gruden said. “But we were playing coverage that we’ve been playing for a long time and guys were comfortable with. (Linebacker) Will Compton missed it by a fraction of a hair.”


Cousins tried to make up for a lost fumble in the third quarter when he put Washington ahead. He faked a handoff to Chris Thompson, tucked the ball away and ran to the right around the outside to score against a defense that didn’t expect him to be carrying the ball in a critical situation. Cousins finished 30 of 39 for 301 yards with a TD and a fumble.

“We moved the football,” he said. “We were productive in that sense for much of the game and then you have to finish. Every play matters.”


Both teams lost their top cornerback to an injury during the game. Washington’s Josh Norman was knocked out of the game with a concussion, landing hard on his left shoulder after giving up a 52-yard pass to Marvin Jones in the third quarter. Detroit’s Darius Slay left the game with a hamstring injury in the second quarter.

The Redskins were without standout TE Jordan Reed for a second straight game because of a concussion. Vernon Davis replaced him in the lineup and had season highs with six receptions and 79 yards. Redskins OT Trent Williams had a knee sprain and is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.

Detroit’s banged-up backfield, which is missing Dwayne Washington (ankle) and Theo Riddick (ankle), created an opportunity for Justin Forsett to play a larger role in his second game with the team. Forsett was given the ball on four straight plays at one point and finished with eight carries for 33 yards and two receptions for 15 yards.


Detroit made field goals after each of Washington’s lost fumbles, including Matt Jones’ into the Lions end zone early in the game. Jones appeared to move down on the depth chart after the turnover as Thompson and Robert Kelley got more carries, but Gruden insisted the starter wasn’t benched. “I’m not going to give up on him for fumbling,” Gruden said.


Detroit’s Zach Zenner scored on a 1-yard run midway through the third quarter against a defense that hadn’t given up a TD in nine quarters, giving Detroit a 10-3 lead.


Stafford completed a 16-yard pass to Golden Tate in the first quarter that bounced off the back of Bashaud Breeland.


The Redskins play Cincinnati in London.

Detroit hits the road to face Houston after being at home for three straight games.

Chargers 33, Falcons 30 OT

Chargers Falcons Football

San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Lambo said kicking his game-winning field goal — his fourth of the game — was no more difficult than an extra point.

The hard work, according to the kicker, was handled by Denzel Perryman and San Diego’s defense.

Lambo’s 42-yard field goal in overtime gave San Diego its first road victory of the year, as the Chargers rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 33-30 on Sunday.

Perryman, the linebacker still obviously affected by a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the Chargers’ Oct. 9 loss to Oakland, delivered two key plays late in the game. His interception of Matt Ryan’s pass for Julio Jones set up Lambo’s tying 33-yard field goal with 18 seconds remaining in regulation.

Perryman’s fourth-and-1 stop on running back Devonta Freeman gave San Diego the ball at Atlanta’s 43 for the Chargers’ winning drive.

“Credit the defense,” Lambo said. “Everyone on the team is making my job easy.”

Perryman grabbed Freeman’s legs behind the line for the key tackle on the Falcons’ gamble.

“It was just instincts,” Perryman said. “On fourth-and-1, it was a no-brainer that they were going to run the ball. … I just got Freeman’s leg and hung on.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn stood by the play call even though Freeman lost two yards on a run three plays earlier.

“Just a gut feeling I had,” Quinn said of the fourth-down decision. “Go be aggressive and get that half yard that we needed and when we didn’t get it that was (the loss).”

The Chargers (3-4) trailed 27-10 in the second quarter after the Falcons scored three straight touchdowns.

“There was no panic,” said Chargers coach Mike McCoy. “There was nothing. It was just, ‘Hey, you’ve got to believe in what we’re doing.’ It’s just one play at a time.”

Melvin Gordon ran for 68 yards and two touchdowns and added a 5-yard scoring catch early in the fourth quarter, cutting Atlanta’s lead to 30-27.

Atlanta’s Matt Bryant missed his attempt for a 58-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.

The Falcons (4-3) have lost two straight.

“It’s frustrating,” said offensive tackle Jake Matthews. “We were up big and let it get away.”

Jones had nine catches for 174 yards.

PROTEST: Five San Diego players raised their clenched right fists as their protest during the national anthem. Standing together on the San Diego sideline, offensive linemen D.J. Fluker, Chris Hairston and Joe Barksdale and linebacker Joshua Perry held up their fists as they stood. Offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell, inactive and not in uniform, also raised his fist as part of the protest.

There were no demonstrations from Falcons players.

LONG ROAD: The Chargers had lost 10 of 11 road games. The stretch that began with the final road game in 2014 included losses in San Diego’s first three road games this season.

200 AGAIN: Ryan passed for 273 yards for his NFL-record 46th consecutive game with more than 200 yards passing. He threw a 17-yard scoring pass to tight end Jacob Tamme in the second quarter.

THROWBACK: The Falcons wore black jerseys in what they called a “modern interpretation” of their 1966 uniforms. Due to NFL safety rules which require teams to use only one helmet, they wore their normal black helmets, though they switched to the original Falcons logo. They wore red helmets in 1966.

INJURIES: Chargers defensive tackle Caraun Reid was carted off with a left knee injury in the first quarter and did not return. Reid had a teammate fall on his leg on a Falcons completion to tight end Levine Toilolo.

Tevin Coleman led Atlanta with 64 yards rushing, including a 30-yard touchdown run, before leaving with a hamstring injury. Quinn said he had no immediate update on the severity of the injury.


The Chargers visit Denver next Sunday, while the Falcons play another home game against Green Bay.

Buccaneers 34, 49ers 17

Jacquizz Rodgers, DeForest Buckner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) runs in front of San Francisco 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner (99) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — For a guy who started the season sitting on the couch, Jacquizz Rodgers sure has made the most of his long-awaited opportunity to be a featured running back in the NFL.

Rodgers followed his first career 100-yard game by rushing for a career-high 154 yards and Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 34-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

“I’ve been waiting on this moment,” Rodgers said. “My job is to take full advantage of it.”

After being cut just before the season by Chicago and signing with Tampa Bay following the opener, Rodgers has filled in admirably for injured Doug Martin and Charles Sims to help Tampa Bay (3-3) get its season back on track following three straight losses.

He set career highs with 30 carries for 101 yards two weeks ago against Carolina and then returned from the bye with an even better performance against the 49ers. These last two games marked the first time in his six-year career that Rodgers has had at least 20 carries or 100 yards in a game.

“I feel like I have that swag I had in college,” Rodgers said. “You know you’re going in and you’re going to touch the ball a lot of times. It helps you run with a lot of confidence knowing that you’re not just going to get the ball five times. It helps me get into the groove.”

The Bucs fell behind by 14 points early before scoring 27 straight behind a 249-yard rushing performance to deal the Niners (1-6) their sixth straight loss for San Francisco’s longest losing streak since 2008.

Mike Evans caught eight passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns , Russell Shepard scored on a 19-yard pass from Winston and Peyton Barber iced the game with a 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to help Tampa Bay win its second straight game around its bye week.

Colin Kaepernick struggled in his second start of the season for the 49ers, going just 16 for 34 for 143 yards and turning the ball over twice after kneeling once again for the national anthem. Kaepernick replaced Blaine Gabbert as starter last week in Buffalo but the team has shown no signs of improving with him at the helm.

“Forward, backward, we’re not doing what we need to do to be successful,” coach Chip Kelly said. “We turned the ball over too many times to be successful today.”

OPPORTUNISTIC PLAY: The Bucs turned two turnovers by San Francisco into 10 points in the third quarter. The first came when Niners rookie Aaron Burbridge collided with punt returner Jeremy Kerley, who was calling for a fair catch. That led to a muff that Tampa Bay recovered, setting up a field goal by Roberto Aguayo. On San Francisco’s next possession, Jude Adjei-Barimah blitzed and forced a fumble by Kaepernick that Gerald McCoy recovered. Winston then threw a 3-yard TD pass to Evans to make it 27-14.

POROUS DEFENSE: Rodgers didn’t take long to become the sixth straight running back to top the 100-yard mark in a game against the 49ers. His 45-yard run in the second quarter set up a field goal by Roberto Aguayo and gave him 102 yards on the day. Rodgers joined Fozzy Whitaker, Christine Michael, Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson and LeSean McCoy as backs to gain at least 100 yards against San Francisco this season. The Niners are on pace to allow the most yards rushing in a season since 1981.

FAST START: For the second time in the past three home games, the Niners broke out to a 14-0 lead and lost it all by halftime. Kaepernick led a 75-yard drive to open the game, capped by Mike Davis’ 4-yard run . Gerald Hodges’ interception of Winston then set up a 17-yard TD pass from Kaepernick to Shaun Draughn. Tampa Bay scored 17 points in the second quarter to take the lead. Three weeks ago, Dallas fell behind 14-0 before tying the game at halftime and winning 24-17.

“Right now we haven’t been playing 60 minutes, we’ve had good spurts and we’ve had flashes, but we haven’t been able to do that on a continual basis,” Kaepernick said.

MISSED KICK: Aguayo, a second-round draft pick, missed his fifth field goal of the season when he was short from 50 yards in the fourth quarter. He is 6-for-11 on the year and has also missed one extra point.

Patriots 27, Steelers 16

LeGarrette Blount

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) scores during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Their momentum gone and the Pittsburgh Steelers surging behind backup quarterback Landry Jones, the New England Patriots needed something to get them going.

They found inspiration in the usual places: LeGarrette Blount’s churning legs, Tom Brady’s accurate right arm and Rob Gronkowski’s massive hands.

Twice the undermanned Steelers needed one stop to give their offense the ball with a chance to take the lead on Sunday afternoon.

And twice the Patriots instead went right down the field instead, pulling away for a 27-16 victory that left little doubt as to where the balance of power in the AFC sits as the season reaches its halfway point.

The Steelers were within 14-13 when Blount broke runs of 11 and 25 yards to set up a 36-yard touchdown from Brady to Gronkowski early in the third quarter.

When another Pittsburgh field goal brought Pittsburgh within four, the Patriots responded with another long touchdown drive fueled by a 37-yard catch-and-run by Gronkowski that set up Blount’s second touchdown of the game.

“It was good to score like that and good to make plays in the second half that we needed to,” Brady said. “They certainly made it tough on us.”

Maybe, but the Steelers (4-3) also made it tough on themselves. Pittsburgh scored one touchdown in four trips to the red zone and was flagged 10 times for 85 yards, including a holding call in the second quarter that wiped out a touchdown pass that would have tied the game.

Instead, Chris Boswell missed a 42-yard field goal and Pittsburgh never legitimately came close to evening the score again.

“You can’t waste red zone trips, you have to come off blocks and make tackles in the run game, you can’t give up explosion plays, we did,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “That’s why we lost.”

Brady, Blount and Gronkowski had plenty to do with it too. Brady completed 19 of 26 for 222 yards and two touchdowns to improve to 9-2 against Pittsburgh. Gronkowski caught four passes for 93 yards and his 68th touchdown catch, tying Stanley Morgan for the most in club history. Blount finished with 127 yards rushing and two scores against the team he walked away from 2014 .

“His runs were able to settle us down,” New England coach Bill Belichick said of Blount.

New England (6-1) remained perfect since Brady returned from his four-game “Deflategate” suspension and while the Patriots lost a pair of fumbles they also didn’t throw an interception, making them the third team since 1960 to get through the first seven weeks of the season without throwing it to the other team, joining the 1960 Browns and 2008 Redskins.


Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley hardly limited the playbook with Jones under center. The fourth-year quarterback did what Roethlisberger likes to do, particularly getting the ball to running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Bell finished with 149 yards of total offense and Brown caught seven passes for 106 yards, but too often Pittsburgh settled for field goals (or field goal attempts) when touchdowns were required.

“We just got to the red zone a lot of times and turned the ball over, you can’t have that,” Bell said. “I mean, it is a small margin for error against a team like that.”


The 39-year-old quarterback who once ran the 40-yard dash at the combine in a not-so fleet 5.28 seconds can still run away from the bad guys. Brady ran for three first downs in the first half, mashing his way on a quarterback sneak and twice escaping pressure and outrunning defenders a decade or more younger for the necessary yardage.


New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a regular season extra point during his rookie year in 2006 and then didn’t miss another one until last week against Cincinnati, an NFL record streak of 479 attempts between misfires (though there was that costly missed kick in last year’s AFC championship game ). Gostkowski didn’t have to wait nearly as long until watching a second one go astray. Gostkowski misfired on a third-quarter extra point that kept the Steelers within seven.

“This is a tough place to kick,” Belichick said. “I’m not making any excuses. The kicker on the other side of the field had trouble too.”

In addition to the 42-yarder he missed, Boswell misfired on a 54-yarder with the Steelers down two scores in the fourth quarter.


“We’re looking like garbage right now. This is terrible right now.” — Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier on his team’s run defense.


Patriots: visit Buffalo next Sunday. The Bills beat the Brady-less Patriots 16-0 in New England on Oct. 2.

Seahawks 6, Cardinals 6 Tie

Seahawks Cardinals Football

Seattle Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) reacts to missing a game-winning field goal as punter Jon Ryan (9) looks on during overtime of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The game ended in overtime in a 6-6 tie. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Stephen Hauschka needed only to make a 27-yard field goal to give the Seattle Seahawks an overtime victory over Arizona.

Chandler Catanzaro’s only had to hit a 24-yarder to give the Cardinals a win.

Such kicks are often called automatic. They aren’t.

Hauschka’s kick was wide left with 7 seconds left after Catanzaro booted one off the left upright, and the game between two teams that have dominated the NFC West in recent years ended in a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

“I make that kick 999,999 times out of a million,” Catanzaro said.

The last tie in the NFL came in 2014, when Carolina and Cincinnati tied 37-37. It was the Cardinals’ first tie since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis, and the first for Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976. There had not been an NFL tie with no touchdowns scored since 1972.

“That was really an amazing football game,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I don’t think I have ever been in a tie before and my brain doesn’t really know where to go.

The Cardinals (3-3-1) dominated the game statistically and looked to be in shape to win it after Carson Palmer’s 40-yard pass to J.J. Nelson set up Catanzaro’s short kick.

The Seahawks (4-1-1), stuffed throughout regulation by the Arizona defense, took over and Russell Wilson completed passes of 31 yards to Jermaine Kearse and 27 yards to Doug Baldwin to give Hauschka his short attempt.

“We work hard to make those kicks all season long and it is disappointing when it doesn’t go well,” Hauschka said. “I feel like I let my team down.”

Both kickers made field goals on their teams’ first possession of overtime.

Catanzaro, who kicked field goals of 46 and 45 yards, also had a 39-yard field goal blocked by a stunning play by Bobby Wagner .

Until overtime, the only time the Seahawks crossed midfield came when Tanner McEnvoy blocked Ryan Quigley’s punt with 4:33 to play. That gave Seattle the ball on the Arizona 27 and led to Hauschka’s 40-yard field goal that tied it at 3 with four minutes to play.

“It’s disappointing to put up those kind numbers and not come away with points because of the kicking game,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. “It’s disheartening to play that well and not come away with a victory.”

Catanzaro’s 46-yard field goal put Arizona up 3-0 with 3:11 left in the first half, and the Cardinals nursed that lead until the blocked punt.

On a bruising night, Arizona’s David Johnson had a career-high 41 touches. He carried the ball 33 times for 113 yards and caught eight passes for 58 yards. Wilson, obviously slowed by leg problems, completed 24 of 37 passes for 225 yards, most of the damage coming in the overtime. He carried the ball once for minus-2 yards.

Arizona’s defense nearly scored halfway through the fourth quarter when Chandler Jones hit Wilson as he was about to pass and the ball bounced toward the Seattle goal line, but Michael Glowinski jumped on it for Seattle at the 4-yard line, a 20-yard loss.

The Cardinals finished with a 443-257 advantage in yards, 23-11 in firsts downs and 46:21 to 28:39 in time of possession.

Arizona had one drive end when the Cardinals failed on fourth-and-1 from the Seattle 19. And Johnson came so close to scoring a game-winning touchdown on Arizona’s last possession. He ran four yards to the 1-yard line and his foot knocked over the pylon as he was knocked outside, but officials did not review to see if it was a score.


The Cardinals had the first scoring threat. Catanzaro lined up for a 39-yard field goal but 245-pound linebacker Wagner jumped over Arizona long snapper Aaron Brewer like an Olympic hurdler and blocked it. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians argued loudly for a penalty and was charged with a timeout when he challenged a play that is not reviewable. That proved significant when the Cardinals couldn’t stop the clock to get off a short field goal attempt as the first half ended.


The Cardinals were without speedster John Brown after doctors diagnosed sickle cell traits that were causing leg pain. The other wide receiver named Brown, Jaron, left the game early with a knee injury, depleting is usually one of the league’s deeper wide receiver corps.


The Seahawks play at New Orleans next Sunday, while the Cardinals play at Carolina next Sunday.

Texans 9, Broncos 27

Texans Broncos Football

Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) scores a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER (AP) — Brock Osweiler took one last dig at Denver’s fans after Houston’s 27-9 loss to the Broncos. He figured they would “be a little bit louder with the boos.”

Denver’s defenders ruined Osweiler’s homecoming by hurrying, hitting and harassing their ex-quarterback Monday night, even if his ears weren’t ringing from the crowd noise.

Osweiler famously declared upon signing his $72 million, four-year deal that he chose Houston over Denver because the Texans gave him the better chance to succeed.

“It’s not all about money in life,” said Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr., who recovered one of Osweiler’s three fumbles. “He had a great situation, great team here, better receivers to me. So, I think he already knows he made the wrong choice.”

Not so, said Osweiler.

“I never live my life looking in the rearview mirror,” Osweiler said after a night in which his head was on a constant swivel with the likes of Von Miller, Shane Ray and Derek Wolfe coming after him.

Coach Gary Kubiak returned to the sideline following his second health scare in three years, and he liked what he saw as the Broncos (5-2) snapped a two-game skid in sending Osweiler and the rest of the overwhelmed Texans home at 4-3.

C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker energized Denver’s sputtering ground game, both running for a touchdown. Anderson gained 107 yards on 16 carries and Booker had 83 on 17 hand-offs.

But the big story was Trevor Siemian, Peyton Manning’s surprise successor, outplaying Osweiler, who was groomed to be Denver’s next QB for the last four years.

Osweiler left for bigger numbers in Texas — both in his bank account and his stat sheet — but he spent the whole game quickly getting rid of the ball, constantly overthrowing DeAndre Hopkins in double coverage and otherwise running for his life from Miller & Co.

Miller wore a “REVENGE” hoodie to his postgame interview, but he said it was a shoutout to Drake, who wore Miller’s No. 58 jersey at a recent concert in Colorado.

“Me and Brock, we’re good. I love the guy. I wish him the best,” Miller said.

Osweiler was just 22 for 41 for 131 yards with no TDs and no interceptions. Siemian was 14 of 25 for 157 yards, a TD and no interceptions.

Osweiler also lost a fumble at his own 25-yard line. It was scooped up by Harris on the first play of the fourth quarter and led to Brandon McManus’ chip-shot field goal that made it 24-9.

Of the dozen passes thrown his way, Hopkins caught just five of them, covering 36 yards, and no other Texan gained more. And Houston was limited to Nick Novak’s field goals from 43, 43 and 39 yards.

Anderson scored on a 7-yard run and Siemian hit Demaryius Thomas from4 yards out as the Broncos took a 14-6 halftime lead.

Novak’s 29-yarder made it 14-9, but Darian Stewart punched the ball from running back Alfred Blue’s grasp and linebacker Todd Davis plucked it out of the air . That led to Booker’s 1-yard TD run .

Kubiak, who suffered a mini-stroke while coaching the Texans in 2013, missed Denver’s last game after suffering a complex migraine, which can mimic a stroke.

Like Osweiler, this was his first game against his former team, and cornerback Aqib Talib gave him a game ball afterward.

“Coaches get game balls when players play good, I can tell you that,” Kubiak said.

Osweiler, who skipped out on the Broncos’ White House trip and ring ceremony, embraced Siemian, Kubiak and several other Broncos after the game.

“It was really great to see some familiar faces and give those guys a hug,” he said.

STREAK BREAKER: Denver’s dazzling defense is a real dawdler , having allowed scores on five of six opening drives coming into the game. That didn’t stop them from deferring when they won the toss. The Texans went three and out on their first two possessions. “It was a big emphasis for us,” Miller said.

OH NO, OKUNG: Broncos left tackle Russell Okung cleared concussion protocol to make the start. But he was rusty a week after his pair of penalties resulted in a nullified touchdown and a safety in a 21-13 loss at San Diego. This time, he was whistled for a pair of holds that negated a nifty first-down run by Booker and a 28-yard grab by Thomas.

INJURIES : Texans right tackle Derek Newton was carted off the field with what looked like serious injuries to both knees in the first half. He crumpled to the grass while blocking Miller. Newton was dropping back to pass block midway through the first quarter when his left knee buckled first and then his right knee gave way. For Denver, linebackers Brandon Marshall (leg) and Dekoda Watson (head) left in the second half.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s