2017 NFL Week 6 Tuesday Afternoon QB

Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders

Here is a recap of Week 6 of the 2017 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.

Bye: Bills, Bengals, Cowboys, Seahawks

Eagles 28, Panthers 23

Zach Ertz, Mike Adams

Philadelphia Eagles’ Zach Ertz (86) catches a touchdown pass as Carolina Panthers’ Mike Adams (29) defends in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carson Wentz said he saw some things from the Carolina Panthers he hadn’t seen on film leading to three first-half sacks and plenty of pressure.

It didn’t bother the Philadelphia Eagles’ second-year quarterback.

Wentz came up big in a huge game, throwing for 222 yards and three touchdowns against one of the NFL’s top defenses, and the Eagles beat the Panthers 28-23 on Thursday night to improve to an NFC-best 5-1.

“We kept backs in to handle their linebackers and we did a better job cleaning it up in the second half,” said Wentz, who wasn’t sacked in the second half.

The Eagles turned two interceptions deep in Carolina territory into 15 points. Wentz teamed with Zach Ertz on two touchdown passes, and LaGarrette Blount scored on a 2-point conversion run for an 18-10 lead in the third quarter. Wentz added a 24-yard scoring pass to Nelson Agholor in the fourth quarter.

“He’s a great leader of this football team, even in his second year,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said about Wentz. “Guys really respect the way he plays. It’s exciting to see that.”

Cam Newton threw three interceptions for Carolina (4-2).

The first two interceptions came inside Carolina’s 20, but weren’t Newton’s fault. He was hit by Fletcher Cox as he released one pass, and running back Jonathan Stewart bobbled another pass resulting in a pick. Newton’s third interception — by Jalen Mills with 3:06 left — ended a chance for the go-ahead score.

Carolina had one last shot to win, but turned it over on downs at midfield.

“We gave them layups, giving them the ball inside our 20,” Newton said. “Against a good team like that, well that’s not good ingredients to win. We can’t put our defense in that type of position.”

Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was placed into the concussion protocol after his body crumpled following a collision with Eagles pulling guard Brandon Brooks. Kuechly missed nine games over the past two seasons with two concussions. All of the Eagles’ touchdowns came after Kuechly left the game late in the second quarter.

Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said it won’t be easy to replace Keuchly, adding “Luke is a big part of what we do.”

Added defensive tackle Kawann Short: “You saw a quick prayer, but then the game has to go on.”

Newton gave the Panthers a 10-3 lead on his 51st career touchdown rushing in the second quarter. He kept the ball on a read option and juked cornerback Rasul Douglas on the 16-yard run.

Douglas get revenge on Carolina’s next possession, intercepting Newton’s pass after Cox crashed into Newton as he was throwing, causing the ball to float high into the air.

EAGLES’ COX RETURNS: After a two-game absence due to a calf injury, Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox returned and was a dominant force. Along with the tipped pass on Newton’s interception, he also had a sack and two quarterback hurries. “There’s no way I could sit him tonight,” Pederson said. “It was too important to him.”

NO RUNNING GAME: If it hadn’t been for Newton , the Panthers would not have had any running game to speak of against the Eagles. Newton ran for 71 yards and the touchdown, but running backs Jonathan Stewart, Christian McCaffrey and Fozzy Whittaker were limited to 1 yard on 13 carries.

“We have a lot of things to look at. We really do,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of the running game.”

BLOUNT POUNDS AWAY: The bruising Blount didn’t find the end zone for a touchdown, although he did score on a 2-point conversion after the Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei jumped early on an extra point attempt. That prompted coach Doug Pederson to go for two. Blount finished with 67 yards on 14 carries.

PEPPERS’ MILESTONE: Julius Peppers needed one sack to become the fifth player to reach 150 since they became an official statistic in 1982. The 37-year-old Peppers didn’t waste any time reaching it, sacking Wentz on the first drive of the game and forcing a fumble.

LINEUP CHANGE: Panthers cornerback Daryl Worley was benched in the first half for Kevin Seymour.

INJURIES:

Eagles: Linebacker Jordan Hicks left the game early with an ankle injury. Defensive end Brandon Graham briefly left with a shoulder injury.

Panthers: Aside from Kuechly’s injury, Whittaker was carted to the locker room in the first quarter with a right ankle injury and did not return.

UP NEXT:

Eagles: Host the Washington Redskins on “Monday Night Football” on Oct. 23

Panthers: At the Chicago Bears on Oct. 22.

Patriots 24, Jets 17

Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Patriots won 24-17. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Tom Brady’s record-setting victory was hardly smooth and easy. It also wasn’t the prettiest of his 187 regular-season wins.

Brady, who broke a tie with Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, had to rally the New England Patriots from a two-touchdown deficit in the first half before holding on for a 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday to claim first place in the AFC East.

“I wish we had done better, but we won,” said Brady, who was limited early in the week with a sore left shoulder. “Probably a lot to learn from it. I wish we could have played better offensively. We got down early and came back. A good series before the half. We hung in there at the end.”

The Patriots (4-2) were playing their first game in 10 days after beating Tampa Bay 19-14 on Oct. 5, and appeared a bit rusty early as they fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter against the surprising Jets (3-3).

“This was something we needed,” said safety Devin McCourty, who had an interception. “We haven’t played particularly well in the fourth quarter. I thought this was big for us as a team to win when we had to play well in the fourth quarter.”

New York had a chance to tie the game after getting the ball back with 1:53 remaining, but the Patriots’ 32nd-ranked overall defense held on — forcing Josh McCown to throw incomplete on a desperation heave on fourth-and-16 from the Patriots 49, and ending the Jets’ three-game winning streak.

“The mood in this locker room,” running back Matt Forte said, “is we gave the game away.”

Brady, who already had the NFL mark for total victories, was visibly frustrated early, but got going in this one just before halftime as the Patriots tied it at 14 with 9 seconds left in the second quarter on a 2-yard TD catch by Rob Gronkowski .

Brady then marched the Patriots down the field on their opening drive of the second half, going eight plays and 75 yards to give New England its first lead at 21-14 with a 33-yard pass to Gronkowski .

Brady finished 20 of 38 for 257 yards with two touchdowns to Gronkowski and an interception. Dion Lewis also had a 1-yard TD run.

“Every time he gets mad, you know he’s in the game,” said Gronkowski, who missed the last game with a thigh injury. “It gets you fired up. Sometimes you get scared you got him fired up.”

After Stephen Gostkowski’s 28-yard field goal made it 24-14 50 seconds into the fourth quarter, New York appeared to make it a one-score game again on its next possession as Austin Seferian-Jenkins took a short pass from McCown and reached over the goal line for a 4-yard touchdown .

But officials reviewed the score and said the video replay showed that Seferian-Jenkins slightly lost control of the ball when Malcolm Butler nudged it loose as the tight end was crossing the plane of the goal line. Seferian-Jenkins didn’t regain control until after he had stepped out of bounds, resulting in a touchback — despite the ball never hitting the ground. That gave the Patriots back the ball, with the Jets’ sideline irate.

“I feel like I scored,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “But at the end of the day, that’s what the refs called. I’m going to go with what the refs said. But I’ve got to have better ball security.”

Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was less diplomatic: “I’m pretty sure everybody’s going to look back and say that was a B.S. call.”

Added McCourty: “We felt the ball was juggled a little bit, but I didn’t know which way it was going to go. As a defense, we’ll take it any day.”

But after the Patriots went three-and-out, the Jets were able to cut it to a one-score game on Chandler Catanzaro’s 28-yard field goal with 3:40 left. But their last-minute comeback attempt fell short.

QUICK START

The Jets talked all week about starting faster and McCown got things going right away in this one, capping a 13-play, 88-yard opening drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Seferian-Jenkins. They converted three third-down situations on the drive.

The Patriots’ second possession ended on a fumble by Mike Gillislee, and New York turned that into another score. McCown floated a pass over the outstretched arms of Butler and right to Jeremy Kerley, who leaped over the cornerback to snatch the ball and then skipped into the end zone untouched to make it 14-0.

It marked the first time New England trailed by 14 or more in the first half since Week 4 of the 2014 season at Kansas City.

STATS

Gostkowski was wide right on a 47-yard attempt in the second quarter — his first miss after making 12 straight. … McCown finished 31 of 47 for 354 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. … Seferian-Jenkins had a career-high eight catches for 46 yards.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Patriots have won six of the last seven meetings with the Jets and 11 of the last 13. They have also won 11 straight road games, the second-best streak in team history since they won 12 in a row from 2006-08.

UP NEXT

Patriots: home vs. Atlanta in a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl.

Jets: at Miami next Sunday.

Dolphins 20, Falcons 17

Dolphins Falcons Football

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills celebrates after catching a touchdown pass past Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins finally generated some offense.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons totally fell apart.

The result: a stunning 20-17 victory for the Dolphins.

 

Cutler threw a pair of touchdown passes, Cody Parkey kicked a pair of field goals and Miami rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit, rekindling memories of Atlanta’s epic collapse against New England in the Super Bowl.

And next up for the Falcons — a rematch against the Patriots.

“It’s tough,” Atlanta linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. said. “We experienced that feeling before in the Super Bowl.”

Ryan, who had five interceptions in the two previous games, threw another crucial pick with the Falcons in position to at least attempt a tying field goal.

Cordrea Tankersley got a hand on a pass intended for Austin Hooper and Reshad Jones swooped in to make the game-clinching interception inside the 10 with 39 seconds remaining.

“I kept my eyes on the ball and made a great play,” Jones said. “This was a huge win for us against a great offense.”

The Falcons don’t look so great at the moment.

Ryan is just one interception away from his total for all of last season, when he was the league’s MVP.

“I understood we were in field goal range to tie the game. I also understood that we had plenty of time on the clock,” Ryan said of the final possession.

“It was a throw I felt good about, so I let it rip. Just a good play by them. Sometimes, that’s how it goes.”

Parkey put the Dolphins (3-2) ahead for the first time with 2:30 remaining, booting a 38-yard field goal after a gutsy play by receiver Jarvis Landry, who was hit by six players but still managed to power ahead for a crucial first down.

Cutler, who struggled in his first four games as the Dolphins’ fill-in starter after putting off retirement, completed 19 of 33 for 151 yards, including scoring passes to Landry and Kenny Stills. Jay Ajayi had a big game on the ground, rushing for 130 yards.

“We can’t be satisfied with this game,” Cutler said. “This is a one-week business.”

The Falcons (3-2) appeared headed for an easy victory, especially against a team that had scored only three offensive touchdowns all season.

Marvin Hall, promoted a day earlier from the practice squad because of an injury to starting receiver Mohamed Sanu, hauled in a 40-yard touchdown with his first career reception . Tevin Coleman scored on a 6-yard run, and Matt Bryant had a 50-yard field goal.

Cutler failed to complete a pass longer than 12 yards over the first two quarters and was picked off by Deion Jones late in the half.

But the Dolphins totally turned things around in the second half, taking advantage of two huge mistakes by the Falcons.

“Today was the first time the offense kind of gave the defense a little hope,” Miami coach Adam Gase said.

A silly roughing-the-quarterback penalty on Grady Jarrett negated another interception by Jones deep in Atlanta territory, and Miami scored on the very next play when Cutler flipped a 7-yard touchdown pass to Landry.

The Falcons also botched a punt with a snap that may have struck the up-back. Matt Bosher picked it up and tried to run but was tackled far short of the first down, setting up the Dolphins to drive for Parkey’s 49-yard field goal, which tied the game at 17 with 8½ minutes remaining.

Miami opened the second half with its most impressive drive, a 15-play, 75-yard effort that ended with Cutler’s 11-yard scoring pass to Stills .

“This one hurts,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “For us to be the team we can be, we’ve got to be more consistent.”

SECOND-HALF WOES

The Falcons have been outscored 72-40 after halftime this season.

That lack of a finishing touch has led to two straight home losses.

In their previous game, the Falcons squandered a 10-7 halftime edge against the Buffalo Bills and lost 23-17.

This was much worse.

Atlanta managed only 106 yards and five first downs in the second half. Ryan finished 24 of 35 for 248 yards, but just 97 yards came after halftime.

INJURY REPORT

Dolphins center Mike Pouncey went out in the second quarter with a possible concussion and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: Return home to face the New York Jets for the second time this season. The AFC East rivals met in Week 2, with the Jets prevailing 20-6.

Falcons: Travel to New England for a primetime rematch against the Patriots, who rallied from a 28-3 deficit in the Super Bowl to win in overtime.

 

Browns 17, Texans 33

Deshaun Watson

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson wants more.

After setting two rookie touchdown records in a win over Cleveland on Sunday, Watson wasn’t completely satisfied.

Watson threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first rookie in NFL history with at least three TD passes in three straight games, helping give the Texans the 33-17 victory.

Watson has thrown 15 touchdown passes this season, the most in NFL history by a rookie in a team’s first six games. It equals the number of TD throws Brock Osweiler had in 15 games last season.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s straight,” Watson said when told of the records. “I should have had more. I missed some opportunities.”

The Browns lost their 16th in a row on the road.

Cleveland made yet another change at quarterback this week, benching rookie DeShone Kizer, who had thrown a league-high nine interceptions, for Kevin Hogan to make his first NFL start. The results were much the same as Hogan threw three interceptions to keep the Browns (0-6) winless and drop coach Hue Jackson’s record in Cleveland to 1-21.

Jackson said he didn’t consider benching Hogan at halftime despite his terrible first half.

“No. I made the decision I was playing Kevin for this game,” he said. “I didn’t think that’d be fair to put DeShone into the game. I made a commitment to do this for the week. Good or bad.”

Jackson wouldn’t say who will start next week, but left the door open for Kizer’s return.

Johnathan Joseph had two interceptions, including one he returned for 82 yards to boost the Texans’ defense in their first game since J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus sustained season-ending injuries last week.

“I don’t why the guy kept throwing to him,” Jadeveon Clowney said when asked about Joseph’s interceptions. “I don’t think he knew (any) better. (Joseph’s) been in the league like 12, 13 years and not many people throw at him. The guy felt like he had to try him today and he made him pay twice.”

Watson threw TD passes to Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and DeAndre Hopkins as the Texans (3-3) set a franchise record by scoring at least 30 points for the fourth straight game.

“We know with the ball in 4’s (Watson’s) hands, anything’s possible,” Hopkins said.

The game was tied at 3 after both teams made field goals early when Watson connected with Fuller on a 39-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter. That was Fuller’s third straight catch for a TD.

Joseph’s first interception return for a touchdown since 2014 came on Cleveland’s next possession, but the extra point kick failed to push the lead to 16-3.

Dylan Cole intercepted Hogan on the next drive, but Houston couldn’t convert.

Rookie D’Onta Foreman had a 39-yard run later in the second quarter to get Houston to the 2-yard line. Miller, a healthy scratch the past two weeks, grabbed a shovel pass from Watson and somersaulted into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown and Ryan Griffin caught the 2-point conversion to make it 24-3.

Joseph grabbed his second interception late in the second quarter.

Browns quarterback woes have long been an issue, with Hogan becoming their 28th starter since 1999. But the longstanding problem seemed even worse on Sunday when Cleveland faced a quarterback that could have been playing for it. The Browns had the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft but traded it to the Texans, who used it to select Watson, a national champion at Clemson last season.

Hogan was 20 of 37 for 140 yards. He was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone under heavy pressure from Benardrick McKinney to give Houston a safety in the third quarter.

Watson found Hopkins in the back of the end zone for 3-yard touchdown pass later in the third quarter to extend the lead to 33-3.

His only big mistake came when he threw an interception to Jason McCourty which he returned 56 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. It was the first interception return for a touchdown in McCourty’s nine-year career.

Cleveland’s only offensive touchdown came late in the fourth quarter when Hogan’s 3-yard pass to Seth DeValve cut the lead to 33-17. Jason McCourty’s 56-yard pick-6 was the other Cleveland TD.

INJURY REPORT

Cole injured his hamstring on an interception return in the second quarter and did not return. … Houston tackle Chris Clark is out with a calf injury.

GARRETT’S GAINS

Defensive end Myles Garrett, the top overall pick in this year’s draft, got more extensive playing time in his second game after playing 19 snaps in his debut last week. Previously he was out with a right high ankle sprain. He had a sack on Sunday to give him a team-leading three this season.

He said he felt better than last week, but that he’s still dealing with the injury.

“There was some plays where I felt a couple of tweaks,” he said. “I couldn’t bend the way I wanted to, couldn’t get as low, couldn’t turn. But for the most part I felt pretty good.”

UP NEXT

Browns: Cleveland hosts the Titans next Sunday.

Texans: Houston is off next week before visiting the Seahawks on Oct. 29.

 

Packers 10, Vikings 23

Packers Vikings Football

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) returns an interception against the Green Bay Packers in the second half of an NFL football game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Rodgers has engineered many a last-minute comeback for the Green Bay Packers. He has a dozen victories over the rival Minnesota Vikings in 10 years as the starter.

This time? No chance. Rodgers was long gone, and so was Green Bay’s division lead.

Harrison Smith led the Minnesota defense’s thorough dismantling of the Packers, who lost Rodgers to a broken collarbone and left with a 23-10 defeat to the Vikings on Sunday that transformed the trajectory of the NFC North race.

Smith had 1½ sacks on safety blitzes, a diving interception and two pass breakups, helping the Vikings (4-2) limit the injury-depleted Packers to a season-low 227 yards.

“I don’t think we altered a whole lot,” Smith said. “We had a game plan, and we pretty much stuck to it.”

Anthony Barr, who later left with a concussion, delivered the game-changing hit on Green Bay’s second drive when he took Rodgers hard to the turf as the two-time NFL MVP followed through on a pass. Rodgers fell on his throwing shoulder, and the Packers (4-2) announced he could miss the remainder of the season.

“I’m not into the soothsaying stuff,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, when asked if he thought the momentum in the division had shifted toward his team. “Obviously he’s a great player. It’s different when he’s not in there. There’s no doubt about it. But that’s just the way it is.”

Brett Hundley threw his first career touchdown pass in relief, connecting with Davante Adams in the second quarter after a 63-yard return by Clay Matthews of Jerick McKinnon’s fumble gave the Packers the ball at the 18.

Damarious Randall’s interception of Case Keenum later in the first half put the Packers at the Minnesota 38 with a prime opportunity to tie the game at the break, but a juggling catch by Ty Montgomery at the goal line was ruled incomplete by replay review reversal that forced a short field goal instead and kept the Vikings in front 14-10.

The Packers had five first downs and 102 yards over the first three quarters.

“That was a hard day,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “All the players that we lost to injury, it was difficult. We all understand the magnitude of what Aaron means to our football team.”

The Vikings have won three of their past four games against the Packers after a lopsided five-year stretch against their biggest rival fueled mostly by the mastery of Rodgers. Now the Packers must move forward with Hundley, who has 44 attempts in three NFL seasons.

“We’ve been put through a lot of tests in the past,” Adams said. “So just bounce back, figure it out and rally. We’ve got a lot of faith in Brett.”

Hundley was picked off three times and sacked four times. He finished 18 for 33 for 157 yards.

“I love Aaron to death. I let him know I love him and I’ve got him,” Hundley said, “and we’ll go from here.”

VALUABLE BACKUPS

McKinnon made up for his turnover with 16 carries for 69 yards and a score and five catches for 30 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings, who have so far survived the absence of Bradford and running back Dalvin Cook, who’s out for the season with a knee injury.

Keenum, making his fourth start in place of Sam Bradford, went 24 for 38 for 239 yards without top wide receiver Stefon Diggs. He threw 13 times to Adam Thielen, completing nine for 97 yards.

“There’s no drop-off,” McKinnon said, “and I think we’re confident in whoever steps up at any position.”

QUARTERBACK DOMINANCE

Since Brett Favre took over for the injured Don Majkowski in the third game of the 1992 season, the Packers have had Favre or Rodgers for all but nine games.

Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace were forced to fill in while Rodgers missed seven games in 2013 because of a broken collarbone. Flynn started once in 2010 when Rodgers sat out with a concussion and again in 2011 when he rested during the regular-season finale with the Packers having clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

INJURY REPORT

Packers: With three starting DBs already out with injuries (Morgan Burnett, Davon House and Kevin King), backup CB Quinten Rollins (ankle) was also lost during the game. For the first time this season, the starting offensive line was intact. That lasted about half of the game. RT Bryan Bulaga (concussion) was knocked out of action, and LT David Bakhtiari’s hamstring injury flared up. He missed the past four games.

Vikings: WR Michael Floyd (calf) was hurt during the game, with LG Nick Easton (calf) already out. SS Andrew Sendejo (groin) didn’t play, either.

UP NEXT

The Packers host New Orleans, before a well-timed bye week.

The Vikings play Baltimore at home, then travel to London to play Cleveland.

Lions 38, Saints 52

Cameron Jordan

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) celebrates his touchdown after interception in the end zone in the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints defensive lineman Cam Jordan saw the goal post right in front him and couldn’t resist the urge to rise up for a basketball-style dunk of the football over the cross bar.

Jordan had just tipped quarterback Matthew Stafford’s pass to himself in the Detroit end zone — a climactic moment in a game defined by bizarre bounces, unusual plays, extraordinary momentum swings and a historical first for New Orleans’ defense. Only a forbidden, fineable touchdown celebration would do.

“I realized my regular sack dance wasn’t going to cut it,” said Jordan, who expects to be fined and said it will have been worth it. “Fourth quarter, game was sort of tight. We had to seal that. I had been preaching: ‘This is our chance to respond.’ I’m glad I was the one to do it.”

Running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 237 yards from scrimmage, the Saints’ resurgent defense forced five turnovers and scored a franchise-record three times, and New Orleans took a 52-38 victory over the Lions on Sunday in a contest that wound up being nowhere near over after the Saints took a five-TD lead.

New Orleans (3-2), which has a winning record for the first time since its last playoff season in 2013, had to gut out a remarkable bid by Detroit (3-3) to pull off the greatest comeback in NFL history.

“It was a different one from sure,” said Stafford, noting that he and Saints QB Drew Brees even brought up the strange nature of the game when they greeted each other on the field before heading to the locker room. “He came up and said, ‘That was a weird one, huh?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, it was crazy.'”

Already renowned for leading Lions comebacks, Stafford only regretted three interceptions he described as fluky and his two fumbles.

“I’ll probably be more frustrated with the fumbles than anything else,” he said. “I’ve got to find a way to hold on to the ball.”

The Lions scored four straight TDs, including one on a 74-yard punt return by Jamal Agnew and another on A’Shawn Robinson’s close-range interception near the Saints goal line, in less than 15 minutes off the game clock to pull as close as 45-38 with 6:41 still left.

“We just don’t give up,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “Our guys show a lot of resolve. I don’t think they ever feel they are out of a game.”

But after Agnew muffed a punt and barely got it out of the end zone, Jordan scored about the same way Robinson had.

Saints coach Sean Payton’s voice was hoarse after a game in which Superdome crowd noise was fueled by the high-octane drama, and he forecast a long night of reviewing game video in an effort to see how dominant play for nearly three quarters nearly morphed into a collapse for the ages.

“We did a lot of dumb things, but fortunately our defense did a lot of good things,” Payton said. “I’m trying to be happy today, but it’s hard.”

TURNOVER CENTRAL

The teams combined for eight turnovers.

The Saints’ defense produced its first points on Detroit’s first possession, when end Alex Okafor sacked and stripped Stafford in the end zone and safety Kenny Vaccaro recovered. In the third quarter, rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans’ top draft choice last spring, made his first interception and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown.

“I just love how we’re coming together as a team; that was one thing we had to do,” Lattimore said. “The first game, we were giving up stuff and just not communicating and right now we’re doing a good job.”

Vaccaro also intercepted a tipped fourth quarter pass and linebacker Craig Robertson forced and recovered Stafford’s second fumble.

The Saints hadn’t turned the ball over once this season before Brees was intercepted by Darius Slay, who ripped a potential catch from receiver Michael Thomas’ hands. Ingram fumbled in the second half.

“Probably one of the crazier games I have been a part of,” said Brees, now in his 17th season. “We have some momentum but we have to get better.”

THE NUMBERS

Playing on a sore right ankle that visibly limited his mobility, Stafford was hit often, sacked five times and had about a dozen passes tipped or batted down. He finished 25 of 52 for 312 yards and touchdowns of 45 yards to Golden Tate, 22 yards each to Marvin Jones and Darren Fells.

Brees was 21 for 31 for 186 yards and touchdowns of 20 yards to Ted Ginn and 2 yards to tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.

Ingram scored two TDs on short runs and rushed for 114 yards on 25 carries in the first game since the Saints traded Adrian Peterson to Arizona.

INJURIES

Lions: Safety Glover Quin left the game to be evaluated for a head injury in the second half. Offensive tackle Greg Robinson limped off the field in the third quarter.

Saints: Linebacker Nate Stupar appeared to have a right leg injury during punt coverage in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Lions: Enter their bye week having lost three of four.

Saints: Play next Sunday at Green Bay, which is dealing with an injury to star QB Aaron Rodgers.

Bears 27, Ravens 24 OT

Tony Jefferson, Dion Sims

Chicago Bears tight end Dion Sims, left, scores a touchdown in front of Baltimore Ravens strong safety Tony Jefferson in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

BALTIMORE (AP) — There may come a time this season when the Chicago Bears will have to rely upon the passing of Mitchell Trubisky to win.

Until then, coach John Fox is quite content to ride Jordan Howard and the running game for as long as necessary.

The Bears (2-4) ripped apart the Baltimore Ravens defense for 231 yards rushing Sunday in a 27-24 overtime victory. The Ravens had never given up that many yards on the ground, and their performance was even more embarrassing because they pretty much anticipated the Bears’ plan of attack.

“We knew they were going come out running the ball, and they did — effectively,” linebacker Matthew Judon said.

With Trubisky making his first NFL road start, Fox opted to keep the pressure off the rookie by relying on the running game.

Good move. Howard ran for 167 yards, Tarik Cohen added 32 and even Trubisky had 32 yards on the ground.

“Whatever it takes to win,” Fox said. “This week, we needed to run — and we did.”

Baltimore (3-3) wasted two long kick returns and an impressive comeback from a 14-point deficit.

Some things we learned about the Bears and Ravens:

HAPPY RETURNS: The Ravens wouldn’t have been even close were it not for a 96-yard kickoff return by Bobby Rainey and a 77-yard punt return by Michael Campanaro.

“We knew we were capable of those types of plays on special teams,” Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “They gave us a chance, and we fought all the way back. It’s just disappointing to lose the way that we did.”

BATTLING BACK: Bears safety Adrian Amos had a very satisfying 90-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Earlier this season, Amos lost his starting position. But when Quintin Demps broke his arm last month, Amos was back in the starting lineup. So far, Amos has seized the new opportunity.

“I don’t really look at it as a demotion,” Fox said. “At the time, there was a guy playing better than him. And at this time, he’s playing the best in the group.”

NO PLAYMAKERS: After Breshad Perriman left the game in the second quarter with a concussion, Baltimore lost a chance for one of its few offensive playmakers to help win it.

The Ravens started without receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was inactive with a shoulder injury. After Perriman went out, the only big-play receiver Baltimore had left was Mike Wallace, who finished with three catches for 30 yards.

“We just got to get the playmakers the ball and let them make plays,” Wallace said. “For one reason or another we’re just not making enough plays.”

WEAKENED BY INJURIES: No coach likes to give up two special teams touchdowns, much less long kickoff and punt returns in the second half that help force overtime.

But Fox said the absence of special teams captain Sherrick McManus, who left with a hamstring injury, was a factor. Fox also stressed that other changes on the depth chart because of injuries were factors in the returns.

“We had a couple of guys in there that hadn’t done it a lot,” Fox said.

TRICK PLAY: When Cohen hit Zach Miller for a 21-yard touchdown with a halfback pass in the second quarter, it wasn’t anything new for the rookie from North Carolina A&T. He is the first Bears rookie running back to throw a touchdown pass since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965.

“I think I had (two) throwing touchdowns in college, so I’ve been throwing it,” Cohen said.

In college, Cohen attempted four passes, two for scores.

He maintained that kind of accuracy with his first NFL pass against the Ravens.

49ers 24, Redskins 26

Kirk Cousins, Solomon Thomas

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) carries the ball toward the end zone a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) looks on during the second half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Jay Gruden was hardly happy after this victory. That subdued reaction signifies progress, according to Washington’s coach.

Kirk Cousins and the Redskins sweated it out and barely held on to beat past — and possibly future — mentor Kyle Shanahan’s winless San Francisco 49ers 26-24 on Sunday. The Redskins (3-2) blew a 17-point lead amid injuries and a pair of turnovers and survived a last-minute drive by 49ers rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard.

“You can see that we’re starting to turn a corner a little bit when you’re not quite as ecstatic as you normally would be after a win,” Gruden said. “I know we can play a lot better.”

That includes Cousins, who threw for two touchdowns, ran for one and had an interception against the team he has been linked to for next season because of his connection with Shanahan. Gruden called Cousins’ play “efficient” after the quarterback was 25 of 37 for 330 yards passing and added 27 yards on the ground.

Despite the inconsistencies, Cousins came away smiling.

“I think we did a good job as an offense,” said Cousins, who had TD passes to Josh Doctson and Samaje Perine . “It wasn’t perfect. There were a couple mistakes, but all in all (we) did a lot of good things.”

Shanahan benched Brian Hoyer for Beathard, who threw for 245 yards, a touchdown and an interception and nearly led an impressive comeback.

Beathard, a third-round pick out of Iowa and grandson of former Redskins Super Bowl-winning general manager Bobby Beathard, took over for Hoyer with about six and a half minutes left in the first half and the 49ers (0-6) down 14-0. After Hoyer was 4 of 11 for 34 yards, Beathard went 19 of 36 in his first NFL action.

Running back Carlos Hyde said Beathard looked “like he’d been out there before.” Shanahan said Beathard had done enough to supplant Hoyer as the starter.

With the 49ers down by two in the final minute, Beathard led them toward field goal range with a 12-yard pass to former Washington receiver Pierre Garcon along the sideline. He was intercepted by Kendall Fuller on fourth down to seal the result that was much closer than many expected.

“We didn’t think we had to make the game that close,” said Redskins left tackle Trent Williams, who played through a knee injury. “It shouldn’t have been a nail-biter coming down towards the end.”

San Francisco is now the first in NFL history to lose five consecutive games by three points or fewer — a combined 13 points.

DAVIS IN CHARGE

Redskins tight end Vernon Davis had a fumble to set up a 49ers touchdown and a 51-yard catch against the team he played his prime years with. Davis fumbled after making a catch in the third quarter, and Hyde ran for a 1-yard touchdown on the next play to tie the score.

Davis made up for that mistake by catching a pass from Cousins at the Washington 45 and running 33 more yards to the San Francisco 22. Cousins scored not long after.

“Up the seams, just run as fast as you possibly can, that’s what coach always says,” Davis said. “I saw an opening so I just went right around the defender and looked up for the ball and Kirk … he’s good at those, he put it right there and I didn’t have to do much.”

KEY PENALTY

A key call on San Francisco’s last drive came on second-and-10 at Washington’s 40 with less than a half-minute left.

Garcon was called for offensive pass interference, which pushed the Niners back to midfield. They wouldn’t gain another yard. Garcon argued the ruling on the field; asked about it in the locker room, he replied: “I cannot talk about the referees.”

Shanahan said he would have let Robbie Gould attempt a 57-yard field goal had the 49ers wound up with fourth down at the 40.

INJURIES

49ers: DE Arik Armstead left with a hand injury. … DE Aaron Lynch left with a calf injury. … Rookie LB Reuben Foster missed his fifth consecutive game with an ankle injury.

Redskins: CB Bashaud Breeland will have an MRI on his left knee after being on the receiving end of a low block. Gruden said it was an MCL issue. … Rookie DL Jonathan Allen left with a foot injury in the fourth quarter and will also have an MRI. … S Stefan McClure left with a sprained left knee. … RB Rob Kelley (ankle) and CB Josh Norman (rib) were inactive.

UP NEXT

49ers: Host Dallas on Sunday still looking for their first victory.

Redskins: Visit the NFC East-leading Eagles on Monday, Oct. 23.

Rams 27, Jaguars 17

Pharoh Cooper, Peyton Thompson

Los Angeles Rams’ Pharoh Cooper, left, runs for a touchdown on a kickoff past Jacksonville Jaguars safety Peyton Thompson during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams have won games with offensive prowess, defensive stops and Greg Zuerlein’s leg.

Now, they can add special teams to the list.

Pharoh Cooper returned the opening kickoff 103 yards, one of two special teams touchdowns that helped the Rams beat the up-and-down Jacksonville Jaguars 27-17 on Sunday.

The Rams (4-2) also blocked a punt for a score — Malcolm Brown returned the loose ball 8 yards in a pile of teammates — and improved to 3-0 on the road for the first time since 2001.

“When I hit that sideline, I just took off and prayed that I didn’t get caught,” Cooper said. “We had a great day in special teams. … Special teams play is something we all take pride in and you can tell it really shows.”

The units were Jacksonville’s downfall. The Jaguars (3-3) gave up 17 points on three special teams gaffes — the long return, the block and a 16-yard punt that set up a field goal. Making it an even longer day for the home team, Jason Myers missed two 54-yards field goals that could have made a difference.

“It’s very disappointing,” Jaguars special teams captain Arrelious Been said. “We can’t sit back and wait for offense and defense to do it. We’ve got to go out there and do it.”

Jacksonville’s defense did its part, holding the high-scoring Rams to 249 yards and 12 first downs. But the unit got little help outside of rookie Leonard Fournette’s big run to open the game.

The Jaguars botched a decent chance to tie the game early in the fourth quarter when Blake Bortles fumbled on one play and then threw an interception on the next. It cost Jacksonville a shot at ending its inconsistent ways to start the season.

Los Angeles essentially sealed the victory on Greg Zuerlein’s 29-yard field goal with 2:32 remaining.

It should make for an enjoyable few more days in Jacksonville. The Rams will remain in the city for four days before continuing an 11-day road trip in London.

“I think our guys just embrace that mentality where you come into a stadium and they have this breakdown of, ‘We’re all we got. We’re all we need,'” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “These players are mentality tough. That’s becoming the identity that you hear us talk about all the time.”

The Jaguars, coming off an impressive victory at Pittsburgh, still haven’t won consecutive games in more than a year and lost for the ninth time in 10 games at EverBank Field.

“Why we’re so volatile in our play? I don’t know,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “They just made more impact plays than we did that forced the outcome of the game.”

Fournette set the tone again by scoring on the first play from scrimmage. After Cooper’s kickoff return, Fournette took a handoff and went 75 yards for his sixth rushing touchdown and seventh score of the season.

Fournette finished with 130 yards on 21 carries, but only 55 yards after his first run. He also injured his right ankle late in the game and did not return, but expects to be fine.

Todd Gurley ran 23 times for 116 yards for the Rams. Robert Woods caught five passes for 70 yards. And Jared Goff was 11 of 21 for 124 yards, including a 4-yard TD pass to Gerald Everett.

The difference, though, was special teams.

“A good team — the team we want to be, the team we can be, the team we will be — finds a way to win that game no matter what happens,” Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell said.

QUICK SCORES

The back-to-back scores to open the game made history. The consecutive touchdowns marked the first time in the Super Bowl era that any game had two touchdowns of at least 75 yards in the first 30 seconds of play.

STRANGE SEQUENCE

The Jaguars got two tries at a field goal in the third quarter during a strange sequence of penalties that ended up costing the Rams three points. Myers hooked a 41-yarder left, but Los Angeles was flagged for illegal formation. Jacksonville was penalized on the next play for a false start, moving the ball back to the original spot. Myers then drilled his second try from 41 yards.

INJURIES

Rams tight end Derek Carrier left in the third quarter and was evaluated for a concussion. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson left late in the third to be evaluated for a concussion, but returned a few plays later. Fellow cornerback Kayvon Webster briefly left the field a few plays later.

UP NEXT

Rams: Will stay in Jacksonville for four days before flying to London and playing a “home game” against NFC West rival Arizona.

Jaguars: Play at AFC South rival Indianapolis next week.

Buccaneers 33, Cardinals 38

Buccaneers Cardinals Football

Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (23) hurdles Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (28) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Adrian Peterson came to Arizona a few days ago insisting that, at age 32, he still has a lot left to give in the National Football League.

On Sunday, it sure looked that way.

The four-time All-Pro running back rushed for two touchdowns and 134 yards, and the Cardinals held off a furious second-half rally to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-33.

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” Peterson said.

The Buccaneers (2-3) lost quarterback Jameis Winston to a right shoulder injury in the second quarter, with the Cardinals (3-3) leading 21-0.

But backup Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns to bring Tampa Bay back from a 31-0, early third-quarter deficit.

Fitzpatrick’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans cut the Arizona lead to 38-32 with 2:02 to play.

Larry Fitzgerald recovered the onside kick and, with no Tampa Bay timeouts remaining, the Cardinals ran out the clock.

“There’s no lead big enough in the National Football League,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. “We shouldn’t be biting our nails off to get that onside kick. You have to keep your foot on the gas.”

Arizona’s offense, and the home crowd, were energized by Peterson’s presence.

“That first drive you could feel it with the fans in the stadium,” Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said. “You could kind of see it on the defense’s face. It was just a great lift for us.”

Palmer completed his first 14 passes and finished 18 of 22 for 283 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a score.

Arians called it “a day for the old guys.”

Palmer is 37, Fitzgerald 34.

Peterson, acquired in a trade with New Orleans on Tuesday, carried 26 times and scored on a 27-yard run to cap Arizona’s first possession. He added a 1-yard TD run after Tramon Williams’ interception near the goal line in the fourth quarter.

Peterson gained 47 more yards on Sunday than the 87 he had in four games with the Saints.

“A couple of times he almost ripped my shoulder out of the joint just handing the ball off to him,” Palmer said. “He’s just so powerful.”

Arizona ran for 160 yards after averaging 52 yards rushing through five games, by far the worst in the league. Of course, the Cardinals are without the versatile but injured David Johnson.

Peterson and Fitzgerald are good friends. He’s been staying in Fitzgerald’s guest house.

“We’ve seen this movie before,” Fitzgerald said of Peterson’s performance. “… You give him a little alley, give him a little bit of space and he’s going to do the rest.”

Peterson had a 45-yard run called back because of an illegal use of hands penalty. On the next play, Fitzgerald fumbled and Lavonte David returned it 21 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion cut the Arizona lead to 31-20 with 12:56 to play.

Winston was hurt in the first quarter, tried to stay in the game but eventually couldn’t.

He said he’s had the injury before.

“I’ll be back soon,” Winston said.

The Cardinals opened the game with touchdown drives of 76, 86 and 95 yards, the first time they’ve started with three consecutive TDs since 2006, when Kurt Warner was at the controls.

On the game’s first play, Peterson gained 8 yards. He followed with runs of 8 and 11 yards, then broke free over the left side for a 27-yard touchdown run.

On the next drive, Palmer threw 29 yards to Fitzgerald and Peterson had an 11-yard run to the Tampa Bay 14 before the Arizona quarterback connected on a 14-yard TD pass to tight end Troy Niklas.

The third touchdown drive was kept alive by an offside penalty against the Buccaneers on third down, Palmer throwing 11 yards to Fitzgerald for a touchdown to put Arizona up 21-0.

The Cardinals led 24-0 at the half.

“I obviously did a horrible job of getting these guys ready to play,” Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said, “because that was the worst first half of football I’ve ever seen.”

INJURIES

Buccaneers: Winston left the field early in the second quarter after throwing three consecutive incomplete passes. Koetter said X-rays were negative. An MRI was planned on Monday.

Cardinals: Cornerback Patrick Peterson left with a quadriceps injury in the fourth quarter. Defensive lineman Xavier Williams left with a knee injury in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Tampa Bay plays at Buffalo next Sunday.

Cardinals: Arizona leaves Monday for London, where it will face the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.

Steelers 19, Chiefs 13

Marcus Peters, Terrance Mitchell, Ron Parker, Antonio Brown

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs away from Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Ron Parker (38), Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Terrance Mitchell (39) and defensive back Marcus Peters (22) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers spent Sunday beating up on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Beating up the goal-post padding, too.

The Steelers’ star running back churned out 179 yards and a touchdown in a performance reminiscent of January’s playoff victory over Kansas City. And Antonio Brown made an acrobatic touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to help Pittsburgh hand the Chiefs a 19-13 loss — their first of the season.

“The biggest thing for us is getting wins,” said Bell, who drew a flag for celebrating his score by throwing haymakers at the goal-post stanchion. “As a team, we find ways to get wins.”

The Chiefs (5-1) still had a chance after Brown’s 51-yard reception made it 19-10, moving quickly downfield and getting a 33-yard field goal from Harrison Butker.

Their defense forced a quick three-and-out, and Tyreek Hill’s 32-yard punt return gave them the ball with 1:48 to go.

But after the Steelers (4-2) gave up a first down, James Harrison sacked Alex Smith on third-and-10, and the quarterback’s incomplete pass on fourth down left the NFL with no unbeaten teams.

“We straightened a few things out the second half. That’s how we got back in the game,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who will no doubt be questioned for going for it on fourth-and-2 at the Steelers 4 early in the fourth quarter, rather than kicking a field goal to get within 12-6.

Smith’s throw to the end zone fell incomplete and the Steelers took possession.

“My gut tells me what to do. I thought that was the right thing there,” Reid said. “I’m preaching to the team to stay aggressive without being stupid, staying aggressive with it. We had a good play in our pocket that we felt good about. It didn’t work out.”

Very little worked out for the Chiefs on Sunday.

Ben Roethlisberger was 17 of 25 for 252 yards with a touchdown and a pick for Pittsburgh, bouncing back from his abysmal five-interception performance against Jacksonville last week.

His favorite target was Brown, who a few weeks ago was flipping over water coolers but spent Sunday slinging high-fives. He had eight catches for 155 yards, often beating star cornerback Marcus Peters.

“The last little touchdown or whatever, should’ve been an interception,” Peters said. “It comes with the game of football. Can’t do (anything) about it. … We took an ‘L,’ back to the drawing board.”

The game in many ways resembled January’s playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium, when Bell churned for 170 yards rushing and the Steelers’ defense shut down the Chiefs in an 18-16 victory.

Their defensive dominance was even more impressive considering the circumstances: The Steelers allowed more than 200 yards rushing twice in the past three weeks, while Kansas City was averaging 32.8 points and 414.2 yards — and had just piled up 450 in a shootout victory over Houston.

But the Steelers held Kareem Hunt, the league’s leading rusher, to 21 yards on nine carries. They also spent the afternoon with their paws on Smith, holding the NFL’s top-rated passer to 246 yards and a TD.

“We’ve played a lot of games against each other. These guys have gotten the last three,” Smith said. “They’re all hard-fought. They’ve been physical, intense.”

Smith nearly rallied the Chiefs down the stretch this time, finding De’Anthony Thomas for a 57-yard touchdown that got Kansas City within 12-10 with 6:13 left in the game.

But the Steelers answered with Bell, whose hard running got them near midfield. And when they faced third-and-2, former Chiefs coach and Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley dialed up a pass down the sideline to Brown, who caught the tipped ball and ran it 51 yards for the score.

It was Brown’s 52nd touchdown catch, passing Lynn Swann for third-most in franchise history.

“Ben made a great throw and those guys couldn’t catch it,” he said. “He always puts the ball in perfect position and, in that case, he held the ball until the last minute and made a play. I tracked it the whole time. He put a lot of wing on it and I was able to get the bounce.”

STATS AND STREAKS

Roethlisberger improved to 7-1 against Kansas City. He’s won six straight when coming off a game in which he’s thrown at least three picks. … Pittsburgh has beaten a team 5-0 or better seven times in the Super Bowl era. … Smith has not thrown an interception in 202 attempts. … Hunt had five catches for 89 yards. … Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught a pass in his 54th straight game.

OOPS MOMENTS

The Chiefs’ first turnover since their first offensive play of the season came in the first half, when backup center Zach Fulton snapped the ball over Smith’s head for a safety. But the Steelers gave the ball right back when they inexplicably decided not to field the ensuing free kick.

INJURIES

Steelers RT Marcus Gilbert, who had missed three weeks with a hamstring injury, left in the first half after aggravating it. LB Vince Williams left in the second half with a hip injury after picking up a pair of sacks. … Chiefs RB Charcandrick West was evaluated for a concussion.

UP NEXT

Steelers: Return home to face Cincinnati on Sunday.

Chiefs: Visit the Raiders on Thursday night.

Chargers 17, Raiders 16

Reggie Nelson, Melvin Gordon, T.J. Carrie

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) hurdles over Oakland Raiders free safety Reggie Nelson (27) and cornerback T.J. Carrie (38) during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The records for the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders are the same after six games. Their moods couldn’t be much different, and that reflects the way these teams arrived at 2-4.

The Chargers pulled out their second consecutive close win after four agonizing losses to open the season, getting a 32-yard field goal from Nick Novak on the final play to hand the Raiders their fourth straight loss, 17-16 on Sunday.

“I think the key thing is, let it build. Let it build and also remind each other, ‘Hey, we’re 2-4. We have a ways to go,'” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “But let it build. Shoot, who cares? Let’s play like we haven’t lost and see if we can win a third. Just approach it that way. I think we’ve done that the last two weeks. I didn’t know 2-4 could feel as good as it feels.”

The Raiders couldn’t feel much worse right now as they have gone from Super Bowl contenders following two straight wins to open the season to last place following their fourth loss in a row.

Even the return of quarterback Derek Carr from a back injury that sidelined him last week couldn’t help the cause. Carr threw for only 171 yards and had two interceptions as Oakland’s potent offense failed to top 17 points for the fourth straight game.

“I’m frustrated. And not in a bad way,” Carr said. “I’m not changing anything I do. I know how to work. I know how to study. I know how to play this game. Everyone has talent, it just comes down to everyone locking in every detail of this offense.”

JUST FOR KICKS: The Chargers lost two games already this season on late missed field goals from former kicker Younghoe Koo . Novak was signed last week and delivered the game-winner in his second game back with the franchise.

“When you do your job well and help contribute to a win, that’s what you dream for, right?” Novak said.

The Chargers were the beneficiaries of a kicking mistake when a high snap from Jon Condo led to a missed extra point by Giorgio Tavecchio earlier in the fourth quarter, meaning Oakland led only 16-14 heading into Los Angeles’ final drive.

“I have one job to do: snap the ball,” Condo said. “I didn’t make it happen today and I feel bad. The rest of my teammates were out there doing their jobs and I have one job and couldn’t do it. I couldn’t come through today.”

ALL-AROUND BACK: The Chargers focused their offense on Melvin Gordon. He ran 25 times for 83 yards and a touchdown and added nine catches for 67 yards and a score . He carried the ball six times on the final drive, helping run down the clock so the Raiders never got another chance after Novak’s kick.

“You’ve just got to make the most of your opportunities,” Gordon said. “That is all I try to do. Make the most of your opportunities when they come. If there is an opportunity for the ball and it is there, you’ve got to take it.”

ROOKIE DEBUT: The Chargers finally got their first-round draft pick on the field when receiver Mike Williams was active for the first time all season. The seventh overall selection missed all of training camp and the first five games with a back injury. He got limited action against the Raiders but did have a 15-yard catch on a touchdown drive early in the fourth quarter.

“I was a little nervous,” Williams said. “I mean, I tend to get nerves before every game, but just going out there, getting in the rhythm of the game, I felt good. Just going out for the first time and blocking, it felt good.”

QUICK TURNAROUND: The Raiders don’t have much time to figure things out with a Thursday night game against first-place Kansas City on the horizon. Oakland has lost five straight to the Chiefs and has little margin for error to get back to the playoffs.

“One good thing is we get to play on Thursday so I don’t have to soak in it too long,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “That’s the only positive I can probably take out of this.”

Giants 23, Broncos 10

Giants Broncos Football

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

DENVER (AP) — One suspension, three season-ending surgeries, six sidelined starters and seven lineup changes to accommodate this whole mess.

Not exactly the usual path to success, but one the New York Giants successfully navigated in a stunning 23-10 win Sunday night over the bewildered Denver Broncos.

The Giants (1-5) controlled the trenches, rolling over the league’s best run defense for 148 yards and limiting the NFL’s third-best ground game to a meager 46 yards.

“It was good that we could play this style of football and get a win,” Eli Manning said in his first game without injured wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris, all of whom got hurt last week.

Manning threw for 128 yards, barely beating the 117 running back Orleans Darkwa gained on 21 carries. Manning connected five times with rookie tight end Evan Engram for 82 yards and a touchdown.

“It’s a special win just with everything going on,” Manning said.

And a crushing loss for the Broncos (3-2), who failed to close in on Kansas City in the AFC West after the Chiefs were knocked off by Pittsburgh for their first loss Sunday.

“It’s the National Football League,” Denver’s Von Miller said. “It’s not about who you’ve got playing for you or what stars are in the game or what the team looks like. It’s any given Sunday.”

Miller had a sack, but the Giants’ heavy dose of handoffs kept Denver’s star linebacker from wrecking New York’s game plan.

“We didn’t want a game where we were going to have to throw it 40 times,” Manning said. “They’ve got a good pass rush, and so I thought we did a good job. He had the one sack. They kind of had a blitz on and so he was 1-on-1, had to be 1-on-1 that one and he got to us. He’s a good player. It’s going to happen.”

Visiting teams went 8-5 in Week 6 and are 46-44 overall this season.

Other takeaways from the game that epitomizes the topsy-turvy season:

ROLE REVERSAL: Trevor Siemian threw for a career-high 376 yards, including a 13-yarder to third-year tight end Jeff Heuerman for his first career TD.

But like Manning last week, Siemian spent this game losing teammates.

Receivers Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Isaiah McKenzie sustained what appeared to be serious right ankle injuries. Although X-rays were negative, both will get MRIs on Monday. Demaryius Thomas hobbled his way through a 10-catch night, and right tackle Menelik Watson left with a calf injury.

Sanders was injured when safety Landon Collins undercut him in an attempt to intercept Siemian’s low throw.

“I apologize for that,” Collins said. “I saw the quarterback throw the ball and I was trying to break on it and go get it and make a game-changing play. … Much love to him because I look up to him as a player.”

Siemian came out himself after jamming his surgically repaired left shoulder into the ground while diving to keep cornerback Janoris Jenkins out of the end zone on his 43-yard pick-6 that put New York ahead 17-3 at the half.

POSITIVE RECEPTION: Thomas had 133 yards on 10 catches, snapping a career-long seven-game drought without a 100-yard performance. However, he extended his streak without a touchdown catch to 11 games, also a career long.

Only Julio Jones (38) and Antonio Brown (37) have more 100-yard games than Thomas, with 35, since 2011.

“He’s a difference maker,” Siemian said. “He got a lot of attention tonight and we just found a way to get it to him.”

SACK ARTIST : Add three more sacks to the resume of Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. He was constantly in the face of Siemian.

“This week you could tell the guys were hungry,” Pierre-Paul said. “The defense came to play.”

That was readily apparent on a fourth-and-goal stop from the 1 in the fourth quarter. A swarm of Giants including J.P.P. pushed back C.J. Anderson, with Jenkins providing a big assist.

“Every day at practice when we do goal line, I always tell my big guys to force it to me,” Jenkins said. “It just so happened that they forced it to me this game and I just came up with the stop.”

KICKING WOES: Coach Vance Joseph is sticking with kicker Brandon McManus, who continues to be anything but money since signing an $11.25 million extension last month.

He made just one kick out of three, pushing a 35-yarder wide right and watching a 53-yarder get blocked.

That makes five misses in 13 tries. Last year, he missed five times in 34 tries.

“I haven’t missed a kick in practice or warm-ups this season,” McManus said. “It’s just the games. And right now in the games I stink.”

Colts 22, Titans 36

Marcus Mariota

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) passes against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL’s longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn’t move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor’s tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL’s worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota’s first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.

NFL KICKING RECORD

Tennessee kicker Ryan Succop went 5 for 5 to break the NFL record for most consecutive successful field goals inside of 50 yards. He connected from 48, 32 and 40 yards in the first half and then hit from 23 and 48 yards in the third.

Succop began the day tied with Matt Bryant, who connected on 46 straight field goals inside 50 yards between 2013 and 2015 for the Atlanta Falcons.

Adam Vinatieri, the Colts’ accomplished kicker, got three field goals himself, including a 52-yarder. But he missed an extra point off the left upright.

PRIME-TIME UNITY

The Colts’ team message got a prime-time audience with outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard wearing a black T-shirt with the message “We Will” over his jersey during the coin toss. On the back were the words “Stand For: Equality Justice Unity Respect Dialogue Opportunity.”

The Colts have been wearing these T-shirts during pregame warmups for the last couple of weeks.

A handful of Titans, including defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, raised a fist into the air after the national anthem ended. Wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed off the field during the anthem for a third straight game.

INJURIES

Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan strained an abdominal muscle. Colts cornerback Rashaan Melvin went to the sideline during an injury timeout in the second quarter but returned to the game. Colts running back Robert Turbin was escorted to the locker room after a catch and run for 9 yards with 2:30 left.

UP NEXT

Colts: Host Jacksonville.

Titans: Visit winless Browns.

 

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