Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
Here is a recap of Week 9 of the 2017 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Bye: Bears, Browns, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots, Steelers
Bills 21, Jets 34
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Matt Forte ran for two touchdowns four days after complaining the Jets didn’t run the ball enough, and an overwhelming defense sacked Tyrod Taylor seven times Thursday night in New York’s 34-21 demolition of the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo (5-3) came in having scored 64 points in its last two wins, but self-destructed with turnovers and miscues. New York (4-5), which snapped a three-game slide in which it held leads in each defeat, looked more like the challenger to New England in the AFC East.
Forte scored on runs of 10 and 5 yards and had 14 carries for 77 yards. Augmenting that was Bilal Powell with a 51-yard burst and 74 yards on nine carries. Quarterback Josh McCown got in on the fun with a 10-yard scramble to open the scoring and New York rushed for 194 yards overall.
Jordan Jenkins had two of the Jets’ sacks as they never allowed Buffalo’s offense to get on track.
Indeed, mistakes were the Bills’ trademark.
Buffalo made a key error on New York’s second touchdown drive. Cedric Thornton sacked McCown, but grabbed his face mask. The 15-yard penalty, which followed a 20-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse and a 22-yard run by Forte, led to Robby Anderson beating double coverage for a 25-yard TD reception.
Forte’s 10-yard run made it 24-7 and came one play after Powell broke four tackles on his 51-yard jaunt that featured slick moves and plenty of speed.
The Bills hurt themselves further when Nick O’Leary fumbled on a strange play. The tight end caught Taylor’s third-down pass and fell to the ground untouched. He delayed, heard no whistle, and got up. But the ball then was stripped by rookie safety Marcus Maye and recovered by fellow rookie safety Jamal Adams.
Adding to the miscues, Bills DE Jerry Hughes drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for mouthing off to an official — during a timeout, no less — on the ensuing Jets drive.
Taylor also fumbled when sacked for the sixth time, and Forte’s 5-yard TD run followed. And even when the Bills recovered a late onside kick, they were flagged for offside.
New York opened the scoring — the fourth straight game it has led early — after some strong defense pinned Buffalo near its goal line. A punt set up the Jets near midfield and they used eight plays to score.
McCown, looking very spry for a 38-year-old QB, went in untouched down the left side on a scramble for a 7-0 Jets lead.
Buffalo matched that, aided by Taylor’s 18-yard scramble on third down. Rookie Zay Jones caught his first pro TD, an 11-yarder when he got wide open over the middle.
An offensive pass interference call on Austin Sefarian-Jenkins TD catch negated the tight end’s TD early in the second quarter and the Jets settled for Chandler Catanzaro’s 45-yard field goal to retake the lead. He later hit a 32-yarder.
The Jets found a pass rush that was missing in action most of the year. They came in with 11, which was last among teams that had played eight games.
Buffalo scored two late touchdowns to make the final margin less lopsided.
Fireman Ed, once the team’s unofficial cheerleader, led the J-E-T-S chant for the first time this season. It got pretty loud, too, even though there were several thousand empty seats at MetLife Stadium.
Bills: Rookie Jones, who was having a fine first half with four catches for 40 yards and a touchdown, was tripped by cornerback Buster Skrine and injured his right leg and was helped off. Jones, Buffalo’s second-round pick, returned for the second half. Running back Taiwan Jones hurt his left arm in a scramble for a fourth-quarter onside kick.
Jets: WR Jeremy Kerley left in the first quarter with a foot injury. LB Bruce Carter (hamstring) was sidelined in the second half.
Bills: Host New Orleans on Nov. 12.
Jets: Visit Tampa Bay on Nov. 12.
Broncos 23, Eagles 51
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carson Wentz isn’t paying attention to his impressive stats.
Wentz tossed four touchdown passes, Corey Clement had three scores, and the Philadelphia Eagles routed the Denver Broncos 51-23 on Sunday.
The second-year quarterback leads the NFL with 23 TD passes, including 17 in the last five games.
“Touchdowns are great, but being 8-1 is what it’s all about,” Wentz said.
The Eagles dismantled the league’s top-ranked defense, racking up 419 yards, to win their seventh straight game and head into a bye week with the best record in the league. Yet, Wentz sees room for improvement.
“Absolutely, we’re never going to settle,” he said. “Always things to learn from. I think we can keep getting better.”
Brock Osweiler couldn’t get the Broncos (3-5) on track in his first start since rejoining the team in September. He threw two interceptions. Denver has lost four in a row and five of six.
“Every man has to do a self-check of himself,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said when asked if his team quit. “Only each man would know what his heart said to him in the fourth quarter. That’s where I’ll leave that.”
Wentz was 15 of 27 for 199 yards before giving way to Nick Foles. He has three four-TD performances in the last five weeks.
“He improves every single week and the guys around him elevate their game,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “The great quarterbacks make the guys around them play at a higher level.”
Clement had two TD runs and one TD catch, and newcomer Jay Ajayi ran for 77 yards and one score.
“Excited to be here,” Ajayi said. “Great football town. Definitely believe we can do a lot of special things here.”
Wentz flipped a 32-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead after a holding penalty on Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib extended the drive. Talib bit on a faked inside handoff to Ajayi and Jeffery ran past him to make the catch and score.
After Osweiler threw a pick right to Patrick Robinson later in the first quarter, Wentz threw a short catch-and-run TD pass to Clement on third-and-10 from the 15.
A roughing-the-passer call on Denver’s Zach Kerr kept another drive alive for Philadelphia. Wentz connected with Trey Burton on a 27-yard TD passon the next play, giving the Eagles a 24-6 lead.
Ajayi burst through for a 46-yard TD run to put Philadelphia ahead 31-9 in the second quarter. Ajayi, a 2016 Pro Bowl pick with Miami, was acquired in a trade Tuesday. The Broncos hadn’t allowed 30 points in a game this season, nor any TD runs.
Clement, an undrafted rookie free agent, ran in from the 2 in the third quarter, and Wentz connected with Jeffery on a 6-yard pass to make it 44-9. Clement’s 4-yard TD run capped the scoring.
The Eagles hadn’t scored 50 points since a 54-11 victory over the Bears on Dec. 22, 2013.
The last time the Broncos allowed more points, they beat the Cowboys 51-48 on Oct. 6, 2013. But Peyton Manning isn’t around anymore.
For one play, Denver’s defense looked like its old self. Von Miller stripped Foles and Brandon Marshall scooped up the fumble and ran it back 19 yards for a TD.
GROUND AND POUND
Clement had 51 yards rushing, LeGarrette Blount added 38 to go with Ajayi’s 77, and the Eagles got 197 on the ground.
Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas caught his first TD pass this season, a 1-yard grab in the fourth quarter. It was the first TD catch for the five-time Pro Bowl receiver since Nov. 13, 2016.
Denver’s Brandon McManus kicked field goals of 52, 53 and 24 yards. He was only 10 for 15 coming in and 8 for 17 in his career beyond 50.
Broncos: WR Emmanuel Sanders started despite being listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Eagles: TE Zach Ertz didn’t play because of a hamstring injury sustained in practice.
Broncos: Host the New England Patriots (6-2) next Sunday.
Eagles: Have a bye before visiting Dallas (4-3) on Nov. 19.
Colts 20, Texans 14
HOUSTON (AP) — An almost-empty bottle of purple Pedialyte sat in T.Y. Hilton’s locker after Sunday’s game, a tangible reminder that the receiver hasn’t been feeling well this week.
While the children’s illness remedy helped him feel better before the game, the best cure for his ailment came in the form of the Texans, a team he’s had plenty of success against.
Hilton had 175 yards receiving with two touchdowns to help the Indianapolis Colts halt a three-game skid with a 20-14 win over a Houston team that struggled without Deshaun Watson.
Hilton continued his dominance against the Texans to allow the Colts (3-6) to avoid their first four-game losing streak under coach Chuck Pagano. He has 1,117 yards receiving and nine touchdowns in 11 games against Houston. He’s been particularly good in Houston where he’s caught seven of those touchdowns.
“It’s just crazy,” he said. “Maybe I just love playing here.”
Hilton broke out of a tough three games where he’d managed just 61 yards receiving combined.
“It’s hard and it can become frustrating. Great players want the ball,” Pagano said. “He’s a guy that wants the football and we’re doing everything we can to get the ball to our playmakers.”
Jacoby Brissett threw for 308 yards filling in for Andrew Luck, who was placed on injured reserve on Thursday and will miss the season after having shoulder surgery in January.
Watson’s stellar season also ended that day when the rookie tore the anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees in practice.
Tom Savage, who was benched in the opener for Watson, couldn’t move the offense for most of the game, but threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to get Houston within 20-14.
The Texans had a chance to win it late, but Savage was sacked by Jabaal Sheard and fumbled as time ran out to secure the victory.
“It’s probably the most frustrating game of my life,” Savage said. “It’s one of those deals where you just weren’t making the throws. Guys were open and I’m not going to give you the politically correct answer and say blah, blah, blah and we can do better. I’ve got to make the throws.”
With Watson running the offense, the Texans (3-5) had set a franchise record by scoring 30 or more points in five straight games.
His development had given the team hope that they could finish strong and contend for a third straight postseason berth despite losing J.J. Watt to a season-ending injury for a second straight year.
On Sunday, with Watson relegated to an extra coach on the bench, this Houston offense sputtered.
Houston got a touchdown on a fumble return in the second quarter, but the offense didn’t score until a 34-yard reception by DeAndre Hopkins with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter that made it 20-14.
It was the first touchdown pass for Savage, who made the fourth start of his career on Sunday. He finished 19 of 44 for 219 yards.
Hilton gave the Colts an early lead on Sunday when he hauled in a 45-yard touchdown reception on their first drive.
Houston’s Ka’imi Fairbairn missed his first field goal of the season on a 39-yard attempt early in the second quarter.
Adam Vinatieri, who moved past Gary Anderson for second on the NFL’s career scoring list on Sunday with 2,442 points, added a 22-yard field goal for the Colts to make it 10-0 in the second.
Houston got on the board near the end of the second quarter when Eddie Pleasant sacked Brissett and forced a fumble which Lamarr Houston returned 34 yards to cut the lead to 10-7 at halftime.
Hilton’s second touchdown came when he took a short pass and dashed 80 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-7 in the third quarter. He jumped over Kareem Jackson to avoid his tackle and fell to the turf around the 32-yard line on the run. But Jackson didn’t touch him , so Hilton got up and ran into the end zone with no Texan following him because they all thought he was down by contact.
Houston challenged the play, but it was upheld.
GRIFFIN INJURED: Houston TE Ryan Griffin sustained a concussion in the third quarter. It’s his second concussion this season.
Former President George H.W. Bush was on the field for the coin toss as part of Houston’s salute to service day honoring members of the military. The Texans also welcomed Houston Astros George Springer, Chris Devenski, Joe Musgrove and Tyler White on the field between the first and second quarters to honor them for winning the first World Series in franchise history last week. Springer, the MVP of the World Series, drew a huge round of applause when he hoisted the trophy above his head.
Colts: Host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Texans: Visit the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.
Ravens 20, Titans 23
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are interested only in stacking victories right now.
Reaching the halfway point tied atop the AFC South means they have time to fix what they must do better.
Marcus Mariota threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 Sunday for their third straight victory.
“There’s no question that we have still a lot of work to do,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “There’s no question about that in a lot of areas. But if we can find a way at whatever time in the game to make a play to win the game, that’s all that matters.”
Derrick Henry ran for a 1-yard TD. Safety Kevin Byard also intercepted two passes , giving the second-year pro five picks over his past two games and tying him for the most interceptions in consecutive games since NFL’s 1970 merger. He’s the first with that many since DeAngelo Hall in 2010 for Washington.
The Titans (5-3) also sacked Joe Flacco twice and scored 13 points off Byard’s first interception and a shanked punt.
The Ravens (4-5) have lost three of four going into their bye despite outgaining Tennessee 341-257.
“We’ve been beat up all year, so this will be a good chance to hopefully get healthy and get some guys back,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We were hoping to win this game to get some momentum going into the bye and come out healthy. We’ve got to get on a roll.”
Flacco tried to rally the Ravens with two TD passes in the final 8:56, the last a 1-yard pass to Mike Wallace with 46 seconds left pulling Baltimore within 23-20.
But Justin Tucker’s onside kick attempt didn’t travel 10 yards, skittering almost sideways off the tee before being recovered by Titans linebacker Daren Bates.
Eric Weddle started the rally by picking off Mariota’s overthrown pass for a Baltimore defense that came in with an NFL-best 12 interceptions. Flacco hit Javorius Allen with a 3-yard TD pass with 8:56 left to pull the Ravens within 16-13.
The Titans answered with a 75-yard drive Mariota capped with an 11-yard TD pass to Eric Decker with 3:58 left for the winning TD with the veteran wide receiver breaking loose after seeing other options bottled up by the Ravens.
“It was kind of a vet-savvy move,” Mariota said.
REVVED UP OFFENSE
The Titans had their best opening quarter and led 10-3. Mariota threw his first TD pass inside an opponent’s 20 of the season on a 16-yarder to Rishard Matthews , and it also was the Titans’ first TD in the first quarter since the season opener. The Titans finished with touchdowns on all three drives inside the Ravens 20.
Titans running back DeMarco Murray finally got off the injury report this week, but he hurt a knee in the second quarter. He returned and finished with 19 yards on nine carries.
Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley hurt a shoulder at 8:17 of the third quarter, and he was replaced by left guard James Hurst. Luke Bowanko took over at left guard. Stanley returned in the fourth quarter, but he threw up with 51 seconds left as he walked to the line of scrimmage. He went to the sideline, and Harbaugh did not have an update after the game.
The Titans finally used cornerback Adoree Jackson on offense for the first time this season on their opening drive. He went up the middle for a 20-yard gain on a handoff. But Matthew Judon sacked Mariota on third down, forcing the Titans to settle for a field goal.
The Ravens answered on the next drive with a fake punt, and punter Sam Koch hit Chris Moore for 16 yards on fourth-and-7. Titans cornerback Brice McCain was flagged for a facemask with Moore’s helmet coming off to reach the Tennessee 13. But the Ravens settled for a field goal.
“We need to be better,” Flacco said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Ravens: Bye week.
Titans: Host the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bengals 7, Jaguars 23
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — As offensively inept as the Cincinnati Bengals were to start the season, they were even worse Sunday at Jacksonville.
The Bengals finished with a season-low 148 yards in a 23-7 loss that showed — again — just how dominant the Jaguars (5-3) can be.
The game will be remembered more for a fight between receiver A.J. Green and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. But Cincinnati’s offense was the one that really got whipped.
It was the team’s worst output since a 27-0 drubbing at Indianapolis in 2014 in which Cincy managed 135 yards. The Bengals (3-5) might not have reached the end zone in this one had it not been for a 59-yard pass playfrom Andy Dalton to Tyler Kroft during which two defenders collided while missing the tackle. Rookie Joe Mixon scored two plays later.
Jacksonville dominated from there, controlling the ball for more than 40 minutes in a chippy game that could have been much more lopsided.
“When we’re playing like this, what can you really do with us?” Jaguars cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “Where you going to go with the ball? Where are you going to run the ball? We keep trying to tell y’all: There isn’t no secondary out there that’s better than us. We’re trying to show y’all. Eventually everybody will catch on.”
Mixon finished with 31 yards rushing on 13 carries. Dalton threw for 136 yards and was sacked twice.
“Obviously we’re not executing at the level that we want to,” Dalton said. “We need to play better, and it starts with the mentality of knowing that you’re going to play better, and telling yourself, and trusting the guy next to you.”
Blake Bortles threw for 259 yards and a touchdown in another efficient day. Marqise Lee had his first TD reception of the season. And Jaydon Mickens returned a punt 63 yards for a score that put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Green and Ramsey were the main topic afterward.
The perennial Pro Bowler retaliated against the trash-talking Ramsey in a violent way. After Ramsey pushed Green to the ground at the end of a running play, Green grabbed Ramsey around the neck and slammed him to the ground. Green then delivered numerous punches to Ramsey’s helmet — never the smartest idea — and put another MMA-style choke hold on Ramsey. It was the kind of aggressive attack that could lead to league discipline, maybe even a suspension.
Green and Ramsey were ejected.
“I should have walked off in that situation,” Green said. “It’s never going to happen again. I regret my actions. Whatever my punishments are I accept them because I put myself in that situation. … I’ve got to control my emotions better. I’ve got to handle my stuff better. I can’t put myself in a situation like that, hurt my team and not be able to play.”
Ramsey was not in the locker room after the game.
The Jaguars preferred to talk about their latest defensive gem, one that followed two 10-sack performances (Houston, Indianapolis) and a five-turnover outing (Pittsburgh).
“When we’re all working together like that, like we’ve been the past couple of weeks, it’s a scary sight,” linebacker Myles Jack said. “I can feel it on the field. It’s fun.”
Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette was inactive for violating a team rule. Jacksonville made the surprise announcement 90 minutes before kickoff. It’s unclear what Fournette did to draw coach Doug Marrone’s punishment.
Bengals: Starting right tackle Jake Fisher was taken to a local hospital with an undisclosed illness. … Nose tackle Pat Sims left in the first quarter with a right calf injury and did not return. … Running back Jeremy Hill, who started the first seven games, was scratched because of an ankle injury. Hill was not on the injury report all week.
Jaguars: Left tackle Cam Robinson reinjured his left ankle, but returned to the game. … Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. injured his right elbow but returned.
The Jaguars welcomed back nearly 60 former players for their annual homecoming game. In conjunction with the reunion, the Jaguars wore teal jersey and black pants for the first time since December 2006.
Bengals: Wrap up a three-game stretch against the AFC South by playing Tennessee. It’s the second of three consecutive road games, a stretch that could determine whether or not Cincinnati is a playoff contender down the stretch.
Jaguars: Host the Los Angeles Chargers, which have won six in a row in the series. Jacksonville’s last victory against the Chargers came in 2007, the last time the Jags made the playoffs.
Falcons 17, Panthers 20
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton felt the Carolina Panthers needed an emotional lift. He gave them one on Sunday.
An energetic and seemingly motivated Newton ran for 86 yards and a scored on a head-first diving 9-yard touchdown run as the Carolina Panthers erased an early 10-point deficit to beat the NFC South-rival Atlanta Falcons 20-17.
Newton pumped his fist, flexed his muscles and played up to the crowd in a game he knew the Panthers (6-3) had to have to remain a half-game behind the first-place Saints in the NFC South.
“When the Panthers are emotionless, good things don’t happen,” Newton said. “If we can get Bank of America Stadium with a pulse, that’s when we are at our best. And that is what I was trying to do.”
Newton was coming off an emotional week in which his top target — and best friend on the team — Kelvin Benjamin was traded to the Buffalo Bills.
With Benjamin gone, the Panthers turned to back to their running game, racking up a season-high 201 yards on the ground. Newton led the Panthers’ rushing attack for the fourth straight week, while rookie Christian McCaffrey added a career-high 66 yards rushing and a touchdown . Devin Funchess, now Carolina’s No. 1 receiver, had 86 yards on five catches.
“It was a good team win,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said.
And another tough loss for the Falcons (4-4).
Atlanta continued to struggle running the ball, Matt Ryan had a costly first half interception and a wide-open Julio Jones dropped a 39-yard touchdown pass in the end zone.
“With fumbles and drops and things like that, we’re not trying to do it,” Jones said. “It’s just happening, We are not taught to drop balls or fumble balls. It’s just the luck of the draw right now.”
The Panthers spotted the Falcons 10 points before the game turned late in the first half, with Carolina scoring two touchdowns in the final 2:35 to take the lead for good.
The Falcons failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Carolina 35 when Devonta Freeman was stuffed at the line of scrimmage by a gang of Panthers. With the crowd fired up, Newton took just six plays to get the Panthers into the end zone, shuffling a pitchout to McCaffrey for a 4-yard score.
Ryan, who threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns , tried to get the Falcons more points before halftime but the strategy backfired when his receiver slipped and Mike Adams intercepted his pass and returned it to the Atlanta 25.
Four plays later, Newton leaped from the 3-yard line and flew through the air before he dunked the ball on Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant for the score. Newton turned to the crowd and began jumping up and down repeatedly , thrusting both arms in the air.
“He’s gifted,” Funchess said with a smile. “I just try to go out and be as gifted as him.”
The Falcons cut the lead to 20-17 on a 19-yard touchdown reception by Tevin Coleman with 3:25 remaining in the game, but Carolina’s defense kept Atlanta from scoring on its final drive to seal the win.
JONES’ BIG DROP: With six catches for 118 yards, Julio Jones became the first receiver to surpass 100 yards receiving against the Panthers this season.
But Jones will likely remember the one he didn’t catch. The perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver’s drop with 8:12 left would have cut Carolina’s lead to three.
“There are no excuses, just a missed opportunity,” Jones said.
Said Ryan: “He makes that play 100 out of 100 times. He’s made more plays on this team than probably everybody.”
Panthers safety Kurt Coleman immediately ran over to console Jones, putting his arm around him after the drop.
“He said some spiritual things to me,” said Jones, who had never met Coleman before. “I guess he’s a very spiritual guy.”
NO RUNNING GAME: The Falcons have struggled in recent weeks with their running game, and Sunday was no exception. Freeman and Coleman were held to a combined 51 yards on 16 carries.
“It’s just execution in certain situations,” Ryan said of the offense’s struggles. “We’d gone up and down the field, but (missed chances on) a third-and-1, a fourth-and-1, another third-and-short opportunity. . Those little things throughout the game, when you’re doing good things but can’t capitalize, well, that’s been the difference for us.”
RECEIVER ROTATION: Rookie Curtis Samuel started for the Panthers as the No. 2 wide receiver opposite Funchess and had three catches for 23 yards. He ran once for 14 yards.
NEAL WITH THE STRIPS: Falcons safety Keanu Neal had a nice first quarter, forcing Stewart’s two fumbles and recovering one. It marked the first time Stewart has lost two fumbles and fumbled twice in the same game since coming into the NFL as a first-round draft pick.
Falcons: Host Cowboys next Sunday.
Panthers: Host Dolphins on Monday, Nov. 13.
Rams 51, Giants 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — If the last two games are any indication, the Los Angeles Rams are for real — and then some.
Jared Goff set career highs with four touchdown throws and 311 yards passing, Todd Gurley ran for two more scores and the surprising Rams made one big play after another in beating the defenseless New York Giants 51-17 on Sunday.
The win was the fifth in six games for the Rams, whose 6-2 start is the franchise’s best since 2001, when the club went 14-2 in the regular season and eventually lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
What’s even more impressive is that 31-year-old Sean McVay’s team has won the last two games by a combined 84-17 margin, including a 33-0 win over the Cardinals in London.
Goff downplayed the success.
“Eight games in, eight games in,” the second-year quarterback warned. “You’ve seen it in the past, teams start out hot and don’t finish the season that way, or vice versa. We need to go week to week right now. We’re excited about where we’re at, for sure, 6-2 is really good. We finished the second quarter of the season 3-1. That’s really good. But we have half the season to go.”
McVay said the Rams’ last two games have been almost perfect in all three phases in remaining unbeaten in four road games. It’s five if a “home” win in London is included.
The Rams’ high-powered offense showed no rust coming off the bye, scoring on eight of their first nine possessions while reeling off six plays of 35 yards or more. The defense forced three turnovers that the offense turned into 17 points and the special teams blocked a third-quarter punt that Gurley converted into his second TD.
“It’s exciting,” said Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who intercepted Manning late in the first half. “A lot of guys in this locker room haven’t been in this situation, 6-2. It’s big and every game is going to be more important, so we are doing everything one game at a time, one day at a time.”
Greg Zuerlein added three field goals against the Giants (1-7), who allowed the biggest offensive performance against them in a home game since Cleveland beat them 52-21 in the regular-season finale in 1964.
The Giants had not given up more than 27 points in any of its first seven games.
“You lay an egg like that, obviously we didn’t play well,” Giants halfback Orleans Darkwa said. “We’ve got to go back to work. We started fast. We made some plays. We put on a good drive. But we wound up turning the ball over, and you can’t do that.”
The loss also put coach Ben McAdoo’s future in question just one year after he led the team to the playoffs. He suspended cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Tuesday for missing a workout Monday and the depleted secondary was torched by Goff, who was 14 of 22 with no interceptions.
“I’m disappointed,” said McAdoo, who insisted his team did not quit. “Expected us to come out and play a better football game than we played. We have it in us. It’s my job to get it out of us.”
Goff’s touchdowns were of 8 yards to tight end Tyler Higbee, 52 to Robert Woods , 67 to Sammy Watkins and 4 to Woods .
Eli Manning (20 of 36 for 220) threw two touchdown passes and become the seventh NFL quarterback to reach the 50,000-mark with his completion of a garbage-time pass to Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter. His TDs covered 5 yards to Tavarres King and 10 yards to Evan Engram.
Goff’s touchdown pass to Higbee came after Aaron Donald sacked Manning and forced a fumble that Connor Barwin recovered.
The play that killed the Giants was the 52-yarder to Woods on a third-and-33 screen play on which the receiver was barely touched. It turned a 10-7 lead into a 10-point advantage and New York never looked the same in seeing its seven-game winning streak against the Rams end.
INJURIES: in addition to Jenkins, the Giants defense was without starting DE Olivier Vernon, WLB Jonathan Casillas, MLB B.J. Goodson and backup CB Donte Deayon. LB Keenan Robinson, who was filling in for Casillas, left with a quad injury in the first half.
Rams: Return home to face Houston in their first game at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 34 days. They are 1-2 at home.
Giants: At San Francisco next Sunday.
Buccaneers 10, Saints 30
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore caused Tampa Bay’s second-ranked passing game so much frustration that several Buccaneers lost their composure.
New Orleans rookie running back Alvin Kamara stirred the Superdome into a frenzy by turning a short catch into a serpentine, tackle-escaping touchdown.
These first-place Saints, winners of six straight, look nothing like the club that languished at .500 or below throughout the previous three seasons. A pair of 2017 draft choices are a big reason why.
Kamara had 152 yards total yards and two touchdowns, Lattimore helped hold Tampa Bay’s standout receiving tandem of Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson to three catches for 38 yards, and the Saints routed the reeling Buccaneers 30-10 on Sunday.
Lattimore also was in the middle of a brief scuffle along the Tampa Bay sideline , and said later of the Buccaneers, “I could tell they were frustrated.”
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who completed 81.2 percent of his passes (22 of 27) for 263 yards and two touchdowns, had strong praise for Kamara.
“Alvin’s doing a lot of good things. He’s very versatile,” Brees said. “He can be in the game in any moment.”
The Buccaneers (2-6) were trying to stem a four-game skid, but instead were not just beaten, but beaten up. Quarterback Jameis Winston left with shoulder soreness after the first half. Starting defensive end William Gholston was carted off the field with a neck injury. And tensions boiled over when Winston, after he had left the game, appeared to instigate the scuffle along the sideline.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said he was “embarrassed,” and hoped Bucs players were, too.
Winston said he didn’t want leave the game and that his status for next week was unclear, but the quarterback also criticized his recent play.
“I know I’m not doing my job, so I have to do a better job,” said Winston, who was 7 for 13 for 67 yards. “Everyone needs to do a better job.”
Brees’ touchdowns went for 33 yards to Kamara and 36 yards to Ted Ginn Jr. Kamara, who had six catches for 84 yards, also scored on a 6-yard run.
Kamara caught four passes on the drive that ended with his long touchdown on a screen pass .
“I’m just trying to bob and weave and get in the end zone,” Kamara said. “I was smelling it.”
New Orleans also got pressure in the backfield, finishing with four sacks. Cameron Jordan had 1 1-2 sacks.
Tight end Luke Stocker scored the lone touchdown for Tampa Bay on a pass from backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The scuffle erupted in the third quarter and was ignited when Winston vigorously pressed his finger into the back of Lattimore’s helmet during a dead-ball period between a failed third-down pass and a punt.
“I told him to go to his sideline,” Winston said.
Lattimore turned and shoved Winston, after which Evans leveled Lattimore from behind.
“I’m going to protect my quarterback no matter what, but I shouldn’t have done that. That was kind of malicious. I shouldn’t have hit him in his back like that,” said Evans, who also called his own behavior childish and unprofessional. “I should have just shoved him away trying to break it up.”
Saints defensive back De’Vante Harris then came charging into the melee to defend Lattimore. As the scuffle was broken up, Saints coach Sean Payton marched halfway across the field, gesturing angrily at the Tampa Bay bench before officials chased him back to the Saints’ sideline.
The score was 30-3 at the time. Evans was called for unnecessary roughness. Payton said he thought Evans should have been ejected, but Lattimore said he was glad Evans stayed in the game.
“I wanted to go at him after that,” Lattimore said, comparing his coverage of Evans to “a fight after that every play.”
“It’s bigger than football at that point when you do something like that,” Lattimore added.
Justin Hardee’s touchdown came on the first of two blocks on consecutive snaps.
Hardee, an undrafted rookie, said there appeared to be a missed blocking assignment, which allowed him to come in clean up the middle for a smothering block on punter Bryan Anger. The ball then bounced high and behind Anger, allowing Hardee to run under it practically in stride and glide into the end zone for a 7-yard score.
The Bucs’ Ryan Smith then blocked Wil Lutz’ extra point, leaving New Orleans with a 9-0 lead.
Buccaneers: In addition to Winston’s and Gholston’s injuries, left tackle Donovan Smith went out with a knee injury.
Saints: Left tackle Terron Armstead took himself out of the game with a chest injury late in the first half, but said after the game that he was hurt on his first play and tried to play through it. In the third quarter, the Saints announced safety Kenny Vaccaro was out with a groin injury.
Buccaneers: Host the New York Jets on Sunday.
Saints: Visit the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Redskins 17, Seahawks 14
SEATTLE (AP) — The comeback by Kirk Cousins topped any late rally Russell Wilson tried to engineer, and suddenly injected some hope into Washington’s season that was trending toward trouble.
Cousins drove Washington 70 yards in 35 seconds, capped by Rob Kelley’s 1-yard touchdown run with less than a minute remaining, and the Redskins rallied late to stun the Seattle Seahawks 17-14 on Sunday.
“On offense it was a lot of adversity. The injuries made things tough,” Cousins said. “We felt like we had to keep grinding, and you never know when your defense is able to keep you in the game, your special teams, that you may have an opportunity in the fourth quarter.”
Seattle (5-3) took a 14-10 lead with 1:34 remaining after Russell Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 30-yard touchdown pass after the Seahawks had scuffled on offense all day. But Cousins had an unexpected answer.
Taking over at his 30-yard line, Cousins hit Brian Quick for 31 yards and Josh Doctson for 38 on consecutive throws to get to the Seattle 1 with 1:02 left. Doctson beat rookie Shaquill Griffin down the sideline and made an impressive diving catch. Kelley bulled his way in from the 1 on the next play for his second touchdown.
“It was good, but also, he’s Russell Wilson. He’s known for coming back,” Kelley said. “It was like, ‘Uh, oh, let’s calm down, let’s chill out for a minute or so.’ It was kind of awkward, you just know how good those guys are when they’re in the same situation we were in.”
Wilson did his best but couldn’t match his magic from last week against Houston, when he threw for a franchise-record 452 yards and put together a winning touchdown drive in the final minute. Wilson was 24 of 45 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He got Seattle to the Washington 38 in the final 30 seconds. Instead of spiking the ball, Wilson tried to run a play and was sacked by Terrell McClain back to the Redskins 46. After a lengthy review, Seattle had the ball with 4 seconds left after Washington (4-4) called time out to get organized.
Wilson’s desperation toss on the final play in the direction of Jimmy Graham and Tanner McEvoy fell incomplete and Seattle saw its four-game win streak snapped.
“We made this so hard on ourselves,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Washington coach Jay Gruden warned his defensive players this week that with so many injuries on the offensive side it was incumbent on them to keep Washington in the game. They accomplished that task, and combined with Seattle’s mistakes, allowed Cousins the chance at the end.
“You play with confidence, you feel good about yourself, good things are going to happen,” Washington defensive lineman Ziggy Hood said.
Kelley finished with two touchdown runs, while Cousins was 21 of 31 for 247 yards. He was responsible for a fumble in the first half, but otherwise took care of the ball against Seattle’s standout defense. He also withstood six sacks and a number of other quarterback hits behind a makeshift offensive line of backups and rookies.
“This lets everyone know we can definitely win in the most hostile environment. … If we can play under these conditions it means we can go anywhere. We can play home, we can play away, we just have to be poised, we have to be disciplined,” Washington tight end Vernon Davis said.
Seattle was undone by its mistakes. The Seahawks committed 16 penalties, failed to find much rhythm on offense and saw kicker Blair Walsh miss three first-half field goals inside 50 yards. Walsh was 12 of 13 on the season, but missed from 44, 39 and 49 yards, the last on the final play of the first half.
“This is the first time this year where I haven’t really come through and I got to remember that,” Walsh said. “As much as it sucks and as much as I want to be there for my teammates and help us win, I’ve got to remember I’m capable of doing good things here.”
Those misses and two failed 2-point conversion attempts got the better of the Seahawks thanks to Cousins’ heroics at the end.
Washington was minus six starters, including three on the offensive line, yet became the first non-NFC West team to win in Seattle since Week 6 of the 2015 season, when Carolina beat the Seahawks.
While Washington had a larger quantity of key injuries, Seattle was without three very important pieces. Safety Earl Thomas (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (oblique) were inactive because of injuries. The Seahawks lost running back Eddie Lacy in the first quarter to a groin injury after Lacy was expected to be the featured back Sunday.
Redskins: Washington returns home to host Minnesota.
Seahawks: Seattle has a short week and faces division foe Arizona on the road on Thursday night
Cardinals 20, 49ers 10
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — After beginning the season as an afterthought in New Orleans, Adrian Peterson showed he still has what it takes to be a workhorse just when Arizona needed it most.
Peterson carried a career-high 37 times for 159 yards to take pressure off backup quarterback Drew Stanton and lead the Cardinals to a 20-10 victory over the winless San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
“That’s the mindset I’ve always had since I came into the league,” Peterson said. “I’m going to wear those guys down and see if they can do it for four quarters. That’s something they have to question themselves when it comes to the fourth quarter and I’m still coming in there.”
Peterson had 10 more carries in his third game with the Cardinals (4-4) than he had his first four weeks combined with the Saints. He posted the most carries ever for a player in his 30s and topped the 100-yard mark for the second time since being acquired in a trade last month.
“That’s why they call him All Day, AD, because he can tote it all day,” Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “We’re very fortunate to have a back with his experience and his explosiveness in our backfield.”
Peterson’s tough running and Stanton’s pair of first-half touchdown passes were enough to help Arizona bounce back from a 33-0 loss to the Rams before last week’s bye.
The undermanned 49ers (0-9) extended the worst start in franchise history and have lost 23 of the past 24 games overall. Newly acquired quarterback of the future Jimmy Garoppolo was mostly a spectator as rookie C.J. Beathard got battered once again behind a patchwork line missing injured left tackle Joe Staley.
Beathard went 24 for 51 for 294 yards and an interception and also ran for a touchdown. He was also sacked five times and hit 16 times overall, but still managed to stay in the game and not force the 49ers to use Garoppolo just days after he was acquired for a second-round pick from New England.
“I’m not afraid of getting hit. That won’t affect me,” Beathard said. “Never has. I’m tough and I’ve been able to take things. Obviously, if I’m injured, I’m not going to force myself in there. But as of now, I haven’t been injured.”
Stanton, making his first start this season in place of the injured Carson Palmer, went 15 for 30 for 201 yards with TD passes to Jaron Brown and Jermaine Gresham . He also was intercepted once.
Arizona’s Frostee Rucker and Hasson Reddick, and San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde all were ejected for fighting in the fourth quarter. The teams got into a skirmish after former 49ers safety Antoine Bethea hit Beathard late as he was sliding following a run. The 49ers took exception to the hit and players from both teams started scuffling.
Niners receiver Marquise Goodwin showed off his speed a few times in the first half. He got behind the Arizona secondary on multiple occasions and caught one deep ball for 55 yards from Beathard to set up a field goal by Robbie Gould. Goodwin also chased Patrick Peterson down from behind at the 6 on a return after Kyle Juszczyk lost a fumble to prevent a touchdown. Stanton ended up getting the TD anyway on a 3-yard pass to Jaron Brownthat opened the scoring.
Peterson reached the 12,000-yard rushing mark for his career in the second quarter. Peterson got the milestone in his 130th career game, fourth fastest in NFL history. Only Hall of Famers Jim Brown (115), Eric Dickerson (118) and Barry Sanders (125) got there faster. Peterson also moved into 15th place on the career rushing list with 12,142 yards, jumping ahead of Thurman Thomas.
Fitzgerald also moved past Tim Brown into sixth place on the all-time list for yards receiving with 14,953 yards.
Arizona linebacker Karlos Dansby intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter, becoming the fifth player with at least 40 sacks and 20 INTs in a career.
The Cardinals led 14-3 at halftime and it could have been much more, except Phil Dawson missed a 38-yard field goal on the opening drive and Stanton was intercepted in the end zone by Eric Reid in the second quarter.
The 49ers lost safety Jaquiski Tartt to a broken arm that will likely sideline him for the rest of the season. Juszczyk (neck), WR Trent Taylor (rib) and LB Elijah Lee (knee) also left with injuries.
Cardinals: Host Seattle on Thursday night.
49ers: Host New York Giants on Sunday.
Chiefs 17, Cowboys 28
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys figured they were headed to halftime with a comfortable lead after his touchdown run before a what-just-happened score from Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill, who surely will be on the short list for the play of the year in the NFL.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones wasn’t even watching.
“I was eating my hot dog,” Jones said. “Seriously, it was the kind of thing, we all know the momentum is the best thing you can do to be in the ballgame. This team had every right, every reason to get down. They did not. That’s the thing I’m proud of today.”
Dallas overcame Hill’s weaving 56-yard score with the clock expired going into halftime, with Ezekiel Elliott scoring the go-ahead touchdown after another reprieve from his six-game suspension in the Cowboys’ 28-17 victory over the Chiefs on Sunday.
Elliott’s 2-yard plunge in the third quarter came after the Chiefs turned a 14-3 deficit into a 17-14 advantage, sparked by Hill’s stunning catch and run through seven Dallas defenders inside their 25 trying to prevent the score.
“You’ve got to put that play behind you and move forward,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Sometimes easier said than done. We felt like we gave them one.”
Last year’s NFL rushing champion as a rookie, Elliott had 93 yards, ending a streak of three straight 100-yard games but outgaining Kareem Hunt, this year’s rushing leader in his first season entering the game.
Hunt matched a season low with nine carries, finishing with 37 yards as a club record-tying nine-game road winning streak ended for the Chiefs (6-3) in their third loss in four games since a 5-0 start.
Elliott got an emergency stay from a New York court Friday, stopping the suspension over alleged domestic violence for the third time. Another court hearing could be held this week.
With former quarterback Tony Romo calling his first Dallas game as lead analyst for CBS, Prescott had two touchdown passes to Cole Beasley and along with his fourth rushing TD this season in a third straight win for the Cowboys (5-3).
Terrance Williams had a career-high nine catches for 141 yards, including a 56-yarder from a scrambling Prescott to set up Prescott’s 10-yard TD run with 13 seconds left in the first half.
Trailing 14-3, the Chiefs were at their 44 with 2 seconds left when the Cowboys used three linemen and a linebacker near the line of scrimmage and dropped everyone else back.
Hill caught an easy toss from Alex Smith at the Cowboys 42 and started toward the goal line with three blockers in front.
The speedy Hill motored around Orlando Scandrick at the 25, cut behind two blocks from Demarcus Robinson inside the 10 and sidestepped overpursuing linebacker Anthony Hitchens to finish the stunning TD.
Remarkably, it appeared Hill was untouched all the way, with only safety Xavier Woods getting close with an outstretched left arm. Fellow safety Byron Jones ripped off his helmet in frustration as Hill crossed the goal line.
“I knew it was going to be trouble,” said running back Charcandrick West, who was on the field for the play. “The kid is something special. His Twitter name and Instagram is cheetah. That’s what he is.”
The Chiefs got the ball to start the second half with great field position after Byron Jones was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after Hill’s score. Kansas City went in front on Travis Kelce’s 2-yard scoring catch, which sparked a sack-race celebration with Hill and Robinson.
The Cowboys answered with drives of 75 and 87 yards that took more than 12 minutes combined. Beasley capped the latter with a 7-yard TD after a 6-yarder in the first half.
Prescott was 21 of 33 for 249 yards, with Beasley getting 24 yards receiving after spending part of the week in the concussion protocol. Dez Bryant had 73 yards.
FIRST PICK OF SEASON
Down by 11 for the second time, Kansas City’s realistic hopes ended on Smith’s first interception of the season on a fourth-down throw. It ended a streak of 293 passes without a pick for Smith, who was 25 of 34 for 263 yards and two TDs.
‘WELCOME HOME 9′
On the Cowboys’ video tribute to Romo, there was an inset shot of Romo watching the highlight tape as the crowd cheered, and he responded by applauding toward them as the video ended. When the giant board switched to a full shot of Romo, he shook his head briefly as if touched by the gesture as he was putting on his headset.
The franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns lost the job last season when Prescott replaced him after a back injury and led the Cowboys to a club-record 11 straight wins. Romo took the CBS job rather than chase an elusive Super Bowl with another franchise.
Hill’s TD was his ninth of at least 50 yards, leaving him one behind Hall of Famer Gale Sayers for the most such touchdowns in a player’s first 25 games.
Chiefs: Defensive lineman Allen Bailey left in the third quarter and has a sprained knee ligament.
Cowboys: Bryant left with a sprained ankle in the third quarter, and defensive tackle Brian Price was helped off the field after a knee injury in the fourth quarter.
Chiefs: Bye next week, at New York Giants on Nov. 19.
Cowboys: At Atlanta, with the defending NFC champs having lost four of their past five.
Raiders 27, Dolphins 24
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Derek Carr’s best throw was his longest , a strike launched from midfield that hung in the balmy night air until Johnny Holton settled under it in the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown.
That early score put the Oakland Raiders ahead to stay, and Carr remained on target to help beat the Miami Dolphins 27-24 on Sunday.
Carr went 21 of 30 for 300 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and helped the Raiders convert 8 for 15 third downs.Oakland (4-5) won for only the second time since Week 2.
“That’s what we needed,” Carr said. “Guys were on edge this week, a little chippy, including me.”
The Dolphins recovered an onside kick and came up with a takeaway when Oakland fumbled twice on a single play, but failed to convert either opportunity into points.
“That was a big deal stopping them there,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “An excellent job of putting the fire out.”
Oakland also overcame 10 penalties for 105 yards, including three for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter.
The Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch, returning from a one-game suspension for shoving an official, scored on a 22-yard run, his longest this year. He added another late score and finished with 57 yards on 14 carries.
Miami (4-4) fell to .500 for the third time this season, and lost a close game for the first time in more than a year. In games decided by seven points or less, the Dolphins had won 12 in a row.
Miami’s Jay Cutler, back after missing one game with cracked ribs, completed his first 16 passes and finished 34 for 42 for 311 yards and three scores. His touchdown pass with 1:32 left cut the deficit to three points, but Oakland recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the win.
“We’ve just got to look at the positives,” Cutler said. “We did some good things. We’re in a good position — 4-4 with a lot of football left to play.”
The Dolphins’ worst-in-the-NFL offense again struggled to run the ball in its first game since trading running back Jay Ajayi. Replacement Kenyan Drake had a 42-yard run — Miami’s longest this year — to set up a touchdown, but he also lost a fumble.
The Dolphins totaled just 86 yards rushing and still don’t have a rushing touchdown this season. They were hurt by 11 penalties for 107 yards.
“It seemed like we were going backward there a few times,” Cutler said.
Holton outmaneuvered Reshad Jones in the end zone to catch Carr’s 44-yard touchdown pass. Holton’s celebratory dance was impressive, too — he clasped his hands between his knees and hopped along the sideline.
His only other catch this season was for a 64-yard score.
Carr’s favorite target was tight end Jared Cook, who had eight catches for 126 yards.
“He seemed to find a way to get open,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said.
BEAT THE CLOCK
Carr moved the Raiders 42 yards in the final 26 seconds of the first half before Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a 53-yard field goal, the longest of his career, on the final play to put Oakland up 13-9 at halftime.
The Dolphins’ Cody Parkey missed an extra point but recovered his own onside kick. Miami failed to take advantage, with Kenyan Drake losing a fumble at the 20. Parkey also made a tackle on a kickoff.
Oakland fumbled twice on one play. When Carr was hit by Ndamukong Suh and coughed up the ball, 330-pound tackle Marshall Newhouse scooped it up and took off. He also fumbled when hit, and Miami’s Charles Harris recovered.
Miami: RT Ja’Wuan James went to the locker room midway through the fourth quarter with a left hamstring injury. DT Ndamukong Suh briefly went to the locker room with an unspecified injury but returned to the game and said afterward he was fine.
The Dolphins play their third prime time game in a row when they’re at Carolina (6-3) on Monday, Nov. 13.
Following a bye, the Raiders travel to Mexico City to face AFC East leader New England (6-2) on Nov. 19.
Lions 30, Packers 17
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Matthew Stafford put on a quarterback clinic for the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers could only watch from the sideline.
Stafford passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns to Marvin Jones, and the Lions snapped a three-game losing streak with a 30-17 win on Monday night over the offensively challenged Green Bay Packers.
“Matt (made) some great throws … I just did what I love to do — go out there and get them,” Jones said.
Stafford was 26 of 33, including 12 of 14 in the first half with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jones. Ameer Abdullah added a 4-yard touchdown run for Detroit (4-4).
Green Bay (4-4) finally got in the end zone on Brett Hundley’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with 9:52 left.
The Lions answered with Stafford’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones with 8:06 remaining, putting the game out of reach with a 17-point lead. Jones had seven catches for 107 yards.
The Packers have lost three straight games. Their once-potent offense has struggled since Rodgers broke his right collarbone on Oct. 15 at Minnesota.
Hundley finished 26 of 38 for 245 yards. Cornerback Darius Slay blanketed Jordy Nelson when the Packers did try to throw long while the game was still competitive.
“With this one obviously it doesn’t get a whole lot better than this. We played well,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said.
Abdullah fumbled the ball away in the third quarter, but the Packers went three-and-out on the ensuing drive. Familiar problems in the red zone popped up for the Lions when they were stopped on three plays at the Packers 1, forced to settle for a field goal for a 17-point lead with 12:25 left.
But without Rodgers, the Packers couldn’t keep up with the accurate, rocket-armed Stafford.
“I believe in Brett, that’s not just a press conference statement,” coach Mike McCarthy said about Hundley.
The Lions were 8 of 13 on third-down conversions, with Stafford burning the Packers with clutch throws. The Packers were just 2 of 9 on third downs and failed to convert both of their fourth-down chances.
“They controlled the third-down battle tonight,” McCarthy said. “We have work to do. That’s the fact of the matter and we have to do it fast.”
The Lions’ opening score was set up by an unnecessary roughness penalty on Mike Daniels, after the defensive lineman appeared to head-butt Detroit center Travis Swanson. The flag negated an incompletion on third-and-15 that would have forced the Lions to punt from their own 25. Stafford connected with Jones for the touchdown pass five plays later.
The first scoring strike to Jones was the 200th touchdown pass in 117 career games for Stafford, the sixth-quickest in NFL history to reach the milestone. Stafford, who turns 30 in February, is also fourth in NFL history for career touchdown passes before age 30 behind Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.
Special teams didn’t help the Packers.
Working in their third long snapper of the season because of injuries, Green Bay had a 38-yard field goal blocked in the first quarter on a play that started with a low snap. Trevor Davis didn’t get past the 22 on three kickoff returns in the first half.
Lions: WR Golden Tate joined Jones over the 100-yard mark with seven receptions for 113 yards. … Abdullah had 21 carries for 48 yards.
Packers: The team’s playmaking receivers did have more opportunities, though most came on short passes. Randall Cobb finished with 58 yards on five receptions, including a catch-and-run for a 46-yard gain that set up Hundley’s TD run. Davante Adams had seven catches for 53 yards.
“This game they were giving us the underneath stuff,” Hundley said. “You have to take what’s given.”
Packers S Morgan Burnett left in the third quarter with a groin injury. He had returned from a two-game absence for a hamstring injury. RT Bryan Bulaga left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.
It appeared that all members of both teams stood for the national anthem, with many players and coaches locking arms on their respective sidelines.
Lions: Host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Packers: Visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday.