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Here is a recap of Week 6 of the 2018 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Bye: Lions, Saints
Eagles 34, Giants 13
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Breathe a little easier Philadelphia and surrounding areas. The Eagles are back and looking super.
Just goes to show you what a little urgency, some big plays — and a timely game against the New York Giants can do for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Carson Wentz threw a season-high three touchdown passes and the Eagles got an early lift from their defense and special teams in beating the struggling Giants 34-13 on Thursday night, avoiding their first three-game losing streak since the 2016 season.
“It’s a big win for us,” said Wentz, who finished 26 of 36 for 278 yards and no interceptions. “NFC East and the conference. It’s huge. Being 3-3 is better than 2-4. This is more like who we are. We can build from this.”
The win put the Eagles into a first place tie with Washington (2-2) in the NFC East with Dallas (2-3) a half game back. The Giants are fading fast.
Wentz sandwiched touchdowns passes of 13 and 1 yard to Alshon Jeffery around a 10-yarder to tight end Zach Ertz to help the Eagles build a 31-6 lead. They beat the Giants (1-5) for the fourth straight time and seventh in eight games.
Corey Clement scored on a 1-yard run and Jake Elliott added field goals of 33 and 30 yards.
“This is finally the game where we played like the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Ertz, who was limited to seven passes for 43 yards. “We’re finally the Eagles again.”
Rookie halfback Saquon Barkley scored on a 50-yard run and rushed for 130 yards in one of the few bright spots for the Giants’ offense, which was booed repeatedly in losing at home for the third time. Aldrick Rosas had field goals of 33 and 21 yards.
This was seen as a must-win game for both teams in the weak and wide-open NFC East, and the Eagles went out and grabbed it.
They came into the game having scored seven points in the first quarter and they doubled that against New York.
Eli Manning was under pressure all night from the Eagles. They sacked him four times and hit him 13 other times. He finished 24 of 43 for 281 yards.
“We want to get after the passer every week,” coach Doug Pederson said. “These games are battles. It all comes down to which team gets after the passer. We hit Eli and put him on the ground. That was big.”
It started on the opening series.
Kamu Grugier-Hill intercepted Manning’s pass that was tipped by fellow linebacker Jordan Hicks and he returned it to Giants 16. Three plays later, Wentz was forced out of the pocket and found Jeffery after getting all day to throw.
A 46-yard run by Barkley set up Rosas’ 33-yarder to cut the gap to 7-3, but the Eagles took control later in the quarter after DeAndre Carter returned a punt 23 yards to the New York 44. Passes of 17 to Jeffery and 14 to Clement set up Clement’s touchdown run.
A spectacular tackle-breaking run by Barkley on a 55-yard screen pass helped cut the lead to 14-6 in the second quarter but Wentz hit a wide-open Nelson Agholer on a third and 3 and connected with Ertz for a 21-6 lead on the next play.
Elliott made it 24-6 just before halftime and Philadelphia put the game out of reach with a 75-yard drive that ended with a short Jeffery TD catch.
“We didn’t do anything well enough to win tonight,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. “Credit Philadelphia. Good football team.”
The only thing meaningful after that was Barkley’s touchdown run.
“How do I feel about my performance tonight?” Barkley asked rhetorically. “Doesn’t matter to me. We didn’t win.”
FAN OF THE GAME
Odell Beckham Jr. headbutted a giant cooling fan during a second-half fit that also included him screaming from the sideline and eventually being calmed by Barkley. Beckham also left for the locker room before the end of the first half, though Shurmur said Beckham was excused early because of cramping.
Beckham said his tirade was just a bit of self-motivation.
“I was just trying to get myself going,” he said. “I felt like some of those plays where I was getting myself going was some of my best stuff. So I was just trying to get myself fired up. I did that and it helped me.”
Thursday’s scene comes a week after Beckham bemoaned the lack of downfield passes from Manning and the team’s subpar energy following a 33-31 loss to Carolina. Beckham had six catches for 44 yards Thursday, and his longest reception was 12 yards.
INJURIES: Eagles LT Jason Peters left with a biceps injury. Backup cornerback Sidney Jones left in the first half with a hamstring injury. The Giants had LB Ray Ray Amstrong (concussion), WR Cody Latimer (hamstring) and CB Antonio Hamilton (illness) leave the game.
BARKLEY GAINS: Barkley has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his first six career games. He is one off the NFL rookie record set by Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt.
Eagles: Host Carolina on Oct. 21.
Giants: At Atlanta on Oct. 22.
Steelers 28, Bengals 21
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger saw the defensive alignment and knew immediately that the Pittsburgh Steelers had a chance for a winning touchdown. All he had to do was get the ball to Antonio Brown right away.
Brown took a few strides, caught the pass and ran behind Justin Hunter’s block for a 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left Sunday and yet another improbable — and entirely predictable — victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers’ 28-21 win made it eight straight and counting over their AFC North rival.
“We’ve been in that situation a lot, and I knew we were going to do it,” Brown said.
They always do.
James Conner ran for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the eve of Le’Veon Bell’s possible return to help the Steelers (3-2-1) get ahead, but they had to pull off their third last-minute rally at Paul Brown Stadium to extend the streak.
Joe Mixon’s 4-yard touchdown run with 1:18 got the Bengals (4-2) thinking they might finally have their breakthrough. Roethlisberger and the Steelers stunned them again.
Big Ben came to the line on the decisive play and saw that the Bengals were set for an all-out blitz with no safeties to guard against a big play. He immediately thought touchdown.
“When you see that look, it’s how fast can I get him the ball,” said Roethlisberger, who is 14-2 in his career at Paul Brown Stadium.
Brown caught the ball in stride, cut Hunter’s block and outran the secondary for the winning score, leaving thousands of Steelers fans twirling their towels in the stands while stunned Bengals fans stood and watched a familiar ending.
The Bengals are 2-16 against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium during coach Marvin Lewis’ 16 seasons, including a pair of playoff losses.
“Imagine how we feel,” Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said. “I imagine how the fans feel.”
These Ohio River rivalry games are usually nasty, and this one had its moments. After Andy Dalton’s final pass fell complete, several players got into a scuffle in front of the Cincinnati sideline.
After a sloppy September, the Steelers have won two in a row and found their stride behind Conner , who became the featured back when Bell decided to hold out. Conner has run for more than 100 yards in each of the last two games, and his pair of 1-yard touchdown runs Sunday put him in the company of a pair of Steelers Hall of Famers.
Conner has seven rushing touchdowns in six games, joining Franco Harris (1976) and Jerome Bettis (2004) as the only Steelers with that accomplishment.
“James was a bowling ball today,” said Roethlisberger, who joked that it was probably the running back’s final game amid reports that Bell would return.
JuJu Smith-Schuster had a spectacular catch — leaping over cornerback Darqueze Dennard and taking the ball way — that set up Conner’s second touchdown.
Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd had a solid game against his hometown team, catching touchdowns of 2 and 14 yards .
Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict was in the middle of several dustups. He had words with Roethlisberger only 3 minutes into the game. He stepped over Conner on the running back’s first touchdown, prompting a teammate to push him away before the situation could escalate.
Burfict also hit Brown in the head — he wasn’t penalized — after a catch, causing the receiver to leave for a couple of plays. In 2015, Burfict’s hit to Brown’s head helped the Steelers rally for an 18-16 playoff win. On Sunday, Burfict yelled at a reporter in the locker room after the game for asking a teammate about the latest hit on Brown’s head.
“A nasty hit,” Brown said.
Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier returned to the stadium where he suffered a spinal injury last December. He’s been on the sideline for games this season. His return to Paul Brown Stadium was emotional for all the Steelers.
“He’s inspired us,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “Hopefully he’s inspired many outside of us.”
DALTON MOVES UP
Dalton finished 26 of 42 for 229 yards, moving ahead of Boomer Esiason for second on the Bengals’ career passing list behind Ken Anderson. Dalton fell to 3-12 against the Steelers.
Bengals: RB Giovani Bernard missed a second straight game with a knee injury. LB Nick Vigil left with an injured left knee in the first quarter. Dennard hurt his right shoulder on Smith-Schuster’s catch and didn’t return. S Shawn Williams left in the second half with a concussion.
Steelers: Have their bye week.
Bengals: Play Sunday night at Kansas City. The Bengals are 0-5 on Sunday night since 2011.
Colts 34, Jets 42
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets pulled off the type of victory that even Broadway Joe could appreciate.
With Joe Namath and the 1968 Super Bowl-winning squad watching, Jason Myers kicked a franchise-record seven field goals, Sam Darnold threw two touchdown passes, and the Jets held on to beat the Indianapolis Colts 42-34 on Sunday to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a year.
“The game wasn’t perfect, by no means,” coach Todd Bowles said. “With the growth of the team, we probably would’ve lost this one a year ago or a couple of weeks ago. So, to win ugly, for us, is a pretty good thing.”
Morris Claiborne returned the first of three interceptions thrown by Andrew Luck for a touchdown as the Jets (3-3) moved to .500 by taking advantage of mistakes by the short-handed Colts (1-5), who lost their fourth straight.
“It’s one of those bittersweet victories,” Claiborne said. “You played well enough to win the game, but you feel like you could’ve played a lot better. You never want to give up that many points.”
Darnold was 24 of 30 for 280 yards, with TD throws to Terrelle Pryor and Chris Herndon and an interception to give New York its first back-to-back victories since taking three in a row in Weeks 3-5 last season.
“We’re definitely back in the thick of things,” Darnold said. “But at the same time, we’re not satisfied.”
Myers hit field goals from 30, 48, 32, 37, 45, 37 and 45 yards to break the Jets record previously held by Jim Turner (1968) — the kicker for the Super Bowl champions — and Bobby Howfield (1972).
“It’s more important that we got the win,” Myers said, “but being able to help out and do what I can that way, that’s what’s most important to me.”
Myers’ 24 total points are the second-highest single-game total by a player who did not score a touchdown in NFL history. Only the Titans’ Rob Bironas, who holds the mark with eight field goals in a game, had more: 26 on Oct. 21, 2007.
Luck was 23 of 43 for 301 yards with touchdowns to Marcus Johnson, Eric Ebron, Erik Swoope and Chester Rogers, the last coming with 1:51 left to make the score close. Neal Sterling recovered the Colts’ onside kick to seal the win for the Jets.
It all had Luck pondering whether it’s tough finding the joy in football.
“At times, especially when I do things — stupid is the only word that comes to mind,” he said. “We do some silly things to ourselves, but when it comes to having fun playing, I’m having fun playing.”
The Colts were playing without several starters, including wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, defensive linemen Denico Autry and Margus Hunt, tight end Jack Doyle, safety Clayton Geathers and right tackle Denzelle Good.
Trailing 13-10 in the second quarter, the Jets forced a turnover when Jamal Adams knocked the ball out of Robert Turbin’s hands and Jordan Jenkins recovered.
Darnold converted two third-down plays on the ensuing drive — 19 yards to Robby Anderson and 7 to Jermaine Kearse — to get the ball to the Colts 10. Darnold zipped a pass to Pryor in the front of the end zone for a 17-13 lead with 2:35 left before halftime.
New York took advantage of another turnover when Luck’s pass to Ryan Grant deflected off the receiver’s hands and right to Avery Williamson, who returned the ball 31 yards to the Colts 22.
After Myers’ 48-yarder, the Colts went three-and-out and the Jets got the ball at their 28 with 42 seconds left before halftime. Darnold hit a series of passes and, with 18 seconds left, found Kearse in the middle of the field for 23 yards. Myers booted a 32-yarder as time expired to put New York up 23-13.
Darnold came out firing to open the second half, scoring on a terrific play design — a fake wide receiver screen — to a wide-open Herndon for a 32-yard touchdown . It was the first TD of the rookie tight end’s career.
Luck answered right back, throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Ebron to cut the Colts’ deficit to 10.
After Myers’ 37-yarder, the Colts came right back, with Luck throwing a 2-yard pass to Swoope to cut the deficit to 33-27 just 8 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Myers added a 45-yarder, giving the Jets scores on six straight possessions.
Luck was trying to answer again when Darron Lee picked him off on third down to give the Jets the ball at the Colts 25. Four plays later, Myers’ 37-yarder made it 39-27.
“It’s a bit frustrating,” Luck said. “I feel a bit like a broken record. Talking about it is the easy part. It’s doing it. It’s living it.”
On the Colts’ second play from scrimmage, Luck threw short to Marlon Mack, Adams tipped the pass into the air and Claiborne grabbed it, zipping 17 yards into the end zone 12 seconds into the game.
Luck and the Colts rebounded on their next drive with a 34-yard catch by Johnson to tie it at 7.
Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, who has not been coaching the last two weeks while dealing with an unspecified illness, was on the field before the game and watched from a box in the stadium.
“He was a casual observer,” said Bowles, who called the defense for the second straight game.
The Jets tweeted out a video of a happy Rodgers breaking down the team in the locker room after the win.
Isaiah Crowell had 40 yards rushing on 13 attempts after setting a franchise record last week with 219 on 15 carries. He dealt with an ankle injury all week and was questionable to play.
Colts: Turbin left with an injured right shoulder after his fumble and didn’t return. … Grant injured an ankle in the second half and didn’t return. … Johnson injured his right ankle late in the game and was helped to the locker room.
Jets: WR Quincy Enunwa injured an ankle on his fumble in the second quarter and didn’t return. … S Marcus Maye left with a hand injury in the third quarter and was seen wearing a cast after the game. He’ll have X-rays. … Bowles said Pryor injured his groin late.
Colts: home vs. Buffalo next Sunday.
Jets: home vs. Minnesota next Sunday.
Bills 13, Texans 20
HOUSTON (AP) — On a day Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson wasn’t at his best, the defense helped the Texans pull out another win.
Johnathan Joseph’s 28-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:23 remaining lifted the Texans to their third straight victory, a 20-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The Texans trailed by three when Phillip Gaines was called pass interference on Will Fuller in the end zone with 2 minutes remaining, moving the Texans 41 yards to the 1-yard line.
But the Texans (3-3) lost 7 yards on three plays, capped by an incomplete pass intended for Ryan Griffin that Matt Milano knocked down to force Houston to kick.
A 27-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn tied it with 1:34 remaining.
Two plays later Joseph stepped in front of a pass from backup Nathan Peterman intended for Kelvin Benjamin and dashed untouched into the end zone to put the Texans on top and help them avoid their third straight overtime game.
“I kind of thought for a second to just get there and hold the ball so we can the run clock out,” Joseph said. “But then I was like: ‘A chance like that (doesn’t) come by so often. I’ve got to score this.'”
The Bills had a chance to tie after that, but Kareem Jackson intercepted Peterman with 35 seconds left to secure the victory.
Joseph’s late-game heroics helped Houston to its third straight win on a day Watson committed three turnovers.
The Bills hurried and harassed Watson all day, sacking him seven times and hitting him 12 more. Watson, questionable this week with a chest injury, was slow to get up several times and didn’t seem to be moving as well as he normally does.
Watson brushed off questions about his health, saying he didn’t “want to make any excuses,” but his teammates acknowledged the injury and said it made them want to do more to help him.
“When you’ve got a guy that sacrifices everything when he’s hurt, everybody around him better do the same thing, especially if it’s your quarterback,” defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said. “I think everybody put that on their shoulders this week and just tried to give it all up for him.”
Watson was 15 of 25 for 177 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also lost a fumble.
Peterman threw for 61 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Bills (2-4) after taking over for rookie Josh Allen, who left with an elbow injury late in the third quarter. Allen threw for 84 yards and ran for 20.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the game that they were still evaluating Allen’s injury.
He saw some good things from Peterman but was disappointed with his turnovers.
“At the end of the game … he was probably trying to do too much,” McDermott said. “I don’t want to paint it all bad, but we’ve got to protect the football and make sure we’re smart.”
The Bills took their first lead of the game when Peterman found Zay Jones in the corner of the end zone on a 16-yard pass that made it 13-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Lorenzo Alexander tipped a pass by Watson at the line and intercepted it on the first drive of the second half. The Bills had a first down at the 8-yard line before their offense stalled and they kicked a 22-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3.
Peterman’s first pass after taking over was incomplete and his second was short of a first down, and the Bills added a 52-yard field goal to get within 10-6.
Watson was sacked on Houston’s next drive and Harrison Phillips recovered his fumble at the Houston 32 near the end of the third quarter.
The Texans recovered a fumble on a punt return and took advantage of the mistake a few plays later when Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins on a 13-yard pass to make it 7-0. A 33-yard field goal pushed the lead to 10-0 in the second quarter.
Bills LG Vladimir Ducasse left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. … Allen looked to be in quite a bit of pain in the sideline as trainers worked on his elbow.
Houston’s J.J. Watt had a sack to give him at least one in four straight games and leave him tied for the NFL lead with seven this season. Watt has played well in his return after playing just eight games combined in the previous two seasons because of back surgery and a broken leg.
“I’m just trying to get better and better,” he said. “Everybody told me I was washed-up. Some people didn’t think I could get seven sacks on the season. I’m just trying to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Bills: Visit Indianapolis next Sunday.
Texans: Visit Jacksonville next Sunday.
Chargers 38, Browns 14
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ol’ man Rivers keeps rolling along.
Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Tyrell Williams — and the 36-year-old quarterback even threw a block — and Melvin Gordon had three TD runs as the Los Angeles Chargers banged around Cleveland rookie Baker Mayfield and the Browns, 38-14 on Sunday.
Rivers continued one of the best starts of his 15-year career, leading the Chargers (4-2) to their third straight win. Rivers finished 11 of 20 for 207 yards and had only one mistake, an interception midway through the fourth quarter.
The Chargers did most of their damage on the ground with Gordon running for 132 yards and scoring on runs of 4, 10 and 11 yards. They had 246 yards rushing.
“There haven’t been too many days where we’ve run for more than we’ve thrown,” Rivers said with a laugh. “But I’ll take them any time we can get them.”
Rivers and Williams connected on scoring plays of 45 and 29 yards in the first half, and Gordon’s 11-yard run put the Chargers up 35-6.
Mayfield’s third start as a pro was a rough one. The No. 1 overall pick was sacked five times, tweaked his ankle when he slid on a sideline marker and threw two interceptions.
“We didn’t execute,” said Mayfield, who threw a TD pass to tight end David Njoku . “We didn’t do our job. We weren’t detailed. We didn’t do the things that we talked about all week. That’s the most disappointing thing. Any time you don’t do your job — I’m at fault for the majority of that. I’m going to be very hard on myself but we have to be able to look at this and learn from it.”
The Browns (2-3-1) were blown out after playing five tight games — three going to overtime — and showed there’s still a long road ahead.
While young QBs like Mayfield, Carson Wentz and Patrick Mahomes may be the NFL’s next wave, Rivers is showing that the old guys can still get the job done. He has thrown 15 TD passes with just three interceptions, and he did all he could to block Browns linebacker Jamie Collins to help Keenan Allen pick up a first down despite the Chargers leading 28-6.
“I’m not real comfortable out there,” Rivers said. “But I stayed in front and did not get a holding, so that’s a positive.”
The Chargers weren’t surprised by Rivers’ effort.
“That’s Phil,” said Williams, who had three catches for 118 yards. “He’s competitive and he’s going to stick his nose in there if he gets an opportunity. I’m not surprised at all.”
Los Angeles caught a break on Rivers’ second TD pass to Williams.
Left tackle Russell Okung clearly dropped back before the ball was snapped. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stopped, assuming the play would be whistled, and several other players paused while Rivers lofted his scoring pass to Williams.
Williams’ first TD catch was more spectacular. Leaping with three Browns defenders around him, he wrestled the ball way from Browns safety Damarious Randall to give the Chargers a 14-3 lead.
Following the game, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn presented a game ball to the family of Alex Spanos, the Chargers owner who died earlier this week. Spanos, who was 95, bought the team in 1984.
JUST FOR KICKS
Lynn was relieved the Chargers’ kicking woes did not come into play.
“We made all our damn kicks — all the extra points, all the field goals, so that’s an improvement,” he said.
Rookie Michael Badgley replaced injured starter Caleb Sturgis and made one field goal and all five extra-points in his pro debut after being signed on Thursday.
Sturgis, who has been dealing with a quadriceps injury, missed a field goal and PAT last week. He also missed two extra points in L.A.’s previous game, and the Chargers came in leading the league with four missed PATs.
Cleveland’s first five games were decided by four points or less, but Randall wasn’t concerned about the lopsided loss.
“Every team goes through a game like that,” he said. “I’m honestly glad it happened early in the season for us, where we have time to correct what happened.”
The Browns honored future Hall of Fame tackle Joe Thomas by adding 10,363 — the number of consecutive snaps he played over 11 seasons — to the club’s ring of honor. Thomas retired following last season, which came to a premature end for him when he tore his triceps. He grudgingly retired in March.
“I love being in the locker room and the paychecks were really good — but my body just couldn’t do it anymore,” said Thomas, who wore an orange Mayfield jersey. “If it weren’t for that, I would be out there today.”
Chargers: DE Christopher Landrum was shaken up in the fourth quarter.
Browns: LB Joe Schobert (hamstring) left in the third quarter, and LB James Burgess (hamstring) went out in the fourth. … WR Rod Streater suffered a neck “stinger” while covering a punt in the first quarter and did not return.
Chargers: Play Tennessee in London on Oct. 21.
Browns: Visit Tampa Bay on Oct. 21
Panthers 17, Redskins 23
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Following his prime-time benching and criticism from a former teammate, Josh Norman wanted to shut off his phone because the noise was getting so loud.
Then, he silenced it all.
Norman bounced back from one of the worst games of his career by intercepting Cam Newton and forcing a fumble in the Washington Redskins’ 23-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Longtime Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall said Norman had gone “Hollywood,” speculation swirled about his value to the Redskins and the flashy cornerback was on the defensive even when he wasn’t on the field.
“It was like I was playing cornerback against everybody,” said Norman, who had two game-altering plays and four tackles to put an embarrassing showing at New Orleans behind him. “I played within the defense and played within myself.”
Defensive teammates mobbed Norman after each of his forced turnovers. After a defensive unit dinner earlier in the week, Norman led the way for a group that made a crucial stop at its 16-yard line to hold on for the victory.
“He came out and performed as he should,” safety D.J. Swearinger said. “We needed that from him. He needed that for himself. And we needed to see that as a group.”
Norman ended his 19-game interception drought by catching a jump ball thrown by Newton on a third-and-long play early in the second quarter, his first pick since Dec. 24, 2016. Norman also popped the ball out of Panthers rookie receiver D.J. Moore’s hands in a showcase performance against the team that abruptly cut ties with him after his All-Pro 2015 season.
“It’s fitting that we break that little streak against them,” a smiling Norman said. “I guess we got a flair for the dramatic somehow.”
Newton threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns on 27 of 40 passing and rushed for 43 yards in a turnover-marred loss. He engineered a late drive that got the Panthers into the red zone before stalling out.
Carolina (3-2) was long before that doomed by turnovers, including Moore’s on a punt return that set up Alex Smith’s 22-yard TD pass to Vernon Davis.
“We kind of dug ourselves in a hole early,” Newton said. “We still found a way to put ourselves in a winning position, but we didn’t. We’ll get better from it.”
Adrian Peterson rushed for 97 yards on 17 carries and Smith connected on touchdown passes to Davis and Paul Richardson for the Redskins (3-2), who looked like an entirely different team than the one that got stomped 43-19 by New Orleans on Monday night — when coach Jay Gruden benched Norman in the second half.
Offensive linemen saved their quarterbacks with some heads-up, sure-handed plays.
When the ball popped out of Newton’s hands late in the first quarter, Panthers left guard Greg Van Roten caught it and made up some ground — but got only a 7-yard loss as credit for his efforts.
Redskins left tackle Trent Williams caught the ball when Smith fumbled early in the fourth and rushed for 8 yards to help set up a field goal by Dustin Hopkins.
“When I caught it, I just tried to go north and get a couple yards,” Williams said. “Definitely didn’t want to fumble it.”
KICK OUT OF IT
After hitting a 63-yard winner last week, Carolina’s Graham Gano missed his first kick of any kind this season when he was wide left on the extra-point attempt following Newton’s TD pass to Devin Funchess. Gano, who played for the Redskins from 2009-11, entered 7 of 7 on field goals and 11 of 11 on extra points.
Hopkins connected on a 56-yard field goal that made it 20-6, the longest of his NFL career.
Panthers: DT Kyle Love was slow to get up after being injured midway through the fourth quarter. … TE Greg Olsen returned after missing three games with a broken right foot. … WR Damiere Byrd was out with an ankle injury, forcing Moore into return duties.
Redskins: RG Brandon Scherff tweaked his knee on a fourth-down play in the third quarter, but returned on the next drive. … RB Chris Thompson missed the game with rib and knee injuries, while WR Jamison Crowder sat out with an ankle injury.
Panthers: Visit the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Redskins: Host the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Cardinals 17, Vikings 27
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings played a back-to-the-basics game, leaning on Latavius Murray’s powerful legs and a smothering defense that was in prime form.
The Arizona Cardinals just couldn’t keep up on either front.
Murray helped the Vikings revive their running attack with a career-high 155 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, wearing down the Cardinals on the way to a 27-17 win on Sunday.
“I don’t want to sit here and say that we cracked the code, because they have been vulnerable to the run game, so we have to be honest about that on all levels,” Murray said. “But I will say I feel we’re capable of running the ball that way, no matter who we’re playing.”
Starting in place of Dalvin Cook (hamstring) for the third time in the past four games, Murray had 66 yards by halftime to top the team average over the first five games. The previous long gain by a Vikings running back was Cook’s 15-yarder in the season opener, which Murray topped four times against a Cardinals defense that entered the game allowing the second-most rushing yards in the league.
“If you allow teams to rush for almost 200 yards on you, you’re not going to win that game. It is what it is,” defensive tackle Corey Peters said. “That’s kind of been our thing all year, and that’s why we’re 1-5.”
Even Kirk Cousins joined the fun for the Vikings (3-2-1) with an option-style run across the goal line in the third quarter, before throwing to Adam Thielen for a score on the following possession. The Vikings celebrated their touchdowns with a choreographed a clumsy “dead-arm” dance that Thielen recalled from college.
Thielen had 11 receptions for 123 yards, his sixth straight 100-yard game to become the first player in the NFL since 1961 to start a season with a streak that long. Thielen’s 58 catches are the most in league history through six games.
Budda Baker returned a fumble off a sack by Chandler Jones for a 36-yard touchdown and Tre Boston had a diving interception later in the second quarter, and the Cardinals (1-5) constantly pressured Cousins with four sacks, seven hits and seven deflected passes. He leads league with five lost fumbles.
Cousins still managed to complete 24 of 34 attempts for 233 yards, thanks mostly to Thielen and his exceptional ability to get open anywhere on the field and turn off-target throws into clutch catches. He made a toe-dragging sideline grab on third-and-13right at the first-down marker to extend the opening possession of the third quarter, before capping the drive in the end zone with a 13-yard reception on a seam route after leaving linebacker Josh Bynes in his wake with a stutter step.
The tone was set in the first quarter on Murray’s 21-yard touchdown run , when he flattened Antoine Bethea with a stiff arm.
“It’s not a game to invite Chandler Jones to come wreck it and get them right back in the game, so we were trying to run the ball,” Cousins said.
Coming off his first career NFL victory last week, Rosen went 21 for 31 for 240 yards. The Cardinals failed to move the chains on all 12 of their third or fourth down plays. That included a third-quarter interception by Anthony Harris and a fourth-and-goal stop of David Johnson by Xavier Rhodes at the 1 in the second quarter.
“He can learn from this, being in this hostile environment,” Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. “This is how the NFL is. He’s got to be able to operate under these kinds of pressures, and everybody around him needs to help him out.”
Larry Fitzgerald, the intended target when Harris jumped his route, had five catches for 39 yards in his hometown. The 15th-year veteran fell to 0-6 in career visits to Minnesota, where the Cardinals have lost 10 straight games since they were in St. Louis in 1977.
The Vikings missed injured left tackle Riley Reiff (foot), with Jones often overpowering Rashod Hill, who switched sides as rookie Brian O’Neill made his first start at right tackle. Jones had 1½ sacks, and Benson Mayowa had two deflected passes from the other defensive end spot while rotating with Golden.
BY THE NUMBERS
Johnson had a late touchdown run and 55 yards on 18 attempts, but he lost a fumble in the first quarter. … Danielle Hunter had two of Minnesota’s four sacks, giving him at least one in each of the first six games for the third-longest streak in team history.
Cardinals: LG Mike Iupati (back) was replaced in the third quarter by Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring), who left in the fourth quarter. RG Justin Pugh (hand) also went out, forcing John Wetzel and Daniel Munyer to man the guard spots.
Vikings: CB Mike Hughes limped off in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury, and he was on crutches afterward. Coach Mike Zimmer said Hughes would have an MRI on Monday. … With strong safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) inactive, George Iloka got his first start. Harris frequently rotated in, too.
Cardinals: Host the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.
Vikings: Play on the road against the New York Jets next Sunday.
Buccaneers 29, Falcons 34
ATLANTA (AP) — After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle.
But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way.
Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston’s return as the Bucs’ starter.
The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row.
“It was all hands on deck,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said.
Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn’t hang on.
The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might’ve had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn’t come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game.
Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room.
“The play is a play you run once,” tight end O.J. Howard said. “It was a great call. We almost got it.”
Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 anda deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance.
Ryan’s three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list.
“Obviously it’s very special any time your name is brought up with Joe’s,” Ryan said. “But I’m more excited about the win.”
He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass.
Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead.
Bryant’s kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons’ lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field.
Quinn’s decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown.
“I can’t say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had,” Quinn gushed. “He’s definitely one of the most mentally tough players I’ve had a chance to coach.”
Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch.
The Falcons didn’t mind a bit.
Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season — and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes.
Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches.
The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards.
It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions.
But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan’s 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant’s long field goal.
Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league.
Atlanta’s receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn’t return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass.
The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta’s touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion.
Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1).
Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season.
Seahawks 27, Raiders 3 @ London
LONDON (AP) — Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown saw teammate David Moore go tumbling over the temporary video advertising boards.
At no point was he concerned about his well-being.
“Any time you catch a touchdown (pass), I don’t think you’re worried about what happens after,” Brown said.
Quarterback Russell Wilson threw touchdown passes to Brown, Moore and Tyler Lockett, and the Seahawks rolled to a 27-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Chris Carson rushed for 59 yards and rookie Rashaad Penny gained an additional 43 for the Seahawks (3-3), who played to a vociferously supportive crowd — a London-record 84,922 were in attendance — despite the Raiders (1-5) being the designated home team.
Oakland quarterback Derek Carr left the game with an apparent left arm injury with 8:52 remaining in the fourth quarter after the last of his six sacks. He did not have the chance to return because the Seahawks ran out the clock.
Carr went 23 for 31 for 142 yards and was hit by Jarran Reed on third down and immediately grabbed his upper left arm as he sat up before being helped to the sideline for evaluation.
Coach Jon Gruden said afterward that Carr, who would have been dropped twice more had the Seahawks not been penalized on those plays, was angling to return but backup AJ McCarron would have entered.
“Just too much fire today,” Gruden said. “Too much fire today around the quarterback.”
Wilson, who completed 17 of 23 attempts for 222 yards with an interception, connected with Brown for a 5-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, a 19-yard touchdown pass to Moore in the second and a 10-yard touchdown pass to Lockett in the fourth.
After picking up a low snap, Wilson faked a throw and stepped forward, then made a throw to Moore over Daryl Worley. Moore punctuated his touchdown, his third in the Seahawks’ past two games, by accidentally crashing into the screens set up around the field.
“I kind of saw it at the last second, but I didn’t think it was that hard until I hit it,” Moore said.
Former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, playing in his first game against his former team, was held to 45 yards on 13 carries as the Raiders unsuccessfully turned to Carr and their passing game to try to catch Seattle.
Oakland even made it a point to try to establish Lynch early with three consecutive carries, but he gained 2 yards on a carry, 2 more yards on another and then lost 3 yards before a punt.
“We ran three different types of runs and all three of them were rejected,” Gruden said. “We wanted to get him in the game, we wanted to get him established. That was the beginning of the game, and after that, we were trying to make a first down and survive. It wasn’t pretty.”
Matt McCrane, who missed a 48-yard field-goal attempt wide left in the second quarter, made one from 43 yards with 8:30 remaining as the Raiders avoided their first shutout since 2014 and the third at Wembley in the past four games.
Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, held to one catch for 1 yard in the loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week, rebounded with team highs of six catches and 91 yards against the Raiders.
Baldwin missed two games earlier this season after injuring the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in the season opener and insisted that the low output was not related to his injury.
CLOSE TO HOME
Sebastian Janikowski, who joined the Seahawks in the offseason after 17 seasons with the Raiders, made field goals of 44 and 26 yards.
It was the second time Janikowski, who was born in Poland and moved to the United States as a teenager, played in London but the first time he converted a field goal attempt.
Seattle: CB Tre Flowers left the game with muscle cramps with 4:08 left in the third quarter. TE Nick Vannett (back) was inactive despite coach Pete Carroll saying on Friday he would play.
Oakland: In addition to Carr, WR Amari Cooper (concussion) left the game with 13:40 remaining in the second quarter after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald. LG Joe Feliciano, starting for Kelechi Osemele (knee), left the game late in the second quarter with a rib injury and did not return, and WR Seth Roberts (concussion) left with 11 minutes remaining.
Seattle: Travel to face the Detroit Lions on Oct. 28 after a bye week.
Oakland: Will host the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 28, also after a bye.
Bears 28, Dolphins 31 OT
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Kicker Jason Sanders turned teammate Kenyan Drake’s fumble into a footnote.
Drake lost the ball when the Miami Dolphins were on the verge of victory, but thanks to Sanders it didn’t matter. The rookie made a 47-yard field goal as time expired in overtime Sunday for a 31-28 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Miami’s Brock Osweiler threw for a career-high 380 yards and three touchdowns subbing for Ryan Tannehill, who sat out because of an injured throwing shoulder.
“Today felt like a heavyweight title fight,” Osweiler said. “What this team did today was so special. Nothing was perfect, but in the end we found a way.”
The Dolphins took the kickoff to start overtime and marched 74 yards, but Drake fumbled just before crossing the goal line. Eddie Goldman recovered for the Bears.
They drove to the Miami 35, but former Dolphin Cody Parkey was wide right on a 53-yard field goal try with 2 minutes left. Drake then had a 15-yard reception to help set up Sanders’ field goal.
When the ball sailed between the uprights, Drake sank to both knees on the field and bowed his head in gratitude and relief.
“That’s the great thing about this sport and this team: When you’re down, you’re never out,” Drake said.
Albert Wilson turned two short passes into long touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the Dolphins, who overcame an 11-point deficit in the final 16 minutes of regulation.
“It was definitely a roller coaster,” Wilson said.
Miami (4-2), which began the day tied with New England for the AFC East lead, ended a two-game losing streak. Chicago (3-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped but remained atop the NFC North.
“Games like this sting,” receiver Allen Robinson said. “It stings for everybody.”
The Bears’ offense came alive after they trailed 7-0 at halftime. Miami then rallied from a 21-10 deficit to tie the game twice and force overtime.
Mitchell Trubisky threw for 316 yards and three second-half touchdowns, but the Bears were hurt by two turnovers in the red zone. Jordan Howard lost a fumble at the 1, and Trubisky was intercepted in the end zone by T.J. McDonald.
Trubisky a threw a 29-yard pass to Anthony Miller for a go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter, but Miami needed only one play to tie it again, with the dynamic Wilson weaving through the secondary for a 75-yard score.
Wilson earlier scored on a 43-yard catch and run.
“Once I get going, I’m going to make guys miss,” Wilson said.
Chicago’s Tarik Cohen scored on a 21-yard run and had a 50-yard catch and run. Kyle Fuller had two interceptions, the second of which set up a Bears touchdown.
But Miami contained Khalil Mack, ending his streak of at least one sack and one forced fumble in every game this season. The Bears, who were averaging 4½ sacks per game, totaled none.
“That ain’t what you expect with what we have up front,” said Mack, who was slowed by an ankle injury suffered early in the game.
Miami netted 541 yards without Tannehill, who had been nursing a shoulder injury for several weeks. He worked out before the game, and it was then decided he should sit.
Frank Gore rushed for 101 yards. Osweiler, who signed with Miami as a free agent in March, went 28 for 44 and led the Dolphins to their highest point total of the year.
“That’s why he’s here,” coach Adam Gase said. “He treats it as though he’s going to have to go in the game, so that puts him in a great position.”
Dolphins: Miami had two defensive ends inactive and lost Jonathan Woodard (concussion) in the second quarter.
Bears: CB Prince Amukamara (left hamstring) left in the second half.
Dolphins receivers Wilson and Kenny Stills kneeled during the national anthem, and defensive end Robert Quinn stood with a raised fist, as they’ve done at earlier games this season. No Bears demonstrated during the anthem.
Bears: host New England next Sunday
Dolphins: home against Detroit next Sunday.
Rams 23, Broncos 20
DENVER (AP) — Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries and the Los Angeles Rams’ celebrated Wade Phillips’ homecoming Sunday with a 23-20 win over the reeling Denver Broncos.
The Rams, who had surrendered 31 points in back-to-back games, improved to 6-0 in sending the Broncos (2-4) to their fourth straight loss.
The Broncos pulled to 23-20 on Case Keenum’s 1-yard dart to Demaryius Thomas with 1:22 remaining, capping a 77-yard drive that included three defensive penalties.
Rams receiver Robert Woods, however, knocked Brandon McManus’ onside kick out of bounds, and the Rams ran out the clock with Jared Goff (14 of 28 for 201 yards) twice taking a knee.
Phillips was the Broncos’ beloved bandmaster when they were celebrating their Super Bowl 50 triumph, but his contract wasn’t renewed after the 2016 season and he joined Sean McVay in sunny Southern California.
After an overnight snowstorm, the game-time temperature of 25 degrees marked the second-coldest in Denver prior to November in franchise history.
The cold did nothing to slow down Gurley, who scored his 10th and 11th touchdowns of the season.
One was on a 10-yard run that gave the Rams a 13-3 halftime lead, the other, a 1-yard run that made it 20-3 before the Broncos’ frenetic comeback attempt fell just short.
Gurley’s first score came after a boneheaded move by Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who thought he had a 44-yard TD catch and jabbed a finger in cornerback Troy Hill’s face, drawing a taunting foul.
Upon review, Sanders was ruled down at the 1, and the unsportsmanlike 15-yard penalty pushed the Broncos back to the 16.
Instead of an extra point to give Denver a 7-6 lead, McManus ended up kicking a 28-yard field goal to cut Denver’s deficit to 6-3.
Sanders later scored on a 22-yard catch to make it 20-10, and McManus’ short field goal made it a one-score game with about nine minutes to go.
The Rams countered with Cairo Santos’ 21-yard field goal that put the Rams up by 10 with 3:15 left.
Broncos coach Vance Joseph promised changes after Denver’s demoralizing 34-16 loss to the New York Jets last week in which they surrendered 323 yards rushing, including 219 to Isaiah Crowell, but those alterations were either cosmetic or schematic — and, ultimately, fruitless.
Max Garcia replaced right guard Connor McGovern, but McGovern came back in and Garcia moved over when left guard Ronald Leary (ankle) got hurt in the third quarter.
If the Broncos had better options, scuffling cornerback Bradley Roby — who again gave up big plays — and left tackle Garett Bolles — who was flagged for his NFL-high sixth holding call Sunday — also might have been benched.
Roby took over Aqib Talib’s starting spot when the Broncos traded Talib to the Rams in the spring. Talib is sidelined by an ankle injury. Still, Talib made the trip with his teammates, walking with a boot on his left foot and a crutch under his right arm and was on the sideline during warmups.
Von Miller snapped a three-week sackless streak with 1 1-2 sacks and rookie Bradley Chubb had three sacks.
Rams WR Cooper Kupp was carted off the field after wrenching his left knee when Broncos S Darian Stewart horse-collared him on the Broncos sideline after a 12-yard jet sweep in the second quarter, but he made a surprising return in the second half. OLB Matt Longacre (back) and LT Andrew Whitworth (possible concussion) also left the game.
Broncos DE Derek Wolfe (hamstring) and OLB Shane Ray (ankle) both returned after injuries. Keenum was checked for a concussion, which allowed backup Chad Kelly to take his first NFL snap, a kneel-down just before halftime. S Dymonte Thomas (chest) also got hurt.
Rams: Wrap up three-game road swing with a visit to San Francisco.
Broncos: Have a short week to get ready for a game at Arizona on Thursday night.
Jaguars 7, Cowboys 40
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott sparked the previously punchless Dallas passing game and celebrated Conor McGregor-style.
So did his Dallas teammates with the UFC star watching after some pregame pumping up.
Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Cole Beasley for a big halftime lead and rushed for a career-high 82 yards with another score in the Cowboys’ 40-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
“It’s definitely the best we’ve played from executing on offense and taking advantage of when the defense is giving us turnovers and good field position,” Prescott said. “We were just feeding off each other. We felt it early. I don’t know if it was Conor McGregor or whatever it was.”
McGregor mingled before the game with the Cowboys , offering some fist-pumping encouragement before they rolled to a 24-0 halftime lead. Beasley recorded his first two touchdowns of the season for the NFL’s 30th-ranked passing offense that was facing the league’s No. 1 pass defense.
Prescott had 151 of his 183 yards passing in the first half because Dallas (3-3) didn’t need to throw while coasting during a second-half blowout.
The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year already had his personal best in rushing for a game when he spun out of a sack for the longest run of his career, a 28-yarder. He scored Dallas’ first touchdown on a 17-yard run while almost doubling his previous high of 45 yards, in Week 2.
Trailing by at least 20 at halftime for the second straight week, the Jaguars (3-3) had to abandon their preferred running attack again. They also were without Leonard Fournette for the fourth time with a hamstring injury, and have a banged-up offensive line on its third left tackle.
Blake Bortles, who established a career high in yards passing in consecutive weeks and had a chance to become the fifth NFL quarterback with three straight games of at least 375 yards, was 15 of 26 for 149 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“Tough to describe, just pretty much a waste of a day, and a trip,” Bortles said. “Not by any means what we expected to do, were planning on doing. We’ve got to find a way to fix it, and we will.”
The Cowboys won their first three games of the season at 9-year-old AT&T Stadium for the first time. Most of their offensive struggles have been in the three road losses.
No such difficulties this time, even when Prescott lost control of the ball twice and basically dribbled to himself on two of his career-high 11 runs. He also completed a first-down pass to Baylor power forward-turned tight end Rico Gathers, making it quite the basketball day as well.
Beasley had his second career 100-yard receiving game with 101 yards on nine catches. The scoring plays were from 17 and 9 yards, with the diminutive receiver showing plenty of emotion after each big catch.
“Maybe it was a little social media action that got me pumped, and also game plan,” Beasley said. “Knowing I had a lot of opportunities, I was ready to go.”
The Dallas defense, a top 10 unit overshadowed coming into the game, lost its shutout on Bortles’ 34-yard pass to Dede Westbrookmidway through the third quarter.
But the Cowboys answered with their second interception of the season, by Jeff Heath as part of triple coverage , and Jourdan Lewis’ recovery just barely inbounds of receiver Keelan Cole’s fumble after a catch. The Jaguars had season lows with 204 total yards and 65 on the ground.
The centerpiece of the Dallas offense, NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott, was something of an afterthought with the prolific passing in the first half. But he finally passed Prescott’s rushing total for good on a 15-yard scoring run for a 37-7 lead and finished with 106 yards on 24 carries.
It was the first meeting for Elliott and outspoken Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was taken one spot behind the Cowboys star at No. 5 in the 2016 draft. Both teams are obviously happy with the pick.
The Jaguars rode their defense to a spot in the AFC championship game last season, and Elliott has been arguably the league’s most productive back. The 2016 rushing leader as a rookie, Elliott was suspended for six games last season over domestic violence allegations.
Ramsey almost had an interception on the sideline at the goal line with the Jaguars down 24-7 late in the third quarter, but couldn’t get his second foot inbounds.
Dallas’ Brett Maher had four field goals for the second time in three games, including a career long of 55 yards. … Randy Gregory had his first sack since his return from substance-abuse suspensions that sidelined the Cowboys defensive end for 30 of 32 games the previous two seasons.
Jaguars: DE Calais Campbell left in the first half with a rib injury. … TE Niles Paul didn’t return because of a knee injury.
Cowboys: WR Tavon Austin left in the second half with a groin injury and didn’t return.
Jaguars: Home against Houston next Sunday.
Cowboys: At Washington next Sunday.
Ravens 21, Titans 0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have finished up their longest road swing of the season with an absolutely dominating performance.
Try 11 sacks.
And now they head home for four of their next five games.
The Ravens piled up the franchise-record sacks as they shut out the Tennessee Titans 21-0 Sunday in the rain. Za’Darius Smith had three sacks and Patrick Onwuasor had two for the Ravens (4-2), who had six sacks by halftime. They finished a sack off the NFL record for a game shared by five teams.
“Just a historic defensive performance,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Smith said the Ravens didn’t know how many sacks they had until tying the team record of nine and were told they could break the record.
“So we went and got two more,” Smith said with a laugh.
Dean Pees and the Titans simply couldn’t stop his old team as the Ravens outgained Tennessee 361-106 and punted only once against a defense led by their former defensive coordinator. Pees came out of a short retirement to join first-year head coach Mike Vrabel.
Joe Flacco threw for 238 yards and a touchdown for Baltimore. Alex Collins scored on TD runs of 13 and 2 yards.
The Titans (3-3) lost their second straight and were shut out at home for the first time since leaving Houston for Tennessee in 1997. Tennessee also has not scored a touchdown in eight straight quarters. The Ravens couldn’t have looked much better handing Tennessee its first shutout since Nov. 28, 2010.
“The Tennessee Titans didn’t do nearly enough in all levels to win the football game, or even make it competitive,” Vrabel said.
Marcus Mariota tried playing both with and without the partial glove covering his ring and pinkie fingers on his throwing hand. It didn’t help as Mariota was sacked the most in his four-year NFL career and most allowed by the Titans since giving up seven in a loss at Houston on Nov. 1, 2015. Coach Ken Whisenhunt was fired two days later.
Mariota said he had never had a game like this. He ran twice for 25 yards and was 10 of 15 for 117 yards while being pummeled.
“We’ve got to do better,” Mariota said.
The Titans forced a turnover with All-Pro safety Kevin Byard getting his first interception this season. Tennessee did nothing with the ball late in the first half.
Baltimore executed nearly flawlessly from winning the coin toss. The Ravens converted 12 of 17 third downs, not counting another off a Titans penalty. They also held the ball for more than 37 minutes.
Flacco drove Baltimore 94 yards over 17 plays, eating up more than nine minutes of the first quarter before hitting Michael Crabtree on a 4-yard TD. Collins capped their next drive with a 13-yard run and a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. After halftime, Collins finished off a 78-yard drive that ate up 7:20 of the third quarter.
The Ravens quarterback enjoyed watching his teammates’ defensive performance.
“It’s fun to watch when they’re over there doing those kind of things,” Flacco said.
Ravens left guard Alex Lewis was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a neck injury after being hurt within the first minute of the fourth quarter. Lewis had been blocking on a run by Gus Edwards when he turned away from the pile slowly and went down. Trainers strapped him to a backboard and carted him off the field.
Harbaugh said there’s a lot of optimism for Lewis, who was getting a CT scan at the hospital.
“We said a prayer as a team for him when we came in, so that’s where our thoughts are right now with Alex,” Harbaugh said.
Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan hurt a shoulder and did not return. Left guard Quinton Spain hurt his right shoulder with 6:51 left in the third quarter and did not return.
Ravens: Finally back home hosting New Orleans.
Titans: Franchise’s first game in London as road team against the Chargers.
Chiefs 40, Patriots 43
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady needed everything he had to fend off Patrick Mahomes — including his legs.
Stephen Gostkowski hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired , and the New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs 43-40 on Sunday night after blowing a big halftime lead.
Brady passed for 340 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, diving head-first between two defenders in a rare run by the 41-year-old quarterback.
“I got close to the goal line and I just figured I’d try to get it in,” Brady said of his late TD plunge. “We needed it.”
New England’s third straight win was Brady’s 200th victory as a starting QB, tops all-time. He also passed former teammate Adam Vinatieri for most career wins in the regular season and playoffs combined with 227.
Brady got some help from rookie Sony Michel, who rushed 24 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns in another solid performance.
“It’s tough to slow those guys down, they’ve been scoring a lot of points all year,” Brady said. “They’re gonna be pretty tough to stop. Glad we had our last shot and glad we took advantage of it.”
It was the first loss of the season for the Chiefs (5-1), who were again let down by a defense that came in allowing an NFL-worst 462 yards per game.
New England (4-2) led 24-9 at intermission, but Mahomes directed an impressive rally for Kansas City. He finished 23 of 36 for 352 yards in his first loss as a starting quarterback, with three of his four TD passes going to Tyreek Hill.
Mahomes threw two interceptions in the first half but was unflappable down the stretch. He found Hill for a 1-yard TD pass that made it 33-30 Kansas City with 8:38 left. With the Chiefs trailing 40-33, he connected with Hill again for a 75-yard score that tied the game with just over three minutes remaining.
“The last two weeks it seems like we just can’t punch it in there and I feel like the second half we finally started getting it in the end zone,” Mahomes said.
Brady used a 16-yard pass to James White and a 39-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski to get New England into field-goal range.
After electrifying the NFL during the first five weeks of the season with his freewheeling style and big arm, Mahomes looked unsure of himself early on.
He was able to complete some long passes to get the Chiefs into the red zone. But he turned the ball over twice in the first half and the high-scoring Chiefs were held to three field goals.
Everything changed in the second half.
First, Mahomes broke through with a 67-yard touchdown pass to Kareem Hunt . That was followed by a 14-yard TD strike to Hill that came on the heels of a fumble by Brady, helping trim New England’s lead to 27-26 entering the fourth quarter.
A 39-yard field goal by Gostkowski stretched New England’s lead to 30-26.
But Kansas City kept coming.
Tremon Smith took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards down the sideline to the Patriots 3, setting up Hill’s go-ahead TD.
The Patriots responded, using 42-yard pass from Brady to Chris Hogan to help set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Brady that put the Patriots back in front.
Then, after forcing Kansas City into the first punt by either team on the night, Brady got the Patriots some breathing room when he hit Gronkowski for a 42-yard gain. The play set up 50-yard field goal by Gostkowski.
The Chiefs also started 5-0 last season before losing six of their last 11 and falling in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
But coach Andy Reid said he is confident his team has room to grow.
“We will learn a lot from this game,” he said. “We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit early and you can’t do that against a good football team.”
The Chiefs extended their streak for scoring on their first possession in every game this season.
Harrison Butker connected on a 42-yard field goal with 9:05 left in the first quarter, capping an eight-play, 35-yard drive that began after the Patriots turned it over on downs.
PICKING IT OFF
The Patriots now have at least one interception in each of their first six games of the season. New England’s last streak of six consecutive games with an INT was in 2013.
EDELMAN ENDS DROUGHT
New England’s Julian Edelman caught a 17-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter , his first since January 22, 2017, in the AFC championship game against the Steelers
In those 630 days, including the playoffs, Brady threw 54 touchdown passes to 11 different players.
Edelman sat out the entire 2017 season after suffering a preseason knee injury. He missed the first four games this season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancers.
Chiefs: C Mitch Morse was evaluated for concussion in the second quarter and did not return.
Patriots: Right tackle Marcus Cannon left in the second half with a head injury and did not return.
The Chiefs return home to host Cincinnati.
The Patriots go on the road for the third time this season when they visit the Bears.
49ers 30, Packers 33
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A pick, a beneficial penalty and a game-winning kick.
Quite a final minute for the Green Bay Packers.
Mason Crosby kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to cap an 81-yard drive set up by Kevin King’s interception with 1:07 left, and the Packers outlasted the San Francisco 49ers for a 33-30 win on Monday night.
The final drive was extended after 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was flagged for illegal contact on third-and-15 that wiped out a sack of Aaron Rodgers with 43 seconds left.
Rodgers rushed up the middle for a 21-yard gain on the next play. The two-time NFL MVP completed two more passes for 19 yards to set up Crosby’s game-winner for Green Bay (3-2-1).
The veteran kicker was perfect a week after missing four field goals in a loss at Detroit.
“It’s very appropriate, what he went through last week, (for) the team to stick with him,” Rodgers said. “And then he responded.”
Rodgers threw for 425 yards and two scores, both to Adams. The second came with 1:55 left from 16 yards to tie the score at 30.
C.J. Beathard passed for 245 yards and two long touchdowns to speedy receiver Marquise Goodwin for the 49ers (1-5).
For a while it looked like the 49ers might hold on for their first victory since quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the year in Week 3 with a torn ACL.
Turnovers hurt them again — three more on Monday night, but none bigger than King’s pick at the Packers 10.
“Very disappointed. We had a chance to win that game,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It hurts.”
The second-year cornerback was locked in 1-on-1 coverage with Goodwin, who had burned the secondary all night. This time, King kept up and pulled in a ball that looked slightly underthrown by Beathard.
Then Rodgers went to work, aided by the penalty on Sherman, who was covering Davante Adams.
Rodgers was 25 of 46. Adams had 10 catches for 132 yards, one of three Packers receivers to go over 100 yards.
The Packers scored 10 points in the final 2 minutes, capped by Crosby’s fourth field goal of the night.
“This week was a grind, it was one of the tougher weeks of my career,” Crosby said about bouncing back from his awful game last week.
It’s just what the Packers needed going into their bye week.
The late flurry overshadowed another troubling start by the defense.
The Packers had 17-7 lead when Rodgers connected with Davante Adams for a 9-yard touchdown with 1:58 left in the first quarter.
Then San Francisco just brushed past Green Bay.
Beathard connected with Goodwin for the 67-yard score down the middle of the field on the ensuing series.
The 30-yard score came with 6:05 left in the second. Goodwin celebrated by mimicking a long jump in the end zone.
He finished with four catches for 126 yards. Beathard was 16 of 23.
San Francisco also got more pressure after the first quarter, forcing the Packers into more third-and-long situations.
Rodgers figured out the Niners in the end.
“We had every opportunity to finish and win that game and we didn’t get it done,” Shanahan said.
The 49ers looked like they were in good shape after Adams’ second touchdown, starting their series at their own 47 with 1:55 left after a 32-yard return by Richie James Jr., and a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on Tony Brown.
But on third-and-3 from the Packers 46, Beathard unloaded under pressure.
“It wasn’t really what we wanted. The all-out blitz stuff, we had to get rid of it,” Shanahan said. There (are) four options on the play, but that wasn’t the one we wanted.”
King picked a nice time for his first career interception.
“I’ve just got to stay the course, keep doing your job, keep it going, and those types of plays are going to come,” King said.
Another game without a takeaway for the Niners dropped them to an NFL-worst minus-11 in turnover differential. The defense has generated a league-low three takeaways coming into the night, which had been the fewest total for the franchise after five games since 1977.
“It doesn’t matter if you agree with the call. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I didn’t agree with the call, they’re going to pick it up.’ They called it. I’ve got to find a way to do better.” — Sherman on the illegal contact penalty.
Goodwin appeared to be the only player on either team with an apparent sign of protest during the national anthem, raising a right first in the air.
49ers: Host the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Packers: After a bye week, Green Bay visits the Rams on Oct. 28.