Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
Here is a recap of Week 5 of the 2018 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.
Bye: Packers, Raiders, Steelers, Seahawks
Broncos 45, Cardinals 10
Von Miller vowed his Denver Broncos would kick the Arizona Cardinals’ behind, except he didn’t say behind.
Consider it a promise kept.
Emmanuel Sanders threw and caught touchdown passes, Denver returned two interceptions for first-quarter touchdowns and the Broncos snapped a four-game losing streak with a 45-10 rout Thursday night.
“It wasn’t even for the Cardinals, it was for my teammates,” Miller said about that rear end-kicking comment. “I just thought what we were missing was the confidence part of it. I thought about it and that is not even like me, but I felt that was the best thing to do to get my teammates going, and it worked.”
Todd Davis returned rookie Josh Rosen’s deflected pass for a touchdown on the second play of the game and Chris Harris Jr. took another back 53 yards for a score with 2:02 left in the quarter as the Broncos (3-4) opened a 21-3 lead.
“It has been a tough, tough two weeks,” Denver coach Vance Joseph said. “We had a tough loss on Sunday. We had a short week so it is really good for our football team to win a game. ”
Rosen threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball away twice on a rough night that began badly for him and never got better. He limped off the field after he was sacked for the sixth time, on a fourth-and-16 play near the end of the game but said afterward he was fine.
“I obviously didn’t play up to my standard or even close to it,” Rosen said.
The Cardinals (1-6), down 35-3 at the half, fell to 0-4 at home for the first time since 1979.
“Definitely an embarrassing effort tonight,” Arizona first-year coach Steve Wilks said. “Our fans deserve more than that. We’ve got to come out and perform better than that.”
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy already was considered on shaky ground, but Wilks said it was “premature” to talk about any changes that could be coming.
Case Keenum completed 14 of 21 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown with one interception for Denver. Phillip Lindsay rushed for 90 yards on 14 carries, including a 28-yard TD run.
Rosen had called a time out after the game’s first play. Then his pass was deflected by the outstretched hand of defensive end Derek Wolfe. The ball dropped into the hands of Davis, who ran it in from there.
Arizona followed with a three-and-out and the Broncos quickly made it 14-0 with a six-play, 77-yard drive. Sanders took the ball on an end around and threw to a wide open Courtland Sutton 28 yards for the touchdown.
The receiver may have run the wrong route on Rosen’s second “pick six.” In a third-and-one situation from the Arizona 46, Rosen passed but there was no one near the ball except Harris, who returned it 53 yards to make it 21-3.
The Broncos made it 28-3 in the second quarter when Keenum found Harris wide open on a 64-yard TD play, the Denver receiver doing a front flip over the goal line.
A pass interference play against Bene Benwikere in the end zone set up Royce Freeman’s one-yard TD run that made it 35-3 with 21 seconds left in the half. The run capped a 15-play, 70-yard drive that used up 6:39.
The Arizona fans booed as the team left the field for the half, while there were cheers from the sizable contingent of orange-clad Broncos supporters.
The Cardinals got their only touchdown in the third quarter, Rosen throwing four yards to Larry Fitzgerald for the score. Fitzgerald’s first TD catch of the season came at the end of an 11-play, 63-yard drive that followed Patrick Peterson’s interception. Fitzgerald has 111 career TDs to tie Tony Gonzalez for seventh on the NFL’s list.
Denver lost two players to injury in the first half.
Rookie punt returner DaeSean Hamilton left with a knee injury after Arizona’s Brandon Williams rolled into his legs as he was waiting for the ball to make a fair catch. Williams was penalized for interfering on the play.
Safety Darian Stewart left the game with a neck injury in the first quarter.
Arizona tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, trying to run down Rosen’s fumble, slammed his left forearm against an opponent’s helmet and didn’t return.
Broncos: At Kansas City on Oct. 28.
Cardinals: Host San Francisco on Oct. 28.
Titans 19, Chargers 20 @ London
LONDON (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers’ Adrian Phillips believes the Tennessee Titans made the right decision to go for a potential go-ahead 2-pointer with 31 seconds remaining — and not just because it failed.
Phillips broke up Marcus Mariota’s pass attempt, the Titans’ second after a defensive penalty on the first attempt, and the Chargers held on for a 20-19 victory on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Chargers (5-2), who weathered the absence of running back Melvin Gordon to a hamstring injury and relied upon their defense to pull out the win.
“It was a great decision,” Phillips said. “That’s the game right there. If I’m the head coach, I go for it, too. You have the momentum. You just (went) 70 yards. You’ve got one of the biggest running backs in the game, one of the best running quarterbacks in the game and one of the best third-down running backs in the game — and a receiver corps that had been doing good all game — so why not?”
The Titans (3-4) drove 89 yards over the final 4:55 before Mariota’s 1-yard pass to tight end Luke Stocker pulled them within one point.
Mariota, who went 24 for 32 for 237 yards with an interception, thought he had scored the touchdown himself.
With 40 seconds left, he ran 3 yards on a draw and stretched for the end zone, but replay showed that he was down inches shy of the goal line.
After Stocker scored, Mariota’s first attempt was a pass intended for Tajae Sharp, an incompletion negated by a defensive holding call on the Chargers’ Casey Hayward, and his second, toward Taywan Taylor, was tipped by Phillips.
“I loved the call,” Mariota said. “I love that he has confidence in us to go make that. We just didn’t execute.”
Gordon entered the game third in the NFL in rushing with 466 yards and had scored a total of nine touchdowns this season, but was ruled out after an unsuccessful pregame workout.
Austin Ekeler, in his second season, earned his first start in Gordon’s place and ran for 42 yards on 12 carries, but it was quarterback Philip Rivers who shouldered the burden for the Chargers.
Rivers, who completed 19 of 26 passes for 306 yards, threw two touchdown passes — one that went 75 yards to Tyrell Williams on Los Angeles’ first play from scrimmage, and one that traveled 55 yards to Mike Williams to cap the first drive of the second half.
The Titans trailed 10-6 at halftime after two field goals by Ryan Succop.
After Mike Williams scored, the Titans ended their 10-quarter skid without a touchdown when Derrick Henry ran 1 yard into the end zone with 9:43 left in the third quarter to pull within 17-13.
Michael Badgley made his second of two field goals, Succop missed from 51 yards and after holding Los Angeles, the Titans prepared their final charge.
Dion Lewis ran for 91 yards on 13 carries, including a 36-yard gain on the final drive that moved Tennessee into the Chargers’ territory, and Tajae Sharpe had seven catches for a career-high 101 yards.
Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen were shouting at each other and had to be held apart after an incompletion to Mike Williams in the end zone on third-and-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Allen, who had beaten Titans cornerback Logan Ryan on the play and was wide open, kicked a pylon in frustration before targeting Rivers.
“He ran a route so good that he felt like he needed the ball — and he should,” Rivers said. “That’s fine. At the same time, the coverage was going his way, so I went somewhere else. It’s a passionate, emotional game. That won’t be the last argument that any of us have on the sideline and I won’t worry about it after 2 seconds.”
A BAD DECISION
Inside linebacker Denzel Perryman handed Mariota the first red zone interception of his career at the Chargers 4-yard line with 30 seconds left in the first half.
“That was a big mistake,” Mariota said. “I should have moved onto my second read and maybe we would have had a shot.”
Los Angeles left tackle Russell Okung had his right fist raised during the anthem, but put it down before the start of “God Save The Queen.”
Tennessee: Right guard Josh Kline was injured with 43 seconds remaining, was replaced by Corey Levin and did not return.
Los Angeles: Philips injured an ankle late in the second quarter, Hayward required attention after a hit on Mariota before halftime and Mike Williams also needed a moment after a hard fall in the fourth quarter, but all returned.
Tennessee: Hit the road for a Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 5.
Los Angeles: Travel to face the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 4.
Patriots 38, Bears 31
CHICAGO (AP) — Tom Brady held his breath as he watched the final play unfold from the sideline.
He saw Mitchell Trubisky heave the ball toward the goal line, Kevin White haul it in and a swarming defense keep the ball out of the end zone. That was just enough to preserve another victory for New England.
Brady threw for three touchdowns and the Patriots hung on to beat the Chicago Bears 38-31 Sunday when White got stopped at the 1 on a 54-yard pass from Trubisky.
About four or five defenders swarmed White after he leaped to haul in that long heave and spun toward the goal line. Some Bears players tried to push him across. But he got stopped just short of the goal line, sealing the fourth straight win for New England.
“You hold your breath when I saw him jump up and catch it,” Brady said. “I didn’t have the angle on the goal line. He was getting close to the end zone. They were pushing and we were pushing. It was probably a half yard or a yard, pretty close. Good for us to hold them out.”
Even if the execution wasn’t perfect.
“Just too many people around the ball,” said Josh Gordon, who was in on the play. “I went up to grab it. Somebody else went up to grab it. There was pushing and pulling, everything like that. He ended up with it so it was a great play. … Fortunately enough, we were able to hold him out of the end zone.”
As for White?
“Just tried to fight and get in,” he said. “Tried to change the game, make a big-time play. So after I caught it, I thought I had a chance, like I said, for a split-second and once I felt a bunch of guys I knew it was over.”
The Patriots (5-2) also got two special teams touchdowns and came out on top even though they were without Rob Gronkowski.
The five-time Pro Bowl tight end missed the game because of ankle and back injuries. But New England squeezed past the Bears (3-3).
UNBEATEN AGAINST BEARS
Brady improved to 5-0 against Chicago, one of five teams yet to beat him. He was 25 of 36 for 277 yards and an interception.
Cordarrelle Patterson ran a kickoff back 95 yards for his sixth career return TD. Kyle Van Noy became the first New England player in 22 years to return a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Gordon caught four passes for 100 yards. He spun past a tackler on a 55-yarder early in the fourth that put the ball on the 1 and set up a 2-yard reception by James White to make it 38-24 with 8:40 left.
White had 57 yards receiving and two TDs. He also ran for a team-high 40 yards.
Julian Edelman had a touchdown catch. Rookie running back Sony Michel left in the second quarter because of a knee injury. But the Patriots beat the Bears for the eighth time in nine games since the 1985 team got routed in the Super Bowl.
Chicago has dropped two in a row after winning three straight to take sole possession of the NFC North lead for the first time since 2013. The Bears’ three losses are by a combined 11 points.
“Coming up 1 yard short and not tying the game and going to overtime, that’s not good enough anymore,” Trubisky said.
Star pass rusher Khalil Mack was largely a non-factor after being listed as questionable because of an ankle injury he suffered last week at Miami, often dropping back in pass coverage. And Trubisky struggled with his accuracy, though coach Matt Nagy didn’t quite see it that way.
“A lot of people were out of rhythm,” he said.
The second-year pro completed 26 of 50 passes for 333 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for a career-high 81 yards and a score.
Trey Burton had nine receptions for a career-high 126 yards, including an 11-yard TD with 4:13 remaining.
Van Noy is the first New England player to return a blocked punt for a TD since Tedy Bruschi against Baltimore in 1996.
He scooped up the ball and returned it 29 yards after Dont’a Hightower blocked Pat O’Donnell’s attempt, giving the Patriots a 31-24 lead with just under six minutes left in the third.
It was also the first blocked punt return for a TD against Chicago since the New York Giants’ Tom Flynn recovered one in the end zone on Sept. 14, 1987.
There were no protests by either team.
Patriots: Michel had to be helped off the field after he got twisted around by Bilal Nichols as he was tackled on the first play of the second quarter. He lost a fumble on the play and needed assistance to get to the sideline. In the previous three games, Michel rushed for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
Patriots: Visit Buffalo on Oct. 29.
Bears: Host the New York Jets on Oct. 28.
Texans 20, Jaguars 7
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Deshaun Watson made the 800-mile trip to Jacksonville on a private bus.
He slept, studied film, played games and watched television — all because the Houston Texans were concerned about how air pressure from flying would affect his bruised lung and injured ribs.
Given how little Watson got hit Sunday, he might join teammates for the flight back.
Watson threw a touchdown pass, Lamar Miller ran for 100 yards and a score and the Texans beat the reeling Jaguars 20-7 on Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory.
“Whatever it took to get me down here with my teammates and be able to play and help this team win,” Watson said. “This is bigger than me. I’m a competitor. I love this team so much. And what I’ve been through previously and what we’ve been through leading up to this point, I want to be out there on the field with them and try to win.”
Watson said he’s feeling a lot more comfortable and “starting to be able to do what I do again.”
The Texans (4-3) didn’t need him to do much against the mistake-prone Jaguars (3-4), who turned the ball over three times, benched quarterback Blake Bortles, lost their third straight game and imploded in the locker room afterward.
Watson completed 12 of 24 passes for 139 yards, including a 10-yard TD pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the third quarter that put Houston up 20-0. He was sacked once — an improvement for one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines — and knocked down just a few more times.
It was just what he needed before a short turnaround that includes a home game against Miami on Thursday night
“I give credit to Deshaun because I think he is a very tough individual,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “He has sacrificed a lot over the last couple of weeks to put himself in a position to play. Great teammate. Loves to win. Loves to play. And I think the world of the guy.”
The Jaguars couldn’t be as complimentary of Bortles, who was benched in the third quarter after his second fumble. Bortles coughed up the ball on Jacksonville’s third play of each half, leading to 10 points for the Texans.
Cody Kessler replaced Bortles and threw a touchdown pass, but he also fumbled and threw an interception off T.J. Yeldon’s hands.
Coach Doug Marrone said afterward that the quarterback job is up for grabs.
“We’ve got to do something, but the first thing we’ve got to do is stop turning the damn ball over. Period,” Marrone said.
The Jaguars signed Bortles to a three-year, $54 million contract in February with the belief he was good enough to lead the defensive-minded team back to the playoffs. Bortles has been downright awful in three straight losses, with two touchdown passes and eight turnovers.
“It’s obviously not what you want to hear as a quarterback,” Bortles said. “Those aren’t the words you want the head coach to say to you.”
Marrone also benched Bortles in the 2017 preseason, only to give him the starting job back nine days later.
Bortles lost the ball both times trying to scramble. The first one led to a field goal, and Watson connected with Hopkins following the second one . That was one of several one-on-one matchups Hopkins won against talkative cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Hopkins’ best was a one-handed catch for 31 yards along the sideline in the first quarter.
“That catch at the beginning of the game really got us going,” O’Brien said. “He made some big plays for us. That’s Hop.”
SHUT OUT AGAIN
The Jaguars failed to score in the first half for the third straight week, the first time they’ve done that in franchise history. They have been outscored 57-0 in the opening two quarters in losses to Kansas City, Dallas and Houston.
Texans safety Andre Hal, who returned to practice this week following treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was in the starting lineup. Hal was diagnosed with the disease in May and immediately began treatment. He received the news of his remission last month. The game was emotional because his father, Andre Hal Sr., died Tuesday, a few days suffering a heart attack.
“This was good for my dad,” Hal said. “He wanted me back on the field and I know he was watching me there today. … People didn’t really think I’d come back, but I knew I would come back. It was cool seeing everyone kind of show some love to me.”
Texans: WR Keke Coutee left in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and was ruled out at halftime.
Jaguars: CB Tyler Patmon was ruled out in the second quarter because of a strained neck, forcing rookie safety Ronnie Harrison into a bigger role. … Backup linebacker Donald Payne injured in his left knee on a special teams play. … DE Calais Campbell left the game in the fourth with a stinger.
Texans: Return home to host Miami on Thursday night.
Jaguars: Face Philadelphia in a “home game” at Wembley Stadium in London.
Bills 5, Colts 37
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck kept pleading with coach Frank Reich to stick with the ground game Sunday.
Reich gladly granted his wish.
After throwing 164 passes the previous three weeks, Luck watched his runners deliver the hard shots and took advantage of the openings by throwing for four touchdowns in a 37-5 rout over Buffalo.
“When you run the ball really, really well, the byproduct is throwing the ball efficiently,” Luck said.
It seems as though with the Colts getting healthy, the offense is more in sync.
Running back Marlon Mack returned from an injured hamstring last week and the Colts responded with back-to-back season-high rushing totals. Even Buffalo’s No. 3 ranked defense couldn’t slow down the Colts, who ran for 220 yards — the highest total in Luck’s seven seasons.
Indy hadn’t topped 200 yards since Dec. 18, 2011 against Tennessee, and Mack had a career-high 126 yards on 19 carries.
Luck, meanwhile, went 17 of 23 with 156 yards, hooked up with receiver T.Y. Hilton for two TD passes, another to Mack and one to Eric Swoope.
As a result, Indy (2-5) snapped a four-game losing streak, pulled off its most lopsided victory since a 37-3 victory over Jacksonville on Sept. 29, 2013 and finally celebrated the franchise’s 300th win since moving from Baltimore to Indianapolis in 1984.
Indy was in such command, Luck even made the wise decision to run out of bounds at the Bills 1-yard line in the fourth quarter rather than risk an unnecessary hit by reaching for the goal line.
“I was really proud on the 1 where he ran out of bounds because I told him if you get into scramble mode take care of yourself,” Reich said. “So we had the conversation on the sideline and fortunately he listened.”
The only thing that didn’t go according to script was Adam Vinatieri breaking Morten Andersen’s career scoring record.
Vinatieri scored five points to move within five of becoming the NFL’s scoring leader despite missing two extra points in one game for the first time in his career.
But it didn’t matter against the Bills’ struggling offense. Buffalo (2-5) has lost two straight and three of four despite benching turnover-prone Nathan Peterman and starting 35-year-old Derek Anderson in place of the injured Josh Allen.
Anderson went 20 of 31 with 175 yards, three interceptions and lost a fumble in his first start since December 2016.
Putting offensive coordinator Brian Daboll on the field for the first time this season didn’t help either. Buffalo has two touchdowns and 31 points in its last four games.
“I just have to be better with the ball, have better awareness,” Anderson said. “I’m not going to pout about it. I expect more from myself. I came here to help this team win football games.”
On Sunday, Luck did all the winning things.
He hooked up with Swoope on a 17-yard pass early in the second quarter and found Mack wide open in the right flat for a 29-yard scoring play — just before taking a hit. Mack’s conversion run made it 14-0.
Hilton’s 5-yard TD catch extended the lead to 21-0 and Mike Mitchell’s 47-yard interception return just before halftime set up Vinatieri for a 36-yard field goal to make it 24-0.
All the Bills could muster in the second half was a 34-yard field goal from Stephen Hauschka and a safety when Ryan Kelly’s snap sailed over the head of Luck and rolled through the end zone.
“I think our team needed a game like this to see what happens when we do the little things right, and we did that,” Luck said. “It was a joy to watch.”
Bills: Buffalo started the game with only four active receivers before losing running back LeSean McCoy with a head injury on the second play of the game. McCoy’s replacement, Chris Ivory, left briefly in the third quarter but returned and finished with 16 carries for 81 yards.
Colts: Defensive tackle Jihad Ward was carted off the field with an injured right ankle in the first quarter and Swoope left with a knee injury. Neither returned.
Bills: Buffalo did not have a sack. … Kelvin Benjamin had four catches for 71 yards, 32 yards coming on one reception.
Colts: Indy rushed for 116 yards in the first half, its highest first-half total since September 2009 and the sixth-highest total by the franchise since 1950. … Vinatieri has missed two or more extra points only four times in a season during his 23-year career.
Bills: Host division rival New England next Monday night.
Colts: Will try to build momentum at Oakland before heading into the bye week.
Panthers 21, Eagles 17
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers ruined the Philadelphia Eagles’ dance party.
Newton tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 1:22 left and the Panthers overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Eagles 21-17 on Sunday.
Julius Peppers sacked Carson Wentz, forcing a fumble on fourth down from the Panthers 14 to seal the victory.
The Panthers improved to 4-2 with the biggest comeback in franchise history. The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles fell to 3-4.
“This place was as advertised, playing in a hostile environment but we overcame that and kept pushing through,” Newton said. “Good teams have to win on the road and win close games and we did that.”
After Carolina took the lead, the Eagles started at their 30. A 48-yard pass interference penalty on James Bradberry against Alshon Jeffery put the ball at the Carolina 22. Eric Reid appeared to intercept Wentz’s overthrown pass but the play was overturned on a video review. Wentz threw incomplete to Jeffery in the end zone on third-and-2 and was stripped on the next play.
“Pressure is off,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “Nobody thinks we can do anything. A lot of football left.”
Down 17-0, the Panthers watched a couple of members of Philadelphia’s kickoff team do a choreographed dance while others celebrated as if the game was over during an extended break before the ball was placed on the field.
Then the Panthers started their rally when Curtis Samuel ran in from the 14 on a reverse but Graham Gano missed the extra point.
“We collectively got together and knew that we had to up the tempo and have a sense of urgency,” said Christian McCaffrey, who had 80 yards from scrimmage.
Newton then quickly drove the Panthers 87 yards, tossing an 18-yard pass to Devin Funchess. He connected with Jarius Wright on the 2-point conversion to get Carolina within a field goal with 4:08 left.
The Panthers forced a three-and-out and got the ball at their 31 with 2:17 remaining.
Newton threw three straight incomplete passes, but took a hit on fourth down and still completed a 35-yard catch-and-run pass to Torrey Smith to reach the Philadelphia 34. A 22-yard pass to McCaffrey gave Carolina first down at the 4. Newton ran it to the 1, setting up third down. He threw it to Olsen wide open in the back of the end zone.
Newton finished 25 of 39 for 269 yards and ran for 49 yards.
“I took that one extremely personal,” Newton said of a 23-17 loss at Washington last week. “I told myself if we get in that position I have to hold up my end. I didn’t want to let anybody down.”
Wentz’s 11-yard TD pass to Jeffery gave Philadelphia a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Ertz had catches of 15 and 22 yards on the drive and Jeffery hauled in a 20-yard pass before the score.
Jeffery and his teammates had a unique celebration. He placed the ball on the ground and pretended to do a free kick.
Wentz tossed a 1-yard TD to Dallas Goedert to make it 17-0 in the third quarter, finishing off a 17-play, 94-yard drive that chewed up 9:22 on the clock.
Gano made a 39-yard field goal that was nullified by a false start. He missed from 44 yards, but another false start allowed the Panthers to try again and they punted.
NOT GETTING ALONG
Reid and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins exchanged words and were separated before the coin toss. The two men have history going back to last year when Reid left The Players Coalition, which was co-founded by Jenkins. Reid and Jenkins are both fighting for the same cause — social and racial injustice — but have disagreed over how to do it. Reid recently called the coalition “an NFL funded subversion group” and he strongly supports his friend, Colin Kaepernick.
Reid also got into it with Ertz after tackling Wentz following a handoff in the first quarter. Both guys received personal foul penalties.
Reid again took a knee during the national anthem. He’s been doing it since Kaepernick, his former teammate on the 49ers, began taking a stance in 2016.
Panthers: DE Mario Addison twice left the game with a back injury and didn’t return after going out in the fourth quarter.
Eagles: RB Darren Sproles (hamstring), CB Sidney Jones (hamstring), DT Haloti Ngata (calf) and S Corey Graham (hamstring) were among the key players out of the lineup.
Panthers: Host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Eagles: Play the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday.
Vikings 37, Jets 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Mike Zimmer gathered his team around him in a victorious locker room and let them in on what they just accomplished.
The Minnesota Vikings, he told them, had never defeated the Jets on the road — until Sunday. Kirk Cousins and the rest of his teammates broke out in big cheers to celebrate a 37-17 win.
“Winning on the road is important in this league,” Cousins said, “and I was glad we were able to do that.”
Cousins threw two touchdown passes, Latavius Murray ran for two scores, and the Vikings (4-2-1) pulled away in the second half for their third straight victory.
It wasn’t the best performance of the season by the Vikings’ high-powered offense, but it was certainly good enough against a Jets team that had four turnovers — including interceptions by Harrison Smith, Holton Hill and Trae Waynes.
“Any time you score 37 points on the road, you’re doing something right,” Cousins said. “But there are times where it wasn’t good enough. We are so grateful for defense and special teams today because it gave us the opportunity to go out and score points.”
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen became the fifth player in NFL history to get at least 100 yards receiving in seven consecutive games, catching nine passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Murray, coming off career-high 155 yards rushing against Arizona, finished with 69 yards on 15 carries to help lift the Vikings to their first road win against the Jets after losing the first five meetings away from home.
In his first game against the Jets (3-4) since spurning their massive offer in free agency, Cousins was far from spectacular but made some big plays late. With the game still hanging in the balance and the Vikings facing fourth-and-8 from the 34, Cousins connected with Aldrick Robinson for a TD to seal it.
Cousins, 25 of 40 for 241 yards, opted to turn down New York’s three-year, $90 million deal in the offseason and instead chose to go to Minnesota, which actually signed him to a deal worth $6 million less. The Jets insisted this loss didn’t sting any more than usual because it was against Cousins.
“We don’t care,” Jets linebacker Darron Lee said. “We only care about us and this team. Don’t try to make this about him. We don’t care. No one ever spoke about that all week. No one cared.”
After Cousins made his decision, the Jets turned their attention to the draft, where they selected Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick.
In their first meeting, Cousins came out on top — while Darnold struggled on a cold, windy day.
The rookie was 17 of 42 for 206 yards with a TD pass to Chris Herndon and a TD run, but was intercepted three times as New York’s two-game winning streak ended.
“I’ve just got to find completions,” Darnold said. “That’s really it. And, we’ve got to do a better job executing.”
The Vikings took a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter when Murray followed a 23-yard run with a 38-yard touchdown scamper, his second score of the game .
“It wasn’t pretty early on,” Murray said, “but we know how important it is to run the ball and we stuck with it.”
New York wasn’t done, though.
Darnold’s 17-yard throw to Herndon was initially called a touchdown, but it was ruled after a video review that the tight end’s heel went out of bounds at the 1. Darnold went in on a quarterback sneak on the next play for the first rushing score of his career, making it 27-17.
After the Vikings went three-and-out, Darnold went deep to Robby Anderson, whose legs got tangled with Xavier Rhodes and both needed to be checked by trainers. Anderson was OK, but Rhodes was helped off the field without putting weight on his left leg. Zimmer said Rhodes has a sprained ankle.
Hill came on in place of Rhodes and immediately picked off Darnold’s pass intended for Andre Roberts. Seven plays later, Cousins put the game away with his TD toss to Robinson.
“We had so many opportunities to put that game away earlier,” Zimmer said. “There were two or three turnovers we didn’t take advantage of. … We’ve got to overcome ourselves on some of those things.”
THIELEN FEELIN’ IT
Thielen reached his milestone with a 21-yard catch in the fourth quarter. He joined Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (eight, 2012), Denver’s Demaryius Thomas (seven, 2014), Dallas’ Michael Irvin (seven, 1995) and Houston’s Charley Hennigan (seven, 1961) to accomplish the feat.
He and Hennigan are the only players to do so in his team’s first seven games to open the season.
“It says it all,” Cousins said. “He’s a great player. Ultimately, he’s a great person and it starts there the way he approaches everything he does. I’m lucky to play with him. The Vikings are lucky to have him.”
Minnesota finished 2 of 15 on third downs, while New York was 2 of 13.
The Vikings first conversion didn’t come until midway through the third quarter on Thielen’s 13-yard catch after being 0 for 8 up to that point.
The Jets’ first third-down conversion came late in the third on Darnold’s 6-yard run on third-and-5.
Vikings: LG Tom Compton left in the first quarter with a knee injury and didn’t return. … LB Anthony Barr left in the fourth with a hamstring injury.
Jets: RB Bilal Powell injured his neck during a 2-yard run in the second quarter. S Doug Middleton, starting in place of the injured Marcus Maye, also left in the second with a shoulder injury. Neither player returned, and coach Todd Bowles said both would have tests to determine the severity of their injuries.
Vikings: home vs. New Orleans next Sunday.
Jets: at Chicago next Sunday.
Browns 23, Buccaneers 26 OT
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Chandler Catanzaro was confident he would redeem himself.
“I think it’s part of my DNA. I’ve always kind of found of way to bounce back,” the Tampa Bay kicker said Sunday after his 59-yard field goal — the longest ever in overtime — gave the Buccaneers a 26-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns. “I rarely miss two in a row. Even if it’s from 59, I was just looking for a shot. If it was from 66, I would have tried it.”
Catanzaro missed an extra point in the first half, as well as a 40-yard field goal on the final play of regulation. Concerned the Bucs (3-3) might not get the ball back if they punted, coach Dirk Koetter didn’t hesitate to give his kicker a chance to end it with 1:50 remaining in the extra period.
“He hit it from 61 in practice this week, so I knew he had the distance in him,” Koetter said.
“With the 10-minute overtime … we weren’t going to get the ball back,” the coach added. “So go for the win or hope for the tie. And the way that game was going, we were going for the win.”
Tampa Bay, which recovered Jabrill Peppers’ fumble near midfield on a punt return to give itself a chance, ended a three-game skid and handed the Browns (2-4-1) their 24th consecutive road loss — two shy of tying the NFL record.
Cleveland, which has played four overtime games this season — most for a team since Arizona won all four it played in 2011, and tied for second most in NFL history — hasn’t won on the road since winning in overtime at Baltimore on Oct. 11, 2015.
The Detroit Lions set the road futility mark with 26 straight losses from 2007-10.
“We had our chances to win it. We just didn’t finish some things,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said.
“This is our fourth overtime game. We’re not trying to get to overtime and if we do, we want to win the game,” Jackson added. “We’ve got to find a way to finish these games in the W column.”
Jameis Winston and DeSean Jackson scored on 14-yard runs for Tampa Bay (3-3). Rookie Ronald Jones II added his first pro TD on a 2-yard run that put Tampa Bay up 23-9 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Browns, who had 126 yards of offense through three quarters, used Nick Chubb’s 1-yard TD run to cut into their deficit and pulled even on Baker Mayfield’s 16-yard pass to Jarvis Landry with 2:28 remaining in regulation.
A week after completing just 48 percent of his passes and being sacked five times during a 24-point loss to the Chargers that Mayfield called the worst of his career, the No. 1 overall draft pick was 23 of 34 for 215 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions.
The Browns’ defense forced four turnovers, including an interception in overtime, but Mayfield struggled to move the ball with consistency until the fourth quarter. But with Chubb playing a bigger role after Cleveland traded leading rusher Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville on Friday, Cleveland rallied.
“It’s very frustrating any time you lose, especially because you could have done a lot of things better,” Mayfield said. “That seems to be the moral of the season.”
Winston completed 32 of 52 passes for 365 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked four times, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner also led the Bucs in rushing with 55 yards on 10 attempts.
The Browns fell to 1-2-1 in overtime games this season. The four OT games are one shy of the record five Green Bay played in 1983.
“The thing it comes down to is the little things,” Mayfield said. “If we do things right we can get a few more points.”
The Browns forced four turnovers, two interceptions and two fumbles, but only one of them led to points.
They wasted one scoring opportunity when Mayfield, scrambling on fourth-and-2 from the Tampa Bay 11, fumbled backward on his way to picking up the first down in the final minute of the second quarter.
The Browns came away with no points again when, trailing 23-16, Mayfield was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-goal from the Bucs 1.
The defense stepped up, forcing a punt that Peppers returned 32 yards to the Bucs 16. Mayfield threw his TD pass to Landry on the next play.
Cleveland’s decision to trade Hyde for a fifth-round draft choice was driven by a desire to give Chubb more touches and also get Duke Johnson, the team’s best offensive playmaker, more involved. Chubb, who came in averaging 10.8 yards per carry, finished with 80 yards rushing on 18 attempts. He was targeted twice on passes, but did not have a catch.
Tampa Bay stopped a three-game losing streak that cost former defensive coordinator Mike Smith his job last week. The Bucs entered Sunday allowing a league-worst 34.6 points per game, ranked 31st in total defense, and dead last against the pass. They sacked Mayfield five times and allowed a season-low 305 yards in their debut under Smith’s replacement, former linebackers coach Mark Duffner.
Browns: With CB E.J. Gaines sidelined by a concussion, T.J. Carrie started. The defense also was without LB Joe Schobert, who could be out several weeks with a hamstring injury. Cleveland did not report any injuries during the game.
Buccaneers: DT Gerald McCoy (calf) and DE Vinny Curry (ankle) were inactive, leaving rookie DT Vita Vea and DE Carl Nassib to make their first starts for Tampa Bay. LBs Kwon Alexander was lost to a knee injury late in the second quarter. Backup LB Jack Cichy left in the third quarter and did not return.
Browns: at Pittsburgh next Sunday
Buccaneers: at Cincinnati next Sunday
Lions 32, Dolphins 21
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Detroit Lions clustered on the bench under shade canopies Sunday, keeping their cool in the South Florida heat. And when they stepped onto the field and into the subtropical sunshine, they ran all over the Miami Dolphins.
Unfazed by the weather, Kerryon Johnson rushed for 158 yardsand the Lions netted 248 on the ground, their highest total in 21 years, to win 32-21.
Matt Stafford was 18 for 22 for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Detroit had 457 total yards and mounted scoring drives covering 64, 85, 75, 65, 75, 63 and 44 yards.
“We’re playing a team, not the weather,” Stafford said. “Our guys up front dominated, and our backs were awesome. It was good to go out there and play at a high level against a good team.”
The Lions (3-3) punted once and had no turnovers to win on the road for the first time. They’ve climbed back to .500 after being outscored 78-44 in their first two games.
Injury-ravaged Miami (4-3) lost at home for the first time this season — and lost another key player when dynamic receiver Albert Wilson was sidelined in the first half. Wilson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said his client suffered a hip injury that appeared significant.
“I would say the best-case scenario is that he would miss a few weeks,” Rosenhaus said during his weekly appearance on South Florida’s WSVN-TV. “Worst-case scenario is he could possibly miss the rest of the season.”
Receiver Kenny Stills also limped to the locker room with a minute left.
The Lions, meanwhile, held up well in the 88-degree sunshine, even though it was 40 degrees warmer than in Detroit. That was in contrast to the Chicago Bears, who wilted at Miami in an overtime loss a week earlier.
Johnson, an Alabama native, said the heat didn’t bother him at all.
“This is the same stuff I’ve been doing since I was a little boy,” he said. “I’ve been up in Detroit freezing my tail off. To finally get to play in the sun and heat and humidity, I was loving it.”
Johnson carried 19 times and needed barely a quarter to reach 100 yards. The rookie ran for 24 on Detroit’s first play and found a gaping hole on a draw for a 71-yard gain, the Lions’ longest running play since 2011, to set up a field goal.
“Basically they could do whatever they wanted on that side of the ball,” Miami coach Adam Gase said.
Detroit averaged 7.1 yards per rush. Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, for one, was surprised how many yards rushing his team allowed.
“A lot has to go wrong for that to happen,” he said.
Detroit’s Michael Roberts, who had missed the past three games with a knee injury, caught touchdown passes of 15 and 4 yards.
“We’re a very fine-tuned offense,” Roberts said, “and it was nice to be able to show how fine-tuned we are.”
Brock Osweiler threw for 239 yards for the Dolphins, and after falling behind 20-7, they tried to rally with Kenyan Drake’s 54-yard touchdown run and Danny Amendola’s 24-yard scoring reception.
But Prater’s 50-yard field goal — his fourth — with 1:55 left sealed the victory.
A security guard hurt her shoulder when Stills blindsided her on a scoring play . Stills’ momentum carried him into the guard after he caught a 5-yard pass in the corner of the end zone, and the woman tumbled to the ground.
A dazed Stills checked on her and gave her the ball as a souvenir. The Dolphins said the guard was taken to the hospital as a precaution with a sore shoulder.
Gase said he didn’t consider the positioning of the guard near the end zone something that needed to be addressed.
“Every stadium is like that where that can happen,” the coach said.
Miami: Wilson left the game in the second quarter after his foot appeared to buckle when he was tackled on a 25-yard reception. He limped to the locker room.
“It definitely hurts us,” Osweiler said. “Albert is a tremendous player. He brings a spark. We definitely missed him.”
Stills and Wilson kneeled during the anthem, as they have done before previous games, and Miami defensive end Robert Quinn again raised his right fist.
Dolphins: Miami plays Thursday night at the Houston Texans, who lead the series 7-1.
Lions: Detroit plays at home Sunday against Seattle. It’s their first meeting since the Seahawks beat the Lions in an NFC wild-card game two seasons ago.
Saints 24, Ravens 23
BALTIMORE (AP) — Justin Tucker has won a dozen games for the Baltimore Ravens with his incredibly accurate right foot.
This one will be remembered as the one he lost.
Tucker missed the first conversion of his career after the Baltimore Ravens scored the potential tying touchdown with 24 seconds left, enabling Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints to escape with a 24-23 victory Sunday.
Brees threw two touchdown passes, locked up two more milestones and engineered a fourth-quarter comeback that helped the Saints (5-1) wipe out a 10-point deficit.
It was 24-17 before Baltimore’s Joe Flacco directed a beat-the-clock drive covering 81 yards and ending with a 14-yard touchdown pass to John Brown.
That seemingly set up overtime, given that Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history in terms of field goal percentage. Not only that, but he was 222 for 222 on conversions since breaking into the league in 2012, and was the only NFL kicker without a miss (112 for 112) since the placement of the ball was moved back in 2015.
This attempt, however, went wide right — the deciding moment in a matchup between the NFL’s highest-scoring offense and top-ranked defense.
“I can’t tell you exactly what happened,” Tucker said, “but at the end of the day I feel like I cost us the game.”
When the ball sailed right, Tucker looked incredulously at the goalposts , eyes wide and mouth agape.
“I thought I hit it well,” he said. “The ball didn’t go through and that’s all it needs to do to keep the game going.”
The Saints were relieved to escape with their fifth straight victory.
“You’re talking about one of the top kickers,” coach Sean Payton said. “I’m sure we’ll watch the tape tomorrow and think it shouldn’t have come down to a missed extra point.”
Brees brought the Saints back against a unit that allowed only 12 second-half points all season. The 39-year-old quarterback threw a 5-yard TD pass to Michael Thomas with 4:58 remaining to put New Orleans ahead 21-17, and the Saints tacked on a field goal just before the two-minute warning.
Earlier, Brees threw his 500th career touchdown pass, connecting with tight end Benjamin Watson for a 1-yard score to put New Orleans up 7-3 late in the second quarter.
The NFL leader in career passing yardage, Brees joined Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks in league history with 500 TD passes.
“It’s a significant benchmark, yet you’re in the middle of the game and you’re not really paying attention to it,” Payton said. “I think more importantly, it’s the final team he needed to beat.”
Indeed, Brees defeated the Ravens for the first time. Previously 0-4 against Baltimore, Brees is one of three quarterbacks — along with Favre and Manning — to beat every team in the league.
“You only get to play these guys once every four years, and not to put the pressure on it each and every time, but every time we play these guys, it’s been a battle,” Brees said. “They’ve had some pretty great defenses over those years.”
Brees went 22 for 30 for 212 yards. Facing a defense that made 11 sacks one week earlier in Tennessee, Brees escaped the tenacious Baltimore rush with the exception of a fourth-quarter sack by Terrell Suggs.
Flacco completed 23 of 39 passes for 279 yards for the Ravens (4-3), including a 56-yarder to Brown that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson for a 10-7 halftime lead.
An 8-yard pass from Flacco to rookie tight end Mark Andrews put the Ravens ahead 17-7 with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
ALL FOR NOTHING
After converting three fourth-down plays during the opening series — including a successful fake punt — New Orleans misfired on its fourth attempt of the drive.
New Orleans held the ball for 20 plays and 9 minutes, 58 seconds. But the Saints came away empty when backup quarterback Taysom Hill fumbled on fourth down from the Baltimore 4.
It was the longest drive to result in no points since the Browns went 9:59 against the Jets in the first week of the 2015 season.
Coming into the game, Baltimore’s opponents were 0 for 4 on fourth down.
Saints: Guard Josh LeRibeus left with an ankle injury in the second quarter.
Ravens: OL Bradley Bozeman left in the second quarter with a left calf injury, returned to action and left again in the fourth quarter. … CB Marlon Humphrey (thigh), OL Alex Lewis (neck), OL James Hurst (back) were on the inactive list.
Saints: A Sunday night game in Minnesota is next for New Orleans, continuing a stretch of three road games in four weeks.
Ravens: Baltimore faces Carolina next Sunday, its fourth road game in five weeks.
Cowboys 17, Redskins 20
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — No one on the winning Washington Redskins or the losing Dallas Cowboys seemed entirely sure about the rule that led to a penalty for “snap infraction.” That flag turned a 47-yard field-goal try into a 52-yarder that slammed off the left upright as time expired.
“I don’t know what happened there,” said Redskins coach Jay Gruden, after his club avoided overtime and edged the Cowboys 20-17 Sunday to remain alone atop the NFC East when Dallas’ Brett Maher missed the potential tying kick.
The call, in a nutshell: A Redskins lineman moved early, but the flag went against Cowboys long snapper L.P. Ladoceur, because he moved the football illegally.
That last part was news to Ladoceur, the longest-tenured member of Dallas’ roster.
“Exact same thing I’ve been doing for 14 years,” he said.
Asked how often he’s seen that call in the NFL, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said: “I don’t know. Once? Twice? Not very often.”
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” he said, “but it’s my job to kick it, wherever it was.”
His miss foiled a spirited comeback attempt after Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s strip-sack of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was recovered for a touchdown by Preston Smith with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“Scoop and score,” said Smith. “Yeah, that was one of the easiest touchdowns I ever had.”
That made it 20-10 and was Washington’s fourth sack of Prescott, who used smelling salts and was checked for a concussion in the first quarter after taking a shoulder to his helmet at the end of a run.
The QB didn’t miss a play, returning for the Cowboys’ next possession.
Prescott lost two fumbles in the game, including one on an earlier fourth-and-1 keeper.
The Redskins (4-2) won consecutive games for the first time this season. The Cowboys dropped to 0-4 on the road, 3-4 overall, as they head into their bye week.
Washington won this one thanks to its staunch defense and 99 yards on 24 carries from Adrian Peterson, who helped mask the latest so-so performance from quarterback Alex Smith and a generally iffy offense that was missing three injured playmakers.
The Redskins twice had to settle for short field goals in the second half despite having first-and-goal opportunities. On each of those possessions, Alex Smith missed an open receiver in the end zone from down close.
Washington’s QB finished 14 for 25 for 178 yards, including a 23-yard TD on a swing pass to Kapri Bibbs in the first quarter. But there were some questionable decisions, including running out of bounds on third down with 78 seconds left, stopping the clock before a punt gave the ball back to Dallas.
The Redskins limited Ezekiel Elliott, the NFL’s No. 2 rusher entering the week, to 34 yards on 15 carries, the second-lowest total of his pro career.
“He’s a great, great player,” Gruden said. “It takes all 11 men on defense to get him stopped, and our defensive line played outstanding.”
Prescott was 22 for 35 for 273 yards, with one TD pass and one TD run. He connected with rookie receiver Michael Gallup on a 49-yard score a minute before halftime that made the score 7-all, then — after Kerrigan’s key play made it 20-10 — scored on a 1-yard quarterback draw to cut Dallas’ deficit to three points with 1½ minutes remaining.
The Cowboys got the ball back and drove into Redskins territory thanks, in part, to three consecutive completions from Prescott to Beasley that ate up a total of 33 yards.
But in the final seconds, Dallas seemed content to try to get to OT rather than pushing for a go-ahead TD.
And, well, the field goal did not go according to plan.
“It didn’t come down to the kick,” Dallas right guard Zack Martin said. “It came down to the first three quarters leading up to that.”
PASSING THE SMELL TEST
Prescott was nonchalant about the being captured by a TV camera using smelling salts, saying, “I do that every game.” Redskins LB Mason Foster agreed that it’s commonplace in the NFL. “I feel like everybody uses them, just to wake up or whatever. It’s almost like a habit.”
Cowboys: Martin sprained his knee but remained in the game. … CB C.J. Goodwin broke his forearm. … TE Geoff Swaim left with a knee injury.
Redskins: Both Kerrigan (chest) and Preston Smith (ankle) briefly left the game with injuries but returned. … CB Fabian Moreau hurt his ankle in the last minute of the fourth quarter.
Cowboys: Bye week. Return to host Titans on Nov. 5.
Redskins: At New York Giants next Sunday.
Rams 39, 49ers 10
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Aaron Donald and a dominant defense kept taking the ball away for Los Angeles and Todd Gurley turned those turnovers into touchdowns to keep the Rams unbeaten after seven games.
Todd Gurley scored three touchdowns and Jared Goff threw two TD passes as the Rams took advantage of four takeaways and a blocked punt to beat the San Francisco 49ers 39-10 on Sunday for their first 7-0 start since 1985.
“With the offense we have to just keep feeding and feeding them ball,” Donald said. “If we do that, they are going to put points on the board. Our offense is so explosive. We know that if we give them the ball good things are going to happen.”
Donald and the defense made things easy for the Rams high-powered offense with seven sacks, two interceptions against C.J. Beathard and two fumble recoveries, including one that Donald just ripped out of Matt Breida’s hands.
That was perhaps Donald’s best play on a day full of great ones as he had four sacks, six tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, the forced fumble and fumble recovery.
“One of the best defensive performances I’ve been around,” Goff said. “It seemed like every time we sat down we got back up and went on the field. … It was just a lot of fun to watch.”
The Rams started 6-0 for three straight seasons from 1999-2001 only to lose game seven. The 49ers (1-6) made sure that wouldn’t happen this year by repeatedly giving the ball away, justifying the decision the NFL made to flex this game out of prime time following the season-ending knee injury to San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
“It’s always embarrassing when you lose like that,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We’ve got pride and we’re also confident in what we do. We’re not proud of our record right now. We’re definitely not proud of today. When we played better, we still feel the same way. We’re not into any moral victories here. We’re as far away from one as we could have today. We have to fix the turnovers. Once we fix the turnovers, then we have a chance to start playing football.”
Beathard has thrown seven interceptions and lost three fumbles in four starts as the 49ers have committed 14 straight turnovers since their last takeaway on Sept. 30 against the Chargers.
The Rams dominated defensively even beyond Donald’s performance. Cory Littleton having two sacks and a blocked punt for a safety ; and Troy Hill and John Johnson III also intercepted passes.
The turnovers set up 24 points for the Rams, who put up the big scoring day despite gaining a season-low 331 yards of offense.
Gurley scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter after a fumble by Breida and 1-yard run after Johnson’s interception in the third. He capped his fifth three-touchdown game of the past two seasons with a 12-yard catch after JoJo Natson had a 36-yard punt return to the 13.
Gurley’s 14 TDs this season tie Priest Holmes (2002, ’04) for the most through seven games in the Super Bowl era.
GIVE IT AWAY
The Niners had a minus-1 turnover margin through the first 14 quarters of the season and are minus-14 over the last 14 quarters, matching a franchise worst with a minus-15 turnover margin through seven games set by the 1980 team. During one particularly rough stretch in the first half, the 49ers had a five-play sequence of lost fumble, fumbled snap, incomplete pass, sack and blocked punt.
“You can always work on protecting it better,” Beathard said. “I think it comes down to a mindset and just not letting it happen.”
Rams DB Troy Hill left in the first half to be evaluated for a possible concussion but was able to return. … The 49ers lost S Adrian Colbert (sprained right ankle), LB Reuben Foster (sprained shoulder) and Breida (ankle) during the game.
The 49ers unveiled statues of Joe Montana and Dwight Clark before the game commemorating “The Catch” that launched a dynasty in the 1980s. The statues are 23 yards apart — the same distance that was between Montana and Clark on the game-winning play during the NFC title game win over Dallas on Jan. 10, 1982.
Rams: Host Green Bay on Sunday.
49ers: Visit Arizona on Sunday.
Bengals 10, Chiefs 45
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes bobbled the snap, picked the ball off the turf and threw a laser to Tyreek Hill in the corner of the end zone, giving the Kansas City Chiefs another touchdown on a night full of them.
Even the young quarterback’s mistakes rarely end up awry.
The Chiefs’ record-setting quarterback wound up throwing for 358 yards and four touchdowns Sunday night, Kareem Hunt totaled three scores and Kansas City rebounded from a last-second loss in New England by throttling the Cincinnati Bengals 45-10 before a boisterous crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I mean, you always think you’re going to have success,” said Mahomes, whose 22 touchdown passes in his first eight career games set an NFL record, “but I didn’t think it would happen this much.”
Mahomes was 28 of 39 with his only costly mistake an underthrown interception, though the Chiefs (6-1) were already so far ahead of Cincinnati (4-3) by that point it didn’t really matter.
He spread the wealth, too, connecting with eight targets. Hill had seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, Travis Kelce had five catches for 95 yards, and Demetrius Harris hauled in the other TD catch as the Chiefs piled up 551 yards total offense.
“We’re just rolling,” Harris said. “We’re unstoppable when it’s clicking like that.”
Meanwhile, the Bengals’ Andy Dalton was held to just 148 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception by the NFL’s worst defense. Joe Mixon managed only 50 yards rushing.
“We had a lot of plays,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said, “where we’ve got to do better.”
The Chiefs, wearing their all-red uniforms for the primetime matchup, flexed some rare defensive muscle to open the game, creating a three-and-out for their first forced punt in 17 possessions.
Mahomes and Hunt immediately went to work.
With their quarterback shredding the Bengals’ depleted backfield, and Hunt making the rest of the defense look downright foolish, the Chiefs marched 95 yards for a score. Hunt capped it with a short TD grab, but it was his play immediately before that set social media ablaze.
Hunt spun loose from a clutch of Bengals, then hurdled safety Jessie Bates on a 21-yard run .
“That was just one of those to get the team going,” Hunt said. “You just got to want it. You need touchdowns instead of threes in the red zone. We learned that last week.”
Mahomes connected with Hunt again early in the second quarter, when the Pro Bowl running back left Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict grasping at air on his way to the end zone. And he answered a TD toss by Dalton with one to Harris as the Chiefs took a 24-7 lead into halftime.
Run the ball and protect the lead? Nah.
Mahomes opened the second half by hitting Sammy Watkins for 50 yards. And six plays later, Hunt punched it in from a couple yards out for his third touchdown and first on the ground.
Ron Parker’s pick-6 on the ensuing play gave Kansas City two TDs in 9 seconds, and Mahomes connected with Hill — just after the speedster dropped a touchdown catch — to make it 45-10 in the fourth.
By that point, it was hard to tell what was more entertaining — the Chiefs’ offense or their crazy touchdown celebrations — because the reality is there were plenty of both.
Harris celebrated his score by jumping into a camera well and using it as a foxhole while chucking the football as if it were a grenade. Hill fainted at the foot of an official and got CPR from offensive lineman Eric Fisher after his score, then reeled off a backflip before sprinting to the sideline.
The Bengals certainly weren’t enjoying it. They got dinged for a pair of personal fouls down the stretch, including a late helmet-to-helmet hit on Hunt by safety Shawn Williams.
“A lot of season left,” Dalton said. “Everything’s in front of us. It’s just one game.”
“That was a great feeling, man,” Parker said after his interception return for a touchdown. “That’s what I was waiting on my whole career. It was crazy. My daughter asked before the game like, ‘Daddy, how come you don’t score touchdowns?’ So that one was for her.”
STATS AND STREAKS
The Bengals are 3-16 on Sunday night, losing nine straight. … The Bengals’ A.J. Green had seven catches for 117 yards. … Chiefs coach Andy Reid won his 200th game. One more will tie Dan Reeves for eighth in NFL history. … Kansas City has won 13 straight when its defense scores.
Royals OF Alex Gordon pounded the ceremonial drum to start the game, while NASCAR star Clint Bowyer and retired driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. checked out the game. Bowyer and Earnhardt were in town for the Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, where Bowyer advanced to the third round of the playoffs.
Bengals: TE Tyler Kroft (knee), LB Nick Vigil (knee) and CB Darqueze Dennard (shoulder) were among the inactive players. … Burfict limped off with a hip injury late in the third quarter. WR John Ross (groin) and TE Mason Schreck (knee) also left in the second half.
Chiefs: OLB Justin Houston (hamstring), SS Eric Berry (heel) and C Mitch Morse (concussion) were inactive. … LB Terrance Smith left in the first half with a knee injury.
Bengals: Return home to face Tampa Bay next Sunday.
Chiefs: Go for the season sweep of Denver next Sunday.
Giants 20, Falcons 23
ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan is putting up MVP-like numbers, even on a team that hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Matty Ice turned in another brilliant performance in prime time Monday, throwing for 379 yards and completing his final 18 passes to lead the Atlanta Falcons to their second straight victory, 23-20 over the struggling New York Giants.
“Whatever it takes to win,” Ryan said. “That’s the mindset we have every week.”
Ryan threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Hall, Tevin Coleman broke loose on a 30-yard scoring run and the Falcons added another chapter to New York’s miserable season, sending the Giants (1-6) to their fourth straight loss.
“I don’t feel like we’re a 1-6 team,” Odell Beckham Jr. said. “That’s what our record is, but that’s not the feeling in the locker room.”
Ryan was the league’s MVP in 2016 when he led Atlanta to the Super Bowl. While these Falcons (3-4) haven’t played to that level, their quarterback is putting up numbers that measure up to what he did two years ago: a 71.1 percent completion rate, 2,335 yards passing, 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Ryan is only focused on the team’s performance.
“To inch our way closer to .500 is a positive for us,” he said.
It was also a big night for Giorgio Tavecchio, who was signed during the week to fill in for injured Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant. The native of Milan, Italy, made all three of his field goal attempts, including a 56-yarder that was the longest of his career and helped seal the victory.
“That kick was good from about 65 yards,” Ryan said. “He did a great job for us coming in on short notice.”
Facing one of the NFL’s worst defenses, New York botched its best scoring chance by going for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1 early in the third quarter. To the surprise of no one who has seen the Giants stumble through the season, Eli Manning’s pass for tight end Scott Simonson fell harmlessly to the turf.
Manning was sacked four times but still managed to complete 27 of 38 for 399 yards. Beckham hauled in eight passes for 143 yards, pushing him past 5,000 yards in his career, and Sterling Shepard finished with 167 yards on five receptions.
Both teams got off to sluggish starts offensively. The Falcons failed to cross midfield on their first three possessions, and the Giants weren’t much better.
Then, suddenly, Atlanta struck for two big plays to grab the lead. Ryan went down the left sideline to tight end Austin Hooper for a 36-yard gain, pushing the Falcons into New York territory for the first time. Then Ryan spotted Hall breaking free down the middle of the field, hitting him perfectly in stride for the touchdown.
Coleman’s touchdown with 7½ minutes remaining gave the Falcons some breathing room, but the Giants finally showed some life offensively.
Manning completed five passes for 61 yards before Saquon Barkley powered over from the 2 with 4:47 remaining for New York’s first TD of the game. Embattled coach Pat Shurmur decided to go for 2, looking to put his team in position to win with another score, but Beckham couldn’t hang on to Manning’s pass.
The Falcons drove into position for Tavecchio’s final field goal, extending the lead to 23-12.
The Giants did manage a touchdown with 5 seconds remaining as Manning hooked up with Beckham on a 1-yard scoring play, but only after the quarterback was stuffed on two straight attempts to run it over, burning off most of the scant time on the clock.
The Falcons were the first team to hold Barkley to less than 100 yards rushing and receiving in a game.
The rookie running back was limited to 43 yards on 14 carries, to go along with nine catches for 51 yards.
It was Barkley’s second-lowest rushing output of the season, eclipsed only by a 28-yard effort against Dallas in Week 2.
Barkley was coming off his best game of the season, totaling 229 yards (130 rushing, 99 receiving) in a loss to Philadelphia.
TAVECCHIO STEPS UP
Bryant is one of the NFL’s most accurate kickers, but Tavecchio sure made a good impression in his return to the NFL.
His 56-yard kick was the longest by a player in his first game with a new team in the last 40 seasons, according to NFL Research. He also connected from 40 and 50 yards.
Tavecchio kicked last season for the Oakland Raiders, but he was without a job until Bryant injured his right hamstring making a long kick in Atlanta’s victory over Tampa Bay.
That prompted the Falcons to bring back Tavecchio, who got a brief look from the team at the end of the preseason.
Even though Bryant will surely reclaim his job as soon as he’s healthy, Tavecchio set himself up to draw attention from other teams when he goes on the open market again.
The Falcons lost another guard when Brandon Fusco went down late in the first half with a right ankle injury.
Fusco had to be helped off the field by a pair of trainers, and he was quickly taken to the locker room on a cart.
Atlanta had already lost another starting guard, Andy Levitre, to a season-ending injury.
Ben Garland took Fusco’s spot on the line.
Giants: New York returns home next Sunday to face NFC East-leading Washington (4-2).
Falcons: Atlanta also plays Washington in its next game — but not until Nov. 4 after a bye week.