2018 NFL Week 11 Tuesday Afternoon QB

Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders

Here is a recap of Week 11 of the 2018 NFL Season with a Tuesday Morning QB & thanks again to AP Sports/ Pro 32 for photos & articles.

Bye: Bills, Browns, Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, 49ers

Packers 24, Seahawks 27

Packers Seahawks Football

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles away from Green Bay Packers defensive back Josh Jones (27) during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

SEATTLE (AP) — After a shaky beginning, Russell Wilson got hot in the fourth quarter, Bobby Wagner and Seattle’s defense stymied Aaron Rodgers and the Seahawks stayed in the middle of the NFC playoff race.

“We’ve been through so much throughout this season it was time to get over the hump,” Wagner said. “We’ve been down, we’ve been up, we’ve lost close games, we’ve won close games. It was time.”

Wilson threw for 225 yards and his 15-yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson with 5:08 left was the difference in the Seahawks’ 27-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.

In a key matchup in the battle for the two NFC wild-card spots, Seattle (5-5) snapped a two-game losing streak by overcoming an early 14-3 deficit. Wilson was inconsistent at times early, but was outstanding in the fourth quarter, capping the winning drive by recognizing a blitz and hitting Dickson quickly for his second TD pass of the night.

“I thought that whole drive was pretty exceptional. … When it came down to it, third-down, you’ve got to win in the red-zone and we were pretty clutch in the red-zone there at the end of the game,” Wilson said.

Seattle still has not lost three straight games since the middle of the 2011 season and the Seahawks finally closed out a one-score victory after consecutive close losses to the Chargers and Rams. Seattle was 1-8 in its previous nine games decided by one score.

Rodgers had a huge first half and threw for 332 yards, but the Packers (4-5-1) had just one scoring drive in the second half, helped by a 57-yard strike from Rodgers to Davante Adams. Rodgers threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first half, but never got the ball back after Green Bay punted with 4:20 left. Seattle got first-down runs from Wilson and Mike Davis and finished the game kneeling three times.

“It was definitely consideration, but with the one time out and the clock stopped at two minutes, we played the numbers,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said.

Chris Carson rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown, overcoming the mistake of fumbling on the first play of the game and setting up Green Bay’s opening score. Tyler Lockett had two key receptions late in the fourth quarter and Doug Baldwin had his first TD catch of the season for Seattle.

Rodgers was 21-of-30 passing with 10 of those going to Adams for 166 yards receiving. Backup tight end Robert Tonyan had the first catch of his career go for a 54-yard touchdown to give Green Bay an early 14-3 lead. The Packers led 21-17 at halftime after Aaron Jones caught a 24-yard TD pass from Rodgers in the final minute of the half, but Green Bay’s offense was stymied in the second half.

“Of course there’s hope. Of course we believe in each other,” Rodgers said. “It’s just going to take one galvanizing moment, whether that’s a speech or a practice or something happens in the game, something’s got to get this thing going.”

Jones finished with 40 yards rushing after going for a career-high 145 a week ago. Rodgers was sacked five times, four of those in the second half. The Packers gained just 114 yards in the second half, half coming on the one throw from Rodgers to Adams. That pass set up Mason Crosby’s 36-yard field goal with 8:23 left to give Green Bay a 24-20 lead.

Wilson had one more answer. Wilson hit Lockett on consecutive plays for 18 yards — to convert a third-down — and 34 yards to the Green Bay 16. Two plays later, facing another third-and-long, Wilson recognized the blitz and hit Dickson quickly over the middle to put Seattle in front.

That proved to be enough. On Green Bay’s next drive, Rodgers short-hopped a pass on third-and-2.

“The ball just stuck to my hand and went in the dirt,” Rodgers said. “Frustrating obviously, I can do that a hundred times and probably not do that again.

Rather than going for it on fourth-down, Green Bay punted and never got the ball back.

“I have faith in this team so I’m going to be an aggressive caller and go for it and say that we’ll get it, but at the same time, you have to be realistic and I agree with coaches call 100 percent put it back on the defense,” Adams said. “It was tough, they have a great running game, they made a play and that’s how it unfolded.”

INJURIES

Green Bay was down four starters with CB Kevin King, S Kentrell Brice, LB Nick Perry and WR Randall Cobb all out due to injuries. They lost two more in the first half when Bashaud Breeland — starting for King — aggravated a groin injury and Jimmy Graham injured his thumb. Graham had a 13-yard reception on Green Bay’s first offensive play in his return to Seattle, but that was his only catch.

Mike Daniels suffered a foot injury early in the second half and backup safety Raven Greene suffered an ankle injury. Neither returned.

ROAD WOES

The Packers dropped to 0-5 on the road this season and have lost seven straight away from Lambeau Field dating to last season.

UP NEXT

Packers: At Minnesota on Nov. 25.

Seahawks: At Carolina on Nov. 25.

Cowboys 22, Falcons 19

Cowboys Falcons Football

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) makes the catch against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/D

 

ATLANTA (AP) — Brett Maher got another shot on the final play of the game.

This time, he made it count.

Maher’s 42-yard field goal as time expired Sunday gave Dallas a 22-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons after the resurgent Cowboys squandered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

A month ago, Maher clanked a 52-yarder off the left upright that would’ve forced overtime in a 20-17 loss to Washington. And he had to shake off a missed extra point earlier Sunday that gave the Falcons an opening to tie it up.

“I was confident,” Maher said. “Every time I step on the field, the goal is to go one for one. Everyone in here is doing so much for our team. For the offense to be able to drive the ball down the field and get us in position again, and L.P. (snapper Louis-Philippe Ladouceur) and Chris (Jones, the holder) coming through like they always do, I was just happy to do my part.”

The Cowboys (5-5) have won two straight on the road and trail Washington by only one game in the NFC East after the division leaders lost at home to Houston, 23-21. The teams meet on Thanksgiving Day with first place on the line.

“We’ve got a big one against as big a rival as there is in sports,” Dallas owner Jerry Jones said. “We have a lot at stake there.”

Atlanta (4-6) dropped its second in a row and now faces long odds to reach the postseason — especially playing in the NFC South, where the Falcons trail New Orleans and Carolina.

“It’s aggravating,” cornerback Robert Alford said. “We’ve got to learn to finish games.”

Ezekiel Elliott had a huge day for the Cowboys in what was a defensive slugfest until a wild fourth quarter, with the teams combining for 26 points over the last 15 minutes. He had 122 yards rushing on 23 carries, including a 23-yard touchdown, and led the team with seven catches for 79 yards.

Matt Ryan threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones for Atlanta’s only touchdown with 1:52 remaining to tie the game. But Dallas drove 51 yards in 10 plays, setting up Maher’s winning kick as time expired .

After a field goal battle between Maher and Atlanta’s Matt Bryant left the Falcons with a 9-6 lead heading to the final period, Dak Prescott and Elliott scored on a pair of runs to push the Cowboys to a 19-9 lead.

Grinding for every yard, Dallas needed 14 plays to cover 75 yards leading to Prescott’s 4-yard scoring run after the quarterback faked a handoff to Elliott . Prescott had a couple of 17-yard passes — one to Amari Cooper, another to Cole Beasley — but no other play on the possession went for more than 5 yards.

Maher hooked the extra point, however, leaving the Cowboys with a 12-9 lead.

They quickly extended the margin. On Atlanta’s next possession, Ryan threw a short pass to Calvin Ridley cutting over the middle. The ball was thrown a bit too hard, the rookie couldn’t hang on and it ricocheted into the arms of Dallas linebacker Leighton Vander Esch . He returned his second interception in as many weeks 28 yards to the Atlanta 31.

“Some things happen so quick, just bang-bang plays, and you’ve got to be ready for them,” said Vander Esch, a first-round pick of the Cowboys. “Sometimes, the ball bounces the right way.”

Two plays later, Elliott darted through a big hole up the middle, shook off Falcons safety Damontae Kazee at the 15 and powered in for the touchdown . Maher connected on this extra point, giving the Cowboys a 10-point lead with 12:26 remaining.

It didn’t hold up.

Suddenly coming to life offensively, the Falcons quickly drove to the Dallas 3 before settling for Bryant’s fourth field goal, a chip shot from 21 yards. The defense forced a punt, and Atlanta finally made it all the way to the end zone.

Ryan lofted a pass to Jones, who somehow managed to come down with the ball despite tight coverage from Chidobe Awuzie . When Jones held the ball aloft to celebrate, Awuzie swatted it away in disgust.

In the end, it was the Cowboys who celebrated.

MONEY MATT RETURNS

Bryant resumed his duties as Atlanta’s kicker after missing three games with a strained right hamstring.

The 43-year-old looked as good as new, connecting on field goals of 41, 45, 53 and 21 yards.

He is 13 of 13 for the season, including four kicks of at least 50 yards.

“I got through everything OK,” Bryant said. “Obviously, I’d rather have the win.”

INJURY REPORT

There appeared to be no serious injuries.

Three Atlanta players went down with minor ailments: cornerback Desmond Trufant (thigh), Kazee (shoulder) and linebacker Duke Riley (neck). All were able to return.

Dallas also had at least three players shaken up. Tackles La’el Collins and Tyron both left the game briefly, as did defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford.

UP NEXT

Cowboys: This will be the second time in the past three years that Dallas has hosted Washington on Thanksgiving Day. In 2016, the Cowboys prevailed 31-26. Overall, Dallas leads the series 70-45-2.

Falcons: Also have a short turnaround before playing Thursday night at division-leading New Orleans. Atlanta likely needs to win out to have any shot at making its third straight playoff appearance.

 

Panthers 19, Lions 20

Panthers Lions Football

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson (33) rushes for an 8-yard touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

DETROIT (AP) — Cam Newton took a shotgun snap and set up in a clean pocket, surveying the field from sideline to sideline. The star quarterback had time and an open receiver in the end zone, giving the Carolina Panthers a chance to convert a go-ahead, 2-point conversion against the Detroit Lions.

Newton, though, wasted the opportunity by sliding to his left and sailing an off-balance throw behind and over Jarius Wright.

Instead of earning a comeback win to bolster playoff hopes, Newton’s errant pass with 1:07 left allowed Detroit to hold on for a 20-19 win over Carolina on Sunday.

“I let this team down and I’ve just got to be better,” Newton said.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera went for the win after Newton threw his third touchdown pass to rookie receiver DJ Moore , who leaped in the corner of the end zone to make the catch.

“I think you go for 2 on the road,” Rivera said.

Rivera would not budge on the reasoning behind the aggressive call when pressed whether he made it because usually reliable kicker Graham Gano missed an extra point and a field goal earlier.

“I was going for the win,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Newton’s line looked good, going 25 of 37 for 357 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. But with a chance to help the Panthers (6-4) avoid losing two straight for the first time this season and at least improve their wild-card positioning, Newton failed to deliver a relatively simple pass in a pressure-packed situation.

“This game is such a humbling game at times,” he said. “Today, I was humbled.”

Detroit coach Matt Patricia insisted he wasn’t surprised by Rivera’s decision.

“They had good momentum going into that situation,” Patricia said.

The Lions (4-6) recovered an onside kick to seal the victory and end a season-high three-game losing streak. They were in a position to win after Matthew Stafford threw a go-ahead, 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay with 5:19 left. Stafford rolled to his right and threw toward the end zone, connecting with Golladay, who leaped just inside the 5 and landed in the end zone with a score that stood after review.

“He just gave me a nice, pretty, high ball,” Golladay said. “I like balls like that for me to just use my size, hands, athletic ability to go up there and make the catch.”

Stafford was 23 of 37 for 220 yards with a touchdown. Golladay had eight catches for 113 yards and his go-ahead touchdown help keep Detroit’s fading hopes of saving its season alive.

“We’re playing for everything,” linebacker Jarrad Davis said. “We went down so many games, we know we can’t lose another one, so it’s do or die at this point.”

PIVOTAL PLAY

Moore turned a short pass into an 82-yard gain in the third quarter and would have scored if Darius Slay didn’t tackle him at the 12. Slay was on the opposite side of the field when Moore made his catch, and the cornerback chased down the speedy receiver from behind.

“That’s a huge play,” Patricia said. “Great hustle.”

Four plays later, Gano hit the left upright on a 34-yard field goal after making 28 straight for the longest active streak in the NFL. Gano also missed an extra point in the fourth period, leaving Carolina in a 13-13 tie and leading to its decision to go for the 2-point conversion.

“This is a really tough game to swallow because I could have helped us get a win,” Gano said. “But I can’t try to tear my technique down and start over.”

SILVER LINING

Moore, a first-round pick, made the most of his opportunities to play more without injured receiver Torrey Smith in the lineup. Moore had seven receptions for 157 yards — both season highs — and the score that pulled the Panthers within a point late in the game.

INJURY REPORT

Panthers: Newton left the game briefly in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury. CB Donte Jackson went out in the second quarter with what looked like an ankle injury, but returned.

Lions: Detroit rookie RB Kerryon Johnson left in the third with a left knee injury and didn’t return after running for 87 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Patricia said he didn’t have an update on Johnson’s condition.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Host Seattle on Sunday.

Lions: Host Chicago on Thursday.

Buccaneers 35, Giants 38

Buccaneers Giants Football

New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley, top right, scores a touchdown during the second half of the team’s NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Crazy as it may sound, the New York Giants are starting to believe they have a chance to make a run at the playoffs.

It’s amazing what a couple of wins can do for a team after a 1-7 start.

Saquon Barkley ran for a career-high 142 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Giants held off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 on Sunday to win consecutive games for the first time since December 2016.

“I think there is some excitement going around,” said Eli Manning , who hit 17 of 18 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. “It is good. It is a good feeling to have in the locker room and you see some growth. You see the improvement.”

What the Giants (3-7) are doing is making plays and finishing. The running game has picked up and it’s opened up the passing game, and the defense is forcing turnovers. The group intercepted four passes in sending the Bucs (3-7) to their fourth straight loss with linebacker Alec Ogletree returning one 15 yards for a touchdown.

“I just know that we’re playing better and I just love to see these guys in here after the game with smiles on their faces,” said receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. “We just put it all together, so it’s always a lot more fun when you win.”

Playing in the NFC East also helps increase the belief the Giants are not dead.

Washington, which fell to Houston and lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season to a broken leg, leads the division with a 6-4 record. No other team has a winning record.

“We’ve got a long way to go, there are a lot of things we’ve got to get better at, but if we can just keep battling and fighting, who knows?” coach Pat Shurmur said. “That would be a fun thing for everybody to write about.”

The Giants never trailed as Manning found a wide-open Barkley on a 6-yard TD pass on the opening series, and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft scored from 5 yards out on the second possession to give New York the lead for good.

“We’re finishing games and we’re finishing drives, and that’s what we weren’t doing in the first half of the season,” Barkley said of his first winning streak as a pro.

Tampa Bay made things interesting after Jameis Winston replaced a turnover-plagued Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter and led four touchdown drives. The last score came on a 41-yard pass to Mike Evans with 2:22 to play and got the Bucs within 38-35.

The Bucs got the ball back at their 20 with 23 seconds to play, but B.W. Webb intercepted Winston’s long throw down the sideline to ice the win.

After Tampa Bay got within 31-28, Manning, whose only incompletion came on a short pass to Barkley late in the second quarter, connected with tight end Evan Engram on a 54-yard pass and run on the second play after the kickoff, and Barkley capped the drive with a 2-yard run with 3:52 to play.

The Winston-to-Evans TD pass closed the gap to three points again.

“It hurts me when I have to see my team lose a game because I turned the ball over,” Winston said. “And I’m sure it hurts Fitz. And I’m sure it hurts anyone that has a hand in what they believe led the other team to winning. That’s our main focus. We have to find a way to win.”

Fitzpatrick scored on a fourth-down 1-yard run for the Tampa Bay, which squandered a chance to score on its opening possession when Fitzpatrick was stopped on a quarterback sneak inside the Giants’ 5.

Evans recovered a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter to start the comeback, Peyton Barber tallied from 5 yards out and Adam Humphrie s and Evans caught TD passes in the fourth quarter to get the Bucs within three points twice.

Winston finished 12 of 16 for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Barber rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries. Evans had six catches for 120 yards. Fitzpatrick was 13 of 21 for 167 and the three interceptions.

INJURIES

Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Giants DL Kerry Wynn left the game in the second half with a concussion.

WELCOME SACK

Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants’ 2010 first-round draft pick, returned to face his old team for the first time since being traded in the spring. He had 1½ of the Bucs’ four sacks. He helped Manning up after the first sack.

“I just said to him: ‘Get up, stop falling,’ but no, I was just helping him up because that used to be my old teammate and I’m not trying to hurt him, I’m just trying to play football and have good sportsmanship,” Pierre-Paul said.

Kareem Martin had the Giants’ first and only sack in the last three games.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Giants: Travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Sunday.

Steelers 20, Jaguars 16

Steelers Jaguars Football

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dives over the goal line for the go ahead touchdown in front of Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith, right, during the final seconds of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions on his first 12 passes. The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to score in the first half for the first time in more than two years, and they still trailed by 10 approaching the 2-minute warning.

So when Big Ben muscled his way over the goal line with 5 seconds left for a 20-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, he wasn’t sure where to rank this comeback.

“Horrible games that you find a way to win? Pretty special,” he said.

One week after Roethlisberger had a perfect quarterback rating, he overcame three interceptions and a 16-0 deficit by leading touchdown drives on the Steelers’ last two possessions, and Pittsburgh escaped with its sixth straight victory.

“Really, really awesome fight,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “The bottom line in our business is winning, and we took care of business. Style points were quite ugly, or few, but we got the job done.”

Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown on a 78-yard touchdown to get on the board, found JuJu Smith-Schuster on a pair of shoulder fades down the sidelines and took care of the final score on his own. The Steelers had one timeout from the 1 when Roethlisberger rolled to his right and barely got the ball across.

“I don’t know what option I am, but it’s way down the list,” he said. “You just find a way.”

The Steelers (7-2-1) likely ended any playoff hopes for Jacksonville (3-7), which beat them twice last year, including the divisional playoffs. The Jaguars, who controlled the game until the last five minutes, now have dropped six in a row.

As much as Roethlisberger led the Steelers, the defense gave him a chance.

Jacksonville ran only 11 plays in the fourth quarter for minus-7 yards, including three of their six sacks of Blake Bortles

“We have to be able to get first downs and close the game out,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “If you just had one first down on any of those drives, you had a chance to win that football game, and we weren’t able to do that.”

Leonard Fournette ran for 95 yards on 28 carries, and he caught two passes for 46 yards that led to the Jaguars’ only touchdown when he launched himself from the 4 and scored for a 16-0 lead with 2:09 left in the third quarter.

Roethlisberger, who now has 10 turnovers in his last three games against Jacksonville, took over from there.

After the long TD to Brown, Roethlisberger found tight end Vance McDonald in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to 16-13 with 2:28 remaining.

Pittsburgh kicked off and the Jaguars went three-and-out, and then Roethlisberger led a 68-yard drive. He hit Smith-Schuster on the left sideline for a 35-yard gain to the 27 that at least got the Steelers in field goal position.

James Conner, throttled in the running game, dropped a sure touchdown when he got behind linebacker Telvin Smith Sr., turning his eyes to goal line as the ball bounced off his hands. No matter. Roethlisberger hit Brown over the middle to the 2, and after a pair of penalties, he delivered the winner.

Roethlisberger was 27 of 47 for 314 yards, 170 of them in the fourth quarter.

Even with the early turnovers, Jacksonville only managed three field goals from Josh Lambo in the first half. Bortles was largely ineffective, throwing for just 104 yards. His biggest gains were to Fournette out of the backfield.

STEELER SACKS

Pittsburgh came into the game tied for the league lead with 31 sacks and got to Bortles six times. Javon Hargrave and T.J. Watt each had two. Watt now has 17 career sacks, the most by a Steelers player in his first two seasons since Keith Willis, who had 15 in 1982 and 1983.

Two sacks, by Vince Williams and Cameron Heyward, came early in the fourth quarter after the Jags took over on the Pittsburgh 41.

“We were in this position last year and we gave up big plays at the end of the game,” Hargrave said, referring to the 45-42 playoff loss to Jacksonville. “So we knew we had to make stops. We did that gave our offense a chance to come back, and they did.”

RAMSEY SHINES

One week after Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey tweeted after a loss to the Colts that “when I’m gone from here, y’all gone miss me,” he had his best game of the year. Ramsey had two interceptions, none bigger than in the end zone over Brown.

With the Steelers trailing 9-0 in the third quarter, Roethlisberger threw to Brown over the middle. Ramsay reached over Brown’s helmet and juggled the ball before pulling it in. He tried to run out of the end zone, stumbled and kept going until he was ruled down by contact.

Ramsey also broke across the middle on Brown and made a diving pick, somehow keeping the ball off the turf on a play initially ruled incomplete but overturned on review.

RUNNING GAME

James Conner came into the game with 771 yards rushing, tops in the AFC. He didn’t have much room against Jacksonville, gaining 25 yards on nine attempts.

INJURY REPORT

Jacksonville lost right guard A.J. Cann to a hamstring injury and he did not return. Tomlin said linebacker Anthony Chickillo hurt his ankle late in the game on a special teams play.

UP NEXT

Steelers: On the road against the Denver Broncos next Sunday.

Jaguars: At the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.

Texans 23, Redskins 21

Justin Reid

Houston Texans strong safety Justin Reid (20) intercepts a pass and runs 102 yards for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

 

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Justin Reid intercepted the ball in the end zone and saw nothing but green grass in front of him.

“I saw the daylight and I have to hit it,” Reid said. “I wasn’t going to let anyone stop me.”

No one’s stopping the Houston Texans right now.

Reid’s 101-yard interception return touchdown was the big play Houston needed to overcome a mistake-prone Deshaun Watson and beat the Washington Redskins 23-21 on Sunday, tying the franchise record with their seventh consecutive victory.

From a gruesome , season-ending injury to Redskins quarterback Alex Smith to three turnovers, it wasn’t pretty, but the Texans (7-3) became the first team since the 1925 New York Giants to win seven in a row after starting 0-3.

“With this team, you never know where the play’s going to come from,” defensive end J.J. Watt said. “You never know who’s going to make it — offense, defense, special teams — but you’ve got to find a way. For the seventh time, we found a way.”

While Watson was 16 of 24 for 208 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, Smith broke his right tibia and fibula on a sack by Kareem Jackson midway through the third quarter and will require surgery. Smith’s right leg turned the wrong way in eerily similar fashion to Joe Theismann’s broken leg on a Lawrence Taylor sack exactly 33 years ago to the day.

“I know it was very painful for him and heartbreaking for a lot of people,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s a great guy and hard worker and one of the key leaders on this football team. These things happen in pro football, unfortunately. Just hate to see them happen with a guy like Alex.”

Colt McCoy replaced Smith and threw for a touchdown pass and led a long scoring drive for Washington (6-4), which likely will have to rely on the journeyman quarterback the rest of the way. When a McCoy-led drive finished with an Adrian Peterson touchdown to put the Redskins up 21-20 early in the fourth quarter, it was the first lead change in a game involving the Redskins all season.

“You pray for opportunities to get to play,” said McCoy, who was 6 of 12 for 54 yards. “You don’t like to see it how it happened today.”

Houston went ahead for good on a 54-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn, who missed a 44-yarder earlier. The winning streak stayed alive when Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 63-yard field-goal attempt with 3 seconds left.

“We just have belief,” Watson said. “Everyone keeps fighting. No one is doubting each other. Regardless, we try to play complementary football, but when the offense needs the defense to help us out, they do that and vice-versa.”

EMPTY SEATS

Even though there were plenty of empty seats and a total attendance of 61,593 that was far below a sellout, Redskins cornerback Josh Norman called the crowd “electrifying.” Norman last week criticized fans for not having players’ backs at home and said the team plays better on the road.

“What an atmosphere, right?” Norman said. “You guys came out and you showed up in a big way. We can’t be more proud and excited to be among you guys. … I applaud you all, for sure.”

PETERSON’S UP AND DOWN DAY

Peterson ran for two touchdowns to continue climbing the NFL rushing chart, but was bottled up on a lot of his other carries. Peterson’s 3- and 7-yard TD runs gave him 105 in his career and moved him past former Redskins star John Riggins into sole possession of sixth all time, one behind Jim Brown for fifth.

Peterson finished with 51 yards on 16 carries.

QUIET THOMAS

In his second game with the Texans, Demaryius Thomas was a non-factor. Watson only threw his way twice — once on a play wiped out by a penalty — and the former Broncos receiver did not have a catch.

Thomas stayed in Houston during the bye week in Houston to study the playbook and watch film after making a handful of newcomer mistakes in his debut. Thomas had three catches for 61 yards in that game, but disappeared from the offense Sunday.

MR. RELEVANT

Washington receiver Trey Quinn made a major impact in his return after missing more than two months with a high-ankle sprain. Quinn, who was “Mr. Irrelevant” caught four passes for 49 yards starting in place of injured wideout Jamison Crowder and would have been the emergency QB had McCoy gone down.

INJURIES

Texans: RG Zach Fulton left with a shoulder injury on the first drive, and LG Senio Kelemete left with an ankle injury in the second quarter. … CB Aaron Colvin missed his seventh game in a row with an ankle injury.

Redskins: DL Jonathan Allen was evaluated for a concussion but returned. … Crowder missed his sixth consecutive game with an ankle injury, RB Chris Thompson his third consecutive game with injured ribs and LT Trent Williams his third consecutive game after surgery for a dislocated right thumb.

UP NEXT

Texans: Host the division rival Tennessee Titans on Monday, Nov. 26.

Redskins: Visit the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Bengals 21, Ravens 24

Week 13

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks for a receiver in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

BALTIMORE (AP) — In the days leading up to his first NFL start, Lamar Jackson experienced a stomach ache and insomnia.

When the rookie quarterback finally got on the field, Jackson inflicted a whole lot of pain on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jackson juked and sprinted for 117 yards, Gus Edwards ran for 115 and the Baltimore Ravens ground out a 24-21 victory Sunday to end a three-game losing streak.

Flashing the moves that enabled him to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy at Louisville, Jackson zipped in and out of the pocket for 27 carries. Though the Ravens (5-5) relied heavily on the run, Jackson also completed 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards with an interception.

“We came out with a win, so it was pretty good, I guess,” Jackson said. “I had butterflies before the first tackle, but after the first tackle, it was game on.”

Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco did not practice all week and was inactive with a right hip injury. That created an opening for Jackson, the 32nd overall pick in the NFL draft.

But Jackson missed practice Thursday with a stomach ailment that led to a trip to the hospital, where he was treated and released. Then, sleep eluded him Saturday night.

“I think I stayed up all night,” Jackson said. “I was ready to play last night.”

Before Sunday, Jackson occasionally took snaps in running situations and replaced Flacco in the fourth quarter of two blowouts. Having to carry the load by himself, Jackson responded with a solid performance in a game the Ravens had to win.

“It wasn’t pretty, wasn’t perfect, but it was us,” coach John Harbaugh said. “It was the Ravens, and we won the football game.”

Down 21-13 in the second half, Baltimore rallied to hand the sinking Bengals (5-5) their fourth loss in five games.

Edwards, an undrafted rookie free agent, scored on an 11-yard run and barreled in for the conversion late in the third quarter. Jackson then directed a 55-yard drive that ended with a field goal by Justin Tucker with 8:12 remaining.

“My teammates had my backs, and I had theirs,” Jackson said.

Cincinnati’s Randy Bullock missed a potential tying 52-yard field goal with 3:59 left, and Andy Dalton’s fourth-down pass from the Baltimore 37 with 1:42 to go was knocked away by Marlon Humphrey.

“I definitely thought we were going to go down there, we were going to score and win the game,” Dalton said.

This was a tough defeat for the Bengals, who were soaring at 4-1 in October but now stand at .500 for the first time after letting Jackson run rampant.

“We weren’t able to get him stopped enough,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday after the unit allowed 500 yards in three straight games, an NFL record in the Super Bowl era. Lewis took control of the defense, which was better this time around despite allowing 265 yards rushing.

“I thought they played hard,” Lewis said of his defense. “I thought they played better and did a good job on assignments.”

Jackson ran 10 times for 64 yards and five first downs , Alex Collins scored on a 7-yard run to cap the opening drive, and the Ravens took a 13-7 halftime lead when Tucker drilled a 56-yard field goal.

It all came apart for Baltimore in the third quarter. Jackson threw his first NFL interception , a pick by Shawn Williams, whose 22-yard return set up a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Lengel for a 14-13 lead.

On the next series, Jackson was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 from the Baltimore 45. Dalton turned the gamble into a touchdown, hitting John Ross on the right side of the end zone for a 22-yard score.

But the Ravens rallied.

KEEP ‘EM GUESSING

Though Jackson lacks experience, he certainly knows how to keep a defense guessing. More than Flacco, anyway.

“It’s like two different offenses,” Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict said. “With Joe Flacco, he just stands back there and isn’t very mobile but throws the ball hard. This guy (Jackson) is very unpredictable.”

But can he win a game with his arm?

“I don’t know how well he throws the ball,” Burfict said. “But I guess we’ll find out.”

ROOKIE QBS

This is the first season in NFL history in which five rookie quarterbacks selected in the first round of the same draft have started at least one game. Jackson joined the Jets’ Sam Darnold, the Bills’ Josh Allen, the Cardinals’ Josh Rosen and the Browns’ Baker Mayfield.

GRIFFIN DEBUT

Also on Sunday, Robert Griffin III made his debut with Baltimore after being on the inactive list for the first nine weeks. Griffin lined up as a receiver in the second quarter but did not touch the ball.

READY AND RESTED

The Ravens improved to 9-2 after a bye under Harbaugh, and they’re 14-3 since 2002 following an extra week off.

INJURIES

Bengals: WR A.J. Green (toe) was inactive after dressing for warmups.

Ravens: OT James Hurst (back) was inactive for a fourth straight week. … OT Ronnie Stanley twice limped off the field. He’s had ankle issues lately.

UP NEXT

Bengals: A matchup next Sunday against visiting Cleveland should be particularly meaningful for former Browns coach Hue Jackson, hired as an assistant by Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Ravens: A three-game homestand concludes for Baltimore against the struggling Oakland Raiders.

 

Titans 10, Colts 38

Titans Colts Football

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) makes a touchdown reception against Tennessee Titans’ Adoree’ Jackson during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

 

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck followed the perfect plan Sunday.

He threw three more touchdown passes again, avoided getting sacked again and helped Adam Vinatieri achieve another record-breaking moment by leading the Colts to their fourth straight win.

Luck and T.Y. Hilton hooked up twice for scores, Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins each ran for one touchdown and the Colts’ defense stymied Tennessee in a 38-10 drubbing that gave Luck a 10-0 record against the Titans.

“Andrew was just unbelievable,” coach Frank Reich said after his quarterback improved to 10-0 in the series. “I mean every throw was with pinpoint accuracy.”

His timing was spot on, too.

With some of the franchise’s greatest players in attendance, Luck went 23 of 29 for 297 yards and finished with a rating of 143.8. He tied Dan Marino for the third-longest streak of consecutive games with three or more TD passes (seven) in league history. Only Tom Brady (10) and Peyton Manning (eight) remain ahead of Luck on the list.

Hilton caught nine passes for 155 yards in front of Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison, the top two receivers in each of the Colts’ most prominent receiving categories.

And the victory, the 210th regular-season win of Vinatieri’s career, allowed the 45-year-old to break George Blanda’s record as Indy (5-5) moved squarely back into the playoff hunt.

For the Titans (5-5), it was all too familiar.

They’ve lost to Luck when he never gave them a chance, when he rallied the Colts late, when he was pulled early and even when he was hurt. This loss might have been the most frustrating yet.

After defensive coordinator Dean Pees was taken to a nearby hospital when medical workers took him out of the press box in a wheelchair during the first quarter, first-year coach Mike Vrabel took over play-calling duties and Luck skewered the league’s top-ranked defense.

Losing starting quarterback Marcus Mariota with an injured right elbow in the final minute of the first half certainly didn’t help.

Vrabel provided no postgame update on Mariota but said Pees would be kept overnight for further tests. The 69-year-old Pees retired briefly after last season, and Luck and Reich both said they hoped Pees would be all right.

Tennessee, meanwhile, has some soul-searching to do.

“They were ready to go. They played much better than we did. They coached much better than we did,” Vrabel said. “We have to drop this and lose it after we make the corrections, and get going.”

Luck made it look easy.

After Mack’s 1-yard run and Vinatieri’s 22-yard field goal gave Indy an early 10-0 lead, Luck connected with Hilton on a 68-yard TD pass. Wilkins’ 18-yard scoring run made it 24-0.

All the Titans could muster was a 42-yard field on the final play of the half — after Mariota left and only after the Colts drew an unnecessary roughness penalty.

Indy put it away by winning a replay challenge that turned a Hilton’s 11-yard catch into a 14-yard TD and a 7-yard scoring pass from Luck to Dontrelle Inman in the fourth quarter.

“I cannot speak to the previous years,” Luck said of his mastery over Tennessee. “I’m just happy we’re 1-0 this year against Tennessee and we’ll face them again, obviously, when that time comes.”

WAYNE’S WORLD

Wayne became the 15th member of the Colts’ Ring of Honor on Sunday during a halftime ceremony where he was surrounded by former teammates including Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James, and NFL Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian, who drafted Wayne in 2001.

He played in a franchise-record 211 games and caught 1,070 passes for 14,345 yards and 82 TDs in 14 seasons — all in Indy.

“This (blue) jacket looks pretty damn good on me, thank you,” Wayne said before jogging to the end zone to thank the fans — as he did for years just before kickoff.

STAT PACK

Titans: Mariota was 10 of 13 with 85 yards and one interception before leaving. Blaine Gabbert went 11 of 16 with 118 yards, one TD and one interception after replacing Mariota. … Tennessee allowed five sacks. … The Titans gave up a season-high point total.

Colts: Luck was not sacked for the fifth consecutive game, breaking a tie for the fifth-longest streak in the league since sacks became an official stat in 1982. Luck has not been sacked in 214 consecutive dropbacks. … Starting center Ryan Kelly left in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and did not return. He said his knee will be examined Monday.

THEY SAID IT

Titans: “I was able to get the headset switched over, and everybody on the staff, just like they do with Dean, was able to help out,” Vrabel said.

Colts: “I guess I knew they kept that stat, but I didn’t know I was close,” Vinatieri said of passing Blanda.

UP NEXT

Titans: Vrabel returns to Houston next Monday.

Colts: Welcome former division foe Miami to Indianapolis next Sunday.

 

Broncos 23, Chargers 22

Broncos Chargers Football

Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman scores against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Denver had lost six of their last seven going into Sunday’s game against Los Angeles, but Chargers coach Anthony Lynn kept warning everyone that the Broncos were dangerous because they had been in most of their games until the final minute.

Lynn’s words became prophetic as Brandon McManus kicked a last-second 34-yard field goal to give the Broncos a 23-22 win and snap the Chargers’ six-game winning streak.

“We’ve been in four or five of these games and didn’t make enough plays to win. Today we didn’t hope to win, we made plays to win,” Denver coach Vance Joseph said.

Denver got the ball at its own 8 with 1:51 remaining, and Case Keenum orchestrated a seven-play, 76-yard drive. Keenum, who was 19 of 32 for 205 yards, completed five passes for 86 yards during the drive, including a 30-yarder to Courtland Sutton to the Denver 16. Keenum then spiked the ball and McManus’ kick split the uprights.

It was McManus’ second game-winning field goal this season and the fifth of his career. It also helped erase memories of two weeks ago, when his 51-yard attempt went wide right as time expired in a 19-17 loss to Houston.

“I think we’ve had three or four close ones that have come down to it and Brandon has made those kicks and we trust him,” Keenum said. “It feels good. A lot better than the alternative.”

Wide receiver Keenan Allen, who had nine receptions for 89 yards and a TD, succinctly summed up why the Chargers (7-3) lost when he said, “Penalties. Turnovers. Not making plays at the end of the game.”

Philip Rivers, who threw for 401 yards, had two interceptions and Los Angeles committed 14 penalties, including 10 in the first half. Mike Badgley, who made three field goals, also missed an extra point that ended up looming large.

“Those are things we’ve stayed away from — penalties and turnovers — but they showed up today. For whatever reason, I don’t know. We’ll figure it out, though,” coach Anthony Lynn said.

Denver’s talented rookie offensive trio of Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman and Sutton had big games.

Lindsay had 11 carries for 79 yards with two touchdowns. His 41-yard TD run early in the second quarter, which put Denver up 7-6, was set up the play before when the Broncos successfully executed a fake punt with punter Colby Waldman throwing a 12-yard pass to fullback Andy Janovich for a first down. It was the second straight week the Chargers allowed a fake punt.

The undrafted rookie also had a 2-yard TD on a direct snap early in the fourth quarter to give Denver a 20-19 lead.

“We knew that going in that they were physical and athletic, but for us, we just went out there and knew we needed to be physical, too,” Lindsay said. “We knew that we were going to have run the ball in order for us to win this game.”

Freeman, who missed two games with an ankle injury, had seven carries for 23 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown to bring the Broncos within 19-14.

Three plays earlier, Von Miller swung momentum back in Denver’s favor when he picked off Rivers on a screen pass and returned it 40 yards to the Chargers’ 18. It was Miller’s first interception in a regular-season game since 2012.

“The interception turned the game around, to me. That spun the whole game,” Rivers said. “It was about to be a blowout, and he made that play, and then it’s a touchdown and then all of a sudden he made it a game.”

Sutton tied a career high with 78 yards on three catches.

Rivers, who had his 11th 400-yard passing game, completed 28 of 43, but it was the seventh time the Chargers have lost when he has passed for over 400.

The 15-year veteran became the sixth quarterback in league history to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of his team’s first 10 games to start a season. He eluded the blitz and threw a 4-yard pass to a wide-open Allen late in the second quarter to put Los Angeles on top 13-6. He then threw a 6-yard TD to Antonio Gates on the opening possession of the second half.

Melvin Gordon had 158 yards from scrimmage (89 rushing, 69 receiving), marking the sixth straight game he has had 130 yards or more.

MOMENTOUS SACK

Miller’s sack of Rivers in the second quarter gave him 10 for the season, which allowed him to join Reggie White and DeMarcus Ware as the only players with 10 or more sacks in seven of their first eight seasons. He is also the fifth-fastest player to reach 100 career sacks among players who began their careers in 1982 or later.

BOSA RETURNS

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa made his season debut after missing the first nine games with a bone bruise to his left foot. The third-year lineman did not start but was in on pass-rushing situations.

INJURIES

Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget was carted to the locker room with a knee injury during the second quarter. Lynn said it appears as if the eighth-year lineman might be out for the rest of the season, but the team will know more on Monday.

Denver wide receiver DeSean Hamilton suffered a knee injury in the second quarter, and cornerback Bradley Roby was evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Broncos: Host the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.

Chargers: Host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.

Raiders 23, Cardinals 21

Raiders Cardinals Football

Oakland Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson (8) celebrates his game winning field goal with punter Johnny Townsend (5) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Raiders won 23-21. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The hollering in the post-game locker room sounded as if Oakland had just won a playoff game or something.

That’s how good victory finally felt for the Raiders.

Daniel Carlson kicked a 35-yard field goal as the game ended to give Oakland a 23-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in a matchup of teams scraping the bottom of the NFL standings.

The Raiders (2-8), who had lost five straight, matched the record of the Cardinals.

“It’s fun to win again,” said Jon Gruden, whose return to coaching this season after a decade away has been difficult, to say the least. “With the injuries and the lack of practice, I really credit our guys for finishing the football game and finding a way to win.”

Derek Carr threw for two touchdowns and had completions of 32 and 20 yards on the final drive that led to Carlson’s winning kick.

“I was just ready,” Carlson said. “I stayed ready those last two drives because I didn’t know when it was going to happen. I had a feeling it was going to happen eventually. … It’s awesome.”

Carlson also had field goals of 49 and 21 yards in the second half after the teams were tied 14-14 at the break.

“We all believed. There was never a doubt,” Carr said. “There’s been times when we believed and we didn’t win. It was the same feeling you need to have, same mentality, same look in everybody’s eye. It was a good win.”

Arizona rookie Josh Rosen threw for three touchdowns, two to Larry Fitzgerald, but was intercepted twice. Both picks led to first-half touchdowns for Oakland. David Johnson rushed for a season-best 137 yards, including a 53-yarder that set up Rosen’s 5-yard TD pass to Fitzgerald that gave the Cardinals a 21-20 lead with 5:02 to play.

Later, Johnson had a 57-yard touchdown run called back by a holding penalty against Ricky Seals-Jones and also had a key drop. That possession also featured an unnecessary roughness penalty on tight end Jermaine Gresham that helped force the punt to Oakland.

“It was just a dumb play by me,” Gresham said. “I turned around and saw my guy (Fitzgerald) on the ground. It was a stupid thing. … I cost us the game.”

Carr completed 19 of 31 passes for 192 yards.

Rosen was 9 of 20 for 136 yards, but three of the completions went for scores: 18 and 5 yards to Fitzgerald and a 59-yard pass play to fellow rookie Christian Kirk. Fitzgerald has 114 career TD catches, seventh most in NFL history.

“This one is going to definitely sting,” Johnson said. “You know, the Raiders, everyone knows they’re trading guys away, they’re doing everything to try to rebuild. This one is a tough one.”

Or, as Rosen put it, “No disrespect to the Raiders but we feel we are the better football team. That’s what makes this so frustrating.”

The day started badly for the Cardinals and ended that way.

On Arizona’s second play, Gareon Conley made a diving interception and returned it 28 yards to the Cardinals 33-yard line. Three plays later, Carr threw to wide-open Jared Cook for the touchdown.

Arizona took the subsequent kickoff and tied it with a nine-play, 64-yard drive. Rosen threw 18 yards to Fitzgerald for the touchdown.

The Cardinals took the lead when Rosen, changing the play at the line of scrimmage, threw short to Kirk. Kirk, on his 22nd birthday, shook loose from a would-be tackler and raced to the end zone, a 59-yard play to make it 14-7 late in the first quarter.

Karl Joseph intercepted a deflected pass at the 50 and Oakland drove from there for the tying score. Carr threw 5 yards to Brandon LaFell for the touchdown .

Carlson’s 49-yard field goal on Oakland’s first possession of the second half gave the Raiders the lead. Later in the quarter, the Raiders used 7:39 in a drive that stalled at the 1-yard line and Carlson’s 21-yard field goal made it 20-14.

Both of Arizona’s wins came against San Francisco. The 49ers, Cardinals and Raiders are now tied for the worst record in the NFL.

TIMEOUT TROUBLES

Oakland drew a 5-yard penalty for calling consecutive timeouts in the second quarter. It moved what would have been a third-and-2 situation to third-and-7 and the Raiders failed to convert. Coach Jon Gruden was demonstrably upset with Carr afterward on the sideline.

INJURIES

Raiders: LaFell left in the second half with an Achilles tendon injury. Cornerback Leon Hall hurt his back in the first half.

Cardinals: Linebacker Deone Bucannon left with a chest injury in the second half.

UP NEXT

Raiders: at Baltimore next Sunday.

Cardinals: at the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Eagles 7, Saints 48

Eagles Saints Football

Michael Thomas(13) of the New Orleans Saints crosses into the end zone in front of Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) and free safety Corey Graham on a touchdown reception in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees grinned, paused as if searching for the right words, and even let out the beginnings of a laugh.

The Saints have made 40-point outings look routine lately, and the record-setting quarterback is trying to enjoy it without showing a hint of complacency.

“It’s a lot of points, but we have a high standard for ourselves,” Brees said. “You’re still not satisfied because you know you could have done a little bit better — but the end result is good.”

Brees passed for 363 yards and four touchdowns, and the Saints won their ninth straight with a 48-7 demolition of Philadelphia on Sunday that marked the Eagles’ worst loss by far since they won last season’s Super Bowl.

In fact, it was the worst loss by a reigning Super Bowl champion.

“I haven’t gotten my (butt) kicked like that in a long time,” Eagles defensive end Chris Long said.

Brees completed 22 of 30 passes and did not turn over the ball, giving him 25 TD passes and only one interception this season. Brees’ fourth touchdown seemed to encapsulate New Orleans’ audacious approach to the game. He hit running back Alvin Kamara in stride down the right sideline for a 37 yards on a fourth-and-7 play that gave the Saints (9-1) a 45-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.

“It’s hard to stop us,” Kamara said.

Receiver Michael Thomas said the Eagles were “just in the way, next team up. We just had to do what we had to do, regardless.”

Brees’ other touchdown passes went for 3 yards to Austin Carr, 15 yards to rookie Tre’Quan Smith and 23 yards to Thomas. Smith finished with 10 catches for 157 yards, while Thomas’ four catches for 92 yards made him the first receiver in Saints history to surpass 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first three seasons.

Mark Ingram rushed 16 times for 103 yards, including touchdowns of 14 yards and 1 yard. Kamara added 71 yards to help New Orleans finish with 546 total yards and score at least 40 for the sixth time this season.

Meanwhile, New Orleans’ defense produced a second straight dominant showing after largely stifling Cincinnati the previous week.

The Saints now have outscored their past two opponents 99-21 combined, is not easy to do in a league known for competitive balance.

“It blows my mind, too, trust me,” said Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, who had one of three sacks on Carson Wentz. “That just speaks volumes not only to the type of talent we have on this team but how locked in everybody is. I think everybody knows how special we can be and everyone knows the end goal. If everybody here isn’t thinking Super Bowl then they’re in the wrong locker room.”

DESCENDING EAGLES

Wentz was intercepted three times — once by Marshon Lattimore and twice by Chris Banjo — and finished with 156 yards on 19-of-33 passing.

Time will tell if the lopsided loss marked the beginning of the end of the Eagles’ title defense. Philadelphia (4-6) remained two games behind Washington (6-4) for first place in the NFC East, but more injuries befell its already depleted lineup. The Eagles offered virtually no resistance to New Orleans and looked thoroughly outclassed by the surging Saints.

Rookie running back Josh Adams rushed for a 28-yard TD that pulled the Eagles within 17-7 in the second quarter, but the Saints responded with a Smith’s TD on which the receiver held onto a hard throw over the middle while being sandwiched by two defenders. That made it 24-7 at halftime and the game was not competitive after that.

“The product we’re putting out there is not up to our standards,” Wentz said. “I’m not playing up to my standards, but we know the talent we have.”

ANOTHER RECORD

Twice this season, Brees has thrown for four TDs in a game without an interception, giving him an NFL-record 23 such performances in his career. His latest put him one ahead of New England’s Tom Brady.

INJURIES

Eagles: Center Jason Kelce hurt his left elbow in the first quarter and was replaced by Stefen Wisniewski. Safety Avonte Maddox left with a knee injury on New Orleans’ second possession. Defensive back Rasul Douglas had to be helped off the field with a left leg injury in the third quarter. Long snapper Rick Lovato was taken from the game to be evaluated for a concussion.

Saints: Right guard Larry Warford left to be evaluated for a concussion in the third quarter and was replaced by Cameron Tom.

UP NEXT

Eagles: Host the New York Giants on Sunday.

Saints: Host Atlanta on Thursday night.

Vikings 20, Bears 25

Vikings Bears Football

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

CHICAGO (AP) — No doubt about it now, the Bears really are serious about winning the NFC North.

Khalil Mack had a sack and fumble recovery, Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown and Chicago tightened its grip on the division with a 25-20 victory over the second-place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.

Mack and Jackson led a dominant effort by the defense. And Chicago (7-3) took a big step toward its first division championship since 2010.

The Bears won their fourth in a row, their longest streak since a six-game run in 2012. Chicago finished 10-6 that year, missed the playoffs and fired coach Lovie Smith after that season.

“You’ve got to understand the situation, facing a division opponent, knowing we’re going to face them twice a year,” Mack said. “We’ve got to make that jump and you (saw) it today. It’s knowing what’s at stake. Everybody showed up ready to play.”

The Monsters of the Midway simply dominated Minnesota on Sunday, taking out the defending division champions after beating three struggling teams — the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.

The Bears also have victories the past two weeks over NFC North opponents after dropping 10 in a row against division foes.

“This isn’t about proving, I don’t think for us, as much as it is about our guys just learning that they can trust one-another,” coach Matt Nagy said. “When you stick together through the highs and the lows and you work as hard as our guys do together and you listen to the coaches and the coaches listen to the players — there’s a collaboration — you then get a chance to be in a situation like this tonight, to play in front of the whole world.”

Chicago suffocated the Vikings (5-4-1), with big advantages in total yards (308-268) and time of possession (34:29-25:31) even though quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had his difficulties.

“They’re a good defense, but a lot of times we hurt ourselves,” Vikings receiver Adam Thielen said.

The Bears were leading by eight midway through the fourth quarter when Jackson picked off a pass from Kirk Cousins that was intended for Laquon Treadwell. His 27-yard TD return and a 2-point conversion pass from Trubisky to Adam Shaheen made it 22-6.

Cousins then threw a 13-yard TD to Aldrick Robsinon and a 2-point conversion to Adam Thielen, making it 22-14. But Cody Parkey kicked to 48-yard field goal with 2:48 left. And the Bears hung on from there.

Trubisky was 20 of 31 for 165 yards and a touchdown. But he was intercepted two times by Anthony Harris.

Parkey shook off a performance unlike any other by making all three of his field goal attempts. It was a big improvement over the previous week, when he hit uprights four times while missing two field goals and two extra points against Detroit.

“We all believed in him in the locker room,” Trubisky said. “There was never a doubt. … I’m happy for Cody. He was big-time tonight. He delivered for his team and put some points on the board when we needed them. They were crucial and he did a heck of a job.”

Cousins was consistently under pressure and finished 30 of 46 for 262 yards. He threw two touchdowns in the final 4:51 and got intercepted two times.

“It was a balance at times,” Cousins said. “They weren’t necessarily getting a sack, but they were affecting my arm. And at other times the protection was holding up fine and (we) were getting the ball out. I think it was kind of everything across the board. Sometimes, it was a rusher on the edge, sometimes it was a rush inside, it was a game, a stunt, different things.

Stefon Diggs had 13 catches for 126 yards and a TD. But the Vikings came up short after winning four of five.

EARLY LEAD

Parkey nailed a 33-yard field goal down the middle on Chicago’s first possession, drawing a loud and maybe sarcastic roar from the crowd. It was a promising start for a kicker lampooned by Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.” Chicago TV stations even sent helicopters to shoot footage when he practiced at Soldier Field on Wednesday night.

Mack gave the crowd more to cheer near the end of the first quarter when he jarred the ball from Dalvin Cook and recovered at the Chicago 15, stopping a scoring threat.

The Bears added to their lead midway through the second when a sliding Anthony Miller hauled in an 18-yard touchdown from Trubisky. That capped the league’s longest touchdown drive this season in terms of plays (13) and time (7:13).Trubisky then hit Josh Bellamy in the end zone to make it 11-0, after Chicago opted to go for two rather than have Parky attempt an extra point.

Parkey nailed a 41-yarder with room to spare in the closing minute of the half to make it a 14-point game. The Vikings then drove to the Chicago 32. But with Leonard Floyd bearing down on him, Cousins unleashed a wobbly heave that Adrian Amos picked offwith on one else near him.

REMATCH

The Bears and Vikings face off again on Dec. 30 at Minnesota.

INJURIES

Bears: LB Aaron Lynch and TE Adam Shaheen both left the game with concussions.

UP NEXT

Vikings: Host Green Bay on Nov. 25.

Bears: Visit Detroit on Thursday.

Chiefs 51, Rams 54

Chiefs Rams Football

Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Samson Ebukam runs for a touchdown after making an interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jared Goff threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Everett for the go-ahead score with 1:49 to play, and the Los Angeles Rams outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs for a 54-51 victory on Monday night in a high-octane NFL offensive showdown that somehow surpassed the hype.

Patrick Mahomes passed for a career-high 478 yards with six touchdown passes in his latest jaw-dropping effort for the Chiefs (9-2), but he also threw two interceptions in the final 1:18 as the Rams (10-1) claimed the highest-scoring Monday night game ever played and the first NFL game with two 50-point performances.

Goff passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another score, while Marcus Peters and Lamarcus Joyner came up with late interceptions as the Rams hung on to win a game featuring 14 touchdowns.

The highest-scoring game in the league this season was an offensive fantasia with 1,001 combined yards and ingenious scheming from mastermind coaches Andy Reid and Sean McVay — along with three defensive touchdowns and 21 combined penalties.

“It was a whirlwind,” McVay said. “I feel like I might need a couple of beverages to relax tonight, but it was great. This is what you love so much about the game.”

The Coliseum’s first Monday night game since 1985 was worth the wait — particularly for the thousands of first responders and families who received free tickets to the game while recovering from the dual tragedies of wildfires and a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.

If this video-game-like spectacle turns out to be a Super Bowl preview, Atlanta should prepare for an All-Madden-level show from two of the most exciting teams in the league.

“It was one of the most competitive games I’ve been a part of,” McVay said. “It was just a competitive game with a lot of high-caliber football in all three phases.”

Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam returned a fumble and an interception for the first two TDs of his NFL career, while Kansas City’s Allen Bailey returned Goff’s fumble for a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

The second half was an extended thriller featuring 59 combined points, but the Rams made slightly more big plays down the stretch.

“We can learn from this,” Reid said. “We can’t give up 21 points on turnovers. Have to take care of the football. We created some turnovers and points, (but had) too many penalties. We’ll heal up and get set to go for stretch run.”

After Goff led a 75-yard scoring drive in 89 seconds for the go-ahead TD to Everett, Peters — the former Pro Bowl cornerback traded by Kansas City to Los Angeles last winter — intercepted Mahomes’ underthrown ball near midfield with 1:18 to play.

The Rams only managed to get 14 seconds off the clock on their next three plays, and the Coliseum roiled in anticipation of a big finish by Mahomes. But the Chiefs were pushed back to their 13 with 50 seconds left thanks to a booming punt by Johnny Hekker, and Joyner intercepted Mahomes’ final desperate heave with 13 seconds left.

“It was a 16-round fight,” Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman said. “You’re talking about a Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis type of fight. Two great teams. Two great opponents. Two great coaches.”

This game has loomed in capital letters on the NFL’s regular season schedule ever since these teams confirmed their status as offensive powerhouses in September. The Rams and Chiefs are the league’s biggest favorites along with New Orleans and New England — the teams responsible for the only other losses by Los Angeles and Kansas City this season.

“It’s always fun to play against real good teams,” Mahomes said. “You get to go out there and have fun … (but) it’s the same as when we played New England. You can’t make mistakes against great teams. You need to limit your mistakes, but be aggressive.”

Before both offensive powerhouses hit their bye weeks ahead of the regular-season stretch run, they both demonstrated the full depth of their talents for a prime-time audience.

And for all the offensive brilliance on display, both defenses made game-changing plays as well.

Aaron Donald forced two fumbles while sacking Mahomes, and Ebukam returned the first for a TD in the second quarter. The Rams’ unsung outside linebacker then made a spectacular one-armed interception at the line of scrimmage in the third quarter before returning it 25 yards for a score, powering over Mahomes to reach the end zone.

A raucous crowd packed the venerable Coliseum just six days after the NFL moved the game from Mexico City to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions at Azteca Stadium.

The first half was every bit as entertaining as expected, with two high-level offenses immediately trading long drives and quick-strike TD plays. The teams combined for 462 yards before halftime, and the only things slowing down the Chiefs were penalties — eight in the first quarter alone.

Los Angeles led early until Bailey swung the momentum when he sacked Goff, forcing and recovering the quarterback’s first lost fumble of the season.

Donald then made a massive play of his own, swatting the ball out of Mahomes’ hand for Ebukam’s scoop-and-score TD just 1:50 before halftime.

Donald made his second strip-sack of Mahomes shortly after halftime, and Goff scrambled for the third rushing TD of his career moments later.

INJURIES

Chiefs: WR Sammy Watkins had one catch for 4 yards against his former team after missing last week’s game with a foot injury.

Rams: CB Troy Hill, WR Brandin Cooks and Peters all went to the locker room early in the second half with cramps. They all returned.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Bye week, followed by a trip to Oakland on Dec. 2.

Rams: Bye week, followed by a trip to Detroit on Dec. 2.

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