Seahawks rout Colts 46-18 with big second half
It took a trio of relative unknowns to wake up the Seattle Seahawks.
J.D. McKissic took the second carry of his career 30 yards for a touchdown and Bobby Wagner scooped up Marcus Smith’s forced fumble and rumbled 21 yards for a score in a 13-second span late in the third quarter, and the Seahawks beat the Indianapolis Colts 46-18 on Sunday night.
Justin Coleman added a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first half, and Seattle overcame a sleepy first 30 minutes from its offense to finally put away the Colts.
McKissic was once cut by Atlanta, but his athleticism earned him a spot in Seattle. Coleman was deemed expendable by New England and was acquired in a trade just before the start of the regular season. And Smith, who finished with 1 1/2 sacks, was a former first-round pick who was a bust with Philadelphia.
Heartbreak city: Chargers get close then lose again, this time to the Eagles 26-24
Coming to Los Angeles would be bittersweet, the Chargers said -- a compound word that’s turned out to be only half applicable.
For the fans in San Diego, there’s been more bitterness than in a case of skunked beer. Banners fly over StubHub Center, and ex-fans delight at the miniscule attendance numbers and the opposing-fan takeovers.
Luckily for the team, the NFL gave it a chance to erase some of that with a sweet first month – a prime-time game during Week 1 followed by three straight at its new, albeit, temporary home, in Carson at StubHub Center.
But with a 26-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the Chargers’ fourth straight to open the season, there’s been no good tastes in the mouths of the team or its fans.
Sunday, the Chargers did the things losing football teams tend to do. They’d get stops on third down and commit penalties. They weren’t able to move the ball consistently on the ground, and they weren’t able to stop Philadelphia from doing the same.
That the Eagles were missing their top defensive lineman, Fletcher Cox, was of little consequence, as Philip Rivers routinely found himself flushed out of the pocket or passing under duress, forcing the Chargers into a boom-or-bust attack, relying on big plays to get down the field.
Tyrell Williams scored on a 75-yard catch, rookie Austin Ekeler took his first pro carry and ran for a 35-yard score, and Keenan Allen found himself in the open field for a number of big gains.
Philadelphia, though, proved to be more methodical, using their ground attack to bully the Chargers’ defensive line, setting up six different scoring drives -- four ending with kicker Jake Elliot hitting field goals from 40 yards or longer.
Needing to get a stop to give Rivers one more chance, the Eagles ran the ball all the way down the field with little interference. Philadelphia rushed for nearly four times as many yards as the Chargers.
USC in the NFL: Giants’ Rhett Ellison catches a two-yard touchdown pass
Former USC tight end Rhett Ellison caught a two-yard pass from Eli Manning for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday in the New York Giants’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ellison has two catches for 11 yards on the day.
Eagles 26, Chargers 24: Henry’s catch keeps L.A. in the game
Officials originally waved off Hunter Henry’s one-handed grab in the end zone, but Anthony Lynn challenged the call, with replay showing that the Chargers’ tight end got both feet in for his first score of the year. With 6:44 left in the game, the Chargers trail 26-24.
Eagles 26, Chargers 24
Eagles 26, Chargers 17: Smallwood gives Philadelphia a big lead in the fourth quarter
Eagles 19, Chargers 17: Ekeler’s big run gives L.A. a chance
Austin Ekeler, an undrafted running back out of tiny Western State, broke through the line for a 35-yard touchdown, the first of his career and the longest run for the team on the season. The Chargers now trail 19-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Eagles 19, Chargers 17
Eagles 19, Chargers 10: Jake Elliott is good for another 47-yard field goal
The Philadelphia Eagles added to their lead as kicker Jake Elliott continues his big day with a 47-yard field goal. Elliott’s connected on four kicks as Philadelphia leads 19-10 late in the third quarter.
Eagles 19, Chargers 10
UCLA in the NFL: Myles Jack goes 81 yards to the house for a TD
Former UCLA linebacker/all-purpose back Myles Jack picked up his first career touchdown Sunday against the New York Jets.
Jack picked up a fumble and went 81 yards for the score in the fourth quarter of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ overtime loss to the Jets.
Jack has one sack with 26 total tackles this season.
Eagles 16, Chargers 10: Koo is good from 28 yards before halftime
The Chargers moved the ball into the red zone in the final minute of the half, but a pair of attempts to Keenan Allen fell incomplete, forcing them to settle for Younghoe Koo’s 28-yard field goal right before the end of the quarter.
Eagles 16, Chargers 10
Eagles 16, Chargers 7: L.A. forces Philadelphia to settle for another field goal
The Charger defense needed to build on the momentum after the offense connected on a big play, but Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense wouldn’t cooperate.
The Eagles again moved the ball, and rookie kicker Jake Elliott capped a drive with a 53-yard field goal to put Philadelphia up 16-7.
Eagles 16, Chargers 7
Eagles 13, Chargers 7: Tyrell Williams hauls in a 75-yard touchdown pass
Philip Rivers found Tyrell Williams on a deep post on play-action, connecting for a 75-yard score. After the extra point, the Chargers trail 13-7 midway through the second.
Eagles 13, Chargers 7
Eagles 13, Chargers 0: Philadelphia adds to its lead with another field goal
The Eagles stretched their lead to 13-0 after another Jake Elliott field goal.
The Chargers defense has yet to force a Philadelphia punt, with the Eagles in complete control with 6:42 left in the first half.
Eagles 13, Chargers 0
Eagles 10, Chargers 0: Philadelphia rookie kicker Jake Elliott is good from 45 yards
The Eagles were able to use misdirection and play-action passes to move the ball during a 11-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 45-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first quarter.
Eagles 10, Chargers 0
Rams beat Cowboys 35-30 on the strength of Greg Zuerlein’s leg
Greg Zuerlein made a career-high seven of seven field goals in the Rams’ 35-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. The sure-footed kicker has made 17 of his attempts this season after putting it through the uprights at distances of 43, 28, 30, 44, 44, 49 and 33 yards.
The NFL record was set in 2007 by Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas who made eight.
Eagles 7, Chargers 0: Alshon Jeffery with a touchdown reception
New week, same story – the Chargers turned the ball over in the first quarter and the opposition took the ball and marched into the end zone.
After a Philip Rivers fumble, Carson Wentz led the Eagles on an impressive opening drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery.
Philadelphia 7, Chargers 0 with 8 minutes left in the first quarter.
Rams 35, Cowboys 30: Zuerlein makes his seventh field goal of the game
Chargers and Eagles get underway for an apparent Philadelphia home game
Lions still haven’t had a player rush for a 100-yard game since 2013, but Ameer Abdullah came close
Sometimes NFL stats can blow your mind.
Ameer Abdullah nearly became the first Lions running back to rush for 100 yards in a single game since Reggie Bush -- on Nov. 28, 2013 -- today in a game against the Minnesota Vikings.
That means the Lions have gone 56 consecutive games without a player rushing for at least 100 yards.
That’s an appalling number for a team that once saw Reggie Sanders rush for more than 100 yards in 14 consecutive games, an NFL record.
Abdullah was compared to the legendary Lions back from the start in Detroit after racking up more the 4,588 rushing yards at Nebraska, where he also had 690 yards receiving and 7,086 total all-purpose yards.
But Abdullah was buried on Detroit’s depth chart to start his rookie year, amassing 597 yard with two touchdowns. In 2016, he suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 2.
Abdullah came up short though on Sunday in the Lions’ 14-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
He had 94 yards rushing in 20 carries with one touchdown.
Rams 32, Cowboys 30: Dallas gets a touchdown but can’t convert on three two-point attempts
James Hanna got the Cowboys back into the game with a 28-yard touchdown reception, his first of his career. Then things got interesting.
The Cowboys opted to go for the two-point conversion and at first appeared successful as quarterback Dak Prescott leaped into the end zone, but the play was called back on an offensive holding call.
Still down two, the Cowboys tried yet again and Prescott’s pass was intercepted, only the Rams were then hit with a defensive holding penalty, giving Dallas another try. On the third attempt, Prescott couldn’t get the ball into receiver Terrance Williams’ hands.
Rams 32, Cowboys 24: Zuerlein makes his sixth consecutive field goal
Rams 32, Cowboys 24
Rams 29, Cowboys 24: Kupp does the work, Zuerlein puts it through the uprights
Rookie receiver Cooper Kupp accounted for 64 of the Rams’ 78 yards on this drive, with catches of 15 and 24 yards, and he drew a pass interference penalty on DeMarcus Lawrence for another 25 yards.
Kupp officially has 60 yards on five catches.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein then did his thing and made his fifth consecutive field goal of the game, this time from 28 yards out.
Rams 29, Cowboys 24
Rams 26, Cowboys 24: Gurley with a 53-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown
Todd Gurley now has three receiving touchdowns this season to go along with four rushing scores after a huge 53-yard catch-and-run against the Cowboys.
Gurley has six catches on seven targets for 82 yards, and 81 yards rushing in 13 carries.
His six catches tie a career high as well as his 53-yard reception.
The Rams now have their first lead of the game.
Rams 26, Cowboys 24
Meanwhile, at Jerry World...
Cowboys 24, Rams 19: L.A. chipping away at the Dallas lead one field goal at a time
Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch wears an ‘Everybody vs. Trump’ T-shirt
Injuries of note: Julio Jones, Dalvin Cook knocked out of games
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones was ruled out with a hip injury he suffered just before halftime of a game against the Buffalo Bills.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Mohamed Sanu suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter and was also ruled out.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Rookie running back Dalvin Cook suffered a non-contact injury during the third quarter of a game against the Lions and has been ruled out.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota suffered an apparent hamstring injury during the third quarter of a game against the Houston Texans.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
Derek Carr suffered an apparent injury during the third quarter of a game against the Denver Broncos.
No big surprises in Chargers’ inactives vs. Eagles
Cowboys 24, Rams 16: Zuerlein makes a 44-yard field goal before halftime
The Rams defense can’t make a stop, so it should come as no surprise that they trail the Dallas Cowboys, 24-16, at halftime.
Ezekiel Elliott scored in consecutive possessions -- first on a short pass, then on a short run — and receiver Brice Butler was left open in the end zone for a touchdown reception.
Dak Prescott has completed 11-of-15 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
The Rams offense has struggled at times to find a rhythm, but special teams recovered a fumbled punt in Dallas territory and converted it into a touchdown on a seven-yard catch by Cooper Kupp.
Greg Zuerlein has kicked three fields and Jared Goff is 12-of-18 for 84 yards and a touchdown.
USC in the NFL: JuJu Smith-Schuster catches another touchdown pass
Entering Sunday’s game against the Ravens, Steeler and former USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had five catches on 10 targets for 55 yards with one touchdown.
So far, Smith-Schuster has two catches for 30 yards and the above touchdown.
Cowboys 24, Rams 13: Prescott scrambles, Butler catches a 10-yard pass for a TD
Just when you think you have Dak Prescott dead to rights, he’s got another touchdown.
This time, Prescott dropped back and was due for a sack. Only the wily quarterback stayed cleared of the Rams defender and delivered a 10-yard toss to Brice Butler, who dragged his feet in the end zone for the touchdown.
Cowboys 24, Rams 13
Cowboys 17, Rams 13: Woods’ TD is waved off, so rookie Kupp gets one instead
Robert Woods went up ang grabbed the football from behind Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown.
Woods got both feet down but as he went to the ground one official ruled it a touchdown catch and then another waved it off.
The Rams used their second challenge and lost, burning their second timeout of the half and leaving them without recourse for the rest of the game.
On the next play, quarterback Jared Goff spotted rookie receiver Cooper Kupp, who came out of a stacked receiver set and got free of his defender for an easy touchdown.
Cowboys 17, Rams 13
Chargers vs. Eagles: How they match up
CHARGERS (0-3) VS. EAGLES (2-1)
When Chargers have the ball
This could (finally) be the week the Chargers’ offense lives up to the considerable hype it amassed in the offseason. Philadelphia’s star defensive tackle Fletcher Cox won’t play because of a calf injury and cornerback Ronald Darby is still out with an ankle issue. The Eagles also will be without key reserves on the defensive line and at cornerback, meaning Philip Rivers should be able to get the offense into a rhythm that doesn’t resemble your awkward parents at a wedding. Last weekend, Melvin Gordon finally looked like the running back who was knocking on the door of 1,000 yards a season ago, and after some rest this week, he’s scheduled for a normal workload. If the Eagles sell out to stop Gordon, something Miami did in Week 2, Rivers could have a monster bounce-back game after a three-interception day that could’ve been even worse against Kansas City. The Chargers will need to get tight end Hunter Henry consistently involved to reach their offensive potential, and so far this season he’s been unable to find stable footing in the team’s game plan. The Chargers defense has been stout through four games. Sunday, it should be the offense’s turn to carry the load.
When Eagles have the ball
Quarterback Carson Wentz, the guy the Rams decided against in favor of Jared Goff a year ago, is off to a strong start in his second season, enjoying a few new weapons in coach Doug Pederson’s offense. He’s been extra productive on the road, tossing for 300-plus yards in his last two trips out of Philly, hooking up with receivers such as Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and ex-USC star Nelson Agholor. The Eagles’ most productive weapon in the passing game, though, is tight end Zach Ertz. The run game will miss Darren Sproles, who suffered season-ending injuries last week against the Giants. The Chargers pass rush should be a factor again — Philadelphia has allowed 11 sacks . If the defensive line and linebackers can hit back when the ball goes to battering ram LeGarrette Blount, and if the Chargers can slow down all-purpose weapon Wendell Smallwood, Wentz could be staring down Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa all afternoon. The pass rush has been great at creating sacks and disrupting the passing game, but it needs to start forcing turnovers too.
When they kick
Rookie Jake Elliott was one of the NFL’s top stories last weekend, hitting a game-winning 61-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Giants. No rookie had ever made one from that deep, and the kick was so improbable that Wentz told teammates he’d give Elliott his game check if he made it. Elliott refused the cash, but a portion will go to charity and a cool story gets a happy ending. The Chargers are hoping for a happy ending with their rookie kicker, Younghoe Koo, after a blocked kick in Week 1 and a pair of misses in Week 2 had some rightfully wondering if the Chargers were going to make a change. The team has backed Koo and he made his only attempt a week ago, though the team declined the chance to have him attempt a 52-yarder against the Chiefs.
Dan Woike’s prediction
The Chargers were blessed by the NFL schedule makers to play three straight games at home, and though the crowds haven’t been as pro-Chargers as they would’ve liked, it was still a great opportunity to get off to a good start this season. A win Sunday won’t salvage the homestand but it would provide some relief.
CHARGERS 24, EAGLES 17
Cowboys 17, Rams 6: Morris, not Elliott, breaks off a big run to set up a touchdown
Alfred Morris probably needs a breather.
The Cowboys’ backup running back came into the game to give Ezekiel Elliott a breather and immediately ripped off a 70-yard run to the Rams’ 5.
Morris appeared to lose the ball at the end of the run to the Rams, and the play was challenged by coach Sean McVay. After an official review, the Cowboys retained possession of the ball.
Reenter Elliott, who dived into the end zone. Or did he? Another review took place and Dallas was ruled short of the end zone at the “half-yardline.”
Still, on the next play, Elliott took the ball and slammed the middle of the Rams’ defensive line for the touchdown.
Cowboys 17, Rams 6
Cowboys 10, Rams 6: L.A. settles for a 44-yard field goal after a huge return by Pharoh Cooper
Cowboys 10, Rams 3: Ezekiel Elliott dives into the end zone for the touchdown
The Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott just made the Rams look bad on his second career receiving touchdown.
The running back caught a pass in the flat with no one around and brushed by a tackle attempt at the sideline by linebacker Alec Ogletree and went 10 yards before diving into the end zone past safety Mark Barron.
Cowboys 10, Rams 3
Rams and Cowboys tied 3-3 after the first quarter
The first quarter flew by, and the Rams and Dallas Cowboys are tied 3-3.
The Cowboys are testing cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who is matched against Dez Bryant. Bryant has caught two passes for 50 yards.
And the Cowboys are keeping an eye on running back Todd Gurley. Gurley has rushed for 14 yards in three carries and has caught one pass for four yards.
Bilal Powell takes a spill, gets up and goes 75-yards for the longest touchdown run in Jets history
Matt Forte couldn’t go today. So the Jets were “forced” to start Bilal Powell.
It’s a shame really; without Forte, the Jets’ run offense will be... oh wait, never mind.
Powell just ripped off the longest run in Jets history in the first quarter with a 75-yard carry to the house.
The seven-year pro took a spill just behind the Jaguars’ offensive line, but went untouched. The Jacksonville defense, suffering a momentary college lapse, allowed Powell to then get up and take off for the score with little pressure.
The 75 yards on the carry are more than he’s had in three previous games of work this season.
Rams 3, Cowboys 3: Zuerlein makes a 49-yard field goal to tie it up
Ravens take a knee, get booed, then stand for national anthem
The Ravens faced a bit more scrutiny for their national anthem protest on Sunday in Baltimore.
Last week, some Ravens took a knee and locked arms with while the anthem was played in London before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. There were similar demonstrations at every NFL game last week in response to President Trump’s comments about the league.
Today, the team decided to go the Dallas Cowboys route a la “Monday Night Football.”
The team came out before the anthem and took a knee to a chorus of boos from fans at M&T Bank Stadium. Then the team stood for the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
For The Record:
An earlier version of this post identified Shad Khan as the Ravens’ owner. He owns the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cowboys 3, Rams 0: Dallas settles for a field goal on their opening drive
AFC notes: From A to Z
Baltimore Ravens: Mike Wallace, who faces his old Steelers team Sunday, had a 95-yard touchdown catch against them last year. In Ravens history, only Shannon Sharpe’s 96-yarder in the 2000 playoffs was longer.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills have yet to allow a touchdown pass and have four interceptions entering Sunday at Atlanta. They’re trying to get to 3-1, which they haven’t hit at the start of a season since 2011, when they went 4-1.
Cincinnati Bengals: Scored their first touchdown of 2017 on the first drive by new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor last week. Sunday, the Bengals visit Cleveland, which also is 0-3.
CHARGERS: Philip Rivers had three passes intercepted last week. He’s led the league in interceptions two of the last three years, with a career-high 21 in 2016.
Cleveland Browns: Rookie defensive end Myles Garrett (questionable) practiced some this week after missing the first three games with a high right-ankle sprain.
Denver Nuggets: Jamaal Charles’ first touchdown run as a Bronco was last week. He needs 134 yards from scrimmage Sunday vs. Raiders to be the 11th active player with 10,000.
Houston Texans: Texans defensive end J.J. Watt does not have a sack in 2017 but has had one in each of his last eight games against the Titans, Sunday’s foe.
Indianapolis Colts: Jacoby Brissett is the first Colts quarterback to rush for two touchdowns and pass for one in a game since Bert Jones in 1974. He visits Seattle on Sunday.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars announced they will kneel together before the national anthem Sunday at the Jets.
Kansas City Chiefs: Linebacker Dee Ford and center Mitch Morse were ruled out for Monday against Washington. Kicker Cairo Santos, on injured reserve, was waived.
Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins host the Saints on Sunday in London; the last time they played there (2015), they lost, came home and fired coach Joe Philbin.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady can tie Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for the most regular-season wins (186) with a victory Sunday vs. Carolina.
N.Y. Jets: Running back Matt Forte will miss Sunday’s game with turf toe. Bilal Powell is expected to get the start with rookie Elijah McGuire behind him.
Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper, the fourth overall pick in 2015, has caught just 10 passes in three games. And fellow receiver Michael Crabtree is doubtful for Sunday.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has only three touchdowns in 13 games against the Ravens, but had a touchdown in both games last year.
Tennessee Titans: Kicker Ryan Succop enters Sunday’s game vs. Texas with a franchise-best streak of 45 successful field goals from inside 50 yards, dating to 2014.
NFC notes: From A to Z
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals have swept the 49ers in their last four meetings over two seasons. Arizona is 4-0-1 in its last five games against the NFC West.
Atlanta Falcons: If running back Devonta Freeman gets more than 100 yards rushing and receiving combined against the Bills today, he’ll have achieved that four times in a row against an AFC team.
Carolina Panthers: Running back Christian McCaffrey had nine catches for 101 yards last week. He is first among rookies with 173 yards receiving and second in receptions (18).
Chicago Bears: Linebacker Danny Trevathan was suspended two games for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay’s Davante Adams, who was carted off in Thursday’s game.
Dallas Cowboys: End DeMarcus Lawrence had a career-high three sacks against Arizona last week and leads the league with 61/2. He has 151/2 sacks since he was drafted in 2014.
Detroit Lions: The Lions lead the NFL with a plus-six turnover margin. Their seven interceptions through three games are second only to the Ravens, who have eight.
Green Bay Packers: The Packers have scored on 43 consecutive red-zone possessions; they were 5 for 5 in their 35-14 victory against the Bears on Thursday night.
Minnesota Vikings: Adam Thielen (299) and Stefon Diggs (293) are second and third in receiving yards. Dalvin Cook has the second-most yards rushing (288).
New Orleans Saints: Saints rookie Marcus Williams had his first interception and rookie defensive end Trey Hendrickson recorded his first sack last week.
N.Y. Giants: Quarterback Eli Manning is 5-0 all-time against the Buccaneers, who haven’t beaten the Giants since 2003 and have lost in their last five meetings.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles’ secondary might get Rodney McLeod back this week but will be without Ronald Darby, Jaylen Watkins, Fletcher Cox and Corey Graham.
RAMS: Todd Gurley (six TDs) needs three scores to tie Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and Washington’s Stephen Davis for the most in first four games.
San Francisco 49ers: Running back Carlos Hyde has the third-most yards rushing (253) and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry with two touchdowns in three games.
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have allowed three scores of 30 or more yards in three games. They allowed two of 30 or more yards in the 2012 and 2014 seasons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Receiver DeSean Jackson has faced the Giants 15 times during his career, scoring nine touchdowns: six receiving, two on punt returns and one rushing.
Washington Redskins: The Redskins’ only win over the Chiefs was a 27-12 victory on Sept. 18, 1983, in Washington. The Redskins have never won at Arrowhead Stadium.
Rams vs. Cowboys: How they match up
RAMS (2-1) AT COWBOYS (2-1)
When Rams have the ball
No one could have predicted that after two seasons as the NFL’s worst offense the Rams would enter this game as the league’s highest-scoring team. Quarterback Jared Goff is at the controls of a unit that scored 41 points in last week’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Goff began the week ranked behind Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning with 817 yards passing. Goff has completed 70% of his passes, five for touchdowns, with only one interception. Robert Woods had a team-best 108 yards receiving against the 49ers. Receivers Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin suffered concussions against the 49ers but are cleared to play against the Cowboys. Running back Todd Gurley was named the NFL offensive player of the month after scoring six touchdowns and amassing 241 yards rushing and 140 yards receiving. The offensive line, anchored by left tackle Andrew Whitworth, has given up only three sacks and cleared the way for Gurley. The Cowboys rank 11th in the NFL in total defense, giving up 315 yards per game. End Demarcus Lawrence has an NFL-best 61/2 sacks. Linebacker Sean Lee did not practice this week because of a hamstring injury. He is listed as questionable.
When Cowboys have the ball
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott burst onto the NFL scene as a rookie last season and sent Tony Romo into retirement and the broadcast booth. The dual-threat Prescott has not slowed in Year 2. Prescott is completing 63% of his passes, five for touchdowns, with two interceptions. He also has rushed for a touchdown. Prescott operates behind what is arguably the NFL’s best offensive line, which features former USC standout Tyron Smith at left tackle. The Rams thought they had caught a break when the NFL suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games, but a judge granted Elliott a preliminary injunction, and the second-year pro has rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown. Prescott has an array of receiving targets, including Elliott, tight end Jason Witten and receivers Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. The Rams have struggled to stop the run in a loss against the Washington Redskins and a victory over the 49ers. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has said, “We’re going to be all right.” Safety Lamarcus Joyner will not play because of a hamstring injury.
Safety Cody Davis is questionable because of a quadriceps injury. McVay said Blake Countess or rookie
John Johnson could play in rotation with Maurice Alexander.
When they kick
Special teams coordinator John Fassel was busy this week after the Rams committed numerous errors against the 49ers. Countess was flagged for a penalty on a punt that kept alive a 49ers scoring drive, Austin remains the punt returner despite fumbling again, Pharoh Cooper fumbled a kickoff return and the Rams failed to recover an onside kick. Punter Johnny Hekker has remained consistent and Greg Zuerlein has made all seven field-goal attempts. Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey also has made all five of his field-goal attempts. Ryan Switzer returns kickoffs and punts.
Gary Klein’s prediction
The Rams played Sept. 21, so they had the benefit of extra days to recover and rest. The Cowboys had a short week after playing on the road at Arizona on Monday night. The Cowboys still have the edge.
COWBOYS 30, RAMS 27
NFL Week 4: Scores and schedule
New Orleans Saints 20, Miami Dolphins 0 (London)
RAMS 35, at Dallas Cowboys 30
Buffalo Bills 23, at Atlanta Falcons 17
Cincinnati Bengals 31, at Cleveland Browns 7
Detroit Lions 17, at Minnesota Vikings 7
Carolina Panthers 33, at New England Patriots 30
at New York Jets 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 20, OT
Pittsburgh Steelers 26, at Baltimore Ravens 9
at Houston Texas 57, Tennessee Titans 14
Philadelphia Eagles 26, at CHARGERS 24
at Arizona Cardinals 18, San Francisco 49ers 15, OT
New York Giants 25, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
at Denver Broncos 16, Oakland Raiders 10
at Seattle Seahawks 46, Indianapolis Colts 18
Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs, 5:30 p.m.
Green Bay Packers 35, Chicago Bears 14