Josh Huff returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, Carson Wentz outplayed Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles beat Minnesota 21-10 on Sunday, handing the Vikings their first loss of the season.
The Eagles (4-2) snapped a two-game losing streak while the rested Vikings (5-1) hardly looked like an unbeaten team after having a bye.
Bradford returned to Philadelphia for the first time since his trade to Minnesota eight days before the season opener paved the way for Wentz to start. Bradford was 7-7 in his only season with the Eagles and won his first four starts for the Vikings.
But the Eagles pressured and harassed their former quarterback all game, sacked him six times, and forced his first three turnovers this season.
Wentz also struggled early, tossing two interceptions. But he recovered to lead the Eagles on a couple of scoring drives, including a 5-yard TD pass to Dorial Green-Beckham in the third quarter for an 18-3 lead.
Both teams had a sloppy start.
After combining for only three turnovers in 10 games, the teams traded giveaways on five consecutive series in the first quarter and totaled eight turnovers. The Vikings started two straight drives inside the red zone, but squandered both chances.
Blair Walsh hit a 48-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead before Huff broke loose for his second career touchdown return. Huff sprinted up the right side, ran through Walsh’s attempted arm tackle at the 40, raced untouched to the end zone and capped it with a somersault. Wentz ran in from the 1 for the 2-point conversion to give the Eagles an 8-3 lead.
Lions 20, Redskins 17
Matthew Stafford threw a go-ahead, 18-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds left to lift the Detroit Lions to a 20-17 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
The Lions (4-3) extended their winning streak to three games.
The Redskins (4-3) had won four straight.
Stafford, who set up game-winning kicks in the previous two games, led his team to another win in the 100th game of his career. He was 18 of 29 for 266 yards, one TD and no turnovers.
Kirk Cousins scored a go-ahead TD on a 19-yard run with 1:05 left.
The Redskins, though, failed to stop Stafford from throwing or running on his last possession and could not overcome mistakes that included turnovers, a missed field goal and penalties.
Cousins looked like he was going to make up for a lost fumble in the third quarter when he put Washington ahead. He faked a handoff to Chris Thompson, tucked the ball away and ran to the right around the outside to score against a defense that didn’t expect him to be carrying the ball in a critical situation. Cousins finished 30 of 39 for 301 yards with a TD and a fumble.
Detroit’s Zach Zenner scored on a 1-yard run midway through the third quarter against a defense that hadn’t given up a TD in nine quarters, giving Detroit a 10-3 lead.
Both teams lost their top cornerback to an injury during the game.
Washington’s Josh Norman was knocked out of the game with a concussion, landing hard on his left shoulder after giving up a 52-yard pass to Marvin Jones in the third quarter. Detroit’s Darius Slay left the game with a hamstring injury in the second quarter.
Dolphins 28, Bills 25
Jay Ajayi tied an NFL record by surpassing 200 yards rushing for the second game in a row, helping the Miami Dolphins rally past the Buffalo Bills 28-25 Sunday.
Ajayi rushed for 214 yards in 29 carries after totaling 204 yards a week earlier in a win over Pittsburgh. He scored on a 4-yard run , and busted a 53-yarder when the Dolphins were pinned at their 3 and trailing in the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins (3-4) used an extra lineman much of the time to clear big holes for Ajayi, who tied the NFL record for consecutive 200-yard games held by O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.
Miami overcame an 11-point deficit with 16 minutes left to end a four-game winning streak by the Bills (4-3) and beat them for only the second time in their past seven meetings.
With Ajayi sidelined by cramps, Damien Williams carried half the Bills’ weary defense into the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown run that put the Dolphins ahead with 3:56 to go. On their next possession, Ryan Tannehill hit Kenny Stills for a 66-yard score that made it 28-17.
Miami recovered an onside kick with 13 seconds left to seal the victory.
Tyrod Taylor threw long to Marquise Goodwin for a 67-yard touchdown that put the Bills up 17-6 midway through the third quarter. The Dolphins responded with a 75-yard drive for their first touchdown.
Jets 24, Ravens 16
Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced an injured Geno Smith and led the New York Jets on three scoring drives, and a rejuvenated defense came up with two rare interceptions in a 24-16 comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick came in for Smith in the second quarter and led the Jets on a go-ahead drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown catch by Matt Forte. Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 14 for 120 yards and a touchdown as the Jets (2-5) snapped a four-game losing streak.
Smith injured his right knee while taking a sack from Baltimore’s Matthew Judon. Fitzpatrick was efficient after losing his job earlier in the week. Coach Todd Bowles decided to start Smith over Fitzpatrick , who had thrown an NFL-leading 11 interceptions and just five touchdown passes. Smith was 4 of 8 for 95 yards and a TD to Quincy Enunwa.
Justin Tucker put the Ravens (3-4) back up 16-14 as time expired in the first half with his third field goal, a 44-yarder.
Joe Flacco started for Baltimore after being questionable with a sore shoulder . He went a team-record 176 consecutive throws without an interception before Buster Skrine picked off his pass in the third quarter and returned it 51 yards to the Ravens 3.
But the Jets faltered and had to settle for Nick Folk’s 22-yard field goal and a 17-16 lead.
The defense made it two possessions in a row with a takeaway — after coming in with just four all season — as Marcus Gilchrist picked off Flacco and returned it 27 yards to the Ravens 24.
This time, the Jets cashed in, but not before some hot potato with the football.
On second-and-goal from the 6, Forte ran up the middle for 3 yards and had the ball ripped out of his hands. Timmy Jernigan recovered for Baltimore and tried to advance, but Brandon Marshall stripped the ball and recovered it for the Jets.
Three plays later, Forte ran it in from 1 yard.
Forte finished with 101 yards and a TD on 31 carries and four catches for 54 yards and a score. He also joined Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Thurman Thomas and Herschel Walker as the only players with 8,000 yards rushing, 4,000 yards receiving and 20 TD receptions. With 3:04 left, Folk had a chance to seal the victory, but his 51-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Brandon Williams.
Again, the Jets’ defense came up big, with Marcus Williams knocking away Flacco’s desperation heave as the Ravens dropped their fourth straight — and second in a row at MetLife Stadium after losing 27-23 to the Giants last week.
Chiefs 27, Saints 21
Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes in another efficient outing, Daniel Sorensen returned an interception of Drew Brees for another touchdown and the Kansas City Chiefs held off the mistake-prone New Orleans Saints 27-21 on Sunday.
Spencer Ware ran for 77 yards to go with his 46-yard touchdown reception, and Tyreek Hill made an acrobat 38-yard TD catch to help the Chiefs (4-2) win their ninth straight at home.
Brees got the Saints (2-4) within 24-21 with his touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman with 2:33 left, but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds. Kansas City added a 41-yard field goal, and the Saints could do nothing in the final 28 seconds to change the outcome.
Brees finished with 367 yards and three TD passes, but much of that offense came while he was trying to rally the Saints. It was actually another uneven performance away from the Superdome for the star quarterback, who was coming off a 465-yard game last week against Carolina.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs showed some mettle after falling into an early 7-0 hole. Ware’s touchdown on a screen pass and Sorensen’s pick-six off a batted ball quickly turned the momentum, and Hill added his long touchdown reception to make it 21-7 at the break.
The Saints drew within a touchdown on Mark Ingram’s catch midway through the third quarter, but the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner fumbled inside the Kansas City 10 with 8:26 left in the game and the Chiefs leading 24-14.
Colts 34, Titans 26
Andrew Luck threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 1:55 left to put Indianapolis ahead to stay, and the Colts rallied to beat the Tennessee Titans 34-26 Sunday for their 10th straight win against their AFC South rival.
The Colts (3-4) came in having lost two of three, including blowing a 14-point lead in an overtime loss last week at Houston. But Luck has never lost to Tennessee, and he improved to 8-0 against the Titans with yet another comeback win. He finished with 353 yards passing and three TDs, the last after Tennessee went up 23-20.
T.Y. Hilton caught seven passes for 133 yards, including a 37-yard TD . The Colts shook off 12 penalties for 131 yards in pulling out their 15th win in 16 games against Tennessee.
The Titans (3-4) saw their two-game winning streak end.
Marcus Mariota had a chance to rally the Titans, but T.Y. McGill sacked him and stripped out the ball. Robert Mathis picked it up and ran 14 yards for the clinching TD with 1:47 left and a 34-23 lead. The Colts finished with three sacks.
Bengals 31, Browns 17
A.J. Green’s one-handed catch in the middle of an end zone scrum highlighted Cincinnati’s day full of big plays, and the Bengals pulled away to another lopsided victory over their intrastate rival, beating the winless Cleveland Browns 31-17 on Sunday.
Green’s 48-yard touchdown catch on the final play of the first half helped the Bengals (3-4) regain their footing in the injury-depleted AFC North.
The defending division champions piled up their most points since they beat the Browns 37-3 last December. Jeremy Hill had a 74-yard touchdown run as part of his 168-yard effort, the best by a Bengals running back in seven years.
The Browns (0-7) extended their worst start since 1999, when they were a first-year expansion team. The NFL’s only winless team also lost yet another quarterback — the theme of their season.
Cody Kessler got hit hard while throwing a shovel pass in the second quarter, then went to the locker for a concussion evaluation and was ruled out.
That left the offense in the hands of undrafted rookie Kevin Hogan, the Browns’ sixth quarterback of the season.
Hogan — Cleveland’s last quarterback standing — kept it close for a while by scrambling 28 yards for his first NFL touchdown. He finished as the Browns’ top rusher with 104 yards.
With cornerback Joe Haden sidelined, the Browns had nobody who could cover Green, who had eight catches for 169 yards. The entire Browns defense couldn’t stop him on the final play of the first half.
Green showed his dexterity by juggling three oranges on the postgame show after a Thursday night win over the Dolphins earlier this season. His latest juggling act counted. Green reached with his right hand and pulled in the tipped ball for a 21-10 halftime lead.
He also had a 48-yard catch down the sideline that set up a field goal as the Bengals pulled away in the third quarter.
Buccaneers 34, 49ers 17
Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes and Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 154 yards to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 34-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
The Bucs (3-3) fell behind by 14 points early before scoring 27 straight to deal the Niners (1-6) their sixth straight loss for San Francisco’s longest losing streak since 2008.
Mike Evans caught eight passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns , Russell Shepard scored on a 19-yard pass from Winston and Peyton Barber iced the game with a 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to help Tampa Bay win its second straight game around its bye week.
Colin Kaepernick struggled in his second start of the season for the 49ers, going just 16 for 34 for 143 yards and turning the ball over twice after kneeling once again for the national anthem. Kaepernick replaced Blaine Gabbert as starter last week in Buffalo but has not shown any signs that he can regain the form that helped lead San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance and spot in the NFC title game in the 2012 and `13 seasons.
The problems in San Francisco run much deeper than the quarterback position. The Bucs ran for 249 yards as San Francisco has allowed 562 on the ground the past two weeks to put them on pace to give up the most yards rushing in a season since the 1981 New England Patriots.
Patriots 27, Steelers 16
Tom Brady and LeGarrette Blount were too much for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger or no Ben Roethlisberger.
Blount ran for 127 yards and two scores while Brady completed 19 of 26 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots pulled away for a 27-16 win on Sunday.
Steelers quarterback Landry Jones played capably while filling in for Roethlisberger, who watched from the sideline after undergoing left knee surgery last week.
Making just his third career start, Jones threw for 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception but undermanned Pittsburgh (4-3) lost its second straight when its defense failed to keep Brady under wraps.
New England (6-1) remained perfect since Brady returned from his four-game “Deflategate” suspension, emphatically responding to a push by the Steelers with a pair of second-half touchdowns. Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a 36-yard touchdown in the third quarter then used another 37-yard catch and run by Gronkowski to set up Blount’s second touchdown run that put New England up 11 with just under 12 minutes to go.
Brady improved to 9-2 against the Steelers, throwing for 26 touchdowns and three interceptions. Most of those came against far more intimidating versions of a Steelers defense than the one he faced Sunday.
Pittsburgh came in hurting with Roethlisberger and defensive end Cam Heyward both out. The Steelers pushed the Patriots at times behind Jones, running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown. Bell finished with 149 yards of total offense and Brown caught seven passes for 106 yards, but too often Pittsburgh settled for field goals (or field goal attempts) when touchdowns were required.
Mistakes that could hardly be blamed on Jones didn’t help. A second-quarter touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey was called back because of a holding call, one of 10 flags against the Steelers. Pittsburgh fell to 11-10 in games not started by Roethlisberger since 2004.
Blount, facing Pittsburgh for the first time since the Steelers cut him when he walked off the field with the clock still running in November 2014, hurt the Steelers after halftime. He ran for 74 yards following the break, including consecutive runs of 11 and 25 yards that set up Gronkowski’s eighth touchdown in five games against the Steelers.