NFL: Titans surprise Patriots; Saints pound Bengals; Bills rout Jets
Tom Brady added another big chunk of NFL history to his resume. The Tennessee Titans made sure the Patriots quarterback didn’t finish his 300th game.
The Titans sacked Brady three times and hit him repeatedly as they beat New England 34-10 Sunday in Nashville, snapping a seven-game skid against the Patriots in Mike Vrabel’s first game as head coach against the team he helped win three Super Bowls.
It was the most sacks allowed in a game this season by the Patriots (7-3), and coach Bill Belichick pulled Brady for Brian Hoyer midway through the fourth quarter.
Only Brett Favre (326) has played in more games, both regular season and postseason, as a quarterback than Brady. The three-time NFL MVP also needed only three touchdown passes to tie Peyton Manning (579) for the NFL record for most TD passes all time for both the regular season and postseason. He left having thrown for 254 yards and no TD passes.
Marcus Mariota capped each of the first two drives with TD passes, and Derrick Henry ran for a pair of TDs. Ryan Succop also added two field goals as the Titans (5-4) scored a season high in points after jumping to a 17-3 lead in the first quarter. They now have beaten both of last season’s Super Bowl teams in Nashville.
The loss snaps a six-game winning streak going into New England’s bye. The Patriots, who routed the Titans 35-14 in January, also lost to Tennessee for the first time since Dec. 16, 2002.
Saints 51, at Bengals 14: Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes in the first half, moving ahead of Brett Favre for second place on the career list, and the Saints rolled to their eighth straight victory.
Brees led the Saints to touchdowns on all five first-half possessions with a nearly perfect performance — only two incompletions. His 17-yard TD to Michael Thomas with 2 seconds left in the half gave him 509 career touchdown passes, one more than Favre.
Up next: Peyton Manning’s record 539.
The Bengals matched the most lopsided defeat in franchise history and gave up the second-most points in club history. In the first half alone, the Saints piled up 311 yards and had 21 first downs on 40 plays. Brees was 18 of 20 for 214 yards with three touchdowns.
Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara recognized Dez Bryant by crossing their arms after scoring touchdowns. The former Cowboys receiver signed with the Saints on Wednesday but tore an Achilles tendon in his second practice.
at Chiefs 26, Cardinals 14: Patrick Mahomes threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns, outplaying Arizona counterpart Josh Rosen in a matchup of two of the NFL’s bright young quarterbacks.
Mahomes threw both TD passes to Tyreek Hill, the second giving the Chiefs’ first-year starter 31 for the season. That broke the franchise record set by Len Dawson in 1964 — with plenty of games to go.
Not to mention the playoffs, with the Chiefs (9-1) barreling toward the No. 1 seed.
Rosen had 195 yards passing with a touchdown and two picks, taking several brutal hits in the fourth quarter. David Johnson ran for 98 yards, with TDs on the ground and through the air, while Larry Fitzgerald passed Terrell Owens for No. 2 on the NFL’s career receiving yardage list late in the game.
Fitzgerald finished with six catches for 50 yards to give him 15,952 for his brilliant career.
Hill had seven catches for 117 yards, and Kareem Hunt pounded his way for 71 yards rushing, as the Chiefs kept the Cardinals (2-7) winless in six meetings at Arrowhead Stadium.
at Browns 28, Falcons 16: Rookie Baker Mayfield threw a season-high three touchdown passes and rookie Nick Chubb streaked 92 yards for a TD as Cleveland ended a four-game losing streak.
The Browns (3-6-1) played their most complete game this season under interim coach Gregg Williams, their defensive coordinator who improved to 1-1 since replacing the fired Hue Jackson.
Ryan and the Falcons (4-5) had their three-game winning streak — and any playoff momentum — stopped cold.
And while Mayfield did damage, Chubb’s record run was the backbreaker.
With the Browns backed up at their 8, Chubb, who had 176 yards on 20 carries, took a handoff and headed right. He cut toward Atlanta’s sideline, picked up a block and then showed his surprising breakaway speed while finishing the longest run in team history. Chubb’s run broke the previous team mark held by Bobby Mitchell, who had a 90-yard TD run against Washington on Nov. 15, 1959.
at Bears 34, Lions 22: Mitchell Trubisky threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns, and the NFC North-leading Bears snapped a 10-game losing streak against division opponents.
The Bears (6-3) had dropped nine of 10 against Detroit (3-6) and were seeking their first victory over a division opponent since Oct. 31, 2016, against Minnesota.
Chicago jumped to a 26-7 halftime lead with Trubisky and Allen Robinson leading the way. And the Bears surpassed their win total from last year with their third straight victory.
Trubisky completed 23 of 30 passes against a short-handed secondary, with standout cornerback Darius Slay sidelined by a knee injury.
Allen Robinson caught six passes for 133 yards and two TDs after missing two games with a groin injury.
Rookie Anthony Miller added a career-high 122 yards on five receptions, including a 45-yard TD and a 55-yard catch.
Khalil Mack had two of Chicago’s six sacks against Matthew Stafford — both in the second half after missing back-to-back games with an injured right ankle.
Smith, who was 19 of 27 with no interceptions, threw 6 yards to Josh Doctson for the game’s only touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Hopkins kicked field goals of 43, 43 and 26 yards, the last set up by Greg Stroman’s fourth-quarter interception and 24-yard return to the Bucs 14.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 403 yards for Tampa Bay (3-6), but was intercepted twice and lost a fumble on a sack inside the Washington 10.
The Bucs, who’ve lost three in a row and six of seven following a 2-0 start, failed to force a turnover on defense for the sixth straight game.
The Redskins were outgained 279 yards to 136 in the first two quarters, yet led 6-3 at halftime after getting two field goals from Hopkins.
at Colts 29, Jaguars 26: Andrew Luck threw three touchdown passes in the first half and the Colts’ defense forced a late turnover. Indy (4-5) has won three straight.
Tight end Eric Ebron had a career-high three touchdowns, including one on a 2-yard run, all in the first half.
Blake Bortles threw for 319 yards and two TDs, but the Jaguars (3-6) came up short when Kenny Moore III stripped the ball from Rashad Greene Sr. and Malik Hooker recovered for the Colts with 1:24 to go. Initially, Greene was ruled down by contact, but it was overturned on a replay review from the booth.
Jacksonville, last year’s AFC runner-up, has lost five straight and six of seven since starting 2-0.
Ebron, Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox teamed up to catch eight passes for 133 yards and all three scores. Luck wound up 21 of 29 with 285 yards and one interception but avoided being sacked for the fourth consecutive game — the longest stretch of his pro career.
Bills 41, at Jets 10: Matt Barkley stunningly sparked Buffalo’s bumbling offense with two touchdown passes, including one to offensive tackle Dion Dawkins. LeSean McCoy broke out of a season-long slump with 113 yards rushing and a pair of TD runs.
Barkley made his first start in nearly two years, and looked the best of any of the four quarterbacks the Bills (3-7) have trotted out this season. The 28-year-old journeyman was 15 of 25 for 232 yards while helping Buffalo snap a four-game losing streak as the Bills put up 451 yards of total offense.
Barkley got the nod from coach Sean McDermott ahead of the ineffective Nathan Peterman despite having just two weeks of practice with the Bills since signing on Oct. 30. Rookie Josh Allen has missed four straight games with a sprained right elbow, and Derek Anderson is sidelined with a concussion. Barkley’s last start came in the 2016 season finale for Chicago.
Meanwhile, the hot seat under coach Todd Bowles has reached a boiling point as the Jets (3-7) got completely manhandled by a team that entered with a league-low 96 points and had two touchdowns in its previous four games.
The Jets have a bye-week break and the future of Bowles, in his fourth season, is in serious doubt.
New York started 39-year-old Josh McCown in place of injured rookie Sam Darnold, but he couldn’t prevent the Jets from their fourth straight loss in front of a frustrated fan base that booed lustily throughout.
McCown was 17 of 34 for 135 yards with two interceptions.
at Packers 31, Miami 12: Aaron Jones ran for career highs of 145 yards and two scores, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams connected for two touchdown passes and the Green Bay Packers beat the Miami Dolphins 31-12 on Sunday.
The Packers (4-4-1) pulled away in the second half, sandwiching scoring drives around cornerback Bashaud Breeland’s interception deep in Miami territory. Green Bay went ahead 28-12 on Adams’ 25-yard touchdown catch with 7:24 left in the third quarter.
Maybe this is the game that will get the Packers going in the tight NFC North race following a choppy first half of the season.
Rookie Jason Sanders tied a Dolphins franchise record with four field goals, but Miami (5-5) couldn’t find the end zone. The Dolphins squandered another opportunity on the game-opening drive after Brock Osweiler fumbled away a shotgun snap.
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