NFL: Chiefs edge Ravens; Packers, Pats, Cowboys, Bills, 49ers also 3-0
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs won a showdown between two of the NFL’s top offenses. The visiting Baltimore Ravens made them work for it until the very end.
Mahomes passed for 374 yards and three touchdowns in another dazzling performance, Kansas City held quarterback Lamar Jackson in check most of the rain-soaked afternoon. LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams combined for 116 yards rushing and a score in place of the injured Damien Williams, while the Chiefs (3-0) stopped the Ravens three times on 2-point attempts. The last came after Jackson scrambled for a touchdown with 2:01 to go. The conversion would have gotten the Ravens (2-1) within a field goal, but Jackson was shoved out of bounds short of the pylon.
Baltimore tried to get the ball back with a rare dropkick, but the Chiefs calmly called for a fair catch. Then they converted on third down moments later to run out the clock.
Mark Ingram was the Ravens’ biggest bright spot, running for 103 yards and a trio of touchdowns while catching four passes for 32 yards. Jackson finished with 267 yards passing and 46 rushing, most of that when he was trying to rally the Ravens from a big halftime hole.
The Chiefs scored four times in the second quarter for the second consecutive week, this time getting three touchdowns and Harrison Butker’s 42-yard field goal to take a 23-6 lead. They scored four TDs in the second quarter last week in Oakland.
at San Francisco 24, Pittsburgh 20: Jimmy Garoppolo threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis with 1:15 remaining and the 49ers overcame five turnovers for their first 3-0 start in 21 years.
The Niners gave the ball away four times in the first half and then lost a fumble again in the fourth quarter, but still managed to pull out the victory and spoil Mason Rudolph’s first career start in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers (0-3).
Rudolph, who finished 14 for 27 passing for 174 yards with an interception, threw two long touchdown passes in the second half, connecting on a 76-yarder to JuJu Smith-Schuster and a 39-yarder to Diontae Johnson that gave the Steelers a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
Garoppolo finished 22 for 32 for 277 yards. He threw two interceptions on the first three drives on passes that hit his receivers’ hands and also lost a fumble on a bad snap from center by Weston Richburg with the Niners inside the Pittsburgh 10.
at Dallas 31, Miami 6: Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Amari Cooper before running for another score, and the Cowboys pulled out of a first-half funk to beat the winless Dolphins.
One of Prescott’s TD tosses to Cooper came before halftime, but the Dolphins had a great chance to lead at the break as 22-point underdogs when Kenyan Drake fumbled on first down from the Dallas 7-yard line in the final minute of the second quarter. DeMarcus Lawrence recovered to preserve a 10-6 lead.
Josh Rosen was 18 of 29 passing for 200 yards without a touchdown or interception in his first start for Miami, which went with him over Ryan Fitzpatrick after getting outscored 102-10. No team since 1961 had a worse point differential through two games.
The rebuilding Dolphins are 0-3 for the first time since losing their first seven in 2011. They have been outscored 133-16, the largest point differential through three games in the league history since 1950.
at Green Bay 27, Denver 16: Aaron Rodgers threw for 235 yards and a touchdown while Aaron Jones tied a career high by running for two scores.
Preston Smith matched a career high with three sacks as Green Bay got to Joe Flacco six times and forced three turnovers to lead the Packers (3-0) to the win despite being dominated in time of possession 35:34-24:26.
The Chargers struggled mightily to contain Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, surrendering a 10-point lead in the second half to lose 27-20.
Rodgers found Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a 40-yard strike on the opening drive and finished 17 of 29. Jones’ touchdown runs both came from 1 yard out.
Flacco was 20 of 29 for 213 yards with an interception and no touchdowns. For the third straight game, Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Denver’s defense failed to record a sack or force a turnover. The Broncos (0-3) fell to 0-6-1 all-time on the road against the Packers.
at New England 30, N.Y. Jets 14: Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Patriots didn’t allow a defensive touchdown for the third straight week. Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead each added a rushing touchdown for the Patriots (3-0), who won their seventh straight over the Jets and earned their ninth consecutive regular-season win at home over their AFC East rival.
It was the Patriots’ first game since releasing receiver Antonio Brown. The four-time All-Pro was cut by the team on Friday after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.
Brown’s absence didn’t slow New England against a Jets team that was without starting quarterback Sam Darnold, still recovering from mononucleosis, and injured linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. They seemed lost at times on defense and struggled to move the ball offensively — going 0 for 12 on third down — against the Patriots’ top-ranked defense in quarterback Luke Falk’s first NFL start.
Brady was 28 of 42 for 306 yards and headed to the sideline with 8:41 left in the fourth quarter and New England leading 30-7. He was briefly replaced by rookie Jarrett Stidham, who completed his first two passes before having his third intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Jamal Adams. Brady returned the following series.
at Buffalo 21, Cincinnati 17: Frank Gore scored on a 1-yard run with 1:50 left to rally the Bills to a home-opening victory over the winless Bengals. Tight end Dawson Knox set up the score by bowling over two Bengals for a 49-yard gain.
Cornerback Tre’Davious White sealed the win by intercepting Andy Dalton’s tipped pass on a third-and-5 play from Buffalo’s 28 with 12 seconds remaining.
The Bills squandered a 14-0 lead and were forced to rally back after the Bengals scored 17 points to take the lead on three consecutive possessions.
Buffalo improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2011 and only third time in 26 years. The Bengals fell to 0-3.
New Orleans 35, at Seattle 27: Teddy Bridgewater threw two touchdown passes in his first start in place of Drew Brees while the Saints also scored TDs on defense and special teams to pull off the stunner, the Seahawks’ first home loss in the month of September under Pete Carroll. Seattle had been 15-0 at home in September since 2010. The first loss will sting.
Bridgewater threw a 29-yard touchdown to Alvin Kamara late in the first half on a screen pass where he bounced off several tacklers on his way to the end zone. He added a 1-yard TD toss to Michael Thomas on fourth-and-goal on the first possession of the second half, a drive kept alive by an illegal formation penalty against Seattle on a missed field goal attempt.
But the key for New Orleans was a pair of first-half touchdowns with Bridgewater standing on the sideline.
Deonte Harris took a punt back 53 yards for a score in the first quarter, and Vonn Bell picked up Chris Carson’s third lost fumble in three games, and returned it 33 yards for a TD in the second quarter.
Carolina 38, at Arizona 20: Kyle Allen threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns in place of the injured Cam Newton, and Christian McCaffrey ran for a 76-yard touchdown to lead the Panthers. The 23-year-old Allen was outstanding in his second career start, making several big throws — even when there was tight coverage. He was 19 of 26, including two touchdowns to Greg Olsen and one each to Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore.
McCaffrey had 24 carries for 153 yards, including the 76-yard score, which came in the third quarter when he darted straight through the middle of Arizona’s defense.
Allen outplayed Arizona’s Kyler Murray, who was his former college teammate at Texas A&M. Murray also had some good moments, especially early, including a few long runs and a couple of short touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson.
But Murray’s costly interception late in the third quarter helped the Panthers (1-2) pull away for their first win. He finished 30 of 43 passing for 173 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for 69 yards.
N.Y. Giants 32, at Tampa Bay 31: The Daniel Jones era is off to a rousing start as the rookie quarterback threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for two TDs, including the go-ahead score with 1:16 remaining, to help the Giants rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat the Buccaneers.
Jameis Winston threw for 380 yards and put the Bucs (1-2) in position to pull out a dramatic win, but rookie Matt Gay’s 34-yard field goal sailed wide right as time expired.
Jones scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter and put the Giants ahead with another 7-yarder on fourth-and-goal. The sixth pick in this year’s draft began New York’s comeback with a 75-yard TD pass to Evan Engram on the first play of the second half, and a 7-yarder to Sterling Shepard midway through the third quarter.
Winston threw TD passes of 21, 3 and 20 yards to Mike Evans to help Tampa Bay build a 28-10 halftime lead. His 44-yard completion to the Giants 9 set up the last-second field goal try by Gay, who also missed an extra point and had another blocked.
Jones, making his first NFL start in place of benched two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, completed 23 of 36 passes. With Saquon Barkley exiting with a right ankle injury late in the first half, Jones also led the Giants with 28 yards rushing on four attempts
at Minnesota 34, Oakland 14: NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook cruised past the 100-yard mark for the third straight game while Kirk Cousins rebounded from his rattled performance the week before with a turnover-free afternoon. The Vikings’ defense had plenty to do with the victory, too. An interception by Harrison Smith of an overthrow by Oakland’s David Carr set up the second of two touchdowns by Adam Thielen to give the Vikings a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. Eric Wilson had two of Minnesota’s four sacks.
Cook had 16 carries for 110 yards and a score in just three quarters, and his backups capably grabbed the baton. Rookie Alexander Mattison got his first NFL touchdown as the Vikings (2-1) rushed for 211 yards and didn’t even attempt a fourth-quarter pass for the second time in two home games. Last week in a loss at Green Bay, Cousins had three turnovers, including a first-and-goal interception in the end zone.
Cousins enjoyed a sack-free game for the first time in his Vikings career and finished a crisp 15 for 21 for 174 yards and one score to Thielen on their opening possession. That was one of three touchdown drives of 75-plus yards, and Thielen scored later on an inside handoff off a jet sweep at the goal line.
Carr was 27 for 34 passing for 242 yards and touchdowns to J.J. Nelson and Tyrell Williams. Tight end Darren Waller racked up 13 receptions for 134 yards, mostly in garbage time. Nelson scored on a 29-yard flea-flicker pass midway through the second quarter to pull the Raiders within two touchdowns. But they never came closer in this dispiriting start to a stretch of six straight weeks without playing in Oakland.
at Indianapolis 27, Atlanta 24: Jacoby Brissett completed his first 16 passes and threw for two touchdowns in the first half while Marlon Mack scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter to lead the Colts, who are 2-1 and have won two straight overall and seven in a row at home.
The Falcons (1-2) rallied from a 20-3 halftime deficit to get within three on Matt Ryan’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones with 4:11 to play. But the Falcons opted to kick deep and never got the ball back.
Brissett closed it out with an 11-yard pass to Jack Doyle on third-and-4. He finished 28 of 37 with 310 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. T.Y. Hilton caught eight passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but missed the second half after aggravating a quad injury that slowed him in practice this week.
Ryan was 29 of 34 passing with 340 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He passed John Elway for ninth on the league’s career completion list and broke a tie with Elway for No. 11 on the career TD passes list. Ryan now has 4,143 completions and 303 touchdown passes.
Detroit 27, at Philadelphia 24: Matthew Stafford threw a touchdown pass to Marvin Jones, Jamal Agnew returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score and the Lions held on for the win. The Eagles had a chance after Malcolm Jenkins blocked Matt Prater’s 46-yard field goal try with 1:53 left. Rasul Douglas returned it to the Lions 22, but an illegal block on Jenkins pushed it back to midfield.
On fourth-and-5, Darren Sproles caught a pass for a first down but got called for Philadelphia’s third offensive pass interference. Wentz’s deep pass to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside fell incomplete with 41 seconds left.
The Lions (2-0-1) remain undefeated and the Eagles (1-2) have lost two in a row.
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