NFL roundup: Justin Tucker’s field goal in overtime lifts Ravens to comeback win
After Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph was knocked unconscious by a head-high hit in the third quarter Sunday, Justin Tucker made a 46-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Baltimore Ravens past the Steelers 26-23 on Sunday.
Baltimore (3-2) snapped a two-game skid when safety Marlon Humphrey stripped Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and recovered the fumble at the Pittsburgh 34. Tucker knocked through the winner four plays later.
Lamar Jackson threw for 161 yards with a touchdown and three picks and also ran for a game-high 70 yards. Mark Ingram ran for a touchdown for the Ravens, who won in Pittsburgh (1-4) for the second straight season.
Rudolph threw for 131 yards and a score before suffering a concussion following a hit to the chin by Baltimore safety Earl Thomas. Backup Devlin Hodges played admirably in Rudolph’s place, throwing for 68 yards and directing a pair of scoring drives after Rudolph’s exit. James Conner ran for 55 yards and a touchdown for Pittsburgh.
Josh Jacobs scored his second touchdown of the game with a leap from the 2-yard line with 1:57 to play, capping the Raiders’ 24-21 victory over the Bears.
Long one of the AFC’s most heated rivalries, the game took a turn in the third quarter with the Ravens leading 17-13.
The Steelers were facing third-and-11 at the Pittsburgh 12 midway through the third quarter when Rudolph dropped back to pass. The play broke down and Rudolph scrambled to his left and stepped up field. He flicked the ball to teammate James Washington just before the crown of Thomas’ helmet hit Rudolph under the chin. Rudolph fell to the ground and lay on the field motionless for several minutes while several teammates became visibly upset as the stadium fell silent.
The scene of players on both sides going down to one knee while a medical team attended to Rudolph was eerily similar to the on-field reaction in Cincinnati in December, 2017 when Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier sustained a spinal injury. Rudolph was able to stand up and be helped off the field by several teammates, a move made necessary when the medical cart wouldn’t start. Shazier, currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list while he continues his rehab from spinal stabilization surgery, walked over to Rudolph and briefly comforted him as Rudolph made his way to the locker room for further treatment and examination as the crowds chanted “throw him out” at Thomas.
Green Bay 34, at Dallas 24: Aaron Rodgers kept his team moving to a big early lead with more dazzling plays at AT&T Stadium, Aaron Jones scored a career-high four touchdowns and the Packers bounced back from their first loss by hanging on for a victory over the Cowboys.
Rodgers zipped a sidearm throw to Robert Tonyan to fix one broken play, flipped a left-hander to Tra Carson to rescue another, and helped Green Bay improve to 5-0 inside the retractable-roof stadium where the two-time MVP’s first win was the 2011 Super Bowl.
The first three Green Bay wins over the Cowboys at their 10-year-old stadium were all dramatic, highlighted by Rodgers’ improbable 35-yard completion to Jared Cook to set up a winning field goal on the final play of a 34-31 divisional-round playoff win three years ago.
Not quite the same drama this time after the Packers (4-1) built a 31-3 lead, although Dak Prescott (463 yards passing) and Amari Cooper (226 yards receiving) set career highs trying to keep things interesting in the fourth quarter.
The last hope for Dallas ended with 1:41 left when Brett Maher missed his second field goal — a 33-yarder that would have given the Cowboys a shot at an onside kick down seven.
The Cowboys (3-2) lost their second straight game after winning their first three, just as the Packers had done. Green Bay took sole possession of first in the NFC North, while Dallas dropped into a tie for the NFC East lead with Philadelphia.
Indianapolis 19, at Kansas City 13: The Colts accomplished what they failed to do in January. They won in Kansas City.
Marlon Mack ran for 132 yards, ageless kicker Adam Vinatieri knocked through four field goals and the Colts atoned ever-so-slightly for that playoff defeat by shutting down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ vaunted offense.
The Colts (3-2) allowed points on the Chiefs’ first two possessions before shutting them out until Harrison Butker’s field goal with 1:16 to go. Indianapolis recovered the onside kick to seal the win.
Mahomes threw for 321 yards and a touchdown, and the Chiefs (4-1) had just 36 yards rushing despite getting top running back Damien Williams back from an injury, all while watching their record streak of 22 straight games scoring at least 26 points come to a crashing conclusion.
at New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 24: Teddy Bridgewater passed for 314 yards and four touchdowns and the New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 31-24 on Sunday to keep Bridgewater unbeaten in three starts for the Saints this season.
With Bridgewater getting increasingly accustomed to playing for the injured Drew Brees, he had his best game yet for New Orleans (4-1) against a Tampa Bay defense that entered the game ranked second to last in the NFL against the pass.
With inspiring chants of “Ted-dy! Ted-dy!” from the Superdome crowd, Bridgewater completed 26 of 34 passes, with his two touchdown throws to Michael Thomas and one each to Jared Cook and Ted Ginn Jr.
Tampa Bay’s secondary struggled to stay with Thomas, who finished with 11 catches for 182 yards.
Bridgewater, who began playing in Week 2 after Brees’ first-quarter thumb injury in a loss to the Rams, had not completed a pass as long as 30 yards in his first 11 quarters of play this season.
That changed in the first quarter against the Bucs (2-3) with a 34-yard completion to Thomas. Bridgewater later hit Thomas for a 42-yarder early in the second half, setting up his 33-yard scoring strike to Ginn.
at Houston 53, Atlanta 32: Deshaun Watson threw for a career-high 426 yards and tied his personal best with five touchdown passes, including three to Will Fuller to lead the Houston Texans to a 53-32 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
A week after scoring a season-low 10 points in a loss to Carolina, Watson and Houston’s offense bounced back on a day he was 28 of 33 and became the first player to top 400 yards passing against the Falcons since Week 16 of 2012.
Fuller had a career-best 217 yards receiving and Darren Fells had two touchdown grabs for the Texans (3-2) and Carlos Hyde added a rushing TD.
Houston’s beleaguered offensive line didn’t allow a sack on Sunday after giving up 18 through the first four games.
Matt Ryan had 330 yards passing with three touchdowns and one interception for the Falcons (1-4), who lost their third straight game.Arizona 26, at Cincinnati 23: Gonzalez’s 31-yard field goal on the final play as the Cardinals got their first win under coach Kliff Kingsbury.
In a matchup of winless teams, the Cardinals (1-3-1) were a little bit better, with their Heisman Trophy winner making the difference.
Murray ran 6 yards for Arizona’s first touchdown and saved them after a late defensive collapse. Andy Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes that tied it 23-23 with 2 minutes to go.
That’s when Murray took the game into his hands.
The Heisman Trophy winner completed a 24-yard pass to David Johnson and scrambled 24 yards to get in range for Gonzalez’s fourth field goal. Murray ran for a career-high 93 yards and completed 20 of 32 passes for 253 yards without an interception.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor will have to wait at least one more week for that first win, his Bengals 0-5 for the first time since 2008.
at Philadelphia 31, New York Jets 6: Nate Gerry returned an interception for a score , Orlando Scandrick took a strip-sack the distance and the Eagles routed the Jets.
The Eagles (3-2) smothered third-string quarterback Luke Falk and overwhelmed New York’s offense on a day Carson Wentz was ordinary.
Wentz threw for 189 yards and one touchdown. Jordan Howard ran for 62 yards and one TD.
Sam Darnold missed his third straight game for the Jets (0-4) while he recovers from mononucleosis, so Falk made his second start after opening the season on New York’s practice squad. Falk threw two interceptions and was sacked nine times before leaving late in the game and being replaced by David Fales, who was re-signed by the Jets on Friday. Falk replaced Trevor Siemian — Darnold’s original backup — after he sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.
Gerry gave the Eagles a 14-0 lead in the first quarter when he jumped in front of Falk’s fourth-down pass and returned it 51 yards.
Buffalo 14, at Tennessee 7: Josh Allen threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns as the Bills beat the Titans in a defensive showdown for their third straight win in this series.
The Bills (4-1) now have won three consecutive games away from Buffalo for the first time since 2004, though so many Buffalo fans traveled here it felt much more like a home game. It’s also the first time they’ve started a season perfect through three road games since 1993.
This game featured two of the NFL’s stingiest defenses, with the Titans fourth giving up 15.5 points, and the Bills fifth, allowing 15.8 points a game. Jordan Phillips had a career-high three sacks — by halftime — as Buffalo sacked Marcus Mariota five times even with three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan back from his four-game suspension for performance enhancers.
The Titans (2-3) sacked Allen four times only to lose their third in four games on a day their replacement kicker missed three field goals and had a fourth blocked.
New England 33, at Washington 7: Tom Brady picked apart the lowly Redskins and helped the Patriots stay unbeaten.
Brady threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns, and the Patriots got another strong performance from their defense in a rout of the winless Redskins.
Now in his 20th season, Brady whisked by Brett Favre into third place on the career list with 71,923 yards passing. The 42-year-old Brady now trails only Peyton Manning (71,940 yards) and Drew Brees (74,845).
Brady also edged closer to Manning’s record 539 touchdown passes, connecting with Julian Edelman, Brandon Bolden and Ryan Izzo to bring his total to 527.
Shrugging off four sacks, Brady completed 28 of 42 passes — including a 15-yarder to Edelman in the third quarter to eclipse Favre.
This is the fifth time in franchise history that New England has started the season 5-0, and only the second time since 2007.
at Carolina 34, Jacksonville 27: Christian McCaffrey tied a career high with 237 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns, Brian Burns returned a fumble 56 yards for a touchdown and had a strip-sack in the fourth quarter.
McCaffrey set a franchise record with an 84-yard TD run and scored on a 5-yard run when he somersaulted into the end zone. He also caught an 18-yard TD pass from Kyle Allen before leaving with five minutes remaining after cramping up.
But McCaffrey’s seldom-used replacement Reggie Bonnafon had a 59-yard touchdown run to put Carolina (3-2) up by seven with 3:34 left.
Carolina’s defense thwarted Jacksonville’s final two scoring drives when Burns sacked rookie Gardner Minshew to force a turnover and Luke Kuechly batted down a pass on the game’s final play.
Minshew finished 26 of 45 for 374 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Jaguars (2-3). Leonard Fournette had 23 carries for 108 yards and a score.
Minnesota 28, at New York Giants 10: Kirk Cousins threw two touchdowns to Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook ran for 132 yards and the Vikings made life miserable for Daniel Jones and the Giants in every way possible.
The win came just a week after the Vikings (3-2) did little in a 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears and Thielen insisted the team had to stop being one dimensional on offense, relying solely on the run.
And that’s exactly what Minnesota did. It hit the Giants (2-3) with a bit of everything — pass, run and the defense — in ending the two-game winning streak Jones engineered since replacing Eli Manning at quarterback. The Vikings gained 490 yards on offense and took a knee inside the New York 5 to end the game.
The Vikings defense limited New York to 211 yards, sacked Jones four times and hit him countless other times. The Defense also chipped in with a safety when linebacker Anthony Barr tackled Jon Hilliman in the end zone after New York recovered Cook’s fumble at the 1.
Cousins completed 22 of 27 for a season-high 306 yards and had touchdown passes of 15 and 9 yards to Thielen. The receiver, who complained after a two-catch, 6-yard game against Chicago, finished with seven catches for 130 yards.
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