Jacoby Brissett threw a career-high four touchdown passes Sunday and the Indianapolis Colts sealed a 30-23 victory over the Houston Texans with Darius Leonard’s late interception.
Indy (4-2) has won three straight in the series and took over the early season lead in the AFC South.
The loss snapped Houston’s two-game winning streak.
Brissett was masterful most of the day. He was 26 of 39 with 326 yards, and in a game the Colts only produced 62 yards rushing, they needed Brissett to be at his best — and he was.
“It just says he’s legit, he’s the man,” coach Frank Reich said of Brissett. ”We believed that from Day One and we’ve never wavered in our conviction in our faith in Jacoby. But he knows he’s still got to prove it. He’s still got to make plays to win this game and he did that today.”
Brissett opened the scoring with an 11-yard TD pass to Zach Pascal on Indy’s first series.
The Texans (4-3) answered with two field goals, the second coming after Deshaun Watson appeared to find DeAndre Hopkins for a touchdown pass with Justin Houston draped around Watson’s legs. But the officials ruled Watson was in the grasp, nullifying the subsequent throw.
“I’m not going to answer any officiating questions,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said twice after the Texans were called for 10 penalties.
Brissett, who set up the Texans’ second score with a fumble deep in Colts territory, then threw a nifty 2-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton with 1:49 left in the half.
That gave Houston just enough time to drive for another short field goal to make it 14-9. But, Indy re-established the two-score lead when a replay review reversed the call on the field of an incomplete pass to give Brissett a 4-yard TD toss to Eric Ebron.
Houston finally got in the end zone when Keke Coutee scored on a 4-yard run that caught the Colts off guard.
But Brissett took advantage of three defensive penalties on the series before capitalizing with a 3-yard TD pass to Pascal that made it 28-16 with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
at Dallas 37, Philadelphia 10: Ezekiel Elliott ran over safety Malcolm Jenkins on his way to 111 yards and a touchdown, Dak Prescott threw an easy scoring pass on a great fake to his star running back before a TD run and the Cowboys rolled to victory.
The Cowboys (4-3) won with the NFC East lead on the line while ending a three-game losing streak that followed their 3-0 start and clouded high expectations for the defending division champs.
Carson Wentz threw an interception and had two of Philadelphia’s three lost fumbles. The Eagles (3-4) dropped their second straight game after a two-game winning streak that looked like it might get their season going.
Brett Maher finished the highest-scoring half against Doug Pederson since he became coach of the Eagles in 2016, kicking a 63-yarder on the final play before halftime for a 27-7 lead.
Maher, the only kicker in NFL history with multiple field goals of at least 62 yards, now has three after kicking a 62-yarder last week against the New York Jets. His other from 62 was against the Eagles last season, his first in the league.
Prescott’s 8-yard scoring run was the 21st of his career, breaking Roger Staubach’s record of 20 rushing TDs by a quarterback.
New Orleans 36, at Chicago 25: Teddy Bridgewater threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and New Orleans improved to 5-0 without injured starter Drew Brees with a victory over Chicago.
The Saints (6-1) again showed why they still see themselves as Super Bowl contenders even though their star quarterback is out indefinitely because of a torn ligament in his right thumb.
Bridgewater completed 23 of 38 passes, Michael Thomas had nine receptions for 131 yards, and Latavius Murray ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
Besides Brees, New Orleans had to get by without top running back Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee) and top receiving tight end Jared Cook (ankle). Both players were ruled out Friday, but that didn’t stop the NFC South leaders from taking down the Monsters of the Midway.
The Bears (3-3) lost their second straight, with Mitchell Trubisky struggling after missing a game because of a shoulder injury.
Baltimore 30, at Seattle 16: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for 116 yards and a touchdown, made key throws when necessary and led the Ravens to an impressive win over Seattle.
Jackson was the best player on the field, outshining Seattle QB Russell Wilson on a day the Seahawks star finally made his first critical mistake of the season. Jackson was especially good in the second half, when he led Baltimore on a pair of crucial scoring drives.
Earl Thomas made his return to Seattle after nine seasons of playing for the Seahawks, but aside from some occasional barking at the sideline of his former team and running off the field twirling Wilson’s jersey over his head after the victory, the former All-Pro safety ceded the spotlight to Jackson.
The second-year quarterback ran for an 8-yard touchdown late in the third quarter on fourth-and-2 to give the Ravens (5-2) the lead. On their next possession and backed up deep in their own end, Jackson made a series of highlight plays to drive Baltimore into scoring position for Justin Tucker’s fourth field goal and a 10-point lead with 3:47 left.
Wilson was nearly flawless for the first six games but struggled to find open receivers against Baltimore’s physical secondary. Seattle (5-2) was leading 10-6 and driving when Wilson made the mistake of double-clutching and trying to throw late into the flat. Marcus Peters, traded to Baltimore less than a week ago, made a quick break on the throw, stepped in front of Jaron Brown and outraced Wilson for his fifth career interception return touchdown, the most of any player since Peters entered the league in 2015.
Minnesota 42, at Detroit 30: Kirk Cousins matched a career high with four touchdown passes, leading the surging Vikings to a win over the slumping Lions.
The Vikings (5-2) have won three consecutive games in part because their quarterback is making plays to complement one of the NFL’s top defenses.
Matthew Stafford also threw four touchdown passes, all to Marvin Jones, and became the fastest to reach 40,000 yards passing in NFL history. And Jones became the first Lions player in the Super Bowl era with four receiving TDs in a game.
The Lions (2-3-1) dropped their third straight game after a 2-0-1 start and they probably can’t complain too much about officiating in their latest setback. The Lions had some critical penalty calls go against them in a 23-22 loss to Green Bay on Monday night.
San Francisco 9, at Washington 0: Robbie Gould made field goals from 28, 22 and 29 yards to provide the only points in an ugly win by the 49ers over the Redskins in steady rain and driving wind to remain undefeated.
It wasn’t pretty, but San Francisco is 6-0 for the third time in franchise history, and first since 1990. That 49ers team finished 14-2.
Coach Kyle Shanahan’s bunch didn’t look like an unbeaten powerhouse in horrific conditions that made life difficult on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the entire offense. Garoppolo bounced back from a dreadful first half to finish a passable 12 of 21 for 151 yards passing.
San Francisco’s defense continued its dominant run after holding the Los Angeles Rams to seven points last week and the Cleveland Browns to three before that. It’s the Niners’ first shutout since Week 1 of the 2016 season.
The weather seemed a perfect fit for interim Redskins coach Bill Callahan’s run-first, run-second and run-third mentality. Washington (1-6) started the game with 10 rushing plays and Adrian Peterson ran for 81 yards on 20 carries, but they were shut out for the first time this season.
at Buffalo, 31, Miami 21: Tre’Davious White forced two second-half turnovers, Micah Hyde returned an onside kick for a touchdown, and the Bills rallied from a five-point deficit to beat the winless Dolphins.
The Bills, who began the day favored by 17 points, avoided what would have been a major upset against a patchwork Dolphins opponent in a major rebuilding mode.
Josh Allen led fourth-quarter touchdown drives following each of the Dolphins turnovers, and the Bills improved to 5-1 in matching their best start to a season in 11 years.
White’s diving interception at the 2 of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass on second-and-goal from the 12 led to Buffalo going ahead 17-14 on John Brown’s 20-yard touchdown catch that capped a 12-play, 98-yard drive.
Arizona 27, at New York Giants 21: Chase Edmonds rushed for career highs of 126 yards and three touchdowns, overshadowing the return of Giants star running back Saquon Barkley in the Cardinals’ victory.
The game was billed as a matchup of rookie quarterbacks Kyler Murray of the Cardinals (3-3-1) and Daniel Jones of the Giants (2-5), and both gave glimpses why they were the first and sixth overall choices in the draft, respectively.
But, Edmonds stole the show, scoring on runs of 20, 20 and 22 yards. The Cardinals defense also got four sacks and a forced fumble from Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks had an interception and Patrick Peterson had a sack and forced fumble to seal the Cardinals’ third straight win. It’s the first time Arizona has won three consecutive games since 2015.
Murray finished 14 of 21 for 104 yards with no interceptions. Zane Gonzalez kicked field goal of 47 and 35, the last coming after the forced fumble by Peterson, who was playing in his first game after a six-game suspension for using performance enhancers.
Jacksonville 27, at Cincinnati 17: Gardner Minshew led a fourth-quarter touchdown drive and Yannick Ngakoue returned an interception 23 yards to clinch a victory over the winless Bengals.
The Jaguars (3-4) managed only field goals by still-perfect Josh Lambo until their rookie quarterback and their depleted defense made game-turning plays at the end.
The win capped a week in which the Jaguars traded disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Rams for three draft picks. Their defense picked off Andy Dalton three times in the fourth quarter to put it away.
The wait goes on for first-year Bengals coach Zac Taylor, whose team fell to 0-7 for the first time in 11 years.