NFL Week 9: Dolphins get first victory; Steelers, Chiefs, Eagles win
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes, two of them to rookie Preston Williams, and the Miami Dolphins got their first win of the season by beating former coach Adam Gase and the New York Jets 26-18 on Sunday in Miami Gardens.
The Dolphins avoided what would have been the second 0-8 start in franchise history, joining 2007. The win leaves Cincinnati (0-8) as the NFL’s lone winless team this season, and for now the frontrunners to win the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
Fitzpatrick completed 24 of 36 passes for 288 yards, and led the Dolphins to their highest point total of the season. It was also Miami’s fourth straight win over the Jets — the first three of those coming with Gase being the coach on the winning side.
Not this time. The Jets went 11 plays on the first drive of the game for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead, and their highlights were few and far between the rest of the day. The Jets (1-7) actually fell below Miami in the AFC East standings based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
It was the Dolphins’ first win since the “Miami Miracle” over New England last season — which was followed by three straight losses to end 2018, making this a 10-game losing streak in all.
Lamar Jackson slices through the Patriots’ vaunted defense and Tom Brady couldn’t mount a comeback during the Ravens’ 37-20 win.
No miracle was required this time.
New York’s fate was largely sealed with 6:29 left, when a shotgun snap sailed right of quarterback Sam Darnold and wound up bouncing out of the back of the end zone for a safety and a 26-15 Miami lead. The Jets got a field goal with 15 seconds left to close within eight, but Miami recovered the ensuing onside kick and could finally start to celebrate.
at Kansas City 26, Minnesota 23: Harrison Butker matched a career long with a 54-yard field goal to tie the score late in the fourth quarter, then drilled a 44-yarder as time expired to give the Chiefs a thrilling victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The first person to greet Butker in celebration? Patrick Mahomes, the reigning league MVP, who missed his second consecutive game as he recovers from a dislocated kneecap.
Matt Moore started in his place and threw for 275 yards and a touchdown without a pick, and he made the crucial plays when they mattered. Moore hit favorite target Tyreek Hill to convert a crucial third down and set up the tying field goal, then hit him again to make the winner more manageable.
Troy Aikman says there were times during his Dallas Cowboys career when he would have been OK with handing the keys to his backup and resting for the next game.
Hill finished with six catches for 140 yards for the Chiefs (6-3), including a spectacular TD grab, while Damien Williams ran for 125 yards — most of it on a 91-yard touchdown run.
Kirk Cousins threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings (6-3), though he struggled to deal with the Chiefs’ blitzes late in the game. Dalvin Cook was held to 71 yards rushing while top wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a single catch for four yards.
at Oakland 31, Detroit 24: Derek Carr threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie Hunter Renfrow with 2:04 remaining and Karl Joseph broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone with 3 seconds left to give the Raiders the win in their first game back in Oakland in seven weeks.
After surviving an odyssey that forced them to travel about 20,000 miles for four road games and a neutral site game in London, the Raiders (4-4) came back home for the first time since losing to Kansas City on Sept. 15. They put on quite a show for the fans who are hoping the Raiders can put together a successful season before their planned move to Las Vegas next year.
Carr’s clutch pass to Renfrow gave Oakland the win to start the crucial three-game homestand. Carr also connected with rookie Foster Moreau on a 3-yard score opening seconds of the fourth quarter and another rookie, Josh Jacobs, ran for 120 yards and two scores. It was the first time since the merger that the Raiders got four TDs from rookies in a single game.
Matthew Stafford threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns but came up short at the end as the Lions (3-4-1) lost for the fourth time in five games.
at Pittsburgh 26, Indianapolis 24: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 1:14 remaining, helping the Steelers escape with a win. Vinatieri, whose 55-yard kick last week against Denver gave the Colts their third straight victory, pulled his attempt left of the uprights as the Colts (5-3) fell out of first place in the AFC South.
Mason Rudolph threw for 191 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Pittsburgh, and Minkah Fitzpatrick returned an interception 96 yards for a score as the Steelers (4-4) won their third consecutive game. Backup running back Trey Edmunds ran for a career-high 73 yards and Chris Boswell kicked four field goals as Pittsburgh reached the midpoint of the season at .500 despite losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a right elbow injury in Week 2.
The Colts may have quarterback issues of their own after Jacoby Brissett left in the second quarter with a left knee injury. Brian Hoyer came on and threw for three touchdowns in Brissett’s absence and drove Indianapolis to well within field goal range in the final minutes thanks in part to a 40-yard pass interference penalty against Pittsburgh’s Steven Nelson.
The Chargers put in a strong defensive performance, shutting down Aaron Rodgers for most of the game to secure a critical 26-11 win over the Packers.
at Philadelphia 22, Chicago 14: Carson Wentz threw for 239 yards and one touchdown, Jordan Howard ran for 82 yards and a score as the Eagles hung on for the win. The Bears had just 9 yards in the first half and trailed 19-0 before David Montgomery had a pair of 1-yard TD runs to make it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter.
But Philadelphia put it away with 16-play, 69-yard drive capped by Jake Elliott’s 38-yard field goal. Wentz completed all four of his third-down passes on the drive for first downs.
The Eagles (5-4) have won two in a row after a pair of lopsided losses. The Bears (3-5) have lost four straight.
at Carolina 30, Tennessee 20: Christian McCaffrey had 166 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns, and thea Panthers bounced back from an embarrassing defeat with the win over the Titans.
Most of the eight first-year coaches have had their difficulties this season, except for the Packers’ Matt LaFleu,r who has had a franchise best 7-1 start.
Kyle Allen, who threw three interceptions in last week’s 51-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, threw TD passes of 7 yards to McCaffrey and 12 yards to Curtis Samuel to improve to 5-1 this season as Carolina’s starting QB.
The Carolina (5-3) defense forced three turnovers and sacked Ryan Tannehill four times one week after allowing the 49ers to run for 232 yards and four touchdowns.
at Buffalo 24, Washington 9: Rookie Devin Singletary had 95 yards rushing, including a 2-yard touchdown, and the Bills (6-2) are off to their best start since 1993. Josh Allen had a touchdown pass and scored on a 1-yard plunge for the Bills, who improved to 6-2 — a record built on victories over some of the NFL’s worst teams.
The Bills’ wins have come against teams that entered this weekend with a combined record of 7-31. And their latest came against a team that’s already fired its coach and was down to its third quarterback, with rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins making his first career start. Washington (1-8) matched its worst start since 1998.
at Seattle 40, Tampa Bay 34: Russell Wilson hit Jacob Hollister on a 10-yard touchdown on the opening possession of overtime, and the Seahawks rallied to victory.
Wilson continued his brilliant season, tying his career high with five touchdown passes as Seattle (7-2) overcame Jason Myers’ missed 40-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of regulation and never gave Tampa Bay a chance in the extra session. Wilson was 5 of 8 for 70 yards in overtime, capping the winning drive by hitting the reserve tight end across the middle for his second touchdown of the game.
Wilson finished 29 of 43 for 378 yards. It was his third career game with five TD passes and capped Seattle’s wild second half after trailing 21-7 midway through the second quarter.
Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston was nearly Wilson’s equal throwing for 335 yards and two touchdowns. Winston led Tampa Bay (2-6) to a tying score in the final minute of regulation on Dare Ogunbowale’s 1-yard run, but never got his hands on the ball in overtime.
Houston 26, Jacksonville 3 (in London): Deshaun Watson’s most impressive throw went backward — a flip under pressure to running back Carlos Hyde, whose 7-yard gain set up the Texans’ first TD in a runaway victory.
The rugby-style pitch was spot-on perfect for a game in London, where the locals are still recovering from England’s 20-point loss in the World Cup final on Saturday, and now must deal with the added insult of watching their adopted home team, the Jaguars (4-5), getting hammered just as badly.
Hyde finished with 19 carries for 160 yards for the Texans (6-3), including a 58-yard run that looked headed for a touchdown until Jags safety Jarrod Wilson stripped the ball at the 2. Watson, meanwhile, finished 22 for 28 for 201 yards and a pair of 1-yard touchdown throws, along with 37 yards running.
at Denver 24, Cleveland 19: Fourth-year quarterback Brandon Allen sparked Denver’s stagnant offense, throwing for two touchdowns in his first career NFL start and leading the Broncos past the stumbling Browns.
In his first start in 1,402 days, Allen threw a 21-yard pass to Courtland Sutton and a 75-yarder to rookie tight end Noah Fant , and Phillip Lindsay ran nine times for 92 yards and a touchdown.
The Broncos (3-6) didn’t truncate the playbook with Joe Flacco (neck) on injured reserve, and Allen threw for 193 yards on 12-of-20 passing.
Allen, who was claimed off waivers from the Rams two months ago, added a wrinkle to an offense that Flacco criticized as too conservative last week by running twice for 16 yards. Denver hasn’t seen much mobility in the pocket from its quarterbacks since Tim Tebow’s tenure.
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