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NFL Week 2 roundup: Greg Zuerlein delivers for Cowboys in comeback over Falcons

Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein celebrates with teammates Chris Jones and Blake Bell after kicking the winning field goal
Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) celebrates with teammates Chris Jones, center, and Blake Bell (80) after kicking the winning field goal in a comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
(Ron Jenkins / Associated Press)

Greg Zuerlein kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and the Dallas Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 in coach Mike McCarthy’s home debut Sunday.

The Falcons were still up 12 in the fourth quarter when Dak Prescott became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards and rush for three touchdowns in the same game, getting the Cowboys (1-1) within two.

C.J. Goodwin recovered the onside kick with 1:48 remaining, and rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb’s 24-yard catch got the Cowboys in field goal position so they could run down the clock.

Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes, two off lost fumbles from the Cowboys, on the way to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. But the Falcons couldn’t avoid their first 0-2 start under coach Dan Quinn in a performance reminiscent of their blown 28-3 lead in a Super Bowl loss to New England in Houston.

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The successful onside kick for Dallas came after two failed fake punts and a gamble from McCarthy in going for the 2-point conversion before the final touchdown the Cowboys would have needed to get even.

The Cowboys were down two after the third short touchdown run from Prescott, who threw for 450 yards and a score. It was Prescott’s first game with multiple rushing touchdowns. He’s the franchise leader for quarterbacks in that category.

Quarterback Jared Goff and tight end Tyler Higbee pair up for three touchdowns in the Rams’ 37-19 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

After the Falcons drove 56 yards in the final two minutes of the first half for a field goal and a 29-10 lead, the limited crowd of 21,708 booed the Cowboys as they headed for the tunnel in one of the corners of the end zone.

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Normally, both teams enter and exit the field from behind the benches, but those areas and the rest of the field-level suites were covered by tarps. The announced crowd was 27% of AT&T Stadium’s 80,000-seat capacity.

Seahawks 35, Patriots 30

SEATTLE — Cam Newton was stopped at the 1-yard line on the final play and Seattle held off New England.

Newton led New England 80 yards in the closing moments, trying to spoil the performance of Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who matched his career high with five touchdown passes.

Newton and the Patriots (1-1) reached the 1 on a pass to N’Keal Harry with 3 seconds left. On the final play, Newton tried to run power to the left, but was upended by L.J. Collier in the biggest play of his young career. Newton, who had two rushing touchdowns in the game, never got close to the goal line and Seattle’s sideline erupted in celebration.

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Newton was excellent in his first road game with the Patriots throwing for 397 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He ran for another 47 yards, but couldn’t get the last three feet to give New England a victory.

Wilson was masterful on the other side, completing 21 of 28 passes for 288 yards. It was his fourth career game with five touchdown passes. Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore, Freddie Swain and Chris Carson all took turns celebrating in the end zone. Carson was the last, running under a 18-yard rainbow toss from Wilson against the blitz with 4:32 left to give the Seahawks (2-0) a 35-23 lead.

But Newton wasn’t done. His second TD run pulled New England to 35-30 with 2:16 left. It was his eighth career game with at least two rushing TDs, setting an NFL record.

Buccaneers 31, Panthers 17

TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady got his first win with Tampa Bay, throwing for 217 yards, one touchdown and an interception in a victory over Carolina.

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With another recent acquisition, Leonard Fournette, rushing for 103 yards and two TDs, Brady rebounded from a less-than-stellar debut for his new team to avoid starting a season with consecutive losses for the first time in a 21-year career.

The six-time Super Bowl champion also bounced back in Week 2 after dropping openers with the New England Patriots in 2003, 2014 and 2017.

Brady tossed a 23-yard TD pass to Mike Evans in the first quarter. Fournette scored on runs of 1 and 46 yards, the latter coming after Carolina rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit to pull within 24-17 on a pair of TD runs by Christian McCaffrey and Joey Slye’s 23-yard field goal with 1:57 remaining.

With Tyrod Taylor sitting because of a chest injury, rookie Justin Herbert shines in his first start as the Chargers lose to the Chiefs, 23-20, in overtime.

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Brady completed 23 of 35 passes, and Evans finished with seven receptions for 104 yards for the Bucs (1-1). Fournette averaged 8.6 yards per carry on 12 rushing attempts.

Teddy Bridgewater was 33 of 42 for 367 yards and two interceptions for the Panthers (0-2), who had four turnovers.

Steelers 26, Broncos 21

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger threw for 311 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and Pittsburgh fended off a spirited comeback by Denver.

The Steelers (2-0) knocked out Denver starting quarterback Drew Lock in the first quarter with a right shoulder injury. They didn’t secure the win until safety Terrell Edmunds sacked Broncos backup Jeff Driskel on fourth-and-2 with less than two minutes to go.

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Driskel completed 18 of 34 for 256 yards with two touchdowns and a pick, and absorbed a serious pounding at the hands of Pittsburgh’s defense. The Steelers had seven sacks in all — six of them on Driskel — and were credited with 19 quarterback hits.

Still, Denver (0-2) had a chance when Driskel hit Noah Fant for a 22-yard gain that gave the Broncos a first down at the Pittsburgh 23. Three plays gained 8 yards. Facing a potentially staggering upset, the Steelers escaped when Edmunds raced in untouched to drop Driskel. A 59-yard sprint by Pittsburgh’s James Conner allowed the Steelers to run out the clock.

Titans 33, Jaguars 30

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 49-yard field goal with 1:36 left, and Tennessee remains undefeated after holding off Jacksonville.

Gostkowski, who hit the left upright on an extra point, also made a 51-yarder at the end of the first half after an ugly performance in the opener. Jeffery Simmons batted a pass by Gardner Minshew, and Harold Landry III grabbed the ball out of the air with 47 seconds left to seal the victory.

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With Tyrod Taylor sitting because of a chest injury, rookie Justin Herbert shines in his first start as the Chargers lose to the Chiefs, 23-20, in overtime.

This is the Titans’ first 2-0 start since 2008, the most recent season this franchise won the AFC South. They also won their seventh straight against divisional rival Jacksonville in Nashville after nearly blowing a 24-10 halftime lead.

Ryan Tannehill threw for 239 yards and four touchdowns. The Titans (2-0) sacked Minshew twice and picked him off twice.

Minshew finished throwing for 339 yards and three TDs, his final two coming in the fourth quarter as he tried to rally the Jaguars (1-1). His final TD pass, a 14-yarder to Chris Thompson, tied it up at 30 with 7:25 left as the Jaguars tried to snap their Music City skid.

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The Jaguars outgained Tennessee 480-354, but they wouldn’t score again.

Colts 28, Vikings 11

INDIANANPOLIS — Jonathan Taylor looked right at home in his first NFL start. The 21-year-old running back rushed 26 times for 101 yards and scored a touchdown in his first NFL start, leading Indianapolis to victory.

Taylor celebrated his first win inside Lucas Oil Stadium, after losing three Big Ten championship games in the stadium, in front of about 2,500 fans. He became the first Colts’ rookie in eight years to top the 100-yard mark, and it helped Philip Rivers win his first game with Indy (1-1).

Taylor wasn’t Indy’s only impressive rookie. Michael Pittman Jr. caught four passes for 37 yards, Julian Blackmon tipped the ball to Khari Willis for an interception and Rodrigo Blankenship made all four of his field-goal attempts.

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The Colts had a nearly 17-minute edge in time of possession, too, as they improved to 12-0 all-time against the Vikings in home games. It was that kind of day for Minnesota, which is 0-2 for the first time since 2013 and has lost five of its past six games including last season’s playoff loss.

Bears 17, Giants 13

CHICAGO — Mitchell Trubisky threw two touchdown passes and Chicago hung on to beat New York,

The Bears (2-0) grabbed a 17-0 halftime lead and withstood a big push a week after rallying from 17 down at Detroit for their first season-opening win in seven years.

The Giants (0-2) refused to go quietly even though they lost star running back Saquon Barkley to a right knee injury on the opening play of the second quarter.

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New York’s Dion Lewis made it a seven-point game when he plowed in from the 1 in the opening minute of the fourth.

James Bradbury then intercepted Trubisky when he ripped the ball out of Allen Robinson’s hands, leading to a 37-yard field goal by Graham Gano that cut it to 17-13 with 7:43 remaining.

Packers 42, Lions 21

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Jones rushed for a career-high 168 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 75-yard breakaway, as Green Bay rallied from an early 11-point deficit to beat Detroit.

Jones also had a team-high 68 yards receiving on four catches as the Packers (2-0) won their home opener for an eighth consecutive year. Jones had a 14-yard touchdown run and a 7-yard touchdown catch to go along with his 75-yarder.

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Aaron Rodgers was 18 of 30 for 240 yards with touchdown passes to Jones and Robert Tonyan.

One week after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Lions (0-2) allowed an 11-point advantage to vanish by halftime as they fell for the 11th consecutive time.

Green Bay took the lead for good 17-14 on Rodgers’ 11-yard pass to Tonyan with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Jones then raced through a hole on the right side and scored on the Packers’ first play from scrimmage in the second half.

49ers 31, Jets 13

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Raheem Mostert ran for an 80-yard touchdown on San Francisco’s first play from scrimmage and Jimmy Garoppolo threw two TD passes — before both players sat out the second half with injuries — and the banged-up 49ers rolled past inept New York.

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It was a costly victory for San Francisco, which was already short-handed before losing Garoppolo to an ankle injury and Mostert to an injured knee. Defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas were both carted off the field two plays apart with left knee injuries in the first quarter.

The 49ers (1-1) also came in without star tight end George Kittle (knee), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (foot), cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) and defensive end Dee Ford (neck).

It didn’t matter against the Jets (0-2), who have also been hit hard by injuries and couldn’t muster much. Now, the defending NFC champions head into Week 3 with some serious concern for key players.

Bills 31, Dolphins 28

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla — Josh Allen threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs, and Buffalo beat AFC East rival Miami for the fourth consecutive time.

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Allen reached a career high in yards passing for the second week in a row, and became the first Buffalo quarterback to have back-to-back 300-yard games since Drew Bledsoe in 2002.

Trailing 20-17, the Bills (2-0) reclaimed the lead with 5:55 left on a 6-yard pass from Allen to rookie Gabriel Davis, who made a diving catch in the end zone. Allen’s 46-yard pass to John Brown stretched the lead to 31-20 with 3:09 left. The Bills totaled 524 yards, with 342 in the first half, the most by the team since 2000.

The Dolphins (0-2) closed to 31-28 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Mike Gesicki and a successful 2-point conversion with 49 seconds left.

Ravens 33, Texans 16

HOUSTON — Lamar Jackson threw a touchdown pass, Mark Ingram ran for a TD and the Ravens added a score on defense.

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The victory is Baltimore’s 14th straight in the regular season, the longest streak in the NFL since since Carolina won 18 in a row in 2014-15.

The Ravens (2-0) were up by 10 early in the fourth quarter when Ingram took a direct snap on fourth-and-1 and dashed 30 yards to make it 30-13. Ingram punched and roundhouse-kicked a picture of Houston’s mascot on the wall in the end zone to celebrate the score that was the knockout blow.

The Ravens built a 20-10 halftime lead with the help of a fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter by L.J. Fort.

Deshaun Watson threw for 275 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception and was sacked four times and hit 13 other times for the Texans (0-2), who played their home opener without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cardinals 30, Washington 15

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kyler Murray threw for 286 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores.

The Cardinals were dominant in their push to a 2-0 record, jumping to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. They led 20-0 by halftime and 20-3 following the third. DeAndre Hopkins caught eight passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Zane Gonzalez made three field goals.

Murray alleviated any doubt about who would win early in the fourth quarter, when he darted through the middle of the field — dancing right past safety Troy Apke in the process — for a 21-yard touchdown that pushed Arizona’s advantage to 27-3.

Washington (1-1) finally scored a touchdown with 12:20 left in the fourth quarter when Dwayne Haskins hit Terry McLaurin for a 24-yard score. It scored again with 6:38 left when Antonio Gibson ran for an 11-yard touchdown to pull within 27-15 after the 2-point conversion failed.


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