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NFL roundup: Ben Roethlisberger and Steelers remain perfect

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) takes a snap against the Tennessee Titans.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger takes a snap during Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans.
(Wade Payne / Associated Press)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to Diontae Johnson, and the Pittsburgh Steelers remained perfect by holding off Tennessee for a 27-24 victory Sunday in a game originally postponed when the Titans came down with the NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak of the season.

In a matchup of the AFC’s two remaining undefeated teams, the Titans rallied from 17 down. They failed to complete the comeback when Stephen Gostkowski, who made a 51-yarder earlier, missed from 45 yards wide right with 14 seconds left that sent the Steelers running around the field in celebration and the Titans (5-1) stunned.

The Steelers improved to 6-0 for their best start since 1978, when Pittsburgh won its first seven on the way to the Super Bowl. This was just the fifth time undefeated teams had met in Week 7 or later, and the winner of the previous four all made the Super Bowl.

Benny Snell Jr. added a 1-yard TD run, and Ray-Ray McCloud set up a touchdown with a 57-yard punt return. Pittsburgh scored at least 26 points for a sixth straight game to tie a stretch in 2015 for the longest in franchise history.

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When the Rams take on the Chicago Bears on Monday night, it’ll be a reunion for defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and the Bears’ defense.

The Steelers were without cornerback Mike Hilton, one of their best blitzers, not that the NFL’s No. 2 defense in both yards and points allowed missed him. Pittsburgh outgained Tennessee 362-292 and held the NFL’s second-best scoring offense under 31 points for the first time since the opening week of the season.

But the Titans had won four of their first five by rallying in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime, and they scored 17 straight to pull to 27-24.

Ryan Tannehill hit A.J. Brown on a short pass that the receiver took to the end zone for a 73-yard TD. Jayon Brown picked off a batted pass, setting up Gostkowski’s field goal. Derrick Henry capped the 12-play drive with a 1-yard TD with 10:13 left.

The Titans had the final chance after Amani Hooker intercepted Roethlisberger in the back of the end zone with 2:35 left. It was Roethlisberger’s third of the game, which Tennessee turned into only a field goal.

2

Cardinals 37, Seahawks 34 OT

Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez celebrates his game-winning field goal.
Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) celebrates his game-winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in overtime on Sunday.
(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Zane Gonzalez made a 48-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in overtime to give Arizona a victory over Seattle in a thriller that featured 1,091 total yards, huge plays, crucial mistakes and — finally — a winner.

Seattle led all of regulation until Gonzalez made a 44-yard field goal as time expired to tie it at 34.

And that’s when the crazy really got started.

The Cardinals stopped the Seahawks opening drive in overtime and then quickly moved downfield. On second-and-15, Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury elected to go ahead and try for the field goal. Gonzalez made the 41-yarder, but Kingsbury called a timeout just before the snap because the play clock was winding down. Gonzalez missed wide left on the next attempt.

Moments later, it appeared Seattle had won on the ensuing drive when DK Metcalf caught a 48-yard touchdown pass, but the play was called back because of holding on receiver David Moore. Wilson threw an interception on the next play that was picked off by rookie Isaiah Simmons.

That gave Gonzalez the chance for redemption. He nailed the winner to knock off the previously undefeated Seahawks and set off a raucous celebration at midfield.

Arizona’s Kyler Murray threw for 360 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Seattle’s Russell Wilson completed 33 of 50 passes for 388 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Carlos Hyde had a 24-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Tyler Lockett caught three touchdowns passes and had a career-high 200 yards receiving on 15 catches.

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Saints 27, Panthers 24

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees reacts after scoring a touchdown.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
(Brett Duke / Associated Press)

NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns without two top receivers and the Saints quarterback rushed for another score to lead New Orleans to victory.

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The Panthers had driven across midfield in the final minutes when Marcus Davenport’s sack of Teddy Bridgewater led coach Matt Rhule to send out kicker Joey Slye for a 65-yard field goal on fourth-and-19. The kick fell just short of the crossbar and the Saints (4-2) were able to run out the final 1:55 while the Panthers (3-4) dropped their second straight game.

Brees completed 29 of 36 passes to eight targets despite not having receivers Michael Thomas (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) in the lineup. His decision making and accuracy also helped New Orleans convert 12 of 14 third downs.

On their only two third-down failures, Wil Lutz came through with field goals of 41 and 43 yards.

Brees’ touchdown passes went or 4 yards to Jared Cook, who completed the catch after bobbling the ball in tight coverage, and 4 yards to Deonte Harris 2 seconds before hafltime.

Alvin Kamara gained 148 yards from scrimmage, with 83 coming on 14 rushes.

4

Lions 23, Falcons 22

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson celebrates with quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson, top, celebrates with quarterback Matthew Stafford after scoring the winning touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
(Danny Karnik / Associated Press)

ATLANTA — Matthew Stafford connected with T.J. Hockenson on an 11-yard touchdown pass as time expired and Matt Prater booted a 48-yard extra point to give Detroit an improbable victory.

The Lions (3-3) won their second in a row — their first winning streak since early in the 2019 season.

Trailing 16-14, the Falcons (1-6) were positioned to run down the clock and kick a chip-shot field goal for the win when they picked up a first down at the Lions 10 with just over a minute remaining.

Knowing their only chance was to allow a quick TD, the Lions made no attempt to stop Todd Gurley after he took a handoff from Matt Ryan. Gurley realized what the Lions were doing — but too late. He started to fall but landed on the goal line with 1:04 remaining.

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The Falcons converted a 2-point conversion to make it 22-16, but the Lions still had a chance against a team that had already become the first in NFL history to lose two straight games when leading by at least 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Stafford drove his team 75 yards in eight plays to the Falcons 11. The Lions ran down the field and spiked the ball with 3 seconds left, only to have the replay booth official decide to take a look at Kenny Golladay’s catch to make sure he didn’t trap the ball.

After the catch was upheld, the Lions lined up quickly and spiked the ball with 2 seconds to go, setting up the final play. Stafford was pressured in the pocket, rolled to his left and spotted Hockenson breaking free across the end zone.

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Packers 35, Texans 20

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass against the Houston Texans on Sunday.
(Sam Craft / Associated Press)

HOUSTON — Aaron Rodgers threw for 283 yards and four touchdowns and Green Bay rebounded from its first loss with a win.

Rodgers played a near-flawless game and tied his season high for TD passes. The performance came after he threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown, with no TDs in a 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay last week.

Despite being without leading rusher Aaron Jones and left tackle David Bakhtiari, Green Bay (5-1) had no such trouble handling the woeful Texans (1-6) on Sunday as the Packers built a 21-0 lead by halftime.

Green Bay’s strong day on offense was aided by a career-high 196 yards receiving by Davante Adams, who had touchdown receptions of 3 and 45 yards.

Green Bay made it 35-13 when Jamaal Williams scored on a 1-yard run with about four minutes to go.

6

Browns 37, Bengals 34

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield throws during Sunday's win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
(Bryan Woolston / Associated Press)

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CINCINNATI — Baker Mayfield overcame a terrible start to throw for five touchdowns, including a 24-yard go-ahead score to Donovan Peoples-Jones with 15 seconds left, and Cleveland outdueled Cincinnati.

Nursing sore ribs, Mayfield started 0 for 5 — including an interception on his first attempt of the game. He then completed the next 22 of 23 passes. The last was the leaping grab by People-Jones to win it for the Browns (5-2).

Cincinnati rookie Joe Burrow played another terrific game, but again it wasn’t enough. He hit 35 of 47 passes for a season-high 406 yards and three touchdowns, including a 3-yard scoring pass to Giovani Bernard on fourth-and-1 to give the Bengals a 34-31 lead with 1:06 left.

But the Bengals’ defense couldn’t stop Mayfield, who was roundly criticized after a poor performance in Cleveland’s loss to Pittsburgh last week, and Browns receivers who made some great catches as they worked down the field.

Mayfield was 22 for 28 for 297 yards. Rashard Higgins had six catches for 110 yards, and tight end Harrison Bryant had two touchdown catches.

7

Washington 25, Cowboys 3

Washington quarterback Kyle Allen looks to pass against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
(Al Drago / Associated Press)

LANDOVER, Md. — Washington’s defense finally clamped down on a struggling opponent, piling up six sacks, an interception and a forced fumble that became a safety in a blowout that snapped a five-game skid.

Montez Sweat led Washington (2-5) with 2 1/2 sacks, Cole Holcomb had one to go along with a red zone interception and Landon Collins knocked the ball out of Andy Dalton’s hands for an early safety before leaving with an ankle injury. Dalton was under siege all day behind a patchwork offensive line before being knocked out of the game in the third quarter on a shoulder-to-head hit from Jon Bostic, who was ejected.

Dalton was 9 of 19 for 75 yards before being injured and walking off under his own power to undergo concussion evaluation.

Washington allowed 142 total yards to win a game by double digits for the first time since November 2018.

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Dallas (2-5) lost back-to-back games after Washington held Ezekiel Elliott to 45 yards rushing on 12 carries and rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb dropped a handful of passes thrown his way.

8

Bills 18, Jets 10

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen looks to throw in Sunday's win over the New York Jets.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Josh Allen and the Bills were held out of the end zone for the first time this season, but Tyler Bass tied a franchise record with six field goals to help Buffalo snap a two-game skid over winless New York.

It was the third game in 13 days for the Bills (5-2), who lost to Tennessee and Kansas City before their ugly win against the league-worst Jets (0-7).

The Bills fell behind 10-0 early and looked sluggish for most of the game, and the victory marked their first without getting a touchdown since they beat Washington 17-16 in 2007 on five field goals by Rian Lindell and a safety.

It was also the first time the Jets lost without giving up a touchdown since a 9-6 loss to the Rams in 2016, which was Jeff Fisher’s last win as an NFL head coach.

Bass kicked a 40-yarder with 1:56 left after also making kicks of 53, 48, 46, 37 and 29 yards. He also missed from 45 and 37 yards, but made enough to tie Steve Christie’s team mark set against New York in 1996.

9

Buccaneers 45, Raiders 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady looks to throw against the Las Vegas Raiders.
(David Becker / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes to move past Drew Brees for the most in NFL history and ran for another to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski in the second quarter and on a perfectly placed 33-yarder to Scotty Miller later in the first half. He then helped seal the game with the throw to Chris Godwin that put the Bucs (5-2) up 31-20 over the Raiders (3-3) midway through the fourth quarter.

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Brady added a fourth to rookie Tyler Johnson with 3:08 to play to give him 559 in his career, passing Brees for the most ever. Brees threw two earlier in the day for New Orleans.

The 4-yard pass to Godwin was part of a key stretch when it appeared the Raiders were in position for a comeback after cutting the deficit to 24-17 on Derek Carr’s second touchdown pass of the game.

The Raiders then got a stop and were driving for the potential tying score before coming up 1 yard short of a first down on a third-and-4 pass to Darren Waller. Coach Jon Gruden opted for a field goal to make it 24-20.

Brady then engineered another TD drive to make it an 11-point game and the Bucs put it away when Carr threw an interception on Las Vegas’ next play to set up Ronald Jones’ 1-yard run.

Brady finished 33 for 45 for 369 yards, while also running for Tampa Bay’s first score on a 1-yard sneak in the first quarter.

Carr went 24 for 36 for 284 yards, two TDs and one interception as the Raiders were unable to build on a big win at Kansas City before the bye.

10

49ers 33, Patriots 6

San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. runs in front of New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. runs in front of New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones on his way to a touchdown.
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed for a career-high three touchdowns and 112 yards before leaving with an ankle injury and the San Francisco 49ers dominated the New England Patriots on Sunday.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finished 20 of 25 for 277 yards with two interceptions in his first game against his former team. San Francisco (4-3) has followed back-to-back losses with two wins and is 3-0 on the road.

The Patriots’ 27-point loss was their largest at home under Bill Belichick, according to Elias Sports Bureau. They had gone 286 games without a three-game losing streak, the longest span between three-game slides in NFL history. New England fell to 2-4 for the first time since coach Belichick’s first season in 2000, when the Patriots went 5-11.

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New England was outgained 467-241 in total yards.

San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk had six catches for 115 yards and Deebo Samuel had five catches for 65 yards before leaving the game with a hamstring injury.

Patriots quarterback Cam Newton struggled throughout, completing 9 of 15 passes for 98 yards and three interceptions before being replaced by Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter. Stidham was 6 of 10 for 64 yards and an interception.

Newton was out of sync from the outset, making poor reads and poorer throws. But Garoppolo was successful in spreading out New England’s defense with a steady diet of passes behind the line scrimmage and jet sweeps to get the ball in the hands of Wilson, Samuel and George Kittle.

San Francisco dominated the first half, taking a 23-3 lead, holding the ball for 22:30, and racking up a 301-59 advantage in total yards. The Patriots also managed just four first downs to the 49ers’ 18.

11

Chiefs 43, Broncos 10

Denver Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler falls as Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu intercepts a pass.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

DENVER — The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t need the usual heroics from Patrick Mahomes to rout the Denver Broncos for their 10th straight win over their AFC West rivals.

The Chiefs (6-1) found other ways to dominate Denver (2-4) on a snowy afternoon that began with a temperature of 14 degrees at kickoff.

Kansas City took a 24-9 halftime lead even though Mahomes completed just one pass in the second quarter, a 5-yarder, and had just 99 yards through the air in the first half.

Mahomes finally extended his NFL-leading streak to 17 consecutive games with a touchdown throw when he hit Tyreek Hill from 10 yards with 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

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That made it 37-9 and compelled Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb to blow up at his teammates on the sideline.

Mahomes’ touchdown throw to Hill followed the Chiefs’ fourth takeaway, an interception by Tyrann Mathieu when rookie KJ Hamler let Drew Lock’s pass bounce off him and right into the arms of the Chiefs star cornerback.

Mahomes finished a methodical 15 of 23 for 200 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and four sacks.