NFL roundup: Jaguars upset Bills in touchdown-free game; Broncos beat Cowboys
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville had the better Josh Allen on this Sunday, with the standout linebacker intercepting a pass, making a sack and recovering a fumble in a 9-6 upset of the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo’s star quarterback with the same first and last names turned over the ball three times, including twice in the second half. He didn’t have a second-half turnover in any previous game this season.
The Bills (5-3) lost for the second time in seven games. The Jaguars (2-6) rebounded from a debacle at Seattle a week ago.
Buffalo’s Allen completed 31 of 47 passes for 264 yards, with the two interceptions and a fumble.
Dustin Hopkins kicks a 29-yard field goal in the final seconds of the game to lift the Chargers to a 27-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The first of two deciding moments came on a third-and-2 play at the Jaguars 37 with about 5 1-2 minutes remaining. Allen fumbled after getting pressured by Dawuane Smoot. The other Josh Allen recovered.
Buffalo got the ball back in the waning minutes and advanced to the Jaguars 39. But Smoot sacked Allen on third down. It was Jacksonville’s fourth sack of the day.
Allen got the first one. It was the first time a player sacked a quarterback with the same name since the NFL started counting sacks in 1982.
Allen and Allen had been looking forward to this meeting, although Buffalo’s Allen made it clear he didn’t want to get acquainted with Jacksonville’s Allen in the backfield. It nonetheless happened when Allen beat Dion Dawkins off the edge.
The players with the same first and last name had never meet before Sunday even though they were both selected with the seventh pick in consecutive NFL drafts. They have exchanged messages via social media.
Jaguars kicker Matt Wright missed three straight field-goal attempts - all left - in a matter of minutes in the third quarter. Wright did have three field goals for all his team’s points, hitting from 39, 55 and 21 yards.
Denver Broncos 30, Dallas Cowboys 16
ARLINGTON, Texas — Teddy Bridgewater threw for a touchdown and had a sneak for another, and the Broncos stymied the NFL’s No. 1 offense, ending the Cowboys’ six-game winning streak.
Dak Prescott returned after missing a game with a strained right calf but couldn’t get the Cowboys (6-2) moving until two meaningless late touchdowns that merely avoided what would have been their worst shutout loss at home since 1985.
The Broncos (5-4) sacked Prescott twice, both by rookie Jonathon Cooper for the first of his career, and generally made him uncomfortable in their first game since trading star pass rusher Von Miller — and with new team sacks leader Malik Reed (hip injury) inactive.
The lead reached 30-0 in the Broncos’ seventh consecutive victory in the series, a streak that goes back to 1995. Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Malik Turner in the final five minutes.
Even when the Cowboys thought they did something going right, they didn’t. Dallas blocked a punt on the opening possession of the second half, but didn’t take over inside the Denver 20 because rookie Nahshon Wright touched the loose ball beyond the line of scrimmage and Denver recovered.
Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions and the Rams committed 115 yards in penalties in a 28-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Kansas City Chiefs 13, Green Bay Packers 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes threw for 166 yards and a touchdown, Kansas City relentlessly blitzed the Packers’ Jordan Love in his highly anticipated first start in place of Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, forcing the reigning MVP to miss his first game since the 2017 season. Love responded by going 19 of 34 for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception, both of them coming in the fourth quarter when the Packers were trying to rally from a 13-0 deficit against the defending AFC champs.
Love’s touchdown pass to Allen Lazard with 4:49 left gave Green Bay a chance. But Mahomes threw a dart to Tyreek Hill on third-and-10 near midfield with less than two minutes left for a first down that allowed the Chiefs to run out the clock.
Travis Kelce had five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown for the Chiefs (5-4), who have won their three of their last four games despite a problematic offense. They finished with just 237 yards against Green Bay.
The Packers (7-2) only managed 301 yards off offense as their seven-game winning streak came to an end. Green Bay also fell to 6-12-1 without Rodgers since 2008.
More than any quarterback or offense, the difference in the first half was Green Bay’s special teams.
Mason Crosby yanked a 40-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter. He had a 37-yarder blocked in the second period. And when the Packers punted later in the half, one of their downfield blockers accidentally touched the ball with his toe and the Chiefs recovered, eventually turning it into a chip-shot field-goal.
The Packers nearly did the same thing when Amari Rodgers muffed another punt early in the second half.
Arizona Cardinals 31, San Francisco 49ers 17
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — James Conner ran for two touchdowns and caught a 45-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Colt McCoy for the short-handed Cardinals.
The Cardinals (8-1) were playing without quarterback Kyler Murray and receivers DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green but still had little trouble completing the season sweep against the 49ers (3-5).
Conner scored on TD runs on back-to-back drives in the first quarter to stake the Cardinals to a big lead they never relinquished. Conner’s long catch-and-run TD on Arizona’s first drive of the second half helped put the game out of reach.
Conner finished with 173 yards from scrimmage and now leads the NFL in TDs with 11, all scored in the past seven games.
San Francisco lost a pair of fumbles in the first half and struggled defensively even against McCoy, a career backup who had won two starts in the past 10 seasons. McCoy went 22 for 26 for 249 yards.
The Niners are now winless in four home games this season and are just 1-8 at Levi’s Stadium the past two seasons.
Baltimore Ravens 34, Minnesota Vikings 31 (OT)
BALTIMORE — Justin Tucker kicked a 36-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in overtime. The AFC North-leading Ravens (6-2) rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit and survived an acrobatic interception by Minnesota’s Anthony Barr on the first possession of overtime. Barr tipped Lamar Jackson’s pass and caught it out of the air, giving the Vikings the ball at their 38, but Minnesota went three-and-out, and Baltimore drove into Tucker’s range again.
This was a much easier kick than Tucker’s previous winning effort — a record-setting 66-yarder to beat Detroit earlier this season.
It was the third overtime game of the season for each team. They both had split their first two. It was another agonizing loss for the Vikings (3-5), who have not dropped a game all season by more than seven points.
The Ravens took a 31-24 lead on Le’Veon Bell’s 1-yard run with 3:29 remaining in regulation. The Vikings tied it on a 1-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen with 1:03 to play.
Jackson threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran for 120 yards on 21 carries. It was his 10th career 100-yard rushing game, tying Michael Vick’s regular-season record for quarterbacks.
Atlanta Falcons 27, New Orleans Saints 25
NEW ORLEANS — Matt Ryan hit Cordarrelle Patterson for a 64-yard gain with a minute to go, setting up Younghoe Koo’s 29-yard field goal as time expired.
Ryan passed for 343 yards, connected twice with Olamide Zaccheaus for touchdowns, and the veteran quarterback also ran for a score on a bootleg. Ryan’s second scoring pass gave the Falcons a 24-6 lead with 10:39 left in the fourth quarter. But the Saints rallied to briefly take the lead on Trevor Siemian’s 8-yard pass to Kenny Stills with 1:01 left.
New Orleans then missed a 2-point conversion try for the second time in the game, leaving the door open for the Falcons to win with a field goal.
Ryan needed just one play to burn the Saints’ defense for his fourth completion of more than 30 yards in the game — and his second long connection with Patterson. The versatile running back beat rookie Paulson Adebo down the right sideline to give him six catches for 126 yards on the day.
Even with top Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley unavailable while addressing mental health issues, Ryan completed 23 of 30 passes without a turnover.
Saints coach Sean Payton started Siemian on the heels of Jameis Winston’s season-ending knee injury a week ago, and intermittently mixed in Taysom Hill behind center. Siemian passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, and Hill completed both of his passes for 33 yards. But both quarterbacks were hindered by a combination of penalties, dropped passes and protection breakdowns.
Cleveland Browns 41, Cincinnati Bengals 16
CINCINNATI — Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for 137 yards and the Browns, sparked by cornerback Denzel Ward’s early 99-yard interception return for a TD, capped a chaotic week by smashing the Bengals.
The Browns (5-4) came in desperate for a win after dropping three of four. Their situation turned dramatic on Wednesday when star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was exiled for poor behavior and the team decided to release him.
But like last year, when Mayfield played more freely after Beckham suffered a season-ending knee injury at Cincinnati, Cleveland’s QB was on target. The Browns put together their most complete game this season to humble the Bengals (5-4), who hurt themselves with mistakes as they dropped their second straight.
Burrow threw two interceptions and was sacked five times — three by blitzing cornerback Troy Hill — and Bengals rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase dropped two passes, one in the end zone.
Leading 24-10 at halftime, the Browns put it away on Chubb’s 70-yard TD sprint in the third quarter, triggering a wild celebration along Cleveland’s sideline. Chubb also scored on a 1-yard run.
New York Giants 23, Las Vegas Raiders 16
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Xavier McKinney returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown early in the second half and picked off another errant throw by Derek Carr late.
Daniel Jones threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram and Graham Gano added three field goals — the last after McKinney’s second pick — for New York (3-6). Filling in for the injured Saquon Barkley, former Raider Devontae Booker ran for 99 yards before leaving late with a hip injury.
Carr threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow for the Raiders (5-3), who are an NFL-worst 3-16 after a week off over the last 19 years. The usually accurate quarterback also missed a wide-open Darren Waller for another score just before halftime as the Raiders settled for three short field goals by Daniel Carlson, who also missed a 25-yarder in the second half.
Carr, who was 30 of 46 for 296 yards, drove Las Vegas to the Giants 13 in the final minutes. On second-and-10, he was strip-sacked by Quincy Roche and Leonard Williams recovered to ice the game.
New England Patriots 24, Carolina Panthers 6
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mac Jones overcame two early turnovers and threw for 139 yards and a touchdown, J.C. Jackson returned one of three Sam Darnold interceptions for an 88-yard touchdown for New England.
Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson had 106 yards from scrimmage before leaving with a head injury, and Damien Harris and Hunter Henry scored touchdowns as the Patriots (5-4) improved to 4-0 on the road.
Darnold had another miserable outing for Carolina. He finished 16 of 33 for 172 yards with three picks, two by Jackson after the Panthers (4-5) reached the red zone. Darnold has been intercepted nine times and thrown only one touchdown in four career games against the Bill Belichick-coached Patriots.
Even the return of Christian McCaffrey from a five-game absence couldn’t help Carolina’s offense. Christian McCaffrey had 14 carries for 52 yards and caught four passes for 54 yards in his return to the starting lineup. But Carolina’s only points came courtesy of its defense, which forced two Jones turnovers in New England territory in the first half — one off Brian Burns’ sack-fumble and another when former Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore had an interception.
Miami Dolphins 17, Houston Texans 9
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In the NFL’s most turnover-filled game in more than five seasons, the Dolphins got 244 yards passing and a touchdown throw from surprise starter Jacoby Brissett.
The game between two teams that entered with 1-7 records and both on seven-game losing streaks lived up — or down — to its billing. The Dolphins and Texans combined for nine turnovers. Miami had five, Houston four, and somehow the Dolphins (2-7) won anyway.
It was Miami’s first win while committing at least five turnovers since Oct. 18, 1990. The Dolphins had been 0-21 in such games since. And it was the most turnovers in an NFL game since the New York Jets and Kansas City also combined for nine on Sept. 25, 2016.
Brissett filled in again for Tua Tagovailoa, who missed the game with a finger injury on his throwing hand.
Ka’imi Fairbairn had three field goals for Houston (1-8). Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor returned after missing most of the season with a hamstring injury and was far from sharp. Taylor completed 24 of 43 passes for 240 yards, with three interceptions.
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