NFL: Capsules from Sunday’s games
Published 2:30 pm Monday, November 23, 2020
NFL roundup …
CHIEFS 35, RAIDERS 31
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce with 28 seconds to play, and the Kansas City Chiefs avenged their only loss in the last 12 months with a 35-31 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night.
Mahomes passed for 348 yards and led two go-ahead scoring drives in the frantic fourth quarter for the defending Super Bowl champions, who split their season series with Las Vegas (6-4) in dramatic fashion.
Kelce caught eight passes for 127 yards for the Chiefs (9-1), who are in firm control of the race for their fifth straight AFC West title — but only after another thrilling comeback led by their Super Bowl MVP, who bounced back from his second interception of the season late in the first half.
The Raiders led 24-21 on Darren Waller’s TD catch on the first play of the fourth quarter, but Mahomes led a 91-yard scoring drive midway through the period capped by Le’Veon Bell’s first TD for Kansas City.
Derek Carr and the Raiders replied with a crisp drive ending on Jason Witten’s 1-yard TD catch with 1:43 left.
But the Chiefs’ powerhouse offense needed only 75 seconds to go 75 yards for another score, with Mahomes going 6 of 7 on the drive. Kelce got open across the middle for the go-ahead score.
Daniel Sorensen then picked off a heave to midfield by Carr with 19 seconds left, and the Chiefs kneeled out their 18th win in the last 19 games since Nov. 10, 2019.
Carr passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns in a strong performance, but the Raiders couldn’t match their offensive excellence in their 40-32 win at Kansas City last month. The Chiefs have won five straight since that defeat.
TITANS 30, RAVENS 24, OT
Derrick Henry ran for a 29-yard touchdown with 5:21 left in overtime to cap another memorable performance against Baltimore, rallying Tennessee.
Running against a patchwork Ravens defensive line, Henry finished with 133 yards on 28 carries. It was his sixth 100-yard game of the season and put him over 1,000 yards for the third consecutive year.
It was reminiscent of Henry’s outing last January, when he rambled for 195 yards to carry the Titans to a 28-12 upset of the top-seeded Ravens in the AFC divisional playoff.
After forcing a punt to begin overtime, Tennessee (7-3) moved 73 yards on six plays to get back on track after losing three of its previous four games.
Baltimore (6-4) has lost two straight and three of four. Until the fourth quarter, the Ravens did a decent job of stopping Henry without injured defensive linemen Calais Campbell (calf) and Brandon Williams (ankle).
Tennessee trailed 21-10 early in the third quarter and 21-16 late in regulation before launching a 90-yard drive featuring the running of Henry and some precise throws by Ryan Tannehill.
But Lamar Jackson drove the Ravens to Justin Tucker’s 29-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining to force overtime.
STEELERS 27, JAGUARS 3
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Pittsburgh’s most dominant defensive performance of the season kept the Steelers perfect. Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted two passes each and the Steelers steamrolled their way to a 10-0 record.
Rookie quarterback Jake Luton looked lost most of the day against the Steelers, who allowed 206 yards and finished with two sacks. They celebrated each turnover by running into the end zone and posing for the cameras.
Ben Roethlisberger and Co. gladly shared the spotlight with one of the league’s most disruptive defenses. Roethlisberger completed 32 of 46 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns. He found Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron for scores.
Diontae Johnson finished with 12 catches for 111 yards. James Conner ran 13 times for 89 yards, showing some life for a struggling ground game.
Of course, it all came against one of the NFL’s worst and most dysfunctional franchises. The Jaguars (1-9) tied a single-season record by losing a ninth straight game.
The Steelers extended their sack streak to 67 consecutive games.
COLTS 34, PACKERS 31, OT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — After allowing three touchdown passes and 28 first-half points, the Colts gave up only three second-half points. They also forced a game-changing fumble less than a minute into overtime.
Rodrigo Blankenship won it with a 39-yard field goal with 7:10 remaining.
Indy (7-3) did it with an old-school combination: The offense that played keep-away, a defense that came up with two three-and-outs and a fourth-down stop late in the fourth quarter, and the key turnover in overtime.
Philip Rivers was 24 of 35 with 288 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in his 234th consecutive start, tying Eli Manning for the 10th-longest streak in league history. Jonathan Taylor had 22 carries for 90 yards in a wild game that included Green Bay scores in the final 10 seconds of each half; Indianapolis erasing a 14-point halftime deficit, then failing to seal the win because of five holding calls on its final drive in regulation.
Aaron Rodgers took full advantage of the second chance, hooking up with Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a 47-yard pass play. That took the Packers (7-3) from the 6-yard line to the Colts 47. Seven plays later, Mason Crosby tied the game at 31 with a 26-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining.
But Green Bay won the coin toss, Valdes-Scantling lost a fumble when hit by Julian Blackmon on Green Bay’s second play. DeForest Buckner recovered and four plays later, Blankenship won it.
SAINTS 24, FALCONS 9
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Taysom Hill rushed for two touchdowns and passed for 233 yards in his first NFL start at quarterback, and the Saints got their seventh straight victory.
With 41-year-old quarterback Drew Brees sidelined at least three games with multiple rib fractures, Saints coach Sean Payton gave Hill the nod over offseason free agent acquisition Jameis Winston. Hill, who started his career as a utility player with the Saints in 2017, looked comfortable running the scheme Payton designed. He completed 18 of 23 passes (78.3%) without an interception and used his all-around athleticism to run intermittently on scrambles or designed read-option plays, finishing with a team-high 51 yards rushing.
He had a considerably better day than Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, who was sacked eight times and finished 19 of 37 passing for 232 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions to defensive backs Marcus Williams and Janoris Jenkins. Cameron Jordan sacked Ryan three times, while Trey Hendrickson and David Onyemata each had two sacks.
Kamara, Hill and Latavius Murray powered a ground game that netted 168 yards, which helped the Saints (8-2) sustain drives that consumed a total of 33:41. The Falcons are 3-7.
WASHINGTON 20, BENGALS 9
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Top draft pick Joe Burrow was carted off with a left knee injury before Alex Smith rallied Washington.
Burrow, Cincinnati’s franchise quarterback, was injured early in the third quarter when he was hit high and low by two Washington linemen after throwing a pass. His left leg bent awkwardly, and he couldn’t put any weight on it, ending his day at 22-of-34 passing for 203 yards and a touchdown.
His season appears over, too. Burrow tweeted: “Thanks for all the love. Can’t get rid of me that easy. See ya next year.”
Burrow’s departure allowed Smith and Washington (3-7) to take over and move a half-game back of Philadelphia for first place in the NFL’s weakest division. Just after Burrow left, the 36-year-old Smith — who broke his right tibia and fibula on the same field just over two years ago — led a go-ahead, 55-yard scoring drive that ended with a 3-yard TD pass to Steven Sims.
In his second start since that gruesome injury Nov. 18, 2018, Smith was 17 of 25 for 166 yards and had a pass intercepted after it was tipped late in the first half.
Washington rookie running back Antonio Gibson ran for 94 yards and a TD. against Cincinnati (2-7-1).
BROWNS 22, EAGLES 17
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kareem Hunt hurdled Philadelphia’s Jalen Mills on a touchdown run, Olivier Vernon stepped up with star Myles Garrett out with COVID-19 by getting three sacks and a safety for Cleveland.
Hunt’s leaping 5-yard score came shortly after a dazzling 54-yard run by Nick Chubb as the Browns (7-3) finally found traction in their running game in a constant downpour.
Cleveland also got a 50-yard interception return TD in the first half by second-year linebacker Sione Takitaki. The Browns constantly harassed Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz despite playing without Garrett.
Wentz’s 4-yard TD pass to Dallas Goedert pulled the Eagles (3-6-1) within 22-17, but the Browns recovered an onside kick and secured win No. 7 — one more than they had in 2019 — under first-year coach Kevin Stefanski.
BRONCOS 20, DOLPHINS 13
DENVER (AP) — Justin Simmons intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass in the end zone with 63 seconds left. The Broncos (4-6) not only prevented Tua Tagovailoa from becoming just the second rookie in the past 40 years to win his first four starts, but they sacked him a half-dozen times and knocked him from the game in the fourth quarter.
Although the Dolphins (6-4) didn’t announce an injury to Tagovailoa before game’s end, the lefty walked gingerly to the sideline after his final sack, by Bradley Chubb. On the play, Tagovailoa’s left leg bent awkwardly and guard Solomon Kindley stepped on Tagovailoa’s right foot.
Fitzpatrick entered with the Dolphins down 10 points and drove them to a field goal that made it a one-score deficit. The Dolphins, who had won five in a row, had a chance to tie it after they turned away the Broncos at their 1. Melvin Gordon was just about to score his third touchdown of the game when linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel atoned for a pair of penalties on the previous play by punching the ball loose at the 1. Safety Eric Rowe recovered.
But Simmons clinched it after a long Miami drive.
TEXANS 27, PATRIOTS 20
HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson threw for 344 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, and J.J. Watt defended a career-high four passes.
Watson’s two touchdown passes and scoring run all came in the first half as the Texans (3-7) built a 21-10 halftime lead. Watson and Houston’s offense slowed down after that to allow the Patriots (4-6) to get back into it. But a 46-yard field goal by Káimi Fairbairn extended the lead to 27-20 with about 3½ minutes to go.
Houston’s beleaguered defense sealed the victory with a stop after that. Watt swatted down Cam Newton’s pass on third down and heavy pressure from Justin Reid forced him to throw the ball away on fourth down to give the Texans the ball back.
It is the first time since 2009 that the Patriots will have at least six losses in a regular season.
It’s also the Texans’ first win of the season against a team besides the division-rival Jacksonville Jaguars. And the Texans’ win gave interim coach Romeo Crennel a rare victory by a former Bill Belichick assistant against his former boss.
PANTHERS 20, LIONS 0
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — P.J. Walker threw for 258 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start, the much-maligned Carolina defense earned its first shutout since 2015 and the Panthers (4-7) snapped a five-game losing streak.
Walker, a former XFL player, was made the starter less than two hours before kickoff when Teddy Bridgewater was officially ruled out with a knee injury.
Walker did plenty well, connecting on a perfect 52-yard strike to D.J. Moore along with a well-placed 17-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel. But he also had two terrible mistakes, twice throwing interceptions in the red zone, essentially hitting the defender right in the hands.
Still he did enough to win, as Moore had seven catches for 127 yards and Samuel had eight grabs for 70 yards. Mike Davis ran for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Matthew Stafford, who played despite a thumb injury that prevented him from taking a snap under center all week in practice, finished 18 of 33 for 178, He was sacked five times as the Lions (4-6) were blanked for the first time since Oct. 18, 2009, his rookie season — although he didn’t play in that game.
COWBOYS 31, VIKINGS 28
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andy Dalton returned from a two-game absence to throw three touchdown passes, hitting Dalton Schultz for a 2-yard score with 1:37 left to stop the Cowboys’ four-game losing streak.
Dalton went 22 for 32 for 203 yards and one interception after fill-ins Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert started the previous two games. After missing games to a concussion and COVID-19, Dalton directed an 11-play, 66-yard drive down the stretch that was extended with a fourth-and-6 completion to Amari Cooper at the 19.
Kris Boyd stepped in front of Schultz and nearly picked off a first-and-goal pass in the end zone, but Dalton delivered to his wide open tight end two plays later. That snapped the Vikings’ three-game winning streak and kept the Cowboys (3-7) alive and well in the lackluster NFC East. They’re in a three-way tie for second place behind Philadelphia (3-6-1).
Dodging pressure all afternoon, Kirk Cousins completed 22 of 30 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns to punctuate possessions of 75, 81 and 85 yards to start the second half.
CHARGERS 34, JETS 28
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Keenan Allen set a Chargers franchise record with 16 receptions and Justin Herbert threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns.
The prolific-catch day helped Allen tie Antonio Brown as the fastest to reach 600 receptions. Both reached the mark in their 96th career game. It is also Allen’s sixth game with 13 or more receptions, the most by a player in NFL history.
Allen had 145 yards receiving and a 13-yard TD in the third quarter to extend the lead for the Chargers (3-7) to 31-13. New York would rally to get within 34-28 in the fourth quarter on Frank Gore’s 1-yard run and Joe Flacco’s 6-yard pass to Chris Herndon.
New York (0-10) — off to the worst start in franchise history — drove to the Chargers 32 with under a minute remaining before turning over the ball on downs.