NFL: Capsules from Sunday’s games

Published 2:15 am Monday, October 9, 2023


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter, one to Travis Kelce after the All-Pro tight end briefly left the game with an ankle injury, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-20 on Sunday.

Mahomes went 31 for 41 for 281 yards and no turnovers in his most efficient performance of the season for the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (4-1), who once again won while not at their best.

Kirk Cousins threw for scores to Jordan Addison and Alexander Mattison for the Vikings (1-4). They had two chances at the tying touchdown in the final five minutes, but a late hamstring injury to star wide receiver Justin Jefferson and a lack of timeouts from earlier mismanagement of the game were ultimately too much to overcome.

Jefferson slipped on the turf while trying to make a cut on his route during a third-down pass deep in Kansas City territory. He grabbed the back of his right leg and limped slowly to the sideline.

Mahomes hit Justin Watson with a 33-yard heave on third-and-18 from his own 17 to extend the Chiefs’ first possession of the second half. The two-time MVP finished that drive with a tiebreaking 8-yard scoring toss to Rashee Rice.

All four of Minnesota’s losses have come by eight points or fewer this year after a record 11 wins in 11 one-score games in 2022.

49ERS 42, COWBOYS 10

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy threw three of his four touchdown passes to George Kittle and San Francisco extended its dominance over Dallas.

The Niners led 14-0 before the Cowboys (3-2) got their initial first down and were never really threatened on the way to matching a franchise record with their 15th straight regular-season win and earning their fifth 5-0 start.

Purdy calmly picked apart the league’s stingiest defense to improve to 10-0 as a starter in the NFL and San Francisco’s defense made life difficult on Dak Prescott all night.

Prescott was sacked three times and heaved an interception into double coverage after Dallas fell behind 28-10 in the third quarter. He threw two more interceptions in the fourth quarter.

It was Dallas’ most lopsided defeat since losing 49-17 to New Orleans in 2013.

Purdy finished 17 for 24 for 252 yards and has not thrown an interception all season. Kittle became the first Niners player with three TD catches in a game since Vernon Davis in 2009.


LONDON (AP) — Travis Etienne rushed for 136 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, and Jacksonville beat jet-lagged Buffalo at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Jaguars (3-2) won back-to-back games in London, ended Buffalo’s three-game winning streak and proved they can hang with an AFC powerhouse.

The Bills (3-2) looked tired at times, rushed for only 29 yards, and had a rash of injuries.

Etienne scored on a 35-yard run with just under three minutes left after carrying it in from 6 yards earlier.

Josh Allen twice brought the Bills back late in the fourth quarter. He ran it in from 3 yards to complete a 75-yard drive that took just 45 seconds, making it 25-20 before the two-minute warning.

With the Bills out of timeouts, the Jags punted to the Buffalo 6, leaving the Bills just 22 seconds. Stefon Diggs caught a pass and tried to lateral it, but Jacksonville recovered the fumble.

Allen was 27 of 40 for 359 yards and two touchdowns. Diggs had eight catches for 121 yards and a touchdown and Davis had six catches for 100 yards and a score.

The Jags survived two costly strip-sack lost fumbles by Trevor Lawrence, both times in Buffalo territory. Lawrence finished 25 of 37 for 315 yards and a touchdown.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kenny Pickett hit George Pickens for a 41-yard touchdown with 1:17 remaining, and Pittsburgh rallied past Baltimore.

Pickett and the rest of Pittsburgh’s sporadic offense managed little over the game’s first 55 minutes, but a late interception by rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. gave the Steelers (3-2) life. Pickett responded by driving Pittsburgh 80 yards in eight plays, the last 41 coming on a rainbow down the sideline to Pickens.

It was the Steelers’ first touchdown in nearly nine quarters and it somehow was enough to beat the Ravens (3-2). Baltimore turned the ball over three times, including twice in the final five minutes.

Lamar Jackson’s wayward lob to the corner of the end zone intended for Zay Flowers instead landed in the arms of Porter. Jackson later fumbled on the Ravens’ penultimate possession, with Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt picking it up. Chris Boswell’s third field goal put Pittsburgh up a touchdown, and Baltimore’s final drive ended with Watt sacking Jackson.

Jackson finished 22 of 38 for 236 yards and the late pick. He also ran for 45 yards but fell to 2-4 in his career against Pittsburgh.

Pickett completed 18 of 32 passes for 242 yards.


DENVER (AP) — Breece Hall ran for a 72-yard touchdown, Bryce Hall had a 39-yard, game-sealing scoop-and-score, and New York beat Denver.

The Jets (2-3) celebrated offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s return to Denver, where he lasted less than one season as head coach. His successor, Sean Payton, trashed Hackett’s coaching job during training camp this year.

The Broncos (1-4) fell to 0-3 at home under Payton.

Russell Wilson led the Broncos to a touchdown and 2-point conversion to make it 24-21 late in the fourth quarter. Patrick Surtain II’s interception of Zach Wilson’s pass to Garrett Wilson gave the Broncos the ball back at their 3 with 2:14 left, and the Broncos were nearly in field goal range when Quincy Williams strip-sacked Russell Wilson. Bryce Hall scooped up the bouncing ball near the sideline and took it to the end zone.

Russell Wilson was 20 of 31 for 196 yards and two TDs.

Breece Hall ran for 177 yards on 22 carries, a whopping 8 yards per carry. Zach Wilson, making his fourth straight start in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers, was 19 of 26 for 199 yards.


ATLANTA (AP) — Desmond Ridder passed and ran for touchdowns, providing an answer to those who had called for him to be benched, Younghoe Koo kicked a go-ahead 37-yard field goal as time expired, and Atlanta beat Houston to snap a two-game skid.

Ridder’s 6-yard TD pass to rookie running back Bijan Robinson and 2-point pass to Tyler Allgeier gave the Falcons (3-2) a 15-12 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Houston rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud answered with an 18-yard scoring pass to tight end Dalton Schultz, giving the Texans a 19-18 lead with 1:49 remaining.

The biggest gain on Atlanta’s decisive field-goal drive in the final minutes was Ridder’s 23-yard pass to Drake London.

Stroud set an NFL record by starting his career with 177 pass attempts without an interception. He completed 20 of 35 passes for 249 yards and a score. The Texans (2-3) had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Ridder completed 28 of 37 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown and had a 7-yard scoring run in the first quarter. He bounced back after a three-turnover performance in last week’s loss to Jacksonville in London.


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Jalen Hurts passed for 303 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 72 yards and another score, and Philadelphia outlasted Los Angeles to remain unbeaten.

Dallas Goedert had eight catches for 117 yards and an early TD for the Eagles, who are off to their second consecutive 5-0 start despite getting tested throughout this meeting of the last two NFC champions.

A.J. Brown had six catches for 127 yards, but the Eagles couldn’t reach the end zone in the second half and had to rely on their defense, which shut out the Rams (2-3) after halftime.

Cooper Kupp had eight catches for 118 yards in the former Super Bowl MVP’s dynamic season debut for the Rams, who have lost three of four despite hanging in with three probable Super Bowl contenders during that stretch. Kupp made five catches for 56 yards on Los Angeles’ opening drive, but the offense struggled after that.

Matthew Stafford passed for 222 yards and hit Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua for touchdowns, but Los Angeles’ offense didn’t cross midfield in the second half. Nacua finished with seven catches for a career-low 71 yards.

The Eagles failed to score at least 25 points for the first time this season despite racking up 454 total yards.


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joe Burrow threw three touchdown passes to Ja’Marr Chase, who finished with a season-high 192 yards receiving, and Cincinnati beat Arizona.

Burrow finished 36 of 46 for 317 yards in a much-needed performance after he was slowed by a calf injury through his first four games. Chase set a single-game franchise record with 15 receptions.

Cincinnati (2-3) scored a touchdown in the first half for the first time this season and had three offensive touchdowns overall, matching the unit’s total from the first four games combined.

Burrow threw an interception deep in Cardinals territory when receiver Trenton Irwin fell while running a route, leading to an easy pick for K’Von Wallace.

Cincinnati’s defense responded with a fourth-down stop and Burrow led a 15-play, 83-yard drive that was capped by Chase’s third touchdown catch of the game and a 31-20 lead.

Joshua Dobbs completed 15 of 32 passes for 166 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Cardinals (1-4).


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Alvin Kamara rushed for a touchdown, Derek Carr had two scoring passes and New Orleans routed New England.

Tyrann Mathieu added a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown to help New Orleans (3-2) chase Patriots quarterback Mac Jones from the game — the second straight week coach Bill Belichick benched Jones in the second half.

Kamara had 22 carries for 80 yards, and his 73rd career TD made him the Saints’ career leader. Carr finished 18 of 26 for 183 yards, and Michael Thomas had four catches for 65 yards as New Orleans ended a two-game skid. The Saints outgained the Patriots 304 yards to 156.

It was the second-worst shutout loss in Patriots franchise history, trailing only a 52-0 drubbing in Miami against the undefeated Dolphins in 1972. New England fell to 1-4 for the first time since 2000, Belichick’s first year as its coach.

Jones was 12 of 22 for 110 yards, including the pick-6 and another interception that set up a Saints touchdown. He also lost a fumble in the third quarter that was recovered by Cameron Jordan and set up a Saints field goal. He was replaced by backup Bailey Zappe in the fourth quarter. New England has yet to top 20 points in a game.


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Rookie De’Von Achane ran for a 76-yard touchdown, Tyreek Hill surpassed 150 yards receiving for the third time this season, and Miami beat New York.

The Dolphins’ 524 yards gave them 2,568 this year, the most through the first five games of a season in NFL history.

Miami (4-1) regained first place in the AFC East after Buffalo (3-2) lost to Jacksonville in London.

Tua Tagovailoa went 22 of 30 for 308 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions.

Jason Pinnock returned one of the interceptions 102 yards, the only touchdown for New York (1-4). It was the Giants’ first touchdown in the first half of a game this season and it tied for the longest interception return in team history.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones left in the fourth quarter with a neck injury after a sack by linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel. Tyrod Taylor replaced him.

Achane averaged 13.7 yards on 11 carries for a total of 151 yards, becoming the first Dolphins player with three straight 100-yard rushing games since Jay Ajayi in 2016. He became the only player in the Super Bowl era with seven touchdowns through his first four NFL games.


DETROIT (AP) — Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes in the first half and ran for a score in the fourth quarter, and Detroit kept Carolina winless.

The NFC North-leading Lions (4-1) are alone atop the division in October or later for the first time since 2016.

The Panthers (0-5) turned the ball over three times in the first half — two coming on consecutive snaps — to set up Detroit up for three touchdowns and a 28-10 halftime lead.

Carolina rookie quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 overall pick, was 25 of 41 for 247 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Gof was 20 of 28 for 236 yards, and his 1-yard sneak early in the fourth put Detroit ahead 35-10.

David Montgomery, with 109 yards rushing, became the first Lion to run for 100-plus yards and score in two straight games since Kevin Jones in 2004.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Zack Moss upstaged the return of Jonathan Taylor by running for a career-high 165 yards and two scores, and Gardner Minshew was sharp in relief of the injured Anthony Richardson to lead Indianapolis past Tennessee.

The Colts (3-2) snapped a seven-game losing streak at home and beat the Titans (2-3) for the first time in six tries.

Richardson left with a right shoulder injury late in the first half. He went 9 of 12 for 98 yards. Minshew was 11 of 14 for 155 yards.

Moss averaged 7.2 yards on 23 carries in his second 100-yard game this season and caught two passes for 30 yards.

Ryan Tannehill was efficient for Tennessee, going 23 of 34 for 264 yards, but he had a game-sealing interception in the waning seconds. Derrick Henry was held to 43 yards on 13 carries.

Taylor had six carries for 18 yards in his first action this season. He agreed to a three-year, $42 million extension a day earlier.