Colts celebrate Manning’s return with 26-23 win over 49ers
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — After blowing a 14-point lead in the final eight minutes of regulation and surviving an interception in scoring position in overtime, Marlon Mack’s 35-yard run set up Adam Vinatieri for a 51-yard field goal as the Indianapolis Colts beat the San Francisco 49ers 26-23 on Sunday.
Vinatieri made four field goals to move into second on the NFL’s career list, one ahead of Gary Anderson (538). Mack and Jacoby Brissett each scored on TD runs for the Colts (2-3), who have won both games against winless teams.
San Francisco (0-5) is one of three teams that still has not won this season. The Browns and Giants are the others.
In many ways, the mistake-prone game became a sideshow for what happened around it.
While many showed up to thank Manning, who played his final home game in Indy on Jan. 8, 2011, most didn’t anticipate becoming part of another political statement.
Vice President Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor, left shortly after about a dozen San Francisco players dropped to their knees for the national anthem. The Colts locked arms, but none took a knee.
Some reports indicated Pence’s walkout was planned.
President Donald Trump later tweeted: “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”
And Peyton Manning was inducted into the Colts’ Ring of Honor.
PACKERS 35, COWBOYS 31
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining, lifting Green Bay over the Dallas Cowboys in another thriller nine months after the Packers’ divisional playoff win on the same field.
Rodgers capped a 75-yard drive in just 1:02, going toward the same end zone as in the playoff game.
Adams, active 10 days after leaving the field on a stretcher on a helmet-to-helmet hit that resulted in a suspension for Chicago linebacker Danny Trevathan, had seven catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Dak Prescott had given Cowboys the lead on an 11-yard touchdown run with 1:13 remaining to cap a 17-play drive that lasted almost nine minutes. Dallas (2-3) has already matched the number of losses from the magical rookie season for Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The Packers (4-1) had gone ahead earlier on Damarius Randall’s 21-yard interception return for a touchdown, the third of five lead changes in the fourth quarter. Green Bay rallied from 15 points down in the first half.
Aaron Jones had 19 carries for 125 yards and a TD, becoming the first Green Bay running back with 100 yards in his first start as a rookie since Samkon Gado in 2005.
Elliott finished with 116 yards on 29 carries. Prescott was 25 of 36 for 251 yards and three first-half touchdowns, two to Cole Beasley and one to Dez Bryant.
Rodgers was 19 of 29 for 221 yards and three touchdowns and set up the winning score with an 18-yard scramble.
CHIEFS 42, TEXANS 34
HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Smith threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns to help Kansas City remain undefeated in a game where Houston star J.J. Watt broke his left leg.
Deshaun Watson’s 48-yard touchdown pass got the Texans within six early in the fourth quarter before Smith extended the lead for Kansas City (5-0) to 32-20 on a 10-yard pass to De’Anthony Thomas with about 9 minutes left. Tyreek Hill padded the lead when he returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown.
Watson threw for 261 yards and five touchdowns, but the Texans (2-3) failed to recreate the magic they found last week when they scored a franchise-record 57 points in a victory over Tennessee.
Watt, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, was injured in the first quarter and the team announced that he sustained a tibial plateau fracture, but didn’t provide any details on how long he’ll be out. The defensive end returned this season after missing the last 13 games last year after his second back surgery.
CHARGERS 27, GIANTS 22
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) — Philip Rivers threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon with 2:58 to play and the Chargers rallied to beat the Giants in a game worthy of two teams that started the season 0-4.
The touchdown pass was Rivers’ third of the game and came three plays after Kyle Emanuel had a sack, forced fumble and recovery against Eli Manning at the Giants 11-yard line. It also came four plays after Odell Beckham Jr. hurt an ankle and become the fourth Giants receiver knocked out of the game.
Rivers also hit Gordon on a 6-yard TD pass in the second quarter and had a 25-yarder to tight end Hunter Henry in the third as the Chargers ended a nine-game losing streak dating to late November.
Manning had given the Giants a 22-17 lead early in the fourth quarter with a 48-yard TD pass to a wide-open Beckham. New York missed the 2-point conversion attempt after being hit with a delay of game penalty.
Manning, who was sacked five times, also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to backup Roger Lewis Jr. in the third quarter. Orleans Darkwa scored on a 23-yard run and the Giants got a safety in scoring their first first-quarter points this season.
JAGUARS 31, STEELERS 9
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Telvin Smith and Barry Church returned a pair of Ben Roethlisberger’s interceptions for touchdowns and Jacksonville stunned Pittsburgh.
Jacksonville (3-2) beat the Steelers for the first time in a decade by relying heavily on the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense. The Jaguars picked off Roethlisberger five times in all and sacked him twice. Rookie Leonard Fournette ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars, who are over .500 after five games for the first time since 2010 and have already matched their victory total from 2016.
Roethlisberger completed 33 of 55 for 312 yards and his career-high five interceptions, the most by a Pittsburgh quarterback since Mark Malone threw five against Cleveland in 1987.
A week after a sideline outburst generated headlines and drew Roethlisberger’s ire, wide receiver Antonio Brown caught 10 passes for 157 yards for Pittsburgh (3-2).
Brown was also the intended receiver on a pair of third-quarter passes the opportunistic Jaguars turned into points. The Steelers led 9-7 when Roethlisberger looked left for Brown. Jacksonville defensive lineman Abry Jones tipped it into the hands of Smith, who chugged 28 yards to put Jacksonville in front with 6:38 left in the period.
The Jaguars defense struck again on Pittsburgh’s next series. Roethlisberger tried to hit Brown down the sideline. Jalen Ramsey deflected it and Church came down with it. A 51-yard sprint later and Jacksonville had turned a two-point deficit into an 11-point lead without taking an offensive snap.
EAGLES 34, CARDINALS 7
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carson Wentz threw a career-best four touchdown passes and the Eagles continued their impressive start.
Wentz tossed three scoring passes in the first quarter, including 59 yards to Torrey Smith, 11 yards to Zach Ertz and 15 yards to Trey Burton. He connected with Nelson Agholor for a 72-yard TD in the third quarter that left six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson shouting on the sideline.
The Eagles (4-1) have won three straight games.
Carson Palmer and Arizona’s one-dimensional offense were held to 279 yards. The Cardinals (2-3) have alternated losses and wins since Week 1.
Wentz torched a secondary that features Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, finishing 21 of 30 for 304 yards. Peterson held Alshon Jeffery to three catches for 31 yards, but Wentz spread the ball around.
DOLPHINS 16, TITANS 10
MIAMI GARDENS, Florida (AP) — Jay Cutler finally silenced the boobirds with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, and the Dolphins overcame another dismal offensive showing.
The jeers started in the first quarter of the Dolphins’ home debut, and soon the crowd was chanting for backup quarterback Matt Moore. But coach Adam Gase stuck with Cutler, who capped a 58-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry for the tiebreaking score.
The Titans (2-3) played without quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was inactive because of a left hamstring injury suffered a week ago. Replacement Matt Cassel went 21 for 32 for 141 yards and was sacked six times.
Miami (2-2) came in ranked last in the NFL in points and yards per game, and struggled against a Titans team that allowed 57 points against Houston a week ago.
PANTHERS 27, LIONS 24
DETROIT (AP) — Cam Newton showed he was very focused on football, throwing three touchdowns to help the Panthers build a lead big enough to hold off the Lions.
The Panthers (4-1) scored 24 straight points after trailing 10-3 early in the second quarter. Detroit rallied, but could not stop Newton on his last drive to get the ball back.
Newton came under fire for making sexist comments to a female reporter this week. He apologized after losing an endorsement deal and getting criticized by the NFL.
He was 26 of 33 for a season-high 335 yards. On perhaps the game’s key play, he converted a third-and-19 from the Carolina 24 with a sharp, 17-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 2:00 left while clinging to a three-point lead against a team out of timeouts.
Newton threw a 6-yard TD pass to rookie Christian McCaffrey to pull the Panthers into a 10-10 tie early in the second quarter and a 10-yard pass to Devin Funchess for a tiebreaking score with 48 seconds left in the first half. With a perfectly lofted 31-yard pass to Benjamin, the 2015 NFL MVP put Carolina up 24-10 early in the third.
Detroit (3-2) struggled to move the ball in the air and on the ground until late in the game.
BENGALS 20, BILLS 16
CINCINNATI (AP) — A.J. Green had a hand in three turnovers that kept it close, but the receiver also pulled off a 77-yard touchdown and another long catch that set up a score.
After losing their first three games, the Bengals (2-3) have salvaged their season by getting the ball to their playmakers at decisive moments. Green’s 47-yard catch set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Joe Mixon that put Cincinnati ahead to stay in the fourth quarter.
The Bills (3-2) got off to an encouraging start by relying heavily on kicker Stephen Hauschka and a defense that led the league, allowing only 13.5 points per game in the first four. The combination wasn’t enough this time. Buffalo’s depleted offense couldn’t take advantage of Cincinnati’s three turnovers.
Tyrod Taylor’s off-target pass was picked off near midfield with 2:14 left, clinching it for Cincinnati. Taylor finished 20 of 37 for 166 yards and was sacked six times.
The Bengals changed offensive coordinators after failing to get a touchdown in their first two games. Green complained that they weren’t getting the ball to their difference makers. He made the difference Sunday, catching seven passes for 189 yards.
JETS 17, BROWNS 14
CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh McCown came back to Cleveland and beat the team that cut him, throwing two touchdown passes and leading the surprising Jets over the winless Browns, who benched rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer and fell to 1-20 under coach Hue Jackson.
McCown went 1-10 in two seasons as a starter for the Browns, who released him on Feb. 7 in a cost-cutting move. The 38-year-old wasn’t seeking revenge, but he got it with two second-half scoring tosses.
McCown threw a 2-yard TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the third quarter and a 24-yarder to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth to give the Jets (3-2) a 17-7 lead en route to their third straight victory.
Kearse’s TD capped a 97-yard drive after Jackson decided not to try a potential tying field goal — rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two attempts in the first half — and went for it on fourth down. However, running back Isaiah Crowell was stopped short by New York’s defense.
Jackson also decided to replace Kizer in the second half for backup Kevin Hogan, perhaps a sign the coach is worried about losing his job. Hogan threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end David Njoku.
The Browns (0-5) dropped to 2-30 in their past 32 games, but they did finally get to see No. 1 overall draft pick Myles Garrett. Garrett, who missed Cleveland’s first four games with a high ankle sprain, got a sack on his first play and finished with two.
RAVENS 30, RAIDERS 17
OAKLAND, California (AP) — Joe Flacco hit Mike Wallace on two deep passes to spark Baltimore’s struggling offense, and the Ravens got a fumble return for a touchdown by Jimmy Smith to beat short-handed Oakland.
Flacco had struggled to get the ball downfield in losing the past two weeks. He changed that on the opening drive of the game for the Ravens (3-2) when he connected on a 52-yard pass to Wallace that set up an early touchdown and established the tone for the day.
The Raiders (2-3), playing without injured star quarterback Derek Carr and two key cornerbacks, played from behind all game as Smith returned Jared Cook’s fumble 47 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-0 just 3:50 in.
Backup quarterback E.J. Manuel , making his fourth start in the past three seasons, threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree and led another TD drive that ended in Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard run . He finished 13 for 26 for 159 yards.
But that wasn’t nearly enough for the Raiders, who have dropped three straight following a 2-0 start, putting a severe dent in their hopes to challenge in the AFC West.
SEAHAWKS 16, RAMS 10
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Russell Wilson passed for 198 yards and a touchdown, and Earl Thomas forced two of the Rams’ five turnovers in Seattle’s win.
Jimmy Graham scored late in the first half in a defense-dominated win for the Seahawks (3-2), who shut out the NFL’s highest-scoring offense in the second half of their second straight win over their NFC West rivals.
Thomas made enormous defensive plays early and late for Seattle. The veteran safety stripped the ball from Todd Gurley at the goal line to kill the Rams’ opening drive, and he intercepted Jared Goff’s fluttering pass at midfield with 6:02 to play.
Sheldon Richardson also came through with two big plays, diving to intercept a deflected pass in the third quarter before scooping up Goff’s fumble near midfield with 2:45 left.
Goff moved the Rams 55 yards in the final 1:09, but Seattle’s defense made its final stop. Rams rookie Cooper Kupp barely missed a diving TD grab on third down, and Goff’s fourth-down pass to Kupp was too low.
Tavon Austin rushed for a 27-yard TD for Los Angeles (3-2), and Goff went 22 of 47 for 288 yards with three costly turnovers.